New plan allowing holiday prayers to take place in synagogues approved

Coronavirus Cabinet approves plan for prayers during High Holidays, allowing synagogues to open with 'capsules.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,


The Coronavirus Cabinet on Sunday night approved a plan for the High Holiday prayers.

The plan, part of the "traffic light" plan set to be implemented on September 6, still needs to receive the Knesset committee's approval.

Synagogues will be allowed to have set "capsules" of up to 20 people, and each capsule will be separated from the others within the building. The capsules will also be required to adhere to the Health Ministry guidelines. Prayers will be allowed in open areas, as they were until now.

Capsules will need to be separated by at least two meters, as well as clearly marked by a rope or ribbon, and seating will be in set groups. People who do not live in the same household will be required to keep a 2-meter distance between them, as much as possible, and there will need to be at least one empty chair between them. Synagogues will also be required to appoint a coronavirus supervisor, as well as people to ensure proper division of the area and that people are seated in the proper groups.

Any synagogue with more than 250 people will be required to show a detailed plan of the area, including the divisions between the various areas, to the local authority and the district Health Ministry.

It will also be permitted to hold prayers in a building larger than 40 square meters (430.6 square feet), as long as there is not more than one person per four square meters (43 square feet), or more than 1,000 people in total.

Additional conditions apply for synagogues which are located within "red" cities, where the coronavirus infection rate is high.