Last Update:  June 11, 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, 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 will reopen our preschool summer camp on June 15. 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. To be redirected to the Summer Camp page, click HERE.

Lee and Frank Goldberg Religious School
In July, the Lee and Frank Goldberg Religious School will provide a virtual camp options for children Kindergarten through 4th grade. Depending on our ability to do so safely, we may conduct some on-campus options for camp as well. The popular B’nai Mitzvah Boot Camp will be conducted in August both virtually and on-campus. In the fall, we will take a similar approach when we reopen our religious school. To be redirected to the Summer Camp page, click HERE.


Shabbat Services
Through June, Friday night Shabbat services will only be available via live stream. We are planning to start recording Friday night services on the temple premises in July. In August, we are looking to allow congregants to attend these services on campus. Attendance will be limited and will require a reservation to ensure we are keeping our gathering sizes within the required guidelines. We will continue to offer services virtually for those who choose to stay home.

All services will be available via our YouTube and Facebook. Saturday Morning Minyan and Torah Study will be held virtually online indefinitely via Zoom. For worship schedule, click HERE.

Need to download a Siddur? Click here!

High Holy Days Services
We have formed a task force to plan a meaningful and powerful High Holy Day experience. We currently expect that High Holy Days will involve a hybrid of both digital and in-person worship. We are investing time, energy and resources into figuring out the best ways to engage people in the spiritual work of the season at home and in our spaces.

Lifecycle and Pastoral Care
B’nai Mitzvah services will restart in August with the clergy office providing a virtual service option or small on-site services.  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 late summer or 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 https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-places-of-worship.pdf

Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC)

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