Story By: James King, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
Orthodox Jews in Israel are getting around COVID-19 restrictions back home by having huge “kosher” weddings in the United Arab Emirates.
The two countries recently normalised relationships and with tough restrictions on large gatherings in Israel, ultra-orthodox Jews have wasted no time in taking advantage of flights to the UAE to bring their families there for large weddings.
Back home in Israel, which has experienced 3,226 deaths with 403,530 infected, according to the latest John’s Hopkins University statistics, tough restrictions are in place that limit family gatherings to no more than 20.
It means that the Israeli wedding industry has virtually shut down which is a particularly harsh blow for the ultraorthodox communities with large families.
One couple, Sheli Scheinfeld and Shimon Pisakov, told local media why they moved their wedding to the Gulf state.
Sheli said: “We have 200 guests in an area of 1,500 square meters (16,145 square feet), so this is a great solution. In Israel, you can only have 20 people at a wedding, and it’s very important for us to have our loved ones by our side.”
Shimon added: “We started telling this to people about two months ago as a joke, that we’re going to get married in Dubai, but with time, we realised it was the ideal solution.”
Avi Fine Chen of Gaya Tours, which organised the wedding and others, said that demand had skyrocketed during the pandemic and dozens of other “kosher” weddings have been arranged to take place in the UAE in the coming months.
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