As more and more people are vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus, questions arise: when will HaMaqom | The Place classes meet in person again? When can we gather in person?
Dina de-malkhuta dina (the law of the land is the law) and lishmor al briyot (care for health) are two principles of Jewish tradition that we take very seriously at HaMaqom, and they apply to our current situation. Under California law, we are a nonprofit educational organization, not a school or a religious body, and as such it is not legal for us to sponsor in-person gatherings at this time under current health ordinances.
We are told that we can expect additional waves of infection over the next few months, until the vaccination process is near enough completion to protect those who cannot be vaccinated, and those whom vaccination does not fully protect. “Breakthrough” infections are rare but they are real, according to the CDC.
If even one person were to become infected with Covid-19 as the result of a HaMaqom gathering, that would be too many infections for me. Each one of you is a precious life, a member of our community, whether you are a participant, educator, supporter, or family member. Therefore HaMaqom will not sponsor any in-person events or classes through the end of 2021. Classes and meetings will go on, using Zoom technology. We will continue to assess the Covid-19 situation and health mandates throughout the fall and will provide updates regarding our plans to resume in-person programs in 2022. As this is an evolving situation, we are not able to provide a specific timeline just yet.
I realize that for some of you this is a disappointment. I, too, am disappointed that this is necessary. HaMaqom staff and educators have no power to make exceptions, so please do not ask them to bend the rules. If you want to talk about this policy, I am glad to discuss via email or phone.
In the meantime, the vibrant activity in our learning communities goes on. Thank you for your support during a challenging time!
Rabbi Ruth Adar
Executive Director, HaMaqom | The Place