Bukharian Jewish community closes all synagogues

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U.S. REP. GRACE MENG ATTENDED A LARGE BUKHARIAN JEWISH GATHERING IN FOREST HILLS IN FEBRUARY 2019. EAGLE FILE PHOTO BY ANDY KATZ

By Victoria Merlino

The Chief Rabbi of the Bukharian Jewish community of the United States and Canada announced that all Bukharian synagogues will close and all members should remain in their homes as much as possible to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The Bukharian community, a Jewish sect with origins in Central Asia, has a large population in Queens neighborhoods like Forest Hills and Kew Gardens.

“After consulting with medical experts and with the decision of leading Rabbnic authorities, it is with great pain that we notify the community that there should be a mandatory shut down of community Synagogues and everyone should gather their belongings (Tallit and Tefillin) by tonight,” Rabbi Yitzchak Yisraeli said in a statement. “Minyamin should not even take place at homes nor should people have any gatherings.”

Minyan refers to the quorum of 10 Jewish adults needed to perform certain religious functions, such as prayer.

Other Jewish communities in New York City have received criticism in recent days for not suspending or limiting typical religious activities during the coronavirus pandemic, such as Brooklyn’s Hasidic community.

credit to queenseagle.com