Westhampton, NY – Group Opposed to Eruv Urges Petitions

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    Westhampton, NY – The leaders of a Jewish group opposing a religious boundary proposed for Westhampton Beach Village urged more than 100 people who attended a Sunday morning meeting to sign petitions voicing their opinions on the matter to utility companies and village officials.

    At the meeting, held by the organization Jewish People Opposed to the Eruv, the group’s founder and president, Arnold Sheiffer, spelled out the reasons why the group is against the religious boundary and chronicled the history of the Hampton Synagogue’s application to establish an eruv in the village.
    An eruv is a 1-square-mile boundary demarcated by PVC-piping on utility poles that allows Orthodox Jews to bypass religious restrictions and push or carry things—including wheelchairs and small children—to temple on the Sabbath. The synagogue first proposed the eruv to the village in February.

    Mr. Sheiffer, a longtime Westhampton Beach resident and Manhattan media executive, concluded the hour-long meeting by telling the attendees to sign petitions to be presented to the Long Island Power Authority and Verizon stating that the community does not support the eruv, as well as a petition supporting an 18-page legal memorandum against the eruv authored by constitutional attorney Marci Hamilton.

    “The eruv is not the issue,” Jack Kringstein, the vice president of Jewish People Opposed to the Eruv and a resident of Remsenburg, said at the meeting. He added that the eruv would change the community for the worse by bringing in unwelcome people.

    Mr. Kringstein said that Jewish People Opposed to the Eruv will be submitting petitions to the utility companies to explain that there is a code in Westhampton Beach that prohibits the placement of signs on utility poles. Mr. Kringstein and Mr. Sheiffer used the code to differentiate Westhampton Beach from Tenafly, New Jersey, a community that had a six-year-long battle over an eruv.
    Tenafly did not have such a code, Mr. Kringstein said.

    When the synagogue temporarily withdrew its application to the village for the eruv, it stated that it would resubmit the application in the fall. So far, the synagogue has told village officials that it would be submitting a legal opinion authored by Manhattan attorney Robert Sugarman on the matter. Mr. Sugarman worked for the Tenafly Eruv Association when that group won a battle for an eruv in Tenafly, New Jersey.

    Hampton Synagogue President Morris Tuchman said that the legal opinion would be submitted to the village within the next two weeks and that the synagogue would be re-submitting the eruv application soon after.

    At today’s meeting, Mr. Sheiffer additionally asked attendees to not forget the eruv issue over the winter, and said that the attendees should discuss the issue throughout the off-season.

    Mr. Sheiffer explained that Jewish People Opposed to the Eruv was borne out of the Hampton Synagogue’s mid-summer information session on the eruv. At the meeting, Manhattan attorney Joel Cohen read e-mails that had been received that expressed anti-Semitic remarks, and provoked a large number of people attending the information session to leave the meeting.

    Mr. Sheiffer and others in the audience aimed barbs at Hampton Synagogue Founding Rabbi Marc Schneier. “The rabbi said the eruv was going to be black two-by-fours, then he said pipes …” Mr. Sheiffer said. “The rabbi doesn’t know what the eruv is going to be, and neither do I.”

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    7 COMMENTS

    1. “The eruv is not the issue,” Jack Kringstein, the vice president of Jewish People Opposed to the Eruv and a resident of Remsenburg, said at the meeting. “He added that the eruv would change the community for the worse by bringing in unwelcome people”.
      Well, well, a Yiddishe anti-semite! His Bubbes and Zaydes are turning in their graves.

    2. “The eruv is not the issue,” Jack Kringstein, the vice president of Jewish People Opposed to the Eruv and a resident of Remsenburg, said at the meeting. He added that the eruv would change the community for the worse by bringing in unwelcome people.”

      Well, at least he’s honest. We all know exactly just who the “unwelcome people” are. They’re the folks who will make Jack feel guilty about deserting his religion.

    3. The worst part of it is that Marci Hamilton is a Professor of Law at Yeshiva University. She apparently has no problem with bigotry against Orthodox Jews.
      She should be fired.

    4. This is such blatant anti-semitism..How does this guy sleep at night. Can you imagine him opposing the erection of a basketball court as it would attract the wrong people. As for Marci the law professor – she cant hold a candle to Nadine Strossen-pres of ther ACLU, a Jew who defended the nazis at skokie and who invited a PLO representative to speak at NY law school while she was, and maybe still is , a constitutional law prof.

      • Antisemitism is the irrational hatred of all Jews simply for existing. This is *very* different – it’s a logical debate by the majority that do not want Orthodox Jews coming into their neighborhood and extorting economic force to impose the will of the few on the many.

        I remember once upon a time when every shop in Cedarhurst was open on Saturdays – those that refused to close found themselves boycotted and eventually out of business. That’s a pretty horrible thing to do to someone just because they don’t share your beliefs. Isn’t being Jewish about being fair to everyone, regardless of their race or religion?

        • Gotcha there! by bringing “Cedarhurst” in to the debate you gave yourself away! In Cedarhurst, no one forced anyone to close on Shabbos! It’s all propaganda by like-minded Jewish haters (who, like their [ideological] predecessors in pre-war Germany expressed contempt and hate towards the “Ostjuden”. Jews who immigrated from Eastern Europe. Until the nazis came on scene and showed them that there is [really] NO difference between Jews. They annihilated them ALL!) who
          think they can escape their being Jewish by moving into a fancy house “at the other side of town”!!!

    5. To fed up reform Jew. Nobody forced anybody to close on Shabbos. What happened is that orthodox Jews moved into the neighborhood and started patronizing stores that catered to their needs. This is not illegal; it is not immoral and it hurt no one; except perhaps businesses who failed to adapt to the changing market they confronted. In Flatbush the local ShopRite does terrific business from Orthodox Jews and is open on Saturday all day. This is because it has good prices and products; including Kosher products.

      Your use of the term “extortion” shows that you simply do not understand the free market,law or democratic values. You are simply a bigot.

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