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Rabbi's Update 8/25/2021

Dear Friends:

Monday was our “official” deadline for High Holiday ticket requests although our office will process your request if you have not yet gotten it in -- but please do so as soon as you can.

Roughly half of our members and of our non-member ticket purchasers have asked for a paper ticket, which means that as of the time of their request they were planning to attend at least one service in person. However, I have already been contacted by a few members to say that, although they had requested tickets, they had since decided to attend exclusively on Zoom due to the growing numbers of “breakthrough” infections of fully vaccinated people.

It would be very helpful for our own planning purposes if we had a better sense of how many people plan to attend each particular service. Since we want to make it possible for people to sit in a socially-distanced manner, even with many fewer attendees than normal we will need to open the sliding wall and set up seats in the Sisterhood Hall. Will we in addition need to open the wall between Sisterhood Hall and the social hall and set up additional chairs in the social hall? How many machzorim will be needed for each service (since unless you bring your own personal copy we want to take them out of circulation after each use)? What audiovisual setup will be needed so that everyone physically present can see and hear those who are participating remotely?

If you have requested a paper ticket, this ticket will admit you to any and all High Holiday services in our building. You should receive it in the mail within the next few days.

If you have requested a paper ticket, please fill out the following form as soon as possible:

If you have not requested a paper ticket you do not need to fill out the form.

I want to make it clear that we are doing this for our own planning purposes only. If you have a paper ticket you will be able to attend all in-person services whether or not you have filled out the form and regardless of your answers, and conversely, you will be able to participate via Zoom if that is your preference for any particular service.

As far as plans for this coming Shabbat, if you are planning to attend in person please sign up as soon as possible at I would ask that you sign up only if you are fairly certain that you will attend unless you are feeling ill this coming Saturday morning. While in the past we have set a deadline of Friday afternoon for signups, this week please sign up by 2 pm on Thursday. At that point we will determine whether or not to go ahead with the in-person option, based both on the number of people who have signed up as well as local COVID metrics at the time.

As always, if I can do anything for you or you need to talk, please contact me at or 301-977-0768 rather than through the synagogue office. Although I am working primarily from home, I am happy to meet you at the synagogue by appointment.


Rabbi Charles L. Arian

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