JTA — An eruv, or symbolic boundary for Sabbath-observant Jews, was removed from a neighborhood on Staten Island.
The eruv had been put up on utility poles around the neighborhood by a group of Hasidic Orthodox Jewish residents. They reportedly removed it after other residents put up lawn signs expressing opposition to an influx of religious Jews in their neighborhood. The residents had not yet secured the necessary permission from Con Ed, Verizon, or the Transportation Department, Spectrum News reported.
The lawn signs, created by the Westerleigh Improvement Society, read: “Westerleigh Strong. We’re Not Selling.” They reportedly referred to Hasidic Jews from Brooklyn’s Boro Park looking to move into the neighborhood, the Advance reported.
The Orthodox residents have submitted paperwork to the local council to reattach the eruv.
A rising tide of ‘fear’ in Westerleigh (Staten Island) sparked by religious eruv. "Some of the comments going back and forth made her feel as if she was at a Nazi rally" https://t.co/Qe0j2cKhMo
— Perennial Immigrant (@jaxjacobsen) May 14, 2019
The Westerleigh Improvement Society said in a statement: “We are thankful that most of the Eruv has been removed, as it was installed without the required permission, required insurance, and did not follow standard or established details … We would like to call attention to the fact that we have a thriving community that we love, made up of folks of many ethnic and religious backgrounds, and welcome our new neighbors to assimilate with us and expect and insist that we all abide by the same laws and processes. So far these normal expectations have not been demonstrated.”
Recent meetings of the society have included the yelling of “anti-Semitic comments,” the Advance reported, citing multiple unnamed sources.
An eruv allows Sabbath-observant Jews to carry objects, including carrying children or pushing a stroller, outside of their private property. Without it, parents of young children are confined to their homes on the Sabbath.
On Thursday, the Chabad of Staten Island synagogue building was spray painted with the words “Synagogue of Satan.”
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.