The Talmud teaches that health issues demand greater diligence than any other halakhic issue, and we must do whatever is necessary to keep everyone healthy. This is truly a sacred responsibility. COVID-19 is potentially a serious health issue, especially for older people and those with pre-existing health conditions.
It is important for us to know if anyone in our community is a candidate for self-quarantine. If the following pertains to you or a member of your family, please contact Rabbi Leener at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line COVID 19. We will then work with the family concerned and with the NYC Department of Health to make the most informed decisions for PHS. If any of the following apply to you, please reach out:
Those who traveled to any of the at-risk CDC-designated countries (China, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Japan) and are exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus.
Additionally, I ask that if anyone has symptoms of illness, including fever, coughing, stomach bug, or any other sickness, please DO NOT come to shul, during the week, Shabbat, or Purim. Please err on the side of caution.
This is true even:
If you are a mourner saying Kaddish. Please ask someone else who is attending minyan to say it on your behalf.
This Shabbat of Parashat Zachor when we have a Torah obligation to hear the reading. If you cannot hear Parashat Zachor in shul this Shabbat, you can still fulfill the mitzvah of Zachor when we read the very same passage on Parashat Ki Teztei or from the Torah reading on Purim.
Over Purim, when we have an obligation to hear the Megillah, one can fulfill their obligation by reading it at home without a minyan in a circumstance like this. We also will live-stream both readings.
Finally, please be mindful of physical contact with other members at shul and continually wash your hands.
I look forward to celebrating Shabbat and Purim together in the days ahead. May this Shabbat be a time of great healing for the world,
Dear PHS Family,
We are closely monitoring information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health, and the New York City Department of Health. Our planning and decision making regarding COVID-19 will be based on information from these and other reliable sources to ensure that we follow the best available practices in safeguarding our community. At this time, we are not aware of any suspected cases of coronavirus in the PHS community.
As you may have heard, SAR Academy, SAR High School, Yeshiva University and Congregation Young Israel of New Rochelle have temporarily closed due to potential COVID-19 exposure connected to a family that tested positive. State and local health officials guided these organizations to take these precautions in an effort to reduce transmission of the virus. Other Jewish schools and programs that closed did so without governmental direction and out of an abundance of caution due to overlapping communal affiliations.
As always, our highest priority is to ensure the physical, emotional and spiritual health of our congregation. We will continue to vigilantly uphold best practices -- including making soap and/or hand sanitizer available -- to ensure we are taking all steps and sharing all pertinent information in order to focus on the health of the community.
Official recommendations may change over the coming weeks, yet we expect the following, basic guidelines to remain constant, as they are known to reduce the spread of most flu-like symptoms:
● Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (sing happy birthday twice).
● Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve.
● Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
● Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
For more information about COVID-19, please consult the CDC website. For more information regarding NYC’s Preparedness and Recommendations see here:
For the time being, we are pleased that we can continue to meet as a community and are grateful for the opportunity to serve the PHS community. We appreciate the trust you place in us. Please let us know if you have any questions by contacting email@example.com.