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The Bobster
09-09-2014, 10:16 AM
http://nypost.com/2014/09/09/village-trying-to-prevent-hasidic-jews-from-relocating-there-suit/

Village trying to prevent Hasidic Jews from relocating there: suit
By Rich Calder and Bruce Golding
September 9, 2014 | 3:45am

A tiny upstate New York village in the Catskills is waging a rampant anti-Semitic campaign :rolleyes: to prevent members of Brooklyn’s Hasidic Jewish community from relocating there — and taking over their quiet, rural hood, a stunning new federal lawsuit charges.

Various parties seeking to build and operate a 396-unit townhouse complex and a private religious school in Bloomingburg, NY, socked village officials Monday with a $25 million religious-discrimination lawsuit, which accuses them of conspiring to block a mass influx of Satmar Hasidic families to the small village of roughly 420 residents. The village is part of the town of Mamakating, which is also a co-defendant in the Manhattan federal court suit and accused of government-sponsored anti-Semitism.

“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,” the suit says.

“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.” :rolleyes:

The suit claims that village and town officials have snubbed the law for more than a year by continuing to hold up what should be “routine” approvals for a school run by the Bloomingburg Jewish Education Center. It claims Hasidic families living in Bloomingburg are now forced under religious obligations to home school their children or send them to private schools “well outside the area.”

The suit also alleges that Bloomingburg has purposely held up developer Shalom Lamm’s “Chestnut Ridge” townhouse complex and that Village Mayor Frank Gerardi got elected “on an express platform of blocking further immigration of Hasidic Jews into Bloomingburg.”

When reached on his cell phone Monday evening, Gerardi said he was unaware of the suit and couldn’t discuss it because he was driving.

But the village’s former deputy mayor, Dr. Clifford Teich, told The Post that “nobody wants the Hasidics here because there was a lie to bring them in.”

Teich said he voted to approve a new, gated community of 125 luxury homes with an 18-hole golf course, swimming pools and tennis courts that village residents could use. However, the original developer, Duane Roe sold the property to Lamm, who upped the plan to 396 townhouses, Teich added.

“I have nothing against the Hasidics — I’m Jewish myself, and they have a right to live anywhere, it’s the United States — but I was dealt a phony deck of cards,” Teich said.

“They dangled the carrot in front of me, and it turned into an onion.”

Teich said anger over the new development led to his ouster from office. He claims he got death threats and that his wife’s car window was shot out after he criticized the influx of Hasidic residents earlier this year.

In June, the village voted to dissolve its planning and zoning boards with Mamakating assuming responsibilities after the boards came under fire from residents for approving Hasidic-backed projects.

Lamm, meanwhile, is the subject of a federal probe into the voter fraud, sources said. The FBI in March raided about 20 other village properties he owns as part of an investigation into whether the developer tried to fix village elections to his benefit.

A Sept. 30 vote is scheduled to decide whether the entire village of Bloomingburg should be dissolved.

The Bobster
06-10-2015, 11:14 AM
http://nypost.com/2015/06/09/brooklyn-jews-move-forward-with-discrimination-lawsuit/

Brooklyn Jews move forward with discrimination lawsuit
By Josh Saul
June 9, 2015 | 6:32pm

Members of Brooklyn’s Hasidic Jewish community can move forward with a $25 million lawsuit against the Catskills towns they say are conspiring in an anti-Semitic campaign to block them from moving in, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

The parties,​ who want to build a 396-unit townhouse complex and a private religious school in Bloomingburg, NY, sued the town last year for “seeking to use their political power, economic pressure, zoning laws, and sheer intimidation to prevent a certain type of people from joining their community,” the lawsuit states.

The suit also named an overarching municipality, Mamakating, which allegedly blocked the conversion of a property into mikvah, a bath used by Hasidic Jews.

Both Bloomingburg and Mamakating tried to get the lawsuit tossed, but Manhattan federal court judge Katherine Forrest ruled Tuesday that the suit can go forward.

Forrest also dismissed claims accusing the towns of discriminatory building code enforcement and over blocking construction of a school.

The Bobster
02-02-2016, 05:48 PM
http://nypost.com/2016/02/02/voting-in-catskills-village-to-be-monitored-after-anti-semitism-accusations/

Voting in Catskills village to be monitored after anti-Semitism accusations
By Lia Eustachewich
February 2, 2016 | 1:04pm

A monitor will be appointed to oversee the voting process in a tiny Catskills village that’s been plagued by allegations of anti-Semitism from Hasidic Jewish residents, new court filings say.

Ten residents of Bloomingburg sued the Sullivan County Board of Elections last March, accusing it of trying to cancel about 160 Hasidic voter registrations and “engaging in an unyielding discriminatory campaign to deprive Hasidic Jewish residents … of the fundamental right to vote,” the Manhattan federal lawsuit said. :rolleyes:

The board claimed it needed proof of residency from the voters.

Now, a monitor will be selected by both the residents who sued and the board to serve for five years. If the parties can’t come to an agreement, one will be appointed by the court, according to court papers filed Monday.

The monitor will have the authority to review the voter challenge questionnaire to ensure it doesn’t “impose an unnecessary burden on the constitutional right to vote,” papers say.

Also as part of the agreement, voting materials, as well as signs advising voters of their rights, will be posted in Yiddish and English.

The county will fork over $25,000 total to the plaintiffs and $550,000 in attorneys’ fees.

Judge Katherine Forrest approved the settlement late Monday.

“We’re pleased that we were able to resolve this. We think this settlement is a victory for all citizens of Sullivan County,” said Steven Engel, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs.

Attorneys for the county didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment.

Bloomingburg, which lies about 60 miles west of Poughkeepsie, had a population of 420 in 2010, according to census data.

In 2014, the village was also accused in a $25 million lawsuit of trying to block members of Brooklyn’s Satmar Hasidic community from relocating there by tying up approvals for a school as well as a 396-unit townhouse project.

“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,” the suit said.

That lawsuit is still pending in Manhattan federal court.