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World Synagogue Organization: ‘Open synagogues with Green Passport plan’

The World Organization of Orthodox Synagogues and Communities warned of increased activity in synagogues, calling on the Israeli government to allow synagogues to immediately reopen, using the Green Passport plan, Israel Hayom reported.

Under the plan, only those who have been vaccinated will be allowed to pray in enclosed spaces.

In their warning, the organization noted the growing number of vaccinated individuals, as well as the deterioration of the public’s adherence to basic health precautions.

Although Israel officially ended its lockdown on Sunday morning, synagogues have not yet been allowed to reopen. Gatherings in enclosed spaces remain limited to five people, while those in open areas are limited to ten people. As a result, many illegal prayer gatherings have been held around the country.

“Unfortunately, we see a flow of worshipers praying in enclosed spaces – even those who do not have Green Passports,” the organization said. “We are concerned that this trend will gain strength and endanger the health of many people.”

“Worshipers must keep the regulations and receive the vaccine immediately, as all the experts recommend. This is an obligation stemming both from ethics and based in Jewish law.”

The organization also called on decision makers to immediately and safely reopen synagogues, in accordance with the Health Ministry plan, in order to allow safe prayer and prevent the trend of illegal prayer gatherings in enclosed spaces from further taking hold.

According to the proposed plan, entry to synagogues would be dependent on presentation of a Green Passport, available only to those who are at least one week after their second dose of the vaccine, those who have confirmation that they recovered from coronavirus, and those who tested negative for the disease within 72 hours of arriving at the synagogue.

The plan also limits the number of people in the synagogue to a number which will be determined by experts, in order to allow appropriate spacing between worshipers who are not of the same household.

Synagogue attendees will also be required to wear masks and wash their hands. The person in charge of enforcing the coronavirus regulations in the synagogue will also be in charge of ensuring that only those with Green Passports enter. Those who do not have a Green Passport will continue to pray in open areas, while adhering to all the existing regulations.

Source: Arutz Sheva