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Miami-area rabbi tests positive for coronavirus

The rabbi of one of the biggest Orthodox synagogues in the Miami area has tested positive for coronavirus, the Miami Herald reported Sunday.

Rabbi Sholom D. Lipskar of the Shul of Bal Harbour told Bal Harbour Mayor Gabriel Groisman that he had “mild symptoms” and was self-isolating, Groisman said in a statement.

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The synagogue, which has around 700 families as members, said on its website last week that it had not cancelled Shabbat services, as synagogues in other communities with larger outbreaks have done. In a letter to congregants, Lipskar said that the synagogue building would be disinfected on Sunday night, and that anyone who had been in contact with him in the last five days should self-isolate and inform their doctors.

Lipskar is also the chaplain of the Bal Harbour Police Department.

Many synagogues in states like New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Minnesota, Alabama and California closed their doors this Shabbat in order to quell the epidemic, which has seen an infection cluster in at least one New York Jewish community. But other synagogues, especially in states where public health officials have not yet ordered social distancing measures, remained open.

Aiden Pink is the deputy news editor of the Forward. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter @aidenpink




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