NY family flies virus victim’s body to Israel in private jet, holds mass funeral

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TV report: 7 relatives flew in 70-year-old woman’s body, ignored requirement that they enter quarantine, went to funeral with 100 people, then on to synagogue; police investigating.

Seven members of a Jewish family from New York reportedly arrived Monday to Israel from the United States in a private jet along with the body of a family member who died of COVID-19, and immediately attended her funeral along with a hundred people, in violation of the requirement to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The family then continued to a synagogue in Holon where they met dozens of other relatives and friends, according to a report by Channel 12.

All arrivals to Israel currently have to isolate for two weeks before they are allowed to come into contact with other people.

New York is one of the world’s worst COVID-19 hotspots, and the city’s Jewish community has been particularly hard-hit by the outbreak. Many virus victims have been flown to Israel for burial.

However, in Monday’s incident, the body didn’t arrive alone. Seven relatives of the deceased 70-year-old woman arrived at Ben Gurion Airport after renting a private plane for almost $200,000.

She was then buried at Jerusalem’s Har Hamenuhot cemetery, alongside the family father. The funeral was attended by 100 people, including the new arrivals from abroad who defied government restrictions.

The family is wealthy and known among New York’s Jews for its philanthropy, the report said. It quoted a family friend saying that the family for 25 years has been “keeping afloat the Bukharan community in Queens, Arizona and other places.” The family deals with real estate and diamonds, he said.

Another friend said that if not for the coronavirus, thousands would have attended the funeral.

The family planned to return Monday night to the US. The report didn’t say whether that plan had gone ahead.

Israel Police said the case would be probed, adding that it acts upon alerts sent to it by the Health Ministry.

credit to timesofisrael