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Probe Launched on Uber Driver Who Made Obscene “Measles” Remark to Bklyn Jewish Woman

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Last Thursday afternoon, an Uber driver reportedly made an obscene measles-related comment to a 23-year old female passenger, who was dressed in traditional Chassidic garb. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In a continuing campaign against Chasidic Jews, yet another Williamsburg resident found themselves the focus of harassment linked with the disreputable measles outbreak. Last Thursday afternoon, an Uber driver reportedly made an obscene measles-related comment to a 23-year old female passenger, who was dressed in traditional Chassidic garb.

The victim and her husband, who chose to be identified only by their last name, Krausz, said the incident took place close to 5:30 in the afternoon. Mr. Krausz called an Uber for his wife, so that she could pick up their son from a relative’s house. The driver was given a pickup location of Kent Avenue and Wallabout Street. As reported by VIN News, as Mrs. Krausz entered the Uber, the driver blatantly remarked “You are of those [obscenity] measles people.”

Mrs. Krausz relates, “At first, when I heard the statement, I wasn’t sure who he was talking to.” Mrs. Krausz, her husband and their children are all vaccinated. Mr. Krausz too heard the obscenity over the phone, and he stayed on the call until his wife arrived at her destination, as he was undoubtedly anxious and concerned about her safety.

The driver, identified on the Uber app as Anthony, made no further negative comments during the ride. Still, Mrs. Krausz said that the half mile trip took nearly twice as long as usual. She said it seemed to her as though the driver was intentionally slowing down in an effort to miss every traffic light.

Though rightfully shaken by the incident, Mrs. Krausz tried to downplay it and give the driver the benefit of a doubt. “Maybe the driver was having a hard day,” said Mrs. Krausz. “And there is a lot of misinformation out there about Chasidim and vaccinations.

Mr. Krausz reported the incident and also contacted Yossi Gestetner of the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council. Gestetner shared the story on Twitter, tagging Uber in his tweet. His efforts drew responses from the company and the TLC, who have both launched investigations into the occurrence. Last week, OJPAC also took out a billboard in Times Square to raise awareness about the high vaccination rate in the Chasidic community, hoping to counter the overwhelming misinformation and all the negative attention. The billboard, located above Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, simply states, “96% Hasidim Vaccinate. Do you?”

Mayor Bill de Blasio took a firm stand supporting the Jewish community. “Don’t ever accept bigotry like this. You have your rights and your city has your back. Thank you to @NYCTaxi for your swift action in investigating this incident. Anti-Semitism has no home in this town,” he tweeted in response to the incident.

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