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How We Make Decisions Regarding Covid and JRC Programming

07/23/2020 03:31:52 PM


As leaders of JRC, we are consistently evaluating the most up-to-date guidelines from state and local governments and the CDC. We had no idea that we would be in this place in mid-July when we closed the building in March. We are as disappointed as all of you that we cannot gather together in person. Many of us are feeling this loss deeply. Virtual programming continues to be our course to maintain the health, safety, equity, and accessibility for all.

We face significant decisions as we continue to plan for the fall, and so we want to share, as transparently and mindfully as possible, our guiding principles as we move forward.

First and foremost, our decision-making is values-based, drawing on our deeply held values of kehilah (community), pikuach nefesh (saving lives, caring for the elderly, infirm and at-risk), and tzorchei tzibur (caring for the needs of the community).

Specific questions we ask to guide each decision are:

  1. Have we used evidence and data to inform our decision-making, including consideration of health and government guidelines and advice from trusted medical professionals?
  2. Are we taking a careful, measured approach over time that allows us to remain flexible  and to step forward and backwards as needed?
  3. Can we provide any given  activity virtually, thus incurring zero risks for our members?
  4. If we cannot provide this virtually, how essential is this, and can we minimize risk to congregants, clergy, and staff?
  5. Can we provide ongoing monitoring to ensure that we maintain a healthy environment once open?
  6. If and when we decide to offer an activity in-person, how can we make it most equitable for members who cannot risk in-person contact by offering comparable virtual alternatives?


We consider these questions first as we evaluate this non-exhaustive list of JRC program areas.

  • Ritual Life: Shabbat Services, Holidays, and Life Cycle Events
  • Pastoral care
  • Religious School and Youth Group
  • Preschool and early childhood programming
  • Family programming
  • Adult programming
  • Tikkun Olam activities
  • JRC garden
  • Sign-up parties and fundraising events
  • Workspace for individual clergy, staff, and volunteers
  • Committee, task force, volunteer, and staff meetings

We will keep our eyes on our goal to reopen while we maintain the health and safety of our congregation as our number one priority.


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Tue, April 20 2021 8 Iyyar 5781