ReBlossoming: Updates on physically reopening our Temple
June 18, 2021 / 8 Tammuz 5781
Dear Holy Blossom Temple Community,
We are heartened by the recent progress of the COVID-19 vaccines across Toronto and are grateful for the science that has brought us to this moment of optimism.
We are pleased to share that as we plan for the summer and fall, as well as for the High Holy Days, our Holy Blossom COVID Cabinet has been meeting regularly and with our own in-house panel of medical experts. With their good and careful guidance, we are ready to begin rolling out a staged plan for a healthy return to our campus.
The following is a brief preview of what is to come, so long as we continue to move in the healthy direction we are heading and there are no additional restrictions required by public health. At the same time, we realize that not everyone is able or ready to gather in person, so rest assured that we will continue to offer high-quality virtual and remote programming and worship opportunities for the community throughout the summer and fall and beyond.
Our Early Childhood Centre, under the leadership of Director Wendy Himmel, has been running successfully on-site throughout the pandemic. This summer begins Holy Blossom’s first-day camp program.
Beginning Monday, July 5, we will welcome our staff back to their offices and take a good portion of July to reset our in-house systems. Throughout the month of July, all services and programs will continue virtually.
Our plan is to re-gather for services in our beautiful building beginning on Tuesday, August 3, with our Weekday Morning Minyan. All attendees must have received their second vaccine at least two weeks prior to attending an in-person service. Pre-registration will be required for each service, with up to 20 congregants able to gather in the second floor Mishkan, while many other congregants and guests gather online from home. Masks and social distancing will be required. For the time being, our Weekday Evening Services will remain online only.
Beginning on Friday evening, August 6, up to 20 congregants can gather in the Main Sanctuary for our Kabbalat Shabbat Services, while many other congregants and guests gather online from home. Masks, social distancing, and pre-registration are required. Please note, that everyone returning to Holy Blossom for the first time will be invited to light Shabbat candles as a special ritual to mark the occasion.
Beginning on Saturday, August 7, Shabbat Mevarchim Chodesh Elul, up to 20 congregants can gather in the Main Sanctuary for our Shabbat Morning Service, while many other congregants and guests gather online from home. Masks, social distancing, and pre-registration are required. Please note, that everyone returning to Holy Blossom for the first time will be invited to rise in their place for a group Aliyah to the Torah, as a special ritual to mark the occasion.
We are also very pleased to announce that our Rabbis and Cantors, in consultation with our COVID Cabinet and panel of medical experts, have designed a plan for the High Holy Day Services so that every congregant household will have the opportunity to attend ONE service throughout the High Holy Day season. Of course, excellent online options will also be available for congregants throughout. Details to follow in the coming weeks.
Thank you to the clergy, staff, and COVID Cabinet who have dedicated their time and efforts to plan for the resumption of in-person gatherings. And thank you especially to you, our dedicated congregants, for your continued engagement and participation throughout these challenging months.
As our Re-Blossoming plans progress, we will certainly keep you posted. As more of the community is fully vaccinated, and the local rate of infection continues to decline, we anticipate being able to expand our offerings and increase the maximum number of congregants allowed for services and programs.
Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom!