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High Holiday COVID Updates

COVID and High Holidays - 8/11/21 Update


Dear VBS Haverim,

The health and well-being of our VBS community members has been our first priority as we have navigated the pandemic. We are especially vigilant for the vulnerable among us, our children and our elders. As the circumstances of the COVID pandemic have changed, often very abruptly, we have found it necessary to adjust and accommodate. We are grateful for your understanding and cooperation through these trying situations.

For months, we have been planning and preparing for a joyful return to VBS for the High Holidays. The “Delta Variant” of the virus has once again presented the need to rethink our plans. These changes have been recommended by our own Medical Advisory Committee and reflect the latest information on the virus and its spread. It is very likely these plans will continue to evolve, and we will be in communication as these changes are needed. Please review the following:

  • Full Vaccination Required for ALL On Site Service Attendess: 
    As of today, we are still planning to offer in-person High Holiday services at VBS, as well as a full-program of online virtual services.  On the advice of our Medical Advisory Committee, and in consultation with our leadership, we are requiring all onsite attendees to be fully vaccinated for our High Holiday services. Therefore children under 12 may not attend. Additionally, it is important to note that members will not necessarily be socially distanced at these in-person services. As an alternative, all VBS members are welcome to join our online virtual services.

  • Proof of Vaccination: 
    Everyone who comes to VBS for our in-person High Holiday Services will need to submit proof of vaccination. We will provide the protocol for doing so online shortly.

  • Mask Requirement: 
    All congregants must wear a mask at all times while on campus.

  • Children’s Programming: 
    Children under 12 are not yet permitted to be vaccinated. Moreover, the Delta Variant has proven to be even more dangerous to youngsters. Therefore, we must exercise extra caution to protect our children and we are unable to have them at any on site High Holiday services.

    • We will not offer onsite childcare during these High Holidays.

    • We will not be holding our in-person on site Tot Shofar or B'Yachad Family High Holiday services. If you have requested tickets for either of these services and wish to move (only for those 12+ fully vaccinated, no children under 12) to the Main Service, the Traditional Minyan Service or the Sephardic Service, please contact Susan Rubin at

    • PLEASE NOTE: no one under 12 may attend any on site services.

    • We are committed to creating meaningful and engaging holiday experiences for children and families. We are working with our educators on these plans. Please stay tuned for more information.

  • Online Services: 
    We will again offer beautiful and professionally produced virtual High Holidays services for all of our members and guests. Our production team has been working hard for months to bring a unique experience to our community. Details will be sent in separate emails.

We share the disappointment and frustration surrounding these changing plans, especially as we have all made so many sacrifices for so long.  But we must fulfill our obligation to ensure the safety and well being of our community, especially our most vulnerable. Should our plans change again, and they likely will, we will continue to communicate with you regularly.

Most importantly, THANK YOU. We are grateful for your membership and support. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding. Your trust and faith in us and your commitment to VBS sustains this community. You have done so much this past year to breathe life into our shared experience. Whether we are in-person, socially distanced or completely remote we know we will create a meaningful High Holidays experience together. On Rosh Hashanah, we celebrate the world’s birthday. It is a celebration of the power of renewal, rebirth, return. This year, perhaps more than any other in memory, let us pray together for these blessings….renewal, rebirth, return. And let us find reason to rejoice. Shana Tova.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at or (818) 788-6000

Matt Weintraub.PNG

Rabbi Ed Feinstein
Senior Rabbi

Matthew Weintraub
Executive Director

Jeff Goss

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Mon, August 15 2022 18 Av 5782