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LA County Will Not Enforce Policy Banning Family Gatherings In Observance Of Jewish High Holidays

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - Hours before the Rosh Hashanah holiday began Friday, county officials told attorneys who urged them to reverse coronavirus guidelines prohibiting families from gathering for religious meals that the policy would not be enforced.

Earlier this week, First Liberty Institute sent a letter to county officials calling on them to reconsider rules that specifically referenced Jewish residents from observing the High Holidays with other families inside private homes.

Officials responded late Thursday night to the letter, saying they would not "dispatch Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies to the homes of Jewish families gathered for religious meals during the High Holidays inside someone's homes."

In its initial Sept. 2 public health order, before the wording was revised, an example given by officials for prohibited gatherings included ``having dinner with extended family and friends to honor the High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur)."

The county later revised the health officer order on Sept. 13 to prohibit "having a meal with extended family and friends for a religious or cultural holiday", omitting the specific reference to the Jewish holidays.

"Our client and the Jewish residents of Los Angeles County can breathe a little easier knowing that officials have promised that they will not send law enforcement to their homes to enforce a policy that should never have been adopted in the first place," said Stephanie Taub, Senior Counsel for First Liberty Institute.

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