On closing places of worship – a statement from Masorti Judaism

Jewish culture By Masorti Judaism 02nd Nov 2020

As of Thursday 5 November, all Masorti synagogues will be suspending in-person services in line with the new national Covid-19 restrictions. For more information go to www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november.

Shutting down our synagogues is painful for all of us, especially at a time of crisis when we need community and spiritual sustenance more than ever. However, we believe this is the right thing to do, for two important reasons.

First, it is required by the Judaism’s highest value – pikuah nefesh, the saving of life. This overrides all other considerations.

Second, while very few outbreaks have been associated with places of worship, closing our synagogues marks our community’s solidarity with the rest of society. We can only stop the virus if everyone genuinely feels that we’re all in this together.

Masorti Judaism will be doing everything in our power to contribute to wider society and to support our communities, members and young people through this difficult time. We look forward to seeing each other face-to-face as soon as possible.

Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi
Matt Plen, Chief Executive

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