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.”