Phase One Reopening: What does it mean for Jewish organizations?


With Multnomah County entering Phase One, we asked many of the Jewish community’s agencies and congregations about their plans. Many, such as Congregation Beth Israel and the Oregon Jewish Musuem and Center for Holocaust Eduction, will continue to stream or Zoom services and programs. The Mittleman Jewish Community Center has reopened to members (see story). Following are plans from some other organizations:
Cedar Sinai Park: All Rose Schnitzer Manor residents have tested negative for COVID-19. Staff member tests also are negative as of June 22 (pending results of four not yet received). Therefore, the RSM move-in hold is now lifted (all move-ins still require a COVID-19 negative test prior to move-in). 
All federal and state safety measures in place for RSM and RJHC/HSCL remain the same.
You can read updates at:
Rachel’s Well Community Mikvah is in the process of reopening. Upgraded safety and security guidelines are in place, and all immersions are still by appointment only. To request an appointment a minimum of 4-7 days in advance, and longer if possible, people should email
Congregation Neveh Shalom: The congregation has established a “Reopening Task Force” with six workgroups (health, education, facilities, ritual, membership/programming and HR/finance) to determine how and when it will be safe to return to the building.
Foundation School will operate a small, limited summer camp initially offered to first responders and essential workers in our congregational community.
Planning is under way for High Holy Days to be a “primarily” online experience with selected in-person opportunities.
“A meaningful congregation, after all, is not based on a physical structure … The true foundation for meaning is found in relationships,” says Executive Director Fred Rothstein. “That has continued to be a guiding principle as clergy, staff and lay leadership pivoted quickly to creatively develop new approaches to meet the needs of our congregants. Livestream and Zoom have clearly become important tools in continuing connections.”
Congregation Shaarie Torah also has convened a task force to talk about phased reopening, specifically in-person Shabbat services. “The building and offices will remain closed through July while we continue to watch trends in COVID cases in Multnomah County and the state,” says Executive Director Jemi Kostiner Mansfield. “We will, of course, be following all OHA and CDC guidelines for physical distancing, crowd limits, cleaning, mask wearing, contact tracing, etc. A hybrid model of limited in-person and live-streamed services is being planned for the High Holidays."
Congregation Shir Tikvah is not planning on reopening to the public for now. People can still Zoom into the 9 am Torah Study on Shabbat by reaching out to office manager Amelia Schroth, at:
Congregation Kol Ami, in Vancouver, Wash., is continuing to offer daily story times, three times a week check-ins, services, Kol Ami Women of Reform Judaism events and Men’s club events via Zoom. “We are making our decisions based on best health practices for our staff and our community and looking forward to a time when there is a treatment or vaccine, and it is safe for all of us to meet together in person,” says Rabbi Elizabeth Dunsker.


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