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Hasidic synagogue slams ‘attacks’ that led to Gov. Cuomo banning wedding grand rabbi’s grandson


A Hasidic Brooklyn synagogue barred from holding a public wedding amid fears it would attract in excess of 10,000 people has hit out at the ‘unwarranted attacks’ that forced it to abandon the planned celebrations.

The Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar was served an order Friday night from the office of state Governor Andrew Cuomo, barring the Williamsburg-based house of worship from hosting a public wedding Monday for the grandson of its grand rabbi, Zalman Leib Teitelbaum.

But the synagogue, located along Rodney Street, has blasted the order, insisting they had taken special measures to ensure the wedding complied with coronavirus safety protocol and claimed ‘nobody verified our plans before attacking us.’

‘The unwarranted attacks on this event, originated by those besmirching the community, are detached from the facts,’ the synagogue’s secretary, Chaim Jacobowitz, told the NY Post.

Members of Satmar Hasidic Jewish community outside the Satmar Synagogue on Rodney street in Brooklyn in 2006. A huge 10,000-person wedding was planned for the synagogue for Monday for a grandchild of a notable Hasidic leader

, Daily Echoed

The Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar was served an order Friday night from the office of state Governor Andrew Cuomo, barring the Williamsburg-based house of worship from hosting a public wedding Monday for the grandson of its grand rabbi, Zalman Leib Teitelbaum 

, Daily Echoed

But the synagogue (above), located along Rodney Street, has blasted the order, insisting they had taken special measures to ensure the wedding complied with coronavirus safety protocol, however claimed ‘nobody verified our plans before attacking us’

Jacobowitz said unlike the hordes of worshippers and guests touted by state officials, only a ‘small circle of close family members’ would have been attending the wedding, and ‘the rest of the community would only be able to participate for a short period of time.’

‘The greeting cue would have been controlled in accordance with the social distancing regulations. The proper arrangements were in place to achieve that,’ he insisted to the Post.

However, the family has been forced to scrap its original plans as a result of the publicity over the state’s order and the expected mass turnout, Jacobowitz said.

‘The publicity will turn this wedding to a paparazzi and will draw spectators that will make it impossible to control the crowds to comply with social distancing,’ Jacobowitz said.

‘It will also deter from the celebratory and spiritual atmosphere fit for such an affair. Hence, we decided that the wedding will not be held as planned, and will only [be] attended by close family members,’ he told the Post. 

Previous marriages of Zalman Teitelbaum’s family members have drawn a sea of attendees, both in the streets of Brooklyn and in Israel.

Teitelbaum is a prominent figure in the Orthodox community, leading the Satmar sect in Williamsburg. He is the rabbi for the Satmar Shal synagogue and also oversees around 10 other smaller synagogues in the area.  

, Daily Echoed

The wedding ceremony for the relative of Zalman Leib Teitelbaum (center last year), a grand rabbi of the Satmar sect, was set to take place at the Satmar Shal synagogue on Rodney Street and the United Talmudical Academy on Bedford Street in Williamsburg Monday

A wedding for one of the grand rabbi’s other granddaughters in Williamsburg in 2014 saw local politicians join in the celebrations, including state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

Pictures from the wedding of another granddaughter – Miryam Teitelbaum – in Beit Shemesh, Israel, in 2013 show thousands attended the nuptials.

Teitelbaum’s brother Aaron – who is thought to have been ill with COVID-19 in March – heads up the Satmar sect in the Kiryas Joel enclave in Orange County. 

Officials said Monday’s nuptials were expected to bring in 10,000 guests – astronomically higher than the current 50-person limit on wedding receptions in the Big Apple put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Cuomo announced Saturday that the wedding had been banned following a tip-off, as the governor celebrated progress being made to reduce emerging virus hotspots. New York City sheriffs served a state order Friday night prohibiting the event.

Cuomo blasted the plans in a press conference, saying the event was the exact example of what not to do during a global pandemic.

‘Look, you can get married. You just can’t have 10,000 people at your wedding,’ said Cuomo. 

‘You get the same result at the end of the day.’   

Cuomo’s special counsel Elizabeth Garvey said the celebrants can request a hearing on the order with the state Health Department.      

, Daily Echoed

Pictures from the wedding of another granddaughter – Miryam Teitelbaum – in Beit Shemesh, Israel, in 2013 show thousands attended the nuptials

, Daily Echoed

The rabbi’s prominence means thousands often attend weddings for his family members 

Rockland County told DailyMail.com they had no further comment about the tip off about the event and New York City Sheriffs did not respond to DailyMail.com’s requests for comment.   

The clampdown on the celebrations came the same day Cuomo announced that COVID-19 ‘hot spots’ in the city appeared to be reducing in intensity. 

Cuomo said that the aggressive strategy of shutting down parts of the city where COVID-19 was spiking – ‘micro-clusters’ in Orange County, Rockland County, Queens and Brooklyn – was showing results. 

The restrictions in Orthodox Jewish parts of Brooklyn caused violent protests last week, as residents objected to their synagogues being shut down during religious holidays.

But Cuomo said it was the right thing to do. 

‘The targeting and the more restrictive targeting is working,’ he said.

Brooklyn had an infection rate of 6.6 percent – almost seven times the statewide rate – when it re-entered a partial lockdown, and infection has since fallen last week to 4.9 per cent, he said.  

Orange County, which neighbors Rockland County, was at 24 percent infection, and is now down to six per cent, he said. 

, Daily Echoed

The restrictions in Orthodox Jewish parts of Brooklyn caused violent protests last week, as residents objected to their synagogues being shut down during religious holidays 

, Daily Echoed

Areas of highest infection, which were subject to closures, are in the darkest colors

‘This micro-targeting idea has been, we’ve talked to all sorts of global experts about this and national experts, and people think it’s exactly right,’ he said.

‘Again, you need the sophistication to do it. But, the strategy is working, not just the micro-clusters, the whole statewide strategy is working. 

‘We have one of the lowest statewide infection rates in the country. Period. You look at where the other states are going, you look at where New York State is, we are doing much, much better. 

‘Frankly, we’re much more rigorous and disciplined than the other states, many other states, and our strategy is much more refined.’  

He said that they were going to continue their strategy of highlighting ‘micro clusters’, rather than closing down neighborhoods or districts.

‘For fall we are going to deploy a micro-cluster strategy,’ he said. 

‘We have been targeting all our actions either statewide or we reopened on a regional level. 

‘We are now going to analyze it block-by-block. We have data so specific that we can’t show it because it could violate privacy conditions. We know exactly where the new cases are coming from.’ 



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