A synagogue in New York City has been fined $ 15,000 for hosting 7,000 maskless people at a massive wedding, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.
On November 8, crowds gathered at the Yetev Lev Temple in Brooklyn to celebrate the wedding of Yoel Teitelbaum, the grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelman.
He confirmed the fine, de Blasio said New York 1: ‘That’s just not acceptable, I mean, we’ve been through so much. This was amazingly irresponsible, just unacceptable. ‘
He added: ‘There seemed to have been a real attempt to cover it up which is absolutely unacceptable. There is an immediate $ 15,000 subpoena for that site, and there could be additional ramifications soon. ‘
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On November 8, crowds gathered at Brooklyn’s Yetev Lev Temple to celebrate the wedding of Yoel Teitelbaum, the grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelman
The mayor noted on Monday that ‘there was a real attempt to hide the wedding’
De Blasio upheld $ 15k fine calling the wedding ‘amazingly irresponsible and unacceptable’
Organizers kept the marriage secret after state officials canceled an earlier Satmar wedding, The New York Post reported, citing a Yiddish newspaper, Der Blatt.
To keep the celebration secret, the community had shared information about the wedding only through word of mouth, while organizers made plans to prevent it from being broken by “ the hungry press and government officials. ”
Religious gatherings can be held indoors, but they must be in one room and with a 50 percent capacity. Masks should also be worn and those who are not in the same household should keep a social distance from each other.
De Blasio said it is not clear exactly how many people were at the wedding.
But footage from the ceremony shows that the 7,000-capacity hall was rammed with no masks in sight as the community celebrated.
The crowd crammed into the wedding, even as coronavirus cases increase in the city and state, with de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo threatening further lockdowns if the outbreak is not brought back under control.
Cuomo had said of the meeting, “If that happened, it was a blatant violation of the law. It’s illegal. It was also disrespectful to the people of New York. ‘
New York City was once the epicenter of the pandemic, and nearly 25,000 people have died. The state has registered an average of nearly 5,500 new confirmed cases per day over the past seven days.
“This was amazingly irresponsible, just unacceptable,” de Blasio said of the wedding
Hospitals and nursing homes have reported 665 COVID-19 deaths in the state in the past 30 days – more than in July, August and September combined.
“Due to the ongoing situation with government restrictions, preparations were made secretly and discreetly not to attract the attention of strangers,” reported the Yiddish newspaper Der Blatt, the publication of the Satmar sect. on November 13, according to the New York Post.
‘The organizers have worked tirelessly in recent weeks to arrange everything as well as possible.
“All notices of upcoming celebrations were passed on by word of mouth, with no written notices, no posters on the walls of the synagogue, no invitations through the mail, and not even a report in any publication, including this newspaper.”
The large crowd had even slipped under the nose of the local firehouse as organizers moved with stealth to ensure their cover wasn’t blown.
The FDNY, one of several city agencies inspecting sites for COVID-19 violations, was not called upon to inspect the temple despite the crowds.
However, FDNY spokesperson Frank Dwyer told the Post that the wedding was “ clearly in violation ” of indoor use restrictions.
Images from the ceremony show that the 7,000-capacity hall was rammed with no masks in sight as the community celebrated.
The secrecy surrounding the marriage was reinforced last month after the state got wind of a new wedding planned in Williamsburg for a grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum, a brother and rival of Aaron, the Post reports.
This wedding was expected to attract 10,000 people, but it was halted and turned into a virtual ceremony as soon as heath officials entered.
“We were suggested that that was what happened,” said Cuomo at the time. ‘We did an investigation and found that it was probably true. A big wedding was planned that would violate the collection rules. ‘
But the synagogue overturned the order to go online, insisting that they had taken special steps to ensure the wedding complied with the coronavirus security protocol, claiming, “No one verified our plans before attacking us.”
They said the wedding cancellation was “an unjustified attack” on the temple congregation, prompting them to exercise more caution ahead of the November ceremony in case authorities were to be crowned again.
The days leading up to the wedding were filled with tension, not knowing what the next day, or the next moment, will bring; any disgruntled outcast could seize this opportunity to take advantage of even what is not written or published, to cause unnecessary uproar and to disrupt the simcha, God forbid, ”reported Der Blatt.
The synagogue was the site of Yoel Teitelbaum’s secret wedding, with 7,000 guests on November 8, 2020, defying COVID-19 restrictions
Worshipers of the Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar synagogue gather outside. A wedding to be held here was halted, prompted by city and state authorities after it was believed to draw more than 10,000 congregants
The temple’s decision to host the wedding came to COVID-19 last month despite the loss of its own president, R’Mayer Zelig Rispler.
Rispler had openly called on the Hasidic community to adhere to state guidelines to stop the spread of the virus after being criticized for not complying with ongoing efforts to control the outbreak in the city, which already has nearly 25,000 people. perished.
Gov. Cuomo on Monday designated the southern half of Staten Island as an “ orange zone ” that will temporarily close schools and high-risk businesses like gyms, stop indoor dining in restaurants, and limit meetings in places of worship to no more than 25 people.
Cuomo announced new orange zones in parts of Onondaga County, home of Syracuse, and Monroe County, home of Rochester.
New yellow zones have also been created in various parts of the state, requiring compulsory student testing.
Compliance with coronavirus restrictions in some Orthodox Jewish communities in New York has been an issue since the pandemic started last spring.
Protests erupted in the Borough Park area of Brooklyn last month after Cuomo announced it would crack down on several Orthodox neighborhoods as the number of virus cases increased. Many members of Orthodox communities complained that they were being singled out.
Cuomo and de Blasio have warned all New Yorkers that even small gatherings during the holidays can cause a spike in coronavirus infections.
“The problem is, this is a dangerous time because by definition you have more social activity,” said Cuomo.
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