By DANICA KIRKA, Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — As people across England huddled indoors amid freezing temperatures and a national lockdown, nearly 300 elderly men and women lined up outside a health center in northeast London to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
But the wide-brimmed hats and long black coats that shielded them against the cold were more about religion than the weather. These ultra-Orthodox Jews are members of a community that has been especially hard hit by the virus, which has killed almost 117,000 people in Britain.
In hopes of breaking down barriers that sometimes isolate the Orthodox from wider society, community leaders organized the pop-up vaccination event for Saturday night to coincide with the end of Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest. They believed this was the best time to attract the faithful because it would fit perfectly into post-service schedules — and people would be more relaxed since no one was working.
“I want to see the grandchildren and I…
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