NSW: all shules almost certainly to be closed

March 18, 2020 by J-Wire Staff
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The Sydney Beth Din has recommended that all “minyanim in all synagogues be suspended from now until further notice” but Melbourne it will be case by case.

The Secretary of the Rabbinical Council of NSW Rabbi Chaim Ingram told J-Wire that “almost certainly all shuls will close until further notice”

The Beth Din quotes the difficulty of controlling numbers and turning away the elderly in the attempt to stopping the spread Coronavirus.

Meanwhile in Melbourne, The Melbourne Beth Din and the Rabbinical Council have stated that every shul minyan and shtiebl will make their own decisions regarding ongoing minyanim and services.

They have recommended that no service should exceed 2 hours and that social distancing (at least 1.5m) between people be maintained.

As well as personal hygiene, there should be no kissing or unnecessary direct touching of the Torahs or mezuzahs.

They have advised that the elderly should not go to shule and anyone with medical conditions, especially over the age

of 65, should ask their general practitioner if it is advisable to attend.

Shule kiddushim should be cancelled until further notice and social functions should be avoided.

The rabbis state that it is preferable at this time to participate in shiurim online, however, those attending Shiurim should maintain a safe distance between themselves (1.5m) and others and take all the other necessary precautions as with davening.

Brit Milah should continue as normal but the celebration should comply with health and safety regulations and take into consideration all the information provided above.

Simchas should be as small as possible, ideally limited to close family, with all the correct precautions taken but family members or friends from overseas should not attend the simcha until their 14-day quarantine period is completed.

They said: “For those in distress, we, your rabbis are here to assist and support you. We also call on each shule to establish a shule chesed committee to provide help to those in need. This will include support for our aged and vulnerable community members who will be increasingly advised to stay at home in isolation as the number of community cases increases.”

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