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These Central Florida Houses of Worship Are Closed for Friday Services, So They’re Going Online and Giving Back

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Houses of worship are closed in Central Florida after the CDC recommends canceling gatherings of more than ten people. Photo: Kat Yukawa @katyukawa

Central Florida mosques and synagogues are getting creative with ways they can still hold Friday prayers and other services today. Places of worship have canceled in-person events based on recommendations to limit mass gatherings to less than ten people.

Dr. Shakil Ahmed of the American Muslim Community Center in Longwood says they’re going online to connect with members after Friday prayers were canceled.

“We’re planning to do some podcasts with the community so that they stay engaged, they stay educated and informed about what the plans are for the Muslim community.”

Rabbi David Kay of Congregation Ohev Shalom in Maitland says they’ll hold a Shabbat service and meal virtually while events are postponed.

“Our service tonight on Friday night is going to be virtual. Our cantor and I are going to be conducting the service as usual and it’s going to be available to our membership in the community on livestream.”

Both the American Muslim Community Center and Congregation Ohev Shalom have started initiatives for congregants and community members who are especially vulnerable to coronavirus.

Rabbi Kay says board members have already put together a list of people with disabilities and seniors in the congregation and started checking in with them over the phone.

“We have volunteers who are standing by who are going to head out and try to find the things that people need.”

Dr. Ahmed says the AMCC has opened up their on-site and mobile clinics to patients who are homeless or might not have health insurance.

“If they are not able to go to the doctor we have a free clinic close to AMCC that is ready to provide service.”

Let us know how your religious community is still practicing their faith and giving back by filling out the “Tell Us Your Coronavirus Story” survey.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »