JUST IN: Lakewood Girls School Bnos Esther Malka Voluntarily Announces Closure Until After Sukkos

The school announced the closure as a precaution to prevent the spread of Covid.

There has been talk about schools taking this step, but this is the first school to implement it.


This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 20,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.


  1. Great move.
    We need just one Nachshon.
    I hope all the schools follow suit.
    This is second wave is serious business. The smartest thing to do would be close the schools for 2 weeks now. Hopefully that’ll, vee M’Zugt, nip it in the bud.
    G’mar Tov to all.

  2. I wish all schools would do the same. Many of us are going away or having guests for y”t, the last thing we need is to expose ourselves to this virus which is rampant now and then have to cancel our Yom Tov plans! Bnos Esthe Malka is definitely doing the right thing! Kudos to you!!

    • Is that all you are worried about? Cancelling your Yom Tov plans? Truthfully, the next two weeks should be spent sheltering in place. Everyone in Lakewood should stay home, so as not to risk getting exposed at their Yom Tov destination. Nor should they have anyone from out-of-town come to them. Then, when Yom Tov is over, school can start as scheduled without having to worry about what was brought in from other places.

  3. Thank you for this one school for taking the lead. For those that know what was going on behind the scenes, it was the principle of two major schools that were fighting the efforts of shutting down the schools before sukkos. It is no more than common sense to understand that that would curb the spread of An already out of control spread of the virus. Unfortunately, Lakewood saw the first death today. There are only two days of school before Yom Tov. Shutting down for these two days would give us a total of 16 days between last Friday and the day after Isru Chag.
    So the head of those two schools must understand better, that one persons life is worth less than the kids being in school. So yes, the principle of the two large schools does control what the vaad and other community leaders will rule for the town but maybe this one school will lead by example and all others will shut down in order to save possibly countless lives.

  4. This is the dumbest move! It makes zero sense! If you want to keep your kid home go for it! Quarantine does not work!!! Just delays a spread! Yes there have been many cases in Lakewood lately but they have all gotten better despite the fake news there has been almost zero hospitalizations from it! Ppl need to stop panicking and move on!

    • Such nice kind words, ‘almost zero’, one could even think that they don’t represent families of people worried about their relative fighting for his or her life in the hospital. One could even convince themselves that ‘almost zero’ means no concern, no bother.
      Almost zero means that there are suffering people out there, for whom we should be concerned.

      • Almost zero means that just like we dont stop driving (think of the two young men killed motze rosh hashana in a car accident), neither should entire communities shut down due to near zero hospitalizations

  5. Many girls lakewood high schools have closed down. Shiras Devorah, aderes, bais kaila, oros, bais yaakov, just to name a few. This is exactly what is needed right now! Shut the schools! We can’t have the virus becoming out of hand! With everyone mingling over Tom tov, we can’t have the schools open. I wonder what will end up happening after Succos… will the schools reopen?

  6. I agree with the previous comments. I think all the schools should close immediately. We are seeing a very clear outbreak in the Emergency Room I work in, and it’s going to spread more and quicker as the days pass. We need to act fast, because every single day exposing more people – even kids to each other will get more people infected. I pulled my daughter out of school last week when I noticed the increase in cases and severity. I had spoken to one of the local principals last time the outbreak was winding down, and she had agreed with me that she wanted more precautions, but she wasn’t making the decisions. Whoever out there is making these decisions or influencing those who are – please – don’t wait – we need to aggressively stop this by social distancing! How many have to be hospitalized or die before you say – ok – now we can shut the schools?

    • I’m all for wearing masks and mitigating risk BUT We do not cancel or risk our kids’ chinuch because your emergency room is busy. Remember it was all supposed to be about flattening the curve NOT about zero cases!
      The long term damage from shutting down our chinuch system is something that our Gedolim have to decide. Even if lives are at risk!

  7. Brooklyn……schools closed…..lkwd has a stronger nastier strain ,why not close?,,,,Lakewood wake up!!!!! Be a machmir in pikuach nefesh just like the brisker rav would be

  8. It’s only 2 more school days left anyways & after Succos everyone will have the 2 week quarantine as before Yom Kipper till after Succos is over 2 weeks.

    The virus is now going around like crazy again , but it seems to be a much weaker and milder virus than that of February/March either because the virus had weakened or everyone has some kind of immunity from February/March of which they now get it much weaker and milder; all healthcare professionals and scientists are still baffled by it . No one really knows.
    The only one whom really knows about it and is hiding a cure for it is Putin & China.

    • Actually, nobody is saying it is a weaker strain, except mikva experts and blog commenters. Doctors, researchers and virologists are saying nothing of the sort.

  9. Sorry but this doesnt help unless everyone quarantines..as the children and parents are still out and about this is useless and may as well be in school

  10. Are you serious? Are you advocating for children to stop learning so you can go away for yom tov? I can understand many reasons for a school to close but people going away on vacation is definitely not one of them

  11. The schools being open, especially the elementary ones, are at the bottom of the totem pole of the issue. Let’s start with the adults; such as limiting large gatherings and simchos.

  12. Really makes little difference if schools shut because the kids aren’t staying home. They are shopping and playing with neighbors and going to shull on Simcha Torah and visiting out of town family for you Tov. If they’re open after yt will be same spread or even more . A smarter plan would be a two week break after stucco’s so everyone can get rid of their germs they acquire over yt. The kids should not be allowed to go back to school for ten days after attending a simcha, and maybe we should consider outdoor minyanim.

  13. Do you really believe that by the schools being closed for 2 weeks, then poof, the virus is gone?
    As we have clearly seen – shutting down does not remove the virus – it just slows it down and allows more people to eventually catch it (off guard).
    Day camps were open in full swing for 2 months prior to schools opening.
    Where is your evidence that the kids are spreading the virus? There seems to be evidence of the opposite.
    Additionally don’t you remember the repercussions of schools being closed?

    Once we close schools we are showing the government that we will close if they want us to close and then this will be a lot more then 2 weeks.

    It is a very scary time for our vulnerable population and they should take every precaution to stay safe until a vaccine comes out.

    We have to keep davening.

  14. I guess the other schools want to stay closed AFTER succos instead. Seems like everyone is waiting for the Cheder/Bais Faiga to close and then they will follow

  15. Not sure what difference it will make , people will have guests, go away for Yom tov, go on chol hamoed trips and the kids play with neighbors …it’s not like everyone will stay home and quarantine/isolate themselves now cause no school.

  16. It must be nice for some people who so easily can have their kids home and school closed. While the rest of us have to worry about who gets to go work and who has to stay home from work. Also we have to think about the mental health of our kids and the chinuch of our kids who need the structure. Not everyone can just stay home we don’t all live in ivory towers with live ins. Let’s start a campaign that everyone should send their live ins and house keepers home because of this up tick we would never see that . Whats more important our children or our house keepers

  17. i send to different schools but already told my kids they are not going between y”k and sukkos. The big uptick from packed shuls on r”h will be seen now.

  18. From the comments here I think this town needs more backbone. Why would other schools be afraid to close if that’s what they and their rabbonim feel is right? Torah is not based on what everyone else thinks or does. In fact when one does what’s right despite the peer pressure the reward is that much greater. A shout out to Bnos Esther Malka for not bending to pressure if this is the psak they were given. I do not have girls in this school and have no connection to them other than knowing some families who send there but personally I would want my girls in a school that follows it’s rabbonim no matter what and doesn’t rabbonim shop, even if it’s not the common mehalech, even if there’s pressure to bend.

  19. Public health experts have said that we can accomplish pretty much the same thing as a lockdown if people comply with the guidelines set by the CDC such as social distancing, masks wearing, outside better than inside etc… Isn’t it better to stop the spread by doing those things than to have to let the virus put us into lockdown. At the very least adults and able kids in schools can wear masks, kids can be spread out, windows kept open, no assemblies, hand washing, and most importantly not allowing those who present symptoms or who have been exposed to attend school .These are the guidelines set for the schools by the state. It might not help now that there already so much cases, but going forward it should help.

  20. Why you picking on just schools?? As long as everything else is open, you may as well keep the schools open as the virus will spread regardless. Let’s at least give our kids a sense of normalcy.

  21. Can someone please explain to me how schools closing will help anything if we continue going about all our other daily activities? Shopping, visiting relatives for Yom Tov,Chol Hamoed trips, Simchas Torah.
    A FULL lockdown like we had Pesach time may be what is needed, I don’t know, but just closing the schools is not nearly solving the problem.

  22. Mrs. B, who said they asked a rav?! What rabbonim have been saying is increase torah, tefillah and teshuva. Tinokos shel bais raban have strong power. Maybe the deaths from the first wave would have been lessened if shuls and yeshivos stayed open. Yes, hard to hear this when you’re the person very pro closing but remember who is in charge!

    • For a girls school?
      the only learning they’re doing is making projects!

      Regardless, Unless the whole world quarantines at the same time for 3 weeks… then maybe that will help. Other wise its gonna keep come back from other states and countries that arent quarantining.

  23. Cut the panic!
    If you as an individual want to climb into your hibernation cave til this “pandemic” ends – go ahead. Nobody is stopping you.
    There are NO justifiable pikuach nefesh concerns here. Maybe pesach time nobody knew the extent of the danger. But there are no excuses now.
    Wake up and smell the coffee!
    I would understand if the school decided to close for a couple days to make it look good and get the government and media off their backs, but the all the posters here who are advocating mass closings and lockdown, keep your brilliant ideas to yourself and let the rest of us move on with life!

  24. Crazy!!!! Schools please don’t follow them it is the stupidest thing for schools to close it will not help!! What do u think they’ll reopen when things are only getting worse? How are parents supposed to go to work no? life has to go on and unfortunately we must learn to live with this

  25. Unless everything shuts down, everyone stays home for yom tov and noone is allowed to mingle with other ppl, it will not help to close schools. By closing schools, everyone will just be galavanting around town anyway.
    By making another lockdown, we will unfortunately be seeing more problems due to the lack of structure.

  26. dont take this the wrong way but closing shuls and schools are foolish! now once u get pass your ignorance and think about it for a second, for those that say close schools and shuls, will always have the mind set to keep schools, shuls and shops closed indefinitely! never reopen because there is always a chance of a so called “uptick”! its foolish thing to say! yes many ppl have gotten it recently with very few hospitalizations. now someone with a bad immune system should maybe self quarantine but this is no reason to shut everything down!

Comments are closed.