Dear Members and friends of our Kehillah
On the morning of 18th March the Mahamad
came to the decision to introduce social distancing rules in our בית הכנסת. National guidelines developed so swiftly that
by the very same afternoon the decision was made to close our doors altogether
and a period of in excess of 14 weeks of closure commenced on שבת ויקהל-פקודי.
We are now pleased to announce the re-opening of our בית הכנסת
on 4th July, שבת חקת-בלק, with HaShem’s help. However, please note that this is a phased
process, with evolving procedures. We
are therefore opening this week to men only.
Ladies and children are therefore
asked not to attend this week.
Following this week’s run we will have a better understanding of
capacity and hope to be open to ladies shortly thereafter.
Please work with us to uphold our responsibility to
abide by Government Guidelines at all times.
Adherence to the guidelines should in no way be seen as optional. The guidelines are put into place to protect
the individual as well as others.
The following people should not attend at all:
(1) Those displaying symptoms of Covid-19;
(2) Those asked to self-isolate by the Track and Trace programme
(3) Those in quarantine having recently arrived in UK
(4) Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
(5) Children (under Bar Mitsvah) until further notice
Those over seventy or otherwise unsure about health
risks of attending should not feel pressured in any way to do so and should
ensure that they are completely comfortable with their own situation before
On 4th July social distancing will be
reduced to 1+ meter. It is on this basis
that the seats in the בית הכנסת will be arranged in such a way to ensure
that this distancing is maintained.
Please adhere to the guidelines set in the בית הכנסת
on arrival. In particular please ensure:
(1) Hands are washed on arrival.
Hand sanitiser will also be made available.
(2) Social distancing is maintained on arrival and on
departure. Attendants will be guided
regarding departure but on arrival please ensure that there is no congregating
in the entranceway.
(3) You do not interfere in any way with the seating arrangement and
(4) You bring your own Siddur, Chumash and Talit. In case you wish to use those belonging to
הכנסת a Siddur/Chumash set will be placed on each available
Please leave the set designated to you on your seat
to prevent sefarim being handled by different people.
(5) You do not wander around the בית הכנסת
thereby invading other people’s space
(6) You do not kiss the Sefer Torah or the Aron Hakodesh (or
anything else for that matter). Almost
needless to say that there should be no physical contact between anyone at any
(7) There are guidelines restricting singing and these will be
clarified and conveyed nearer the time
Pre – Booking
This Shabbat (from Shachrit) we expect that we should
be in a position to accommodate our usual number of men. However please note that in order that we can
plan and prepare seating correctly we ask that that you inform us of your
intention (including number of family members) to attend by Wednesday evening. If an
unexpectedly high number of people attend, priority will be given to full and
country members and we will have to refuse access when there are no longer any
With all the best intentions this is a situation we
have not been presented with in the past and we therefore kindly request that
all are as accommodating and understanding as possible.
Matters under constant consideration and which we
will advise on an ongoing basis include: opening up for ladies, weekday
Minyamin, Yamim Nora’im, permitting attendance for children, Semachot and
On a final note, we feel more than ever that it
really is a privilege to be able to attend Minyan in a בית הכנסת. Let us please therefore express this
appreciation by way of a heightened sense of awareness of the שכינה. Thankfully we enjoy a beautiful and sincere
atmosphere and one that we can and should be proud of. Perhaps there is room for reducing on
unnecessary talking. One other area
which perhaps may require some attention is attendance during weekday
services. Each person needs to consider these
points and take them to heart as much as possible/necessary.
We are very much looking forward to sharing each
other’s presence once again.
The Mahamad ק״ק שערי תפילה
– The Manchester Congregation of Spanish & Portuguese Jews
Please feel free to ask us any questions or requests you may need through this e-mail. We will get back to you, bli neder, asap.
Please send us any announcement you would like to make through our e-mail before Wednesday morning, if possible, unless there is a Yom Tob. Exceptions will be made for late entries
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Thank you, Hatzlacha & all the best