United Synagogue: No relaxation in pandemic policy after PM's loosening of lockdown

'Full closure' of shuls continues, as does bar on outside minyanim


United Synagogue leaders have said there will be no change in its policy over the pandemic following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement of a tentative easing of the lockdown.

In a statement, US chief executive Steven Wilson and Rabbi Nicky Liss, chair of its rabbinic council, say there will be "no changes to synagogue operations, including, sadly, the full closure of our shul buildings.

"According to the content of the Prime Minister’s address, the relaxing of certain outdoor activities does not allow for minyanim outside.

"As guided by the Chief Rabbi, dayanim, trustees and medical professionals, our guiding principle to any changes to the current closure of all US synagogues and associated policies will be to protect life – pikuach nefesh.

"While every day that we do not open our synagogues is painful, it is essential that we follow a cautious path centred on the wellbeing of our members, rabbinate, staff and volunteers."

The US leadership would "take the necessary time to consider any future changes announced by government so that they can be carefully applied in our context. We will not be afraid to be ‘behind the curve’ in reopening."

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