Dear Fellow Congregant,
We hope that the Hanukkah season has brought some light and joy into your lives. We wanted to update you with some changes to our reopening protocols that we’re making based on New York State requirements and comments that we’ve received from some of you. As you may be aware, on Friday, December 10th, New York Governor Hochul announced a new statewide mandate that took effect starting yesterday. In light of the winter surge of the Delta variant which is now underway, and a new variant of concern, Omicron, which appears to be spreading; taking into account that the cold weather results in many of us engaging in more activities that put us amongst crowds in indoor spaces; with knowledge that COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available, and with 5-12 year-olds now eligible for vaccination; and to ensure we act at all times in a manner which is consistent with State policy, we are now requiring that anyone who enters our facilities must be vaccinated.
Effective immediately, anyone 12 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated as a condition of entry inside any Kol Ami building. In accordance with the CDC’s definition and state law, fully vaccinated is defined as 14 days past an individual’s last vaccination dose in their initial vaccine series (14 days past the second shot of a two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine; 14 days past the one-shot Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine). Since vaccines for children ages 5 – 11 have only been available since November 2021, for now in order to enter a Kol Ami building, children ages 5 – 11 only have to show proof of having had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. We will update this requirement if New York changes their rules.
Acceptable proof of vaccination includes: Excelsior Pass, Excelsior Pass Plus, SMART Health Cards issued outside of New York State, full-course vaccination through NYC COVID Safe app, a CDC Vaccination Card, or other official immunization record. To make this transition as easy as possible, Click here to submit your proof of vaccination into our secure database. Please note that we will not store a copy of your vaccination card, but will note your submission in our records. In the alternative, you may bring your proof of vaccination with you the first time you enter a synagogue building.
For all our congregants bringing guests to programs or worship services in our building, including families celebrating B’nai Mitzvah, please make sure that all your guests are aware of, and comply with, our vaccination policies.
In accordance with the CDC’s recommendations, we will continue to require that a proper-fitting mask be worn at all times when inside any Kol Ami building. Children 2 – 5 who remain ineligible for vaccination must wear a proper-fitting mask. We continue to recommend the use of a surgical or KN-95 mask rather than a cloth mask.
Our ongoing commitment is to provide a safe and healthy environment for us to worship, learn, celebrate, engage and practice Tikkun Olam. We recognize this is a new way forward and appreciate your support and cooperation.
Thank you for choosing to be a Kol Ami member. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to either of us.