A Hasidic wedding in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, drew thousands of guests on November 8, and went off without a hitch thanks to intense secrecy to conceal the event from authorities.
But local authorities have levied a fine of $15,000 against the wedding's organizers. Following the event, an Orthodox Jewish newspaper published an account of the event and the lengths community leaders took to keep it a secret.
"All notices about upcoming celebrations were passed along through word of mouth, with no notices in writing, no posters on the synagogue walls, no invitations sent through the mail, nor even a report in any publication, including this very newspaper," read a post-wedding account in Der Blatt, the newspaper, which is published in Yiddish.
A video of the celebration posted online also received a lot of views, sparking criticism about the large number of attendees and the lack of face masks or social distancing.
"We know there was a wedding," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told local news outlet NY1. "We know it was too big. I don't have an exact figure, but whatever it was, it was too big. There appeared to be a real effort to conceal it. Which is absolutely unacceptable. ... This was amazingly irresponsible, just unacceptable. So there's going to be consequences right
away for the people who let that happen."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said after hearing a report about the wedding that if it did take place it was "a blatant disregard of the law" and "disrespectful to the people of New York."
In Orange County, New York, officials ordered the local community of Satmar Hasidic Jews, to cancel numerous weddings scheduled for Monday night. It is unknown publicly if the weddings were canceled or took place, the New York Times reports.
In October, the Satmar community in Williamsburg canceled a planned wedding that reportedly would have drawn 10,000 guests.