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British dayanim have spoken out against charedi anti-vaxxer claims, urging congregants to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

London Beth Din dayanim Menachem Gelley and Shmuel Simons; Federation Beth Din head Rabbi Shraga Feivel Zimmerman; and Dayan Abraham David of the Sephardi Beth Din said: “Halacha obligates us to care for our health and the health of those around us.” They urged Jews who can get the vaccine “to do so upon the advice of their GP and/or personal physician.”

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In response to people voicing claims that the vaccine could cause infertility and/or change a person’s DNA, former Manchester Beth Din dayan Gavriel Krausz said, “How do people speak like that? How do they know? People talk through their hats.”

 

Parents Berated for Attending Bar Mitzvah

The head of London’s Rosh Pinah Primary School has slammed pupils’ parents who broke Covid rules by attending a bar mitzvah celebration for around 100 guests as “selfish, irresponsible and quite frankly inexcusable.”

Jill Howson made the remarks after she discovered that 19 families had attended the simcha, to which only six guests were allowed under the then-Covid restrictions.

 

Jewish Care Homes May Get Vaccines Next Month

London’s Covid-19 Incident Director Martin Machray told the capital’s synagogues and major Jewish charities at an online London Jewish Forum meeting that Jewish care home residents and staff could receive their share of vaccinations next month.

Originally, care home vaccinations were supposed to be prioritized over the vaccination of octogenarians living in their own homes. But the logistics of administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at very low temperatures have meant that the vaccines went first to GP hubs rather than to care homes.

London’s Jewish Choice care home told the online meeting that they had been informed that they might have to wait till mid-February for the jabs. But Machray said, “We will start this week in one or two care homes with a view to starting in the other care homes.”

Joyce Khan, marketing and communications director of the Fed, which runs Manchester’s largest Jewish care home, Heathlands, told The Jewish Press that she has not yet been told when vaccinations would begin.

A spokesperson from Manchester’s smaller Beenstock Home told The Jewish Press, “Our staff and committee members have been able to get vaccines. Residents have not been able to get vaccines yet. We hope it will start at the beginning of January. But we are still waiting for confirmation.”

 

Two More British Women Seek Rabbinic Ordination

Two British women hope to follow in the footsteps of Rabba Dina Brawer, who was rabbinically ordained at New York’s Yeshivah Maharat two years ago.

London Jewish School of Jewish Studies teaching fellow Dr. Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz hopes to complete her Maharat course next year while Miriam Lorie, who was a founder of London’s Borehamwood’s partnership minyan, has just begun her four-year course.

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Doreen Wachmann served as a senior reporter and columnist for Britain’s Jewish Telegraph newspaper for more than 20 years.