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Controversial Ritual Bath in Ultra-Orthodox Town Vandalized

A ritual bath under construction in the Hasidic development in Bloomingburg has allegedly been defaced with Nazi imagery.

According to Lonnie Soury, a spokesman for the Town of Mamakating, where Bloomingburg is located, the Anti-Defamation League received reports about the hateful graffiti from the builders of the mikveh. The ADL was not immediately reachable for comment.

The Bloomingburg ritual bath has been a sore point between Mamakating and the Hasidic residents of Bloomingburg, who settled in the area after developer Shalom Lamm started building units in the small town several years ago.

Mamakating sued to prevent the building of the mikveh, claiming that it violated zoning regulations. Ultimately, the project was allowed to move forward after a state appeals court ruled that the mikveh counted as a “house of worship” and thus was permissible under building codes.

The town board of Mamakating condemned the incident, and urged those with information to contact the Sullivan County sheriff’s department, which is investigating the incident.

“As a town board, we take these actions of hate very seriously. We stand together with all residents of our community to say that this will not be tolerated in Mamakating, not now, not ever,” the statement read.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at solomon@forward.com or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon

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