After two long years of COVID-19 related restraints, we are pleased to share that effective Friday, March 11, provided you are fully vaccinated and have received a booster (if eligible), wearing a mask is optional indoors in any Kol Ami facility! In addition, children under the age of 5 will not be required to wear a mask. Our policy of requiring full vaccination for everyone who is eligible in order to enter our facilities remains in effect. It will be the right of each person who is eligible to remove their mask to choose whether or not to wear a mask. Everyone’s individual preference will be shown equal respect. We all need to be flexible and respectful of others as we take these next steps together.
From the beginning, we promised you that we would follow the science and establish our protocols based upon state and local government mandates and guidance from our medical advisors, always keeping our Jewish values, especially pikuach nefesh, saving a life, as our top priority. With that in mind and with the recent dramatic decrease in COVID-19 cases in Westchester and the changes in governmental mandates, and after consultation with our medical advisors, we decided now was the time to make these changes to our protocols.
We recognize that some may not have received the booster and will still want to unmask. We understand how you feel. This updated protocol is based on the guidance of our medical team who advised that those who have received the booster are at less risk themselves and present less of a risk to others. It is up to us to continue to take care of each other, and we will count on each of you to responsibly ensure that you and your family comply with this new policy.
We are delighted to know that thousands of people throughout the country and the world now interact with us virtually. However, virtual relationships cannot replace the connection that comes from being and worshipping together. So, now is the time to return to Kol Ami. Please join us at Kabbalat Shabbat services on Friday, March 18 for a joyous celebration of community, including a special musical Shabbat experience and a festive oneg following services. Yes, that means singing, dancing and food inside!
If you have not done so, or if you have received a booster since you originally submitted your proof of vaccination, we ask our community members to submit a one-time proof of vaccination for our records, which will best ensure ease of access to our facilities. While we will also allow individuals to show proof of vaccination each time they enter the building, submitting documentation in advance will expedite your entry into our buildings. Please click here to submit your proof of vaccination.
We will be watching our local situation and, should circumstances change again, we will, of course, change our approach and update our policy. We hope and pray, a further loosening of the remaining safety precautions will be possible in the near future.
As always, we appreciate your support and understanding as we navigate through this period, seeking, always, to preserve the health and safety of our entire community.