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Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Congregation B’nai Torah continues to take the safety of our members and friends as our highest priority. We hold weekly Shabbat services and other events via Zoom. If you like like to attend, please email us at CBTDenver@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you and have you join us.
When can we return to in-person services?
We have been incredibly fortunate to have been conducting and attending services virtually for the past 11 months. It’s truly amazing that our congregation has grown during this time and now includes out-of-state members. Virtual services will be continued for the foreseeable future, in order to ensure that all of our members may attend services and continue to be a part of our community. We are also thrilled that this now allows members to regularly join us who may have had commute or other transportation challenges.
In accordance with our intention to offer hybrid services once in-person meetings are deemed to be safe, we will be testing our ability to effectively stream in-person services. This includes evaluating the hardware available, optimal setup for audio and video, and testing the building wi-fi’s ability to support streaming the service.
However, today we want to address the burning question shared by our congregants: “When can we actually return to in-person services?”
The Board would like to share our thought process on this subject. First and foremost is everyone’s safety and well-being; here are the main considerations we’ve focused on to date:
1. We must comply with state and county guidelines, as well as the church’s policies. We’ve had discussions with the church to understand the sources for their guidelines, so we can stay aligned with the latest information. In addition to the state and county regulations, the church complies with the Adams County school district guidelines, which apply because of the Head Start program which shares space in the building.
2. We must ensure that our spiritual leaders, Rabbi Boaz Heilman and Cantorial Soloist Diane Firestone, are comfortable leading in-person services. Their health is our top consideration, but we must also consider their comfort level when bringing us together under their leadership. While it’s up to each of us to determine our own comfort levels, Rabbi Boaz and Diane have additional responsibilities when we gather that we must consider.
3. With in-person services there are additional requirements, including setting up chairs and tables, coordinating oneg, and cleanup afterwards. The Board has shared those responsibilities over the years and we have to consider our own comfort levels with attending services in person, along with the availability of enough members to take on additional cleaning and set-up needs due to COVID guidelines.
4. Our most likely scenario would be to begin in-person services outdoors. This is a natural first step, but requires warmer weather and better forecasting to the extent possible, along with the in-person staffing needs that go with any in-person service.
5. With the resumption of in-person services, we must also take measures to ensure our physical safety and security. As you may recall, before we went remote, we had off-duty police at each service. We are reaching out to the City of Westminster to discuss their ability to support off-duty service requests, currently and in the near future. Please note that the officers that ensure our safety do so after their normal shifts and on a voluntary basis. We are confirming whether or not the city is able to provide this service during COVID.
With all of these considerations in mind, we felt it important to convey our sincere desire to see everyone again, balanced against prudence and safety. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our President Mike Metlay or any members of the Board. We miss you all dearly and look forward to the day when we can see your smiles in person.
The Board of Trustees of Congregation B’nai Torah, Westminster, CO
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Download a handout or click the link to our King Soopers webpage for more information about connecting your loyalty card # to tie it to CBT and then 5% will automatically get sent to CBT with no additional work from you. It should take you less than 5 minutes now or go to customer service and ask if they can help you tie your card to charity org BA887.
Other Local Calendars:
Jewish Colorado Community Calendar (formerly Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado)