Editorial: Mahwah doubles down on eruv ban

On Thursday, the Mahwah Town Council voted unanimously to hire two law firms, paying each up to $50,000, to defend the town in a lawsuit brought by the Bergen Rockland Eruv Association.

A court may also look at the multiple anti-Orthodox initiatives underway in Mahwah “Coincidently” happening at the same time the town is trying to block the eruv.

DOBLIN: An eruv connects Mahwah to Clybourne Park.LEGAL ISSUES: Mahwah hires two law firms to fight lawsuit over eruv.

So we again caution town officials to look at what they are doing collectively as a community on every possible front: trying to block Orthodox Jews from even entering Mahwah.


1 Comment

  1. I am a resident of a neighborhood bordering NJ in Rockland county for many years and recently some hasidic and other ultra orthodox Jewish families have become my neighbors and I thought I would weigh in on the Eiruv discussion.

    I very much sympathize with those residents of Mahwah who are scared of what the changes may bring but I also wanted to be as objective as possible being that these people are now among my neighbors.

    First off, there are no generalizations that can be made about this group of people as the more i got to know them i realized how varied they all are. Some have invited me into their homes others converse with me on occasion and others would wave and greet politely but then keep to themselves. Yes, perhaps some of them could be more polite but i can’t say that all of my neighbors throughout the years have been the nicest people regardless which group they belonged to. All groups have varied people.

    Second, Taxes: As far as i know there are very few houses that are registered as a community shul or rabbi’s residence as the ownership would belong to the community and so most people i know are legal residents paying the same taxes i do. Their tax records and payments can be looked up in the town records you don’t have to be a genius to figure that out. Furthermore i can’t understand how the town of ramapo has a budget problem when these people mostly send to private schools and their taxes go for public schools which they don’t utilize.

    The over-development problem and lack of zoning enforcement is a problem. I think everyone agrees but the fact remains that each illegally developed unit pays FULL taxes to the town and school district. Again these records can be pulled. That means that that east ramapo should be having a huge surplus of money from each property with multiple dwellings. Where that money is going is beyond me, But these residents are paying a heck of a lot more taxes as a whole then any other bordering community.

    Home prices: The simple truth has been for years and years that orthodox Jews will pay the HIGHEST prices to live among their own. Thats the whole idea they need to be near the kosher groceries and shuls and religious schools. My home, a 2200 SF bi’level is worth close to 600k because an orthodox family will grab it if i put it up to market. Again a FACT i have checked with local realtors. 5 years ago my house was worth about 325k. I think thats an increase in value last I’ve checked.

    Solicitations: I have been asked by several realtors if my home is for sale. Yes, annoying when i don’t want it but mostly I use those calls to find out how much my home is worth but whenever I ask not to call again they don’t. Somewhat of a problem there but I know these people are not violent or criminal in any way. A phone call once in a while is not the end of the world for me.

    They may not want to mingle with me as their religion is different. They do however talk to me and include me in their lives and the rest is their decision as rightful citizens of this country. Its why my ancestors came here in the first place to allow everyone to choose their own path and not so everyone has to mingle at the same party. I know of places i can go to to have a good time when i decide.

    A black hat and suit is not a “dirty” way to dress. Dirty means unwashed unkempt etc… If you can prove that they don’t wash their clothing we may have a discussion. They have a way of life we should let them be.

    By and large there are ups and downs to any large group coming to your area and fear of the unknown is a logic response until facts can be determined properly but fear of a 1/4 Inch PVC pipe?! Not so logical to me and not for a quarter of a million bucks.

    Forgive the simple language. I may not be educated enough to learn how to hate properly but misstated facts won’t fool me. If you feel otherwise let the discussion flow.

    An objective citizen

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