Last Update:  September 9, 2020

Beth Israel looks forward to returning to in-person operations and worship, but we also recognize the need to follow- a “step-up” philosophy – making thoughtful and gradual changes – until we are back to normal. While Governor Newsom allowed for the reopening of places of worship on May 25, 2020, this quickly changed and there are a number of guidelines and restrictions that suggest a step-up approach to reopening is warranted.

Our current plan utilizes the guidelines given by the CDC, San Diego County Public Health Department, and feedback from practicing physicians within the Beth Israel community.  Restrictions on gathering sizes and limitations on vulnerable population’s participation will likely continue for a period of time. These restrictions will be part of defining what we can and cannot do.  As the guidelines change, our plan may change, too.  If changes occur, we will communicate them.

Our first and foremost priority is the safety of our members and visitors, so we are taking the utmost precautions to ensure a smooth and gradual transition to on-site activities while also providing a number of digital options.  We pledge to continue to offer vibrant and inclusive pathways for remote participation.

Beth Israel has begun steps to slowly reopen the campus. These steps include:


Bill and Sid Rubin Preschool
We reopened our preschool summer camp on June 15. The new preschool year commenced on September 8. Detailed action plans and protocols were created covering a myriad of areas, including limited class size, staggered pick-up and drop off times, health screening and temperature checks, and increased cleaning. These plans and protocols were done in accordance with guidelines issued by the CDC, San Diego County Health, state licensing and were further vetted with medical professionals and synagogue leadership. Staff underwent training on the new measures to ensure we are delivering the best possible care for our children.

Lee and Frank Goldberg Family Religious School
In July, the Lee and Frank Goldberg Family Religious School provided a virtual camp options for children Kindergarten through 4th grade. The popular B’nai Mitzvah Boot Camp was conducted in August both virtually and on-campus. The 5781 school year begins on Sunday, September 13. We will be conducting the school virtually with some on-campus engaging small gatherings.


Shabbat Services
Currently Shabbat services will only be available via live stream. We will reassess after the High Holy Days the possibility of in person services where appropriate.

Saturday Morning Minyan and Torah Study will be held virtually online indefinitely via Zoom.

Need to download a Siddur? Click here!

High Holy Days Services
High Holy Days services will be completely virtual this year.  Click here for details.

Lifecycle and Pastoral Care
B’nai Mitzvah services restarted  in August with the clergy office providing a virtual service option or small on-site services. This will be continue indefinitely. Clergy continue to provide not only pastoral counseling but support with a birth, death or other lifecycle event.  To reserve your private time slot with Rabbi Bernstein, contact Susan Hutchison . For appointments with Rabbi Gimbel, contact Leanne Shawler.

Caring Community
Our Caring Community can also provide support and resources to those needing assistant. Contact Katey Lindley, Caring Community Director.

Adult Education and Programming
For the immediate future, programs will continue virtually, although as reopening guidelines loosen, we may offer some in-person gatherings starting in l early fall.


Visiting Beth Israel
Currently, visits to the campus are limited and require an appointment.

Mandatory Facial Coverings and Health Screening Upon Entrance
During allowed visits, face coverings are mandatory for anyone over the age of 3. Prior to entering the campus, a no-touch thermometer will be used to check temperatures and visitors will be directed to review health screening questions. Anyone who shows signs of respiratory illness, a fever of 100 or above, a cough or shortness of breath, will be asked to leave the premises immediately.  This is essential for everyone’s safety and well-being.

Hygiene and Social Distancing
Handwashing and social distancing will be regularly encouraged. Hand sanitizer stations and pumps will be placed throughout the campus.  Signage will be employed to serve as reminders on important practices during the pandemic.

Beth Israel Cleaning Practices
Beth Israel is taking the necessary precautions and being proactive when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting the places and spaces used by members and visitors. During the closure prompted by stay at home orders, we focused on deep cleaning and general maintenance needs. The synagogue is employing additional measures to ensure that high traffic areas and human touch surfaces are regularly cleaned and sanitized.

Scheduling Events at Beth Israel
Initially, only small gatherings may be allowed and only if we can abide by guidelines required. Our Operations Event Manager Mendy Strebe can work closely with you to create an event that is both festive and safe.

Contacting Beth Israel
We are here for you, despite restricted operations. Currently, where possible, we are encouraging our staff to work remotely and are staggering their schedules should they need to come on campus, but we remain committed to supporting you in any way we can.  The easiest way to contact us is via email, which can be done via our website at www.cbisd.org. You can also call 858-535-1111. If you reach the voicemail, please leave a message and one of us will get back to you as soon as possible.

California Department of Public Health Guidance for Houses of Worship May 25, 2020

Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC)

Need more information? Contact Executive Director Lesley Mills at lmills@cbisd.org.