Tel Aviv-Yafo to enable synagogue expansion on High Holy Days, allowing
socially distant prayers
Mayor Ron Huldai: "The right to prayer and religious gatherings is
Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality Tel Aviv-Yafo, August 23, 2020
Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality will enable synagogues across the city to expand
into nearby public spaces during the High Holy Days, as part of a municipal
effort to facilitate prayer services amid coronavirus-related restrictions
on public gatherings.
The extension of prayer spaces will be coordinated together with the
Religious Council of Tel Aviv-Yafo. In addition, the municipality will offer
logistical assistance where necessary, including access to electricity,
providing shade and distributing chairs for synagogue-goers.
Currently, there are approximately 450 synagogues across Tel Aviv-Yafo. In
the coming days, the Religious Council will act to assess the needs of
different Jewish communities citywide.
Due to the need to often divide prayer services into several minyans (the
minimum number of adults required for some religious services), Tel
Aviv-Yafo Municipality and the Religious Council will provide free
shofar-blowing courses in the coming weeks.
Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo: "The right to prayer and religious
gatherings is fundamental, and everything will be done in order to permit
tens of thousands of worshipers to carry out the holiday commandments – even
under the health restrictions. From the very first days of the first Hebrew
city, Jewish tradition has been of great importance in our daily life. As
Meir Dizengoff, the first mayor of the city, said: We are striving so that
the spirit of Judaism will be in harmony with our enterprise and this city –
so that the spirit of brotherhood, peace and love will prevail."
To enable outdoor prayers, Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality will issue a permit
enabling synagogues to expand and hold their services in adjacent public
spaces on the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), Yom
Kippur, Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) and Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah.
Eldad Mizrahi, Chairman of the Religious Council of Tel Aviv-Yafo: "I wish
to thank the mayor for the special municipal assistance granted to synagogue
communities across the city, enabling High Holy Day prayers to be held and
expanded into public spaces, ensuring the special nature of the holidays,
and permitting the participation of the public in these prayers."
Prayer services must still be held in accordance with all Health Ministry
guidelines, including wearing masks, social distancing, and temperature
The municipal initiative to facilitate synagogue prayers during the High
Holy Days also follows a June 2020 decision by the Tel Aviv-Yafo City
Council to invest NIS 1 million ($290,000) in improving accessibility to
approximately 150 synagogues located in municipal buildings.