Two Cleveland-Area Synagogues Warn Away Members Without Measles Vaccine

Exterior view of Heights Jewish Center Synagogue in University Heights
Heights Jewish Center Synagogue in University Heights says it's acting out of an abundance of caution. [Annie Wu / ideastream]

Two synagogues on Cleveland's east side are asking that people who haven’t been vaccinated against measles stay away.

The request from Young Israel of Greater Cleveland and Heights Jewish Center Synagogue comes in the aftermath of measles outbreaks in New York City and Detroit.

Heights Jewish Center Synagogue Vice President Phil Setnick says with Passover starting soon, many community members are likely to travel so the request was made out of an abundance of caution.

“We have a pretty enlightened community in that regard,” Setnick said. “And the day schools are rather strict about letting unvaccinated kids into the school. I haven’t seen it as a huge issue. We don’t want to take a lot of chances.”

He says the request will stay in effect until further notice and there’s been only a few concerns raised, including what to do if a child is too young for a vaccination or someone is medically unable to get vaccinated.

Setnick says their community is small enough that decisions like those can be made on a case-by-case basis.

An outbreak in Brooklyn, New York, led to a universal vaccination requirement in parts of that city.

Measles is highly contagious but anyone who’s had it or been vaccinated is at virtually no risk of infection.

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