THE Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) has addressed the coronavirus crisis in a statement released on Thursday.
In it, the roof body has offered assistance to any Jewish organisation in need, as well as outlining its own precautions in relation to the outbreak.
“This is a very difficult time for all of us, including the Jewish community leadership, as we grapple with questions about holding and participating in communal events, adjusting our work routines, attending synagogue services, and sending our children to school,” ECAJ said.
“Our highest priority is the health and wellbeing of members of our community. Both individuals and organisations in the community have a shared responsibility to exercise reasonable caution.”
ECAJ said any outbreak or suspected outbreak within a Jewish organisation “should be reported immediately” to the relevant government departments.
“It would also be in the best interests of the community if your local CSG were kept fully informed,” the statement added.
“In addition, Jewish organisations which are generally well-placed to handle a crisis, need to be mindful of those in our community who are highly vulnerable.”
In light of the crisis, NSW Jewish communal leaders have made the decision to begin activation of the Jewish Emergency Management Plan (JEMP) so that preparations and plans for the community can start to be reviewed.
Established under the auspices of the Council for Jewish Community Security and the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD), the JEMP is a system to deal with the management of incidents and emergencies with the potential for high impact and broad and possibly fatal consequences for the NSW Jewish community. Community Security Group (CSG) resources will be activated to implement the plan.
JBOD CEO Vic Alhadeff said it was important for members of the community to know the leadership was taking proactive steps to address the crisis.
JBOD president Lesli Berger added, “It’s a precautionary measure, and we want to give the community confidence that we are organised and are here to help should the need arise.”
You can read the full ECAJ statement here.