Why huge Brooklyn Jewish wedding was not stopped by government

The defiant chief rabbi of the Hasidic sect that held a massive secret wedding in Brooklyn told his followers days later, “We won’t surrender.”

Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, the spiritual leader of the Satmar sect in upstate Kiryas Joel, was just as stubborn about the community’s schools remaining open despite government orders to close as COVID-19 cases spike.

“We won’t surrender. We won’t close down. And indeed, we didn’t close down, neither the boys’ schools, nor the girls’ schools, nor the yeshivas. Neither the large ones nor the small ones. Everything proceeded as usual,” Teitelbaum said in a speech that was posted in Yiddish on flyers in Borough Park.

The sermon, a translation of which was provided to The Post, came in the week after the Nov. 8 wedding at a post-nuptials celebration, although Teitelbaum did not directly refer to the secret, potentially super-spreading ceremony.

The Hasidic sect remained defiant even after The Post exposed the lengths that the community went to conceal the Nov. 8 wedding of one of Teitelbaum’s grandsons, which was attended by thousands of maskless men crammed into Congregation Yetev Lev synagogue in Williamsburg.

Authorities again sought to stop a large wedding Monday in Kiryas Joel for another of Aaron Teitelbaum’s grandchildren. The nuptials went ahead despite a cease-and-desist order.

Hundreds of revelers, including Teitelbaum, attended a post-wedding celebration Tuesday in Brooklyn. Photos showed many maskless men gathered together just inside a synagogue. Teitelbaum and his entourage, none of whom wore masks, were seen in a video arriving at the event.

Guests squeezed inside the Yetev Lev temple in Williamsburg for the wedding of a chief rabbi’s grandson.
Guests squeezed inside the Yetev Lev temple in Williamsburg for the wedding of a chief rabbi’s grandson.

Teitelbaum carried out that celebration a day after Mayor de Blasio announced the city would slap the Yetev Lev synagogue with a $15,000 fine for the Nov. 8 wedding, which The Post exposed last Saturday with video of the event.

“If there were further inappropriate activity, that is the precursor to the building being shut down permanently,” de Blasio warned Tuesday. Hizzoner noted “it’s a big city” when asked why officials failed to get wind of the event.

City Hall has since refused to answer any questions about its one-day “investigation” into the wedding, including whether any coronavirus cases have been traced to it, or even which agency looked into it.

The mayor’s reps also wouldn’t say whether Pinny Ringel, the mayor’s senior liaison to the Jewish community, had any inkling about the illegal celebration.

“He’s the liaison to the Jewish community. If he didn’t know about it, he’s not doing his job,” a source in the de Blasio Administration said of the Hasidic aide.

Mayor Bill de Blasio
Mayor Bill de BlasioEd Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

The source said the administration has handled the Orthodox Jewish community “with kid gloves.”

Ringel did not return requests for comment.

Two high-ranking aides to Gov. Cuomo were flagged in a tweet about the wedding three days after it happened, but took no action.

The tweet shows a Yiddish magazine cover photo of Aaron Teitelbaum, dressed

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How a Brooklyn Sisterhood of Black Women Became National Power Brokers

“Everybody wants the Black vote,” Ms. Henderson-Rivers said, “but they still aren’t open to listening to the people who are best at messaging the Black community.”

Over the years, the women’s personal relationships, shared disappointments, struggles and triumphs have created a camaraderie that has carried over to the professional. And with a Black woman soon to be vice president, the mood feels different from other achievements, even when a Black man was in the White House.

“This moment is not lost on us who have been fighting for a seat at the table,” said Juanita Scarlett, a partner at the lobbying firm Bolton-St. Johns and a press secretary for Eliot Spitzer when he was state attorney general. “When our group started, our goal was to make sure we had more voices at the table, and now it’s happening.”

This summer, Ms. Harris chose Karine Jean-Pierre, a Haitian-American woman who had been a senior adviser to Mr. Biden, as her chief of staff. Now Ms. Jean-Pierre is on the shortlist to be the first Black woman to serve as White House press secretary, as is Symone Sanders, another senior Biden adviser. On Monday, Mr. Biden picked Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who is Black, as the ambassador to the United Nations. With the position being restored to cabinet-level status, she would serve on the National Security Council.

When Black women are in visible positions of power, it sends a strong signal, Ms. Henderson-Rivers said. While some in the sisterhood say they are hearing from the Biden administration, many are being recruited by candidates in New York City’s 2021 mayoral race. Lupé Todd-Medina is the spokeswoman for Raymond J. McGuire, a former Wall Street executive and mayoral candidate who is Black; Ms. Henderson-Rivers is a senior adviser for the campaign.

During the last mayoral election cycle, the women said they received calls from second-tier candidates or only after white consultants had turned a candidate down. Ms. Henderson-Rivers’s firm began getting calls months earlier than past election cycles, she said, adding that she had recently invested in more office space.

“It’s the first time I’ve been this busy this far out, and I think it’s because the worth of Black women is finally being recognized,” she said.

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Brooklyn Featured In Children’s ‘Love Story’ To NYC Fashion

BROOKLYN, NY — The release of former Brooklyn shop owner Stacy Johnson’s first children’s book may be the realization of her own 20-year dream, but she hopes it is just the start of one for a new generation of fashionistas.

The new book, “Mabel The Fashion Muse,” aims to give kids a realistic look into New York City’s fashion industry through the adventures of a come-to-life dress form, inspired by the mannequin Johnson used in real life when starting out in the business.

“Most books or story lines about fashion depicted petty social drama or were an unrealistic view on how the fashion industry actually worked,” Johnson told Patch.

“I wanted to create this book to inspire future designers and give girls the tools and power to be their own fashion entrepreneur some day. I think a whimsical dress form, like Mabel, is the perfect relatable character to tell my entrepreneurial story.”

Johnson, a Parsons School of Design graduate, owned Stacia New York boutiques in Carroll Gardens and Dumbo before moving to California in 2004.

The idea for “Mabel The Fashion Muse” started when she was still in Brooklyn and Mabel was the trademark for her burgeoning business, Johnson said, though she didn’t yet have the time to dedicate herself to writing the book.

Fittingly, 20 years later, the children’s book is a “love story to NYC.”

“Girls who dream of being a designer will enjoy the colorful watercolor depictions of New York City life,” Johnson said.

Mabel’s adventures include strolls through Dumbo under the Manhattan Bridge, the boutiques on Smith Street, an F train subway stop, a designer showroom hotspot on Manhattan’s Seventh Avenue, a famous button kiosk and Canal Street in Chinatown, Johnson said.

Most of the stories have ties to Johnson’s real-life experiences in the fashion industry, whether it be finding perfect accessories for a show or being backstage ushering models onto the runway. Each page also includes a “quick tip box” at the bottom of the page that gives the reader a little more insider information, Johnson said.

The idea, Johnson said, is to give young readers an “entrepreneurial seed” rather than just a “frivolous book” about the industry. Kids can also go to her website for more design-related activities.

“I know growing up loving fashion and wanting to be a designer myself, I would have devoured a resource like this, providing an insider’s view of a day in the life of a designer preparing for a big fashion show,” she said.

Check out some of the NYC spots featured in the book here:

All photos Courtesy of Stacy Johnson and Austin Macauley Publishers.

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Brooklyn synagogue that held crowded, secret wedding to be fined $15,000: Mayor de Blasio

As coronavirus cases continue to surge across New York City, a Brooklyn synagogue will be slapped with a $15,000 fine for hosting a huge wedding in violation of restrictions aimed at reducing the COVID infection rate, Mayor de Blasio said Monday.

“We know there was a wedding. We know it was too big. We don’t have an exact figure, but whatever it was, it was too big,” Hizzoner said on NY1. “There appeared to be a real effort to conceal it, which is absolutely unacceptable.”



a group of people standing on a sidewalk: NYPD officers speak with community members briefly outside a synagogue in the Brooklyn borough of New York.


© John Minchillo
NYPD officers speak with community members briefly outside a synagogue in the Brooklyn borough of New York.

NYPD officers speak with community members briefly outside a synagogue in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (John Minchillo/)

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He’d been asked about a published report describing thousands of attendees at the Nov. 8 wedding of a top rabbi’s grandson in the Yetev Lev temple in Williamsburg.

“There is going to be a summons for $15,000 immediately for that site,” de Blasio said. “And there could be additional consequences quite soon, as well. That’s just not acceptable.”

The wedding came after the state imposed a 10-person limit on private gatherings and as the city is grappling with an alarming surge in COVID cases.



a close up of a man wearing a suit and tie: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio


© Bryan Thomas
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

Earlier Monday, de Blasio said the entire city could be declared an “orange zone” as soon as next week, shutting down non-essential businesses and putting an end to indoor dining.

“We’ve got to fight back the second wave. We still can. We get through these holidays, we have a chance to really turn the corner, but it’s up to every one of us,” he said at a press conference.

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Thousands Attend Secret Maskless Orthodox Brooklyn Wedding, Violating Cuomo’s Coronavirus Restrictions: Report

Thousands attended a secret, maskless wedding at a Hasidic synagogue in Brooklyn, drawing the ire of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who said the incident should be investigated, according to reports. 

Cuomo said in a Sunday press briefing at his Manhattan office that “if that happened, it was a blatant disregard of the law,” and called on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration to conduct “a robust investigation,” The New York Post reported.

“It’s illegal,” said Cuomo of the super spreader event. “It was also disrespectful to the people of New York. The law protects everybody. It protects you, but it also protects me.” 

To stop the spread of COVID-19, large indoor gatherings in the state have been banned. But on Nov. 8, members of the Orthodox community were crammed inside the Yetev Lev temple in Williamsburg, where reportedly  almost no one was social distancing or wearing masks, for the wedding of Yoel Teitelbaum, a grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelman. The synagogue has a capacity of 7,000, the Post reported.  

Secret plans helped the synagogue pull off the massive, maskless wedding. The Post reported that organizers of the nuptials went to great lengths to hide the wedding from the “ravenous press and government officials,” according to a detailed account in the Yiddish newspaper Der Blatt, a publication of the Satmar sect.

According to Der Blatt, Cuomo had ordered the cancellation of another Williamsburg wedding planned for a grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum, the brother and rival of Aaron, after that event was revealed to draw 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 conversation that I had because I had personal conversations with a member of the community,” Cuomo said. 

Avery Cohen, a spokesperson for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, said the city is conducting an investigation into the incident, reported the Associated Press. 

“We will hold those accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” Cohen said. 

Businesses and houses of worship that defy bans on large gatherings to risk fines of $15,000, reported the news outlet.

Inside Edition Digital reached out to Yetel Lev Synagogue and they did not respond to our request for comment.

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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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COVID NYC Update: Massive Orthodox wedding in Brooklyn ‘disrespectful,’ Cuomo says

NEW YORK CITY — 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 Teitelman, 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.

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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.

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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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City Is Investigating Large Satmar Wedding Held In Brooklyn In Violation Of COVID-19 Restrictions

The city is investigating a wedding in the Satmar Hasidic community that reportedly drew thousands of people to an indoor celebration in Brooklyn without masks, in violation of pandemic social distancing restrictions.

Thousands of guests, most of them men, gathered earlier this month for the wedding of the Satmar Grand Rebbe Aaron Teitelbaum’s grandson, Yoel Teitelbaum, according to videos obtained by the New York Post. The videos appear to show wedding-goers packed inside the Yetev Lev D’Satmar synagogue in Williamsburg on Hooper Street, singing and dancing with no face coverings.

“The City is conducting an investigation into the incident and will hold those accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” said Avery Cohen, a spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio.

She did not provide further information, such as when the city found out about the mass gathering. According to the Post, the wedding was held November 8th.

Last month, rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum’s rival (due to a longtime feud and split within the Satmar sect) Grand Rebbe Zalman Leib Teitelbaum planned to hold a large wedding for his grandson in which an estimated 10,000 guests from Brooklyn and Rockland County were expected to attend.

After pressure from officials and news coverage of the event, the synagogue’s leaders announced it would only be attended by close family members following what a spokesperson called “unwarranted attacks.” The state health commissioner issued a pre-emptive order to limit the number of guests.

This wedding, however, was planned in secret, according to the Post, citing a Yiddish-language newspaper, Der Blatt. The newspaper reported the wedding was planned by word-of-mouth to avoid “ravenous press and government officials,” according to the reports.

“If that happened, it was a blatant disregard of the law,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday when asked about the wedding. “It’s illegal. It was also disrespectful to the people of New York.”

“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,” Cuomo added. “I’m sure [the city] will be able to figure it out, and then we’ll bring the full consequence of legal action to bear.”

The synagogue could not be immediately reached for comment. The Post points out that it is located next door to a firehouse, and the FDNY is one of the city agencies responsible for inspecting establishments that may be in violation of COVID-19 restrictions. FDNY spokesperson Frank Dwyer told the Post that the wedding celebration “clearly violated” the rules, which currently limit indoor religious services to 33% capacity and require social distancing be maintained.

But “firehouses don’t conduct surveillance on their neighbors,” Dwyer added.

One member of the Brooklyn Hasidic community tells Gothamist that weddings are still taking place regularly. “This just happens to be the one reported on,” the source, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of a backlash from the community, said.

Additional reporting by Jake Offenhartz.

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Massive Orthodox wedding in Brooklyn ‘disrespectful’

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 brother of Satmar Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelman, 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 spokesman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is investigating.

A man who answered the phone at the 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 warned all New Yorkers to avoid social gatherings during the holidays. “The problem is that this is a dangerous period because you have increased social activity by definition,” he said.

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

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