‘Secret’ NY wedding with thousands of unmasked guests was a ‘blatant disregard of the law’: Cuomo

NEW YORK (AP) — A Brooklyn synagogue should be investigated over reports that it hosted a secret wedding with thousands of unmasked guests earlier this month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.

“If that happened, it was a blatant disregard of the law,” Cuomo said during a briefing in New York City. “It’s illegal. It was also disrespectful of the people of New York.”

The New York Post reported that guests, mostly unmasked, crammed inside the Yetev Lev temple in Williamsburg for the Nov. 8 wedding of Yoel Teitelbaum, a grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, in blatant violation of coronavirus restrictions that ban large indoor gatherings. The synagogue has a capacity of 7,000 people.

Organizers kept the wedding secret after state officials canceled an earlier Satmar wedding, the Post reported, citing a Yiddish newspaper, Der Blatt.

“If it turns out that because we stopped that wedding the reaction was, ‘Well we’ll have a secret wedding,’ that would be really shocking and totally deceitful,” Cuomo said. “It’s illegal and the city should do a robust investigation,” he added.

A spokesperson for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is investigating.

“The city is conducting an investigation into the incident and will hold those accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” spokesperson Avery Cohen said.

Businesses and houses of worship that flout bans on large gatherings risk fines of $15,000.

A man who answered the phone at the Yetev Lev synagogue on Sunday said officials there had no comment.

Compliance with coronavirus restrictions in some of New York’s Orthodox Jewish communities has been an issue since the pandemic started last spring.

Protests erupted in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn last month after Cuomo announced a crackdown in several Orthodox neighborhoods as 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 could fuel a spike in coronavirus infections.

“The problem is that this is a dangerous period because you have increased social activity by definition,” Cuomo said.

Virus rates will likely rise between now and New Year’s Day, Cuomo said.

Cuomo said there were 2,562 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state on Saturday, 119 more than the previous day. There were 30 deaths, he said.

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New York’s Governor Cuomo says 7,000-person Brooklyn wedding blatant disregard for the law

A Brooklyn synagogue is to be investigated after hosting a secret wedding with thousands of unmasked guests earlier this month.

New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has criticized the Hasidic synagogue in for hosting a ‘secret’ maskless ceremony at which around 7,000 guests attended.

Cuomo called the nuptials ‘a blatant disregard of the law’ which had the potential to be a coronavirus super-spreader event.

‘It was a blatant disregard of the law. It’s illegal. It was also disrespectful to the people of New York,’ Cuomo said during a press conference on Sunday. 

‘The law protects everybody. It protects you, but it also protects me,’ he said.

Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, said wedding was in direct defiance of coronavirus restrictions on gatherings in the state

A Hasidic wedding in Brooklyn slipped under the radar of city officials as it crammed 7,000 maskless people into a synagogue in defiance of Governor Cuomo's coronavirus restrictions

A Hasidic wedding in Brooklyn slipped under the radar of city officials as it crammed 7,000 maskless people into a synagogue in defiance of Governor Cuomo’s coronavirus restrictions

Cuomo is now urging the city’s mayor Bill de Blasio to conduct ‘a robust investigation’ of the wedding which was held at the Yetev Lev temple in Williamsburg. 

Videos from November 8th show a packed Satmar synagogue in clear defiance of coronavirus safety restrictions.

The wedding, which saw people standing shoulder to shoulder, had apparently been kept ‘a secret’, however Cuomo questioned how such a feat would have been possible. 

‘If 7,000 people went to a wedding, you can figure that out, right? That’s the problem with a ‘secret’ 7,000. It’s hard to keep a secret,’ he said.

Worshipers packed the Yetev Lev D'Satmar synagogue in Williamsburg for the celebration

Worshipers packed the Yetev Lev D’Satmar synagogue in Williamsburg for the celebration

‘It’s my information the city is investigating. They should investigate, and if 7,000 people were at a wedding, I’m sure they’ll be able to figure it out, and then we’ll bring the full consequences of legal action to bear.’   

The organizers are said to have gone to great lengths to hide the wedding of Yoel Teitelbaum, the grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelman, from ‘the ravenous press and government officials,’ according to a report in the Yiddish newspaper Der Blatt, a publication of the Satmar sect. 

To keep the celebration under wraps, the community shared information on the wedding only by word-of-mouth as organizers schemed to avoid it being broken up. 

Governor Cuomo also noted how in October, the state managed to order the   cancellation of another Williamsburg wedding that had been planned for a grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum, a brother and rival of Aaron. The event may well have draws up to 10,000 people. 

‘If it turns out that, because we stopped that wedding, the reaction was, ‘well we’ll have a secret wedding,’ that would be really shocking and totally deceitful from the conversations that I had, because I had personal conversations with members of the community,’ said Cuomo.

‘Due to the ongoing situation with government restrictions, preparations were made secretly and discreetly, so as not to draw attention from strangers,’ reported Yiddish newspaper Der Blatt, the publication of the Satmar sect.

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Cuomo calls secret Hasidic wedding in Brooklyn ‘blatant disregard of law’

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo slammed a Hasidic synagogue for a massive secret wedding in Brooklyn earlier this month, calling it a “blatant disregard of law.”

“If that happened …It was a blatant disregard of the law. It was illegal. It was also disrespectful to the people of New York,” Cuomo said Sunday. “The city should do a robust investigation.”

According to videos obtained by the New York Post, a large crowd of maskless guests were seen packed shoulder-to-shoulder in Yetev Lev temple in Williamsburg on Nov. 8. The Satmar synagogue has a maximum capacity of 7,000.

Amid a recent surge in COVID-19 cases and in defiance of state safety restrictions, organizers of the nuptials bent over backwards to hide the wedding of Yoel Teitelbaum, grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelman, from “the ravenous press and government officials,” according to an account in the Yiddish newspaper Der Blatt, a publication of the Satmar sect.

“Due to the ongoing situation with government restrictions, preparations were made secretly and discreetly, so as not to draw attention from strangers,” the paper reported in its Nov. 13 edition. “In recent weeks, organizers worked tirelessly to arrange everything in the best way possible. All notices about upcoming celebrations were passed along through word of mouth, with no notices in writing, no posters on the synagogue walls, no invitations sent through the mail, nor even a report in any publication, including this very newspaper.”

SECRET PLANS HELPED BROOKLYN SYNAGOGUE PULL OFF MASSIVE, MASKLESS WEDDING

The latest gathering comes after the state ordered the cancellation of another Williamsburg wedding last month for a grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum, a brother and rival of Aaron Teitelman. It was expected to draw a crowd of up to 10,000 guests. 

“If it turns out that, because we stopped that wedding, the reaction was, ‘well, we’ll have a secret wedding,’ that would be really shocking and totally deceitful from the conversations that I had, because I had personal conversations with members of the community,”  Cuomo added.

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The governor later noted that, to his knowledge, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration was investigating the incident. 

“It’s my information the city is investigating,” Cuomo said. “They should investigate, and if 7,000 people were at a wedding, I’m sure they’ll be able to figure it out, and then we’ll bring the full consequences of legal action to bear.”

City Hall spokesperson Avery Cohen confirmed to FOX News that the city is conducting an investigation into the incident and will “hold those accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

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‘Blatant disregard for the well-being of others’



Steve Bellone wearing a suit and tie: Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone describes several “superspreader” events in Long Island, N.Y., where the novel coronavirus spread widely.


Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone describes several “superspreader” events in Long Island, N.Y., where the novel coronavirus spread widely.

A coronavirus outbreak in Long Island that has left 56 people infected this month and forced nearly 300 others to quarantine started with a country club wedding and a birthday party.

Flouting New York state restrictions, 91 people gathered on the North Fork Country Club’s neatly manicured lawns and elegant white rooms lined with floor-to-ceiling windows to celebrate a wedding on Oct. 17.

Within two weeks, 30 guests had tested positive for covid-19. Suffolk County health officials said an additional 159 people who had potentially been exposed to the virus by wedding attendees had been forced to self-quarantine to prevent further spread of the virus.

“One-third of all of those in attendance,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a news conference Wednesday. “Think about that for a second.”

County officials recommended a fine of $17,000 against the club for violating a county sanitary code as well as a statewide mandate restricting gatherings to no more than 50 people, and the State Liquor Authority told the New York Times it was investigating the incident. The country club did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Long Island birthday party that same day limited its guest list to 50 names, but has still led to another 26 coronavirus cases in the last two weeks, Bellone said.

Those ill-fated gatherings were not the only large events to spread the coronavirus across Long Island in recent weeks. Dozens of new cases have been tied to a string of parties in Suffolk County, and hundreds of residents have been forced to quarantine after possible exposure to the virus.

“This type of blatant disregard for the well-being of others is not only extremely disappointing; it will not be tolerated,” Bellone said Wednesday. “If you violate the rules, you’ll be caught and held responsible.”

The spread of the virus along Long Island is particularly concerning in the state and county that were once epicenters of the pandemic. More than 500,000 people in New York have tested positive for the virus, and at least 33,219 have died since the start of the pandemic. Even as coronavirus rates have remained low in New York in recent weeks, some social gatherings have led to hot spots.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) on Wednesday urged residents to avoid even family gatherings as the holidays approach.

“My personal advice is the best way to say, ‘I love you,’ this Thanksgiving, the best way to say, ‘I’m thankful for you,’ is to say, ‘I love you so much, I’m so thankful for you, that I don’t want to endanger you, and I don’t want to endanger our family and I don’t want to endanger our friends. So we’ll celebrate virtually.’” Cuomo said. “But that is my personal opinion.”

Despite admonitions to keep social gathering small and socially distanced, or to avoid them altogether, many people have decided to

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Police shut down wedding and Airbnb house party in ‘blatant’ breach of COVID regulations

Close-up of bride and groom walking on path at the coast
Police shut down a wedding party in Old Kent Road, south-east London (Picture: Getty)

Police have shut down a wedding attended by more than 200 guests and a separate Airbnb house party that were both found to be in flagrant breach of coronavirus restrictions.

Officers were first called to a venue on Old Kent Road in south-east London last Sunday night by residents who feared the address was being burgled.

It turned out a wedding party was being held and it appeared those attending the ceremony had closed the shutters at the front of the venue in an attempt to mask the celebration.

The event was dispersed and two of the guests were advised that they had been reported for consideration of a fixed penalty notice.

Low Angle View Of Disco Ball Hanging In Illuminated Room
Someone held an Airbnb house party in Manchester (Picture: Getty)

Detective Superintendent Nicky Arrowsmith, said: “This event was a blatant breach of the regulations and could have been a breeding ground for transmitting the virus.

“There were over 200 people inside, no social distancing and indeed no attempts to make the venue Covid secure, in line with the Government guidelines.

Another person was slapped with a £10,000 fine after officers crashed a party at an Airbnb attended by more than 50 people which included bouncers, DJs, and a buffet.

Police were called to reports of a party at a flat in the Angel Meadows area of Manchester at around 11.20pm on Friday.

The organiser was handed a fine for the breach of coronavirus legislation – one of the first issued since Tier 3 restrictions were introduced.

Assistant Chief Constable Mabs Hussain, of Greater Manchester Police, added: “This party was a blatant disregard of the rules and for public health.

“It is totally unacceptable in the current crisis the whole world is facing and is not what we want our officers to be spending their time doing.

Manchester went into the nation’s highest alert level at midnight on Friday.

In Greater Manchester, infection rates are among the highest in the country.

Watch: Can you catch coronavirus twice?

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