It’s Time for a “Corona-Compliance-Certification”

Originally published on the Times Of Israel Blog November 4th, 2020.

Corona weddings. Corona bar mitzvahs. Corona bat mitzvahs.

In less than a year, these phrases have worked their way into our lives and changed the way we plan for and participate in Jewish life-cycle events.  For me, these last 9 months have been as challenging as a pregnancy, with each month bringing its own set of bumps and changes every step of the way.

Given this new reality, I’m especially proud of the way we are managing to adapt, and at a rapid pace.  We continue to create beautiful, elegant, and memorable events amidst a roller coaster of constantly changing rules and restrictions. My clients – brides, grooms, bar mitzvah boys, bat mitzvah girls, and their families – are thrilled to be able to have their celebrations, even on a smaller scale.

An integral part of my job as an event planner is making sure my clients are happy!  They know I pay attention to every large and small detail, allowing them to enjoy their event free of stress and worries.  

Since March, I’ve produced and planned tens of events in strict accordance with the current guidelines and restrictions, putting my clients and their guests at ease.  Due to the rapid pace of changes, some events were planned in a matter of days. 

To our dismay, other events haven’t been as compliant – to say the least.

Time and again, after and despite the government announcement of strict rules about the number of people allowed at celebrations, and other guidelines, we see news reports and social media posts of police raids at events.  Equally maddening are the events that got away with no police interference, despite the blatant and obvious violations.

Both scenarios make us upset and angry.  We’re confused, we don’t know who to trust, and we don’t understand who is the overseeing body in charge of enforcing and upholding these rules.  Our government knows full well how to create a system of rules and to enforce it – when they really want to.

I say it’s time for the government to take action, and create a system for this critical industry, assuring that rules are being observed, that our health is protected and allowing the industry to open.   People want to celebrate again! 

Every kosher certified event hall and restaurant in Israel must pay for a kashrut supervisor to check on-premises that the criteria are met, and only then do they receive a certificate.

I propose that every event hall that wants to open for business should have an opportunity to earn a “certificate of corona compliance”, including a “corona supervisor” who will make sure the venue and each event upholds the current rules.

The “corona supervisor” would be responsible for updating the changing rules, available to answer questions and be the point person for inspections or checks.

This is a win-win proposal for all parties: the government gets credit for finally taking action, assigning a supervisor to every event; the participants can have peace of mind knowing their event complies with current rules; and, the event hall can safely open for business because they are “corona-kosher.”  

If all event venues were required to have a supervisor and a certificate, it would solve many problems.  Venues could take clear and decisive action that would make weddings safer for participants, less stressful for the celebrating families, and easier for the police to do their job.   And it would demonstrate the government doing their part to keep citizens safe while allowing the events industry to open.

Until the government implements this idea, I call out to my fellow event industry colleagues to take the first step in building the public’s trust in our industry once again.

Every venue, event planner, caterer, bar company, DJ, florist, photographer, etc., should provide a signed “statement of compliance” available to the public, declaring their commitment to uphold guidelines at our events. 

Let’s show the public that we care about their special events and their safety – a positive message in our new reality.