The Syrian Jewish Community in Bklyn Speaks!! “We Have Closed Our Schools!”

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Edited by: TJVNews.com

Anyone who is familiar with our community knows that we are not only incredibly tightknit, but that we are genuinely one, big loving family. As such, when we are faced with this kind of unprecedented crisis known as the Coronavirus, we stand together as a cohesive community in the greater family of the entire Jewish nation.

Because we are profoundly concerned by the threat that the Coronavirus represents to us and our neighbors, it is of paramount importance to close all of our schools, (day care centers, elementary & high schools) immediately and to encourage city officials to do the same with all public schools. The safety of our children takes precedence over everything and we cannot compromise on this position.

As such, we have followed the sagacious wisdom of our rabbinic leaders, including adherence to the words of Rabbi Raymond Beyda in an audio clip that was widely distributed.

Closing our schools is a very hard decision for all concerned. For students, parents, teachers, faculty, administrative staff and others. We acknowledge and appreciate the tremendous value of education and how it has shaped our people since time immemorial. We are, however, living in times in which we are all in peril. Our rabbis tell us that we are prohibited from putting ourselves in any kind of danger. Taking this into account, and perhaps out of an abundance of caution, the community has taken the next step of pikuach nefesh by closing some schools.

Currently, the following schools have made the decision to close for an undetermined period of time or until this menacing virus falls into obsolescence.

Among the schools that have closed are Magen David Yeshiva (Elementary & High School), Yeshiva of Flatbush (Elementary & High School), the Hillel Yeshiva in Deal, New Jersey, the Ramaz Day School in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Manhattan Day School on the Upper West Side, and presently there is a partial closure of the Sephardic Community Center on Ocean Parkway.

The schools that have not as yet closed are YDE on Coney Island Ave, Ateret Torah in Flatbush and the Torah U’ Mesorah network of schools in New York.

Among schools outside of our community that have closed are:

Effective Thursday, March 12, St. John’s will preemptively shift to online instruction at all locations. Classes scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, March 10-11, have been cancelled. Online instruction will continue through Friday, March 27. All university events have been cancelled through March 27. There are no confirmed coronavirus cases connected to any St. John’s campuses at this time.•

Challenge Charter Schools — The Far Rockaway schools will be closed March 11-13 for what was described as “comprehensive sanitation.” Classes will resume Monday, March 16.

Brooklyn Friends School — Campus closed March 10-13; spring break camp for elementary students, scheduled for March 18-22, also cancelled. According to the school, a relative of a Brooklyn Friends community member may have been exposed to coronavirus.

Columbia University and Barnard College — Classes cancelled on March 10. Online instruction only through March 13. There are no classes next week due to the previously scheduled spring break. Columbia University indicated that a member of its faculty has self-quarantined due to coronavirus exposure.

Fordham University — Classes cancelled Tuesday, March 10. Classes will resume with an online instruction format on Wednesday, March 11, and continue through the end of the week. Fordham’s spring break is March 14-22. After spring break, online instruction will resume until further notice. All university events, except for certain athletic programs, are cancelled through at least March 29.

New York Institute of Technology — All campuses closed March 10 for disinfection. The school’s Auditorium on Broadway is closed until further notice.

New York University — The university will hold online instruction only beginning March 11. Spring break is scheduled for the week of March 15. Classes will resume on March 23 with online instruction only.

The Brearley School — School closed through Friday, March 13, after it was reported that a parent was tested for coronavirus.

Horace Mann School — All classes have been cancelled through March 31.

Yeshiva University — Classes on the Beren and Wilf campuses have been cancelled for the week; they will resume on Monday, March 16. Online instruction for its graduate program will resume Wednesday, March 11. A Yeshiva University student, the son of a New Rochelle man sickened by coronavirus last week, tested positive for the illness and is quarantined at home.

Other schools that have closed and are opting to offer online classes are the Frisch School in Paramus, SAR High School & SAR Academy, New York City, Westchester Day School, New York, Riverdale Country School, New York City, East Ramapo NY, Hempstead Elementary School, Pomona Middle School, Chestnut Ridge Middle School, Spring Valley High School, Ramapo High School, Shoreham-Wading River School District, Scarsdale School District, Somers School District and Plainview School District.