Staying Safe: COVID-19 Updates

This information was last updated on August 1, 2023.

Congregation Emanu-El continues to strive to maintain an environment that promotes the health and well-being of our congregants, employees, and those who visit our synagogue. As part of this effort, we consistently take into account congregant feedback, the latest evidence about COVID-19, and recommendations from our COVID-19 Advisory Team. We ask that you follow these policies and procedures, which will be updated to reflect the most current best practices. As updated guidance is available, we will be prepared to make appropriate changes, while always prioritizing your safety and upholding our Jewish value of pikuach nefesh, to preserve individual and communal health.

Thank you for following these rules to help keep you and others in our community healthy and safe. If you are experiencing hardship and need support or pastoral care, be in touch at [email protected] or leave a message on the main temple phone line at 415-751-2535 and someone will reach out to you. 

In-Person Temple Event Policies 

Full vaccination status is strongly recommended for those eligible when participating in our programs (including booster for those eligible). Consistent with city, state, CDC and other public health authority guidance, COVID-19 vaccines are the most important and effective tool in preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness, and death. 

We have updated our masking policies for synagogue-based worship and events in response to the decline in local case rates of COVID-19 and the availability of new vaccines designed to provide broader protection against newer variants. Masking for congregants is optional at all services and events taking place inside Emanu-El. We, along with our COVID-19 Advisory Team, comprised of medical professionals, industry leaders, staff, and clergy, will continue to monitor case rates in San Francisco and other key factors and respond to the changing circumstances accordingly. 

Emanu-El values equity and inclusion, recognizing that our community consists of diverse populations, including those particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. We will continue to provide both in-person and online services, lifecycle events, and learning and engagement opportunities to keep our community safe. We remain committed to continuing all in-person activities without interruption. 

Although masks are not required, we understand that some people will continue to mask for a variety of reasons. We invite all in our community to act in a spirit of non-judgmental kindness as we navigate this landscape. Let us all do what we can to help us each feel welcome, knowing that we will have differing needs and views. We will fully support those who choose to mask and will continue to walk this path together, honoring our diversity of perspectives and needs and remaining nimble to the rapidly changing circumstances. 

Please note the following: 

  • Advance registration is required for certain events. Please review the information for each event and follow the indicated process. If for any reason you are not able to register in advance for an event requiring registration, you are still welcome to attend, and we will take care of registration at the gate. 
  • At this time, masks are not required for services taking place indoors at Emanu-El, or for outdoor events, including in the courtyard. 
  • Full vaccination status is strongly encouraged for those eligible when participating in our programs (including booster for those eligible).  


Please do not enter the premises – even if fully vaccinated – if you have any of the following symptoms:  

  • Fever, chills, or repeated shaking/shivering 
  • Cough, sore throat 
  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing 
  • Feeling unusually weak or fatigued 
  • Loss of taste or smell 
  • Muscle pain, headache (more than usual) 
  • Runny nose or congested nose 
  • Diarrhea 
  • A temperature over 100 degrees 

Watch Online

You can now watch our weekly Shabbat services from the comfort of your own home. Visit our livestreaming page to tune in. You can also view services on the temple’s Facebook page (you don’t need a Facebook account to participate).

COVID-19 and its variants are an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily through person-to-person contact.