Boro Parkers, Agudath Israel Protest Gov. Cuomo’s Second Shutdown of Brooklyn and Queens

  By Yehudit Garmaise

     A large crowd gathered tonight on 13th Ave and 50th St. to protest Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s orders earlier today that he would be limiting shul attendance to 10 people at a time and closing high-risk non-essential businesses, in addition to schools.

  “We are not going to be deprived of our rights, like everyone else in America,” City Councilman Kalman Yeger said to a group of men that is gathered around him. “I don’t care who in government thinks they can stop us. Let them try.”

   Yeger had pointed out in a tweet yesterday that Gravesend, a non-Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn that currently has the highest COVID positive numbers has not been mentioned at all by the government or the media.

 “Chasadim living there? ZERO,” tweeted Yeger, pointing out that no attention has been given by the media to the non-Jewish neighborhoods that are also, unfortunately, experiencing COVID upticks.

  The protesters in Boro Park are not the only ones who are incensed at what they see as Gov. Cuomo’s excessive restrictions.

     Today, Agudath Israel did not just respond to Governor Cuomo’s announcement today of “surprise mass closures” by calling it “appalling to all people of religion and good faith,” but the Orthodox Jewish organization also plans to file a court injunction against the state, which could potentially stop what it sees as Cuomo’s excessive restrictions, yeshiva world news reported today.

   In its statement, Agudath Israel wanted to clarify that although Gov. Cuomo described his conversation earlier today with a group of Orthodox Jewish leaders as a “good conversation,” Agudath Israel described the talk as “largely a one-way monologue [that mentioned the need for more social distancing , but] contained no mention of this new plan.”

   Although Agudath Israel, which reflects the community’s feelings of being blindsided, wrote that it intends to “explore all appropriate measures to undo these deeply offensive actions,” the organization also warned the community not to let its anger to in any way “weaken compliance with good health practices.”

  “We cannot allow our-perhaps justifiable—anger at [our] government imperil our [own or] neighbors’ health,” the statement of Agudath Israel said.

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