Orthodox Jewish synagogues in NYC fined $15,000 for having more than 10 people inside

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Orthodox Jews continue to be targeted in New York City after Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared last week that he may “close the synagogues” over the lack of compliance with coronavirus restrictions.

Democratic officials are suggesting large gatherings of Orthodox Jews are behind an outbreak of several COVID-19 “clusters” that have cropped up and authorities are now hitting them in the wallet.


Five Orthodox Jewish institutions were fined $15,000 for allegedly having more than 10 people inside their facilities, which is a violation of health code restrictions in place to combat the pandemic.

The synagogues were not shut down because the New York City Sheriff’s office has no authority to do so, according to WNBC-TV reporter Myles Miller.

Miller reported that one facility in Borough Park had 300 people inside, linking to an article from the Gothamist that said the people were inside for 5 hours without masks.

Citing multiple sources, the Gothamist reported, “The service was led by a prominent rabbi who tested positive for coronavirus one week ago.”

Gov. Cuomo’s decision to limit religious facilities in the cluster areas to just 10 people enraged many in the ultra-Orthodox community.

Intense protests broke out last week, as many defied orders from law enforcement to disperse.

As for wearing masks, a little bonfire of burning masks in the middle of the street captured the sentiment well.

Hundreds of mask-less Orthodox Jews took to the street to express their outrage:

At one point, the scene evolved into a “pro-Trump dance party,” according to Jake Offenhartz, a reporter for the Gothamist.

The Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn sued the state of New York in federal court last week, according to Fox News.

The diocese said Cuomo’s actions would effectively force more than two dozen of its churches to close even though they’ve “been reopened for months in strict adherence to all medical and governmental guidance without any COVID-related incidents whatsoever.”

Calling the case a “difficult decision,” U.S. District Judge Eric Komitee sided with the Democratic governor in denying the request for a temporary restraining order.

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Tom Tillison


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