Federation, Wash U cancel Jewish events due to coronavirus


By Eric Berger, Associate Editor

The Center for Jewish Learning canceled four of its Sh’ma: Listen! Speaker Series events this month due to concerns over the coronavirus.

The speakers were all from Israel, including Noam Zion, a senior research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute who was scheduled to speak this week at Jewish Federation of St. Louis, Congregation Shaare Emeth and Central Reform Congregation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that all travelers from abroad would have to complete a 14-day quarantine.

“They all just thought it was prudent to wait and reschedule it for another time,” said Cyndee Levy, director of the center, which is a program of Federation.

Washington University also canceled a March 30  lecture with Devin E. Naar, a professor at the University of Washington- Seattle, who was to deliver a talk titled, “Facing Deportation: Sephardic Jews, Race, and Immigration Restriction in the United States.”

Seattle was the site of Patient Zero for the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, and the surrounding state has since had more than 100 cases of the disease. The school plans to reschedule the talk with Naar, a graduate of Washington University, for 2021.