The United States-based Orthodox Union and Rabbinical Council of America, two organizations that make rulings influencing the lives of many modern-Orthodox American Jews, have issued new guidelines for congregants on proper health procedures and precautions, according to a press release from the organizations on Friday.
The new guidelines focus on 13 principles that are designed to guide the decisions and planning of synagogues and communities throughout the United States, providing instruction on Jewish communal matters such as prayer spacing, seating arrangements, sharing items within the synagogues, cleaning and disinfection protocols and limitations on attendance.Nevertheless, the guidelines released by the Orthodox Union note that these are early measures, and that most of its Jewish institutions are not ready to open.
"The situation continues to evolve and thus these recommendations and guidelines are formulated based solely on currently available information and advice. As always, shuls and communities must strictly follow the guidelines provided by local and national authorities, including the CDC and local health departments, " said Joshua Steinreich, a representative from the Modern Orthodox organization.
Prior to the enforcement of lockdowns throughout the United States in early April, the Orthodox Union was responsible for ensuring access to Kosher foods for Passover, saying in a statement prior to the holiday that “despite the long lines and panic shopping taking place at grocery stores around the country, there is an abundance of kosher food available for the upcoming holiday,” both in the United States and overseas.