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Attendances at two London Jewish suburban schools has been affected by coronavirus isolations just days after the school year began.

Tim Hutchings, executive member for Hertfordshire public health, said a number of people have recently tested positive for Covid-19 in Hertsmere due to “a number of large social gatherings in private homes in the last week of August….within the wider local Jewish community.”


A number of Year 13 pupils at Borehamwood’s Yavneh College did not begin the new term as they were in isolation. Head teacher Spencer Lewis told parents, “I understand that there have been some recent year group gatherings/parties.”

In nearby Radlett, two classes at Hertsmere Jewish Primary School are self-isolating after several positive cases of Covid-19 were discovered among pupils and staff after school began last week.

A positive case of coronavirus was also discovered at Manchester’s King David High School. Three pupils are isolating.


Stamford Hill Charedim May See Stricter Rules Over Yom Tov

London’s Hackney Council has warned charedim in Stamford Hill that they may see more coronavirus restrictions over the yamim nara’im if cases continue to rise.

Dr. Sandra Husbands, Hackney’s public health director, said, “The data we have strongly suggests that the original source of [the recent rise in cases] is overseas visitors from countries in the quarantine list. These countries include the USA, Israel and Belgium.”

She continued, “We are aware that the Jewish holiday season in imminent, a time of year that usually sees hundreds of families visiting each other, including visiting other countries, or welcoming visitors from abroad. We are urging Stamford Hill residents to reconsider those travel plans and to avoid close contact with other households.”

She added, “If we do not quickly reverse the infection data trend in Stamford Hill, it seems very likely that there will be local restrictions imposed that could have a profound effect on the community and on the upcoming religious festivals.”


Chabad Arranges Outdoor Shofar Blowings

In Greater Manchester, which is currently under increased coronavirus restrictions, Chabad has stepped into the breach by organizing multiple outside shofar blowings in gardens, parks and street corners all over the city in conjunction with mainstream shuls and organizations.

Rabbi Levi Cohen of Chabad L’Chaim told The Jewish Press, “The Rebbe taught us that when there is darkness, you have to have light. We are living in such darkness, we have to increase light…

“We are in unprecedented times, [so] we start off the year with unprecedented light. We are doing more than we have done in the past on every level to give hope, inspiration, and encouragement.”

Kushner, Johnson, And Raab Discuss Middle East

Jared Kushner met in London last week with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. The meeting was also briefly attended by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The three welcomed “the historic normalization deal” between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Raab also updated Kushner of his recent visit to Israel, during which he encouraged a “return to cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships as a first step on the road to a renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace process,” said a Foreign Office spokesman.


Palestinian Flag Taken Down

A Scottish villager complained when she saw a Palestinian flag hoisted above Ayr Grammar Primary School on Shabbat. Nicola Muir said she was “dismayed and shocked.”

South Ayrshire Council removed the flag, which apparently neither it nor the school had been authorized.


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