Prayers Outside, but No More Zoom: U.S. Synagogues Prepare for Another COVID Holiday Season

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After virtual and locked-down Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services last year, synagogues across the United States began this summer preparing for a joyous return to in-person worship as the High Holy Days approached. 

“As recently as July, we were full of hope that we could worship safely because of the COVID vaccine,” said Claudia Kreiman, senior rabbi of Temple Beth Zion in Brookline, Massachusetts. With such a high percentage of her congregation vaccinated, she imagined that the High Holy Day services “would be such a communal celebration of life – where we could look back at this difficult year and say: ‘We did it!’”

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