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America’s biggest yeshiva closes as multiple COVID cases confirmed in Lakewood

Multiple coronavirus diagnoses have been confirmed in Lakewood, N.J., The Lakewood Scoop reported Thursday.

Lakewood has one of the highest concentrations of Jews in the United States, with an estimated 59% of the population Jewish, according to a 2011 study.

While many of Lakewood’s synagogues had shut down as the coronavirus pandemic spread throughout the state and country, not all of them did: at least one attempted to stay open while complying with regulations by staggering multiple service times in order to avoid having more than 50 people gather at once, and public safety officials have had to break up at least two weddings that had more than that many guests.

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But in the past day, according to the Scoop, much of Lakewood’s remaining Jewish life has shut down, according to the Scoop, such as wedding halls and yeshivas — including Beth Medrosh Govoha, the biggest yeshiva in the United States with more than 6,700 students.

A sign on the door of the yeshiva read “Stop! Do not enter!” and urged students to pray and study at home, the Scoop reported.

Aiden Pink is the deputy news editor of the Forward. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter @aidenpink




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