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LA County Health Orders ‘Ban’ Observing Jewish High Holidays

Attorneys say a public health order indirectly targets families from observing the Jewish high holy days by prohibiting family gatherings.

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A law firm specializing in religious freedom says a Los Angeles County public health order indirectly prohibits families from observing the Jewish high holy days.

In the initial Sept. 2 order, before the wording was revised, an example given by officials for prohibited gatherings included “having dinner with extended family and friends to honor the High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur),” according to First Liberty Institute.

The county later revised the health officer order on Sept. 13 to prohibit “having a meal with extended family and friends for a religious or cultural holiday”, omitting the specific reference to the Jewish holidays.

Considered the holiest days of the Jewish calendar, Rosh Hashanah begins Friday and Yom Kippur starts on Sept. 27 and ends the following evening.

“Although now hiding behind obscured language, the ban on celebrating the High Holidays with others remains,” wrote Stephanie Taub, senior counsel with First Liberty, which is based in Plano, Texas.

A letter signed by Taub and sent Wednesday to Los Angeles County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis and County Counsel Mary Wickham alleges the “county’s policy threatens…

CBSLA Staff

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