Police shut down a Brooklyn yeshiva with approximately 60 students


(JTA) – Police shut down an Orthodox yeshiva in Brooklyn on Monday for violations of social distancing.

Approximately 60 students were present at the Nitra Yeshiva in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood when the police arrived, according to a New York Police Department spokesperson. Many of the teenage students were not wearing masks or adhering to social distancing, WNBC-TV reported, though a message accompanying a photo circulating on the messaging platform WhatsApp claimed the students were wearing masks and adhering to social distancing.

Officers instructed school leaders to close the yeshiva and the students dispersed.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted about the incident Monday evening. “Earlier today the NYPD shut down a Yeshiva conducting classes with as many as 70 children. I can’t stress how dangerous this is for our young people,” he wrote.

The closure comes weeks after a large Hasidic funeral in Williamsburg, also in Brooklyn, drew thousands into the street, drawing the mayor’s ire.

Days after New York Gov. Cuomo issued an executive order in mid-March closing schools across the state, he clarified that the order also applied to private schools such as yeshivas. Last month, Cuomo extended the order to include the rest of the school year.

Update 6:39 pm: This story has been updated to include New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tweet.

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