Three Orthodox shuls in Central Ohio are planning to reopen between May 31 and June 7, according to a May 22 emailed letter from their rabbis.
The letter said each shul will inform members exactly when the reopening will occur, and the decision to reopen was made “after careful consideration and in consultation with national organizations, doctors, health experts and rabbinical authorities.”
It was signed by Rabbi David Claman of Congregation Ahavas Sholom, Rabbi Howard Zack of Congregation Torat Emet, both in Bexley, and Rabbi Avi Goldstein of Beth Jacob Congregation in Columbus.
“We remind everyone that the most important factor in our deliberations has been health and safety,” the letter read. “As such, this will not be a complete reopening but the beginning of a phased process that will have extensive safety protocols in place. The specifics of these protocols will be forthcoming in the days ahead.
“What is absolutely necessary and non-negotiable is the community’s compliance with all of these protocols. If anyone who attends a service is, G-d forbid, diagnosed with COVID-19, we will be forced to shut down the shul once again and quarantine. The single greatest threat to a successful reopening is non-compliance.
“Please note that this window is tentative and is contingent on the continued decrease in COVID-related illness in Ohio. We pray that HaShem continue to heal the sick and enable us to restore our prayers to our shuls.”