Social distancing guidelines have made Jewish prayer with a minyan, the traditional quorum of 10 men, nearly impossible. Praying in a synagogue during this period is forbidden in Israel and many places throughout the world, posing significant challenges to dedicated minyan attendees.
A group that is especially challenged is that of people who are in mourning. Jewish law dictates that mourners say kaddish - the mourner’s prayer - in a minyan for 11 months after the deceased is buried.
Many rabbis have ruled that praying in a virtual minyan online is an acceptable option under the current crisis. As a community service, The Jerusalem Post has organized some of the options available for easy access. Nearly all of the options listed are run through the Zoom video-conferencing app.
In North America, a site called virtualminyanim.com lists more than 40 different prayer options at different times and in different time zones.
In Israel, the Yachad liberal Orthodox synagogue in Tel Aviv has begun holding virtual prayer services over the Zoom. That can be accessed at https://zoom.us/j/392972668. The morning prayer is held at 7:30 a.m., followed by a Daf Yomi Talmud lesson at 8:00 a.m., and a children’s prayer service at 8:30 a.m. Evening prayers are at 8:00 p.m., followed immediately by a Torah study lesson.
Radio Kol Barama (92.1, 104.3, or 105.7) is broadcasting prayers at 7:30 am (starting with Yishtabach), 2:15 p.m., and 8:45 p.m.. While technically, the listener isn’t participating with the quorum, the sense of connection to the congregation is also valuable.
The Mitzpe Nevo Synagogue in Maale Adumim hosts prayer services at https://zoom.us/my/mizpenevo at 8 a.m. (starting with Yishtabach), 6 p.m., and 7:30 p.m..https://zoom.us/j/321234664, and Mincha / Maariv at 6:55 p.m. at https://us04web.zoom.us/j/71726178240. Congregation Shirat David in Efrat, led by Rabbi Shlomo Katz, has 8 a.m. Shacharit at