Police and council appeal to Charedi community following Jewish News report

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Police and council appeal to Charedi community following Jewish News report

Mayor of Hackney, chief superintendent and the director of public health order Charedi households to comply with lockdown following our shock investigation.

Council leaders and police commanders penned a rare public letter to the strictly Orthodox community on Thursday and sent a copy to almost every Charedi household, following Jewish News’ reporting.

Accompanying the local community newssheet ‘Heimishe’, the letter warned Jewish families against organising or attending weddings during the national coronavirus lockdown, after the scale and regularity of breaches were revealed.

Thursday’s laying-down-the-law letter was signed by Mayor of Hackney Phil Glanville, Borough Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Marcus Barnett, and Hackney’s Director of Public Health, Dr Sandra Husbands.

It emphasises the “significant risk to life” of holding or attending mass gatherings and the three senior figures said that message had “wide support from the community”.


Referring to revelations in this week’s Jewish News, Glanville described them as “absolutely shocking”, adding: “If true, it demonstrates that a small but significant and selfish minority of the community have a total disregard for their own safety, and that of their family and friends.”

He added: “I am in absolutely no doubt that if regular, mass gatherings have been taking place, as described, lives will have been lost as a direct result. And our local health services will have been directly impacted.

Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville

“The vast majority of our local Charedi population have been following lockdown guidelines, and are as angry, shocked and upset by recent events as I am.

“I appreciate the efforts undertaken by many individuals and organisations within the Charedi community to communicate Government and local guidance clearly and keep the community safe from harm, while supporting each other and protecting life.

“It is very clear that Government guidance says that no wedding with more than six individuals present should be taking place anywhere in Hackney and we will be making that even clearer in the coming days.

Letter sent by the Mayor, head of police and public health from Stamford Hill

“However, we are also aware that the Charedi community is highly visible and vulnerable to anti-semitism, which we know has been on the rise in recent years, and that the high profile of this incident has made many feel anxious.”

The Council said meetings were being held between elected local leaders, the Rabbinate, and Governors at Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls’ School, one of the venues revealed to be hosting large and illegal weddings.

“In every discussion we have emphasised how unacceptable these events are and how the Council will redouble our efforts to work with the police, Government and local people to keep not just the Charedi community, but everyone in Hackney safe,” said Glanville. “We will provide more updates on this work next week.”



Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: