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Protocols for Davening Indoors

Overview
 

Based on the projection that Illinois will move to Phase 4 of the Reopen plan on Friday, June 26th, Skokie Valley will return to davening inside the building starting the morning of June 28th. All tefillah attendees must pre-register and adhere to the guidelines described in this document. These tefillot are all conditioned upon adherence to these guidelines, as well as state and local health guidelines. It is critical that everyone follow these guidelines for their own safety and for the safety of the community. In addition, to help remind people of and enforce the guidelines, there will be a designated COVID Gabbai at all tefillot.

 
Weekday tefillah location and times:
  • Tefillah will be held in the Social Hall to facilitate adequate social distancing.
  • Sunday shacharit will be at 9:00am
  • Weekday Shacharit (Monday-Friday) will be at 7:30am (subject to change, join the whatsapp group for latest updates)
  • Mincha and Maariv will be at their regular times, approximately 10 minutes before sundown.
Capacity
  • We have set up 19 socially distanced tables on the men’s side and 8 socially distanced tables on the women’s side. Each table can seat either an individual or up to three 3 individuals from the same household. Reservations will be by table.
  • If needed, the Ritual Committee will try to prioritize slots for those who have yahrzeits and those who are presently in their year of reciting kaddish.
  • Shabbat Shacharit, Mussaf and Mincha will be added after a two week trial of indoor tefillot and monitoring local cases of COVID-19. If all goes well, we will begin davening together Shabbat morning July 11. Additional details and guidelines about procedures for Shabbat davening will be provided as we get closer to that date.
Eligbility
  • All tefillot are open to men and women who are members of Skokie Valley. If there are spots remaining after adults have signed up, children who can sit masked through the entire service will be welcomed.
  • Before attending tefillah, all participants must self-administer the following survey:
 

Are you or anyone in your household experiencing chills, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, body aches, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, or a fever greater than 100.4 degrees?

In the past 2 weeks, has anyone in your household been exposed to someone with a diagnosed or suspected case of COVID-19?

Have you traveled within the last 14 days to a location with sustained widespread transmission per the Skokie Health Department?

If you answered YES to any of the above you must stay home from shul and reach out to Rav Ari or a member of the medical committee to discuss when returning is appropriate.
 
  • The COVID Gabbai is authorized to cancel tefillah if he or she suspects that a participant is ill.
  • Anyone who is at all sick or has a fever should not attend tefillah until cleared by a doctor and 72 hours have passed with no symptoms. Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or who has had direct contact with someone who tested positive, may not attend tefillah for at least 14 days.  Please note: the last 72 hours of the 14 day period must be symptom free, which may require an extension of the 14 day period. Anyone who has previously tested positive must also be cleared by a doctor for participation in tefillah.
  • Anyone over 65 or with an underlying health condition as defined by the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-at-higher-risk.html who wishes to attend a tefillah is strongly encouraged to consult with his/her doctor.
 

Notifying in Case of Positive Test or COVID-19 Symptoms

If anyone who has been joining in communal tefillah develops symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19, they must immediately notify Rav Ari or a member of the medical committee. While the name of the individual will not be divulged the shul will need to take the appropriate steps to inform and protect other members of the community.

 
Pre-Registration
  • Registration is required for all Tefillot.  Our online sign up form can be accessed by clicking this link: Skokie Valley tefillah Sign Up.  Registering for tefillah means that you acknowledge the health risks of returning and agree to adhere to all guidelines as set forth in this document.  Furthermore, you absolve Skokie Valley of any liability should you become sick with Covid-19 or any other illness.
  • In order to be able to ensure the safety of our members, and to be able to perform contact tracing more effectively should the need arise, we ask that anyone who registers for tefillah should refrain from registering or participating in tefillah elsewhere as much as possible, even for different tefillot (i.e. Shacharit in one shul and Maariv in another shul).
 
Entrance to the Building and Protocols While Indoors
  • All entry to the building will be by keycard. If you do not currently have a keycard and plan on attending tefillah, please contact office@svaj.org who will make one for you.
  • Hand sanitizer will be located at the entrance to the building and at the entrance to the social hall. Please make sure you sanitize your hands before entering the social hall. Attendees must bring their own Siddur, Chumash, and Tallit/Tefilin. Please take these belongings home with you and do not leave them in the building.
  • Participants must maintain proper social distancing of 6 feet at all times.  Social distancing is one of the main components to minimize the risk of disease transmission and must be adhered to strictly.
  • Distances must be maintained when entering and exiting each tefillah, and in the hallways.
  • Idling, socializing, reading, or any other non-prayer activity in the social hall or the building before and after tefillah is prohibited.
  • Well-fitting masks must be worn at all times inside the building and must cover nose and mouth. Wearing masks is critical to minimizing disease transmission and must be adhered to strictly. Please bring your own mask.
  • Bathrooms will be open, but are limited to use of one person at a time. If you enter the bathroom and notice that someone is inside, please leave the bathroom and wait outside until the bathroom is vacant. In addition, people are encouraged to use the single, accessible bathroom in the coat room. We encourage one to attend to all personal needs prior to leaving home.
  • The synagogue will be cleaned daily between uses by our maintenance staff.
Prayer Protocols
  • Participants will be asked to maintain a quieter tone, not to project their voices, and not to sing, including the Shaliach Tzibur and Ba’al Koreh.
  • To expedite Shacharit, please daven up to Yishtabach at home. Shacharit will begin with Yishtabach and will include full chazarat hashatz.
  • We will omit the extra tachanun paragraphs on Monday and Thursday.
  • On days with Torah reading, only the Ba’al Koreh will handle the Sefer Torah: (1) taking it out of the Aron Kodesh, (2) receiving and leining all the aliyot, (3) performing hagbah and gelilah, and (4) returning the sefer Torah to the Aron Kodesh. No one other than the Ba’al Koreh may touch the Torah.
  • Tzedakah can be given through the shul website. No cash Tzedakah will be collected at tefillah.

          Shabbat & Weekday Services

Shabbat - please see the home page for updated Zoom options 

Shacharit: 9:00 am

Mincha/Seudah Shlishit/Maariv: see calendar

Weekdays - please see the home page for updated Zoom options

Shacharit: 

Monday through Friday:  7:30 am 

Sunday & Major US Holidays 9:00 am

Mincha/Maariv (Summer): see calendar

Maariv (Winter) 8:00 pm

Participation

We welcome and embrace participation by all members from both sides of the mechitza. On Shabbat, women from the congregation carry the Torah on the women's side of the mechitza on its return to the Ark. Women read Mi Shebeirach prayers in Hebrew and/or English for the state of Israel and the US, and for Israeli and American defense forces. 

Our tefillot are friendly and welcoming to all saying kaddish, women and men.

Additional Services

Skokie Women's Tefillah Group
We host the Skokie Women’s Tefillah Group, an independent organization, which meets once a month on Shabbat. For information click here.

Traditional
We also offer Traditional services on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. These services follow the Orthodox format and accommodate family seating.

Sat, October 31 2020 13 Cheshvan 5781