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Mass Gerrer hassidic wedding denied permit due to safety concerns

CM 25/05/2021

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A planned wedding for the grandson of the Grand Rabbi of the Gur hassidic community Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Alter, scheduled for Wednesday night, has been denied a permit by the Jerusalem Municipal Authority and the police over safety concerns.

The wedding ceremony was to have been staged on Yermiahu Street outside the hassidic community’s headquarters, with the celebrations in both the old and new headquarters buildings.
Because of the recent disasters at mass-attended religious events, the Jerusalem police decided to condition the Gerer celebrations on the approval of a safety consultant from the Jerusalem Municipal Authority.
Legal representatives of the grand rabbi have now appealed the decision to the High Court of Justice, arguing that religious events do not need a license under the 1968 law for business licensing, and are not required to comply with safety standards. The police do not have the authority to condition the wedding on a safety consultation.
The Gerer legal council also asserted that since the old headquarters building has all necessary permits it is unreasonable not to approve the events there.
They added that the police demand that a safety consultant from the Jerusalem Municipal Authority approve the event was an attempt to put all responsibility for the safety of the event on the municipal authority, instead of the police.

And the legal representatives also pointed out that the police have in the past issued permits for Gerer weddings on Yermiahu Street.
The police said simply that the authority to approve such an event lay with the municipal authority and that the police could not enable the wedding without this approval.
The spokesperson’s office of the Jerusalem Municipal Authority said that it was working with the police to find a way to license the event and for it to fulfil all safety requirements and get the approval of safety advisers. “for all parts of the event, including tents, buildings and streets.”
The spokesman added that an offer had been made to hold the wedding in a suitable venue owned by the Jerusalem municipality, but that no answer had been received for this offer.
“Holding a mass event in a building requires the organizers to apply and arrange for licensing for the event, as is usual, with the relevant officials,” said the municipality.
The High Court is yet to rule on the petition.
Separately, the director of the Institute for National Insurance announced on Tuesday that families who lost a family member in the Meron disaster, and those who suffered injuries, will all receive compensation.
Families who lost a first-degree relative will receive NIS 100,000, although a family which lost two first-degree relatives, of which there are several, will get NIS 130,000 per person.
Those injured in the disaster will receive smaller sums.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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