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New Jersey town's losing battle to prevent Orthodox Jewish takeover

Carolyn Yeager

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An Orthodox gathering can be quite an overwhelming experience.


By Carolyn Yeager

I RECEIVED AN INTERESTING EMAIL FROM AN ITALIAN MAN living in Brooklyn, New York, commenting on my articles on the Orthodox Jews' takeover of residential areas in and around Lakewood, New Jersey. He said that he thought this behavior only happened in Brooklyn.


They knock on every Christian door to get them to move out of the neighborhood; yet, if one resents them taking over a neighborhood, they consider it racist.”


Think about that for just a moment to be sure you get the hypocritical manipulation inherent in it. Whites are racist; Jews never are. And yet, except for a very few, Whites fall for this. Which is exactly why we are losing our countries—we are too nice, or too cowardly. It's one or the other.



My correspondent went on to say that “it's been unsettling having someone knocking on my door on Sunday persuading me to sell my home.” He said that when these Jews succeed in purchasing a property, “They can't simply paint and move in. They have to build extensions right up to the building lines, and make their home taller than their neighbors.” [Above, imposing new single family homes for new Jewish residents in Toms  River.]


Sometimes they don't offer to buy your home; they take it by eminent domain, going to the city requesting that they can build a larger home, calling it a "Temple" (escaping taxes). A law should be passed that if they live in it, it can't be a "temple."


Our foolish respect and catering to Religion and religious freedom in this country, enshrined in our law and our culture, makes us vulnerable to its misuse. It's the specialty of shrewd Jews to figure out every angle. We can never keep up with them at that, let alone keep ahead of them.


This Brooklynite then told me a really great story, a classic of its type. He said “A decade ago my 85 year old grandfather living in Borough Park, Brooklyn was struggling to shovel a path on his steps during a snowstorm. His 22 year old Orthodox neighbor came up to him and asked, "Could you do mine?"


Battle switches to Toms River


The Orthodox invasion of Lakewood NJ is complete for the time being. There is no room for more housing; the city won't zone more land for that purpose because of traffic problems, school problems, and race-relations problems. So the invasion has moved to nearby Toms River, a quiet and prosperous residential community of 90,000.


Real estate agents have tried to scare Toms River residents into selling their homes by cautioning they are soon liable to be the only non-Jews living in the area, according to the Irish town mayorThomer Kelaher (left). "It's like an invasion, it scares the hell out of people," he is reported to have said in 2016 – for which he had to apologize profusely for use of the word “invasion,” excusing himself by explaining he was just repeating the word the towns people used to him.

Resident James Jackson of Toms River says he was approached by a man in a black suit in the fall and after he said he didn't want to sell his home the man put his hand on Jackson's shoulder and told him he might want to reconsider. Many of his neighbors in Toms River, the man said, already planned to sell to Jewish buyers like those he represented. "He asked me why I would want to live in a Hasidic neighborhood if I wasn't Hasidic, He asked if I would really be happy, if it would be in my family's best interests. He was trying to intimidate me, but not in a physical way."

[Left, Toms River homeowners tried to fight back by organizing a united front urging their neighbors not to sell. These signs appeared on many properties.] Another Toms River resident who has spoken up is Dr. Frank Machiaverna, a Physician Advisor at RWJ Barnabas Health, a major New Jersey healthcare network. He wrote the following on a comment forum :

Do your due diligence and research. This group bears an uncanny resemblance to Islam enclaves. Their Kabala tells them they are superior to goyim and can take by any means from us. Sound like Islam?.They lie and cheat the system we all pay for. I feel no matter who you are, if you can't assimilate you are not entitled to anything. This is not their rallying cry of antiSemitism. It's reality and anger at groups that we support but don't support us. It's time to make our voices heard in our towns and the entire Northeast.

And elsewhere:

The answer is simple. The Orthodox are killing the town. I for one do not agree with more state (mine) money. I will not support an insular group that takes and returns nothing.


After labelling Machiaverna a “hater” (with one resident writing “Hate is unacceptable in any profession, but the notion of a healthcare professional … spewing hate is especially frightening”), the Orthodox community, understanding that their insularity is a legitimate criticism, decided to try something different. They formed a community council which aims to “improve relations and promote understanding between the growing Orthodox community and its neighbors.” Interesting, however, that it's all about the Goyim understanding the Orthodox community, but not much in the other direction.


The Orthodox Community Council to the rescue


This community council is a group of 11 Orthodox men who want to show Toms River residents that they moved to the township for the same reasons most people come here: for nice homes, large yards and a relatively peaceful suburban life.

"The influx of Orthodox Jewish families moving into Toms River, the people who move here, move here because of the beautiful quality of life,"said Michael Waldner, 38. a community council leader. "We wanted to live in a nice, serene, pristine, friendly community."

The Council meetings are held in the home of Sam Ellenbogen, who met Waldner after Ellenbogen moved to Toms River with his family. "We've had interfaith local leaders, political figures and community members. Some of the organizations have reached out to us." At Thanksgiving, council members brought gifts of food to Toms River's police department as well as to volunteer firefighters and first aid squad members, to show  appreciation for their dedication to the community, according to Waldner.

Their message? "We are here, obviously we are different," Ellenbogen said."Orthodox Jews stand out … If you have any questions or concerns, you have someone to reach out to. We're here to have dialogue, to have conversations, with our neighbors." See what I mean? Conversations and answer questions but no chance of them changing anything they are doing.It's about their being accepted—on their terms.

Township Council votes five-year ban on door-to-door soliciting

Back in late 2015 and early 2016, dozens of North Dover residents came to Township Council meetings to complain that real estate agents were ruining their quality of life. Some homes were visited repeatedly, often by several different agents.

By demand, the Township Council instituted a five-year ban on door-to-door real estate soliciting covering most of North Dover in February 2016.Applications for real estate soliciting in the township tumbled. In 2017, there were six applications, but only two were approved. There have been none so far this year. "We don't get as many complaints these days,"Mayor Kelaher said. "But I really think many of the people who were complaining may have sold their houses and moved away."

Congregation B'nai Israel, a Conservative Jewish synagogue in Toms River [note Israeli flag], is starting an outreach aimed at attracting gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender Jews to the synagogue. L-R, Philip Brilliant, president, Eva Parpar, Toms River, Hazzan Steven Walvick and Rabbi Ellen Wolintz-Fields—July 21, 2016 -Toms River, NJ. (Photo: Bob Bielk/Gannett NJ, Bob Bielk/Asbury Park Press)


Philip Brilliant [catch that name], president of Toms River's Congregation B'nai Israel, said he shares Waldner's belief that the "situation in North Dover has calmed down." 

"But I really think the original uproar was due to aggressive and questionable real estate agent tactics and not necessarily those moving into North Dover," Brilliant said. They always insist there is nothing objectionable about them as people.

But Jeanne Richards, who's lived in North Dover since 1974 and has met several times with community council members, sees it differently. "It's been wonderful," she said, to meet with council members and their wives, to socialize, to ask questions and share concerns."We meet about once every 2 months. It has been very interesting and eye-opening. Sam is a wealth of knowledge."

But Richards said she's still upset with the changes she's seen in her long-time neighborhood, located off Hickory Street. Some of the new Orthodox Jewish residents don't seem as interested in participating in community life as her previous neighbors did. Her neighbors across the street put "barriers" up on their windows instead of curtains, blocking the view of the house from outside. Richards said that makes her feel as though "they are closing themselves off."

"Everybody used to have everybody's phone numbers, we watched out for each other's kids. We had picnics, parties, cocktail parties and everybody was included. Now it's like everybody hides," Richards said. "I want to see it stay the same. I just want people to come out and say, 'Hi, how are you, instead of closing themselves off." Slim chance, Jeanne, that that will happen among such culturally different peoples. Your neighborhood camaraderie is gone forever and that is how they will eventually force you out also. They don't really want you there, they just want your quiet neighborhood, your nice houses and infrastructure, your location near the huge, established Orthodox community in Lakewood. The invasion will continue because the one thing Jews never do is give up on what they want.

Jews know how to win in the courts

Anti-Semitism has been blamed for the denial of permission by Tom's River zoning officials to the request of Rabbi Moshe Gourarie in 2016 to use his home as a religious gathering place. Gourarie and the Chabad Jewish Center of Toms River Inc. filed a lawsuit after the Toms River Board of Adjustment rejected his appeal of that decision.

Rabbi Moshe Gourarie explains the daily activities at his house to the Toms River Board of Adjustment as it holds its first public meeting regarding his application for a use variance that will allow the continued use of his single-family home on Church Road as a Jewish community center and house of worship. Toms River, NJ Thursday, December 17, 2015 (Photo: Doug Hood/Staff Photographer)


The suit asserted: "These recent actions to shut down the Chabad took place during a rising tide of anti-Semitism among the Toms River government and population, fearful that the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community located in adjacent Lakewood Township will extend into Toms River." Which, of course, it is doing.

A federal judge found that the Tom's River Zoning Board broke state and federal laws against religious discrimination when it required a zoning variance for the Jewish center run by a rabbi at his home. By forcing the rabbi to seek a variance, U.S. District Court Judge Freda Wolfson ruled that Toms River Board of Adjustment violated the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, and other federal and state laws. Wolfson ordered the township to pay $122,500 in damages and legal fees and Roman Storzer, Gourarie's lawyer, has since confirmed that he and his client had received the money. Deputy Township official Anthony Merlino said the township would not appeal the Feb. 5 ruling.

"Rabbi Gourari is very happy with the ruling and the outcome," Storzer said. "This is his home, and the Constitution allows people to freely worship at their home."