Jewish Celebrations across the U.S. amid Coronavirus Restrictions

September 28, 2020

NEW YORK — Jewish communities across the U.S. are celebrating the holiest day on their calendar within the limitations of the coronavirus, with virtual services and in-person worship with restrictions.

Chabad-Lubavitch organized a worldwide pre-Yom Kippur Yizkor event to allow lost family members to be remembered, including a memorial for 1,200 Jewish victims of COVID-19 who are listed on the Chabad.org memorial page.

Temple Emanu-El, a reform congregation in New York City, planned a wide range of virtual services for Sunday and Monday. Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson said in a statement that they were providing online services to remind the community “that we can connect to our faith and protect each other and our health at the same time.” He said, “No one should feel alone on Yom Kippur.”

In addition to virtual services, the temple planned to host limited in-person services for Kol Nidre, a Jewish prayer that signals the start of Yom Kippur. That service is open to members who are frontline workers and medical personnel, as well as those who lost a family member in the past year.

Pre-registration was required, as well as adherence to social distancing and masks.


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