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Mikvah backlash

The Brooklyn Paper
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To The Editor:

I am writing with total disgust to your recent front page article, “Ritual bath brawl.” The article is so biased, and does not represent the same Community Board 15 Zoning and Board meetings that I attended.

If one reads the article, one would get the impression that the neighbors were against the mikvah, and the board members voted without looking at the mikvah plans. Both facts are not true.

As to the public speakers, of which there were nearly 40, only three to four spoke out against the mikvah. In fact, the two neighbors, whose property would be directly impacted by the mikvah spoke out in direct favor of the project.

As to the plans for the mikvah, when I came to the meeting, I went to the front desk, and the community board staff kindly provided me with a copy of the plans for the mikvah (and the other zoning items on the agenda).

In fact, on times too numerous to count, Mrs. Scavo, the community board chair, and Mr. Tawil, the Zoning Committee chair, said a copy of the plans were available for anyone to pickup in front of the audience room.

What I am more concerned about is the blatant anti-Semitism and anti-religious attitude, which oozed out of the speakers against the mikvah, and which is represented by the comments attributed to Sharon Serkin and Kathy Jaworksi in your article. They reflect the ‘pushy Jew’ argument used by all anti-Semites.

Ms. Serkin is quoted that the mikvah people have the view that “the attitude is, this is our neighborhood, and we’ll do what we want.” Mrs. Jaworski is quoted in your paper as stating that “the pervasive attitude among newcomers is not to blend in but to come in like bulldozers.” She, clearly, does not know her area, or represent it.

There is an overwhelming orthodox Jewish presence in her area, and they have been there for a long time. They are not newcomers.

From attending this meeting, I have come to the conclusion that Mrs. Jaworski and her group, the Madison Marine Homeowners Association, does not truly represent the majority orthodox Jewish community in the Madison section of Brooklyn.

In fact, none of this group’s meetings are held in a church, where orthodox Jews, pursuant to religious law, are not allowed to enter. Have a meeting where people cannot attend, and then they won’t.

I read the comments in your paper by Morris Harary. He states that “people’s needs matter, not trees.” Good for him. This is what a local community board should be about, representing the people.

Manifred Prager

Sheepshead Bay

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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