Moscow congregation told to self-isolate after synagogue’s rabbi gets coronavirus


(JTA) — The congregation of a Moscow synagogue has been placed under quarantine after one of its rabbis contracted the coronavirus.

Rabbi Gershon Lisus, 36, is in the hospital in stable but serious condition. He attended several communal events at the Bolshaya Bronnaya Synagogue, including a Purim party on March 8, the news site NG reported Sunday. The synagogue closed 10 days later because of the coronavirus.

Joseph Kogan, the senior rabbi at Bolshaya Bronnaya, reached out to inform his congregation of the situation earlier this week, the report said.

“We closed down the synagogue and asked people to go into self-isolation immediately,” Kogan told the news site.

He said Lisus did not travel abroad in the months leading to the outbreak of the pandemic. Several dozen people and their relatives have gone into self-isolation as a result.

Lisus’ wife, Dvora, in a Facebook post urged readers to pray for her husband and not underestimate what the virus can do to younger people who are infected.

She wrote that her husband is “a man in the prime of his life who never smoked a single cigarette, and he is in critical condition now due to lung damage.”

As of Tuesday, one person was reported to have died in Russia from COVID-19.

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