Trump Admin Drafts Hasidic Singer to Raise COVID Awareness in Orthodox Communities

Six Orthodox neighborhoods have comprised 20 percent of the total new cases in New York City

JTA
Shira Hanau
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An Orthodox Jewish man walks along Lee Avenue as people prepare to celebrate the start of Rosh Hashanah in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, September 18, 2020.
An Orthodox Jewish man walks along Lee Avenue as people prepare to celebrate the start of Rosh Hashanah in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, September 18, 2020. Credit: Anthony Behar/Sipa USA via Reuters
JTA
Shira Hanau

Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in a number of Orthodox communities in New York City and surrounding areas.

Now a federal government agency is hoping a popular Hasidic singer might be able to help to stem the tide.

Shulem Lemmer, the first Hasidic singer to sign a record deal with a major record label, announced in a tweet Wednesday that he would help the Department of Health and Human Services “bring awareness of anything Covid-19 related to the Orthodox Jewish community & beyond.”

The singer said he would interview the assistant secretary for health, Adm. Dr. Brett Giroir, with parts of their conversation on Thursday to be shared with Jewish media outlets.

Orthodox communities in New York City and down the East Coast have struggled with rising COVID cases as the summer neared its close, making the reopening of schools and synagogues for the High Holidays difficult.

In New York City, six Orthodox neighborhoods have comprised 20 percent of the total new cases in the city, alarming city officials who promised an outreach campaign to community leaders and free mask distribution.

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