Rockland County

East Ramapo School Board Fires Back Following Scathing Report

Board president Yehudah Weissmandl says there's 'another side to the story.'

12/04/2014
Staff Writer
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Following a report recommending state oversight for the embattled East Ramapo Central School  District, the board president fires back, arguing that the report made unfair characterizations and omitted relevant information.

East Ramapo's school board disputed how it was "characterized" in the state report but agreed to oversight. Michael Datikash/JW
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Answer To East Ramapo School Oversight In Lakewood?

Black-hat enclave’s fiscal monitor system to be model for embattled district; school board responds; and anger from Lawrence.

12/03/2014
Staff Writer
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As state lawmakers craft a bill to address years of simmering tensions that have plagued the East Ramapo school district, the answer might well be found about 100 miles down the Garden State Parkway. There, in the growing black-hat enclave of Lakewood, the Orthodox-controlled school board was eventually forced, by the presence of a state monitor, to relinquish some of its power over the area’s public schools.

Parents protest at an East Ramapo school board meeting on Dec. 9, three weeks after a state report came out. Michael Datikash/JW
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Judge Calls For Re-Vote In Embattled Ramapo

Cites ‘egregious’ ballot errors, confusion at polls in suburb known for large chasidic Jewish population; town to appeal

10/08/2014
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Last week, the suburban town of Ramapo held a referendum aimed at lessening the political influence of the town’s growing contingent of Orthodox and chasidic Jews. This week a judge invalidated the ballots and called for a new election.

Images from a pamphlet in favor of Ramapo's referendum.

Charedi Influence At Play In Ramapo Referendum

Issues will likely linger long after this week’s vote.

10/01/2014
Staff Writer
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As voters in embattled upstate Ramapo went to the polls this week, at stake was the power of the growing population of charedi Jews in the Rockland County suburb. Tuesday’s referendum, led by a group of activists called Preserve Rockland, was aimed at lessening charedi political power in a town that has fought a years-long battle over Orthodox control of the public schools.

Images from "Vote Yes" pamphlet put out by a group calling itself "Vadd [sic] Lihatzulas Monsey."

Results Signal Anger At — And Among — Orthodox Jews

Rare ballot initiative seeks to curb political influence of Rockland's growing charedi community.

09/30/2014
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Update, Sept. 30, 11:25 p.m.: According to The Journal News, amid claims of voter confusion and fraud, a judge has ordered the Rockland County Board of Elections to impound all referendum vote ballots. No official results will be released before Oct. 10. 

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A page from a mailing from a group calling itself “Vadd [sic] Lihatzulas Monsey” (Committee to Save Monsey) urging a yes vote.
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Chasidic Pol Concedes After Absentee Ballot Count

Aron Wieder, first ultra-Orthodox Jew to run for a state legislature, loses by razor-thin margin.

09/18/2014
Staff Writer
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Aron Wieder, believed to be the first chasidic candidate in the U.S. to run for a state legislature, conceded yesterday night in an assembly race so close that it came down to the absentee ballots.

The 40-year-old Spring Valley resident lost by 61 votes, The Journal News reported, less than 2 percent, in a three-way race for the Democratic nomination for a rare open seat in the New York State Assembly’s 98th District.

State Sen. David Carlucci, Aron Wieder and E. Ramapo soccer players at the Haitian Unity Parade in May. Courtesy of Aron Wieder

Clergy: Here's What We Know About East Ramapo

05/20/2014
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Recent Jewish Week exchanges over the East Ramapo Central School District reveal intense emotions and points of view that underlie the tensions and conflict affecting Rockland County.

Rockland Clergy for Social Justice

In Rockland, Non-Orthodox School Board Members Resign, Citing Intimidation

01/24/2013
Associate Editor

The only two non-Orthodox Jewish members of an embattled Rockland County school board unexpectedly resigned this week, citing continuous intimidation from fellow board members, according to The Journal News, a daily newspaper that covers Westchester and Rockland counties.

Rockland Gets A New/Old Day School

The nondenominational Jewish Academy hoping to cast a wider net and build on its Gittelman connections.

Associate Editor
08/21/2012

The day school is dead. Long live the day school.

That’s the situation for non-Orthodox families in Rockland County.

In January, the 40-year-old Reuben Gittelman Hebrew Day School — which was affiliated with the Conservative movement’s Schechter Network — announced that financial problems exacerbated by declining enrollment were forcing it to close.

Rockland Jewish Academy teacher Melanie Garvey works with children as classrooms are being set up for new year. michael datikash
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