A Message from Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson

We are prepared to carry on the work of the congregation remotely if necessary, Rabbi Davidson remarks on the steps the synagogue is taking beyond the health and safety protocols.

Important Message from Temple President Harris Diamond

Temple Emanu-El has no known cases of contact with the virus, but we will follow the guidelines provided by the state and no longer permit members or visitors into our sanctuary and campus for services, programs, and events.

Our COVID-19 Attendence Policy

It is always our goal to keep our members safe, and we intend to operate Temple Emanu-El on a normal basis unless circumstances occur that indicate we should close. Based on guidance from the New York Department of Health, the following will be our policy with respect to COVID-19:

  • Anyone who has a fever may be carrying the virus. Members, students, clergy, staff, and guests are now required to wait until they or their child are fever free for 48 hours before attending to temple events and programs.
  • If anyone in your household has tested positive for the virus, you must not come to the temple for two weeks until the quarantine period is over.
  • If you or someone in your family is connected to a school or institution where someone has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, you or the child must stay home for two weeks. If an institution has closed for cleaning purposes only, without a confirmed case, you or the child may attend temple events or programs.

Important Update

Temple Emanu-El has no known cases of contact with the virus, but we will follow the guidelines provided by New York City and State and no longer permit members or visitors into our sanctuary and campus for services, programs, and events for the next two weeks

Shabbat and Holiday services will continue, however, and will be offered by live stream. You may attend services by visiting our Facebook page or our website’s broadcast page. Service times will remain the same: Friday evenings at 6:00 PM and Saturday mornings at 10:30 AM.

Here are the links to our Shabbat service broadcast options:

Our daily Sunset Service will also be broadcast on these web pages, Sunday through Thursday at 5:30 PM. Saturday morning’s 9:15 AM Torah study will be hosted by conference call and a link will be posted on our website’s services page.

For our Members

While the evolving situation with COVID-19 is unsettling, please know that your temple is here to help you. If you need assistance, support or guidance during this difficult time, please do not hesitate to contact our membership office — membership@emanuelnyc.org or 212-507-9514.

Higher-Risk Members

The CDC now notes that older adults and people with chronic medical conditions — such as lung disease, heart disease, or diabetes — are at a higher risk of serious illness due to COVID-19 infection. With this information, we are making the following recommendations:

  • Individuals in this vulnerable cohort should now consider not attending events where crowds may gather.
  • If you are among this group, or if you are not comfortable visiting the temple at this time, we recommend watching services from home through our live stream broadcast.
  • When attending services, please review and follow the precautions listed on this page.

Event Precautions for Temple Visitors

With everyone’s safety in mind, the following safegaurds are effective immediately:

  • Minimized Contact: We are now requiring social distancing; visitors to our sanctuary should sit at least 3 feet away from other attendees.
  • Social Distancing: As a precaution, we are holding off on hugs and handshakes.  We hope you will understand.
  • Wash your Hands: All visitors to our temple will be asked to use hand sanitzer or wash their hands upon entering the temple for events and services.
  • Restricted Countries: Temple Emanu-El is monitoring CDC Travel Health Notices. If you or a member of your family have been to, or been in contact with anyone who has visited countries on the Warning or Alert levels list, DO NOT come to the temple for 14 days, which is considered the timespan for the COVID-19 incubation period.
  • NYC Health: Temple Emanu-El will follow all NYC Department of Health guidelines and recommendations regarding COVID-19.

Closures and Cancelations

Out of an abundance of caution, Temple Emanu-El has closed its sanctuary and the Bernard Museum to drop-in visitors until further notice. All tours have also been paused until further notice .

There are no plans to cancel services at this time. We look forward to welcoming you and ask that you follow the precautions listed on this page. If we are required to close due to CDC and NYC Department of Health guidelines, all services will be broadcast to our live stream on our website or on Facebook.

As older adults are more vulnerable to serious illness due to this virus, we will be pausing (until further notice) the following groups and programs to reduce the risk of exposure:

  • Second Seder (we are exploring meal delivery)
  • Senior Arts Center
  • Club 65
  • English in Action

At this time, pausing Men’s Club, Women’s Auxiliary, and Fifth and 65th and other events will be considered on a case-by-case basis. As a convenience to our members, we are exploring ways to host some of our programs online, allowing members to attend remotely.

Please refer to our temple calendar for updated information on cancellations, rescheduled events, and events that are still taking place.

Let’s work together to keep each other safe…

Members, Guests, Staff and Students: precaution is the best way to limit the spread Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19, and keep each other safe from infection. Please do the following:

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve (into the bend of your elbow)
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your face, or at least wash/sterilize your hands before you do
  • Maintain social distancing; try to stand or sit apart from groups when attending events
  • If you are at an event that serves food, be mindful. Do not cough or sneeze near the food. Do not handle food directly; use utensils when moving food to your plate
  • Get your flu shot – its never too late
  • NYC is advising those with chronic lung disease, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or a weakened immune system to avoid unnecessary events and gatherings, and limit your risk of exposure.
  • Stay home if youre feeling sick.  Call your doctor and let them know your symptoms, travel history, and if you’ve had contact with people who are sick

Protect Yourself

For Your Safety

Washing and sterilizing hands frequently and cleaning common surfaces are among the best ways to limit the spread of viruses. To assist you, we have:

  • Improved Access to Soap and Sanitizer: We have set up hand sanitizing stations at all temple entry points for members and guests, and new soap dispensers in common restrooms.
  • Increased Wipe-Downs: Maintenance has increased its efforts to disinfect all commonly-used surfaces throughout the temple using anti-viral cleaning agents.
  • Offered New Oneg Options: We will be offering pre-packaged oneg options to limit physical contact.

Remember: Avoid touching your face until you have cleaned your hands!

The More You Know…

Stay up-to-date with the latest news on COVID-19

New York City Case Count — NYC Health

Rolling COVID-19 Updates — World Health Organization

2/28/20 — Statement to the Congregation

Temple Emanu-El is closely monitoring reports from NYC Health and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding the COVID-19 virus in the United States. While the risk of COVID-19 infection is currently listed as LOW by these agencies, please be aware that conditions could change rapidly.  Temple Emanu-El, like many institutions is beling proactive in preventing the spread of this virus.

  • We have set up hand sanitizing stations at all temple entry points for members and guests, and new soap dispensers in common restrooms.
  • Maintenance has increased its efforts to disinfect all commonly-used surfaces throughout the temple using anti-viral cleaning agents.
  • We are asking employees to remain at home if they are ill.

As members, we always look forward to welcoming you to services and events at the temple. We also want to make sure our temple is a safe place for all who visit us. We have no plans to close or suspend any of our programs at this time, but we are asking our members and guests to consider the following before visiting:If you detect any COVID-19 symptoms — which are currently noted as coughing/sneezing, fever, and respiratory difficulty — that you (and your children) consider not coming to the temple.

  • If you have visited a country or region that has experienced an outbreak of COVID-19, that you (and your children) consider staying home for the duration of the incubatory period – currently listed between 2 to 14 days.
  • That you cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve.
  • That you bring and use hand-sanitizer, use the sanitizing stations provided, or wash your hands frequently while in the building.
  • Wash or sterilize your hands before touching your face.
  • That you avoid close contact with people who are sick.

The conditions surrounding COVID-19 are evolving daily, and we are regularly following all local and national updates. We will remain vigilant in keeping our members informed and safe. Please contact the temple should you have any questions or concerns – , 212-744-1400 – and consider familiarizing yourself with resources offered by the CDC and NYC Health.

Wishing you all health and happiness,
Temple Emanu-El

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