Thursday, September 17, 2020

1000 yeshiva students infected with corona, some allegedly on purpose


זו תורה וזו שכרה

At least a thousand seminary students in Israel have been infected with the coronavirus in the past month due to a combination of students infecting each other on purpose and alleged negligence by yeshiva administrators, the Kikar Hashabbat  news website reported Wednesday.

Students returned to studies at the beginning of the Hebrew month of Elul in the lead up to the Rosh Hashana holiday marking the Ten Days of Atonement before the annual Yom Kippur fast.

At the Torah B’Tiferet yeshiva in Elad where some 800 young men were studying in “capsules” where groups of students are supposed to remain separated to reduce infection, 100 students became infected after only one day of classes, the report said.

“My son entered the yeshiva for Elul and I sent him with [reservations], but I knew there were responsible and serious managers there,” one parent said. “But from the beginning, my son told us that something is wrong.”

“There is no supervision of the boys, no one knows what is going on inside the boarding school, and also students who have symptoms are not isolated from the other boys, but stay to sleep in the same room,” the parent said.

A student at the Rina Shel Torah yeshiva in Karmiel said there are about 300 boys there sick with coronavirus, but most of them intentionally infected themselves by sharing a waterpipe with “sick guys with symptoms and guys it was not clear if they were infected.”

The student said the goal was to get sick and recover so that the students begin studying in the fall session “without capsules and in a calm and relaxed way.”

The report cited other yeshivas around the country where students and staff are not following health guidelines and even those who are known to be infected circulate freely without masks. The problems were attributed to the “lack of basic training created between the yeshiva world and the Ministry of Health.”

While the current Health Minister, Yuli Edelstein of the Likud Party, is himself religious, his predecessor at the start of the pandemic was Rabbi Yaakov Litzman of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism Party. Litzman was infected earlier this year after reportedly attending morning prayers at a synagogue despite regulations from his own ministry at the time banning group prayer.



Yankel Bender said...

A yeshiva in Queens continued holding in-person classes Tuesday, contradicting a declaration from the Mayor's Office that the school was shut down after more than a dozen students tested positive for coronavirus.

A spokesperson for Mayor de Blasio, Bill Neidhardt, told Gothamist the City made the decision Monday night to shutter Yeshiva Darchei Torah in Far Rockaway beginning Tuesday.

Politico first reported the apparent shutdown, noting at least 13 students tested positive for the virus, with another 12 cases suspected.

But calls to Darchei Torah — which enrolls 2,000+ students — confirmed in-person classes were in session Tuesday, despite the outbreak.

"Yes we're here. Everybody's here," a woman who answered at Darchei told Gothamist. "The boys are in class with the Rebbeim. Everybody's learning."

Shortly before noon Tuesday, Rabbi Yaakov Bender, who founded the school, emailed parents that the school's "in compliance with all City, State & Federal regulations."

He acknowledged there's "a concern the Yeshiva may have to close because of a proposal from the City," but was confident they'd reach an "amicable resolution" with the Health Dept.

"We're working feverishly to resolve issues & will keep you updated," he added.

The Mayor seemed to believe the school had already switched to remote learning.

"Following discussions with senior DOH officials & yeshiva leadership, we proposed remote learning for Tuesday to protect students & staff from COVID transmission, given cases across multiple age levels," Neidhardt said.

Mayor de Blasio has faced criticism for reluctance to enforce COVID restrictions in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, even as community leaders responded to regulations with open defiance.

This weekend, 100s of Hasidic men crowded into Chabad-Lubavitch HQ in Crown Heights — a venue healthcare professionals believe has been associated with many positive cases.

Ahead of the Jewish High Holidays, the leading Orthodox advocacy authority released a decree that worshippers should not change any part of their prayer routine.

UPDATE 4:30 pm: Administrators at Darchei Torah agree to virtual instruction AFTER DOH officials arrive at the school in person and ordered it shut down with escalated threats.

"It is with a heavy heart I write to inform you the Yeshiva will be closed for in-person learning for several days," Rabbi Yaakov Bender wrote parents in an email Tues afternoon. "Health Dept officials are currently in our building & begun discussions with our safety committee. We offer our continued full cooperation & transparency."

City Hall officials said they were in communication throughout the day with school, which INITIALLY RESISTED City orders to cancel class.

veNahapoich Hu said...

What's this world coming to when the Chabadskers start copying the same deadly misbehavior as their arch-enemies in Philly?

Dray Kop said...

Did the idyot get his 5 minutes of fame yet that he can move on?