With the insight and guidance of local physicians, county health officials, and local and national public health experts, we have crafted these policies and procedures to continue the reopening of our GNS facility. The goal is to create as safe an environment as soon as reasonably practicable for davenning. These procedures are guided by Halacha, public health, and logistical considerations. We implore you to please strictly follow the guidelines below. It is vital that we get this right and we can only do so with everybody’s cooperation.
We recognize that by observing these guidelines, davening opportunities will be limited. Some will be still be unable to participate at this stage, whether for health reasons or the limited capacity as determined by the Governor’s order. We therefore ask that if you are unable to participate, for whatever reason, to please be understanding. These are uncertain times and while we would love to accommodate everybody—and while we hope to be able to do so soon, there are too many factors that are currently limiting our ability to do so.
From a Halachic standpoint, anyone who is unable to attend is exempt from davening with a minyan. Similarly, anyone who is concerned about the effect of attending minyan on their health is exempt. As everyone who has followed the news of this pandemic is aware, there are many risks associated with COVID-19, some of which are uncertain. In light of this, although we are acting conservatively and taking what we have been advised are reasonable precautions, participation in any kind of group activity is necessarily of higher risk than staying at home. For example, we are not performing testing or other health checks on each participant. Each person should therefore understand that they are assuming the risks of participation, without any kind of assurance from Great Neck Synagogue, and make their own judgment about whether they wish to participate, including in light of their personal health circumstances and other risk factors.
Under no circumstances should anyone attend if they or a member of their household has a temperature, cough, shortness of breath or any other symptom of COVID-19 (regardless of whether the person has been diagnosed with COVID-19). Similarly, if you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or are recovering from COVID-19, you should not attend unless your physician has expressly advised that you may safely do so.
Minyanim are now taking place inside the GNS building for shacharit, mincha and maariv, both during the week and on Shabbat.
As per the Governor’s Executive Order, everybody who wishes to attend will have to register for a minyan, both for purposes of health screening as well as contact tracing. You will need to provide your name, phone number, and email address and answer some basic health screening questions. All of this information will be recorded confidentially. At this time, in light of the numerical restrictions, registration is only open to members and associate members. After successfully registering you will receive a confirmation email.
If you register and subsequently find you cannot attend, please let us know as promptly as possible [by calling Rabbi Polakoff, 516-637-3674 or Rabbi Lichter, 516-859-5123] so that we may find a replacement. We reserve the right to restrict future participation privileges for those who register, but do not attend or attend late.
Everybody must be wearing a mask at all times whenever they are on GNS grounds, covering both the mouth and nose.
We are glad to be able to accomodate women during this Phase 2 reopening, and there will be a section for women at each minyan for which women have registered. As of now we cannot accommodate boys or girls under Bar/Bat Mitzvah age. We, of course, want to include children in our davenning and hope to change this situation as soon as practicable.
Bathrooms will be available but limited to one person at a time. In addition to practicing proper hygiene, each person using the bathroom is asked to clean and disinfect any shared services with the provided supplies.
Once davenning is complete, please leave the davening area and continue to maintain 6 feet of distance between people. While we are all excited to see each other in person, it is critical to minimize any in-person socializing at this point.
As we all know, information about the virus is changing at a rapid rate and certain plans may change, even day to day. The one thing that will not change is our dedication to providing a safe spiritual center for our congregation.