As the UK Government has slowly begun to relax guidelines relating to Covid-19, so to have various organisations begun relaxing the most stringent regulations preventing mourners from being present for cremations or burials. As of this past week (1.6.20) the Movement for Reform Judaism in the UK along with the Joint Jewish Burial Society and the Assembly of Reform Rabbis in the UK have all voted to transition away from a strict “no mourner” policy to a slightly relaxed policy of a small amount of mourners made up of immediately family. In accordance with this and the Leeds City Council number of 10 mourners allowed at funerals, Sinai will as well relax our guidelines, but with strict options and conditions.

Each month we have an opportunity for members of the Sinai community to lead our Shabbat services (both erev Shabbat and Shabbat morning).

Members will not be surprised to learn that the Sinai annual general meeting (AGM) due to be held in early May has been postponed.

The Jewish Leadership Council in partnership with Work Avenue, has established a fund, with almost £300,000 and a commitment of additional funds if needed, to support those across the community whose earnings have been directly affected by COVID-19. The fund specifically assists those who are ineligible for Government support or who face delays accessing Government funds.

We are delighted to launch Limmud Together UK - the Limmud you know and love but from the comforts of your own home! It’ll be virtually the same experience as a day Limmud, with outstanding presenters, discussions and learning.

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.