Synagogues will remain shut until at least the summer under updated government advice on the pandemic.
Yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a “road map” out of lockdown, including easing of some restrictions including some outdoor activities.
Reacting to the announcement, the United Synagogue wrote to rabbis, rebbetzens and chairs saying it remains “enormously troubled” by the virus threat.
Calling the situation in care homes “tragic”, the letter said “many of us are mourning for people that we have lost in our communities, and we sense that we have a long path ahead to a new normal.”
It added “There will be no changes to synagogue operations and all our present policies remain in place, including, sadly, the full closure of our buildings”, and that “relaxing of certain outdoor activities does not allow for Minyanim outside”.
Jewish Care’s chief executive Daniel Carmel-Brown said: “We understand that the current situation is upsetting for many, but we must continue to prioritise the health and safety of everyone we care for.
When there are any changes to our policy on visitation to care homes, independent living facilities or community centres, we will let those affected know as soon as possible.”
For now, we must continue as we are.”
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: “While the Government has indicated a route-map out of lockdown, the situation remains very dangerous. We would advise everyone in the Jewish community to observe Government advice carefully. We must do everything to ensure that this awful virus does not take an even greater toll on our community and wider society than it has already.”
On Monday, Boris Johnson released a 50-page document that outlined the government’s roadmap to unlocking. It suggested in ‘step 3’ of the government’s plan, places of worship, including synagogues, may be reopened.
More than 360 British Jews are known to have died after contracting Covid-19.
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.
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 Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
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.