The Orange County Health Department visited the main Satmar Shul in Kiryas Joel on Wednesday morning and platstered a “cease and desist order” on the building. Viral photos on social media showed a man hanging up sign up from the Health Commissioner as a NY State Trooper stood nearby.
The letter can be read below, but most interesting is what appears to be a veiled threat of “criminal charges” if the social distancing rules are not adhered to.
Part of the notice reads: “The Orange County Health Department has received reports of mass gathering within the above addressed premises, You and all Congregants are directed to take any steps necessary to ensure that no more than 50% of the posted limit for the above addressed location, including maximum posted limits in any given room is not exceeded.”
“For the safety and welfare of you and your congregation, the greater community, and to avoid subjected yourselves to possible criminal charges you are are hereby directed to comply with the structures of the law and the Governor’s Executive orders.”
Hours after the “CEASE AND DESIST” notice was given to Satmar, the Kiryas Joel Office of Emergency Management released a one page alert in Yiddish about COVID and asked everyone to take proper precautions.
In a related story published on YWN WhatsApp on Wednesday, for the first time since assuming leadership, the Satmar Rebbe of Kiryas Joel will not be spending Rosh Hashanah in Williamsbug. A notice was sent out that the Rebbe would remain in Kiryas Joel. It was unknown if this was just for Rosh Hashanah, or all the upcoming Yomim Tovim.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)