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Schara Tzedeck "Return to Pray" Protocols 


We have received special notice from Dr. Henry regarding running services on Shabbat based on the knowledge that we, as an orthodox institution, cannot use electronics on Saturdays to perform our ritual duties. Therefore this is to inform you that, according to section 43 (3) (c) of the Public Health Act, Dr. Henry is varying the current order for our Sabbath religious services, with the conditions below.  This variance remains in place for the duration of the Provincial Health Officer prohibition on events.  The other conditions of the order, as applicable, continue to be in force.

  • Special services are limited to 25 people.
  • Services are held outside with only a tent covering- no walls
  • People maintain a physical distance of 2 metres from each other.
  • Attendees wear masks
  • High levels of hygiene are maintained.
  • There will be no social gatherings or social interaction before or after the services, indoors or outdoors.

The other applicable requirements of the Gatherings and Events orders are posted at continue to be followed.




This protocol “Return to Pray” was developed in accordance with guidelines and advice from the BC Ministry of Health, the BC Provincial Health Officer, the BC Centre for Disease Control, and the Schara Tzedeck COVID-19 Advisory Committee.

This protocol is designed to balance your experience at Schara Tzedeck with best practices to help minimize health risks and to protect against the spread of COVID-19 within and beyond our doors.

“Return to Pray” will be rolled out in two stages. The goal of this graduated approach is to allow us time to evaluate our protocol and make adjustments as needed.

Stage 1 Our beta test week will begin Monday, June 1 with Shacharit at 6:45 am, and Mincha/Maariv at 9:00 pm for attendees ages 11-35 only. Rabbi Federgrun will be leading services this week.

Stage 2 will begin Monday, June 8 am with Shacharit at 6:45 am, and Mincha/Maariv at 9:00 pm for everyone ages 9 yrs and up. Both Rabbi Rosenblatt and Rabbi Federgrun will be leading services this week.

  1. Reservations. All attendees MUST register for services. Attendees can register either online or by calling the shul office at (604) 736-7607 by 3pm daily during regular business hours. Office administration will identify and reach out to members who may need assistance with registration.

NOTE: Registration is critical to ensuring we have accurate information to assist with contact tracing in the event of an outbreak and help with planning for the correct number of services needed to accommodate all registered worshippers. Therefore, there will be no accommodation for ‘walk-in’ worshippers.

  1. Admission Criteria. Everyone who wishes to attend must be symptom-free. Upon registration you will be asked a short series of health inventory questions to ensure you are healthy and do not pose a risk to other members, clergy, staff or community. Further, when you arrive at shul, a greeter will ask you about your symptoms or those of anyone with whom you live. If you arrive at shul and disclose or present with any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you will be denied entry to the synagogue.
  2. Service Capacity. Each service will be limited to 50 people per service with, where possible, the same individuals at each service to assist with easier contact tracing. Changes in service size will be determined in accordance with guidelines from the BC Ministry of Health, B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, the BC Centre for Disease Control, and the Schara Tzedeck COVID-19 Advisory Committee.
  3. Number of Services. The number of services will be determined by the number of registrants. Services will run consecutively and/or concurrently in different rooms as needed to accommodate all registrants, with the designated limit of 50 people per service.
  4. Service Changes.
  • Length of service will be modified, where possible, to help mitigate the chance of transmission. For example, for morning services, participants are asked to recite the section of Pesukei D’zimra at home, allowing us to focus on the parts of the service that can only be done with a Minyan.
  • Torah reading will be done by one person, who will read all the aliyot, including maftir and haftarah, as well as take out and return the Torah to the ark.
  • No kissing of Torah by worshippers during hakafah.


  1. Entry. Entry will be through the Oak Street entrance at the Wosk Auditorium. Everyone is asked to note and respect proper physical distancing and ensure no crowding at the entrance, by observing the new two-metre markings on the sidewalk and entry walkway.
  2. Exit: Controlled exit will be managed in coordination with security, via multiple designated exits to minimize the potential for crowding after services.
  3. Security. Guards will be on-site on Shabbat, as before, to assist with regular security, as well as management of new protocols.
  4. Service Location(s) Services will be held in the Main Sanctuary, with additional concurrent or consecutive services in the Wosk Auditorium, as needed.
  5. Seating Members of the same family who live together are encouraged to sit together. Seating areas will be clearly marked off with coloured tape to indicate the designated area for that service. For example, attendees at the first service will sit in seats marked in blue. Attendees at the next service in seats marked in green. Additional services will take place in a similar fashion in the Wosk Auditorium, as needs demand.
  6. Children Children must be 9 years old or older to attend regular services. (Please note, children between the ages of 9-11 yrs are now able to attend services with the stipulation that they must remain with one of their parents throughout the entire service and wear a mask at all times. The first week they attend will be a probationary period to see if they are able to adhere to the rules and protocols of the synagogue.) We are working on a family service with young children. Details TBA.
  7. Hygiene Attendees will be required to disinfect their hands with hand sanitizer upon entry to the shul building and be vigilant about their hygiene. You must remain 6ft apart from those not within your family bubble.
  8. Mask Everyone is required to wear a mask inside Schara Tzedeck. Please feel free to bring your own preferred medical mask, face shield, homemade mask or even a ski buff. Evidence suggests that viral transmission can be reduced with the use of masks. We do not want to take chances, please wear one.
  9. Siddurim and Chumashim Attendees are asked to bring their own siddur and chumash. If you do not have a siddur or chumash, we will supply you with one and label it with your name for your exclusive use at Schara Tzedeck.
  10. Kippot and Talitot Each man is encouraged to bring his own kippah and talit. IF you forget your kippah, we will provide you with one to keep. However, NO talitot will be provided at shul.
  11. Restrooms. Maintenance staff will clean the restrooms regularly and it will be one person at a time. Signs will be posted on restroom doors indicating, available, in use, or cleaning.
  12. Kissing. None (within the shul), i.e. mezuzot or Torah.




Mon, 18 January 2021 5 Shevat 5781