Shuls told to consider holding services outdoors as lockdown eases
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Shuls told to consider holding services outdoors as lockdown eases

United Synagogue has given fresh guidance to shuls which suggests holding services outdoors on site when the weather allows

Mill Hill United synagogue under Covid restrictions, including social distancing and masks (Credit: Marc Morris)
Mill Hill United synagogue under Covid restrictions, including social distancing and masks (Credit: Marc Morris)

Fresh guidance has been issued to United Synagogue shuls as lockdown eases, which urges communities to consider holding services outdoors.

The extensive advice recommends the clinically vulnerable to exercise their own judgement on whether to attend services, and urges shul-goers to get a vaccine when offered.

Children are especially encouraged to attend, as long as parents can guarantee that they are able to stay in one place.

“Following a winter during which many of our shuls closed their doors, we look forward to gathering again as communities to daven, learn, volunteer, mark significant events and enjoy being in the company of each other,” states the guidance, which has been signed off by the Chief Rabbi and London Beth Din.

Visors will not be considered an acceptable alternative to masks, it states, while those handling ritual items are being told to make sure they sanitise their hands when doing so.

It adds that alongside the Government’s guidance, singing should not take place in doors unless from a permitted service leader or choir member.

The updated guidance to communities comes after United Synagogue unveiled its ‘roadmap’ for the resumption of many in-person services last month.

In line with the government’s lockdown easing plans, from no earlier than 17 May, Rabbinic hospitality could be permitted again, limited to six people or two households, with a weddings limit of 30 people.

No earlier than June 21 – the date the government is targeting for the end of all social distancing restrictions – it is possible that kiddush will be permitted again indoors and communal meals could restart under the plans.

Help perform the greatest mitzvah: save a life

While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.

That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.

We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.

Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”

read more:
comments