WATCH: Woodbury, NY Seeks to Regulate Eruvs; Jewish Community Concerned

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Sunlight reflects off the Eruv string installed in some areas of Agoura Hills, CA

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Yet another community is attempting regulate construction of Eruvs, the latest being the Orange County town of Woodbury. The Jewish community is raising allegations of discrimination, News12 reported.

A housing crisis in nearby Kiryas Joel is causing Hasidic Jewish families to move to neighboring areas like Woodbury, and Eruvs are apparently becoming more common and noticeable.

The Eruvs are apparently bothering residents, who are pushing for regulation of the structures consisting of string tied to several poles, and which allows religious Jews to carry items on Shabbos.

A public hearing on proposed Eruv restrictions will be held Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Highland Mills Firehouse.

“The same way we regulate fences, sheds, decks … things like that.” says Woodbury Mayor Mike Queenan. “Some people were concerned they were being put across their property, across public roads, tied to people’s fences and signs.”

Queenan says that as long as it’s workable and sensible, it’s not a problem to have the limitations.

Under the proposed law, an Eruv would be required to be between 8 and 20 feet high and would have to be either translucent or color-matched to any supporting structure.

Eruvs would not be permitted to cross any public roadway and written consent would be required for an Eruv to go over private property. If the proposed legislation is enacted, any Eruv found to be in violation would have to be removed within 90 days.

YWN has previously reported on numerous towns attempting to regulate Eruvs, including Mahwah, Montvale and Jackson, New Jersey. Similar efforts have been reported in Florida and California.

Some are critical, including Kiryas Joel’s school Superintendent Joel Petlin, who posted on Twitter comparing Eruvs to utility lines. The Facebook private group Kiryas Joel Headquarters made a remark, saying “Using local laws to zone out religious observance is wrong, illegal and will result in litigation.”


3 COMMENTS

  1. “The Eruvs are apparently bothering residents, who are pushing for regulation of the structures consisting of string tied to several poles, and which allows religious Jews to carry items on Shabbos.”

    Stop with the naivete; look at mahwah/Jackson – even the US attorney knew that it’s just to curb Orthodox growth. An article in YWN doesn’t need to sound like it’s taken from the NYT…

  2. While there are some crazies (or outright anti-semites such as those in the Hamptons last year) who don’t even want to live “within” the boundaries of an unregulated eruv, there are legitimate case of opposition where an eruv is run directly over someone’s property without prior approval and outside of any deeded easement.