Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Rabbis cancel Shabbat, Jewish life in Teaneck to help stop coronavirus

Rabbis in Bergen County, N.J. have canceled Shabbat, and communal life altogether, in order to help public health officials slow the spread of coronavirus, according to a statement released Thursday.

They have ordered that their community stay home with their immediate families, forbidding any gatherings larger than that. From services in synagogues, to classes in schools, to playdates between children, or even small prayer services in private homes— all have been canceled. Rabbis are even telling their congregants to not host Shabbat meals.

The announcement is the result of a meeting Wednesday night between the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County with public health officials and medical experts, who told them that while the amount of cases is still low, it is increasing. Eight new cases were announced on Wednesday. Even treatable cases of coronavirus will strain the public health system, putting people with other health issues in danger.

“The message from healthcare providers was clear,” the statement read. “They need our help to slow the spread of the disease before their resources are overwhelmed.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.