COVID-19 Guidelines

The preservation of human life (pikuach nefesh) takes precedence over all the other commandments in Judaism.

Kol yisrael arevim zeh bazeh – all Jews are responsible for each other.”

– Talmud (Shevuot 39a)

Jewish values inform and support this Talmudic teaching.  We are obligated to preserve our own well-being (sh’mirat haguf) and avoid danger to other’s lives (sakanat nefashot).

Our COVID-19 guidelines are written based upon our Jewish values and the latest health and safety protocols established by the CDC, state and local government, and our COVID-19 Task Force of medical professionals. We pledge to monitor the situation closely and update these policies as conditions evolve. The following guidelines should be followed for any synagogue sponsored event, regardless of location.


Please do not enter any synagogue building if you or anyone in your household have:

  • any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms.
  • recently been tested for COVID-19 and that test is still pending.


Blue surgical masks with a nose wire, KF94, N95, or KN95 masks are required at all times for all persons, regardless of vaccination status. Masks may not have vents or valves and must always cover the nose and mouth. Surgical masks are available upon request.

Masking exceptions:

  • Fully vaccinated & boosted individuals may remove masks when singing, chanting, and/or speaking from the Bimah.
  • Children under 2 years of age are not required to mask.
  • Masks may be temporarily removed while eating and drinking.
  • Masks may be removed during Israeli Dancing only if the participant is fully vaccinated and booster is current, or the individual has tested negative for COVID in the prior 72 hours.

Social Distancing

Physical distancing between individuals and family groups should be adhered to whenever possible.


Increased ventilation will be maximized in the building by:

  • opening doors & windows, whenever possible.
  • setting HVAC to continuous “fan on” setting.

Eating & Drinking

Minimizing risk during limited eating &/or drinking activities by:

  • limiting the frequency of serving of food or drink indoors at synagogue events.
  • serving and consuming food and drink outdoors, whenever possible.
  • if serving food and drink indoors, then the following guidelines apply:
    • food preparers and food servers must be masked and wear gloves
    • food and drink is either individually wrapped or individually plated
    • tables & place settings should be physically distanced
    • promptly re-mask when not eating or drinking

The Rayner Center

The Rayner Center will abide by all rules and regulations as published by the CDC and Louisiana Department of Health, as well as the Louisiana Department of Education as they apply to licensed daycare programs and/or early childhood education programs. Should federal or state regulations become more restrictive than those currently followed by the Rayner Center, then they shall supersede these guidelines as it applies to licensed daycare centers in Louisiana. 

The Rayner Center Council will keep apprised of any mandatory requirements as brought forth by either the CDC, Louisiana Department of Education or Louisiana Department of Health and implement such requirements on a timely fashion. Although the COVID-19 health safety rules that apply to the Rayner Center will be determined by the Rayner Center Council, it should do so with input from the volunteer COVID-19 Guidelines Taskforce of the Unified Jewish Congregation of Baton Rouge.