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September 2005 > Community > Bias

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Previous Issues
- August 2005
- July 2005

Yeshiva Proposal Sparks "Ugly" Flap in Monmouth

The population of Roosevelt, N.J., in northwestern Monmouth County, numbering less than 1,000, is engulfed in a civil war over a proposed Orthodox day school at Congregation Anshei Roosevelt.

The conflict has been accompanied by the discovery of an anti-Semitic poster, a reported scuffle inside the synagogue and a recall petition against Roosevelt's mayor, also a former president of the synagogue.

"It has turned ugly," Etzion Neuer of the Anti-Defamation League told The Jewish State, a weekly newspaper in New Brunswick. "The level of vitriol being used here seems to go a lot further than zoning, taxes or simply about a synagogue board issue."

Current synagogue president Elly Shapiro explained that the day school plan is being considered to maintain the synagogue's existence. "There's been a core group of us trying to keep (it) alive," she said.

The Jewish State reported that the flap can be traced back to March when two representatives of Yeshiva Me-On Hatorah in New York's Riverdale section proposed creation of a yeshiva at the synagogue. Roosevelt is located south of Princeton.

Borough administrator Robert Clark said in the August 5 edition that the borough has not yet received applications for official action from the yeshiva or its representatives.

Opponents objected to the yeshiva at a borough council meeting and circulated a petition to recall Mayor Neil Marko, the former president of the temple. Residents demonstrated outside the synagogue on July 28 during the congregation's annual meeting. Some opponents are Jewish.

Jay Goldman, declaring himself the proxy for his stepfather, Nobert Singer, a congregation member. "I got about halfway inside, and they couldn't find the name Nobert Singer on the list, so one of the congregants grabbed me and lifted me out," he told the newspaper.

In a related article in The Jewish State, state police said they were investigating the discovery of an anti-Semitic poster that was affixed to the borough's bulletin board at the post office.

The poster was reported to include a drawing of a house with the words "Mayor Marko's yeshiva," plus a picture of a truck filled with Zyklon B, the gas ued in the Nazis' extermination camps.

Other news outlets reported that Marko has been accused of a conflict of interest, and this situation was the latest in a series of episodes in which residents were angered with Marko's performance as mayor.