Threats emerge over Jewish engagement party in Melbourne’s inner southwest

Threats emerge over Jewish engagement party in Melbourne’s inner southwest

Threats emerge over engagement party in Melbourne’s inner southwest

Premier Daniel Andrews has launched an “angry” tirade at the “selfish” 69 people from an engagement party that could be a superspreader event.

Threats emerge over Jewish engagement party in Melbourne’s inner southwest

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has launched into an “angry” tirade about the revellers from an engagement party in Melbourne who flouted Covid-19 rules and joked about it.

More than 60 people from Melbourne’s Jewish Orthadox community are believed to have attended the engagement party in the St Kilda area last week but footage of the event only surfaced over the weekend.

Videos, seen by, show the groom-to-be telling jokes as those in attendance cheer him on.

“Clearly this is legal because it’s a group-therapy session,” he says.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Mr Andrews said “many, many Victorians” are rightly upset about the footage.

“It shouldn’t have happened, some of the commentary in the video is just blatant, but what makes me really angry about it is that there are 69 people at that event, no matter what you are told or what you read … there has been transmission at that event.

“The only question is will it be a superspreader event. It is already a transmission event, no matter what you are told, those are the facts.

“What makes me really angry about that event, is that each of those 69 people will have to be interviewed, their close contacts will have to be spoken to and tested.

“It’s very simple. But above all the thing that makes me angriest is that that event, that sort of contact, some of the behaviour we have seen over the weekend, takes away and devalues the amazing work millions and millions of Victorians are doing.”

The seriousness of the situation is now crystalising for the couple and the community.

The engaged pair are reporting they have been cyber bullied and want forgiveness.

Police are investigating and a woman and her son who were linked to the gathering have since tested positive to Covid-19.

Community leaders have condemned the gathering and called for strict adherence to the chief health officer’s restrictions which ban gatherings indoors.

The President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Daniel Aghion, said he was “disappointed to learn that a small group have not been following mandatory lockdown restrictions”.

In a statement, he said members of the community needed to do better.

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Threats emerge over Jewish engagement party in Melbourne’s inner southwest

Nobody was wearing a mask at the gathering.Source:Supplied

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“We too feel the immense frustration at the current situation, and are focusing our support on significant efforts being made to contain the virus.”

The Rabbinical Council of Victoria said a small group of rule breakers were letting everybody down.

“We implore anybody considering flouting the law to refrain from doing so,” the council said.

“We unreservedly condemn such actions, which bring risk and shame to the entire community.”

The principal of St Kilda-based Mount Scopus Memorial College, James Kennard, wrote on social media that speaking out against fellow Jews is hard but necessary.

“It is painful to speak out against fellow-Jews in public. But at this time, the danger of staying silent is too great,” he wrote on Facebook.

“Because the law states that we must stay at home, because the experts tell us that this is the way to save lives, because of the risk of terrible Chillul Hashem (desecration of God’s name), every rabbi and leader must cry out. We must take the heartbreaking path and stop the gatherings – for prayer, for s’machot, for school. Just stop.”

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Threats emerge over Jewish engagement party in Melbourne’s inner southwest

Pictures from an engagement party at St Kilda emerged over the weekend.Source:Supplied

Threats against those reporting rule breakers

In one social media post, one member of the Jewish Orthodox community makes threats against another member of the community.

“How dare you mention names and shame good people’s names, these are good Hashem fearing people. Wait till [sic] I see you, I’ll show you what is what.

“If I see you, I’ll personally choke the sh*t out of you. Can’t wait to see your punk a** face to face. You’ve sold your sole [sic] to the devil.

“You’re going to have a very expensive dentist bill when I’m done with you.”

Former Labor MP Philip Dalidakis said he was “speechless” after watching the video.

“I am genuinely shocked at the brazen disregard for our laws,” he posted on social media.

“Not one person in the video should be there, not one person in the video is using masks, not one person in the video is considering the selfish impact their behaviour is now having.

“They should be ashamed,” he said.

He rightly pointed out that those breaking the rules were the minority.

“It is important to state clearly and unequivocally, this is an event that is not representative of the overwhelming Jewish community,” he wrote.

“To suggest otherwise would be to engage in anti-Semitic behaviour. However, small pockets of our Orthodox & ultra Orthodox community need to see this event as an opportunity to reset & reflect on just how dangerous and selfish their behaviour has been.

“Kudos to those of our community and political leaders who have called this out. To those who haven’t, time to stand up, be heard, be counted.”

Other reports of gatherings, street parties

In other pockets of Melbourne, reports emerged of more private gatherings and street parties, including a large group of people in Northcote.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the city needed to make better decisions to help stop the spread of the Delta variant.

“This is not about admonishing people or blame. We can’t change what happened yesterday, we can only make the best choices today and as we go forward,” he said.

Victoria recorded 22 new local cases of Covid-19 on Monday. Of those, 17 were linked to known outbreaks and 14 were in isolation during their entire infectious period.

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