Two weeks ago, Rabbi Steven Engel and his staff at Congregation of Reform Judaism in Orlando, Florida, had a solid pandemic safety plan for the best-attended services of the year: Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
The plan called for:
- Doubling the number of services to allow the congregation’s 1,500 members to distance from one another.
- Members only in attendance.
- Advance reservations required.
- Outdoor-only services for unvaccinated children.
- No members on the bimah, or podium, except the rabbi and cantor.
Now his synagogue is back to watching the numbers and will revise as needed.