Charedi leaders: Purim celebrations must be confined to close family members

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Charedi leaders: Purim celebrations must be confined to close family members

Senior strictly-Orthodox figures write to community members urging them to avoid taking to the streets for festivities

Orthodox Jewish children dressed as clowns celebrate the festival of Purim in Stamford Hill in north London.
Orthodox Jewish children dressed as clowns celebrate the festival of Purim in Stamford Hill in north London.

Charedi leaders have told community members to avoid taking to the streets during this year’s Purim festival, in written guidance issued by senior rabbis.

Vans carrying yeshiva boys through north London streets are a familiar sight at this time of year, but the directive issued through the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations this week says 2021 will be different.

The rabbis also state that the tradition of youngsters visiting the houses of rabbis and teachers with gifts should take a back seat owing to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

A year ago, Purim celebrations were held before ministers announced lockdown measures. The social mixing led to a huge spike in Covid-19 infections throughout the Jewish community, leading to dozens of deaths.

“Last year’s large events took place before anyone was aware of how the virus would spread,” the rabbis said, adding that celebrations should be “confined to close family members only”.

Letter sent by Orthodox leaders


Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: