Five Towns Rabbonim: While Governor Allows Religious Services Up to 10, We Will Not Begin Minyanim Yet


Dear Community Members,

הודו לה’ כי טוב כי לעולם חסדו

We are thankful to Hashem that we have reached the point where the medical community and Governor Cuomo have allowed us to begin our communal prayers once again. We are very eager to return to davening once again as a tzibbur. Although the Governor has allowed religious services with up to 10 people to begin on Thursday May 21st, it is the opinion of our senior poskim and medical advisors that we not begin with minyanim immediately.

We are all yearning to resume davening with a minyan and we are actively working with each other, our Poskim, our medical advisors, and government officials to develop a timeline and protocols for having Minyanim. To ensure the safety of our community, we must proceed with caution. We are very grateful that members of our shuls have continued to follow the advice of our Poskim, medical advisors and government officials. Please continue to show the patience and respect that has enabled us to get to this point and continue to maintain proper social distancing. We anticipate being able to start Minyanim in the very near future, and we look forward to sending out that information when appropriate.

May we continue to be the beneficiaries of Hashem’s mercy, and may our tefilos and efforts help us resume our communal lives soon.

Rabbi Shalom Axelrod, Young Israel of Woodmere
Rabbi Mordechai Benhaim, Sha’are Shamayim
Rabbi Hershel Billet, Young Israel of Woodmere
Rabbi Dovid Cohen, Congregation Ohr Torah
​​​​​​​Rabbi Ira Ebbin, Congregation Ohav Sholom
Rabbi Aaron Feigenbaum, Irving Place Minyan
Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt, Young Israel of Woodmere
Rabbi Kenneth Hain, Congregation Beth Sholom
Rabbi Simcha Hopkowitz, Young Israel of Hewlett
Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz, Bais Knesseth North Woodmere
Rabbi Simcha Lefkowitz, Congregation Anshei Chesed
Rabbi Yoni Levin, Aish Kodesh
Rabbi Avi Miller, Congregation Beth Sholom
Rabbi Uri Orlian, Congregation Shaarey Tefilah
Rabbi Jonathan Muskat, Young Israel of Oceanside
Rabbi Ephraim Polakoff, Bais Tefilah of Woodmere
Rabbi Mordechai Prus, Jewish Center of Atlantic Beach
Rabbi Isaac Rice, Congregation Anshei Chesed
Rabbi Shay Schachter, Young Israel of Woodmere
Rabbi Steven Siegel, Congregation Bachurei Chemed
Rabbi Yehuda Septimus, Young Israel of North Woodmere
Rabbi Asher Stern, Congregation Bais Avrohom Zev
Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, Young Israel of Lawrence Cedarhurst
Rabbi Ya’akov Trump, Young Israel of Lawrence Cedarhurst
Rabbi Akiva Willig, Beis Medrash of Woodmere
Rabbi Moshe Weinberger, Aish Kodesh
Rabbi Dov Winston, Young Israel of Merrick
Rabbi Eliyahu Wolf, Young Israel of Woodmere



  1. Why is this being posted here? The Rabonim who signed this are all members of the OU/RCA and are going with their guidelines. They are all going with the oak of Rabbi Shachter, which they have every right to do.

    However, most of the Matzav readership attend the many Aguda type of shuls located in the Far Rockaway/Five Towns area which either opened today, or are opening within the next day or so after they get a system in place.

    • Or Rabbi Ralbag shlita, rav of Bais Ephraim Yitzchok. I’ve davened there a few times when I was a guest for Shabbos in the neighborhood. Nice Shul. Nice Rav. Nice people. I particularly enjoyed the Rav’s drasha and shiur before Mincha on Shabbos afternoon.
      P.S. Rabbi Feiner is the Rav in the White Shul which is in Far Rockaway, not the 5Towns.

  2. Rabbi Feiner is not on the list because he doesn’t agree with it. His shul posted a letter stating they are trying to open as soon as possible. It’s probably not easy for that shul due to the dynamics of the shul, size of the crowd, and diversity in age.
    This is the letter that went out from his shul:
    שלום וברכה!
    The governor has officially approved small indoor religious gatherings of no more than 10 people. The situation is fluid and final regulations have not yet been specified. We are working on a plan of rooms and schedules, as well as processes and procedures. The safety of our mispallelim is of utmost importance. A committee is working on logistics and schedules, in consultation with the Rabbis, appropriate health professionals, local authorities and community organizations. We hope to open the building as soon as is feasible and safe.

    We will keep you informed as the situation develops. Please understand that this is not a simple task given the size of our Shul, the number of mispallelim and the health concerns of our tzibbur. We will be calling upon you, our Shul family, to assist in the safe reopening of the Shul. As it appears that we will have to organize and conduct multiple and/or concurrent smaller minyanim, if you are able to help by laining at one of the projected minyanim, please complete the form here.

    Thank you for your understanding and patience.
    Wishing you and yours continued health and safety-

    Daniel Liss, President
    Nesanel Feller and Tuvia Silverstein, Co-Chairmen of the Board
    On behalf of the Reopening Committee

  3. Not “19 shuls”..

    4 of them from Young Israel of Woodmere
    2 from Beth Sholom
    2 from Anshei Chesed

    Cuts down the list quite a bit.

  4. its simple the FIRST to close are the LAST to open
    as the fox told the fish come out on shore in the water you could get hooked ( or infected)

    • is davening by oneself not yotzei? try to get nourishment from the air! not so easy? that’s why groceries are open!

  5. I’m sure all their congregants are also very machmir not to go to Costco / supermarkets etc… or are they only very (extremely) machmir when it comes to staying away from devarim shebikdusha?

  6. The main issue with opening these shuls are the Kiddush clubs.
    Kiddush clubs are not yet allowed by the State or local gov’t.

    • your delusional. trump is a debased human being. and I voted for him so dont try to make this a Republican or Democrat issue


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here