Land Use and Shuls Hot Topics to Focus on For Upcoming Elections – Toms River, NJ

Land Use and Shuls Front and Center in Toms River Election

A recent Asbury Park Press article highlighted the prominent place that issues surrounding Toms River’s Orthodox population have taken in its local elections set to be held this November.

Most prominent is a proposed zoning change that would significantly reduce the amount of acreage needed to build a house of worship. The 10 acre requirement, has stymied the development of shuls in the North Dover area which is home to several hundred Orthodox families.

The proposal was released last month, but was quickly pulled from the agenda by retiring Town Council President, George Wittman Jr. He and Council Vice President Maurice “Mo” Hill said they would not support the change. Yet, later, Mr. Hill, a Republican, said that he would approve it if it would satisfy federal authorities who are presently investigating the town’s land use laws amid accusations of bias.

Mr. Hill’s Democratic rival, Jonathan Petro, has increasingly seized on the issue, in attempt to paint his opponent as sympathetic to the needs of the Orthodox community. Mr. Hill has vehemently denied that he has been influenced by any special interests.

Toms River is one of the state’s largest Republican strongholds, but in 2017 elections three Democrats won seats on its council largely with rhetoric criticizing what they portrayed as the council’s accommodation of the Orthodox community’s growth. Some of their campaign literature was criticized as anti-Semitic. One of the group’s most outspoken members, Daniel Roderick, who was recently censured by his fellow council members, re-registered as a Republican shortly after the election.

 

ADDITIONAL READING:

https://www.app.c

Asbury Park Press
Toms River election: Growing Orthodox Jewish population is campaign issue again
Toms River election: Growing Orthodox Jewish population is campaign issue again ….. TOMS RIVER – A simmering dispute over zoning for houses of …. in the 2017 campaign that used “Lakewood” and “Lakewood-style …
1 day ago

 

Controversy Over Proposed Zoning Changes For Houses of Worship in Toms River

LAKEWOOD –

A last-minute move to pull a zoning change that would have eased stiff restrictions on building houses of worship in Toms River boiled over into a public squabble among the township’s Council members.

Township documents reveal that under pressure from the federal Department of Justice (DOJ), the Council had acquiesced to amend an ordinance that required a 10-acre lot in order to build a house of worship, along with a set of related bylaws that have stood in the way of applications from both shuls and mosques in the past.

Yet, last week, when changes appeared on the agenda of a Land Use Committee hearing, they were suddenly pulled. Council President George Wittmann and Council Vice President Maurice “Mo” Hill both questioned how the amendments had found their way to meeting and stated that they would oppose such moves.

Shortly after the Council leaders’ statements appeared in the Asbury Park Press, Councilwoman Laurie Huryk called them out in a press release.

“Council President Wittmann knows exactly how the zoning changes ended up on the Land Use Committee agenda; the Township had committed to the Department of Justice that Toms River would be brought into compliance with Federal Law this year,” she said. “These corrective actions had been discussed many times, and needed to be enacted in a timely manner in order to save the taxpayers of Toms River untoward fines and penalties resulting from the current Federal Investigation.”

Neither Council President Wittmann nor Vice President Hill returned requests for comment from Hamodia.

The DOJ initially opened an investigation of Tom River’s land use regulations vis-à-vis religious organizations in 2016. At the time, a lawsuit was before the courts from the town’s Chabad house, which claimed restrictions on its operation were motivated by a spillover of efforts to block an influx of Orthodox Jews to the town’s North Dover section, which borders Lakewood.

Chabad won the suit and the investigation was closed in April 2018. However, according to a township report on land use rules affecting houses of worship, in December of that year the DOJ announced it was reopening investigations.

Months earlier, the township hired Marci Hamilton, a legal expert specializing in religious land use and a well-known advocate against the expansion of rights for faith groups to advise the Council.

Over the past four years, Mrs. Hamilton’s clients have suffered a string of losses in clashes with Orthodox groups, including attempts to stymie construction of a new Chabad center in Boca Raton, an eruv in Westhampton Beach, Long Island, and a kollel and affiliated housing in Pomona, New York.

The Council, Mrs. Hamilton, and other township officials met with both the DOJ and on at least one occasion with representatives of Toms River’s Orthodox community to appraise the legal viability of its ordinances. The result was an agreement to several changes, most notably a reduction from 10 to seven acres in order to build a house of worship. According to media reports, a clause was also accepted that would lower that to two acres in North Dover, but this is absent from the released documents.

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Lieberman, a Stand Against Israel’s Transition into a Fundamentalist and Financially Unsustainable Country

An election campaign poster showing Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman over the caption, 'Right-wing, and secular too,' in Jerusalem on April 2, 2019, ahead of the April 9 general elections. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Liberman’s stand against ultra-Orthodox coercion sees him gaining popularity

Hardline ex-defense minister has relied on support from Russian-speaking Israelis, but polls show his refusal to capitulate to demands of religious parties is widening his appeal

AFP — In a former hotel turned social housing building for elderly Israelis from the former Soviet Union, one politician remains more popular than all others.

“Here, the vast majority of people vote (Avigdor) Liberman,” said Nadejda Yermononok, 75, referring to the gruff hardline leader of the nationalist Yisrael Beytenu party.

At the “Diplomat” building housing more than 400 people in southern Israel, residents call the ex-defense minister Yvet, the Russian version of his first name.

He has done so in part with his stand against ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties, which he accuses of seeking to force religious law onto Israel’s secular population.

He has also been seeking to end exemptions for the ultra-Orthodox from performing mandatory military service like most other Jewish Israelis.

In many ways, Liberman is the reason Israel is holding another election only five months after the polls in April, unprecedented in the country’s history.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party along with its right-wing and religious allies won a majority of seats in April, but Lieberman prevented his old nemesis from forming a coalition.

‘Only one who fights’

Liberman refused to agree to a coalition deal that did not include legislation that would seek to have the ultra-Orthodox serve in the military.

That was a deal-breaker for the ultra-Orthodox parties, which would have been an important part of the coalition.

Netanyahu opted for fresh polls rather than risk the possibility of President Reuven Rivlin selecting someone else to try to form a government.

And he harshly criticized Liberman, who headed the premier’s office during Netanyahu’s first term in the 1990s.

Liberman resigned as defense minister in November over a Gaza ceasefire deal that he called a “capitulation to terror.”

Most of Israel’s Russian-speaking population arrived in the 1990s, and those with origins in the former Soviet Union now make up some 12 percent of the country’s nearly nine-million-strong population.

ermononok said Liberman “is the only one who fights the special treatment the ultra-Orthodox get” from the state — echoing a common complaint from secular Israelis.

They “don’t work, don’t serve in the army, receive child benefits and all sorts of discounts in transportation, municipal taxes and education,” the former nurse said.

“Other Israelis, including the Russians, work like crazy, pay their taxes and send their children to combat units.”

Ultra-Orthodox men have been exempted from military service to devote themselves to religious studies since the creation of Israel in 1948 when there were only a few hundred to enjoy that privilege.

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Elena Baron and the Surrogates Court Race in Brooklyn, NY – OP ED, an Independent Surrogates Court Judge

Op-Ed: Baron Runs For Surrogate Bench Seat & Against Party Bosses

The Democratic primary for Brooklyn’s Surrogate Court Judge on June 25 is expected to have one of the lowest voter turn-outs in history.  That’s a shame. The race for Surrogate Court Judge is the last chance to cut off the cash supply of the Brooklyn Democratic Party Machine, which makes its living off the Brooklyn courts.

In 1966, New York’s newly elected Senator Robert Kennedy drew national attention to the race for the Manhattan Surrogate Judge.  Kennedy backed an obscure Russian-Immigrant Manhattan Judge Samuel Silverman, for Surrogate court against the Manhattan Democratic Party hack judge for three reasons:  to purge the democratic machine patronage from the Surrogate’s Court, to get even with the party leaders who blocked his proposed party reforms to end corruption and to open the Democratic Party to all New Yorkers.

Robert Kennedy said that electing Silverman to the Surrogate Court was the first step in cleaning up the court patronage–the “worst element in our political parties.”  Like Silverman, Judge Elena Baron running for the Surrogate Court, is a Russian immigrant, who has already shown her independence by getting elected to Civil Court in a grassroots campaign against the party machine.

The self-proclaimed “Progressive-Reformers” in Brooklyn have had an unhealthy arrangement on ceding control of the Brooklyn Courthouse to the Democratic Party for the past decade.

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The Subjugation of Jewish Women in Crown Heights – Chabad – An Election Open Only to Men, and US Law?

Crown Heights Jewish Women Should Be Able To Vote In CH Jewish Elections-But They Aren’t – OPINION

By Andrea Karshan, a Jewish woman currently living in Crown Heights

In Chabad Crown Heights, the Jewish community is holding elections, and women aren’t allowed to vote.

Elections are being held in June in Chabad Crown Heights for the Vaad Hakohol and the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council for the first time in 8 years. The Vaad Hakohol is a religious organization in Crown Heights that deals with Kashrut. And the Crown Heights Community Council is a secular organization in Crown Heights that is partly government funded. The Crown Heights Community Council deals with food assistance, housing, medical insurance, community relations, and other things.

When I found out about this election, I was excited. And I thought to myself how can I get involved. But then I was told that women aren’t allowed to vote. I am a woman who lives alone. So my household will be not be spoken for in the election. The leaders of these organizations don’t just serve the men in the community. They serve the women too. Women should be able to vote also. We should have a voice in choosing the people who represent us in the community. In general elections, whether it be for city council, president or any other political position, Jewish women in Chabad Crown Heights are encouraged to vote, especially for candidates who local Chabad community leaders have endorsed. So forbidding Jewish women to vote in Crown Heights only applies to this election.

This policy of women not voting in these elections completely excludes unmarried, divorced and widowed women from the voting process. As for married women and women living with their fathers, the assumption is that everyone in the household would vote the same way. But perhaps the wife and husband or father and daughter would vote differently. Therefore, they should have their voice when it comes to voting. Any Jewish resident of Crown Heights over the age of 18 male or female should have a vote.

After hearing that women cannot vote in the upcoming Vaad Hakohol and Crown Heights Community Council elections, I went to talk to someone at the Crown Heights Community Council about it. One thing he told me was that the Crown Heights Rabbonim believed that based on Jewish history that only men voted, Jewish law was that women could not vote in this type of election. I replied to him what if we based American law on American history that only white men had rights and blacks and women didn’t? He couldn’t answer me. The Torah may be timeless. But these policies are definitely outdated.

The representative from the Crown Heights Community also told me that women voting policies were voted on by the community (men and women, and I believe that’s the only time that women voted) following a lawsuit in the 1990s. And the community voted that men only should vote. But the CrownHeights Rabbonim before the vote advised the community to vote that only men should vote.

I think as long as the Rabbonim are advising people to think this way about women voting in these elections, it is hard for people to publicly go against the Rabbonim. But I think privately many Lubavitchers in Crown Heights are for women voting in these elections.

And a Step to the Left, Mazel Tov to Dr. Aliza Bloch for Unseating the Shas Affiliated Mayor in Beit Shemesh

As a note to this article, we believe that this is a remarkable things for Israel, for Beit Shemesh and for the secular and religious communities. Dr. Bloch is a moderate and the defeat was of a radical conservative.

History in Beit Shemesh

Counting of soldiers’ votes finds Dr. Aliza Bloch has defeated incumbent mayor Moshe Abutbul and will be the city’s first female mayor.

Aliza Bloch

Dr. Aliza Bloch, the Zionist candidate for Mayor of the city Beit Shemesh, on Wednesday night won the mayoral elections in the city by 500 votes over incumbent mayor Moshe Abutbul.

By doing so, she will become the first woman to head the city of Beit Shemesh.

Overnight Wednesday, 1,300 votes were counted in Beit Shemesh, including about 300 of disabled persons, about 1,000 of soldiers and a few dozen prisoners. At the end of the counting it became clear that Bloch had closed the gap of 251 votes that separated her from Abutbul and even gained an advantage.

Upon learning of her victory, Bloch delivered a speech outside her campaign headquarters.

“The people of Israel look at the city of Beit Shemesh and wake up to a new hope. Beit Shemesh decided to cancel the walls and partitions,” she said, adding, “Today we have proven to ourselves and to Israeli society that we respect each other and do not create gaps.”

“As mayor of Beit Shemesh, I intend to engage in finding the good and the common, and together we will become a model for Israeli society, each of whom will live his life in his own way with respect for the other,” Bloch declared.

Education Minister Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett congratulated Bloch on her victory.

“I congratulated Aliza Bloch on her historic win in Beit Shemesh. This was a critical campaign for the future of the city. The residents of Beit Shemesh chose hope, unity and future. We agreed to meet next week to build a plan to boost education in the city. Something new is starting in Beit Shemesh,” Bennett tweeted.

Bloch, married and mother of four, is an educator by trade and has won many awards in this field.

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Voter Fraud Contentions in Rockland County, New York – Re-Printed with Permission – Editorial

IS THERE INTEGRITY TO THE VOTING LAWS, THE ELECTORAL PROCESS AND THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS IN ROCKLAND COUNTY?

Note to readers:
We received this from a concerned citizen and it is being re-printed from a post on Facebook. There was additional information posted on the Facebook Post that we chose to leave off of this post due to names and signatures, though we do believe we could have posted it under the http://rocklandgov.com/departments/law/freedom-of-information-law-foil/.
The Facebook post can be accessed by clicking here.

Part 6: How can I, as a citizen, have faith or confidence in our Boards of Elections and electoral process?

Wake up Orangetown? Wake up Rockland!
Potential Voter Fraud in Our Own Backyard…
No matter what your political party affiliation is, you should be VERY concerned.

FOR THE RECORD: WHATEVER I WRITE OR HAVE WRITTEN CONCERNING THIS ISSUE IS BASED UPON INFORMATION FROM A DIRECT AND PRIMARY SOURCE. I DO NOT RELY ON HEARSAY WHEN PRESENTING FACTS.

38 invalid petitions for Conservative Party Committee Members have been subsequently validated by the Rockland County Board of Elections (BOE) resulting in the election of 40 ineligible candidates and another 35 ineligible candidates being placed on the September 13 Primary ballot.

This has occurred even though a thorough investigation was conducted by yours truly providing irrefutable evidence that all 38 petitions were invalid. 
THE THOROUGH INVESTIGATION AND IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE WAS PROVIDED TO THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS. IN THE TIME THAT IT TOOK COMMISSIONER STAVISKY TO “CONSULT WITH”, PREPARE AND WRITE HER NUMEROUS LENGTHY RESPONSES TO ME, SHE AND THE BOE COULD HAVE EASILY REVIEWED THE EVIDENCE AND SUBSEQUENTLY SUBSTANTIATED THE INVALIDATION OF ALL 38 PETITIONS.

1. In her many email responses to me, BOE Commissioner Stavisky has repeatedly stated that the BOE does not perform investigations. This was also stated to me by a BOE attorney. Ms. Stavisky has also indicated that the BOE does not have enough personnel to perform investigations. They both have reiterated that all petitions are considered valid unless objected to by registered voters. Election Law Section 6-154 states this. Yet there are exceptions. The BOE could very well have invalidated petitions for election districts 49, 55 and 85 because they each did not have the required number of signatures. The NYS Board of Elections Law Update (page 15) clearly states that a BOE can invalidate a petition without the necessary number of signatures even without objections. THE BOE SHOULD HAVE INVALIDATED THE ABOVE 3 PETITIONS.

2. All 8 petitions filed for 8 Orangetown election districts are invalid because all petition signers clearly do not reside within the district that the candidate is running for, as prescribed by election law. All petition signers clearly live in Ramapo. THERE WAS NO NEED FOR AN INVESTIGATION HERE; THE BOE COULD HAVE EASILY NOTED THE INVALID ADDRESSES BY VISUAL SCAN IN LESS THAN ONE MINUTE. THE BOE SHOULD HAVE INVALIDATED ALL 8 PETITIONS.

3. 29 petitions for 29 Ramapo election districts are invalid because all petition signers do not reside within the district that the candidate is running for, again as prescribed by election law. THE BOE SHOULD HAVE INVALIDATED ALL 29 PETITIONS.

4. Election districts 7, 100 and 104 have no registered Conservative Party voters therefore all 3 petitions should have been invalidated.

5. THE SYSTEM IS BROKEN. How can effective decisions be made when there exists a dual power-sharing model which has 2 equal election commissioners (one democratic, one republican) in charge? This method was enacted in 1974. Our state legislators need to take a hard look at the Board of Elections hierarchies. No ONE individual is in charge.
I mention this because “I have been told” (hearsay) that the Rockland County republican commissioner, Ms. Giblin, had asked for an investigation of several or all of the 38 petitions. Since mid-July, I have written to both election commissioners and have repeatedly received responses from Ms. Stavisky, the democratic commissioner. The only response I received from Ms. Gibln was a confirmation concerning my inquiry regarding the elected/primary statuses of the 75 ineligible candidates. I am unsure of the BOE protocol regarding responses to the public.

IT SHOUD BE NOTED THAT COMMISSIONER STAVISKY IS ALSO THE CHAIRWOMAN OF THE ROCKLAND COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE.

6. Both election commissioners took an oath of office, in part, to defend the Constitution of the State of New York. I fully understand and appreciate the obvious problems that can be inherent with the existing dual power-sharing model that exists within the Rockland County Board of Elections. This absolutely should not excuse the BOE officials from not doing everything professionally possible to prevent ineligible candidates from being considered for election. This is why I believe our Rockland County Board of Elections has failed the citizens of Rockland County.

7. I have either emailed and/or faxed an updated letter to the NYS Board of Elections (attached), Rockland County District Attorney, NYS Attorney General, Senator Carlucci, Assemblywoman Jaffee, Assemblyman Zebrowski, each of the 17 Rockland County Legislators, Congresswoman Lowey, Governor Cuomo and multiple media outlets.

 

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