Victory for Our Shuls


In a major victory for religious liberty, a federal court has blocked  Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio from enforcing both indoor and outdoor limitations on prayer. This is an issue that Agudath Israel has been advocating for, for weeks. Specifically, the judge ordered the current limitations on houses of worship, which in Phase 2 limits indoor attendance to 25% of capacity, be changed to 50% capacity, equal to the limits on allowed businesses. The judge also barred all restrictions on outdoor gatherings.


Click here for the full Agudah statement .


Latest on New York Reopening


Five regions of New York are on track to enter Phase 4 of reopening today. These areas include Finger Lakes, Central New York, Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley and the North Country.


Phase 4 permits indoor religious gatherings at 33% of capacity, and allows low-risk indoor and outdoor arts and entertainment. The Mid-Hudson Valley and Long Island entered Phase 3 earlier this week, while New York City has entered Phase 2.  Businesses that may start or expand operations in Phase 2 include offices, in-store retail, outdoor dining, hair salons and barbershops, real estate, commercial building management, retail rental, repair and cleaning, and vehicle sales, leases, and rentals.


Travel Quarantine


New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have issued a joint initiative that requires all individuals traveling to NY, NJ or CT from listed states with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period upon arrival. This advisory went into effect Thursday and applies to anyone traveling from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington. (The list of states will be updated online as the data changes). To see the full guidance click here.


Special Ed Services


Parents of children that are enrolled in non-public schools in New York City are required to fill out a form every year in order to guarantee that their child is eligible to receive special education services at their school. While the Department of Education usually mails out this form, the Coronavirus pandemic has affected this practice, and the form was sent out by email instead of postal mail this year.


In order to ensure that each child enrolled in a non-public school still has access to their special education services including OT, PT, Speech, SEIT, SETTS, please click here.


Parents without internet or email access should contact Mrs. Leah Steinberg, Director of Project LEARN at 917 371 3395.


Lawsuit for Camps


Earlier this week Agudath Israel led AJCO (Association of Jewish Camp Operators) took the extraordinary move of requesting a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to ask the court to immediately open overnight camps in New York State.


Earlier this week I discussed it on the Yeshiva World News podcast. You can listen to it by clicking here.


See below for the video “No is not and answer” on the fight to open the camps.


Alternate Side Parking


Alternate side parking has been suspended until June 28, 2020 and will resume for one week on June 29th. In other alternate side parking news, the city has  announced the end of the twice-weekly street cleanings, the most dramatic reform to Alternate Side Parking (ASP) in decades.


Utility Bill Discounts


Low-income New Yorkers will get discounts on their utility bills between June-October to protect them from severe heat waves and economic insecurity due to COVID-19.


For more information please click here.


Agudah Live


This week’s Agudah Live featured The Secret Sauce Behind Free Lunches with Rabbi Yitz Frank and Yaacov Brisman, Esq with hosts Rabbi Avi Schnall and Rabbi Shai Markowitz.


To view and listen click here.