Beth Tzedec Congregation is officially a smoke-free, cannabis-free and fragrance-free facility.
These policies reflect
our commitment to provide a safe and healthy environment for everyone in the
Beth Tzedec community. To date, our congregation has not issued an
official policy regarding cannabis consumption on site, however we are aware of
the implications of legalization from a safety and risk perspective.
While this is relatively new territory, and it may be that the policy will change in the future, the Board of Directors believes that instituting a policy, and highlighting other important restrictions, is both prudent and important.
The health impacts of smoking and second-hand smoke are well documented. Smoking is linked to 37,000 deaths each year in Canada. According to Health Canada, 800 non-smokers die each year from lung cancer and heart disease through exposure to second-hand smoke.
Under the Smoke Free Ontario Act, 2017, smoking and vaping are not allowed in or on Beth Tzedec Congregation grounds, or within 20 meters of any point on the perimeter of the grounds.
As of Tuesday, January 21, 2020, the Board of Directors has approved the following policy:
With the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes, we recognize there is a new risk for which the synagogue must guard against: the inadvertent consumption of cannabis products (such as edibles and cannabis-infused drinks), which may result in overdose or long-term harm. For this reason, Beth Tzedec Congregation has approved the following policy, which applies to members, guests, employees, and contractors.
Beth Tzedec Congregation is a cannabis-free facility. Cannabis or cannabis-related products (such as edibles and cannabis-infused drinks) are not allowed to be used on the property or at shul-sponsored events, under any circumstances, with the following exception:
When cannabis products are prescribed by a medical doctor, every effort should be made to use them before arriving on the property. If they must be used on the property at the direction of a medical doctor, they must be in the personal possession of the patient (or caregiver) at all times, must be used privately and cannot be in violation of any other shul policy, such as the "no smoking" policy. For clarity, smoking cannabis on the property (or using it in a way that impacts others) is not permitted.
Please alert a staff member if you require a private space to consume a medically-prescribed cannabis product.
Our synagogue is a fragrance-free space. We ask all members and guests to refrain from wearing fragrant lotions, soaps, perfumes and other personal-care items.
In the past, strong fragrances have led to members experiencing headaches, wheezing, skin rashes, sneezing, allergic reactions and asthma attacks. For people with fragrance sensitivities, exposure to chemical fragrances can have severe consequences.
We ask that all members of our community join us in our commitment to offering a safe and healthy space for everyone who walks through the doors of Beth Tzedec.
Debbie Rothstein, President