The Orthodox Jewish community of Monsey, a town in Rockland County north of New York City, is in an uproar following publication of alleged statements by a public official calling for the diversion of state funding away from the community, with the expressed purpose of reining in population growth among local Jews.
At the center of the controversy is Rockland County Executive Edwin Day, a retired Bronx detective, who according to the testimony of Human Rights Commissioner Sreeramulu Nagubandi, had pressed to have public funds denied to the city of Ramapo in a bid to curtail the growth of the city’s Orthodox Jewish community.
The city of Ramapo includes heavily-Jewish hamlets like Monsey and Spring Valley.
Nagubandi, who sued Day over an attempt to dismiss him from the position of Human Rights Commissioner, testified to the court that “the County Executive [Day] and some members of his administration have a goal to limit the growth of the Religious Jewish Community in Rockland County.”
“Specifically,” Nagubandi told the court, “I have personally heard from the County Executive regarding providing any funding to the Town of Ramapo in my capacity as the Director that I should be careful not to give too much money as that would only allow for the Jewish Religious Community to ‘continue growing’.”
“In fact, I am aware that the Deputy County Executive who represents the County Executive has personally told me about the Religious Jewish Community, ‘We can’t stop them, but we can and must try to slow their growth down’.”
Aron Wieder, a county legislator, blasted Day for the alleged comments.
“My children…what in the world have they done wrong to merit the wrath and hatred of Mr. Ed Day.”
“Mr. Day, my family has not wronged you in any way. Why, oh why, would you want to limit their growth?”