Parents in New Jersey are facing criminal charges after they alleged ignored Governor Phil Murphy’s lockdown orders to hold a bat mitzvah at their home.
Lakewood police cited Eliezer and Miriam Silber each with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child, one for each of their five kids who were in the home for the Sunday gathering, NBC Philadelphia reports.
Eliezer Silber also faces a charge of violating a rule or regulation adopted by the governor.
Can’t believe I have to say this at all, let alone for the second time. But here we are.
NO CORONA PARTIES. They’re illegal, dangerous, and stupid.
We will crash your party. You will pay a big fine. And we will name & shame you until EVERYONE gets this message into their heads.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 28, 2020
Police allege the Silbers hosted 40 to 50 people in their yard and the street in front of their home for a bat mitzvah. Lakewood is home to one of the state’s largest Orthodox Jewish communities.
“My office will prosecute any individual who defies or breaks the law, State of Emergency or otherwise,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer wrote in a statement. “Everyone must respect and follow the law.”
New Jersey State Police Col. Patrick Callahan held a news conference on Monday and said the incident is one of 70 compliance issues that have resulted in 34 indictable offenses since Murphy issued an executive order forcing everyone in the state indoors.
Only critical businesses may remain open:
🩹Medical supply stores
🐶Pet supply stores
🍽️Restaurants and bars providing take-out and delivery only
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 21, 2020
“My job is to make sure we get through this emergency so you can safely gather with family and friends later,” Murphy said, according to NBC Philadelphia. “And enjoying many more birthdays and weddings in the years to come.
“Any place people congregate is a place where coronavirus can spread. This is no time for anyone to be acting selfishly and taking a gathering underground.”
Murphy reiterated his orders on Twitter amid the repeated defiance.
“Can’t believe I have to say this at all, let alone for the second time. But here we are,” the governor tweeted. “NO CORONA PARTIES. They’re illegal, dangerous, and stupid.
“We will crash your party. You will pay a big fine. And we will name & shame you until EVERYONE gets this message into their heads.”
The Twitter post came the day before the Silbers’ shindig.
And they weren’t the only ones who didn’t get the message.
“Not long after they were busted, a “second incident took place early Monday morning in Lakewood, when police responded to a Madison Avenue facility and found 35 people at an event,” NBC Philadelphia reports.
Police eventually cleared the building and cited owner David Gluck and manager Abraham Haberfeld with maintaining a nuisance.