AUSTRALIA – Police surrounded a Melbourne synagogue to break up a Jewish New Year celebration and issue $5,452 fines for holding an “illegal gathering” to all adults who attended the celebrations.
An estimated 100 people attended the all-day Jewish New Year celebrations at the orthodox Adass Israel Synagogue in Glen Eira Avenue, Ripponlea, with Victoria Police dispersing the group around 9 pm on Tuesday night.
A second, smaller prayer group who assembled for Jewish New Year was also broken up by police from an apartment above the Ripponlea IGA supermarket, also on Glen Eira Avenue.
Police said they were alerted to the gatherings on Tuesday morning and they waited for people to exit the celebrations during the day.
But tensions grew as worshippers and their supporters confronted police in the early evening.
Two worshippers climbed onto a nearby roof around 6 pm as the confrontations ignited with some supporters heard abusing police and accusing media and health authorities of anti-Semitism.
‘Victoria Police has spoken to a number of people who attended an address on Glen Eira Road, Elsternwick on Tuesday 7 September,’ a Victorian Police statement said.
Under Melbourne’s latest lockdown, which began on August 5 and is still in place, no private or public gatherings are allowed.
‘All adults who attended will be issued with a $5452 fine. A number of children who were present will not be fined. Investigators believe a number of other people were present and are yet to be spoken to by police. Investigators are working to identify them.’
Earlier, police blocked roads around the synagogue where an estimated 100 worshippers celebrated Jewish New Year.
It is understood the worshippers stood their ground and refused to leave the two buildings on Tuesday despite Police attempts to make them get out.
Jewish New Year celebrations, known as Rosh Hashanah, commenced on Monday, September 6, and last until the evening of Wednesday, September 8.