COVID-19 Guidelines for Chevros Kadisha
March 13, 2020
Coronavirus: Guidance for Shuls and Communities
March 13, 2020

Coronavirus: Shul Guidelines / RCA Convention Update

March 12, 2020 – In response to the continuing evolution of the Coronavirus pandemic, we are in working with the OU to formulate lowest common denominator standards for our diverse communities. Until those guidelines are available, please consider, among other things, the following:

  • Be in close contact with your local public health agency and rely (minimally) on their recommendations and guidance.
  • Discourage congregants who are symptomatic or not feeling well from coming to shul.
  • Encourage appropriate hand washing.
  • Provide hand sanitizers and tissues.
  • If your shul is open, create low density, safe spaces for davening.
  • Discontinue all food services.
  • Consider carefully the nature of youth activities.
  • Consider setting up a check point run by health care professionals at the entrances of the shul to screen congregants for fevers and symptoms.

And don’t forget the pastoral:

  • Be aware of the impact of the virus and changed circumstances are impacting the members of your community.
  • Make sure the elderly and infirm have food, medicines and supplies, and people reach out to them regularly to prevent isolation, loneliness and depression.
  • Encourage tefillah. Use technology (telephone and video) to create community by hosting sessions for communal tehillim and divrei chizzuk.
  • Deliver shiurim and lectures over telephone and video conferencing.
  • Be aware that victims of Domestic Violence may be quarantined with an abuser. JCADA has a helpline, available during business hours, to anyone who needs help, or wants to help a friend. 877-88-JCADA.

RCA Convention

With the 2020 RCA Convention just two months away, we want to assure you that we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely. As of now, we plan to hold the convention as scheduled. We are still encouraging you to keep the date on your calendar and to register if you have not done so already. We will continue to monitor the situation and will make decisions as necessary. (Full refunds if we need to cancel.)

Public health decisions continue to evolve and the landscape will continue to change in the upcoming weeks. We recognize that many of you will need to be mindful of travel restrictions and need to consider the impact of being away from your communities. Our first responsibility is to health, safety, and well-being.

We will continue to be in touch as developments unfold.

Thank you for your continued vigilance in safeguarding the health of our communities and praying for the welfare of those impacted by this public health crisis. 

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