MAILBAG: Response To The Haters, And POLITICIANS Who Pander To Anti-Semites In Sullivan County

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Dear YWN,

This letter is in response to the outrageous letter by NY State Senator Jen Metzger ([email protected]) published by YWN a few days ago.

Let me start by saying that in no way shape or form am I saying or implying that you are a racist or an anti-Semite, or that you encourage hate, I am sure that you are a very decent person. Having said that, I will introduce myself, I live in Brooklyn NY, I am an Orthodox Jew, and I am one of the owners of a secondary home in the town of Thompson, that you referred to in your letter.

While the majority of the people in Sullivan County are decent, hardworking, polite, neighborly etc. There is a huge underlying hate and antisemitism problem in Sullivan that almost every Orthodox Jew or visible Jew can attest to. A huge majority of us can attest to being yelled at, cursed etc, our only sin being, that we are visibly Jewish. There is the unspoken understanding, and wink of the eye by a lot of the locals, that the Orthodox and Chasidic Jews are to be blamed for every problem in Sullivan County. With the blessing of a lot of the local politicians who say AMEN to all the demands that are clearly geared toward the orthodox population,

  • We in the Orthodox community are paying into the tax system of Sullivan county, tens of millions of dollars that we have “NO BENEFITS” from.
  • Collectively from all the Orthodox and Chasidic homeowners association’s and condominium owners association, we are generating tens of millions of dollars to the local towns, villages and county, and we receive “NOTHING IN RETURN”.
  • My place alone where I reside pays approximately $300,000 in local taxes divided between property taxes and School taxes. (WE GET NOTHING IN RETURN FROM THE SCHOOL SYSTEM.)
  • Our taxes are a pure donation from the JEWS, we do it gladly knowing that we are part of the community, and also keep in mind that the tax rate that we are paying is the same or more than any year round homeowner, even though we are only there for 3 out of the 12 months.

Unfortunately, a lot of locals are not reciprocating, and there is no appreciation of the benefits we are bringing to your local communities. We are supporting entire local school system’s and government’s without anything in return.

Having said the above, my hope is that your reaction to the issue of bungalow colonies and camps wasn’t a knee jerk reaction to some of the locals requesting it.

While I am fully open minded and in no way do I minimize the important discussion if camps or bungalow colonies should open this summer, due to the pandemic. My questions to Mrs Metzger are as follows, before you came to your conclusion that all camps and bungalow colonies should be closed:

#1) Did you have any discussion with any administrators of any of the camps?? (Who generate a lot of tax dollars for the county and the state, and employ a lot of locals who are eagerly waiting for them to open?)

#2) Did you have any discussion with any of the owners of the bungalow colonies ?? (Who generate a lot of tax dollars for the county and the state, and employ a lot of locals who are eagerly waiting for them to open?)

#3) Did you have any discussion with the seasonal business owners ?? (Who generate a lot of tax dollars for the county and the state, and employ a lot of locals who are eagerly waiting for them to open?)

Of course the answer is NO!!! How do I know this? Because I spoke them, and everyone was surprised that you would take a position before consulting any of them!

Would you have spoken to them, you would have been surprised that they are as much concerned if not more for the wellbeing of the children and their families. Would you have done your due diligence, you would have been surprised by the discussion that is ongoing between administrators and the local health departments. There are alot of ideas being discussed for example, no visitations / taking temperature of all children / making sure that the children have antibodies etc.

We would appreciate some clarification on both issues:

#1) the anti-Semitism issue, and how you would address it in a real way, and we are not looking for another press release or statement

#2) bungalow colonies and camps issue in having a real and open discussion with the parties at stake.

Much thanks,

A concerned Sullivan County homeowner.

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.

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(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


6 COMMENTS

  1. I write in protest of the lies presented by the author of this letter. These words cause as much or more anti-semitic feelings as the words of the State Senator.

    I live in small town USA. My grandparents had a bungalow colony in Sullivan County from the 1930s to the early 70s and I still own and pay taxes on a summer unimproved cottage in the county.

    “We in the Orthodox community are paying into the tax system of Sullivan county, tens of millions of dollars that we have “NO BENEFITS” from.
    Collectively from all the Orthodox and Chasidic homeowners association’s and condominium owners association, we are generating tens of millions of dollars to the local towns, villages and county, and we receive “NOTHING IN RETURN”.
    My place alone where I reside pays approximately $300,000 in local taxes divided between property taxes and School taxes. (WE GET NOTHING IN RETURN FROM THE SCHOOL SYSTEM.)
    Our taxes are a pure donation from the JEWS..”

    LIE#1 You get no benefit from the taxes paid to the county. Every time you drive, walk or cycle on a county or local road you are deriving benefit from the county. Every time you call 911 for fire or police you derive benefit from the County or local government. When the local health inspector checks your septic, swimming pool or the kosher market your shop in, you derive benefit from the county.

    LIE #2 You do get something in return from the local school systems. Good schools drive property values up. Higher property values can not only produce a profit when you sell, but produce more real estate taxes. If the values were depressed, your taxes would go up to run local government. Local schools educate the people needed to work in local business and government , so you have places to shop, firemen, police, EMTs, health and building inspectors, the road crews who plow the snow, or pick up the fallen trees or even dead deer hit by vehicles.

    LIE3# Our taxes are a pure donation from the Jews. PURE nonsense. You derive benefit from the taxes. You choose not to use all the facilities, but you could use the libraries and parks, police and fire and roads, maybe a local utility as well. Your school taxes are no different than those paid by non-Jewish people who do not have children in the public schools…it has nothing to do with being Jewish.

    You need to get over your sense of entitlement and stop feigning discrimination. To quote my late father Z”L when he paid his state income tax every year: ‘someone has to pay for the roads I drive on.’

    When you buy a property, it is reassuring to know that there is a Certificate of Occupancy, that the plumbing and electrical were installed by licensed contractors and that it was inspected and meets code and therefore you can both get a mortgage and buy insurance. It;s nice to have fire hydrants and fire departments within a certain distance so you can get homeowners and fire insurance. These are many benefits derived from paying local taxes.

    Stop sounding like the proverbial ‘Cheap Jew’ looking for a bargain. If you can afford tow OWN a second home in the country, you should expect and pay taxes to run local governement.

  2. I would like to say that as a year-round upstate resident I do indeed see many of your points as being totally valid. Our community does indeed provide much needed, vital tax dollars to Sullivan County and the towns inside. I myself have been yelled at on multiple occasions and am worried about the direction of what the other year-round residents have to look forward to from the non-Jewish neighbors. On the flip side, in our own papers I see Rabbonim begging people to behave themselves while they are up here for the summer because people live up here year round. They wouldn’t have to do this if we behaved ourselves while up here. I do see the horrible driving, I do see my Seasonal Jewish neighbors treating the year round Gentile neighbors horribly! Making jokes at their expense, disgusting remarks made IN FRONT OF THEM in Yiddish, somehow believing that because they don’t understand the words that the tone is somehow lost upon them (I understand both and there should be no tolerance for it!). I see corruption from “Rabbis” who are accused of starting fires for insurance money! I see this! I am not an anti-semite! I send my kids to Yeshiva, value learning above just about all else however we are supposed to be a light unto the nations. We can only do that when we are behaving ourselves and quite simply many many of us are not! The current plague affects all of us Jew and Gentile and despite stay at home orders and Rabbonim ordering the Jews to stay home I see all of the Brooklyn residents coming up here without masks, and without gloves on. Just look any day and any time day or night at what is going on in Walmart as I write this! The main thrust of your argument is that we supply the tax dollars to the county. This certainly has not a little bit of merit. However absorbing a 300% increase in population at a time when the medical system is already strained is not something that we can handle! When exactly did my JEWISH CHILDREN’S lives become worth more than your vacation home? How about listening to the experts,, the doctors and our governor and stay at home?

  3. Well and eloquently said CTLAWYER! This anonymous letter reeks of entitlement mentality and obliviousness to the real and unprecedented benefits we Jews enjoy as citizens of this great nation.

  4. I browse that facebook group often. Many people do not mind. We cant change the haters but everyone needs to try their best to act respectfully. You can’t cry antisemitism when you don’t act respectfully. I have a bad feeling. What a shame that the whole county’s summer will be ruined if it becomes like Williamsburg. Crying anti-semitism adds more to the disrespect. 🙁

  5. I would also like to point out that members of our community who “get nothing” from the tax dollars also come up in droves for ONE YEAR just enough time to collect the Section 8 vouchers and gain the mobility with them and then return to Brooklyn. Don’t tell me you get nothing! I can’t get Section 8 because you are milking the system!