By Cindy Grosz(A7) Long Island Jewish communities are outraged, and rightly so, by a video being shared via social media showing a woman In Rockville Centre, New York, speaking at the village council about the fear that Orthodox Jews might move into her pristine neighborhood. She attempts to cover her prejudice in concerns about houses becoming shuls and therefore eligible for tax exemptions. She fears that streets, not zoned for anything other than residential single family homes, might become overcrowded and unsafe, businesses would decide to close on Saturday, public school levels go down.
In the aforementioned incident, taped at a village council meeting, the woman expresses her concerns based on personal experiences as a former Five Towns resident.
Everyone from the Governor to local elected offices, international media outlets,public figures and rabbis has taken to Twitter or Instagram to express personal outrage at the blatant antisemitism in her words.
My Jewish brothers and sisters, stop accepting this and use this opportunity, months before elections, to hold candidates responsible!
Using events such as these as press opportunities are nothing new. We have seen it over and over again.
But what have elected officials actually done? Nothing!
Where are the members of “The Squad” disciplined? Democrats can’t call out the woman in this video and be believed when they continue to allow Linda Sarsour such influence in our public schools.
In the same district this video was made, Stand With Us, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and other prominent Jewish organizations called for the resignation of Ryan Hemsley as Oceanside Fire Commissioner over two years ago after his anti-Semitic past was exposed. He is still on the job.
Just a few weeks ago, Jews in the Five Towns were outraged by ads in a special election where one religious Jew attacked another.
Jews no longer feel safe wearing a yarmulke, walking to shul or going to a kosher restaurant. Anti-Semitic acts have risen and both parties can’t control it.
Issues – think about them:
- Would Jews be having this discussion if we changed the word synagogue to mosque?
- Would this woman or anyone else dare to talk that way about mosques?
- On the other hand, should there be a law capping all houses in a community to become tax-exempt religious buildings?
- And shouldn’t both parties work on the safety issues that come up when single family homes become houses of worship?
- Homeowners do fear the sale of a new home that might be given a communal function because streets and infrastructure can not withstand the increased traffic, school buses and wear and tear.
- There are a record number of traffic accidents and injuries because of that kind of added traffic where this did occur. That’s not anti-Semitic, it’s fact.
- Local villages and neighborhoods aren’t able to fulfill budget requirements when residential taxes are lost by the rise in the number of multiple tax-exempt dwellings. All residents, Jewish and non-Jewish lose out on fixing potholes, better libraries and recreational events.
All this has to be solved. We elect people to do just that.
Action Speaks Louder Than Words
Elected officials, instead of wasting time and money setting up press conferences, initiate legislation to deal with the demands of modernizing communities and do your job.
Republicans and Democrats can be united in common sense solutions and voters will come out in November for those who actually do something more than going on local television or calling a local rabbi.
The Woman In Question
Were the tone, wording and setting shocking, but the practical parts of the message importtant?
It is telling that this woman spoke without offering ideas about how to work together instead of trying to keep Orthodox Jews out. Had she not highlighted the “menorah” but said that perhaps we could discuss limiting all religious institutions and not singled out Jewish ones, she could have been accepted differently.
Was the menorah which she saw as threatening to her way of liife on the front lawn just for Chanukah? Symbols like a menorah, an American flag or a Trump MAGA banner are personal choices for many homeowners, as are Black Lives Matter lawn signs. They aren’t causing budget issues or safety and traffic concerns. And as much as I don’t like Black Lives Matter or Nazi flags on personal property, we live in a free country and there is nothing I can do about it.
Is she really an anti-Semite? One of the elite, subtle type of anti-Semites whose diatribes would not be found on social media?
We shall see how everything is followed up.
And, who is defending her? And why?
If you consider this video anti-Semitic, and live in the area, call your elected officials from ALL parties and actually do something about it. If you are one of those officials, it’s time to act, not talk.
And to my Jewish followers, do yourself a favor. Think about your words and actions carefully so people’s claims, like those of the woman in the video, are totally baseless and those making them can be called out for what they are: Jew Haters.
Cindy Grosz is the Chair of Jewish Vote GOP. She hosts The Cindy Grosz Show, the first religious Jewish Woman on syndicated radio stations throughout the United States.
Her shows can be downloaded through iHeartRadio, Spotify and google podcasts. She ran for Congress in 2020 and was the Jewish Advisor for The National Diversity Coalition for Trump.