Friday, August 13, 2021

RCC cancels Hasidic wedding, all large-scale events at fieldhouse amid COVID spike 

A Hasidic Jewish wedding expected to attract thousands of guests on Tuesday will not be held at the Rockland Community College fieldhouse.

Concerns about spreading the deadly delta variant of the coronavirus led Rockland Health Commissioner Patricia Schnabel Ruppert to advise the college to cancel all rentals and large-scale events, officials said Thursday.

"It seems that the Rockland County health commissioner has advised the college to refrain from large-scale events given the increase in cases and the dangers associated with the Delta variant," college spokesperson Risa Hoag said.

"So, effective immediately, RCC is suspending all fieldhouse rentals for the next 60 days and they will reconsider rentals after the suspension period based on the health and safety circumstances at that time," Hoag said.

The Ger Hasidic Jewish wedding had been scheduled at the college fieldhouse on Tuesday after plans for a New Jersey location reportedly didn't pan out. The fieldhouse capacity is 5,025 people, according to the RCC website.

The college never executed an agreement with the parties as it was determined that it would be inappropriate due to the "dangerous delta variant," said Susan Lyddon, vice president for Institutional Advancement for RCC.

There was no indication on where the wedding will be held as representatives of the community were not immediately available for comment.

Ramapo Supervisor Michael Specht said Thursday he was not aware of RCC's decision and has not been approached to rent out the Palisades Credit Union Park, the home of the New York Boulders. 

Specht said while the ballpark is outdoors, if asked, he'd have to consult with the health department and other officials given the health issues.

The Ger Hasidim is the Jewish state's largest Hasidic sect. It is based in Israel but has a following in Rockland, where the rabbi has been staying.


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