United Synagogue: 'We'll support shuls to remain open during lockdown'

US says no one should feel pressured to attend a minyan. And it will also back shuls which decide to close


With places of worship in England allowed to continue collective prayer under the latest lockdown announced by Boris Johnson on Monday night, the United Synagogue has said it will support its shuls that wish to remain open.

In a statement issued within hours of the Prime Minister’s televised address, US chief executive Steven Wilson said: “We will continue to support our synagogues which have chosen to remain open and will be introducing further measures to keep our communities safe, particularly when attendances are higher.

“Shuls which were planning to hold services tomorrow can continue to do so, while of course ensuring all government and United Synagogue guidance is adhered to. As we have said before, nobody should feel pressured into attending a minyan. We will also continue to support our communities who have chosen to close, and those now thinking of closing.”

The JC reported last week that 60 per cent of US shuls had already decided to cease services.

Dr Wilson added that the US would continue to offer daily online davening on weekdays on its Facebook page, “in addition to the popular Kabbalat Shabbat series”.

It would also maintain its Kaddish Pairing Project “to ensure those unable to attend a minyan can have kaddish said in memory of a loved one”.

In the Scottish lockdown announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, places of worship will close.

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