Framing Reopening⁠—An Update from Our Reopening Taskforce
Beth Tzedec
Jun 25th 2020

As Toronto enters Stage 2 of Ontario's Reopening Framework, we are seeing various businesses and synagogues in our community begin the process of reopening.

At Beth Tzedec, we have been fortunate to be able to deliver and enjoy programs and services online.Yet we also look forward to the opportunity to come together again in person—to pray, to celebrate and to offer comfort to one another.

We will continue sharing regular updates from Beth Tzedec's Reopening Taskforce in our weekly email newsletter and on the Beth Tzedec website. To begin with, we would like to introduce the members of our Reopening Taskforce and outline some of the issues they are working to address.


  • We cannot commit to re-opening until we are reasonably certain that we can do so safely and practically.
  • When we re-open, we will have protocols in place as necessitated by government regulations, public health authorities and the recommendations of experts in our congregation.

Our Reopening Taskforce

Beth Tzedec's Reopening Taskforce includes a combination of lay leaders and medical professionals, guided by the latest updates and advice from public health and medical authorities.

This group, chaired by Lawrie Lubin, also Co-chair of the Building Committee, will make recommendations to the Board to protect the health and safety of our community. The Taskforce includes:
  • Dr. Anna Day—Respirologist
  • Lorne Hanick—Ritual Director; Representing the Spiritual Leadership Team
  • Naomi Kramer—Member of the Board of Directors and Engineer
  • Moshe Micha—Chair of the Security Committee
  • Marvin Miller—Past President, Ushering Committee, Insurance Advisor
  • Barry Phillips—Chair of the Ushering Committee
  • Dr. Coleman Rotstein—Infectious Disease Specialist
  • Brian Segal—Member of the Board of Directors and Lawyer
  • Dr. Rebecca Shalansky—Family Doctor and Public Health Professional
  • Oscar Zimmerman—Vice President of the Executive Committee and Insurance Advisor

Issues at Hand

There are a number of important issues that we're grappling with as we begin the process of reopening the doors of our building, including:

Registering for services in advance. When we reopen the building, we plan to prioritize forming a minyan while making contact tracing as effective as possible, in the event that it's needed. To do this effectively, we will implement a registration process for those planning to attend services.

Implementing effective screening protocols.
These include encouraging people who are feeling unwell to stay home.

Selecting the optimal spaces to open and services to launch. Besides ensuring that our worship spaces allow us to minimize the risk of transmission, we must also accommodate the staff and technology required to continue broadcasting virtual services.

Developing a health and safety plan for communal and high-traffic areas. These include rest rooms and entrance and exit points.

Safely welcoming back staff and spiritual leadership. With many members of staff currently furloughed or working from home, we are developing plans for them to return to the building in a way that allows for physical distancing and protects the health and well-being of our entire community.

Ensuring that we can deliver a spiritually fulfilling service experience. Beth Tzedec is committed to protecting and improving our members' well-being, whether that's physical, spiritual or emotional. As we move forward with caution and care, our goal is to provide everyone who joins us - online and in person - with a spiritually enriching experience that unites us as a kehillah and brings each of us closer to God.

Each of these issues will present challenges and opportunities as the status of COVID-19 evolves in our community. We will continue to keep you informed and connected to the reopening process.

We appreciate your patience as we move forward with caution and care. Every member of our community is invited to continue engaging with Beth Tzedec throughout the summer with our virtual programs and services, which you can find on our website calendar.