Friday, March 03, 2006

New Paltz NY Anti-Semitism

Chabad-house being attacked? DailyFreeman: The Town Board has condemned incidents of vandalism and behavior targeting the local Jewish community. The resolution was adopted at the behest of town resident Ira Margolis, who last month requested the board denounce what he says has been an increasing number of instances of "Judeo-phobic behavior" and "acts of prejudice against people of Jewish heritage." Town Supervisor Toni Hokanson subsequently had Margolis' proposed resolution reworded by the town attorney, and it was adopted unanimously by the board last week. Margolis said the board's support "meant a lot as a secular person of Jewish heritage." He said a recent request by Rabbi Moshe Plotkin to use his South Oakwood Terrace residence in the village as an Orthodox Jewish Chabad house triggered the most recent wave of anti-Semitic behavior. Last year, he said, windows were broken at the Jewish Community Center on state Route 32 and a local business during the holiday season. Police attributed those cases to juvenile mischief. In May 2004, neo-Nazi graffiti appeared on a wooden fence near the New Paltz Post Office, and the following month, Nazi literature was distributed to New Paltz and Rosendale residents. A few years ago, Margolis said, swastikas appeared on sidewalks along state Route 32, and after village officials refused to remove them, he said, he personally performed the task. Plotkin's plan to convert the home he shares with his wife and three small children into a Chabad house, a combination residence and house of worship, required a special permit as a nonconforming use. Village planners struggled with language in the village zoning law that did not specifically address a Chabad House........
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