Dear Adath Israel Members,

We continue to be challenged in many ways by the spread of COVID-19.   Whether it is social, emotional, financial or spiritual, this pandemic has affected all our lives throughout the world.


The Adath Israel building remains closed until further notice.  However, your clergy and office staff are here for you, though virtually at this time.

Rabbi Cutler, Rabbi Seed, and Cantor Stein remain unwavering in their commitment to serve you as your spiritual leaders.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to your spiritual leadership.

a. Rabbi Adam Cutler Office: 416-635-5343 Cell: 416-882-2684
b. Rabbi David Seed Office: 416-635-5341 Cell: 416-648-5440
c. Cantor Alex Stein Office: 416-635-5347 Cell: 416-635-5347

Our virtual administrative office hours are from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Thursday (and until 3:00 pm on Fridays).  Please click HERE to retrieve the full Adath Israel contact list.  The most effective way to reach an administrative staff member is via email. Be sure to leave your contact details and the purpose.


Please review the following ritual updates to stay up-to-date on our protocols.


While it is preferable to pray with a minyan, it is certainly permissible, and at times like this, required to pray without one. When it is determined that praying with a minyan would endanger one’s life or the life of another, doing so would be forbidden.


Should someone in the community need to sit shiva or fulfill the mitzvah of comforting those who are bereaved, it is religiously required that social distancing remain in force.

Maintaining social distancing may mean waiting to enter a shiva house until people have left or calling those sitting shiva rather than visiting in person. It is impermissible to fulfill one mitzvah (comforting those who are bereaved) if doing so violates another mitzvah (endangering one’s health or the health of another).

Concerning minyanim held in a shiva house, if there is not sufficient space for social distancing, and families cannot make other arrangements, then they are exempted from the obligation of reciting Mourner’s Kaddish.


The principle of Kvod HaMet – dignity for the deceased – does not override individual and communal health concerns. Limiting funeral attendance is not something that any of us take lightly. Nevertheless, it has become necessary.

Should there be a need for a funeral, families must take into consideration the ability of those attending to appropriately space themselves one from another in conjunction with the latest protocols which are changing rapidly.  Only graveside ceremonies are allowed at this time with limitations to immediate family members. Chapel services are suspended until further notice.

Please verify the latest protocols with our clergy or with your chosen funeral home or cemetery.

Collective Remote Prayer

It is Rabbi Cutler’s halakhic opinion that an individual remotely joining a prayer service is not considered as part of the minyan and should not recite those prayers for which a minyan is required, including the Mourner’s Kaddish.

  • Individuals who for health or safety reasons cannot reasonably join a minyan are legally exempted from doing so. In other words, if in normal times you have an obligation to recite the Mourner’s Kaddish, but cannot or should not come to shul at this challenging time, you have no obligation to recite the Mourner’s Kaddish.
  • Whenever one cannot recite the Mourner’s Kaddish with a minyan, it is appropriate to recite the El Maleh Rachamim Memorial Prayer. Additionally, whether you are saying Mourner’s Kaddish or not, you are welcome to join a virtual minyan and say Amen as appropriate.
  • Beyond Shul, Shivas, and Funerals, we urge you to exercise tremendous caution in your interactions with others – both for your health and the health of those around you. Whenever possible, please limit contact in all areas of your life.


Our clergy and staff will continue to reach out to families with smachot scheduled for the near future to determine appropriate steps forward.  Click HERE to learn more about re-scheduling B’Nai Mitzvot.


Though the Adath Israel building is closed to activity, the Adath Israel community continues.  

There are many ways Adath Israel is connecting with our members and the community at large:

  1. Join our Achshav email database (Tues and Thurs)
  2. Like us on Facebook: Click Here
  3. Follow us on Instagram: Click Here
  4. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel: Click Here

Our clergy and programming staff are working tirelessly to find new ways to bring Adath Israel into your home. Keep an eye out for more daily digital opportunities for the whole family.

May we all be blessed with safety and health in the days ahead.


Dr. David Urbach, President
Dr. Shaul Dwosh, Vice President
Marilyn Sherman, Immediate Past President
Rabbi Adam Cutler, Senior Rabbi
Rabbi David Seed, Rabbi
Cantor Alex Stein, Cantor
Phil David, Executive Director

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