High Holy Days FAQ

Answers to commonly asked questions. 


How did we formulate our plans and policies?

The Board reviewed and adopted recommendations from our COVID Advisory Committee, which includes PSJC members with relevant professional expertise. The committee consulted with our internal staff and reviewed the responses of member surveys and the guidelines of Jewish communal organizations, including other synagogues, UJA, and USCJ.

Our goal is to create an environment in which as many people as possible will feel comfortable attending in person. We also want to have space to accommodate everyone who would like to attend,
so we have prioritized capacity over social distancing. To help people feel comfortable sitting close together for an extended period, we have tried to create an environment where infection is very unlikely.


How do I provide proof of vaccine or negative test?

We will ask everyone who wishes to attend to register in advance. The registration form will ask you to upload a photo of your vaccination card or negative test results or to otherwise provide details of your status. People over age 12 must provide proof of vaccination (not a negative test) unless they are medically ineligible for the vaccine.


What if I can’t get test results in time?

If you can’t upload test results to your registration in advance, please print them out and bring a paper copy to PSJC on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. If you don’t receive the results by the day of the service,
please come anyway, wear a mask, and join us in the yard.


Can non-members and guests of members attend?

Members may register their guests on their registration form through August 24th. 


Why are masks required inside if everyone is vaccinated?

While the chance of infection among a mostly vaccinated group is rare, it is not zero. In the sanctuary, there will be a number of factors that represent higher risk: we expect to have up to 400 people indoors, including unvaccinated children, singing enthusiastically, in close proximity for several hours. Mandatory masks help us keep our risks extremely low and give people the confidence they need to attend and participate without anxiety or inhibition.


What constitutes a negative test?

If you or your children are ineligible for the vaccine, we ask that you have a negative test within 72 hours. We will accept rapid antigen tests as well as PCR tests, which are available free at the many NYC Health and Hospitals sites. We will also accept home tests available at most pharmacies.


What can I expect from the services in the yard?

We expect about 200 people in the tent, without much extra space for social distancing. There will be a mask-mandatory area set aside in the tent. We will have large screens broadcasting the video from the sanctuary. The sound will be wired directly from the sanctuary, and we expect to all sing together, with the sanctuary windows open between us. Lay leaders will act as Gabbaim/facilitators and keep us oriented and focused. We will take out the Torah and follow along as leyners read in the sanctuary. We hope to also be able to hear live shofar blowing from the yard on Rosh Hashanah! We feel confident that, together, we will make the tent a beautiful and holy space for throughout the holidays.


How do I get my passes?

Registered members and their guests will receive their identifying lanyards at the Welcome Desk in the Yard.  PSJC members have all received an email with the Zoom link.  Anyone who registered for Zoom will also receive the link by email.