Victorian Jewish community update

April 6, 2020 by Community Editor
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We all know someone who will be spending Pesach alone this year.

Whether they live alone, are ill or elderly – the restrictions put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, while essential to saving lives, deeply saddens us.

While we understand these measures are absolutely necessary, we acknowledge the difficulty this presents for so many as Pesach approaches.

Advice from the Victorian Government is clear:

  • Hosting visitors or guests for Pesach – including Seders, is not allowed.This is a compulsory, enforceable direction from the Victorian Government.
  • Visits to the ill or injured in hospital – while adhering to Yom Tov guidelines, must follow the rules set out here.
  • Visits to family members in aged care facilities – while adhering to Yom Tov guidelines, must follow the rules set out hereMany of our community aged care facilities have imposed additional, strict, rulesso please check directly with Jewish Care and Emmy Monash for restrictions that may be applicable.

For more information about ‘Stay at Home’ and ‘Restricted Activities’ visit the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services website here. 

As a community leader, now is the time to start bringing light into these individual’s lives:

  • Make a private list of those within your organisation who you know or suspect will spend Pesach alone
  • Check in with those people both before and during Yom Tov (adhering to guidelines
  • Try to arrange a roster to help people living alone – arrange for people who live within walking distance to check in or call them on the phone.

Advice from the Rabbinical Council of Victoria is that:

  • A welfare phone call can be made on Yom Tov in a situation were a lonely person would become severely stressed without that communication.

To be clear this is not permissible for social purposes but strictly for the vulnerable, elderly or ill person living alone who would need the phone call in order to preserve their health and wellbeing.

The call should be kept brief and be made with a shinui – with a slight difference to how you would usually make a call, during the week.

  • In-person brief visitors should knock on the door, step at least 2m away, and have a conversation to make sure they are doing okay. It is ok to leave parcels of food outside their door for them to collect. Read more on what you can do here. 

It is important that you make sure your community are well aware and understand the importance of not doing joint seders this year. As hard and difficult as this is – it’s essential to stopping the spread of this virus and protecting the lives of those most vulnerable in our community. By staying home we’re all making sure someone’s Buba or Zaida survives.

Victoria Police will be actively doing home visits and spot checks over Pesach, to ensure Victorian Government restrictions are being followed. Large fines apply for non-compliance.

Be the light in someone’s world this Pesach, and following Moses’ example, lead them to a brighter, safer future.

Chag Pesach sameach

 

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