Cuomo threatens Jewish weddings in New York

New York state governor says he’ll crack down after reports of large Jewish weddings in Borough Park.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would crack down on large social events after reports in the press of three large Jewish weddings held indoors in the predominantly Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

Cuomo told reporters that if New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn’t take action against the large gatherings then he would step in.

“In the case of New York City, if there’s any evidence, or plans of weddings that would violate the law, they should forward those complaints to the NYPD or the mayor,” Cuomo said.

“If the mayor is not doing any enforcement actions, then the state will,” Cuomo emphasized.

The governor said there had been “super spreader events” that had caused infections in the Jewish and Catholic communities and that “the virus does not discriminate by religious or racial lines.”

Cuomo said he was not singling out the Jewish community, but that he would act if he received reports.

“We don’t have any evidence that it’s worse in the Hasidic community, we haven’t gotten those complaints. If we do, we will follow up and [investigate],” Cuomo said. “Whether it’s young people at a bar or religious people at a wedding, it’s the same thing to me. It’s ignorant, it’s disrespectful and it violates the law.”

Cuomo has criticized the New York mayor several times for not controlling crowds at the city’s outdoor bars and restaurants.

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De Blasio got in hot water in June after banning religious gatherings while he joined thousands at a Black Lives Matter march.

While not mentioning the reports on the Hasidic weddings in Borough Park, De Blasio said the Hasidic neighborhood has a positive test rate of 2.5 percent — well above the citywide average of under 1 percent, the Post reported.

The Hatzalah volunteer Jewish Orthodox rescue service in the city sent out a notice earlier this week warning the Jewish community that “large gatherings of any kind must be avoided.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, New York state has limited indoor gatherings including weddings to a maximum of 50 people.

A City Hall representative said a catering hall in Borough Park was being served with a summons for failing to comply with the size limits on gatherings and faces a fine of up to $2,000.