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Kiryas Joel, NY - KJ Annexation Debate In The Spotlight At Public Hearing (video)

Published on: June 11, 2015 12:52 PM
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Residents of Kiryas JoelResidents of Kiryas Joel

Kiryas Joel, NY - Emotions ran high at a five hour long public hearing on a proposed annexation which could potentially add several hundred acres to Kiryas Joel and ultimately double the population of the small Orange County village.

Approximately 750 people turned out at the Bais Rochel Paradise Hall in Kiryas Joel, with designated seating for Kiryas Joel residents on one side of the ballroom and a larger section available for the general public across the aisle.  The hearing, one of several formal steps in the annexation process, was an opportunity to allow members of the public to express their opinions on the proposed expansion with members of the governing boards of both the village of Kiryas Joel and the town of Monroe.

An estimated 100 people shared their thoughts on the plan which would allow for the annexation of either 164 or 507 acres adjacent to Kiryas Joel.  Many of the speakers found it difficult to limit themselves to the designated three minute time allowance, with both sides hurling allegations of discrimination at each other throughout the night.

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The purpose of the hearing was twofold, according to Kiryas Joel developer Simon Gelb who filed the original annexation petition.

“Number one: whether the petition complied with the law,” Gelb told VIN News.  “Number two is is the annexation in the overall public interest.”

Gelb explained that the fate of the annexation will be determined by a resolution by the boards of the village of Kiryas Joel, which would be receiving the land, and the town of Monroe, where the lands in question are currently located. 

“The filed petition complies fully with the law and far surpasses the requirements of the law,” observed Gelb.

The public interest question affects three different groups, according to Gelb.

“Number one:  the public interest of the territory to be annexed. Number two: the public interest of the municipality of the territory to be annexed by the village and number three, the public interest of the area remaining in the forfeited municipality, namely the unincorporated area of the town of Monroe.”

Gelb described the land in question, all located north of New York State Route 17, as “geographically remote” from the unincorporated area of the town of Monroe, located south of the highway which, Gelb said, would make the petition in the overall public interest of those most affected by the annexation plan.

Asked if the actual plan is for the full 507 acres or the smaller 164 parcel Gelb replied, “That is up to the boards of the town and the village to make that decision.”

An unidentified man looks up the annexation map at the entrance before the hearing as a law enforcement official  guards the Hall.An unidentified man looks up the annexation map at the entrance before the hearing as a law enforcement official guards the Hall.

Kiryas Joel government relations coordinator Ari Felberman noted that the petition was filed by private citizens, not the village of Kiryas Joel and that the board was required to deal with all annexation proposals, instead of cherry picking which ones seemed most palatable.

“Individuals who own land say we want to be annexed into the village,” said Felberman.  “So who do we say yes to and who do we say no to? ... We have to entertain the entire petition up or down. We can’t say we take you and we don’t take you.”

Felberbman also noted that while many were opposed to the size of the 507 acre annexation plan, two other recently approved nearby annexations were considerably larger.
 
“One was the village of Woodbury:  30,000 acres,”  said Felberman.  “The village of South Blooming Grove: 35,000 acres.  So 60 times as much as ours and 70 times as much as ours ...
If 507 deserves scrutiny, 30,000 and 35,00 should at least deserve some kind of scrutiny or some kind of comment and that passed without a whimper.”

Asked about concerns that an enlarged Kiryas Joel would prove to be an unbeatable voting bloc, Felberman replied simply, “What county are we living in? Can anybody tell anybody where to live?  So what are we talking about?”

Emily Convers, (right) founder of United Monroe Emily Convers, (right) founder of United Monroe

It is the way that business is conducted in Kiryas Joel that is the root of the conflict, according to Emily Convers, founder of United Monroe which vehemently opposed both of the two expansion proposals.

“The problem is the way the KJ government goes about doing business and the concerted effort to skirt annexation law, to skirt environmental law, to violate environmental law and our concerns are that 164 acres in the hands of the KJ government would not be handled properly,” said Convers.

Equally troubling are the hostility and lack of proper communication between the two clashing communities.

“We understand it’s a growing population but we are met with constant accusations of anti-Semitism,” said Convers. “We’re met with constant hate baiting message and propaganda from the KJ government and instead of them coming to us and saying ‘We have a growing population let’s sit down and come up with a reasonable solution so that we can live amongst each other harmoniously,’ we’re not getting that opportunity.”

Moses Vitriol, director of Kiryas Joel’s public safety inspector charged that those who oppose the annexation will seize any opportunity to thwart the expansion, noting that the village’s attempts to solve water issues by tapping into a New York City aqueduct were met with lawsuits.

“Whatever you are going to do they are not going to be happy,” said Vitriol. “It’s pure hate. Whenever we have these kind of events at night we have outsiders coming and throwing rocks and eggs and have these kinds of vandalism here ... You call that neighbors, good neighbors?”

Some anti-annexation protesters outside the HallSome anti-annexation protesters outside the Hall

Outside Paradise Hall, two groups of demonstrators standing next to each other held placards sharing opposing views.  A multicultural group of men who declined to be interviewed carried signs saying “KJ gives us jobs” and “KJ helps us feed our children” while next to them a group of Chasidic men had banners calling for an end to the annexation and for better relationships with area residents.

“We have a big problem with the behavior of the village,” said demonstrator Yoel Loeb. “The neighbors here, they have many claims, they feel they are antagonizing them, they call them anti-Semites when they have legitimate concerns regarding the school district board and regarding other issues.  We feel the proper way according to the Torah is only to sit down with the neighbors and deal with them, to make compromises to try to live in peace and harmony, not to antagonize the neighbors.”

Several elected officials came out to share their thoughts on the annexation.

Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus cited a county compiled list enumerating a dozen different concerns about the Kiryas Joel plan, unequivocally stating that the plans were not in the best interests of the public.

Despite strong feelings on both sides of the aisle, Neuhaus insisted that peaceful coexistence is possible.

“There has to be a way to have harmony,” said Neuhaus. “We’re better than that as Americans and there is nobody that is going to come in and say ‘Everybody who lives Kiryas Joel go away’ and nobody is going to come in and say to the people outside of Kiryas Joel ‘Go away we don’t want you here.’ There has to be compromise and I believe that is what is going to have to win the day.”

Pro annexation supporters outside the Hall Pro annexation supporters outside the Hall

Assemblyman Karl Brabenec chastised Kiryas Joel for being a self-serving neighbor and said charges of anti-Semitism, repeated throughout the night, were insulting.

“It isn’t about your religion or your way of life,” said Brabenec. “It is about your behavior and it must stop.”

Brabenec, who supported Assemblyman James Skoufis’ recently passed legislation which could potentially halt the annexation process, took Kiryas Joel to task for ignoring neighboring communities.

“Withdraw the annexation, sit down and negotiate in good faith,” challenged Brabenec.  “You cannot silence the people.”

Skoufis was vocal in his opposition, asking which of the two annexations the hearing was about,  and how it was possible to have hearings on two plans simultaneously.  Skoufis repeatedly used the word “sham” to describe the hearing, held at a venue with extremely limited parking, and the previous scoping session, which took place during an ice storm, making public participation extremely difficult.  The assemblyman called the annexation a smoke screen for an effort to change local zoning laws, driven not by private property owners but by the village of Kiryas Joel, and had harsh words for the members of the two boards. 

“If either of these annexations proceed you will find yourselves in court at great taxpayer expenses and I predict that you will lose,” warned Skoufis.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams described the anti-expansion effort as “anti-American,” but it was remarks by Assemblyman Dov Hikind that generated the most controversy. Crowd members heckled Hikind loudly for turning to address the audience instead of the board members, turning their backs on the assemblyman as he continued to address them. 

NY Assemblyman Dov HikindNY Assemblyman Dov Hikind

It took several moments for Monroe Town Supervisor Harley Doles, presiding officer at the hearing,  to restore order, with the Doles asking one man who continued to show Hikind his back to be escorted out of the room.
Hikind insisted that the root of the opposition was anti-Semitic.

“The issue isn’t annexation,” said Hikind. “The issue is keeping the Orthodox and in particular the Chasidim out.”

Hikind noted that Kiryas Joel’s numbers will continue to climb.

“At the end of the day Kiryas Joel is growing and will continue to grow,” noted Hikind. “Let’s do it peacefully. This is America.  We can find all the reasons in the world why it won’t work but let’s work together.”

Doles noted that while many of those present were of different religions, they shared the commonality of believing in a higher authority.

“I can only say that we trust in Him and that He will make sure that we will do right for His children, all of His children,” said Doles. 

Doles affirmed his commitment to the Kiryas Joel and its founder, the Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum.

“I am happy that Rabbi Joel was guided by G-d’s hand to come here, because this is where the Lord wanted His children to come and survive and thrive,” said Doles. “That is what I understand and whatever I have to do to be able to provide this service to Hashem, that is what I am going to do.”

Kiryas Joel Mayor Abe Weider, and Monroe Town Supervisor Harley DolesKiryas Joel Mayor Abe Weider, and Monroe Town Supervisor Harley Doles

Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive director of Agudath Israel of America, said that as an outside observer he found efforts to stem the organic growth of Kiryas Joel to be “deeply troubling”.

“My appeal to the good people of Monroe and to this board in particular is to recognize that what we are talking about has broad ramifications,” said Rabbi Zwiebel.  “It’s not limited specifically to what is happening here on a local basis. The eyes of the broader Jewish world certainly are upon what is happening here and we are hopeful that cool heads can prevail and can understand that the community is entitled to grow and that the community is entitled to expand in accordance with its religious traditions and its religious beliefs and to find ways to improve inter-group harmony.”

Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive director of Agudath Israel of AmericaRabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive director of Agudath Israel of America

The night was marked with numerous standing ovations and thunderous applause from both sides as well as many heated moments when tempers flared.

Steven Barshov,  lawyer for the annexation movement, opened the evening by asking those against the annexation where they believe residents of Kiryas Joel should go when expansions within the village are no longer possible, with one audience member calling out “Brooklyn!”

As Barshov continued posing his question, asking if people would prefer if the village’s Chasidic residents were instead interspersed throughout Orange County,  several shouted out “Yes, yes!” amid thunderous applause.

Monroe resident Michael Egan chastised those who have painted the controversy as being religious in nature.

“This isn’t about religion and everybody here who tried to make it that way should be ashamed of themselves,” said Egan.. “What it is about is a clash of aspirations.”

Egan described the conflict as citizens of Monroe aspiring to preserve the area’s natural beauty, rural nature and high quality school districts, with Kiryas Joel officials hoping for the potential of unlimited growth.

Board members of Kiryas Joel and Town Of MonroeBoard members of Kiryas Joel and Town Of Monroe

Cliff Ader of Monroe tossed a barb at Kiryas Joel, pointing out the irony of being in an expansive, attractive wedding hall located in what the 2008 census described as the village with the highest poverty level in the nation.

“Thank you for the opportunity to speak in such a beautiful hall in the middle of the poorest community in the United States,” said Ader.

Hurt feelings were in evidence during the hearing with many sharing stories of slights.

“They do not want us in their community,” said Highland Mills resident Joan Oppenheim. “They are not nice. When you say good morning, they don’t answer you. I am not asking to live there. I am not asking to have 11 children. But don’t ignore me like I’m dirt because I am not one of you.”

Oppenheim said that the anti-Semitism card is played all too often by residents of Kiryas Joel, particularly in regard to the expansion.

“What is most disturbing to me is that whenever there is a disagreement on a principle or issue between KJ and the Monroe community they make it about anti-Semitism,” said Oppenheim. “I am Jewish. I’m not a Satmar, but that doesn’t meant that if I object to this annexation that I am somehow a hater or anti-Semitic or anything else.”  .

Residents of Kiryas JoelResidents of Kiryas Joel

Several Kiryas Joel residents who addressed the board discussed that the notion of preventing Jews from living in particular areas was eerily reminiscent of the Nazi era.  Among them was Yoel Hirsch, a father of seven, who stated that while the opposition contends that there is no room for the growth in the area when it comes to Jewish families, dozens of stores and a five story parking garage at the Woodbury Commons shopping center as well as several major retailers including Target, BJs, Staples and Michaels have all been warmly welcomed.

“The contrast is clear and the hypocrisy is obvious,” said Hirsch. 

Monroe resident Veronica Connolly said that she was personally offended by any comparisons to the Nazi regime.

“My two grandfathers both served in World War II along with countless uncles,” said Connolly.  “I felt that my grandparents’ honor and the men and women who fought and died for that cause were completely dishonored when you compare an annexation process to Nazi Germany.”

Yet according to Joel Petlin, superintendent of the Kiryas Joel school district, not all of the relationships between Kiryas Joel and neighboring communities are acrimonious.

“We work well with the Monroe Woodbury school district, working together for the common good for the kids,” said Petlin.

Petlin noted that the tensions that exist in the nearby East Ramapo school district are noticeably absent in the Kiryas Joel school district, which serves a population that is exclusively Chasidic.

“We understand the needs of our community just like all school districts must,” said Petlin. “The population that we are serving requires the services that we are providing.  We don’t have a football team. We don’t have a debate team or a cheerleading squad. Those are things other school district might have because that is what their community requires. Our community requires services that we can legally provide ,which is special education, remedial education and transportation. those are things we focus on and things we are quite good at.”

Residents of MonroeResidents of Monroe

Speaking after the conclusion of the meeting, Kiryas Joel board member Jacob Freund said that he found most of the objections to the expansion to be related to concerns about the environment, something he found puzzling.

“Where were these people when the state got applications for the casino project to be built here?” asked Freund.  “There was not a single lawsuit or protest against that. If that had been approved, the traffic and environment would have been much denser.”

Freund noted that the opposition to the expansion is the same reaction expressed 40 years ago when the village of Kiryas Joel was founded and expressed confidence that the annexation will be approved.

“This is going to happen with the help of Hashem,” said Freund. “It happened in 1975 and now in 2015 the same thing is happening now. Everyone from the Chazon Ish to Rav Aharon Kotler said that the Satmar Rebbe has siyata dishmaya and that siyata dishmaya will help us overcome this and we will be able to proceed with the annexation.” 

Outside the Hall Law Enforcement officials standing guardOutside the Hall Law Enforcement officials standing guard
 Kiryas Joel residence Herman Wagschal, and Satmar hasidic developer Ziggy Brach Kiryas Joel residence Herman Wagschal, and Satmar hasidic developer Ziggy Brach

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Read Comments (28)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 11, 2015 at 03:06 PM ItzikGold Says:

This is a great neutral original report by VIN!

I am sure that frum Jews of various backgrounds who are not intimately familiar with the subject will take side with the goyim. It is the lack of Jewish self confidence in us that make us turn against our fellow Jews who look and act a bit different than some of us.

I would strongly suggest before you choose to publicly chastise your fellow brother, to at least familiarize with the truth and the hard facts.

2

 Jun 11, 2015 at 03:33 PM lavrenty Says:

Reply to #1  
ItzikGold Says:

This is a great neutral original report by VIN!

I am sure that frum Jews of various backgrounds who are not intimately familiar with the subject will take side with the goyim. It is the lack of Jewish self confidence in us that make us turn against our fellow Jews who look and act a bit different than some of us.

I would strongly suggest before you choose to publicly chastise your fellow brother, to at least familiarize with the truth and the hard facts.

so youre now accusing Jews who dont want to have their quality of life ruined, as lacking a backbone? Are your tactics working?

3

 Jun 11, 2015 at 03:41 PM sammy Says:

Reply to #1  
ItzikGold Says:

This is a great neutral original report by VIN!

I am sure that frum Jews of various backgrounds who are not intimately familiar with the subject will take side with the goyim. It is the lack of Jewish self confidence in us that make us turn against our fellow Jews who look and act a bit different than some of us.

I would strongly suggest before you choose to publicly chastise your fellow brother, to at least familiarize with the truth and the hard facts.

I see one comment here and it looks like you're the one doing the chastising.

4

 Jun 11, 2015 at 04:01 PM ItzikGold Says:

Reply to #2  
lavrenty Says:

so youre now accusing Jews who dont want to have their quality of life ruined, as lacking a backbone? Are your tactics working?

Quality of life? tactics?

5

 Jun 11, 2015 at 04:03 PM ALTERG Says:

With hashems help it will get true

6

 Jun 11, 2015 at 04:15 PM posaikacharon Says:

a central point of the satmar rebbe zt"l shitah was the issur of hisgarus be'umois; to be exceedingly careful not to bring on the ire and disdain of the nations. now I know to little to form an opinion in this matter, but hisgarus be'umois has clearly happened. could it have been avoided?

7

 Jun 11, 2015 at 05:12 PM Anonymous Says:

Excellent and objectively written article! Good job!

8

 Jun 11, 2015 at 03:45 PM lavrenty Says:

the Satmar guys protesting against the occupation have similar signs to Neturei Karta, I guess all of Satmar use the same printer. How much did the "multicultural" sign holders cost per hour?

9

 Jun 11, 2015 at 05:55 PM judith Says:

Reply to #2  
lavrenty Says:

so youre now accusing Jews who dont want to have their quality of life ruined, as lacking a backbone? Are your tactics working?

I live next door to a yeshiva, which over the past 20 years has expanded 4 times, thereby now blocking my view and my light, causing a traffic nightmare, and creating a putrid and illegal piles of garbage.

10

 Jun 11, 2015 at 08:00 PM Woodbury Resident Says:

“Where were these people when the state got applications for the casino project to be built here?” asked Freund.

I was at several meetings in Woodbury as well as NJ speaking out against the casinos, where were you Mr. Freund? I never see any Hasidim at any town board meetings. I've tried to attend Kiryas Joel village meetings but they DO NOT EXIST

11

 Jun 11, 2015 at 09:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Just look at the unruly behavior of the non Jews, and the calm behavior of the Jews.

What a kiddush hashem

12

 Jun 11, 2015 at 10:29 PM hashomer Says:

What exactly is the excuse for residents of KJ being such bad neighbors. If they were good neighbors the annexation would be welcomed. You don't hear bad things ever about the traditional Amish or Mennonite communities, and they dress old style and speak old German dialect, like Yiddish. Why, why, why?

13

 Jun 12, 2015 at 08:32 AM Anonymous Says:

Its time for both Satmar and the community to accept the reality that there is no more room for development in KJ and these Satmar will have to find some new location to grow. KJ has already exceeded its planned size and the locals have every right to want to enjoy a quality of life that is incompatible with the density that KJ would impose if allowed to expand.

14

 Jun 12, 2015 at 08:54 AM MeirSchwartz Says:

Am a KJ resident.
I do beleive that not all of KJ's voice is heard.
first of all, claiming Nazi on united monroe and the rest who are apposing the annexation is unacceptable. 1) because they are allowed to live how THEY want, and they are allowed their boice should be hearerd! 2) claiming Nazi on OUR neighbors, YOU are making HITLER as almost a TZADIK... Your downgrading the definition of NAZI!!! And u try to rewrite history! If Hitler was like united Monroe. We would still be in Ungeren.... 3) Unitee monroe and the people of the town NEVER NEVER closed a SHULL and they never apposed it. Fact is that ALL the schools from Bny Yoel and Vyoel Moshe is IN TOWN. And was never blocked from building it. THE only who tried to block it was the vilage of KJ. And even currently WHILE they are claiming Nazi on our neighbors, the try to block "3 Shulls in KJ but on TOWN property. New shull on Getzil Berger for Vyoel Moshe. New vyoel moshe shull on Chavron ( near aishes chayil) .and a private shull on mountain view road. The village lawer was sent down trying to block it was NOT united monroe, it WAS THE VILLAGE.
U can see all the ZBA meeting on channel 12 and prove it yourself.
I beilive that Dov Hikind and Reb Chaim duvid tzweibel where miss informed, its why they took such a stand by staying with the village on annexation, havei don as chaviroy lkaf zchis
Im am sorry I have more to write but in another geleganheit!

15

 Jun 12, 2015 at 10:06 AM Anonymous Says:

If you would have told me years ago that I would take the side of Neturai Karta against Satmar I would have thought you were crazy.

Satmar does more hisgarus biumos than Bibi.

16

 Jun 12, 2015 at 10:51 AM MeirSchwartz Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

If you would have told me years ago that I would take the side of Neturai Karta against Satmar I would have thought you were crazy.

Satmar does more hisgarus biumos than Bibi.

Exactly right!
Its why I wrote my comments, since I never comment. but now i felt something has to be done and bring out our protest against the way the Village is handling our neighbors, and even the local residents (as i wrote above about the shulls which is in Town and they still blocking it, at least trying).

17

 Jun 12, 2015 at 10:53 AM MeirSchwartz Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

If you would have told me years ago that I would take the side of Neturai Karta against Satmar I would have thought you were crazy.

Satmar does more hisgarus biumos than Bibi.

But one think I want to clarify for you
ITS NOT "ALL" SATMAR. its HALF of Satmer

18

 Jun 12, 2015 at 11:24 AM awacs Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

Its time for both Satmar and the community to accept the reality that there is no more room for development in KJ and these Satmar will have to find some new location to grow. KJ has already exceeded its planned size and the locals have every right to want to enjoy a quality of life that is incompatible with the density that KJ would impose if allowed to expand.

"Some new location" - where?

Any new location would be subject to the same objections as the KJ expansion - it will decrease someone's quality of life. The expanding population of KJ has to go *somewhere* - unless you think the entire KJ should use birth control, just to enhance your quality of life.

That's not what you're seeking, right?

19

 Jun 12, 2015 at 12:23 PM MeirSchwartz Says:

Reply to #18  
awacs Says:

"Some new location" - where?

Any new location would be subject to the same objections as the KJ expansion - it will decrease someone's quality of life. The expanding population of KJ has to go *somewhere* - unless you think the entire KJ should use birth control, just to enhance your quality of life.

That's not what you're seeking, right?

There is a table to sit down and work out a deal. Its what United Monroe is asking. The KJ village never showed any intrest to sit down with anyone. Instead of sitting they screaming antisamitizm. Which is unacceptable

20

 Jun 12, 2015 at 01:11 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
MeirSchwartz Says:

But one think I want to clarify for you
ITS NOT "ALL" SATMAR. its HALF of Satmer

the voting blocks says otherwise

21

 Jun 12, 2015 at 08:29 PM MonroeResident1 Says:

I enjoyed reading the comments, along with the article. I was unable to attend the first meeting. A severe ice storm occurred that night and the leadership of KJ would not reschedule. This created a lot of bad feeling. This meeting was held at a venue with very little parking. NonKJ residents had to travel to a bus shuttle to get there. At trip that should have taken 10 minutes took almost 45 minutes for me. Yet, a very large number of people from outside KJ attended, showing how important this issue is Most opposition is related to the limited water/waste disposal and other resources in this area. Almost everyone lives in accord with severe zoning restrictions that protect the environment and the water supply for Orange, Rockland, and Bergen Counties. Many people would love to build another house on their half acre/2 acre plot, but zoning doesn't allow it, whether for family or for profit. For KJ to expand as projected, massive construction projects for water and waste (at near capacity now) would have to be implemented by communities other than Monroe or KJ. This is an unfair burden on the taxpayers of these municipalities. The annexation is a very bad idea and must be denied..

22

 Jun 12, 2015 at 10:23 PM unruhe5517 Says:

Reply to #14  
MeirSchwartz Says:

Am a KJ resident.
I do beleive that not all of KJ's voice is heard.
first of all, claiming Nazi on united monroe and the rest who are apposing the annexation is unacceptable. 1) because they are allowed to live how THEY want, and they are allowed their boice should be hearerd! 2) claiming Nazi on OUR neighbors, YOU are making HITLER as almost a TZADIK... Your downgrading the definition of NAZI!!! And u try to rewrite history! If Hitler was like united Monroe. We would still be in Ungeren.... 3) Unitee monroe and the people of the town NEVER NEVER closed a SHULL and they never apposed it. Fact is that ALL the schools from Bny Yoel and Vyoel Moshe is IN TOWN. And was never blocked from building it. THE only who tried to block it was the vilage of KJ. And even currently WHILE they are claiming Nazi on our neighbors, the try to block "3 Shulls in KJ but on TOWN property. New shull on Getzil Berger for Vyoel Moshe. New vyoel moshe shull on Chavron ( near aishes chayil) .and a private shull on mountain view road. The village lawer was sent down trying to block it was NOT united monroe, it WAS THE VILLAGE.
U can see all the ZBA meeting on channel 12 and prove it yourself.
I beilive that Dov Hikind and Reb Chaim duvid tzweibel where miss informed, its why they took such a stand by staying with the village on annexation, havei don as chaviroy lkaf zchis
Im am sorry I have more to write but in another geleganheit!

You're right- I feel the term 'Nazi' has been over used, not to mention more importantly inappropriately, used too frequently lately. It takes away from, lessens the impact and importance of that word. Much like the term 'bully' being over used in society, thus lessening and changing the term to something of a lighter value. I'm also tired of hearing 'anit-semitism' being thrown around when that isn't the case too. Overuse, and improper use of the terms 'Nazi', 'Bully', and 'Anti-semite' do know one and good at all. It takes away from when those terms TRUELY have use...ever hear the one about the boy who cried wolf? Remember how that turned out? Both sides need to come to the table willingly, and peacefully..and swallow a little pride even. Otherwise there can be no good outcome for either.

23

 Jun 12, 2015 at 10:56 PM unruhe5517 Says:

Here's why I take issue with the residents of KJ. KJ is the poorest place in the country. Over 90% of residents receive gov't assistance, and yet, these residents want to bring more children into this poverty. Into an area already over populated. And at the cost of their neighbors, and the environment. Why would you want to have more kids if you can't support them? If where you live is over crowded? If you have to live off of welfare to feed your children- live off the handouts of strangers- then you obviously cant provide for your family. You obviously don't care about those around you. Seems like nothing more than pride and vanity, nothing more than sin.

24

 Jun 13, 2015 at 09:10 AM MonroeResident1 Says:

This area has long been zoned for sparse development/population because that is what the resources of this region--water, waste, etc.--can sustain. We all have to live within the confines of availability of these resources. To suddenly add a very large population places a strain on all of the region--and impacts many other municipalities that do not have the resources. KJ will not have to pay for upgrades and new water treatment plants. Everyone else will. Further, the beliefs and customs of the KJ community include having very large families, even if the families lack the financial means to support their children. 93% of KJ residents receive public assistance. It is not appropriate to ask the surrounding secular community to pick up the bill. No one in this area has a problem with Satmar dress or other characteristics. We go to the same stores, stand in the same lines at the bank, travel on the same roads. No one insults, no one cuts in line, no one is hostile. This country was founded on separation of church and state. KJ needs to figure out how to achieve its goals while working within the same limitations that we all do.

25

 Jun 13, 2015 at 04:02 PM auntiealibi Says:

Thank you Ms. Eller for a thorough and well written article

26

 Jun 16, 2015 at 09:19 AM Because, because, because Says:

Reply to #12  
hashomer Says:

What exactly is the excuse for residents of KJ being such bad neighbors. If they were good neighbors the annexation would be welcomed. You don't hear bad things ever about the traditional Amish or Mennonite communities, and they dress old style and speak old German dialect, like Yiddish. Why, why, why?

How can you even begin to compare the Amish or Mennonite with KJ? The only thing you have in common with them is your wardrobe. They would NEVER accept public assistance while you couldn't live without it.

27

 Jun 16, 2015 at 09:24 AM Anon Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

Just look at the unruly behavior of the non Jews, and the calm behavior of the Jews.

What a kiddush hashem

Like Dov Hikind? A real class act!

28

 Jul 15, 2015 at 08:45 PM BoruchN Says:

Great chance to teach 'The 7 Noahide Laws.'

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