Two Laval-area synagogues requiring congregants be double-vaxxed before entering

Two synagogues in Laval plan to start asking congregants to show proof of vaccination in order to come to services.

It's a measure that's being taken after some members in the Chomedey area decided not to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The building in question hosts two separate synagogues, and starting Saturday, only those who are double-vaxxed can enter.

"We are, what I would refer to as a 'geriatric synagogue,'" said Issie Baum, president of Young Israel of Chomedey. "Over 90 per cent of our members are well over 75 years old."

Baum said at least two worshippers have made it clear they will not be getting their shots, and that everyone will be at risk as a result.

"Everybody is worried!" said Baum. "We happen to have in our synagogue — one is a member, one is not necessarily a member, both under 55 years old, and they refuse to get vaccinated."

The two neighbourhood congregations have about 250 members in all.

Shaar Shalom president Mike Andrati said people can have their beliefs about vaccinations, but his job is to protect the members.

"We have a few people who do not believe in it, yes, and that’s their right not to believe in it, but it’s also our right to protect our members," said Andrati. "Both congregations, we mix. Especially now. Before the high holidays, we have services together."

The synagogues already take several precautions such as reduced seating and distancing measures, but starting Saturday, a security guard will be at the door checking vaccine information.

"Everyone who comes in the building must be double vaccinated, and have proof of vaccination," said Andrati.

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