Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Suit Alleges Anti-Hasidic Conspiracy By Two Municipalities

Invoking RLUIPA, the Fair Housing Act, the 1st and 14th Amendments as well as New York statutory and constitutional provisions, in a 66-page federal court complaint a Jewish school, developers and Orthodox Jewish residents sued the Village of Bloomingburg, NY and the adjoining Town of Mamakating alleging an anti-Semitic conspiracy to prevent more Hasidic Jews from moving into the area. The complaint (full text) in The Bloomingburg Jewish Education Center v. Village of Bloomingburg, New York, (SD NY, filed 9/8/2014), alleges in part:
The Village of Bloomingburg ... and the adjoining Town of Mamakating ,,,, acting on behalf of an aggressive and hateful group of residents, are engaged in a conspiracy to prevent Hasidic Jews from buying houses, establishing a private religious school, and operating businesses in their community. After members of the Hasidic community began to move into the area, Bloomingburg and Mamakating instituted a number of roadblocks designed to stop the community from growing. These municipalities are engaged in a series of patently illegal actions to block lawful, approved and long planned developments....
The Village and Town are seeking to use their political power, economic pressure, zoning laws and sheer intimidation to prevent a certain type of people from joining their community. This type of intolerance might sound like a story from the Civil Rights Era in the South. But it is unfolding right now in a municipality just 75 miles from New York City.
As reported by JP Updates:
The lawsuit is directed at Bill Herrmann, the Supervisor of the Town of Mamakating, who has said that “the people elected him to stop the Jewish infiltration,” and Frank Gerardi, the new Mayor of Bloomingburg, who’s claim to fame is that he was elected to prevent more of “those people” – Hasidic Jews – from moving into Bloomingburg.