European rabbis discuss steps to help congregations return from lockdown

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European rabbis discuss steps to help congregations return from lockdown

Zoom meeting with Conference of European Rabbis urged to 'support communities back into synagogues'

Dozens of Europe’s leading rabbis have discussed the practical steps they can take in helping congregations return to synagogues across the continent as the coronavirus lockdown began to ease in several countries.

It follows a virtual meeting of the governing body of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) which was urged to “support communities back into synagogues”.

The rabbis also discussed how best to engage new congregants participating for the first time during lockdown. There has been increased attendance across the board in online classes, events and services, with several congregations reporting up to 100 times the normal attendance.

CER president Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt said one of the major challenges facing communities was to keep engagement high when activity moves back to synagogue.

“The fundamental question revolved around how Jewish communities in Europe can adapt to a new world post-lockdown,” he said. “We have already seen several states begin to lift restrictions on the goings-on of daily lives.”

Other agenda items included the economic impact of the pandemic on religious communities and the “potential creation of a fund to support families” later this year.

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