Police shut down a Brooklyn yeshiva with approximately 60 students
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Police shut down a Brooklyn yeshiva with approximately 60 students

Many of the teens were reportedly not wearing masks or adhering to social distancing; building in Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood closed and participants dispersed

Students leave a yeshiva in Brooklyn after police shut it down for violating coronavirus social distancing regualtions on May 18 2020 (Screencapture/  WNBC-TV)
Students leave a yeshiva in Brooklyn after police shut it down for violating coronavirus social distancing regualtions on May 18 2020 (Screencapture/ WNBC-TV)

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.

Video from the scene showed many of the students, a few not wearing masks, all get on to a single bus outside after police ordered the school closed.

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 ire of de Blasio.

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.

Times of Israel Staff contributed to this report

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