[Photos below.] Approximately 37,000 people attended the levaya in Lakewood, NJ, of the zekan roshei hayeshivos in the United States, Rav Chaim Stein zt”l, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Telshe-Cleveland, according to data released by the Lakewood Police Department at a meeting today.
The debriefing gathering at Police Headquarters on Third Street in downtown Lakewood was attended by Lakewood Police Chief Rob Lawson, Township Committee police liaison Meir Lichtenstein, and others from the department, who were credited with doing a superb job handling the massive crowds.
The levaya featured a heavy security presence, with snipers visible on the roofs of the buildings surrounding Beth Medrash Govoah, where the hespeidim were delivered. On 12-hour notice, the Police Department, in conjunction with the Department of Emergency Management, Chaveirim and others, made the necessary arrangements to handle the enormous number of people.
A source that spoke with Matzav.com following the levaya put the crowd estimate at 18,000. Other reports at the time put the number at 20,000.
However, the Police Department, using the National Parks Services formula, came up with the figure of 37,000 – and even that number, say police sources, is conservative. The crowd at the levaya was simply mammoth.
Without question, it was the largest levaya – and perhaps the largest event ever – in the history of Lakewood Township.
See below for two albums of photos of the levaya in Lakewood: