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Illegal Woodmere gathering violated public gathering ban

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A notice of violation for an illegal place of worship was issued to the organizer of a gathering of more than 10 people at a building in Woodmere near noon on April 4.

Rabbi Naftali Weitz’s synagogue, Beis Hamedrash Ishei Yisroel at 846 West Broadway was shut down as it was allegedly holding a prayer group on Shabbat. The front windows of the shul are covered and it was said that congregants entered though a back entrance.

Nassau County Assistant Chief Fire Marshal Michael Uttaro said that before the fire marshal got to the scene, police had emptied the building, which had blocked exit doors and a “cooking appliance in the back parking lot,” Uttaro said.

“The big issues were with occupancy and no permit for public assembly,” Uttaro said. “It was reported that it was quite crowded. Six appearance tickets were issued for fire code violations and one for obstructing governmental administration. The rabbi was spoken to.”

The gathering broke current social distancing orders put in place because of the coronavirus outbreak. Woodmere is one of the county’s hardest hit communities with 258 Covid-19 cases as of April 3.