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Final Details About Central’s High Holy Day Services

August 27, 2021 | General News | Messages From Leadership | Programs and Events | Worship and High Holidays | Repairing the World


The following email was sent to our congregation on August 27, 2021

Dear Friend, 

As we prepare to welcome 5782 in less than two weeks, we reflect on the layered meaning of teshuvah as “returning” in all of its manifestations: physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Whether you plan to join us in person or virtually, we look forward to experiencing a powerful sense of "returning” by worshipping with you.  

We have been following the developments of the pandemic very closely and are sharing our final plans for High Holy Days worship. We have reviewed our decisions in detail with our COVID Task Force of medical experts, and have unanimous agreement that we are taking appropriate precautions to make our in-person services as safe as possible (including limited capacity, proof of vaccination, negative PCR tests for anyone under 12, and mandatory masking). 

We understand that everyone has their own comfort level regarding in-person gatherings, and we are providing as much flexibility in our worship options as possible—including two iconic spaces and our high-quality livestream—to ensure all of our members have a meaningful and safe High Holy Days experience. We encourage you to call or email us if you have any questions or concerns that would be helpful to discuss. 

While we hope to see many of you, we know you may prefer to worship virtually this year. Our amazing AV team will be working with the same talented production company we hired last year to deliver the engaging and uplifting livestream experience you’ve come to expect from Central Synagogue. The link to the livestream service schedule is hhd.centralsynagogue.org/schedule/livestream. 

Please read the below information fully and carefully.  


SCHEDULING AND TICKETS

  • Your household schedule was sent to you in mid-August. Please check your email for this information. If you have any questions or need more information, contact Membership at (212) 838-5122 x3048 or [email protected].
  • Tickets for services at Central Synagogue and Radio City Music Hall will arrive separately.
  • Tickets for services in our Sanctuary will arrive via email today. Each member will receive their own ticket.
  • Tickets for services at Radio City Music Hall will be managed by Ticketmaster and will arrive next week. All of the tickets for your household will be sent to the primary adult member in your household, who will receive a text message with the tickets (unless we do not have your cell phone number, in which case you will receive them via email). You will need to access your tickets through the Ticketmaster app on your phone. Tickets can be transferred to other family members using the app. If you are unable to access your tickets through the app or haven’t received them, there will be Radio City Music Hall staff on-site that can assist you. Central staff will also be available to answer questions.
  • In the interest of safety, the Family Service will be entirely virtual this year. This was not a decision that we made lightly, but protecting the health of our community is our highest priority. We look forward to connecting with you virtually for a spirited and ruach-filled service.
  • We will hold Tot Services in-person at an outdoor venue. While we will not require testing for this service, masks are required.
  • Doors will open one (1) hour before services begin in the Sanctuary and 90 minutes before services begin at Radio City Music Hall. Please do your best to arrive before the start of services. While we all miss being together, we ask that you minimize time mingling in the lobby and get comfortably seated promptly.


SAFETY PROTOCOLS

  • Proof of vaccination will be required for all attendees, both members and their guests, age 12 and over, for all services. Acceptable proof includes your vaccine card itself, a photo/copy of the card, or a vaccine phone app such as the NYS Excelsior Pass. We strongly encourage you, if you have not already, to set up the NYS Excelsior Pass app if you received your vaccination in New York State. It is available  via Google or iPhone app store and is the easiest way to store and show this information.
  • Children under 12 who are not yet eligible for a vaccine may join their families for services at Radio City Music Hall, so long as they present proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the service they are attending. If you are bringing a child under 12 and are ticketed for the Sanctuary, please contact [email protected] and they can issue you new tickets. In the interest of safety, families with unvaccinated children will be seated together in a designated section of the venue, and Radio City Music Hall ushers will be there to help with escorting.
  • Masks will be required for all individuals at all times. Our Clergy and some individuals who are participating in the service may be unmasked while they are on the Bimah or stage. To ensure safety, all of these individuals are required to submit a negative PCR test from within 24 hours of the service.
  • We have managed our service schedule to not exceed 50% capacity in any of our locations. At Radio City Music Hall, we expect our capacity to be at or below 30%.
  • If you would prefer to worship in Radio City Music Hall where we expect lower capacity numbers, please contact [email protected] to transfer your tickets.
  • While we as a community want to express our care for one another, we ask you to remember that comfortable distancing is important. Air hugs and elbow touches are welcome. We also ask that you limit your time in the lobbies and other public spaces. While it may seem counterintuitive, maintaining comfortable distancing is a profound way to express care for the health and safety of our community.
  • Anyone with symptoms of or possible exposure to COVID-19, or anyone who has recently returned from a trip outside the tri-state region, should opt for our virtual services. We are grateful for a community that uplifts our commitment to pikuach nefesh (preservation of life), and understands that we remain meaningfully connected whether worshipping in person or virtually.


OTHER

  • Radio City Music Hall is a fully accessible venue. To learn about their accessibility accommodations, please visit their website.
  • We will use the same special edition machzor (prayer book) that was mailed to your home last fall. While we will have copies available, please bring your prayer book with you this year if possible.
  • To stay up to date on all things High Holy Days in the coming days, please visit our website.


In these waning days of 5781, we look forward to welcoming a sweet new year with you. May 5782 be a year of health, happiness, and more opportunities for teshuvah (returning) for us all. 

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Please direct all press inquiries to Central’s Communications Department via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or phone at (212) 838-5122 x2031.