A young couple whose illegal lockdown engagement party shocked Melbourne are the children of a prominent psychologist and cancer specialist.
Six people have now tested positive after the gathering to celebrate Michal Franck and Yoni Rubin’s upcoming wedding, and authorities fear it could turn into a super spreader event.
Video of the party shows the Melbourne couple’s fathers packed into a narrow room on Wednesday during the event in the south east of the city.
Michael’s father, Dr. Mark Franck, 52, is a skin cancer expert, while the father of law student Yoni Kalman Rubin, 68, a Victoria Legal Aid chair and celebrated psychologist, can reveal Daily Mail Australia.
The couple and their families were bombarded with abuse after Victorian Prime Minister Dan Andrews criticized them for their “selfish choices” at his Covid press conference on Monday, and have now “gone the ground” according to family friends.
The party was also condemned by St. Kilda Rabbi Ronnie Figdor, who said the couple “should have known better” and his community was upset and disappointed.
Michal Franck (left) and Yoni Rubin (right) sparked outrage after hosting an engagement party for 69 people at a Melbourne home, in violation of the city’s lockdown rules. Six attendees have since tested positive for Covid
Yoni’s father is Kalman Rubin, 68, a Victoria Legal Aid president and celebrated psychologist, while his mother Timmy (left and right at engagement party together) runs a ritual bath for married Jewish women.
Now the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has launched an investigation, with the power to suspend the licenses of negligent physicians.
“We are aware that the Victoria Police Department has stated that they intend to take action regarding individuals who attended the event,” an APHRA spokesperson said.
“We will be contacting them about any registered caregivers who attended.”
dr. Franck and his photographer wife Chana, 49, were both in attendance at the party along with nearly 70 other guests.
Video footage from the night shows guests crammed into a small room as Yoni Rubin mocked the lockdown laws they were ignoring.
The groom-to-be can be seen in the clip bragging about the shady status of the party.
“Obviously this is legal as this is a group therapy session,” the part-time teacher jokes, standing next to his bride-to-be as the packed house bursts into laughter.
“That’s why my father is here!”
One of the revelers yells, “He’s a mental health psychiatrist!”
The groom-to-be mocked Victoria’s lockdown laws, saying: ‘Obviously this is legal as this is a group therapy session’. He then pointed to his father, who is a psychologist, while another reveler booed ‘he’s a mental health psychiatrist’
Michael’s father, Dr. Mark Franck (above), 52, is a skin cancer expert. He laughed when his future son-in-law joked about Victoria’s lockdown
dr. Franck stands nearby, leaning against a wall during the jokes, before the camera pans to make Mr. Rubin and his wife Tamara, known as Timmy, 65, laugh along with other guests.
Mrs. Rubin is a prison chaplain and runs Melbourne’s premier mikveh, a ritual bath for married Jewish women.
Police have now vowed to track down all the guests and fine them $5,000 each for violating Melbourne’s strict lockdown laws.
Chief Constable Shane Patton warned that the final bill would be about $350,000. Further charges have not yet been ruled out.
The families are said to be distraught over the public’s opposition to the party.
“We’ve done wrong, but the hatred that’s coming our way is so vicious,” Ms Rubin pleaded, according to the Herald Sun.
“Look into your heart and try to find forgiveness.”
Victorian Prime Minister Dan Andrews said the families had made “selfish, stupid choices” to keep the celebration in lockdown, but rebuffed the anti-Semitic attacks on them.
“Anti-Semitism is unacceptable and bad,” he said. “We have a zero-tolerance policy in our state for that.
“There’s no point in harassing anyone and there’s never, ever, a place in Victoria for anti-Semitic behavior or language, it’s just bad.
“We called out some bad behavior yesterday, we didn’t call out community because that would just be unfair and wrong.”
St Kilda Rabbi Ronnie Figdor admitted the couple ‘should have known better’
Rabbi Ronnie Figdor, CEO of the nearby St Kilda Hebrew Congregation, said his offices had also received furious calls about the celebration.
“Unfortunately this has a big impact and that is what upsets me and many others,” he said.
“They should have known better.
‘Dr Franck is without a doubt a very good doctor. but I’m not sure I would ask his advice on Covid.
“We’re one big Jewish family, so we’re ashamed when something like this happens, whether we know them personally or not.
‘Are we disappointed? Yes. This was a wake up call. People get a little arrogant because you think it won’t affect you. Well, good morning, it is.’
He said he always warned people to act as if their actions could end up on the front page of a newspaper.
“Unfortunately, in this case it’s on the front page of the newspaper,” he said.
“I’m one of these good shoes — when I’m told to do something, I just do it.
“I suspect that if they had known a week ago that this would be the result of their actions, they would not have acted like this. We are all wiser after the event.
“What we can expect now is a sincere apology and a commitment to do better.”
St Kilda Federal Member of Parliament Josh Burns added: ‘The reports and images of meetings we have seen this weekend are deeply disappointing.
“It is completely unfair to anyone who has done the right thing. Those who have done the wrong thing will be dealt with by the authorities and rightly bear the legal consequences.”
Daily Mail Australia has asked parents for comment.
FIND THE LATEST EXPOSURE SITES NEAR YOU