The spread of COVID-19, a new coronavirus, is reshaping Jewish communities across the globe. JTA is publishing news from around the world on our ongoing coronavirus news ticker.
3:40 p.m. Deaths in London and Monsey: Yeshiva World News reports that a 39-year-old man, Lipa Friedrich, has died in Monsey, New York. And a 76-year-old Hasidic rabbi from London, Uri Ashkenazi, died today after being diagnosed with the coronavirus, Hamodia reports. Jews are overrepresented so far in U.K. coronavirus deaths.
3:22 p.m. American Jewish Committee cancels international forum in Berlin: The New York-base, group was holding its Global Forum, scheduled for June 14-17, for the first time in Europe. Some 2,000 participants had registered from across the United States and dozens of countries. The event will not be rescheduled, the AJC said in a statement.
2:11 p.m. Cellphone tracking nets 500 Israelis with coronavirus: Israel’s security service, known as the Shin Bet, said that 500 Israelis it identified using cellphone tracking as having been in contact with a coronavirus patient were tested and found to have the virus, according to reports. The tracking approach is being contested legally.
1:57 p.m. Western Wall plaza remains open: Despite regulations requiring Israelis to remain 100 meters from their homes, the Western Wall outdoor plaza remains open, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation said in a statement, which means, practically, that only some residents of Jerusalem’s Old City can venture there to pray. The indoor prayer areas of the Western Wall were closed on Thursday afternoon.
9:38 a.m. El Al to cancel all flights: El Al said it is considering cancelling all flights beginning tonight through April 4, Channel 12 reported. The airline would continue operating rescue flights and cargo flights.
8:01 a.m. Duke students who traveled to Israel are infected: At least 15 Duke business students who traveled to Israel over spring break tested positive for coronavirus and have been isolated at their homes off-campus for at least a week, The News & Observer reported. Several dozen students went on the trip, which was not sponsored by Duke, and they were instructed to self-quarantine at their homes off-campus.
7:52 a.m. Doing their part: There are no classes going on at Kohelet Yeshiva High School in Merion Station, Pennsylvania, but the 3-D printers in its digital fabrication lab are working overtime printing surgical face shields for the health care workers at the local Lankenau hospital. It is creating about two dozen shields a day, KYW newsradio reports.
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