Letter to Jewish Community

The Toronto Jewish Community COVID-19 Response Task Force is a group of community members and physicians representing various medical specialties and community organizations. Our goal is to help our community respond to COVID-19 by providing accurate, timely information and guidance to the community.

We are developing a website (www.KolHaCOVID.com) and will be sharing materials through various channels across the many diverse Jewish communities in the GTA.

At this time, there are several clusters of cases and contacts in different parts of the Jewish community. Although all schools, shuls, and organizations have now closed, COVID-19 has already spread and many community members have been asked to self-isolate. It is critically important that everyone follows public health’s instructions meticulously. Self-isolation instructions and other guidance can be found here.

Regardless of your travel or contact history, we can all contribute to reducing the risk of serious illness, especially to those at increased risk, though physical distancing.

Physical distancing, sometimes known as social distancing, is the most effective strategy for decreasing the impact of COVID-19 on us as individuals, as a community and globally.

All community members can contribute to fighting the pandemic by:

1. Self-isolating with your immediate family.

Avoid nonessential outings. Limit interaction (and practice physical distancing) with everyone, other than your immediate family.

2. Protect the vulnerable.

The elderly and those with underlying medical conditions (including heart disease, lung disease, and immunocompromising conditions) should take extra care to follow strict self-isolation practices. Vulnerable individuals should, to the extent possible, avoid all unnecessary outings and limit contact. This includes limiting close contact even with members of their immediate household.

Physical distancing can be difficult, but it does not mean social distancing yourself or your family from each other or the community. Reach out, by phone or virtually, to your loved ones and others who may feel isolated. We are in this together and all of us—from the young to the elderly—have a role to play in keeping each other safe and healthy.

As part of this initiative, we hope to organize and enable community groups and individuals to care for each other. Let’s do this together. Let’s care for each other, and let’s pray that this event soon passes and we are able to minimize harm to our friends, families, neighbours and broader community.

Circumstances are changing every day and for the next weeks and months, we hope to provide continued guidance and specific recommendations on how to grow and thrive during this difficult time.

Sending all of you best wishes for continued health,

Steering Committee:
Chaim Bell, MD PhD FRCP(C)
Sinai Health System
University of Toronto

J. Ari Greenwald, MD, FRCPC Associate Clinical Professor, Dept of Medicine, McMaster University
Emergency Physician, Hamilton Health Sciences & Mackenzie Health
Medical Director, Hatzoloh Toronto

Barry Pakes, MD, PhD, FRCPC Assistant Professor of Public Health
University of Toronto

Taskforce members:

Colin Geft, MD

Jeremy Gilbert, MD

Ronn Goldberg, MBA, MD
Medical Imaging

Ilana Greenwald, MD
Emergency Medicine

Nesya Jacob, MD, CCFP
Family Medicine

Esther Libman, MD
Family Medicine

Jeffrey Rothenstein, MD

Allen Seidenfeld, MD

Rachel Shour, MD
Family Medicine

Nathan Stall, MD

Moshe Weinstock, MD

One thought on “Letter to Jewish Community”

  1. A heartfelt Yasher Koach to all of you who organized the Toronto Jewish Community COVID-19 Response Task Force and for the important information you are providing on your website. It is an invaluable resource in these difficult times.

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