Charedi weddings being held in London

Ceremonies 'not sanctioned' by Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, which urges community 'to comply with law and social distancing rules'


A senior figure in Stamford Hill has acknowledged that weddings have been taking place within London’s Charedi community.

Isaac Kornbluh, a member of the Hackney Police Independent Advisory Group, said he did not know how many weddings had been held or the venues. But the rabbinate of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations had “not sanctioned or licensed” them.

As kosher caterers were under strict orders not to cater at weddings, food for functions would have had to be bought on a takeaway basis, he said.

But Mr Kornbluh would not comment on what “others do, just as I don’t comment on the packed beaches, the packed underground or the packed buses”.

Newspaper reports over the weekend suggested that the government was planning to permit small wedding ceremonies shortly and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis raised the issue earlier this week with Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick.

But Charedi sources told the JC that ceremonies were already being held in Stamford Hill and North-West London, including in a marquee in Hackney.

A police spokesman said there appeared to be a marquee at the location but had no knowledge of any weddings.

One man said police had allowed him to have a chupah in a garden, observing social distancing rules — which currently permit six people to meet outside in England — with guests in adjacent gardens.

A UOHC spokesman said Charedi leaders were “working closely with government and other religious organisations to find a way to allow weddings and religious services to go ahead as soon as possible. In the meantime, we continue to ask the whole community to comply with the law and social distancing rules.”

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