2020-3-26 Vaad Statement PDF available to view.

Rosh Chodesh Nissan, 5780

March 26, 2020

To the Detroit Jewish Community,

As our community deals with the developing COVID-19 situation, we must adjust to this new reality, and prepare to live our lives following essential guidelines. There are many confirmed cases in every neighborhood in our community. People’s lives are in danger, and each of us is halachically obligated to protect ourselves, our family, and our community.

As the Yom Tov of Pesach approaches, it is crucial for the community to adhere to strict guidelines of social distancing. As directed in a joint statement from major organizations across the Orthodox spectrum, travel to other cities must be cancelled, whether to vacation venues (Florida, etc.) or to family. Everyone must plan to celebrate Pesach where they are currently.

Nobody in our community should host out of town guests. Unfortunately, this means that even married children, parents and grandparents, or anyone that does not absolutely need to come, should not visit for Yom Tov. We urge the community not to have any guests at all, even from in-town.

Individuals living alone or those absolutely unable to prepare for Pesach may choose to self-quarantine for 14 days, and then – if asymptomatic – may join with a welcoming local family that is similarly asymptomatic and that has been disciplined in staying home and limiting their interactions outside the home to the absolute minimum. These guests may join one family only for the duration, without additional company, and must carefully observe the mandated standards of scrupulous hygiene and social distancing. The elderly and high risk must seek medical advice before considering this.

At this time, absolutely no minyanim should be held, whether in a shul, a home, outdoors, or any other location. Holding a minyan at this time severely undermines efforts at containment, and puts lives in danger.

We urge one and all – while strictly maintaining the prescribed guidelines – to look out for each other by reaching out to and providing for each other, especially those living alone. We hope and pray that in the z’chus of our sincere Tefillos and Chassadim Hashem should swiftly remove this plague from the world and bless us all with health, peace and tranquility.

May we merit yeshuos and refuos soon,

Vaad Harabbonim of Greater Detroit