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COVID-19 Policy

The health of your family and our greater Temple Israel family is our top priority.
As the state of COVID-19 is ever-changing, Temple Israel remains both flexible and proactive in determining a safe and effective roadmap that reflects the high standard we practice every single day at Temple. Please refer to this page for the most up-to-date policy.


We have implemented the following measures, campus-wide, to ensure our congregational family’s health and safety:

Update as of March 28, 2022

As a result of decreased COVID-19 case numbers and transmission rates in Shelby County, Temple Israel has decided to become mask-optional across all campuses for Temple staff, visitors, worshipers, as well as BKL ELC, WAF/RS, and TI CHAI students and parents effective Monday, March 28.

Through this transition, we are committed to ensuring a safe and respectful environment for all. Each person should choose what is most comfortable for themselves and their family, knowing that they have the full support of Temple. Masks will continue to be available to our staff and community.

Visitors and vendors are welcome by appointment and must sign in at the Welcome Center or at the President’s Hallway entrance.

The Temple Israel Judaica Shop is open on Tuesday and Thursday 1-4 PM, Wednesday 11 AM – 2 PM, and Sunday 9:30 AM -1 PM. Please call the front desk at 901.761.3130 to confirm the Gift Shop is open on Sunday.


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Barbara K. Lipman Early Learning Center

*Negative test references PCR tests or rapid antigen tests done in office.

Updates as March 18, 2022

  • If multiple students in the same classroom test positive for COVID-19, temporary mandatory masking may resume in that classroom.
  • The requirement to test following exposure will be handled on a case-by-case basis by ELC admin. 
  • Children in unmasked rooms will no longer be automatically excluded from school following an on-campus exposure. Symptom onset and confirmed exposure will require exclusion.
Home Partnership
  • Every morning before coming to school, parents should take their child’s temperature, check for COVID-19 symptoms, and record outcomes.
  • Every morning before coming to school, parents should check for Covid-19 symptoms. A student may not have Tylenol, Advil, or other fever-reducing medication before school. 
  • Update parent contact information throughout the school year as changes occur.
  • Before the start of school, establish child care decisions for ill children or in case of intermittent school closures due to COVID-19.
  • Parents should pick up their child within 60 minutes of receiving a call from the ELC if they become ill at school. The child will be placed in supervised isolation until picked up. Please have a plan in place if it is not feasible for either parent to get to the ELC within 60 minutes.
  • If any household contact (regardless of vaccination status) has pending test results due to possible exposure or new onset of symptoms, the child should stay home until a confirmed negative result is received.
  • Families must notify the ELC of travel (only of children attending the ELC). Depending on the situation, these children may be required to quarantine for up to 7 days. Each situation will be handled on a case-by-case basis. 
  • The ELC must be notified of any positive cases within the household of an ELC child. This includes vaccinated individuals.
Face Coverings

Please have a bag of masks at school for use in large group settings. An appropriate face covering is tight-fitting and layered. Your child’s mask should not be gaping on the sides or need many accommodations (tied ear loops, extra clips) to fit their face. If your child is wearing a mask that does not fit them appropriately, we will swap it out for a disposable mask for the safety of all children.

  • Any child in distress or uncomfortable while wearing their face-covering will be taken to a safe area for an individual face-covering break.
Class Sizes and Policies

The ELC will be following current recommendations for limiting group sizes as much as possible. We will also be doing our best to limit Contact Tracing by minimizing large group events.

  • In keeping with previous ELC protocols, all student meals will be brought from home. No milk or late evening snacks will be provided for aftercare students by the ELC. Reminder- all classrooms are free of nuts, shellfish, and pork products.
  • Classrooms are well ventilated, and classes utilize outside time as much as possible to help mitigate the spread of germs.
  • Happy Nappi or sheets and blankets can be brought to school. All nap items will be sent home on Friday for washing.
  • Please do not send personal items to school unless necessary.
  • To limit contract tracing, classes will only mix with one other class during the 9 AM – 4 PM school day (in most cases, the class of the same age group). Early-care and after-care students (7:15-9 AM and 4:15-6 PM) may blend with two other age groups, but class sizes will not increase during these times.
Presumptive COVID-19 Case

You will be notified via email of a presumptive case and provided recommendations for testing/watching for symptoms. We will not, under any circumstances, release the name of the ill student or staff member.

  • The requirement to test following exposure will be handled on a case-by-case basis by ELC admin. 
  • Children in unmasked rooms will no longer be automatically excluded from school following an on-campus exposure. Symptom onset and confirmed exposure will require exclusion.
  • If your child is named as a close contact either within the school, or due to an outside or home exposure, the requirement to test following exposure will be handled on a case-by-case basis by ELC admin.
  • You will be notified via email of a presumptive case within your child’s classroom and provided recommendations for testing/watching for symptoms. We will not, under any circumstances, release the name of the ill student or staff member. 
  • If the presumptive case is confirmed as negative- the classroom will reopen, and care will resume.
  • If the presumptive case is confirmed as positive, the class will follow closure guidelines as outlined below.
Confirmed COVID-19 Case

The Shelby County Health Department has the final say on the extent and length of all COVID-related closures. You will be notified via email of a confirmed case and provided recommendations for testing/watching for symptoms. We will not, under any circumstances, release the name of the ill student or staff member.

If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case in your child’s classroom:

  • If multiple students in the same classroom test positive for COVID-19, temporary mandatory masking may resume in that classroom.
  • If your child has a positive household contact, the child should test on day 7 (beginning from the positive individual’s first day of symptoms or positive test). The child can return to school after day 7 with a negative test result.
  • If the positive case identified on campus is an ELC staff member, no classrooms will be closed. This change is due to transmission levels from teacher-student and KN95 mask requirements for teachers.
  •  Any child who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days will be exempt from “close contact’ guidelines and be permitted to attend school providing ELC staffing can support their attendance.
Confirmed COVID-19 Case – Isolation Guidance

If an ELC child has a confirmed positive test, the isolation guidelines will be as follows:

  • Fully-Masked Classroom Positive Case – Starboard, Pre-K, Jr. K, Kindergarten
    • Isolation time for the positive child will be 7 days. On the 7th day, if symptoms have improved, and your child has been fever-free for 24 hours, they may return to school. As our policy states, your child must be in a tight-fitting mask upon return.
  • Unmasked/Partially-Masked Positive Case – Ketanim, Alef, Bet, Gimmel
    • Isolation time for the positive child will be 10 days. Your child will be eligible to return to school on day 11 if symptoms have improved and your child has been fever-free for 24 hours.
According to the CDC, close contacts should:
  • Quarantine for 5 days, test on day 5 if possible.
  • Continue to wear a mask for an additional 5 days, even at home.
  • Return to school on day 6 with a negative PCR test or on day 10 without a test.
Cleaning 
  • There will be an increase in the frequency of cleaning surfaces within the classrooms and across campus. 
  • Staff will have additional cleaning schedules in order to help mitigate the spread of any germs and bacteria.
  • Buggies, strollers, high chairs, and chairs will be cleaned after each use
  • Playground sanitization will occur daily, handwashing procedures will also take place before and after playground use.
  • Teachers will be required to clean toys during nap time.
Symptom Protocol
  • Sick children should stay at home until they are all better. If a child is sent home from school with symptoms similar to COVID, they may be required to be seen by a doctor or show proof of a negative test before returning to school. 
  • Symptoms that may require a doctor’s visit or negative test include; new or worsening cough, congestion, sore throat, or fever (over 101°F). 
  • Each day, the ELC will conduct a symptom check before 10 AM. If your child is exhibiting symptoms or not themselves, you will be contacted by the front desk as a courtesy. This message will inform you that your child is displaying symptoms and if they are unable to participate normally in the school day, or symptoms worsen you will be contacted by phone and your child will need to be picked up from school within 1 hour.
  • Children should not attend school if any household contact is awaiting pending test results as a result of exposure or onset of symptoms.

As a reminder, the BKL ELC should be notified of any changes to symptoms or exposure during drop-off or via phone/email if your child is not attending school.

Any confidential health information should be shared directly with Jamie Katz, jamiek@timemphis.org, or Sarah Keith, sarahk@timemphis.org.

WAF/RS (Grades K-7) & TI CHAI (Grades 8-12)

*Update as of March 28, 2022

As a result of decreased COVID-19 case numbers and transmission rates in Shelby County, Temple Israel has decided to become mask-optional across all campuses for Temple staff, visitors, worshipers, as well as BKL ELC, WAF/RS, and TI CHAI students and parents effective Monday, March 28.

Through this transition, we are committed to ensuring a safe and respectful environment for all. Each person should choose what is most comfortable for themselves and their family, knowing that they have the full support of Temple.


Following a positive PCR or rapid test, that individual should remain absent from WAF/RS or TI CHAI during their 5 day quarantine period or until symptoms are gone. For the following 5 days, the student should wear a mask to Religious School.

We will communicate to the appropriate groups within 24 hours when there is a positive PCR result of a student that has attended Religious School within the contagious window.

If you are a close contact,

  • and you are not up to date on your vaccinations, you need to isolate for 5 days, wear a mask for the following 5 days.
  • and you are vaccinated, you do not need to isolate but should wear a mask for 10 days.

Plans for absence should be sent to Sophie Weiss or Rabbi Jeremy Simons.

In the circumstance of a positive rapid test,

  • Please let us know.
  • We will wait for a follow-up PCR test to confirm positivity and send communications accordingly. Following a positive PCR or rapid test, that individual should follow the guidelines above.

Quarantine options regardless of your vaccination status:

  • Quarantine for 5 days. If you have no symptoms, return on or after day 5. Mask for the following 5 days.

As a reminder:

  • All WAF/RS, TI CHAI, and Hebrew School teachers and madrichim are given rapid tests in the morning before students arrive.

For purposes of this Policy:
reference to “Temple Israel” includes its locations on East Massey Road, Crosstown, and the Cemetery;
reference to “COVID” means COVID-19 and any variant thereof;
reference to COVID “vaccines” or “vaccinations” includes all available boosters that may be approved and/or recommended by the appropriate authorities; and
reference to “masks” means surgical-style masks and does not include “sports gators.”
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