New Jersey. - The council of Jackson Township voted Wednesday night, December 13th, to reverse its ordinance that blocked the construction of the Eruv, and the council of Mahwah Township voted Thursday to rescind its ban on out of state residents from visiting its parks. Both townships are facing legal and public pressure regarding these issues.
149,562 students were enrolled in New York Jewish schools for the 2016-2017 school year. This is an increase from the 147,498 students a year earlier. The students were spread over 428 institutions throughout sixteen counties in grades full day Kindergarten through 12th, and the data includes students that were enrolled in Ungraded Elementary (UGE) schools and Ungraded Secondary (UGS) schools. The data was compiled by the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC) from stats made available by the New York State Education Department.
July 21: Township of Mahwah orders the Eiruv to be removed within two weeks.
July 27: A Mahwah law banning non-New Jersey residents (appearntly aimed at Hasidim from New York) from using Mahwah parks was supposed to go into effect but was stopped at the last minute by the Burton County Prosecutor. Mahwah is in Bergen County.
Heidi Ewing is co-director of the newly released “One of Us” film regarding a few people who are no longer practicing Hasidim. In a paid interview on the Charlie Rose Show with Guest Host Jeff Glor, Ms. Ewing said Hasidim were murdered in the Holocaust “partly because they refused to blend in.” This is outrageous on its face and ignorant too as most Jews murdered had long “blended in”; were not observant and were certainly not Hasidic. See the video:
Mahwah, New Jersey. - The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC) filed an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request with the Township of Mahwah, a municipality in Bergen County New Jersey which borders New York, to understand how the Township enacted an ordinance in June of this year that would permit only New Jersey residents to be at Mahwah parks. The law was suspended the day it was so supposed to go into effect in large part because enforcement would have targeted Hasidim. (Read How Mahwah’s Park Law Was Created, Illegally Changed and Then Suspended.)
While reviewing the emails, a shocking pattern of a legislative focus on the Jewish community emerged beyond the park law. County, state and federal officials may need to intervene to protect the rights of the Jewish community and to protect the Township’s Chief of Police from retaliation by some in the Town Council who are not happy how the chief acted in regards to the Eiruv and the Residents Only law.
Mahwah, New Jersey. - Some portions of the Hasidic-populated areas in Rockland County, New York border the municipalities of Mahwah, Upper Saddle River and Montvale in Bergen County, Northern New Jersey. The following is a report of how the Township of Mahwah created an ordinance in June 2017 to ban non-residents from visiting Township parks; how exemptions to the ordinance was given without a council vote to change the language of ordinance, and how the law was suspended because enforcement of the law would have targeted Hasidim.
This report is based on emails and documents that OJPAC received in response to an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request filed with the Township of Mahwah.
East Ramapo, NY. - Recently, a State Supreme Court judge dismissed a lawsuit brought against the school district in early 2016. Per Politico New York, the Judge "said the petitioners failed to show that they or their students were impacted by the actions [of the School Board] and thus couldn't seek relief. He further wrote that the actions the parents were seeking are discretionary and can't be mandated." This setback for detractors of the district follows an earlier setback in Federal court when a judge dismissed 8 of 9 complaints in a different case before the case even started. The plaintiffs later dropped the 9th complaint in exchange for not being counter-sued by the district. In yet a different case, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in September 2016 that challengers of the board lack standing to bring a class action lawsuit where plaintiffs claimed that board members favor private schools over public schools.
Bill Laforet the Mayor of the Mahwah Township in New Jersey, wrote to two council members in July that "it is worth noting an ordinance should be considered. 1) No Knock & No Solicitation. This has become a real issue in Lakewood, NJ and I think it is something both mayor and council should strongly consider."
OJPAC obtained this document as part of a late July OPRA request to the Mahwah Township.
Mahwah and Upper Saddle River, municipalities in Northern New Jersey bordering New York, have both ordered newly-constructed Eruvin (plural for Eruv) be removed.
Thursday July 27’th, the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC) expressed concern about an ordinance passed by the Township of Mahwah on June 29, 2017 in a 5-0 vote which bans non-residents from visiting parks. The concern was raised after it was reported in the Mahwah Daily Voice that "[Mahwah] Township officials said they hoped the measure [to ban non-residents from visiting parks] would provide protection against what residents fear is an organized incursion from Rockland County of Orthodox families who've recently swarmed parks in Mahwah, Montvale, Ramsey and Upper Saddle River by the busload." (An updated version of the story says “incursion from Rockland County of Hasidic families” instead of Orthodox families as in the initial report. Apparently, some people think bigotry against Hasidic Jews is not hateful.)