AG Warns New Yorkers to be Cautious of Practices Targeting Jewish Communities Before Pesach


New York Attorney General Letitia James today issued a consumer alert urging New Yorkers to be cautious of potential discriminatory pricing practices at car washes in advance of Pesach. In previous years, there have been reports of car wash businesses in predominantly Orthodox Jewish communities in New York City raising prices by as much as 50 percent for Jewish customers seeking cleaning services close to Passover.

In the days leading up to Passover, many Jews clean their homes, cars, and other spaces to remove “chametz” (leavened products). According to reports provided to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), some companies have advertised “specials” for car washing services related to Passover, but instead, charged higher prices to customers. To protect New Yorkers from these practices, Attorney General James has previously sent letters to organizations representing car wash owners in New York to remind their members that any such business practice is illegal and should be reported to OAG.

“Taking advantage of someone’s religious observances and practices is offensive, discriminatory, and absolutely unacceptable,” said Attorney General James. “For millions of observant Jews in New York and beyond, Passover is an important holiday, and their preparations should be respected, not manipulated for profit. I urge any New Yorker who is concerned that they have been a victim of discriminatory behavior because of their religion, race, or background to contact my office immediately.”

“Last year, we brought this matter to the attention of Attorney General Letitia James and she swiftly issued a consumer alert for which we are grateful,” said Assemblymember Simcha Eichenstein. “As Passover approaches again, the Attorney General is being proactive and has issued another consumer alert. Let’s be clear. Car wash establishments who shamelessly overcharge their Jewish customers for services before the Passover holiday are clearly discriminating against one religious community. That is unacceptable and illegal. Car wash operators, you have now been warned. Don’t do it.”

“The holiday of Passover is a joyous time for those celebrating,” said Assemblymember Daniel Rosenthal. “It can also be a stressful time as there is often a lot of preparation that goes into it. Unnecessary financial pressure should never be placed on any religious community by those seeking to profiteer. I commend Attorney General James for proactively protecting the people of New York from discriminatory price gouging.”

“Scammers constantly try new methods to trick consumers, even during religious holidays,” said Assemblymember Nily Rozic. “As the Jewish community prepares for Passover, it’s essential that consumers are cognizant of scammers and look out for holiday-related price gouging. I’m thankful to Attorney General James for her continued efforts to crack down on discriminatory practices.”

Anyone who is aware of businesses using discriminatory practices or believes that they were charged more for services because of their religion, race, or background is encouraged to file a complaint with OAG online or call 1-800-771-7755.

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  1. If indeed, getting a car wash is a religious practice, perhaps an argument could be made for religious discrimination. If washing your car is no different than renting a cottage in Orlando it seems that it is just a supply and demand issue.

    Last chol hamoed I wanted to take advantage of a Tuesday special at IPLAY America in Lakewood. They said that the special does not apply on Chol Hamoed. Perhaps they should be investigated for religious discrimination?

  2. interesting, all holidays should be treated as normal or people won’t shop or make exaggerating practices like this foolish note…..Black People like this woman know nothing at all….please…America get a hold onto yourself… are about to disappear

  3. Fuggedaboudit! The AG in NY is busy with her Trump case. She’s not going after any car wash who is raising prices in advance of Pesach.

  4. In all seriousness, no goy cleans his car in the same way as a Yid before Pesach. The Yid takes more time and probably uses much more energy of the vacuum. Maybe they should set a rate depending on the thoroughness of the cleaning if that’s not too complicated if it otherwise appears as discriminatory or as price gouging to overcharge Yiddin pre-Pesach, but the truth of the matter it probably would be unfair to charge everyone a flat rate when some do a much more thorough cleaning job. Just saying. I think getting the AG involved to crack down on car washes probably will just lead to more hatred of Jews.

  5. Don’t worry so much about some stupid car wash. Worry about the price gouging by all the Shmura matzah bakeries! How can the price of a pound of name brand hand shmura matzah jump from $37 to $50 in a year?! The halachos of Choshen Mishpat don’t apply?! Frum Yidden ripping off other Frum Yidden in honor of Yom Tov?! The Assemblyman is afraid to start up with heimishe? I expect that from the crooked esrog “dealer” ganovim, not the Matzah bakeries.

  6. @ Sara Rifka
    I cant seem to understand your post. DO you?
    And why do you insist on putting things insensitively? Is that a moral thing to do?
    Why put down someone who is trying, sincerely or not, to help the jewish community, Is there something to gain from that?

    Besides, Your comments are regularly laced with disdain and vanity.
    Do you not know Pirkei avos? Where it says “al tehi baz l”chol adam”?
    You should do better.

  7. @ not getting involved.
    Do you know what gets ME upset?
    When people accuse others of overcharging them without any background knowledge.
    You want to know about the price of matza?
    Well do you have an Idea of all the components and logistics that it entails?
    If you do, then it would behoove you to explain where the problem is.
    But you just complain about price, with zero explanation of your position.

    To be certain, I too am chagrined at the raise of price. But what right does that give you do accuse people of being unscrupulous?!
    The matza bakeries are a difficult seasonal job. Those who work and operate them generally put in major energy because they feel adequately awarded. If you think there is another way… no one is stopping YOU from making your own matza!
    But you obviously rather someone ELSE go through that burden, and then you want to tell them how much to charge for it as well… Thats not correct at all.

  8. There’s not a year that goes by that letitia James doesn’t positively effect the Jewish community. Every Pesach she can be relied on that no yid should overpay for his car wash

    Thank you Queen Leticia this is worthy of our community’s vote can we get a kol Koreh from one of the organizations for her.

  9. The price of wheat has been pretty flat over the last 10 years compared to everything else so for a product that requires only wheat and water can someone explain how the price of shmura for some brands has gone up more than 4x in last decade? Moreover why does the price of chicken have to be raised in the leadup to pesach? Has nothing to do with actual cost of product! The Goyim Defense League needs to raise hell on Queen Letitia for her discrimination against enterprising goyish car washes.