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Jewish Funeral-Goers Ignore Social Distancing And Force Cops To Crack Down In NYC

Samantha Agate

Samantha Agate

You may have recently seen a video circulating on social media of dozens of people gathering to mourn the loss of a member of their community. The only problem is, this Jewish community is supposed to be practicing social distancing which has been enforced in New York City. Police appeared at the funeral procession in Borough Park, Brooklyn to break up the crowds. But not before people expressed their anger on social media about how insensitive it is to gather in large groups and put more lives at risk during the coronavirus pandemic.


The funeral was held for Rav Yosef Kalish, 63, an Amshinover rebbe who was hospitalized with coronavirus last week and died Sunday morning. He was a very well-known rabbi who ran a shul in Borough Park. Kalish is a descendant of the founder of a Hasidic dynasty dating back to the 1800s. His father was one of a line of disciples of the founder of Hasidism so it makes sense why so many people wanted to attend his funeral. However, given the current state of the global pandemic, that may not have been such a good idea.

Social Media Users Were Not Happy About The Lack Of Social Distancing

When police arrived at the scene they were able to disperse the crowd. It is not clear whether or not these people received summons or fines for not abiding by social distancing guidelines. It is recommended that people stay at least six feet apart however it seems that in the video they are extremely close together.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended last week that people in the U.S. should wear “a basic cloth or fabric mask” whenever they go outside. But as you can see in the video, many people in the crowd are not wearing any kind of mask. This prompted some backlash on social media.

One Twitter user asked why nothing is being done about neighborhoods like Borough Park. He called for action in the neighborhood since they continue to gather in large groups regardless of the risk of spreading coronavirus.

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ABC7 reporter CeFaan Kim documented the communities lack of social distancing in a Twitter video. One person commented that pockets of people all over the country that are not social distancing are going to prolong the spread of coronavirus.

This Isn’t The Jewish Communities Only Large Gathering Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Another funeral led thousands of people to the streets of Borough Park to mourn. In this video, you can see men carrying a coffin through the Brooklyn streets. Not everyone in the crowd is wearing a mask. The funeral was for a 101-year-old rabbi who held services at a synagogue. This all comes after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo barred crowds of 50 or more people from gathering. Clearly, there are way more than 50 people on the street alone.

One Twitter user called this “absolutely ridiculous and selfish,” because people are being asked to avoid large crowds like this.

Another Twitter user questioned, “When is enough enough?” She went on to call this large gathering of people “absurd.”

Borough Park has over 700 confirmed cases of coronavirus so it’s no surprise why people are calling for more action during this deadly pandemic.

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About the Author

Samantha Agate
Samantha Agate is the Talent Guru here at Talent Recap. Her work has been featured at The Blast. Samantha graduated from Hunter College in 2019 with a degree in Media Studies and a Concentration in Journalism. When she isn't binge-watching reality television shows or binge-eating fried food, she loves hanging out with her friends and family and petting puppies.

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