In these unusual times trustees have taken the decision to share the opportunity with our members to be part of the emergency appeals for two key organisations in our community: Donisthorpe Hall and Leeds Jewish Welfare Board.

I would in a usual year use this opportunity to tell you about our recent successes but that isn’t appropriate in the circumstances we find ourselves but I want to tell you how we are working for you at this time of unprecedented crisis as I realise our work isn’t always visible.

As we approach the last few days before Pesach, Simon and I, together with our amazing team of volunteers, are preparing for a very busy time.

In order to ensure we get all of the orders out as soon as possible, we will be introducing the following process from Sunday morning

There is no doubt the support this year has been unbelievable. As we write this, we have received in excess of 500 orders – more than in either of the previous two years. We also have other community groups who are still to confirm their requests.

Important message regarding tahara, funerals and shiva

In the challenging times we find ourselves it is reassuring to know that Judaism has an immense body of wisdom and guidance that can help us. As we have said many times over the recent fortnight, Judaism's highest commandment is pikuach nefesh: saving a soul.

Judaism's highest commandment is pikuach nefesh: saving a soul. We also hold dear the principle of dina d'malkhuta dina: the law of the land is the law. With these key principles in mind, and following the government's announcement yesterday evening, we have now advised all our staff, and office volunteers, to stop coming into the synagogue.

It is now the right time for Sinai, as a community, to move to the next phase of protecting us all. As such, we will now be closing the Synagogue to all but essential staff, and occasional volunteer presence.

Trustees are conscious of the constantly developing news around Covid-19 and can imagine that for some of our members the virus is causing concern. Along with the Rabbi, we had a long and informed discussion about how to respond at last night's board meeting.

If you missed Sally’s passionate appeal on Kol Nidre, here is the video and text:

 Every year for one week, Sinai hosts a night shelter for destitute asylum seekers. This year our week is in December.