The Vaad Harabonim of Queens was founded over fifty years ago by Rabbis who shared a common vision. Seeking to unite the growing Orthodox Jewish community under the banner of Halacha and Mitzvah observance, they joined together to create an organization that would strengthen and maintain the institutions of a Torah community. The Vaad is a not-for-profit organization, and it’s members serve on a strictly voluntary basis.
To our dear Queens Kehilla Members
As you know, there is a mandatory curfew from 8pm to 5am for NYC through Sunday,June 7th. Our community is acutely affected, particularly in areas of religious practice. The Vaad Harabonim of Queens has consulted with our local law enforcement and elected officials and apprised them of our concerns. Please be advised that:
Mikva attendance can continue.
Minyonim- We strongly suggest that daavening for mincha be scheduled for before “plag” (for example today,Tuesday, Plag is 6:48 PM) and to daaven Maariv right after plag. Those daavening at the Zman should try to finish as close as possible to 8 pm.
It is paramount that we follow the current order and assist our local law enforcement by not going outside and not congregating in any way.
With Torah blessings Vaad Harabonim of Queens
כ״ז אייר תש״פ
Thursday, May 21st, 2020
To our fellow members of the Queens Jewish Community,
As you have most likely already heard, Governor Cuomo announced yesterday, May 20th that as of today, Thursday, May 21, religious gatherings of no more than ten people are permitted throughout New York State.
We are first and foremost extremely grateful to the רבש”ע that we are now allowed, albeit in small groups, to return to our shuls. We approach our return to תפילה בצבור with a great deal of excitement and anticipation and a renewed appreciation for כבוד התפלה and קדושת בית הכנסת. Hopefully, each of us will renew our commitment to daven with more concentration, less distraction, and no talking throughout the davening.
We also express our sincere thanks to Governor Cuomo for his sensitivity to our community’s spiritual needs.
At the same time, we recognize that due to ongoing concerns for our health and safety, there are rabonim and shuls that will choose to follow the recommendation of the Orthodox Union which encourages an additional two week waiting period before returning to shul.
Other rabonim and shuls will choose to follow the guidelines of Agudath Israel which supports the immediate reopening of shuls.
In addition, many rabonim may choose to first daven only outdoors as suggested by the governor and to return to indoor minyonim at a later date.
All, however, agree, and we, the undersigned Rabbis strongly reiterate, that any and all minyonim must conform to all the requirements of New York State law, including the wearing of face masks by all ten participants and proper social distancing at all times.
In addition, we strongly urge each minyan to appoint a coordinator who will report to his own Rav and assume full responsibility to ensure all safety protocols are carefully observed. If any of the safety protocols are breached the minyan should be closed immediately.
Individuals over age 65 or those who have an underlying medical condition should not attend minyan at this time. No one should exert pressure to convince someone else to attend a minyan.
The coordinator must consult his Rav to seek guidance related to if at all (when necessary) shorten the Tefila and how to properly and safely perform Krias HaTorah. The participants must bring their own siddur and chumash; there should be no lingering and socializing before or after minyan and there may not be any food or drink served. Mincha and Maariv should be davened in succession around sunset without any break in between. It is best to daven with the same minyan consistently rather than daven in numerous different minyonim.
For those davening outside, please be mindful of your neighbors. Do not disturb by davening too loudly or by davening in a location that inconveniences others.It is our sincere hope that our reinvigorated Tefilos serve as a zechus for our entire community to be blessed with continued good health.
Rabbi Haim Alcabes – Cong. Mekor Haberacha
Rabbi Nir Aminov- Cong. Ner Mordechai
Rabbi Shaul Arieli- Cong. Ohel Yitzchok
Rabbi Baruch Babaev- Bukharian Jewish Center
Rabbi Yaakov Bergman- Bais Medrash- Kew Gardens Hils
Rabbi Yaakov Friedman- Cong. Bais Yosef Ulem
Rabbi Ephraim Glatt- Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills
Rabbi Sholem B. Hecht- Sephardic Cong. Forest Hills
Rabbi Binyomin Kessler- Cong. Toras Emes
Rabbi Shmuel Lemann – Torah Center of Hillcrest
Rabbi Dov Lerner – Young Israel of Jamaica Estates
Rabbi Shmuel Marcus- Young Israel of Queens Valley
Rabbi Binyomin Mittel- Cong. Nachlas Avos -EJC
Rabbi Shlomo Nisanov – Cong. Kehillas Sephardim
Rabbi Noach Isaac Oelbaum- Cong. Nachlas Yitzchok
Rabbi Mutti Saltzman- Young Israel of Briarwood
Rabbi Asher Schechter – Torah Center of Hillcrest
Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld- Young Israel Kew Gardens Hills
Rabbi Ashie Schreier- Young Israel of Forest Hills
Rabbi Chaim Schwartz- Cong. Ohr Bechor Halevi
Rabbi Elan Segelman- Kehilas Torah Temimah
Rabbi Dovid Sheinfeld – Cong. Degel Israel
Rabbi Aryeh Sokoloff – Cong. Adas Yeshurun
Rabbi Peretz Steinberg- Young Israel Queens Valley
Rabbi Moshe Taub – Young Israel of Hillcrest
Rabbi Etan Tanenbaum- Bais Medrash Zichron Shalom
Rabbi Mishel Teitz- Cong. Aderes Eliyahu
Rabbi Moshe Turk- Jewish Heritage Center
Rabbi Herschel Welcher- Cong. Ahavas Yisrael
Rabbi Elchonon Zohn