Larry Gordon, Editor in chief of the Five Towns Jewish Times, sent this video to Arutz Sheva. The recording is public record and can be seen on the village website.
Rockville Center is a village of about 25,000 on the South Shore of Long Island, in Nassau County, New York.
In this video, a Rockville Center LI resident warns the town board about what might happen if Orthodox Jews move in as they did to the nearby Five Towns area consisting of Lawrence, Cedarhurst, Woodmere, Hewlett and Inwood. She is not embarrassed to openly try to prevent Jews from moving into her neighborhood by outlawing the establishment of synagogues in homes, adding as an asde that this is done to avoid paying taxes and describing the other negative effects of a possible influx of Orthodox Jews.
This is a startling and shocking presentation. It is natural for people to want the place in which they grew up to stay the same, but that is usually confined to sentimental reminiscing about old times. Neighborhoods change their character frequently for many different reasons, among them upward or downward mobility, urban renewal, proximity of employment opportunities, a desire to leave the city or to be closer to it. The longtime residents always find that hard to watch, but it is a part of modern Americana - and the modern world.
There was a long period in the history of the United States when people of color found themselves unable to be accepted in established, WASP neighborhoods - that is, if they succeeded in purchasing a home in any of them. Those days seem, hopefully, to be over, and in that case, the feeling of "them and us" has become simply "us."
A shocking aspect of this video is how similar it is to the way white people would try to prevent people of color from moving near them. More shocking is the blatant anti-Semitism expressed in it, with anti-Semitic tropes that have made a comeback after being considered bad form in the decades following the Holocaust.
a. Orthodox Jews are basically described as scheming interlopers, trying to take over this woman's neighborhood after their moving into the Five Towns caused her to leave the town in which she grew up.
b. As usual, the well-worn anti-Semitic tropes about Jews "taking over" ignore the fact that there are only about 6-7 million Jews in the entire United States, of whom less than 20% are Orthodox, this in a country of over 300 million people. True, many Orthodox Jews live in the New York area, but there are just not that many of them.
c. She explains that Orthodox Jews create communities because they do not drive on Shabbat and therefore must live near a synagogue. That is described as a problem, their Jewish symbols seen as a blot on the landscape instead of a symbol of American diversity.
Should Orthodox Jews be able to move wherever they wish to establish a community in the USA?
Is this not a message that Jews have heard before- and perhaps an early wake-up call?