SUKKOT, SHEMINI ATZERET, AND SIMCHAT TORAH
In 2020, this unusual year of Covid-19, Kol Nefesh is is running in-person services for Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah in a Covid-friendly format. These are open to members and visitors via a booking app, on a first-come, first-served basis. The booking app can be found here, and is the same one we use on Shabbat. However, if this will be your first visit under the new conditions, please read the guidelines below before booking.
Please note, Rabbi Joel is now back in Israel, and will be posting his Divrei Torah (sermons) as videos through this festival. Here is his Dvar Torah for the start of Sukkot.
And here is a Dvar Torah for Hoshana Rabba, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah.
For those coming to in-person services, in order to operate safely, we are following public health guidelines on social distancing and masking. This means that numbers in the room are limited, and everyone must be masked. The exception to this is the shaliach tsibbur or leyener, who can be unmasked as long as he/she is facing away from the kehilla.
Only the shaliach tsibbur or leyener may sing out loud. However, in good news, it appears safe to hum ... and it turns out that humming can create a stirring, inspirational, and even beautiful sound world. It's different – but it works.
Because masks become quite uncomfortable after 90 minutes or so, the services have been shortened to accommodate this new constraint. The holiday services will run from 10am to about 11.30am on the following dates:
Sukkot I – Shabbat 3rd October
Sukkot II – Sunday 4th October
Shemini Atzeret – Shabbat 10th October
Simchat Torah – Sunday 11th October
Because of the pandemic, we won't be holding evening Simchat Torah services this year.
Due to the size of the room and social distancing requirements, we can accommodate 13 individuals or household groups at each service. Booking is on a first-come, first-served basis, with slots reserved for those on the rota for the main roles. The gabbai and shammash roles are combined and may be assigned on the spot.
Bathrooms are available for use.
Two points to note when booking:
1. If you are booking for a household group, please book only once for the entire household. This is because members of the same household can sit together, allowing for a greater number of people in the room.
2. If you have a yahrzeit or wish to say a blessing and you find that the service is fully booked, please contact Gabi Peretz, firstname.lastname@example.org. We will endeavor to arrange a swap.
Everyone booking is asked to arrive on time, as the shortened service means we'll need a minyan from the beginning. However, it goes without saying that if you're feeling ill, or if you've been exposed to someone potentially carrying the virus – stay home! The health of all our members is more important than ensuring a minyan.
We look forward to seeing you!