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There is growing concern among UK Jewish leaders that the British government's latest warnings to remain at home and only go out for essential reasons are not reaching many members of the country’s haredi community, who do not use the Internet or social media.

In the Stamford Hill neighborhood in north London, home to a large community of haredi Jews, some synagogues are still open with prayers being held daily.

A statement released by the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations last weekend stated that “Women, children, older men, and those with health problems should not go to synagogue. Schools and all other places of religious education are to be closed.” However, the directive to avoid visiting synagogues has not been extended to healthy younger men.

Rabbi Avraham Pinter, who lives in Stamford Hill, said in an interview with TheGuardian that “Most people are strict about keeping a distance from one another. What I’m really worried about is that that the government seems to be absolving itself of responsibility.”

He acknowledged that some members of the community were not following the British government's guidelines, adding, “I don't understand why attention is being directed specifically at us,” when other religious groups as well as many members of the general public are not visibly paying attention to the government’s advice, and are still congregating in groups.

Levi Shapiro, a member of the Stamford Hill Jewish Community Council, said that he believed that some of the neighborhood’s synagogues remained open because the government’s message had not yet been internalized. “The Jewish community is working hard to get the message out that we have to stay at home. We’ve posted ads, we advertise on the telephone social networks in Hebrew and Yiddish, and we also have four cars driving up and down the streets and announcing the regulations via loudspeakers," Shapiro said.

Last week, two members of the haredi community in London passed away from the coronavirus.

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