Thursday, February 25, 2021

COVID-19 Update #52

 Throughout the month of February we have had continued cases on a daily basis, in a fluctuating pattern. Over the past several days we have seen an uptick, unfortunately, just as we go into Purim. We have had approximately 130 cases since the beginning of February, with at least 40 in the last 7 days alone; these are the cases that have tested positive, that we are aware of. Of these cases in February, three appear to have been re-infections. Boruch Hashem most patients have done very well, although some have gotten very ill. 

As always, mask use and social distancing remain important tools to slow the spread of infection. Considering that we are going into Purim and that we have had a recent uptick in cases, the following request is critical:

If you have any symptoms whatsoever, please do not join the Purim festivities. The inevitable crowded nature of these events makes them particularly high risk for spread of infection, and a possible superspreading event. Even if you are unsure, and just feel off, or have an unusual headache, or sore throat, or any of the many symptoms that might be Covid, please err on the side of caution and do not mingle with others. The same is true if you have been in close contact with somebody who has Covid.

May we be benched with a joyous and healthy Purim, and may the simchas Purim be poiretz all the gedarim and difficulties of this time, and lead us to ultimate simcha of moshiach tzidkeinu.

A freilichen Purim,

  • The Gedaliah Society, in conjunction with Dr. Rosen

Friday, January 29, 2021

COVID-19 Update #51

 Community covid status:

Boruch Hashem the average daily number of cases in our community is downtrending, and we hope and pray it continues in that trajectory. Please continue to take the public health precautions necessary to prevent the spread of disease, in particular with respect to large crowded gatherings, and those who are at high risk for serious illness.

Covid vaccine update:

The vaccine distribution in New York City is regulated by New York State. Currently, in phase 1b, vaccine eligibility includes individuals above the age of 65, teachers, healthcare workers, first responders, and other personnel as laid out by the government. (The full list is here:

However, distribution of the vaccine to these groups of people remains suboptimal. Specifically, at the time of this writing, private practices around the city, including here in Crown Heights, have not been provided with the vaccine doses needed for their eligible patients. An attempt to get the vaccine from the city for a community drive was not yet successful. 

There are several locations where there may be available vaccine doses. All require an appointment and vaccine supplies are variable. The ODA health network in Williamsburg and Ezra medical centers in Boro Park  have limited supplies of vaccine. There are other sites that can be found at  NYCs dedicated website. Therefore, for the time being, those that are eligible and wish to go get vaccinated can try any of the following:, calling ODA at 718-260-4600 ext 999, or calling Ezra medical at 718-233-1134. 

Boruch Hashem there has been tremendous positive feedback to the vaccine Q&A with Dr BarZeev, and we encourage all those with questions regarding its safety and necessity to take the time to watch the Q&A, available here:

Upcoming Purim season:

It is difficult to believe that we are approaching the Purim season, which last year marked the beginning of a difficult period that has been seared into our memory. As a community we have together suffered so much, some of us in more personal and deep ways than others. Neshamos will be hosting a virtual event on Motzei Shabbos 8 Adar (20th Feb) to remember those no longer with us, what we have all lost during this painful time, and to recognize as a community the service performed by our volunteer heroes.  Please mark your calendars, with further details of the event to be forthcoming. 

Wishing everyone excellent health, Good Shabbos!

- The Gedaliah Society, in conjunction with Dr Rosen

Friday, January 15, 2021

COVID vaccine Q&A with Dr. Eli Rosen and Dr. Naor Bar Zeev. #GedaliahSoc...

Dr. Eli Rosen, veteran family physician to the Crown Heights Chabad community, hosts a Q&A regarding the COVID vaccine with guest Dr. Naor Bar Zeev, distinguished physician, epidemiologist, and vaccine expert.  Hosted by the Gedaliah Society, January 14, 2021 / 2 Shvat 5781.

Session breakdown by topic:

(Click on the minute marker to advance to that section)

3:20 How does the vaccine work?

12:39 Are children vectors?

15:21 How does the vaccine provide immunity?

19:55 Do we need masks and distancing after the vaccine?

20:30 One dose versus two doses?

25:40 How long will immunity from the vaccine last?

29:47 What about the new strains?

34:10 Is the vaccine safe?

50:31 Was the vaccine studied in pregnant women?

54:09 Does the vaccine affect fertility?

58:06 Does the vaccine affect or cause autoimmune disease?

1:02:17 What about other additives in the vaccine?

1:05:07 Can pregnant or breastfeeding women take the vaccine?

1:08:32 Aren't people getting seriously ill and dying from the vaccine, and having serious allergies?

1:11:37 Aren't many doctors against the vaccine?

1:14:47 Can the vaccine change your DNA?

1:16:31 Do we really need a vaccine if we have such good treatments?

1:17:47 If I'm young and healthy, why take the chance with the vaccine?

1:20:14 I had COVID and/or have antibodies; do I still need the vaccine?

1:24:25 Conclusion


לכתוביות עברית, לחץ על "הגדרות" ובחר באפשרות כתוביות

ד"ר אלי רוזן, רופא משפחה ותיק מקהילת חב"ד קראון הייטס, מארח שאלות ותשובות בנושא חיסון COVID עם האורח ד"ר נאור בר זאב, רופא מכובד, אפידמיולוג ומומחה לחיסונים. בהנחיית אגודת גדליה, 14 בינואר 2021, ב 'שבט תשע"ח. ראה פירוט מושבים להלן.

פירוט מושבים לפי נושאים:

3:20 איך החיסון עובד?

12:39 האם ילדים וקטורים?

15:21 כיצד החיסון מספק חסינות?

19:55 האם אנו זקוקים למסכות ולהתרחקות לאחר החיסון?

20:30 מנה אחת לעומת שתי מנות?

25:40 כמה זמן תימשך החסינות מפני החיסון?

29:47 מה עם הזנים החדשים?

34:10 האם החיסון בטוח?

50:31 האם החיסון נחקר אצל נשים בהריון?

54:09 האם החיסון משפיע על הפוריות?

58:06 האם החיסון משפיע או גורם למחלות אוטואימוניות?

1:02:17 מה לגבי תוספים אחרים בחיסון?

1:05:07 האם נשים בהריון או מיניקות יכולות לקחת את החיסון?

1:08:32 האם אנשים לא חולים במחלה קשה ומתים מחיסון וסובלים מאלרגיות קשות?

1:11:37 האם אין הרבה רופאים נגד החיסון?

1:14:47 האם החיסון יכול לשנות את ה- DNA שלך?

1:16:31 האם אנחנו באמת צריכים חיסון אם יש לנו טיפולים כל כך טובים?

1:17:47 אם אני צעיר ובריא, למה לקחת את הסיכון עם החיסון?

1:20:14 היה לי COVID ו / או יש לי נוגדנים; האם אני עדיין צריך את החיסון?

1:24:25 מסקנה

Monday, January 11, 2021

COVID-19 Update #50

Several dozen questions have come in so far related to vaccine safety and efficacy. As per our last update, IYH we will be having a Q&A featuring Dr. Naor Bar-Zeev and hosted by Dr. Eli Rosen addressing these questions in an organized fashion. Please email any such questions to with “vaccine” in the subject line, or DM questions on Instagram to @gedaliahupdates.  IYH the Q&A session will then be made publicly available, hopefully by the end of this week. Live questions in real time won’t be possible for logistical reasons, so please send any questions in beforehand. 

-The Gedaliah Society, in conjunction with Dr. Rosen

Friday, January 8, 2021

COVID-19 Update #49

 Boruch Hashem the daily average of cases appears to have levelled off, and is no longer rising; we hope IYH soon it will not only plateau but also decline. COVID nonetheless remains endemic (always present) in our community and we continue to urge those that are older and have not previously been ill to take appropriate precautions, particularly with respect to crowded indoor places and events where mask use and social distancing is not practiced. 

Mitigation of this process (to achieve many fewer infections) is obviously a priority for the community. There are various ways to bring this about, that when applied together will hopefully result in the infection disappearing from our midst, and IYH continuing to keep our institutions open. This must be a multipronged approach.

As far as possible social events should have limited attendees and the venues as open as possible, to allow for distancing. We all need to be very cognizant of not attending simchas when feeling in any way ill. This applies to children as well. Anyone who is ill should get tested immediately. Choosing NOT to know can only result in further spread of the virus. 

Those that are sick with COVID and those who have been closely exposed to someone with COVID, please continue to follow the following isolation and quarantine guidelines: People ill with the virus are isolated for 10 days from the beginning of their symptoms.  Those closely exposed to the infectious individual should quarantine themselves (not socializing) and can get tested after 5 days. If negative, they may exit the state of quarantine after day 7, being particularly careful with personal mask use and distancing (as they may still be infectious up to 14 days). If they choose not to be tested, quarantine lasts a minimum of 10 days with the same 14 day conditions as above.

Unfortunately, and for reasons both known and unknown, the above measures imperfectly applied have not resulted in an end to the spread of the virus locally, and we are still witnessing the profound loss and disruption caused by an ongoing presence of the virus. This fact, along with a pressing need for everyone to resume a normal existence, brings us to a brief discussion of the vaccine:

If the government meets its promise, the vaccine will hopefully be available locally in the coming week, with the current policy initially allowing for those over 75 years of age or high risk to receive the vaccine (details as laid out by the governor). This will need to be coordinated with your medical provider, or obtained from one of the city vaccine sites that will hopefully soon be set up.

In a general way, a successful vaccination program holds the greatest promise of eradicating this illness, and we stand firmly behind implementation of widespread vaccination. We understand that any intervention in the medical realm carries risk, however as the serious casualties of this illness continue to mount, we need to turn to the tools that Hashem has provided us, as we have done in previous epidemics, with faith that we will be free of this scourge soon.

We understand that there are many questions related to the vaccine, both with respect to its safety and its necessity.  IYH we will be having a live webinar session by Dr. Naor Bar-Zeev to address many of the questions that arise. Dr. Bar-Zeev is an infectious diseases physician and statistical epidemiologist who has done extensive research into vaccines and their development, and is an associate professor of International Health and Vaccine Sciences at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Please submit any questions beforehand to, with “vaccine” in the subject line.  Alternatively, please direct message any questions via Instagram to @gedaliahupdates. We will try to organize the questions that come in and have Dr. Bar-Zeev address them in an organized fashion. 

Wishing everyone continued good health,

Good Shabbos !

     -The Gedaliah Society, in conjunction with Dr. Rosen

Friday, December 25, 2020

COVID-19 Update #48

Over the past week there have been upwards of 100 cases of COVID in our community. Thankfully, over the past few days we have not witnessed the exponential increase we had feared, which is very reassuring; hopefully this will not only continue to be the case, but IYH we will see a downtrend.  However, there are still many cases daily across all age groups, with many in the group of most concern. Predominantly the virus is spreading among those who had not previously had COVID. 

Therefore, given the continued presence of COVID in our community, we must strongly urge those above the age 50 who have not previously been ill with COVID to continue to take caution. For the time being, and certainly over this Shabbos and into next week, those in this group are urged to avoid shuls, simchas, or other crowded areas, and to be cautious about socializing with family or friends who may spread the virus. Of particular concern is children who are constantly mixing with others at school, and who then go to visit their vulnerable grandparents who of course desire to spend time or a meal with those whom they love. 

For the general community, if someone is ill with COVID they should stay home and isolate until ten days have passed, and they are symptom free for at least a day. Those who have been in close contact with a person with COVID should quarantine for a minimum of 10 days. (Alternatively, one may discontinue quarantine on day 7 if a negative test is obtained on day 5-7 of quarantine.)

Isolation of those who are ill, and quarantining those who have been closely exposed, is perhaps the single most important thing we can do to slow down the spread of COVID.  In addition, masks and social distancing are effective tools in reducing the spread of COVID and should be utilized. 

IYH next week we will have further information as to where things stand. For now, we beg people not to congregate in big crowds, at least for the short term, given the continued prevalence of cases. 

Wishing those that are currently ill a complete and speedy refuah shleimah, and IYH we should only have good news to share.

Good Shabbos!

     -The Gedaliah Society, in conjunction with Dr. Rosen

Monday, December 21, 2020

COVID-19 Update #47

In the past few days we have seen a dramatic and worrisome increase in new cases of COVID in our community. These are occurring in both children and adults. Overwhelmingly this has been in those who have not been previously ill. We hope we are not standing on the brink of a serious outbreak, but we must act with caution as though we are.  We urge those above age 50 who have not previously been sick with COVID to shelter in place, at least for the time being until we can assess the situation further. Over the next few days we hope to have clarification as to the nature of the current resurgence; as such: We strongly recommend those in this category to not attend shul, simchas, family gatherings, and the like. 

  • The Gedaliah Society, in conjunction with Dr. Rosen