LAKEWOOD DRAMA: Was Toms River Mayor’s Campaign Flyer Antisemitic?

50

TOMS RIVER (VINnews) — Last week, residents of Toms River, New Jersey, received a campaign mailer from Mayor Mo Hill that some believe contained antisemitic messaging.

Join our WhatsApp group

Subscribe to our Daily Roundup Email


After listing certain struggles of the past four years, including “COVID, the presidential election, the woke culture war…rampant inflation,” the mayor listed another problem: “People of different cultures fleeing the cities buying up our real estate; attracted by our location and affordability, they are seemingly threatening the way of life that attracts them.”

Tova Herskovitz, an Orthodox Jewish resident of Toms River and founder of “One Ocean County” published an open letter to the mayor and posted it on Twitter.

In the letter, she wrote that she was worried about her 12-year-old son checking the mail because of the flyer. She pointed out how the Orthodox community is not at fault for the problems facing Toms River.

Herskovitz cited some of the messages including:

– Toms River “belongs” to the people who owned homes here prior to 2020.
– Toms River was a thriving community before “people of a different culture “ sneaked in.
– Toms River has closed borders to anyone not born here.
– There is a specific culture that is acceptable for Toms River residents that included Roman Catholic Christians with Italian or Irish heritage.

“You paint a dire picture of an idyllic suburban lifestyle destroyed by outsiders,” Herskovitz wrote. “Actually, it’s the insiders who have been hurting this lovely town that I’m proud to call home.”

She noted that the Orthodox population “does not endorse large scale housing developments and moved here precisely to enjoy the quieter pace.”

In his response to Herskovitz, Hill published his own letter. One of the points he made was that he finds it difficult to address the fears and frustrations of local non-Jewish residents about the Orthodox community, without offending the orthodox community.

Hill wrote: “The gap between what was actually written on my campaign flyer, what we intended to convey, and how it was received by you and some other members of the Orthodox Jewish community is astonishingly wide. This is an indication of how far we are from understanding each other and how much work we have to do together to be better neighbors.”

Hill said he was upset that Herskovitz and other members of Toms River’s Orthodox community found the flier’s message threatening or derogatory.

“To be very clear, my campaign flyer was in no way intended to imply that Toms River “belongs” to any exclusive group based upon how long they have lived here, that our borders are closed to anyone who is of a different culture than those who already reside here, or that Roman Catholic Italians and Irish are the only “acceptable” residents of our township,” the mayor wrote. “That you received our message that way is eye opening and upsetting. But rather than avoid the upset, I think it would be more useful to use it as a baseline to measure how far apart the various segments of our town are from understanding each other.”

He added, “Here’s my dilemma: How do I address the fears and frustrations of some residents about the growth of the Orthodox Jewish community, without offending some members of the Orthodox Jewish community? So far, my attempts at bridging the gap without upsetting or offending anyone, on all sides, have not been successful.

“Moving forward, I welcome your offer to work together to find solutions to the issues facing our town,” Hill added. ” I hope that together we can foster a greater understanding of the needs of the Orthodox Jewish community in a way that helps eliminate any fear, frustration and bigotry throughout the town.”


Listen to the VINnews podcast on:

iTunes | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Podbean | Amazon

Follow VINnews for Breaking News Updates


Connect with VINnews

Join our WhatsApp group


50 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
triumphinwhitehouse
triumphinwhitehouse
1 year ago

remember last week in Boro park they didnt want for a developer to bring in yuppies? SAME THING

Mr. Cohen
Mr. Cohen
1 year ago

My sincere advice to all Jews:

NEVER accuse any person of anti-Semitism, unless you have rock-solid evidence to prove it.

Also, try to avoid accusing any person of anti-Semitism, because of ONE bad thing they said, or because of ONE bad thing they did – instead, look for a consistent pattern of repeated bad behavior.

If you accuse any person of anti-Semitism, and your accusation is not true, then you are in danger of making CHILLUL HASHEM [G*D forbid].

Last-but-not-least, do not accuse any person of anti-Semitism, unless you first discuss the problem with Rabbis and/or people who are at least 40 years old.

Needs to be said
Needs to be said
1 year ago

I think I understand where the mayor is coming from, if if we believe that was not the intention of his campaign flyer.

I don’t live in the Lakewood area nor do I want to however, I could certainly understand why the people who live in the surrounding areas but might be worried because of the migration, we will call it, coming from Lakewood proper. When you look at Lakewood proper there’s far too many “bungalow colonies” that have gone up over the past many years. While for us it does something nice but bringing people who live together and this way our kids can have friends etc it also the ability to make the area look like a chazirshtal. Looking any of the developments and you’ll see what I’m talking about. There are toys all over the place, there’s garbage which the township didn’t pick up correctly all over the place etc. Some of it is the fault of the people who live there and some of it is the fault of others for a lack of serious planning.

So I understand why some people in the surrounding areas would be nervous. In Jackson there are developments going up as well which has the ayno yehudim in Jackson being very concerned. Simply said, do away with the developments and things might be better .

That being said we all know the halocha that עשו שונא ליעקב so regardless of what it is or what it isn’t, they’ll always find a way to complain. We just need to do what we need to do, which means we need to do the right thing and give them one less thing to complain about so that they can find something else.

Hakon
Hakon
1 year ago

You just hit the ball out of the park, Archy. Amazing. Yes it’s not about religion. It’s about unwanted changes to an environment you consider home. And when we call this antisemitism, we create antisemitism. People have a legitimate interest in who moves into their country,,, or neighborhood.

Schmerel
Schmerel
1 year ago

People have to understand that few people if anyone appreciate changing demographics that involve their group getting smaller and other groups who don’t shares their values or vision for how things in town should be becoming bigger and a larger influence in town.

Having lived in a place that experienced white flight I’ll say that (1) the big talking liberals pushing fair housing were from the first to run (2)it makes me far more sympathetic to the feelings of those who resent our moving in large numbers to their town than most people I know are.

Of course there should not be anything preventing us from moving somewhere and any attempts to do so need to be fought but on the other hand we should not be screaming antisemitism anytime someone tries to keep their towns demographics stable.

Public confrontation and screams of antisemitism is far more likely to create antisemitism than prevent it

Lgb
Lgb
1 year ago

I don’t think it’s antisemitism but it’s irrelevant anyway. It’s only a matter of time before the entire area is orthodox. Just like Ramapo in Rockland

Abba
Abba
1 year ago

The below quote sums it all.

To Hill: You’re correct. It’s challenging and if you aren’t up for the job, then step down and let have a real leader. As a leader you need to figure out a way to bring everyone together.

“He added, “Here’s my dilemma: How do I address the fears and frustrations of some residents about the growth of the Orthodox Jewish community, without offending some members of the Orthodox Jewish community? “

Kvetch
Kvetch
1 year ago

Here’s how: Follow the path of truth. Aim to pls everyone you’ll pls no one.

Musmuch
Musmuch
1 year ago

You are wrong! They only do this because they hate us (Esav Sonei). That’s the only reason. After all we are the perfect neighbors. We don’t commit crimes like all Goyim do. In fact we bring much Torah to the area which showers the Goyim with bracha as well.
It’s obvious the only reason they hate us is because they hate us & that’s why they hate us.

Hatikvah
Hatikvah
1 year ago

Yawn

sick ppl
sick ppl
1 year ago

guess who voted him in???WE DID. if not for that he would’ve never won.
i remember the elections.

Dr. Nat
Dr. Nat
1 year ago

Why did you call it a “Lakewood Drama”? It’s a Toms River drama.

Could Be
Could Be
1 year ago

Very valid point; but the question then becomes the following: the Yiddishe birthrate is b”H quite high. Where do we go? If we build in our current areas, we are overdeveloping and negatively affecting the surrounding non-Jewish areas . If we move out to other areas, even if they are not overdeveloped, we will be brining in all of the issues you mention above; thus increasing hate of the current population.
Interestingly enough, the birth rate was the issue that the Mitriyim had with us as well (and that’s when we were in our “own” community of Goshen); yet the Torah seems (it doesn’t explicitly say this, but I believe that it is implied) to consider this anti-Semitism.
As an aside, b”H, the last 20 odd years are the first time in history that we are seeing this, as for the last 2,000 years there were so many Yidden being oisgeshuchtin every few years that the population never grew that much. b”H the Eibeshter is giving us some menucha!

Captain obvious
Captain obvious
1 year ago

They don’t like the fact that Jews are moving in despite the fact that they increase property values, lower crime, and have conservative politics. Would they rather another demographic which do the reverse of those three?

Me 123
Me 123
1 year ago

Toms River was known as a chiclhood cluster area which came to light in the 1990’s. That has probably more to do with the steep population reduction from 1990-2000.

Ruby
Ruby
1 year ago

Stop whining, everyone understands..we are worlds apart be quiet and vote

I was a Democrat until I saw the light
I was a Democrat until I saw the light
1 year ago

In this country demographic continue to change. I guess the mayor of Toms River firs t get it The days of no Jew wanted are over Your neighbors sue are selling their houses for 4ir 5 times what they osid and moving to Florida or another tax environment
What your worried about us losing your job

Lakevood
Lakevood
1 year ago

Oh, so now the hate shows itself. What did we expect from an “anti-woke” republican, just like Ed Day in Rockland. If you vote for thses guys, the antisemitism usually shows up sooner or later.