TSTI Building and Schools COVID-19 Policies and Procedures

(Revised November 19, 2021)

The staff, clergy, and lay leadership of TSTI are doing everything possible to keep our community safe given the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic. We are doing our best to keep our policies equitable and consistent, but will make changes as dictated by our COVID Advisory Panel as needed to ensure the community’s health and safety with the goal of keeping our schools and facilities open with strict protocols. All COVID-19 protocols for our building and schools will be reviewed weekly and updated as needed.

This will allow us to:

  • Continue to move forward with in-person classes in our Iris Family Preschool and SOMSD Preschool classes. (For specific policies of the Iris Family Preschool and SOMSD Preschool, link to policy below)
  • Continue to move forward with in-person classes in our Linda and Rudy Slucker Religious School. (For specific policies of the Slucker Religious School, please link to policy below)
  • Continue to host our Hebrew High students for classes and limited events in our indoor spaces.
  • Hold Shabbat and other services, inside our sanctuary and chapel.
  • Allow staff to work in the building as needed.
  • Allow our lay leadership to conduct some meetings and work, as needed, in the building.

All of this is dependent on every one of us following protocols to keep ourselves and others safe and healthy. We understand that our guidelines may be different for your schools, workplaces, gyms, and other places you visit. As a synagogue, we take the well-being of every member of our community as a sacred responsibility.

What We Are Doing to Help Keep Our Community Safe

  • Anyone entering any part of the TSTI building must first upload vaccination information into the congregant portal or show proof of vaccination upon arrival.
  • Congregants who are not fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to participate in temple life remotely. However, they may join in-person with proof of a negative Rapid Test taken the same day they are planning to enter the building. Click here for a list of local Covid testing sites.
  • Visitors may enter the building by showing proof of vaccination or by following the testing protocols above.
  • Masks must be worn properly (covering mouth and nose at all times) inside and outside the building, and in our parking lot.
  • The number of people allowed in attendance and the types of gatherings will be limited to ensure proper distancing and ventilation. The COVID Advisory Panel will have final say on these matters.

For the health of our community, please adhere strictly to these protocols:

An individual is only considered “vaccinated” two weeks after the final dose is administered. If only one shot in a two-shot sequence has been given, or two weeks have not passed since the last dose, the individual is considered to be unvaccinated, or not fully vaccinated for the purposes of these guidelines.

If you test positive for COVID-19, and you have been on temple grounds in the ten days prior to your positive test, please contact Beth Blackman so that we can reach out to others who may have been exposed.

If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, whether you are vaccinated or not, please do not come to the temple for ten days after exposure.

If you’re not fully vaccinated and you’ve traveled outside of NJ, NY, PA, CT or DE, you must participate in temple programming remotely. You may return to in-person attendance after 7 full days if you test negative on days 3, 4, or 5 after returning from travel. (A PCR test is preferred and must be used if you have any symptoms.) You must wait 10 days to return if no testing is done. This policy is in keeping with the South Orange-Maplewood and West Orange school districts.

If you are ill (congestion, cough, fever, upset stomach, etc.) or any members of your immediate household are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, please do not come to the temple. Please consider being tested for COVID-19.

We will notify you if you have been (in the vicinity of someone) on temple grounds who tests positive for COVID-19. Please note that congregant confidentiality will be maintained at all times.

IMPORTANT: One of the best ways you can keep yourself, your family and our whole community safe is to limit indoor exposure to people who are not fully vaccinated. Please limit indoor exposure of not fully vaccinated students in our schools to other unvaccinated individuals. If you are gathering indoors where people are not fully vaccinated, please remain masked.

We recognize this is a rapidly evolving situation as everyone five years and older is now eligible for vaccination. The staff, clergy, and lay leadership of TSTI appreciate your understanding and compliance with these policies. If you have questions, please contact Beth Blackman. Together, we will continue to maintain the health of our sacred community.

Beth Blackman, Executive Director
Rabbi Daniel M. Cohen
Elise Joy and Marjie Terry, Co-Presidents