May 16, 2020 Article / Local Jewish News




Last night, Mayor Garcetti announced that the City of Los Angeles is moving into the next phase of the City’s Safer At Home reopening plan that includes a careful and deliberate roll out to make it as safe as possible moving forward.

He announced that as of today (Wednesday 5/27/20) all retail establishments may reopen for in-person shopping at 50-percent capacity. Every store will have to adopt County safety protocols to ensure the safety of workers and customers, alike. This does NOT yet include personal services like hair salons, nail salons, and barbershops. It also does NOT yet allow for dine-in services at restaurants.   













We, at the Los Angeles Mikvah, feel tremendous gratitude to our users.  You have demonstrated that even though the ongoing circumstances have complicated many aspects of all of our lives, you have joined in and supported the community by abiding by all of our policies and guidelines.

As you can imagine, our staff, both Mikvah attendants and cleaning staff, have had to work much, much harder to follow everything we ask to keep you all as safe as we can. It is exponential and everyone has pulled through magnificently and we all owe them tremendous thanks as well.

*** I want to underscore for everyone to please continue following completely everything we ask of you from your end. One element which is especially important is to be sure that you are arriving ON TIME  for the appointment you have set.  If you do arrive late, even 10 minutes, please understand that we have no choice but to ask you to come back at the end of the evening. Now that we are working solely on an appointment based system, it is crucial for everyone to be on time as the ripple effect makes a very difficult job, impossible.

Please also remember, that EVERYONE needs to have an appointment to use the Mikvah. If you show up without one, you will be asked to come back only at the end of the evening. We cannot squeeze you in as the nights are heavily booked. With that in mind, it is to your benefit to schedule your appointment as soon as you know when your Mikvah night will be (the full week before). Should anything develop which will necessitate a change, just cancel and re-book. But this way, with a full week ahead—only once you are certain of your Mikvah night, you can schedule and will have plenty of options of available appointment times.

Again, we feel a tremendous Hakarat haTov to all of you.

Stay well and always feel free to text/call me at 310-948-4432 so I can answer your questions and try to help you with whatever you may need.

Vivian Lurie And The Board Of The LA Mikvah.


Shalom Aleichem to the Los Angeles Jewish community.  This is Boruch (Bruce) Bloom writing to you. Normally, I write to raise funds for Maisai Mitzvah to prevent, chas v’shalom, cremation.
I have incorporated as a 501(C)(3) non-profit: Chesed Shel Emes Society of California, Inc.Donations to help with our work (Protective items for taharah, Fund for Preventing Cremation, etc) can be made at our website   We can be reached via email at
Today I am writing to you to make sure you know the situation in Los Angeles regarding whether or not Taharot are being done at the Jewish mortuaries here. I can only speak for myself.  Those of you who know me are aware that I and my teams do taharot all over Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura counties.  We go everywhere, with the exception of Chevra Kadisha Mortuary which has its own teams.  
Wherever there is a Jew who has asked for Taharah, even if it is not in a Jewish mortuary. I am fortunate to have women’s groups able to go to unusual locations.  I have been doing taharot for 40 years now.  Rabbinical oversight for years was by Rabbi Avrohom Levitansky, Z”tzl, And now Rabbi Shimon Raichik, Shlita.  For the men side, we have driven as far north as S.Luis Obispo, and as far east as Riverside and Palm Springs. 
WE ARE CURRENTLY DOING TAHARAH in Southern California.  Even for C-19 cases. If the mortuary doesn’t have protective gear for us, I DO.  I am familiar with ALL guidelines from everywhere.  Today’s situation is very similar to when AIDS first came into the public eye.  We take a bit more precaution than normal.  Each individual is evaluated as to how complete the taharah will be.  But the evaluation is done by the men and women who do taharah.  Quite frankly, someone who only knows Halachah for doing Taharah, and has no hands on practical experience, is not fully qualified to tell us what to do, or not to do, in taharah. 
BOTTOM LINE:  “If you are told by any mortuary that currently taharah is not being done at their facility, you can change mortuaries.  That is your right. If there are pre-need arrangements with a particular mortuary, they are contractually obligated to fulfill the Pre-Need.” – Baruch Bloom

To all our users:
Thank you for your understanding during this stressful time in which we realize more than ever how we are all responsible for one another.
UPDATE: As of 3-22-20, the Los Angeles Mikvah will have certain changes in place: PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND CONTACTS IN CASE SOMEONE HAS NOT RECEIVED
-If you have been in contact with ANYONE that has tested positive for the COVID19, we cannot allow you to use The Los Angeles Mikvah until your self- quarantine period of 14 days has passed. If you subsequently are exposed to another individual who tests positive, the 14 day period begins again for Mikvah use.
-Anyone who has tested positive for the COVID 19 cannot be allowed to use The Los Angeles Mikvah at this time.
-If you are exhibiting ANY COVID-type symptoms (dry cough, sore throat, fever, joint pain…) –even if you have not been in direct contact with someone who has yet been confirmed positive, please check with your doctor and your rav, before using the Mikvah, so that we do not risk spreading exposure to all the other users. Please remember each of us has an achrayut (responsibility) to everyone else in the community
-Each Mikvah user will have their temperature taken BEFORE entering the Mikvah. If there is any degree of fever whatsoever, the policy is that the user cannot be allowed in.
-We will be opening the mikvah on an appointment ONLY basis to reduce the number of people sharing the space.


Please prepare at home. Additionally, please be sure the appointment you set is for your mikvah day and not, in error, for the day you are making the appointment.
-Once you have prepared at home, please do not shower before tevillah. An additional dip before your regular immersion count will suffice.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or my cell (text is preferable) 310-948-4432, Vivian Lurie).
With Hashem’s help and a communal effort, we will hopefully control the situation.
Thank you,
The Board of the Los Angeles Mikvah


Dear Friends,
Due to the worldwide pandemic of the coronavirus (Covid-19), effective immediately,
the maximum number of people allowed in the chapel at Sholom Memorial Park for
a funeral service will be 10
This number includes Sholom Mortuary and Cemetery staff, 
clergy, family and friends. This policy is in place today until further notice.
Should families wish to hold a chapel service before going to graveside, we will stop
anyone above 10 people from entering the chapel. If this is a problem, we will lock the
chapel and move the attendees directly to graveside only.
We apologize for any inconvenience or difficulties this may cause. We are doing this
in the interest of public health, both for those in attendance, as well as for our staff.
Thank You,
Moe Goldsman
Mortuary Manager

The Teichman Mikveh just informed us that they are CLOSING the Keilim Mikveh until further notice.  3/18


In light of the current situation, we regretfully have to cancel the city-wide biur chometz this year on Erev Pesach. Please make sure to burn your own chometz on Erev Pesach this year.

Dear Friends,
Due to the worldwide pandemic of the coronavirus (Covid-19), effective immediately,
the maximum number of people allowed in the chapel at Sholom Memorial Park for
a funeral service will be 30. This number includes Sholom Mortuary and Cemetery staff, 
clergy, family and friends. This policy is in place today until further notice.
Should families wish to hold a chapel service before going to graveside, we will stop
anyone above 30 people from entering the chapel. If this is a problem, we will lock the
chapel and move the attendees directly to graveside only.
We apologize for any inconvenience or difficulties this may cause. We are doing this
in the interest of public health, both for those in attendance, as well as for our staff.
Thank You,
Moe Goldsman
Mortuary Manager



Over the last several days we have been hearing urgent messages from our elected officials and Department of Health representatives asking us to eliminate communal gatherings and to minimize in-person contact to the greatest degree possible. This is the best and surest way to slow down the spread of the coronavirus in our city. It will literally save lives and will prevent our local hospitals from becoming overwhelmed to the point of having to turn patients away.

  This is the reason that we the undersigned have made the unprecedented decision to close our shuls and schools. It is vitally important, and a matter of Pikuah Nefesh, life and death, that everyone in our community abide by the following policies.
In order to receive professional guidance for the community, we held a conference call this afternoon with Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt of New York, an infectious disease expert and an Assistant Rabbi at the Young Israel of Woodmere, and Dr. Rick Riggs, Chief Medical Officer at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in charge of overseeing Cedar’s response to the Coronavirus.  Considering our discussion with the doctors we the undersigned strongly recommend the following policies to be instituted immediately:
1) Our shuls and schools will remain closed until further notice, when we are informed by the health officials that it is no longer a danger and we may resume our regular schedules. Until that time, every person should daven at home.  There should be no house or backyard Minyanim since they undermine efforts to minimize the spread of the virus.

2) We should all add Avinu Malkeinu at both Shachrit and Mincha until further notice.
It should not be added on Friday afternoons or on a day when Tachanun is not said.

3) All members of our community should minimize in-person contact with anyone outside of their immediate families.  If you can work from home, please do so. Visits even among families should also be limited. Communication with parents and grandparents who are not living in your home should be virtual whenever possible.

4) Although it is challenging in the absence of school, there should be no playdates or friend get togethers. One may play in the yard and go for a run, but it should not be with friends or with children of friends. We encourage people to go outside, but to stay distanced from other people even when outdoors.

5) As social distancing continues, we should plan to have our Shabbat, Yom Tov and Sedarim without guests.

6) “Shiva visits” should be made by phone or facetime. 

7) Support our Kosher restaurants by ordering out from the restaurants.  Avoid eating in the confined spaces of restaurants which can lead to greater transmission.

8) Only one person per household should go to the Supermarket. Children should not go to the store and people should not be socializing while in the store.

9) Any person who has had exposure (defined as being within 6-8 feet for a period of 10 minutes or more) to someone who has tested positive should immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. People without any symptoms who have been exposed to a COVID-19 patient should not at this time seek medical attention or seek to get tested. They should self-quarantine. Please note that while the official DoH position requires quarantine after exposure only if the person has begun to have symptoms, we strongly advise to err on the side of caution based on the advice of the aforementioned two physicians. 

10) Call your doctor if you start to have symptoms (increased congestion, coughing or fevers).  Seek emergency medical treatment if you have difficulty breathing, but please do not go to the emergency room if you do not need emergency care.
Call ahead if possible and advise health care workers of possible exposure to COVID-19. Ask for a facemask as you enter the facility. These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

11) For a COVID-19 test enter your zip code to find out the nearest COVID-19 test site. (from US website) Go to clinics instead of crowded large facilities. (Testing and Treatments are free.)

12) Any member of our community who has tested positive must immediately inform family and friends (or any acquaintances if applicable) who may have been exposed to him or her. This includes informing your rabbi or head of school. 

13) We call on all of our community members and institutions to create formal systems and mechanisms by which people who are in need of assistance and people who can volunteer to provide assistance, are connected with one another. We encourage also helping the general public by donating to community charities of your choice.  Please also remember to generously support Maot Chittim campaigns.
During these most challenging times when we all pray that Hashem accept our Tefilot, we encourage everyone to daven with exceptional Kavanah even though we are not meeting in our shuls for Tefilah B’Tzibur.  We also ask you to set time for learning Torah and for doing Chessed.  Each shul and school will be in contact with their members and students sharing their Torah Shiurim and Chessed opportunities that we all should join. 
With Brakhot of good health and safety,
Rabbi David Block, Shalhevet High School
Rabbi Yonah Bookstein, Pico Shul
Rabbi Asher Brander, LINK Kollel
Rabbi Daniel Cavalier, Young Sephardic Community Center
Rabbi Pini Dunner, Beverly Hills Synagogue
Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn, Yeshivat Yavneh
Rabbi Daniel Grama, West Side Shul
Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, Orthodox Union West Coast
Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky, Bnai David Judea
Rabbi Yehuda Moses, Kehilat Mogen David
Rabbi Elazar Muskin, Young Israel of Century City
Rabbi Adir Posy, Beth Jacob Congregation
Rabbi James Proops, Young Israel of Century City
Rabbi David Revah, Adas Torah
Rabbi Ari Segal, Shalhevet High School
Rabbi Joshua Spodek, YULA Girls
Rabbi Arye Sufrin, YULA Boys High School
Rabbi Y. Boruch Sufrin, Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy
Rabbi Kalman Topp, Beth Jacob Congregation
Rabbi Jason Weiner, Cedars Sinai Medical Center
Rabbi Aaron Wilk, Gindi Maimonides Academy



Not sure if this is true but a letter is circulating that a group is going thorough neighborhoods with letterhead that looks official  saying they are from HOME AFFAIRS taking the census and that everyone needs a ID and then robbing homes.   NO GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ARE GOING HOME TO HOME DO NOT OPEN DOOR TO ANYONE UNLESS YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHO THEY ARE.   Again we are not sure of the truth of this information but it is always a good idea to remind each other how to stay safe.  

Guidance for Shuls and Communities

We recognize the great need for practical guidance for shuls and communities with regard to the continuing situation surrounding COVID-19.  With the guidance of our Poskim, HaRav Hershel Schachter שליט״א and HaRav Mordechai Willig שליט״א, we share the guidelines below.  Please keep in mind that the situation is evolving at a rapid pace and these guidelines have been drafted with the information and recommendations that we have as of now.

As always, shuls and communities must strictly follow the guidelines provided by local and national authorities, including the CDC and local health departments.  

Due to the unique social patterns of many of our communities, where we share daily Tefillah and Shiurim, children’s schools and frequent festive events, we may be exceptionally prone to communal transmission.  As such it may be appropriate for us to adopt an even stricter standard than the authorities require.

The medical advice we have received and wish to share is as follows:

  • In communities where there are confirmed cases, it would be prudent to severely limit all public gatherings, and to close shuls.
  • In communities where there are not as yet confirmed cases, significant restrictions should be placed on how shuls gather.  In addition to the known restrictions on attendance for people displaying symptoms of any kind, as well as individuals considered at greater risk, shuls should hold multiple minyanim to avoid large crowds and ensure significant spacing between individuals.  

The above guidance is the minimal standard.  The communal rabbi and leadership may assess the situation and wish to exercise greater caution and close the shuls.

In communities where schools have been closed by local government – whether or not there are existing confirmed cases – children must not get together in homes, parks, or other venues.  In these communities shuls should be closed as well.  Not closing the shuls will render the school closures essentially meaningless in limiting communal transmission. 

                               The Leadership of the Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America