New Teshuvah: Are We There Yet? Pandemic’s End, and What Happens Then

As the pandemic began, the CJLS took decisive action to offer timely guidance for communities navigating unprecedented circumstances. Though the pandemic has not ended, for many communities a “return to normal” has begun or is at least being contemplated, and the members of the CJLS are working to address the questions that colleagues and their communities are asking anticipating that transition.

One first step in that process is the release of this teshuvah “Are We There Yet? Pandemic’s End, and What Happens Then,” which offers guidance for communities on the ethical and legal parameters to consider in timing a “return to normal” and deciding which, if any, COVID time practices should be extended. A source sheet is available here.

Many colleagues have asked for updated guidance on specific questions, including two common aspects of COVID-time prayer- namely, constituting a minyan remotely, and the use of streaming/conferencing technology to mediate prayer on shabbat and yom tov. While this guidance is still considered to be in effect for the moment, guidance for post-COVID times is currently under discussion and will be shared in an accelerated timeframe. The CJLS has also discussed and issued a teshuvah on the liturgy for second weddings for couples who got married during COVID with only a minimal group of people attending and now want to celebrate their wedding in the presence of all the family and friends whom they wanted to invite to their first ceremony. As other post-COVID issues arise, the CJLS will address them expeditiously.