Reopening Temple Micah: Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated 03/24/2022. Updates in bold italics.

The FAQs below describe our COVID-policies and the steps we are taking to keep everyone safe and meaningfully engaged in Temple Micah services, education programs, and community events. These policies are driven by our belief that we are all responsible for each other. We expect to review and update our policies as the research and conditions evolve.

Q: When will the Temple Micah building open?

Temple Micah is currently open for in-person services and events. Advance registration to attend in-person services, including in-person Shabbat services, is no longer regularly required, though some events may still have advanced registration for planning purposes.

Additionally, we are welcoming individuals and small groups back into the building by appointment. Machon Micah classes have resumed in person. We look forward to sharing sacred space with you!

Q: I really like to participate by Zoom. Will that continue for Shabbat services?

Temple Micah is committed to continuing to provide a robust offering of online services and other educational opportunities.

Our rabbis and staff spent an enormous amount of time and energy in developing Shabbat services using Zoom. As a result, they have provided an enriching spiritual experience, energized the congregation in new ways and brought about wide participation by geographically diverse members and non-members alike. We will build on this experience and the attendant technology as we resume in-person services.

We are exploring the best technologies and other issues to create the most “Micah-like” multi-access service experience. We are planning for a major audio/visual upgrade in the sanctuary over the coming year that will improve, among other items, our audio, which we know is inconsistent now. But just as the Zoom services took some time to fully develop and take advantage of the technology, so too will our multi-access services of the future.

Please share your thoughts and reactions to what we are creating in this new multi-access world by emailing us at

Q: Is it possible to meet with one of the rabbis in the building for a consultation?

Yes, but on an appointment-only basis. As always, email is the best way to reach the rabbis and staff to arrange meetings. For the time being, in order to limit the number of persons in the building, there will be no drop-in visiting.

Q: Will vaccines be required to enter the building?

Yes. Everyone over five must be vaccinated to enter the building. This includes obtaining boosters, as recommended by the CDC. We are asking members, staff, visitors, and guests to show proof of vaccination (copy or photo of vaccine card) when they enter Temple Micah.

Q: Will masks be required?

Given the low rates of COVID-19 cases in our area, Temple Micah will not require indoor masking for the time being. This policy change is in line with CDC guidance and was made in consultation with our medical experts. It will go into effect Friday, March 25, 2022. 

We welcome anyone who would prefer to wear a mask to continue to do so. Our vaccine mandate remains in place for those eligible (5 and up). 

We will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 cases in the DC area and will be ready to reinstate a mask mandate if conditions change.   

Q: Are we limiting the number of people who can be at Temple Micah at the same time?

While physical distancing is no longer required, we will strive to make physical distancing available for those who choose to be distanced. 

We will also make use of our outdoor space, whenever possible, and will plan our events with an eye toward avoiding overcrowding.

Q: What changes have been made in the temple to improve air quality and circulation?

Working closely with public health experts and having contracted with a leading environment health engineer, we learned that in most parts of the building, our current HVAC system meets or exceeds recommended air change rates (ACR) and that no modifications will need to be made to the HVAC system. Per their recommendation, we have added HEPA filters to the offices and the lobby to increase ventilation.

Q: What are the cleaning protocols in the building?

We are following CDC guidance and advice from our environment engineering report. Relying on that guidance, our cleaning schedule includes disinfection of the bathrooms and other “high-touch” common spaces.

Q: Will we still enjoy shared food for the oneg and kiddush?

Over the coming weeks, we will begin hosting Kiddush and Oneg outdoors and will consider moving towards meals indoors later in the spring. We will also explore ways to make communal meals safer (e.g., individual plates of food). 

Q: When should I stay home?

Anyone who is experiencing a COVID-19 symptom is advised to obtain a COVID-19 test and stay home while awaiting the results. In addition, anyone who has been notified of possible exposure and advised to quarantine should remain in quarantine until they have either obtained a negative COVID test that was taken 3-5 days following exposure, or 14 days from exposure has passed.  

Q: What will happen if someone tests positive for COVID-19 after visiting Temple Micah?

We are asking that anyone who participated in a Temple Micah event and subsequently tests positive for COVID-19 report the diagnosis to a Temple Micah staff person or officer, and/or report it by email to We will keep the person’s identity and details disclosed private, but we will notify others who were present of a positive case and encourage those in close contact with that person to be tested and quarantine according to DC guidelines.

Q: What type of guidance are we relying on to make these decisions?

We continue to rely on the expertise of medical and public health professionals; guidance from the CDC, WHO, and the DC health officials; environmental engineers; and temple leadership. Each decision we make will begin with the health and well-being of our members, staff, and visitors, and how each of our decisions enriches and sustains our community.


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