In mid-August 2020, B’nai Mitzvah services began taking place in Stern Chapel (preferred), Olan Sanctuary or outside in the courtyard with the following protocols:

B’nai Mitzvah

With parent input and medical guidance, we’ve created a flexible, safe and meaningful way to mark this milestone that’s so special to our families. Beginning mid-April 2021, services will be held indoors, outdoors or via Zoom, with a maximum attendance of 150 onsite in Stern Chapel or 230 onsite in Olan Sanctuary. All are required to observe social distancing and wear masks.

Number of Attendees

We encourage the smallest number of in-person attendees with a maximum of 150 individuals in Stern Chapel and 240 in Olan Sanctuary. The number 150 / 230 includes all family members and guests; it does not include staff or clergy.

Social Distancing

Social distancing measures will be enforced at all times while on Temple property, including in the Temple parking lot. Entry into the building for B’nai Mitzvah guests will be facilitated 10 minutes prior to the start of the service. Our staff will work with families in advance to chart out socially distanced service seating for individuals and family clusters.


Masks will be required for all attendees while on Temple property, including in the parking lot. B’nai Mitzvah students will have the option of removing their masks once they are behind the reading table, at the start of the service. Clergy will have the option to remove their masks if it interferes with their ability to lead the service. All other attendees and participants will be required to wear masks throughout the service.

Length of Service

Per our medical advisors’ recommendations, in-person B’nai Mitzvah services will be no longer than 45 minutes in order to limit exposure. Given the shortened time frame, the service will focus on the highlight of our B’nai Mitzvah worship experience, the Torah service. It will include selected liturgy, chanting of Torah and Haftarah, D’var Torah (student teaching), quiet moment of personal blessing by parents in front of the ark, and words of blessing from the clergy team. If your family would like a full-length B’nai Mitzvah service, we can accommodate this request on Zoom.


There will be no photography in the worship space prior to the beginning of the B’nai Mitzvah service. The family may have up to 15 minutes to take pictures in the worship space following the service.


Temple Emanu-El will provide a Zoom link and audio/visual support for an unlimited number of guests tuning in online.

Zoom B’nai Mitzvah

The clergy is happy to create a beautiful Zoom Bar or Bat Mitzvah service for your family, if that better meets you needs.

B’nai Mitzvah prep

This will be conducted online rather than in person.

If you have questions, do not hesitate to reach out to Cantor Leslie Niren,


Temple continues to be a source of comfort as our members experience loss. We will continue our current practice of offering graveside services in groups of up to 150. Masks are required and shiva minyanim will be held via Zoom.


150 people in Stern Chapel or 230 in Olan Sanctuary (not including clergy or staff), masked and socially distant

Baby Namings

150 people in Stern Chapel or 230 in Olan Sanctuary (not including clergy or staff), masked and socially distant