Statement of principles for decision making around in-person services for September and the High Holiday Season

As we move forward into the next stage of the pandemic, we thought it would be helpful to set out our principles for the decision making behind our Covid safety measures.

Most importantly, we need to acknowledge that as a community we will all have different perspectives, and different relationships, with our sense of individual and community health, acceptable risk, and levels of comfort at being around others in physical space.  Some of us may also be more vulnerable to serious illness than others.  We need to approach each others’ perspective with empathy, compassion and understanding, and with the acknowledgement that we all share similar goals – that of working towards creating an inclusive, welcoming, connected community.

We feel that the risk mitigation strategies that we adopt need to be specific, targeted, and proportionate to particular risks, and on our risk assessment we will make clear what the specific risk is, that a risk mitigation strategy is attempting to target.

We need to ensure that we are prioritising inclusivity.  This means both ensuring that we try as hard as possible to make sure our spaces feel safe to those attending, and that we mitigate our risk in such a way that those that wish to attend our services and activities are able to.  We acknowledge the inherent tension in some of our risk reduction strategies, such that a Covid risk reduction strategy may reduce accessibility in other areas, and therefore are committed to keeping our risk reduction strategies under regular review.

We wish to encourage our members to participate in the public health programmes, such as the vaccination programme and the testing programme.

Most importantly, we do all have a responsibility to not come to any in-person communal activities if we are unwell with any symptoms of Covid-19, or if we are a direct contact of someone with Covid-19.

Please do speak to anyone on the Management Committee if you have concerns that you would like to raise.


Risk reduction strategies to reduce the risk of Covid-19 viral transmission at Kehillah services for September

– We will remind people not to attend if they are unwell with symptoms of Covid-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell or taste, or feeling generally unwell), or are a direct contact of someone with Covid-19, or are quarantining having been instructed to do so on return from another country

– We will continue to manage exiting and leaving services in such a way as to avoid crowds

– Mask wearing is invited and strongly encouraged, understanding that some people have medical exemptions that means that this is not possibleWe will reduce our social distancing requirements to half capacity.  This means 45 people in the St Mary’s community hall.  The number for the Unitarian hall (where High Holiday services are taking place) will be confirmed

– We will stream the main High Holiday services and September shabbat morning service on Zoom

– We will continue to make Kiddush outside

– We will continue to ask people to book in advance so that we can collect phone numbers should contact tracing be necessary

– Communal singing will be permitted