The New York City Health Department has informed yeshivas in the strictly Orthodox Jewish communities of Williamsburg, Borough Park, Bensonhurst, Midwood and Marine Park that unvaccinated children may not attend school — regardless of whether anyone in the school has contracted the illness — until they are vaccinated or until the outbreak is declared over.

Effective Friday, December 7th, every student attending a yeshiva in the below zip codes in Borough Park and Williamsburg who is not vaccinated with the required number of doses of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine will not be permitted to attend school, regardless of whether a case of measles has occurred in the school. This includes students who attend a child care program serving the orthodox community, yeshivas with a child care program, or a yeshiva with any grades pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. The affected zip codes may change and be updated based on the epidemiology and incidence of new cases of measles; current zip codes for school exclusion are:


· 11204
· 11205
· 11206
· 11211
· 11218
· 11219
· 11220
· 11230
· 11249

Students cannot return to school until they are appropriately vaccinated, or until the outbreak is declared over, even if they have an approved religious or medical exemption to measles immunization. If a person in your school develops measles, additional restrictions apply.

As a reminder, for the 2018-2019 school year, for children attending daycare and pre-kindergarten, one dose of MMR is required; for children attending kindergarten through 12th grade, two doses are required. Results of blood work showing immunity to measles (measles IgG positive) is also acceptable. Documentation of disease history from a physician, without laboratory confirmation, is not acceptable.

Students who are sick with measles must stay home from daycare or school until the 5th day after rash onset, as advised by the Health Department.

Principals or directors are responsible for enforcing exclusion of students and compliance with all school-required immunizations. To ensure compliance, every yeshiva is subject to audit by the Department of Health, and noncompliance can result in Commissioners Orders and fines. [See Public Health Law §2164 and 10 NYCRR Subpart 66-1.] The full requirements are available at

A copy of the letter sent to the principals from the city health department is linked below:

Measles Exclusion Principals Letter Dec 6 2018 FINAL

A link to the letter principals were asked to send to parents follows:

Measles Exclusion Principals Letter Dec 6 2018 FINALMeasles Parent Excusion Letter Dec 6 2018 FINAL

There were also letters to both principals and parents sent in Yiddish. Links to both of these follow as well, for the convenience of the Yiddish-speaking readership.

First, to the yeshiva principals who read and speak in Yiddish:

YI_Measles Parent Excusion Letter Dec 6 2018 FINAL

And to those parents who read and speak in Yiddish:

YI_Measles Parent Excusion Letter Dec 6 2018 FINAL

A similar outbreak of the measles has also struck the strictly Orthodox Jewish community in London as well.

May everyone enjoy good health always!


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.