2021-2022 Update

Updated November 16, 2021

We are excited to be planning for an in-person L’Taken season for 2022! The health and safety of our participants has always been and will remain our top priority as we work to open L’Taken safely.

As we consider every aspect of our program and operation, we have created the following FAQs to answer some of the questions you may have.  We will continue to update this information as it becomes applicable as we work to welcome everyone back to Washington, D.C. this winter. This information is based on what we know today; we are committed to providing more details on December 1, 2022. And given the ever-evolving nature of the pandemic, our guidance will always be subject to change. We are deeply committed to open, ongoing, and honest communication with our congregations and event attendees.

Based on your current planning, what COVID-19 mitigation protocols will be in place at L’Taken?

Prior to the event:

  • Vaccines REQUIRED: We will require ALL participants, staff, and adults at L’Taken to be fully vaccinated. Everyone on-site for L’Taken will be required to upload their vaccination information as part of registration. You can read our full vaccination policy.
  • 72-Hour PCR Test: We will require a negative PCR test obtained within 72 hours prior to the event. We are pleased to be able to provide those tests and mail them to your congregation. Tests will need to be administered on Tuesday and shipped back on Wednesday. More information to come.  

On-Site Requirements:

  • Mask-wearing at all times throughout the event with the exception of dining, bathing, and sleeping
  • Rapid Testing On-Site: On-site rapid testing once the group arrives at the hotel on Friday
  • Transportation: Assigned bus groups
  • Dining: Tables in hotel assigned by bus groups
  • Hygiene: Encouraging hand-washing/sanitizing, and making time for more frequent hand-washing
  • Informing participants of and encouraging participants to follow best practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

We know that the best practices surrounding COVID-19 are continually changing.  We will continue to evaluate our policies and practices as the situation evolves. Our protocols and guidelines will always be subject to change based on the latest guidelines from health experts, state and local protocols, and other health authorities.

Read on for more details.

Will vaccines be required to attend L’Taken?

Yes. All participants—students and chaperones—will be required to be fully vaccinated to attend L’Taken (two weeks after the second Pfizer or Moderna shot or two weeks after single Johnson & Johnson shot). All event staff will also be required to be fully vaccinated. Each conference attendee will be asked to upload a photo of their vaccination card as part of the registration process. Please note, this is the policy for the L’Taken Social Justice Seminars but does not define policies for future URJ programs. You can read our full vaccination policy.

Will masking be required at L’Taken?

Masks will be required indoors except when dining, bathing, and in hotel sleeping rooms.

Will COVID-19 testing be required to attend L’Taken?

We know that the best practices surrounding COVID-19 are continually changing.  We will continue to evaluate our policies and practices as the situation evolves. A prior 72-hour negative PCR test will be required in order to participate in L’Taken. We will also be administering and will require a negative on-site rapid test upon arrival at the program.

For attendees who are traveling to Washington, DC, especially by plane, we strongly encourage you to self-administer a Binax Now Rapid Antigen Test (available without a prescription at most pharmacies) at home prior to travel. Even though there will be rapid testing performed upon arrival, we don’t want anyone to travel to DC to then learn they may be asymptomatic positive, and then have to quarantine upon arrival.

If any attendee has tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of the event, they will need a letter from their doctor acknowledging this, which will make the attendee exempt from rapid testing.

We know that the best practices surrounding COVID-19 are continually changing. We will continue to evaluate our policies and practices as the situation evolves. Our protocols and guidelines will always be subject to change based on the latest guidelines from health experts, state and local protocols, and other health authorities.

What can I expect from the L’Taken program? What might look different about the L’Taken program?

The RAC works tirelessly to create a fun, meaningful, well-organized and impactful program with health and safety always our top priority (you’ve seen us out there in our traffic vests!).

Below is an overview of our current planning of the L’Taken program:

  • Updated registration process to include on-site rapid testing upon arrival
  • General session/plenary sessions fully masked
  • Assigned tables in the hotel dining space by bus groups
  • Informing participants of and encouraging participants to follow best practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 including reminders about mask-wearing and hand-washing at the start of programs
  • We are planning to keep the L’Taken schedule largely the same
  • Programs will run in break-out rooms, fully masked
  • Off-sites
    • We do not anticipate being able to visit the Holocaust Museum as the museum has ceased its group ticketing since the start of the pandemic
    • Instead, Saturday and Sunday’s off-sites will both include trips to the National Mall/Smithsonian museums
    • We anticipate eating in Georgetown and Pentagon Row, and are exploring alternatives
  • Lobby Day
    • We are currently considering contingency plans if we are unable to lobby Members of Congress in-person in their offices.

The RAC will continue to determine possible programmatic changes, adjustments and modifications as a result of the changing dynamics of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including responding to revised CDC guidance and local restrictions.

What happens if the RAC/URJ cancels L’Taken due to COVID-19?

We will remain nimble and responsive to ever-evolving state and local standards and protocols and will adapt accordingly.  If, however, the Religious Action Center is unable or elects not to run the program due to government regulations or if the RAC chooses not to open at its own discretion, you will receive a full program fee refund, including the deposit, without penalty. 

What happens if a family registers and then decides to cancel because they are no longer comfortable sending their student?

We encourage all groups to offer their families the opportunity to purchase trip insurance in order to protect their investment. The URJ’s preferred vendor is TravMark (learn more here). In the event that L’Taken is running but a family chooses to cancel, our normal cancellation policies will apply.

What happens if L’Taken is running but our congregation/delegation decides we no longer feel comfortable bringing our students?

We understand these are uncertain times. The health and safety of our L’Taken participants is our top priority. We are committed to being responsive to ever-evolving standards and protocols and will be as transparent as possible as our plans continue to take shape. In the event that L’Taken is running but a delegation chooses to cancel due to COVID concerns, our normal cancellation policies will apply. We are here to support each congregation/delegation as they make the best decisions for their group, and we are always available to discuss the options available.

We are making every attempt to be as flexible as possible so you, our L’Taken congregations/delegations, can do informed planning. Please reach out with any questions.

All cancellations must be sent via email to LTaken@rac.org. Cancellations will be honored by the date and time the email is received.

What is the role of our delegation’s chaperones?

As usual, we require each delegation to bring at least one chaperone for every 9 students. The role of the chaperones at L’Taken this year will be the same as it always is: overseeing the well-being and safety of your participants and directly supervising them.

Because of the uncertainties COVID-19 creates, you might consider bringing an additional chaperone for your group. As you know, our weekends are currently fully booked but please email ltaken@rac.org to request an additional spot for an additional chaperone. We will do our best to accommodate these requests. If you wish to bring an additional chaperone to respond to the elevated nature of COVID-19, but cost is a barrier for doing so, please also reach out to ltaken@rac.org and we will make every effort to accommodate you.

What happens if a teen has a positive rapid COVID test onsite?

The RAC staff will facilitate a PCR test, communicate with the family, and the student will quarantine.

What happens if a teen or chaperon onsite has a positive PCR test? 

  • Teen: The RAC staff in coordination with the delegation chaperone will communicate with the parent/guardian of a participant who is required to enter quarantine for a positive COVID-19 test. A parent, guardian, or other adult (with parent permission) will join the participant at the L’Taken hotel. The RAC will provide – at no additional cost –meals for quarantined participants while awaiting the arrival of the parent, guardian, or other adult within 24 hours. All additional costs including but not limited to hotel and travel are the responsibility of the parent/guardian. The RAC staff is available for logistical assistance and guidance, the participant is deemed to be no longer on a L’Taken program upon the arrival of the parent/guardian or other adult at the hotel.

  • Chaperone: The adult chaperone is required to enter quarantine for a positive COVID-19 test. A personal friend/family member may come to assist with quarantine. The RAC will provide – at no additional cost –meals for quarantined participant while awaiting the arrival of the personal friend/family member. All additional costs including but not limited to hotel and travel are the responsibility of the adult chaperone. While the RAC staff is available for logistical assistance and guidance, the individual is deemed to be no longer on a L’Taken program at the time of the originally scheduled day of departure from the program.

Will there be additional requirements for L’Taken congregations, and roles for chaperones given the COVID-19 environment?

Our response to COVID-19 will fall under our health and safety protocols. The role of the chaperone will ultimately be the same as it has always been-- overseeing the health and safety of your participants and directly supervising them. As guidelines and protocols evolve, we will continue to update you.

How do you decide what guidelines are needed to keep L’Taken safe?

An experienced team of URJ staff is overseeing the development of health and safety guidance for URJ programs. They work with our Medical Advisory Team who have expertise and specialization in public health and infectious diseases. These teams are working closely with the RAC L’Taken staff to develop guidelines and protocols appropriate for the L’Taken program.