Yom Kippur prayers permitted outdoors in Sydney

September 15, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Sydney Jewish community has been granted an exemption to observe Yom Kippur in outdoor locations around the city with the same exemption being applied to Newcastle.

Image: Chabad

The CEO and President of the JBD lead discussions seeking the exemption from the NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research.

CEO Darren Bark told J-Wire: “We have worked with rabbis, synagogues, the Rabbinical Council of NSW and other faith groups to make this happen and are extremely grateful that our community will be able to mark this solemn day during the extremely challenging circumstances we find ourselves in.

We extend our sincerest thanks to the Minister for Health Brad Hazzard.

The JBD will be liaising with rabbis on how community members can mark Yom Kippur at the approved outdoor locations.”

Prayer leaders will be able to recite prayers for a maximum period of 15 minutes at various intervals but only at the specified outdoor locations.

The NSW government has mandated that all attendees 16 years and over must be fully vaccinated (two doses). Attendees must carry their vaccination evidence and produce it on request.

Darren Bark added: “We would like to take the opportunity to remind the community of the current restrictions in place including the prohibitions on gatherings, and reiterate the importance of following any Health Orders, which remain in place and in force.

No indoor gatherings with people that you do not normally reside with are permitted – they remain illegal.

Mask wearing is compulsory in outdoor settings and people must physically distance, keeping 1.5m away from individuals not in your household.”

The NSW Police will be monitoring compliance and enforcing the COVID Public Health Orders, which remain in full force and effect.

The full conditions from NSWJBD:


For locations outside of an eruv, please contact your local rabbi for more information about your vaccination evidence.

Yom Kippur Prayers and Reflection
An exemption has been granted for prayer and reflection at specific outdoor locations, under strict conditions on Thursday, 16 September 2021 ONLY.

Prayer leaders will be able to recite prayers for a period of 15 minutes at various intervals but only at the specified outdoor locations.

All attendees 16 years and over must be fully vaccinated (two doses). Attendees must carry their vaccination evidence and produce it on request. Fully vaccinated attendees will be able to attend select locations to engage in prayers and reflection, subject to the conditions below.

All Public Health Orders remain in full force and effect.

This means:

  • You must remain within your 5km radius or Local Government Area.
  • The NSW government Public Health Order exemption mandates that all individuals over 16 years of age must be fully vaccinated (two doses) in order to participate. 
  • Attendees must carry their vaccination evidence and produce it on request. 
  • Please do not attend if you are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms or are feeling unwell, regardless of vaccination status.
  • You must wear a mask at all times, and strictly maintain social distancing.
  • Undercover and uniformed police will be at all exempt locations to strictly enforce compliance with the Health Orders and to confirm vaccination status.
  • It is essential you do not gather, mingle or congregate outside your household unit or group. Remain socially distant from all other groups or household units at all times. Your family unit or group cannot exceed 5 people aged 16 years or older.
  • If you are unable to socially distance from other groups or household units, you must return at another time when you will be able to socially distance.
  • Selected prayers will be recited for up to 15 minutes at regular intervals during the exempt time range.
  • Participants must not chant or sing but may recite prayers.
  • At the end of the selected prayers, move away from the area immediately so that others can participate.
  • At all times be mindful and considerate of others.

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