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December 21, 2022

San Mateo County has updated the dashboard to a medium risk level for COVID-19; there is also an increasing number of cases of flu and RSV.  As a result, we have updated our masking protocols in order to provide a safer environment for our entire congregation.

Effective immediately, there will be a masks mandatory section in both the sanctuary and the chapel. Please help us create a supportive environment by respecting individual choice by wearing a mask in these sections. You are welcome to sit in another section with or without your mask.

Junior Congregation will continue with the mandatory masking policy and we will continue to have outdoor seating options during kiddush.

Please remember to stay home if you are feeling sick or if you have flu or COVID symptoms, even if they are mild.

We also encourage people to be up to date with COVID boosters, influenza vaccination, and any other vaccines as appropriate.

A Gentle Reminder

December 1, 2022

At CBJ, our goal is to keep everyone safe, healthy, and connected. 

As COVID-19 has become a part of our lives, our policies and procedures continue to evolve, ensuring we can minimize risk and make everyone feel more comfortable. 

We have taken some steps to make the synagogue environment a little safer. We will add an additional portable air ventilation system in the chapel during Shabbat services and are limiting the number of people who come up to the bima for an Aliyah. Junior Congregation will continue to be held outside, weather permitting, and, as usual, there are outside tables set up during Kiddush.

Most importantly, if you feel unwell or have been in close contact with someone who has flu-like symptoms or has tested positive, please stay home and join services and programs virtually. Please do not just assume that it is a cold or flu, even if you do not test positive.

Thank you for joining us in helping keep our community safe, healthy, and connected.

October 27, 2022

While we remain in the green/low tier, we are going to change the structure of current seating policy in the main sanctuary and the current signage of the masking recommendations. Our current policy in the main sanctuary is that in the left section masks are optional and seats are distanced, in the middle sections masks are optional and seats are not distanced, and in the right section masks are required and seats are distanced. Ribbons are used to mark the rows that are not open to seating. The unintended consequence of this setup is that the middle section is now very crowded.

Our new policy in the main sanctuary is that masks are optional and there is no distance seating.

Hosts of larger events will continue to be asked to take measures to improve ventilation, such as opening the wall between the sanctuary and social hall until further notice.

Virtual worship options will continue via Zoom or Streaming, although with modifications to reduce the presence of technology.

Masking indoors and outdoors is optional. People may choose to mask at any time. People with exposure to someone with COVID-19 who has not tested positive or shown symptoms should wear a mask. Those with cold/flu/COVID symptoms (e.g. fever, worsening cough, significant fatigue, etc.) or a positive COVID test should not come to CBJ.

Junior Congregation and Power Hour will continue outdoors as long as the weather permits.

Kiddush lunch will continue to have indoor and outdoor seating options.

Many of our classes and meetings have moved back inside in-person and some will offer a zoom option.

Religious School continues to be held indoors and outdoors with the addition of Hebrew classes via Zoom.

Preschool will remain outdoors for the third year in a row, rain or shine!

This, of course, is subject to change, if our COVID-19 numbers worsen or we move to a different safety tier.

May 5, 2022

Dear CBJ Family:

If you are anything like me, you may be feeling uncertain about how to respond to the recent information about COVID numbers. 

Although there is an uptick in cases, we are heartened that hospitalization numbers remain stable. The COVID Committee met this week to discuss the various policies we have in place. I wanted to remind you about the COVID policies and varied alternatives for worship and gathering.

Masking: Masks remain optional inside (with the exception of school programs) and outside the building.

Outdoor Service Option: Power Hour (and Jr. Congregation) is entirely outside in the Beit Aseifa Patio.

Indoor Service Option: The traditional service is offered inside with flexible seating. 

Middle section: masks are optional with regular seating. 
Left side section: masks are optional and seats are socially distanced
Right side section: masks are required and seats are socially distanced 

Kiddush: Kiddush seating is available indoors and outdoors, as well as to go. 

Virtual Worship Options: All services are offered virtually either via live stream or via Zoom or both.

Larger Attendance: When attendance is higher, the partitions into the Social Hall are open, as are the South Patio doors. Our HVAC system has been updated to improve the airflow in our indoor spaces. And, when necessary, we run additional fans to help improve ventilation.

Above all, we request that you stay home if you are feeling unwell or have any COVID symptoms.

I hope these policies assure you that CBJ takes safety seriously. I look forward to seeing you soon to gather and worship in whichever options make you most comfortable.

Shabbat Shalom
Tami Raubvogel, Board President 
on behalf of the CBJ COVID Committee

March 2022

Dear CBJ Family:

I think everyone shares in my relief and gratitude about the declining COVID levels. As most of you already know, the CDC and local County Health Departments lifted the mask mandate and social distancing recommendations. As a result, the COVID policies at CBJ will also be changing.

It is our top priority to bring people back into the building safely. As I have said before, our community needs you.

In an effort to keep the community safe from the virus but to also create a sense of safety, we will continue to provide options so that everyone, including staff and clergy, can feel comfortable returning in person.

Starting March 12

  • Masks will be optional indoors and outdoors.
  • Indoor and outdoor seating will be available at the Shabbat Kiddush Lunch. To continue to assure good ventilation in the social hall, we will limit the number of inside tables.
  • Buffet style Kiddush lunches will be offered with some boxed lunches for those who feel more comfortable with that option.
  • The middle section seats in the sanctuary will return to original spacing. However, the side sections will continue to have spacing between seats and rows to provide an option for social distancing during services to offer anyone the option to self social distance. Additionally, masking will be required in one of the two side sections.
  • For larger B’nai Mitzvahs and other events, we will open the Social Hall doors to provide more seating options.
  • We will no longer be asking individuals to indicate vaccination status when they enter the building. However, we ask anyone who has any symptoms to stay home and attend the service/program virtually.
  • All programs will continue to have a hybrid option until further notice.
  • Junior Congregation and Power Hour will continue to be outside in the Beit Aseifa.
  • Masks will be optional at Junior Congregation while it is outdoors. There will be one small section where masks will be required.
  • Masks will be optional during Tot Shabbat, as the program is held outside.
  • Preschool and Religious School programs will receive communication from their respective directors.

We are grateful to be able to loosen our requirements, and look forward to seeing you!

With gratitude,
Tami Raubvogel

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, 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!

Sat, July 13 2024 7 Tammuz 5784