In a letter sent out to congregants at the Chabad House of Houston, Texas, Rabbi Shimon Lazeroff, Rabbi Betzalel Marinovsky and Rabbi Chaim Lazeroff announced that their Chabad House will be reopened effective tonight with a number of guidelines in place to prevent people from mingling and not following health regulations.
Read the full letter below.
Dear Chabad Lubavitch Center community,
First and foremost, we want to thank you for your patience, understanding and most of all, your support as we were forced to close our doors amid these crazy times.
We know you understand that our closure was in the best interest of everyone’s health and safety, and that is why we know you will continue that patience and understanding as we reopen under the following VERY STRICT guidelines. Please understand, there will be absolutely NO EXCEPTIONS AND NO SPECIAL TREATMENT for anyone who is not following the rules. We ask you to remember that we are being advised by both Torah and medical authorities in this issue of pikuach nefesh.
We understand everyone has different opinions and levels of adherence in their homes, however, we ask you to respect the standards that we are setting forth with regards to the safety of the community. Anyone who cannot respect these rules, we kindly ask you to stay home.
We will be adhering to the following rules for the next 14 days, at which time we will reevaluate and adjust accordingly. If there is even ONE case of Coronavirus in that time, we may be forced to close our doors once again. We implore you to have consideration for others before you act. There are true and severe liabilities (both safety as well as legal) that can result from your actions.
Understand that while we are reopening the shul, this does NOT compel you to attend. Your health is the TOP priority. If you are the least bit uncomfortable being in an environment with others, you are NOT HALACHICAILY required to attend. Please stay home until you feel comfortable.
With that in mind, please go over the following rules carefully for weekday minyanim. If we can not keep these rules in place, we will be forced to shut the minyanim down again. We will be sending out a separate notice regarding Shabbos and Shavuos procedures.
• No children under 12 years old — no exceptions.
• Any youngsters (12+) who do attend MUST stay with the adults they arrived with. There will be no playing in the fields or courts at all.
• Adults over 65: We strongly encourage you to stay home at this time.
• Please check yourself and DO NOT ATTEND if you feel remotely unwell (fever over 100.4, excessive coughing, sniffling, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell) or if you have been exposed to someone who is a possible Covid carrier.
• Likewise, if you know you have any underlying health issues that put you at greater risk, we strongly encourage you to stay home.
WHEN & HOW:
• EVERYONE IS REQUIRED TO WEAR A MASK Masks can now be purchased at area supermarkets like Fiesta and HEB.
• We have designated ushers who will politely ask you to wear a mask or leave if you are not wearing one or keeping to these protocols.
• Our first minyan will be held on Monday evening May 18 at 8 pm.
• Daily Shacharis will be held at 6:45 a.m. & 8:00 a.m. and Mincha / Maariv at 8:00 p.m.
• ALL minyanim will start at exactly the specified times in order to avoid unnecessary lingering, even if we don’t have a complete minyan.
• The building, men’s mikvah, keilim mikvah and the Portal parking entry will remain closed.
• We will hold minyanim in the (covered and uncovered) parking areas behind the apartment buildings. Access will be through the parking entry gate available from Fondren.
• Please park your car in every other parking space, car facing front in, and all passengers of each car should daven on the drivers side of the car.
• Feel free to bring your own chair in your car and take it back with you.
• Tallis and Tefillin must be donned before arrival, in or by your car.
• Everyone should bring their own siddurim, as no siddurim will be provided.
• Everyone MUST TAKE ALL PERSONAL PROPERTY HOME after each davening. Anything that is left will be disposed of.
• No lingering in the parking lot before or after davening.
• There will not be any access to restrooms.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding these mandatory guidelines, please do not hesitate to contact us.
As we are approaching the receiving of the Torah when everyone was healed, we wish that everyone stays healthy and finds success with all the Shavuos preparations. We look forward to seeing our entire community together in the not too distant future.
Rabbi Shimon Lazaroff
Rabbi Betzalel Marinvosky
Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff