NYC synagogues cancel Purim celebrations over coronavirus crisis
Coronavirus concerns have canceled celebrations to mark the Jewish holiday of Purim after Gov. Cuomo declared a state of emergency amid the coronavirus crisis.
Several New York City synagogues scrubbed Purim carnivals to be held Sunday and Monday.
“The nature of the carnival, where physical contact is not limited, presents an unnecessary risk for our community,” Temple Emanu-El on the Upper East Side announced Friday, adding “There is currently no known exposure to our congregants or facilities.”
B’nai Jeshurun on the Upper West Side also nixed its Sunday carnival saying in a message to members “Most of our fellow synagogues across the city have made similar decisions.”
The synagogue said “clergy will refrain from hugs, kisses and handshakes at the receiving line on Shabbat.”
The Central Synagogue on the Upper East Side said Monday’s carnival and a Tuesday celebration for kids were off. Congregation Rodeph Sholom on the Upper West Side canceled a carnival and teen party on Monday.
The synagogues maintained that other programs for the holiday, a joyous celebration that includes the reading in synagogues Monday night of the Megillah — the story of Queen Esther who saved the Jews of Persia — were slated to go forward.
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