High Holy Days

Covid-19 at High Holidays


When designing this year’s Covid-19 policies and protocols for High Holidays, we took into account many factors, including:

  • Recommendations from the CDC and local government
  • The specifications of this year’s venue, The Copernicus Center, which is large enough to maintain a 50-75% capacity throughout services
  • Recommendations from local subject matter experts, including physicians, public health workers, and members of the disability and chronic illness community
  • Monitoring statistics about hospital bed usage of Covid-19 patients in Cook County

We have aimed to create a policy that is informed by current research about Covid-19, with a focus on inclusion of immunocompromised individuals in our community. We have built this policy based on the information currently available to us. If that information changes (for example, if a new variant that is substantially different becomes the dominant strain, if trends around community transmission materially change, or if new evidence emerges about the efficacy of booster shots to decrease community transmission), we reserve the right to change these policies to better address community safety. 

In 5784/2023, our Covid policy for High Holidays will be as follows (includes kids and family programs as well):

  • In the sanctuary, we will offer seating sections that are both mask-required and mask-optional. For those who mask, we strongly recommend using a NIOSH-certified n95 mask, KF94 mask, or equivalent. Mishkan will be able to provide a limited number of these on-site. There is robust evidence that wearing a mask of this quality provides a high protective factor for the wearer. 
  • Areas outside of the sanctuary, including the registration areas, classrooms, and lobby spaces, will be mask-optional. 
  • While we are not requiring proof of vaccination, we strongly encourage our community to receive the most recent COVID booster shot.  The medical experts that we consulted informed us that there is not a sufficient body of evidence showing that the current bivalent booster decreases transmission between individuals. However, there is evidence showing that the current bivalent booster protects the individual from having a severe case of Covid-19, especially among immunocompromised people and people aged 60 and older.
  • If you are feeling ill, please stay home. We will offer refunds to anyone who is feeling sick. Please email [email protected] to arrange a refund. We are also offering a high-quality live-streaming option for anyone who needs to stay home because they are feeling ill.