BNEI BRAK (VINnews) — 200 members of the Beis Matisyahu Yeshiva in Bnei Brak tested positive for COVID-19 in the past few days, about a third of the entire student body. Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Baruch Weisbecker, who himself fell sick with the virus, allegedly initially told students not feeling well to stay in their rooms and not to test for the virus and students claim that this is the source of the high numbers of infections in the yeshiva. Sources close to the Rosh Yeshiva denied the allegations.
80 of the sick students have been evacuated to a hotel in Kfar Tabor, and the rest are due to be evacuated to another hotel in the coming days but students at the yeshiva are worried that this is all too late. “If they continue like this and don’t provide an immediate response, the numbers will just keep rising” warned one student.
Another student said that students strictly maintained coronavirus regulations but the yeshiva was still very crowded and thus the mass infection was inevitable despite the fact that the main hall was divided into compartments.
In response to the outbreak, the Bnei Brak municipality closed the street where the yeshiva is situated and is only allowing local residents to enter and leave their houses.
The yeshiva is considered one of the most prominent yeshivas of the Lithuanian schools of study. A number of other yeshivas were also closed after coronavirus outbreaks in Beitar Illit and Kiryat Malachi.