Hundreds Of Flatbush Residents Protest Outside East Midwood Jewish Center [VIDEOS & PHOTOS]


Once again, hundreds of residents braved the cold and turned out to protest a planned charter school which will be coming into the heart of the Flatbush community. The “Urban Dove Charter School” is reportedly planning on starting construction any day, and the last minute protest was held. No organization was behind it, but messages went viral, and hundreds showed up.

As YWN has been reporting, the East Midwood Jewish Center plans to repurpose the Jewish Day school established in 1950 with Urban Dove ( – a Charter School that says in their mission statement that they cater to highly at risk public high school teenagers.

East Midwood was established almost 100 years ago to further “traditional Jewish values and the establishment of a Jewish day school to educate future generations”.

However, the current leadership has chosen to ignore the goals of this landmark institution.

In 2010, the controversial school tried to get into Aviator at Floyd Bennett field. They were promptly booted out of there. According to Aviator CEO Kevin McCabe, “[Urban Dove] has absolutely no support from the community,” joining a chorus of elected officials that panned the plan in 2010. Now they are planning to come into the heart of our community at 1256 East 21 between Ave. K and L.

Due to a shortage of classroom space in this neighborhood, local Yeshivas offered to rent the building on the same terms, but the East Midwood board decided they’d rather rent to an outside Charter school.

Fearing this possibility turning into a reality, two weeks ago, around 1,000 local community residents turned out for a meeting at the Jewish Center to protest the move.

Today, on Sunday afternoon, another few hundred local residents showed up. Thia protest was not organized by any organization or Shul. Just hundreds of concerned community members showing up to make sure their voices are heard. Tehillim was recited, and some folks in the crowd sang a few songs, and there was a Minyan for Mincha.

A viral message announcing the protest read: “You turned out 2 weeks ago in support of our community. Your presence indicated your allegiance to the safety and security of our neighborhood. We need you again NOW! Urban Dove Charter School is planning on starting construction any day. We have one last chance to have our voices heard!! EMJC, without the full support of all its members, has plowed ahead without giving our Jewish Neighborhood a chance to support Jewish programming at the EMJC.


(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. Arguing that highly at risk teens shouldn’t be brought into a neighborhood is a very good point and there’s a lot of precedent to make the case.
    Arguing about original “Mission Statements” and the need for room for Jewish students, not so much.

  2. Look at this Chilul Hashem! These people are making such a scene over something that could be settled privately! We deal with these matters through shtadlanus, and through our elected officials. These protests won’t change anything anyway, they just make the frum community look obnoxious.


    Ah, so there isn’t anything wrong with protesting. Everyone protests what matters to them most. In Flatbush, its a controversial charter school, and in EY its a controversial draft law.

  3. Something does not add up. If there are yeshivas offering to rent the school on the same terms as the charter school, why would the synagogue board stick its thumb in the eye of fellow Jews and not rent to one of the yeshivas? I am skeptical that the allegation about yeshivas offering to rent. Are the yeshivas bad credit risks? Are yeshivas bad tenants? Is the charter school actually paying more than the yeshivas have offered?

  4. One thing many Brooklyn yeshivas are noted for is very delayed payments of salaries and other bills. Will all those protestors be willing to sign promissory notes make them personally liable for any past due rent payments?
    Will no longer call residents of semirural areas of NJ and NY antisemites when they object to Jewish residents bringing with high density housing? If you agree with Jews protesting in Midwood to protect their way of life, you can no longer object to semirural residents protesting for their way of life

  5. a few points;
    in willy somehow there are 1000’s of kids going to a schools and for the most part its peaceful
    i think the big issue here is that once the school opens the property value on east 21 will drop by a 100G minimum its no ones fault but historically thats what happens
    politicians hands were tied because all the homeowners on east 21 didnt offer half of what they will lose now to get a diff tenant and supplement the diff.
    FLATBUSH SHLUFT- low voter turnout , everybody doing his own thing , the same few guys fjcc …

  6. All of the local frum yeshivas and camps rent the East Midwood Jewish Center’s pool and gym for their programs for top dollar.
    The one thing that the EMJC understands is money. But our community mosdos are not united enough for a plan of action because they want the pool and gym no matter what.
    If they were really serious and refused to deal with the EMJC and boycotted their rentals, it’s unlikely EMJC would be acting in this manner.

  7. It might come off as racist, but is it not rational to think that this will bring danger to our community? There’s enough precedent of black or troubled teens attacking Jews. Use your brains, liberals.


    In the above Daily News article (from a couple of years ago) titled “Parents Worried New School for Troubled Teens Willl Bring Danger into Willoughby Street School Building” parents and politicians of varied race and ethnic background worry that the Urban Dove students will usher in a resurgence in gang activity. They express concern that these students might intimidate or bully their children. The article’s title and use of adjectives validates the concerns of that community. Not once is anyone called racist for expressing these fears.
    This article by the New York Post refers to Urban Dove as being comprised of students “in the brink of failure.” These are but two articles that can be easily obtained when looking into Urban Dove’s history. Its amazing how the Post and other “news” venue’s adjectives change when it is the Orthodox community who are voicing their concerns. Race was never ever mentioned as a factor by any of the attending people. How sad that the media has turned this into a racial issue. How sad that fellow Jews have fallen so quickly for theis click-bate. For all those who call this gathering a chillul hashem, I believe the first amendment still allows us the right to peacefully assemble and that is what was done. Dont compare this to Peleg protests. As Albert Einstein said “If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity.” Brooklyn is the epitome of the melting pot. Its vibrancy enhanced by the rainbow of people who choose to raise their families here. Perhaps, one shortcoming of this gathering is that not enough was done to include our neighbors from outside the Orthodox fold. I have no doubt that should they bave been fully aware they would have expressed the same concerns.

  9. the pool & gym is small money AND THEY KNOW the daycamps…are desperate & need the pool & gym . the main point is that although we never bothered each other there is no relationship at all & they know what we think of their derech and vice versa

  10. If readers of YWN, wherever you live, really want to know why local residents do not want this school in the middle of Flatbush, just search “Urban Dove Team Charter School Brooklyn” on Google. Be warned the pictures are less tznius than those on the busses in Bnei Brak.