Reopening Information

Member Guidelines for Participating in In-Person Events at BHBE

Thank you for being part of the BHBE community! We are excited to continue our reopening process and look forward to welcoming you back in a manner that is informed by public health guidance, protects members of our kehilla (community), and upholds the Jewish value of pikuah nefesh, or saving a life.

Updated July 23, 2021: In light of increasing cases of the Delta variant, the synagogue will be reinstating a mask requirement for indoor events for all participants, regardless of vaccination status. Vaccines remain your first line of defense against COVID-19; if you are not yet vaccinated and wish to be, visit http://vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233.

Here are the steps for joining us in-person that will protect our community’s health and safety:

1.    Help us avoid exposures by staying home when you are sick

  • Please do not attend synagogue events if you have symptoms of COVID-19. You can self-screen for the COVID-19 symptoms here. If you have ANY symptoms, regardless of your vaccination status, please do not attend events until you are symptom-free. For questions about symptoms or testing, contact your healthcare provider or learn more from the Chicago Department of Public Health.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, please do not attend any events if someone in your household has been sick or if you have a possible COVID-19 exposure until it has been more than 14 days since your exposure.

2.    For indoor events and meetings

  • Wear your mask at all times, regardless of your vaccination status. Please wear your mask properly, covering both your mouth and nose. All individuals over age 2 must wear a mask.
  • Exceptions to mask wearing indoors:
    • Those who have a speaking/singing honor on the bima and who are fully vaccinated may remove their masks just for the duration of their speaking/singing role.
    • Small meetings of only fully vaccinated individuals may be held without masks if everyone consents. If any participant prefers the group remain masked, everyone should mask.
  • Hand sanitizer and soap are available for use throughout the building.
  • Please spread out in the sanctuary and respect others’ personal space, maintaining physical distance from those outside your household wherever possible.
  • Please respect others’ personal space and preferences around shaking hands, hugging, or kissing.

3.    For outdoor events and meetings

  • Masks are optional for fully vaccinated individuals. Please be kind to fellow congregants who are fully vaccinated but choose to wear masks for a variety of reasons.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, masks are still required at outdoor events and meetings.
  • We encourage continued physical distancing between your household and others at outdoor events.
  • Please respect others’ personal space and preferences around shaking hands, hugging, or kissing.

4.    After the event or meeting

  • Please contact Michael Kahn if you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 and were in the synagogue building in the 14 days prior to developing symptoms.
  • Should the synagogue office become aware of any possible exposure or cases associated with a synagogue event, communications will be sent out to the congregation or individuals impacted.

5.    At all times

  • Please do not stop by the building unscheduled or without signing up for an appointment or event. The building is only open on a limited basis, so please enter the building only with the advance approval and knowledge of BHBE staff.
  • If you have a scheduled visit to the building, BHBE staff will let you in through Door #1 (by the parking lot/rotunda). Please observe all the guidelines above, just as for an event or meeting.
  • While it is everyone’s responsibility to follow these guidelines for the good of the whole kehilla, please leave enforcement to the staff and do not take matters into your own hands. If you have concerns about violations of these guidelines, please contact the synagogue office only.
  • While these guidelines are intended for the health of our community, you attend events at your own risk. By attending any event, you assume the risk of potential exposure to COVID-19.
  • Please be kind, patient, and respectful to our clergy, staff, maintenance team, security guards, tenants, and fellow members. We are navigating the recovery from this pandemic together and appreciate your patience, flexibility, and commitment to pikuah nefesh!

By attending events, individuals agree to abide by the rules of the synagogue. BHBE cannot guarantee safety in light of the pandemic. BHBE is not liable for injuries or sickness as a result of the pandemic. Questions should be directed to Michael Kahn.