Illegal religious gatherings alleged in Melbourne

August 15, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Council of Orthodox Synagogues of Victoria (COSV) has condemned alleged illegal minyanim taking place under the current COVID restrictions set out by the Victorian Government.

An illegal minyan in Melbourne photographed in March, 2020

The COSV has consistently conveyed the restrictions to which synagogues should be following under the guidelines stipulated to keep our community safe. While all COSV Shules abide and are compliant with the directions to not host services, these alleged private minyanim are not only illegal under these restrictions but are disappointing acts that have put the entire Melbourne Jewish Orthodox community at risk.

The COSV reiterates to all community members, that in order to keep our kehillot safe we must adhere to the government regulations and hope that all members of the Melbourne Jewish community continue to follow the guidelines:

  • –  Do not congregate
  • –  Do not visit other peoples’ homes
  • –  Check-in using the Services Australia QR code everywhere
  • –  Wear a mask
  • –  Get tested
  • –  Get vaccinated

We wish those who have tested positive a refuah shleima and hope that we can all be together soon as a united community in our beloved shules.

The media release was issued by COSV President Mark Cohen who told J-Wire that the allegations were “solid hearsay”.

The JCCV is aware of the COVID-19 exposure sites in areas local to the Melbourne Jewish Community and is working closely with the Department of Health.

A spokesperson said: “You must check COVID-19 exposure sites regularly at Get tested immediately if you have been to a Tier 1 or Tier 2 site, and if you exhibit any of the symptoms of COVID-19 – no matter how mild, and isolate immediately.

Under current restrictions private and public gatherings are not permitted. Religious gatherings are not permitted in person.”

JCCV President Daniel Aghion added: “We are proud that the majority of our community are doing the right thing, like most Victorians.

We are disappointed to learn that a small group has not been following mandatory lockdown restrictions. We call on those people to do the right thing. The virus does not discriminate. We will only manage COVID-19 if we all comply. We all have a responsibility.

We are also calling for calm within the community. We too feel the immense frustration at the current situation and are focusing our support on significant efforts being made to contain the virus. If you are concerned about exposure events, you should contact the authorities.

Also, check our FB page for info, about pop-up testing sites



2 Responses to “Illegal religious gatherings alleged in Melbourne”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Was this gathering that the Victoria Chief Medical Officer was talking about? He later apologized for mentioning Orthodox Jewish people but these people are Orthodox so why the apology for just stating a fact, I wonder?

    The media and police often identify people by religion, race or nationality for mostly legitimate reasons. For example Orange People Religious Cult, Italian Mafia, English Soccer Hooligans, Asian Gangs, NZ Bikes, Chinese Triads or Japanese Yakuza.

  2. john nemesh says:

    This statement should never have had to be made.

    Shame on the brazen selfish individuals responsible.

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