COVID-19 Guidelines at Temple Emanu-El

August 2022

We continue to review our Covid policy to ensure it follows New York City and State, CDC and WHO guidelines.  Please note this policy is subject to change.

GENERAL GUIDELINES

  1. All entrants to the temple, ages five and older, will be required to show proof of vaccination to participate in temple programs and events. Boosters will no longer be confirmed.
    1. All students participating in Nursery School and Religious School shall have proof of vaccination and those who are under five years old must have proof of the first vaccination shot by the first day of school.
  2. Masks will be recommended and optional for all entrants and employees. The temple will continue to provide KN95 masks at entry and at programs.
    1. There will no longer be a mask-only section at worship and events.
    2. Members and employees should stay home when they do not feel well or are exhibiting signs of Covid.
    3. Members may return to work 5 days after onset of symptoms, or 5 days after the date of the positive test, assuming you do not have fever for 24 hours (and not taking antipyretic medications such as aspirin or Tylenol), and any other symptoms are improved/improving.
    4. Members do not have to test to return, but must wear a tight-fitting mask at work for 10 days after they return.
    5. Members and employees who are immunocompromised or in high-risk categories should consult with their medical doctors prior to participating in worship or other programs.
    6. Masks should be worn for indoor employee meetings with more than five people.
  3. Programs may take place utilizing the full occupancy of a space.
    1. There will be no occupancy restrictions for programs with food whether seated or standing receptions. ALL events must abide by NYC building occupancy limits for safety and security reasons.
  4. Ventilation will be maximized through the temple’s fresh air intake from its HVAC system and by opening windows and doors in meeting/program spaces when possible.
  5. Clergy who sing, choir members and those playing wind instruments shall use rapid tests prior to worship and other events.
  6. Choir members can sing from the pews or can sing from the bimah. Choir members may choose to sing masked or unmasked.
  7. B’nei Mitzvah families and families marking lifecycle events (baby naming, bris, funeral, wedding) do not need to wear masks on the bimah or test prior to services or events.
    1. Family members who travel to the temple from outside NYC and who will be on the bimah are encouraged to rapid test prior to services and to wear masks if they had significant exposure during their travels.
    2. Photo sessions can take place prior to services or events.
  8. Lifecycle meals and meetings/events with food:
    1. Plated, buffet or individual food portions should be utilized – no bowls of chips!
    2. Servers and bartenders, if present, must wear masks and gloves at all times.
    3. Capacity is based on room size and NYC building occupancy code.
  9. Receptions with mingling with food and drink:
    1. Capacity is based on room size and NYC building occupancy code.
  10. Friday night Onegs and other congregational receptions connected to worship will resume indoors on October 7 assuming rates of infection remain stable in New York City.
    1. Outdoor Friday evening oneg-to-go will take place until October 7, the reception following the Selichot Service and the reception following the Rosh Hashanah Family service will also take place outdoors.
  11. Religious School and Nursery School remain mask optional.
    1. All students must present proof of vaccination prior to the start of school – or have provided proof during the 21/22 school year.
      1. For students who have not yet turned five years old, proof of the first vaccination shot must be provided prior to the start of Nursery School and/or Religious School.
    2. Students may return to work 5 days after onset of symptoms, or 5 days after the date of the positive test, assuming you do not have fever for 24 hours (and not taking antipyretic medications such as aspirin or Tylenol), and any other symptoms are improved/improving.
    3. Students do not have to test to return, but must wear a tight-fitting mask at work for 10 days after they return.
    4. Please note that the Nursery School will have additional specific statutory guidelines per the NYC Department of Health guidelines.

If you need anything or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our membership office: , 212-507-9514.

Guidelines for In-Person Services at Temple Emanu-El

To enter the temple for all occasions:

  • All persons 12 years of age and older must provide proof of vaccination.
  • All children 11 years of age and younger must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult.
  • Masks are required to be worn by all, covering your nose and mouth, at all times.
  • Social distancing will be required

Anyone who is not feeling well is encouraged to stay home and watch the livestream at Experience Emanu-El, Facebook or YouTube.

Before You Arrive

Before attending services in person at Temple Emanu-El, please consider the following:

  • Have I felt any of the following symptoms during the last 48 hours?
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea/vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  • Is my temperature taken today at or over 100.4°F?
  • Have I knowingly been in close contact in the last 14 days with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has had any symptoms of COVID-19? (Close contact means 15 minutes of exposure within 6 feet, and/or the infected or potentially infected person is someone you currently live with and/or is someone with whom you have daily interaction.)
  • Have I tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
  • Have I traveled internationally in the past 14 days?

If you answered yes, we ask that you please stay home. However, you can still watch services virtually through our livestream at Experience Emanu-El, Facebook and YouTube.

Additional Safety Precautions at Temple Emanu-El

  • Temple Emanu-El will utilize enhanced cleaning protocols for high-touch surfaces and bathrooms.
  • The building HVAC System has HEPA MERV-14 filters installed and provides fresh air intake.
  • All employees are fully vaccinated.
  • Use soap or water, or hand sanitizer often. Sanitizing stations will be located at all entrances and elevator doors.

Temple Emanu-El is bound to follow all New York State and City reopening regulations and procedures at this time. We regret any inconvenience this may cause, and we appreciate your understanding.

Please contact us at 212-744-1400 or .

Dear Friends,

We hope you and your families are safe and well. As conditions are improving in New York, and with the guidance of our medical advisor, we are delighted to be reopening our sanctuary for in-person services Friday evenings, starting this Friday, January 28. Saturday services and Torah study will reopen for in-person attendance beginning February 12 (until then, these services remain online).

For everyone’s safety, we will require proof of a vaccination booster for those who are eligible. We will also require visitors to distance or sit with their household groups when inside our building. Masks will be required, and we recommend a KN95/94 mask or better. Pre-registration will not be required.

And we are happy to announce that starting January 30, our Religious School, Sunday Lunch, and other programs will also take place in person.

If you have additional questions or concerns, or if you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact the membership office:  — 212-507-9514.

We look forward to seeing you in person soon!

  • Masks will be optional for all entrants and employees. The temple will continue to provide KN95 masks at entry and at programs
    • During worship a mask-only section will be established.
    • Members should stay home when they do not feel well or are exhibiting signs of Covid
    • Members who are immunocompromised should consult with their medical doctors prior to attending programs without masks

  • Occupancy at programming will be set at about 50%.


  • Ventilation will be maximized through the temple’s fresh air intake from its HVAC system and by opening windows and doors in meeting/program spaces when possible.


  • B’nei Mitzvah families do not need to wear masks on the bimah or test prior to services

    • Family members who travel to the temple from outside NYC and who will be on the bimah are encouraged to test prior to services and to wear masks if they had significant exposure during their travels
    • Photo sessions can take place prior to services

  • Lifecycle meals and meetings/events with food:

    • Plated, served buffet or individual food portions should be utilized
    • Servers, if present, must wear masks
    • Capacity is based on room size – up to 50% occupancy for seated events

  • Receptions with mingling with food and drink:

    • Up to 100 people can attend

  • Religious school will make masks optional when NYC Public Schools no longer require masking for indoor education.

    • Students should remain with their classroom pods – minimize mixing
    • Children with colds should not attend class in person