Temple Israel – Community Health Precautions

Similar to steps for preventing the spread of the flu or a common cold, these recommendations focus on the most prevalent mode of transmission of such viruses, i.e.: hand-to-face. Simply put:  CLEAN HANDS SAVE LIVES.

In our synagogue, please: 

  • Avoid handshakes and hugs.
    • On meeting, a simple “welcome” or “Shabbat shalom” must suffice.
    • For congratulations, a “yasher koach” with a smile and a nod will have to do.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or sleeve, NOT your hand. (SEE VIDEO LINK BELOW)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid kissing the Torah, mezuzah, or siddur directly.

WASH HANDS with soap and water frequently with proper technique (SEE VIDEO LINK BELOW). If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based gel to clean hands. Gel is available in dispensers located in the Lobby and other common locations

  • BEFORE:  taking food (e.g. at kiddush buffet); eating, preparing or serving food; touching your face/eyes/or mouth; touching a cut/sore/or wound
  • AFTER:  using the bathroom; blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; helping a child with nose-blowing, coughing, or sneezing; touching things that may carry germs (e.g. a sick person, trash, or animals.)

At Kiddush or other events involving food, please:  

  • Before taking food at Kiddush and other events, hands should be washed with soap and water.
  • Do not take food directly with your hands at the buffet. Use serving utensils, do not place handles of utensils on the food.
  • Use gloves (available in kitchen) when preparing or serving food.
  • Wash dishes thoroughly in hot water after use.

Greeters, please:

  • Use alternatives to handshaking when welcoming arrivals.
  • Ask anyone with a persistent cough or other evidence of  upper respiratory infection to consider going home.

And everyone, please:

  • Avoid close unprotected contact with sick people
  • Mentor and assist children with following these recommendations.
  • Do not come to the synagogue if you have an upper respiratory infection, runny nose, sneezing, coughing or fever.

Our staff will apply enhanced approaches to sanitizing surfaces during routine cleaning.

The majority of coronavirus illnesses around the world appear to be mild, characterized by fever and cough. A small percentage are severe and involve pneumonia, particularly in older individuals and people with underlying medical conditions. Temple Israel is taking a cautious approach to minimize the risk to our community. We ask all members and guests for their cooperation in these efforts.

Please click this link and view a 3 minute video explaining important “hand hygiene & cover your cough/sneeze” practices from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyRtMl4a1FE 

We will monitor the evolving guidance from Public Health authorities, and will update our approaches as appropriate.

And let’s together fulfill Psalm 24:  “He that hath clean hands and a pure heart … shall receive the blessing of the Lord.”

Wishing you the best of health,

Rabbi Geoffrey Brown, Rabbi – Temple Israel

Arthur B. Siegel, President – Temple Israel