Reopening our Shul for Shabbat and Covid 19 Safety Procedures

Please read this document carefully to ensure you are familiar with the steps you need to observe to keep everybody safe

When we reopen our Shul for communal prayer, we will be strictly following guidelines issued by both the Government and Chief Rabbi’s Office. It is the intention of the Rabbi and Management Committee to take a cautious step by step approach to the restarting of services beginning with Shabbat morning services. Guidance for Yom Tov services will follow.

We will be putting a number of safeguards in place to mitigate any perceived risks. It is our intention to restart services PG on Shabbat 5th September at 10 am. In order to ensure we comply with social distancing and to comply with “Track and Trace” requirements you must pre book your attendance each week with our Centre Manager, Pauline Carroll, by Friday mid-day at the latest. This can be done by email,  or text 07307 212 219.

  • You cannot attend services without pre-booking
  • Shabbat Service will start at 10 am and finish by 11.30 am
  • We respectfully ask that members arrive between 9.45 am and 10.15 am to ensure a prompt start. If ladies wish to come in later we ask them to arrive between 10.30am and 11.00am. Please keep your outer coats with you and place them on the empty seat next to you
  • We will be using the new entrance on Highfield Street to access the building. The original entrance, now designated as the Ceremonial Door, will not be in use. Our new caretaker, Richard Burbage will be on the door and will have a list of attendees.
  • On entry you will be asked to sanitise your hands using the station next to the front door and it is mandatory to wear a face covering whilst in the building. Masks will be available at the door.
  • Men will enter the Shul via the corridor to the right of the new entrance. This leads to the old foyer/vestibule.
  • Ladies will use the staircase in the new foyer or Shabbat lift to reach the first floor. There is a new entrance to the Ladies Gallery at the right-hand corner of the upper foyer.
  • New toilet facilities are available on each floor. There are two toilets on the ground floor and one at first floor and basement/Mikva levels. All toilets are unisex. Please familiarise yourselves with their positions and use the one nearest to you. After using the toilets, please wipe down surfaces, including sinks and taps that you have touched, with the wipes provided.
  • All surfaces will have been cleaned thoroughly prior to the services. A hand sanitising station will be placed in both the mens’ and ladies’ sections. Please sanitise your hands after touching any surfaces.
  • Strict social distancing at 2 metres will be in place with many of the pews not in use. Please only use the designated pews. This may mean you cannot sit in your normal seat. If you wish to sit with a family member who must be in your “family bubble” please indicate this to Pauline when you prebook your attendance. The synagogue will be set out to accommodate these wishes and you will be shown to your seat when you arrive. Seats not in use will be clearly marked and the cushions removed.
  • Clean prayer books will be available at each entrance. Please take a book and keep it at your seat. Do not return books at the end of the service. The books will be left for 72 hours before being returned to the clean area and will not be used again until the following week to ensure their surfaces are clean.
There will be changes to the format and content of the service as advised by the Chief Rabbi.
  • The Rabbi will conduct the service from in front of the Ark to give more space when Torah Reading.
  • The Rabbi will open the Ark and take Hagbah and Gelilah after the Torah Reading.
  • If you are willing to be called up and do receive an Aliya, social distancing will be in place. We will explain how this will work at the Torah Reading time.
  • There will be no singing.
  • There will be no Kiddush at Shul.

No activity is risk free at this time but we have taken all possible precautions to mitigate any potential risks in line with current guidelines. Never the less every individual must assess their own situation and attends at their own risk

Rabbi Shmuli & Anthony Jacobs

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