We want to act with caution so that our school is as safe as possible, “says Noga Hartmann, director of the IE Lichtigfeld school in Frankfurt. Many colleagues and students have been infected with Corona in recent weeks and the growing number of new infections he’s not exactly optimistic.
On Friday, the Bundestag approved changes to the Infection Protection Act. The previous rules expired on Saturday. State parliaments now decide which crown rules will apply in which regions from now on. On the new legal basis, they can decide on basic protection measures and also set stricter requirements for so-called hotspots.
The institutions of the Jewish community in Frankfurt – depending on the respective specifications of the different responsible authorities and their respective possibilities – are planning steps for reopening. For the IE Lichtigfeld School gymnasium, it was decided that classes in different subjects in grades six to eight can be held again between classes and that optional mixed group classes will also be held. Work groups can start after spring break.
COURT BREAK The regulation on the interruption of the construction site remains unaffected for the moment. School trips to Germany are planned. Since it is no longer mandatory to wear a mask in class, care must be taken to keep distances, but above all to ensure that other precautionary measures such as ventilation are observed. The testing routine continues as before in both elementary and high school. “And of course anyone who wants to can continue to wear a mask,” says Noga Hartmann.
The situation is a bit different with the organization of breaks in elementary school, because pupils should be able to gradually mix again and not just be together in their class.
“It is clear to me that we will definitely keep the masks until spring break, because contagions are making the rounds and the holidays are otherwise at risk for families,” says Michael Anger, director of the Albert Einstein Gymnasium in Dusseldorf. On Friday, the Ministry of School and Education of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia decided to ditch the masks a week before the holidays. “But we don’t do that and we will stick to the existing regulations until the holidays.”
Test, distance, ventilation: this is how schools are prepared.
The test requirement has now been lifted for people who have already been vaccinated. If you want to use it, you need to prove your vaccination status. However, anyone can continue to take part in the tests, which take place three times a week.
SERVICE OF THE CHURCH “Nothing will change for us these days,” says Friedrich Thul, CEO of the Jewish community in Aachen. The signs remain completely raised, until April there is the obligation of the mask for the faithful, and those interested in visiting the synagogue must provide proof of vaccination.
The services are attended by 30 to 50 faithful. “I think every congregation is currently happy with every member,” says the chief executive. Aachen’s long-term prayers have mostly been vaccinated at least three times, many even four times. There are about 200 seats in the synagogue. “Everyone can keep their distance”.
As long as there is still school, children and young people under the age of 17 are also considered to be tested, as tests are regularly included in the timetable of these facilities. “So we don’t have any problems in this area,” says Thul. And the youth center is closed during the holidays.
VACCINATION Strict measures are still in place in Bavaria. The Nuremberg congregation also takes this seriously. “We don’t want to become a hotspot, we prefer to remain cautious,” says André Freud, managing director of the Jewish Community (IKG) in Nuremberg. The peculiarity is that the social center and the retirement home are housed in a single building and therefore share an entrance. Therefore, the stricter rules for house visitors also apply to the community.
“We have set up a childcare service with breakfast and lunch in our community center,” says André Freud. Children and adolescents are tested every day. Recently, community members have been active in the community center with specific help for Jewish women and children from Ukraine.
Strict measures are still in place in Bavaria. The Nuremberg congregation also takes this seriously.
“We help with forms, distribute all kinds of relief supplies, try to find accommodation and have set up a daycare for the children.” People have now been accommodated in boarding houses, hotels or families. And in some collective housing, some employees visit children to offer assistance.
There are beautiful and sad scenes to see. Some children played football or badminton on the lawn, others stood silently in a corner and looked at the wall. “We do what we can. We set up German courses, we provide pastoral care, we take care of them as best we can,” says Freud. However, many of the refugees are not vaccinated and children can transmit the virus without showing any symptoms.
ATTENTION Other communities are also cautious about the preliminary legal easing of crown protection measures: in the Jewish community of Rostock, doors will continue to be opened under 3G rules.
“Wait” is the Hanoverian motto. The mask requirement should remain for now, as well as the protective Plexiglas screens.
And even in Halle an der Saale people are reserved. The incidence is currently higher than 2000. “We will only relax the rules in the synagogue when it is 1000,” says community leader Max Privorozki.