London’s most senior Charedi rabbis have told Orthodox couples not to expect any weddings until late June at the earliest, with kosher caterers under their auspices ordered not to supply anything breaching lockdown rules.
In a notice to betrothed couples this week, the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations said it did not expect weddings to be allowed in the next month, dashing hopes that smaller-scale celebrations would be allowed from 1 June.
“Unfortunately, due to the [coronavirus] health risk, it is not yet clear when weddings will be allowed to take place, or what type of weddings will be permitted,” the Union statement read.
“Currently it is unlikely that weddings will be permitted in the first half of June. The Government is aware of the extraordinarily difficult position that many people find themselves in, and how hard the uncertainty is.”
The Union said it was “in communication with people at the highest level of Government,” including faith advisers in Downing Street, the Home Office and the Department for Communities, but said news of movement was still elusive.
“We are hoping for an announcement this week that will give more clarity to ba’alei simcha (those due to marry) but even that is uncertain,” the Union said.
It contradicts a statement put out last week from the Jewish Community Council of north London, another Stamford Hill based Charedi group, which said the Government had “accepted our proposed plans to allow small weddings”.
In its notice, the Union added that “as well as a ban on weddings, registry offices are closed and registration of civil marriages is not able to take place… Ba’alei simcha should be aware that Kedassia (kosher) caterers will not be catering any event which is in breach of Government regulations”.