Orthodox Group Sues New Jersey Town For Ordering Eruv Removal by the Forward

Orthodox Group Sues New Jersey Town For Ordering Eruv Removal

Image by Wikimedia

(JTA) — An Orthodox Jewish group has sued a town in New Jersey for ordering it to remove an eruv, or religious boundary, from utility poles in the town.

The Bergen Rockland Eruv Association and two residents of Rockland County on Friday filed a federal lawsuit against the town of Mahwah, saying the town is violating their constitutional and civil rights.

Mahwah had told the South Monsey Eruv Fund to remove the white plastic piping from utility poles that it uses for the symbolically enclosed area by Aug. 4. An eruv allows observant Jews to carry objects and push strollers outside of their homes on Shabbat.

The Orthodox community told The Associated Press last month that it had been given permission to hang the piping by the local utility company. But town officials said the piping is banned because it is considered signage.

Town officials told the Associated Press that the town will start issuing summonses by next week if the piping is not removed.

“The object, motivation and effect of the actions of the township is to suppress the religious practices of the plaintiffs and certain other Jews who reside in Airmont and other parts of Rockland County (in New York),” the lawsuit states, according to AP. “The eruv presents no aesthetic, safety, traffic, fiscal or other concern to Mahwah.”

Town Mayor Bill Laforet has called on the council to hold off on issuing summonses and to instead negotiate with the eruv group. He said a legal fight over the eruv could be costly for the city, the AP reported.

Author

Orthodox Group Sues New Jersey Town For Eruv Removal

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Orthodox Group Sues New Jersey Town For Ordering Eruv Removal

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close