Williamsburg Wedding Will Not Go on as Planned

A large Orthodox Jewish wedding in Williamsburg that was rumored to draw 10,000 people will not be held as planned, and only close friends and family will be in attendance, the Satmar Wedding Committee announced early Sunday morning.

The change of plans came hours after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state and city served an order Friday night prohibiting such a massive event from going forward as planned. 

The wedding, scheduled for Monday, is for a grandchild of a prominent Satmar rabbi. It will still take place, but according to the wedding committee, it will follow COVID-19 regulations. 

“This wedding was designed differently, that the Chuppah celebration and meal should only be attended by a small circle of close family members. The rest of the community would only be able to participate for a short period of time to extend their wishes to the Grand Rebbe and his family. The greeting cue would have been controlled in accordance with the social distancing regulations. The proper arrangements were in place to achieve that,” said Chaim Jacobowitz, secretary of the Satmar Wedding Committee. “The unwarranted attacks on this event, originated by those besmirching the community, are detached from the facts. It’s sad that nobody verified our plans before attacking us. The publicity will turn this wedding to a paparazzi and will draw spectators that may make it impossible to control the crowds to comply with social distancing. 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.”

While the event is scheduled for a location outside the red, orange and yellow cluster zones, it still must follow state rules prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people.

All of this comes as some members of the Orthodox Jewish community protest strict social distancing measures aimed at stopping the spread of the virus in hot spots in parts of Brooklyn and Queens, as well Rockland and Orange counties. 

The positivity rate in coronavirus red zones has dropped slightly to 4.34 percent, while the state’s overall infection rate remains low, at 1.1 percent, with over 1,500 new cases.

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