NSW Health has granted an exemption for shofar-blowing on Rosh Hashanah following a successful application by The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies.
September 3, 2021
Health Minister Brad Hazzard, NSWJBD CEO Darren Bark and Rabbi Dr Ben Elton
After month-long discussions, permission was granted providing the shofar-blowing takes in a COVID-safe way.
Numerous locations have been earmarked for the blowing.
The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO and President has been leading discussions with the state government about an exemption to allow for shofar blowing to take place in a COVID-safe way, involving multiple applications for numerous locations across Sydney.
CEO of The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies Darren Bark said: “We have worked with rabbis, synagogue leadership, the Rabbinical Council of NSW and other faith groups to make this happen and are extremely grateful that our community will be able to participate in this mitzvah during these extremely challenging circumstances.
We thank Ministers Brad Hazzard and Natalie Ward MLC as well as NSW Health and Multicultural NSW – true mensches.
The JBD will be discussing with rabbis on how community members will be able to hear the shofar, with information to be made available from your synagogue.
The exemptions in place allow rabbis to blow the shofar throughout Rosh Hashanah at specified outdoor public locations only.
We would like to take the opportunity to remind the community of the current restrictions in place including the prohibitions on gatherings, and reiterate the importance of following any Health Orders, which remain in place and in force.
Mask wearing is compulsory in outdoor settings and people must be physically distant, keeping 1.5m away from individuals not in your household.”
NSWJBD President Lesli Berger said: “Darren Bark our CEO has been working on this proposal with many of you full time for the last several weeks and I must thank and acknowledge his efforts.
Immodestly, I built a coalition of support from other major faith leaders.
I must also acknowledge and thank Justice Stephen Rothman for his wise counsel, advice and assistance.
It is only as a united community we can achieve outcomes with Government.”
The exemptions in place allow rabbis to blow the shofar throughout Rosh Hashanah at JBD specified outdoor public locations only.
The following conditions apply:
1) Shofar blowers must get tested 72 hours prior to blowing
2) Shofar blowers are required to wear masks whenever they are not blowing
3) Shofar blowers must have received at least one vaccination
4) Shofar blowers must ensure physical distancing (rabbis will be provided with markers)
5) Shofar blowers can only blow for a total maximum period of three hours
6) Shofar blowers can only blow between 8am – 5pm
7) Shofar blowers can only blow for a maximum interval of 10 mins each
8) Ensure there are no congregations, gatherings, lingering or stoppages
9) All other Health Orders apply
Current restrictions in place including the prohibitions on gatherings, and reiterate the importance of following any Health Orders, which remain in place and in force.
Mask wearing is compulsory in outdoor settings and people must physically distance themselves, keeping 1.5m away from individuals not in your household.