Teaneck Elections Spawn Political Fight With Orthodox Jews

5 08 2007

Article Abridged from by VosIzNeias.
Full article available here.

Teaneck, NJ – A wave of political unrest in Teaneck is pitting Orthodox Jewish township councilmen against other groups.

The disputes — which focus mostly on last year’s election and aren’t overtly about religion — have fueled stormy council meetings, angry Internet postings and letters to the local newspaper.

Some say the level of rancor reflects hidden community fissures that few want to discuss openly.

“When I heard the terminology of ‘we’ and ‘they’ and ‘the Orthodox’ — we need to talk about it,” veteran Councilwoman Jacqueline B. Kates said after a tumultuous council meeting June 26. “But I don’t think we know how to talk about it without hurting each other.”

Teaneck has long prided itself on diversity and tolerance. The township, which is 56 percent white and 29 percent African-American, was the first suburban community in the nation to voluntarily integrate its schools. During the past three decades, it has become one of the largest Orthodox Jewish enclaves in New Jersey.

Full article available here.

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