The scenes were confronting and, for the children involved, no doubt frightening.
As a group of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and boys left a Ripponlea synagogue, they were surrounded by journalists, camera crews and police. Jostling broke out. Punches were thrown. A cameraman was later hospitalised with concussion.
Bizarre footage later emerged of Jewish men in traditional dress creeping along nearby rooftops in an apparent attempt to evade detection.
This week marked Rosh Hashanah, the two-day holiday celebrating Jewish New Year.
While the overwhelming majority of Melbourne’s Jewish community celebrated at home, breaking bread with their families over Zoom, police surrounded a building on Glen Eira Road after being tipped off that a group of worshippers had gathered inside in contravention of Victoria’s lockdown rules.