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COVID-19 Updates

January 2022

Dear CBJ Community,

I can’t believe it’s been almost two years that we have been facing COVID-19. Our COVID committee continues to meet weekly and discuss all the programs at CBJ to ensure we are operating safely. Our COVID committee has changed slightly in the last month and we welcome new committee members: Bill Futornick, Harold Keer, M.D., Linda Leeb, and Tami Raubvogel; we thank the committee members who are continuing: Ann Cauterucci, Steve Dines, Bruce Fram, and Deborah Wahnich-Reitman; and we send a huge thank you to the committee members who are stepping off: Sabrina Braham and Rabbi Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon.

In light of the Omicron variant, we wanted to give a quick update and answer some questions you may have. First and foremost, if you have any symptoms, we ask that you take good care of yourself and seek medical advice as needed. Please make use of our online options and refrain from attending in-person. If anything changes we will communicate as quickly as possible.

What’s happening at CBJ?

In line with the recent CA state mandate, we require everyone over the age of 2 to wear masks indoors. Masks are optional outdoors, except for family-centered programs to keep our youngest members safe. Some medical professionals have suggested wearing N95 or KN95 masks instead of 2-ply cloth masks due to the highly transmissible nature of the Omicron variant. 

We request that everyone over the age of 12 who comes to the building be fully vaccinated, or have taken a recent test with a negative result. At this time we don't require proof, but we require self-attestation that you have been vaccinated or tested. Unfortunately, it has become more difficult to obtain testing appointments and at-home tests. At the present time we have a low supply of rapid tests, but are working diligently to obtain additional testing supplies and will be able to provide them at the door as we have done in the past as needed. 

We will continue to hold hybrid services in-person, with remote/online options through Zoom or streaming. It can be very cool in our worship spaces, so we suggest dressing with that in mind. We will continue boxed kiddush lunch outdoors, with the option to take your meal home if you prefer not to sit at the tables under the tent.

We have limited our seating in the sanctuary by roping off every other row and signage therein asks that groups leave empty seats for distancing. During the traditional service, we monitor the airflow, open doors and use fans in the sanctuary to ensure there is fresh air circulating in the space.

Power Hour will continue to use the indoor/outdoor patio space for as long as possible. If the weather is poor, we will move into the chapel with open doors and fans for better airflow.

Although there are no B’nai Mitzvah scheduled for January, next month we will continue with the plans that have been in place since the fall when services returned to the Sanctuary. We ask each Bar or Bat Mitzvah student to take a rapid test before the service so they can remove their mask while leading.

Religious School & Junior Congregation
Religious School is on a winter break, but will resume on Wednesday, January 19, with the same protocols as were in place before the break. Rabbi Ilana has communicated directly with Religious School families. Junior Congregation has moved to Zoom for most of the month of January because it’s very chilly outside at 10am on Saturday mornings.

Our preschool has been meeting in outdoor classrooms under tent canopies on our playground. We’ve had only one day when classes had to go indoors due to weather. The children and teachers wear masks and are distanced when eating snack and lunch. Our classes have intentionally had a low student to teacher ratio and our class sizes remain small this year. Our Preschool Director, Ann Cauterucci, has provided information and been in touch with Preschool families on a regular basis.

The office is open daily during normal business hours. Our staff and clergy are fully vaccinated and boostered and continue to wear masks when indoors. Should we face staffing shortages due to illness or exposure we will do our best to continue daily operations to the degree that we can and will let you know if anything changes. As many of you know, our staff are a wonderful and dedicated group and they have worked incredibly hard through these turbulent and difficult times. We are so grateful for their support.

We are here for you. We know this period of time has been challenging for many. Our clergy are available if you need someone to talk to and have many referrals to further support if needed. Our Cares Committee has done an incredible job of providing meal trains, phone calls, and shopping assistance, and will continue to do so upon request. The CDC has released guidelines which outline what to do when you have been exposed or test positive; these can be confusing, but we are following them when an instance comes up, read more here.

We remain positive and hope that this latest surge will decrease quickly. Please feel free to reach out and let us know if you have any questions at any time.

I hope you all take good care and stay safe, healthy and well.

Rosa Whitten, Executive Director

December 2021

We’re open!

CBJ is open in-person for Shabbat services, Religious School, Preschool and everything else. Most of our programs are offered in hybrid fashion so that those who are still more comfortable joining us online from their own homes may do so.

COVID policies:

CBJ requires everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face mask while indoors.

Face masks are optional at outdoor events except those aimed toward young families. When we have numerous children present we ask everyone to remain masked to protect our youngest congregants who cannot yet be vaccinated.

When you arrive for Shabbat services, those age 12 and over, will be asked to self attest that they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. If you age 12 and over but have not been vaccinated we will ask you to have a negative COVID-19 test within the last 24 hours or to take a rapid antigen test on-site that we will provide.

All of the CBJ staff are fully vaccinated, and our clergy are also tested weekly before leading Shabbat services.

We ask everyone with any COVID-19 related symptoms to refrain from attending in-person and join us online until they are no longer symptomatic.

We recognize that there has been an emotional impact of the pandemic. We have created outreach programs to connect with the community over these many months. If you are in need of support or care due to the isolating effects of the pandemic, please reach out to our clergy and staff to be connected to resources.

Come join us!

Fri, January 28 2022 26 Shevat 5782