In an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center will once again forgo in-person Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services this year, the hospital announced Thursday.
Instead, virtual religious services will be conducted through the Spiritual Care Department’s website at www.cedars-sinai.org/patients-visitors/spiritual-care/judaism/services.html.
Services will be available at the following dates and times:
— Rosh Hashana: Sept. 7, available for 24 hours starting at 7 a.m.
— Kol Nidre: Sept. 15, 4 p.m. to 6 a.m.
— Yom Kippur: Sept. 16, available for 24 hours starting at 7 a.m.
The decision to forego in-person services was not an easy one, according to Jason Weiner, Cedars-Sinai’s senior rabbi and director of spiritual care, who said the services had become a standby of comfort for patients, staff and community prior to the pandemic.
The hospital also canceled in-person services in 2020.
This year, patients will be able to tune in to the service from their rooms, and Weiner will once again be blowing a traditional ram’s horn shofar outfitted with a mask in patient rooms for those who request it.
“We want to reflect on whether we’ve done as much as we can to protect our community, and what we can do better,” he said. “Recognizing the importance of community and why we don’t gather in large groups, as much as we’ve missed it, is a way of expressing our values.”