Lakewood, NJ – Non Orthodox Complain Over Housing Community Limiting Time Men, Women Can Swim Together

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    Marie Curto, a resident of A Country Place, a senior community in Lakewood, holds a copy of the pool schedule at the complex. She is upset over restrictions on co-ed swimming hours at the clubhouse pool, rules that were instituted in deference to the community's Orthodox Jewish residents—July 25, 2016 -Lakewood, NJ.-Staff photographer/Bob Bielk/Gannett NJLakewood, NJ – A housing community on the Jersey shore comprised of mostly Orthodox Jews has sharply limited the time men and women can swim together, angering some homeowners.

    The board at A Country Place in Lakewood decided men and women can swim together from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday through Friday. There is also open swimming on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. But swimming is restricted by sex the rest of the time in observance of Jewish law that prohibits men and women from bathing together.

    Of the 91 hours the pool is open each week, 73 percent is confined to single-sex swimming.

    Resident Steve Lusardi, 69, told the Asbury Park Press (http://on.app.com/2aiEkIL ) he was fined $50 for swimming with his wife, Diane, 70, last month after the open swim time expired. Lusardi said he doesn’t plan to pay the fine.

    “I know the Jewish protocol — the men and women can’t swim together. I’m aware of that,” he said. “I just don’t like following it.”

    He and other non-Orthodox residents say their requests for a more accommodating schedule have been unsuccessful.

    “I’ve been told, ‘This is a Jewish community. Get used to it,'” Lusardi said.

    Orthodox Jewish resident Jerry Fried, 65, has asked the board to consider expanding coed hours, but the board declined. He said the dispute isn’t between Jewish and non-Jewish residents — it’s between residents and the board.

    “The main thing I want to stress is I don’t want (anyone to think) there’s a war going on between the Jewish people and the non-Jewish people,” Fried said. “That’s absolutely not true.”
    Marie Curto and Steve Lusardi, residents of A Country Place, a senior community in Lakewood, are upset over restrictions on co-ed swimming hours at the clubhouse pool, rules that were instituted in deference to the community's Orthodox Jewish residents—July 25, 2016 -Lakewood, NJ.-Staff photographer/Bob Bielk/Gannett NJ
    The Fair Housing Act, a federal anti-discrimination law that applies to condominium and homeowner associations, bars discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status or national origin. It covers access to housing and the “provision of services or facilities” connected to that housing.

    Board members declined to comment.

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    14 COMMENTS

    1. Why do I feel the Jews always lose? In Brooklyn they can only have one hour a week in the government pools, and in Lakewood where they are a majority, they also can’t have more hours. But if they were Muslims needing more hours of separate swimming, well now we know they would have to be accommodated fairly.

      • So 73% is not enough for you? Wha % would be enough to prove that Jews have rights? Either you refuse to read anything but the headline or you think only you have any rights

    2. As always half a story makes for a great sensational news story carried by so many of the news media which wouldn’t make the news if the whole story would be told.

    3. When they had more hours the pool was empty/ when they had a goyisha board they had it all day and then there was non.When the pool broke what happened nothing until some Jewish woman ran for the board and became treasurer. THe pool got replaced and then was empty for hours. Any time the yidden do something suddenly they are being discriminated.

      Know things first hand been there many times

      • Ok bubble so now explain my original question. What constitutes discrimination? Perhaps there should only be mixed swimming on Shabbat. Perhaps that would interfere with your Shabbos so no mixed swimming at all. Perhaps you should allow mixed swimming only to those who can prove by Halacha that they are not Jews.

      • A “fair” schedule been attempted, by both Jewish and non-religious residents. The frum board cannot be reasoned with. They are content to discriminate on the basis of gender, in violation of the FHA.

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