SACRAMENTO, September 17, 2020 – As the Jewish community prepares to observe the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Rabbis representing Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Judaism are reminding members of the faith to observe this important time of spiritual observance and community while still practicing social distancing.
“The spirituality of the Jewish New Year and Day of Atonement are typically observed inside a synagogue with family and friends,” said Acting State Public Health Officer Dr. Erica Pan. “With COVID-19 a concern, as much as you may want to be among loved ones, you should not gather in-person outside of your immediate family.”
Many synagogues are offering virtual services for the High Holidays: families are encouraged to participate within their own homes whenever possible to reduce the risk of COVID-19. When religious ceremonies require a minyan or a particular number of individuals to be present, if families are unable to do so on their own and feel it is absolutely necessary, they should carry out the act outdoors at least six feet apart from others while wearing a face covering.
The tradition of a large meal following the service creates opportunities for communal dishes. We encourage people to connect with loved ones virtually, where religious observance allows. Although tempting to share with others, families should only partake of the food that they have prepared within their own home.
“The beginning to a sweet new year starts with acts of kindness. We know now more than ever it is a crucial time to connect with others, and what better way of doing so than by keeping you, your family and community safe,” said Dr. Pan. “Shanah Tovah u’Metukah to all, and let’s all look forward to a happy, healthy and sweet New Year.”
Please see below to view the Rabbis’ wishes of health and happiness.
- Rabbi Noah Farkas, Valley Beth Shalom
- Rabbi Jason Weiner, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Knesset Israel Synagogue
- Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback, Stephen Wise Temple