The Mayor of Hackney has written an open letter to members of the Charedi Orthodox Jewish community in Stamford Hill, in response to an illegal wedding at Yesodey Hatorah School last week, and further reports in the media today of many large-scale weddings taking place behind closed doors in various venues.

The letter, which is co-signed by the Borough Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Marcus Barnett, and Hackney’s Director of Public Health, Dr Sandra Husbands, emphasises the significant risk to life of holding or attending mass gatherings and has wide support from the community. It will be delivered today to every Charedi home in the borough with local community newsheet, Heimishe.

Alongside other east London council leaders and mayors, the Mayor wrote to faith leaders earlier this month and joined Hackney’s Faith Forum to ask them to work together to pause communal worship in response to rising case rates. 

He wrote: “One key strategy to reduce Covid-19 infection rates is to pause communal

worship and this is something many local places of worship are either already doing or are actively considering.

“None of us want to see places of faith or their facilities close to communal worship, but these are challenging times and we must do all that we can to protect the most vulnerable in our communities and reduce pressure on the NHS.”

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