Coronavirus crisis: Shuls advised on how to offer a safe kiddush

United Synagogue issues new guidance; Liberal Judaism warns of the impact of outbreak on the isolated



Shuls are being told it is not essential to hold kiddushim as communal organisations strive to minimise the coronavirus risks.

In new guidance from the United Synagogue, chief executive Steven Wilson has suggested that some congregations might choose not to provide a kiddush “to avoid the potential threat of infection”.

If they do offer one, they should avoid putting out food in shared bowls or plates, instead offering individual portions on plates or in bowls, or wrapped food in party bags.

Alternatively, they can ensure that every item on a table is served with a cocktail stick, or with its own utensils.

With regard to visits to members at home or in hospital, Mr Wilson suggested making contact in advance to ensure the person, their family and the hospital were happy for the visit to take place. “If you are not able to visit, provide as much support as you can during the call and check if the person needs telephone support only – or whether they have practical issues such as food or medicine.”

A message to Liberal Judaism communities from director of strategy Rabbi Charley Baginsky expresses concern at the impact “isolation will have on our society, however necessary it may be – and particularly on those who are elderly and vulnerable.

“We have a collective responsibility to think about those in our community who might need us – and might feel worried and alone more than ever now.

“Use this opportunity to pick up the phone. Better still a video call. Arrange WhatsApp groups and virtual coffee mornings.”

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