Westhampton Beach, NY - Group Opposed to Eruv Circulating 2000 Petitions
Westhampton Beach, NY - A group opposed to the creation of a religious boundary in Westhampton Beach is circulating an informational pamphlet, two blank petitions, and a copy of an editorial that supports its stance on the issue to homeowners in the village.
Jewish People Opposed to the Eruv, a group opposed to the creation of a largely invisible religious boundary, called an eruv, that is being proposed by the Hampton Synagogue, sent out the mailing to approximately 2,000 addresses in Westhampton Beach last week. The pamphlet states that the group objects to the eruv because it will “forever alter the character of our village, change its economy and challenge the religious tolerance that has long been integral to Westhampton Beach.”
The two petitions, both of which object to the Eruv, are blank and encourage homeowners to collect signatures. The petitions—which are identical to the ones circulated at the group’s last meeting in mid-October—are addressed to LIPA and Verizon, and the Westhampton Beach Village Board.
The Hampton Synagogue has not yet re-filed its application for the eruv with the Westhampton Beach Village Board. The synagogue first presented its plans to the village in February, before withdrawing its formal application that asks the board to approve the boundary’s creation in May, after community members raised concerns about the proposal. At the time, synagogue leaders said they would re-file the application in the fall. They have yet to do so.
Arnold Sheiffer, the president of Jewish People Opposed to the Eruv, noted that he has already received positive responses from the mass mailing. “We’ve mainly gotten phone calls,” Mr. Sheiffer said.
He added that he hopes to secure at least 500 signatures on the petitions, matching the number that his group had already collected last month.
“There are no open meetings planned at the present time or in the foreseeable future,” Mr. Sheiffer said, referring to his 300-plus member strong organization. “We’re taking other actions,” he added, declining to elaborate further.
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