Prepared by Rabbi Aaron Alexander
Please note that this is not an official responsum of the CJLS.
Question: For congregations that may gather small in-person minyanim, or use a hybrid model over with at least 10 people in one physical location, spread out, while also streaming/zooming: can temporary partitions that essentially box off one person from another, to reduce proximity & potential spread of germs, be used? Or do they effectively create different domains, such that they would inhibit the constitution of a minyan? Connected to this, do all 10 persons need to be in one room within the building, or can a lobby, ante-chamber, or different room altogether, contain part of the minyan and still count towards the whole?
Based on the textual analysis below:
a) Placing partitions, even solid ones, into one room to separate participants does not negate their status as being in the same room, unless those partitions reach the ceiling on all sides.
b) One may count a minority (up to 4) in a connected room if there’s an opening between the two rooms, and 6-9 others are in the main room.
c) If deemed absolutely necessary for getting to a quorum, this minority could even be in a disconnected room that is still tangentially connected to the larger domain (courtyard, sukkah/gazebo, another room) if there’s the possibility that they’d be able to see one another.