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Sunday, December 08, 2019

Editor’s note: The following signed statement was issued by the RCBC as a cohesive community policy regarding vaccinations. Following the letter is an explanatory Q&A with Rabbi Kenny Schiowitz, the RCBC’s new president.

A paramount Torah value is to do our best to help ensure the health and safety of all people. Sadly, we have recently seen the reemergence of diseases believed to have been obsolete and eradicated because vaccinations have not been vigilantly performed by all. Vaccination is not only an obligation to protect the health of our children and ourselves, but a responsibility we have towards others. Those who do not vaccinate can potentially spread life-threatening diseases to others who are vulnerable.

We strongly urge all parents to vaccinate their children as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Everyone who attends our schools, camps, shuls and youth programs is expected to vaccinate as required by the State Health Department for school attendance. We request your compliance even in institutions that do not examine medical records.

We are disheartened that some Jews have cited a “religious exemption” to evade their responsibility to vaccinate. This has no basis in Judaism. Not only are vaccinations permitted by Jewish law, they are obligatory. We oppose the citation of such an exemption and do not accept it in our institutions.

May Hashem grant us all with good health and protection from illness.

Respectfully,

Rabbinical Council of Bergen County

Rabbi Ilan Acoca, Sephardic Congregation of Fort Lee

Rabbi Yosef Adler, Congregation Rinat Yisrael

Rabbi Shalom Baum, Congregation Keter Torah

Rabbi Eli Belizon, Young Israel of Fair Lawn

Rabbi Akiva Block, Kehilat Kesher

Rabbi Aharon Ciment, Congregation Arzei Darom

Rabbi Tanchum Cohen, Beth Abraham

Rabbi Jeremy Donath, Darchei Noam

Rabbi Daniel Feldman, Ohr Saadya

Rabbi Daniel Fridman, Jewish Center of Teaneck

Rabbi Menachem Genack, Congregation Shomrei Emunah

Rabbi Zev Goldberg, Young Israel of Fort Lee

Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot, Congregation Netivot Shalom

Rabbi Howard Jachter, Sephardic Congregation

Rabbi Beni Krohn, Young Israel of Teaneck

Rabbi Andrew Markowitz, Congregation Shomrei Torah

Rabbi Yaakov Neuburger, Congregation Beth Abraham

Rabbi Levi Neubort, Anshei Lubavitch Outreach Center

Rabbi Chaim Poupko,Congregation Ahavath Torah

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Congregation Bnai Yeshurun

Rabbi Zev Reichman, East Hill Synagogue

Rabbi Larry Rothwachs, Congregation Beth Aaron

Rabbi Ely Shestack, Congregation Ahavat Achim

Rabbi Kenny Schiowitz, Congregation Shaare Tefillah

Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky, Congregation Ohr HaTorah

Rabbi Moshe Stavsky, Bais Medrash of Bergenfield

Rabbi Michael Taubes, Zichron Mordechai

Rabbi Benjamin Yudin, Congregation Shomrei Torah

Rabbi Ari Zahtz, Congregation Bnai Yeshurun

Rabbi Daniel Alter, The Moriah School

Rabbi Chaim Hagler, Yeshivat Noam

Rabbi Jonathan Knapp, Yavneh Academy

Rabbi Daniel Price, Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey

Rabbi Tomer Ronen, Yeshivat He’Atid

Rabbi Saul Zucker, Ben Porat Yosef

Rabbi Eli Ciner, The Frisch School

Mrs. Rivka Kahan, Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls

Mrs. Deena Kobre, Naaleh High School for Girls

Rabbi Aryeh Stechler, Heichal HaTorah

Ms. Tikvah Wiener, The Idea School

Rabbi Asher Yablok, Torah Academy of Bergen County