BE Open- March COVID Update

From the beginning of the pandemic, Beth Emet has tried to protect life and promote the health of the community, while continuing to provide the education, worship, life cycle, social action, and other community services we all value. We enter this next phase of the pandemic with optimism as we start planning more in-person activities.

The CDC and government agencies last week removed the requirements for mandatory indoor masking in our area. Individual institutions (including Beth Emet) are still permitted to require masks in their building, and the City of Evanston still recommends indoor masking for large indoor events.

We have heard from many within our congregation who are eager to return to pre-pandemic congregational life, and others within our community who only feel comfortable coming to the building if we continue to adhere to our safety health protocols. As we move into this next phase, Beth Emet will continue to require members and guests ages 2 and up to wear a properly fitting mask covering their mouth and nose at all times when in the building, at least through the end of March. We believe this is the best way to proceed to ensure as much of our community as possible feels comfortable returning to in-person worship, life-cycle events over the next few weeks. Additional information regarding our COVID-19 protocols is included below.

We appreciate your continued patience as we navigate the best ways to return to normal activities, while reducing risk and honoring our responsibility to those who are vulnerable. Knowing that the Covid landscape will continue to change and shift over time, we will continue to monitor the recommendations of our public health officials, cases within our community, and the views and needs of our members.

We hope you will come to the synagogue in person in the near future – especially as we look towards Purim festivities including the Purim Carnival on March 12 and 13, the Purim Spiel on March 16 and the Young Family Purim Fun on March 20. Check EmetMail for more details!


Covid Task Force

Barry Miller,
Safety & Security Task Force Chair
Karen Isaacson
Bekki Kaplan
Ed Linn, MD
Geoff Prass
Lee Weintraub
Brad White

Summary of Current COVID-19 Protocols



  • Beth Emet will continue to require everyone ages 2 and up to wear a properly fitting mask covering their mouth and nose at all times when in the building.
  • We strongly recommend a multilayer mask (i.e. more than a cloth mask) that is tight-fitting and covers the nose and mouth such as a KN95 or N95 mask, or equivalent.
  • Clergy, Spiel performers, and others on the bima [eg guest dvar] must be fully vaccinated, and masks are optional. Social distancing is encouraged wherever possible.

Vaccination Requirements

  • We continue to require all who are eligible age 12 and older to be fully vaccinated if they plan on coming into the building for any reason. “Fully vaccinated” is now defined as two doses of Moderna or Pfizer, plus a booster (or one dose of J&J plus a booster).
  • We are now requiring those ages 5-11 to be fully vaccinated before coming into the building. At this moment, fully vaccinated for children ages 5-11 requires two doses of Pfizer.

These vaccination requirements are designed to protect the community and our staff.

Make Sure We Have Your Booster Information and Update Your Vaccination Information

Enter vaccination and booster information for you and your family members through our member portal, MyBethEmet, by clicking this link.

Once logged in:

  • Go to “Individual Member Information” on the left sidebar
  • Choose the individual you want to provide vaccination information for
  • Click on “Contact Details”
  • Scroll down to complete vaccination information

If you are unable to access the member portal, click on this link.

Note: You must complete one form per household member.


  • We have started offering challah and wine/grape juice after Shabbat evening and morning services again.
  • We will continue to not offer any food at Beth Emet events, until further notice.
  • Beit Sefer will continue to consume snacks outside unless the weather is inclement.
  • The Soup Kitchen will continue to provide to-go meals for our guests.

General Health Reminders

We continue to ask that anyone who is not feeling well (fever, sinus pain, cough, loss of taste and/or smell, stuffy nose, chills, fatigue, sore throat, or shortness of breath) not come into the synagogue when it is open. We continue to offer all our services and most programs online and encourage you to join us virtually if you are not well enough to come into the building. If you test positive for COVID-19 within 3 days of being in the building, please contact Geoff Prass so we may notify others who may have been exposed.

As we continue to navigate this very challenging time, we truly appreciate our community’s continued adherence to public health guidance, and your ongoing support for one another and the synagogue. Your courtesy, kindness, caring, and generosity has helped see many of our neighbors through this difficult period. We sincerely thank you for your continued patience, flexibility, and kindness towards one another as we continue to move forward together.

If you have additional questions or unique circumstances, please feel free to email them to We appreciate your understanding and look forward to seeing you either in person or online soon.


Update as of February 1, 2022:

Shabbat Services:

Both Kabbalat Shabbat (Friday night) services and Kahal Shabbat (Saturday morning) services will continue to be in-person as well as livestreamed. You can find the links on our calendar. If you have not yet attended Shabbat services or submitted your vaccination information, please complete the registration form in advance or submit the information on MyBethEmet. At this time, we will not be having an Oneg prior to services or providing challah or grape juice/wine after services.

Kabbalat Mitzvah (formerly called B’nai Mitzvah]:

The number of guests that member families may have is likely to vary with the condition of the virus. All guests must be “fully vaccinated” (as defined above) and have completed the Shabbat Service Registration form. At present, no food will be served. Please contact Geoff Prass, Director of Operations for further information.

Funerals and other lifecycle events:

Member families may have up to 125 guests for services in the Sanctuary, and the building registration form must be completed in advance. For those who do not complete the form in advance, guests must show proof of being up-to-date with their vaccination for entrance.

Beit Sefer (Religious School):

Beit Sefer classes have returned to the building. Masks are required at all times, and proof of up-to-date vaccination must be submitted prior to coming to school. Please contact Danny at the office for more information and/or to complete the form. You may also supply vaccination information on MyBethEmet

Adult Programming:

All Adult programs and classes will take place virtually until further notice.

Youth Programs:

Youth programs for grades 4-12 are in person where possible, and protocols must be adhered at all times, including submitting vaccination information and wearing of masks. No food will be served. For more information, contact Sam.

Young Family Programs:

We know it’s hard for young children to participate virtually, and we strive to provide some opportunities to come together, depending on current conditions with the virus and the nature of the program. Children five and older must be fully vaccinated, and for children who are not yet eligible must remain in their family “pod” throughout the program and be socially distanced. Masks are required for children 2 and older and vaccination information must be submitted in advance via MyBethEmet or our online form.

For more information or questions, please contact Geoff Prass.


Beth Emet COVID Task Force

Karen Isaacson, President
Bekki Harris Kaplan, Director of Congregational Engagement
Dr. Ed Linn
Barry Miller, Chair Safety and Security Task Force
Geoff Prass, Director of Operations
Lee Weintraub, Vice President and President-Elect
Brad White