White House adviser speaks with rabbis about coronavirus

Avi Berkowitz, adviser to US Pres. Trump, speaks with 15 Jewish leaders about what the coronavirus guidelines mean for their communities.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump

The White House on Tuesday held a phone briefing with haredi leaders, urging them to implement the guidelines to stem the coronavirus outbreak, Haaretz reported.

The call, initiated by US President Donald Trump's adviser Avi Berkowitz, included approximately 15 leaders, mostly from New York and New Jersey, and focused on the "practical applications" of the guidelines, an administration official told Haaretz.

"We told them that yes, this means no yeshiva studies, no minyans (quorum of ten men) at synagogues, no weddings, no bar mitzvahs, and so forth," the official explained.

"We emphasized the fact that this is truly pikuah nefesh (a matter of life and death), and that someone who looks healthy could turn out to actually carry the virus and infect others."

As a result of the new guidelines, schools, synagogues, and yeshivas will remain closed.

Earlier this week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered all schools closed until April 20.