Orangetown Eruv Update

The Community Relations Council (CRC) of the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Rockland County has spent several months engaged in conversation with Orangetown Supervisor Chris Day regarding his campaign promise to block an eruv in Orangetown.

Below is CRC’s correspondence to Mr. Day which sets out our opposition to a proposed town ordinance. Given the legal precedents, we believe this is a wrong-headed approach. CRC and Federation are committed to the right of any person to live where they wish and the long-established precedent of reasonable accommodation of religious symbols in public space. As a Jewish community, these protections and precedents have never been more important. 

There will be a public hearing on May 15, 2018 at 8:15 PM on the proposed town ordinance regarding installations on utility poles. Orangetown residents are urged to attend the hearing and speak out against this regulation.

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Supervisor Chris Day
Orangetown Town Hall
26 W. Orangeburg Road
Orangeburg NY 10962

March 28, 2018

Dear Supervisor Day,

Thank you again for the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the proposed zoning regulations with regards to installations on utility poles. We appreciate the considerable thought and resources you have given to this matter and are writing in the spirit of citizens working together to address shared concerns. 

After reflection, the Community Relations Committee of Jewish Federation must go on the record as not endorsing in any way the proposed regulations. It is not at all clear to us the problem that is the target of these regulations or the documentary evidence that there is any problem at all.  We believe the proposals, if adopted, will result in consequences similar to those experienced by other nearby towns. Orangetown will be exposed to negative and harmful publicity which will injure the town's reputation as a welcoming and diverse community.

Additionally, there is the likely possibility of a suit being brought against the town by private parties and/or public entities. We are unaware of any town winning such a case with the consequence of the taxpayers being burdened with significant legal bills, possibly punitive fines and the town's leadership being focused on lawsuits rather than other important business. 

Mr. Supervisor, we know you will take these concerns seriously and we are always available to meet with you to address our shared desire for a better future for Orangetown and Rockland County. 

With best regards, 

Lisa Green                  Steve Gold                                                Gary Siepser                                                President                    Community Relations Chair                       CEO


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