New York Gov. Cuomo Bans Wedding of Satmar Jews, Expected to Draw 10,000 People
i24 News – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the cancellation of a large ultra-Orthodox wedding that was set to take place in Williamsburg after learning that up to 10,000 people were expected to attend, US media reported Saturday.
The wedding, scheduled for Monday, of the grandchild of Satmar Grand Rabbi Zalman Leib Teitlebaum raised concerns amid a new spike in coronavirus cases in the state.
“You can get married; you just can’t have 1,000 people at your wedding. You get the same result at the end of the day,” Cuomo told reporters in a press conference on Saturday, outlet NY1 reported. “It’s also cheaper,” he added.
The governor revealed that state and city officials served an order Friday night banning the wedding. According to NY1, they expect to be met with opposition from the wedding-goers through a hearing.
Under the current New York health guidelines, gatherings are only permitted up to 50 people.
Cuomo and the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community have clashed on numerous occasions since the outbreak of the pandemic, with several lawsuits filed against the governor and the state over coronavirus restrictions.
The latest lawsuit, submitted to the Manhattan federal court on Wednesday by three Jewish congregations, accuses Cuomo of engaging in a “streak of antisemitic discrimination” while making negative, false, and discriminatory statements about the Orthodox Jewish community.
Chaim Jacobowitz, Secretary of Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar, which was set to hold the wedding, denounced what he called “unwarranted attacks on this event, originated by those besmirching the community.”
He asserted that the event had been planned according to coronavirus restrictions, and the actual ceremony would only have included “close family members.”
Members of the community would have been able to “participate for a short period of time to extend their wishes to the Grand Rebbe and his family” while observing social distancing rules.
“It’s sad that nobody verified our plans before attacking us,” he added.
This is not the first time ultra-Orthodox Jews have been targeted over coronavirus restrictions.
On Sunday, The Brussels Times illustrated a story on the coronavirus global death toll with a picture of a young ultra-Orthodox Jew wearing a face mask, though the image was later changed.
Why is @BrusselsTimes illustrating a story about worldwide Corona fatalities with a photo of a visibly orthodox Jewish man? What are you implying? I hope this was an "innocent" mistake. Remove it immediately.@kschnurbeinhttps://t.co/sfg7ULetIo
— Daniel Schwammenthal (@DSchwammenthal) October 18, 2020