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Covid rules in England are set to be relaxed on May 17, the first day of Shavuot.

For the first time in months, six people or two households will be able to meet legally indoors. In other words, a person can invite yom tov guests.


One senior citizen with underlying health conditions told The Jewish Press, “I am hoping to join my neighbors for lunch on the first day Shavuot. The last time I ate out was for a Purim seudah in 2020 when guests were critical of Israel closing its borders to try to keep out the pandemic and were laughing about corona.

“But, it was no joke. I lost three relatives to Covid 19 and another was seriously ill in hospital for a long time.”

In line with the loosening of Covid restrictions, Manchester’s Holy Law Congregation is allowing children under 11 not to wear masks in shul. A children’s service for up to 15 children will resume, as will its Avos Ubonim “lads and dads” Motzei Shabbat learning program.


Ofsted Assesses Jewish Schools

Ofsted praised Manchester’s Bury and Whitefield Jewish Primary School after a remote inspection for handling the pandemic well through online learning and supporting vulnerable pupils.

However, because full inspections are not yet available due to the pandemic, the school is still regarded as requiring “improvement.” In 2018, the school was marked down, in part because it did not sufficiently cover transgender issues.

Stamford Hill’s Satmar Talmud Torah Yetev Lev was marked down on a recent inspection for not including instruction on LGBT issues.


Jewish Candidates Do Well in Election

Across the country, Jewish candidates chalked up successes in last week’s local elections. Three Jewish councillors, for example, kept their seats on Salford Council.

Labour councillor Heather Fletcher retained her seat in Swinton Park and Conservative councillors Rabbi Arnold Saunders and Ari Leitner kept theirs in Kersal. In the same ward, Avrohom Yitzchok Walter won a seat for the Liberal Democrats.

Also in Greater Manchester, Jewish Labour Movement North West youth and student officer Nathan Boroda won Bury’s Unsworth ward. Former Tory MP Lee Scott won Essex County Council’s Chigwell and Loughton Broadway seat.

Labour candidate Dan Ozarow, a university lecturer who was accused of signing a pro-Corbynite letter in 2015, won Hertsmere’s Borehamwood Kenilworth seat against Conservative Rabbi David Neifeld.

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