Orthodox Jewish Leaders Unite Against Coronavirus & Other Orthodox Jews in the News

Orthodox Jewish Leaders Unite Against the Coronavirus
Leaders at six top Orthodox Jewish organizations jointly urged their members to heed social distancing rules designed to fight the Coronavirus, a show of unity that underscores the importance of behavioral changes that amount to a massive upheaval in their communities. While limits on gathering during the pandemic have required sacrifices for all Americans, Orthodox Jewish communities face unique challenges in constraining practices built around social engagement, including multiple daily group prayers.

Synagogues Are Closed, But L.A.’s Jews Find Unity During Coronavirus Crisis
“The obligation to look after the needs of others and not just one’s own needs is a constant,” says LA’s Rabbi Kanefsky. For sisters Kayla Newman, 19, and Leeat Hatzav, 20, that sense of responsibility meant creating Shopping Helpers L.A., the WhatsApp group used by Moji and others to deliver supplies to people who are uncomfortable going shopping because they may be sick or more vulnerable to adverse effects of the virus.

Extremist Groups Encourage Members to Spread Coronavirus to Police, Jews: FBI Alert
Extremist groups, including neo-Nazis and other white supremacist groups, have encouraged members to spread COVID-19 to police officers and Jews, according to an FBI report obtained by ABC News. “Members of extremist groups are encouraging one another to spread the virus, if contracted, through bodily fluids and personal interactions,” according to the alert issued by the FBI’s New York office Thursday.

Coronavirus is a Zionist Plot Say Turkish World Leaders
The coronavirus is a Zionist plot spread by Jews to decrease the world population, some members of Turkey’s press and public have said, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute. MEMRI, which specializes in translating Middle Eastern media into English, has uncovered a number of incidences of Turks blaming the coronavirus epidemic on Jews and Zionism.

Orthodox Jewish Leaders: Coronavirus Rules Take Priority Over Cultural, Religious Practices
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz will not mince words when it comes to balancing coronavirus protection measures and practicing Orthodox Judaism. “I keep hearing that there are folks who are not taking the coronavirus seriously enough,” he tweeted. “THIS IS MADNESS!!! We stay home & avoid gatherings OF ANY KIND. This is Pikuach Nefesh (life-threatening danger) of the highest order!!!”

Teva to Send US Millions of Malaria Pills With Potential to Help COVID-19
Israeli generic drug giant Teva announced Friday that it will provide ten million doses of its anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which could potentially prove effective in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, to US hospitals free of charge. The company said six million doses will be delivered to US hospitals by March 31, and more than ten million in a month.

Saying Kaddish From Balconies and Fasting: How Hasidic Jews Are Responding to the Coronavirus
Instead of praying in synagogue, Webb stuck his head out a window to hear the Mourner’s Kaddish, shouting “amen” as the prayer echoed down the streets of the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights. And instead of his Sunday morning lesson at the synagogue, Webb tuned in via video chat as his kids played nearby.

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