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Tenafly, New Jersey Eruv Controversy

In a brief filed with the United States Court of Appeals in the crucial case involving an eruv in Tenafly, New Jersey, Nathan Lewin, Orthodox Jewry's foremost constitutional litigation lawyer, presented an important argument that will, if successful, insulate all eruvim in the United States against similar constitutional attack. The Tenafly Council ordered Cablevision to remove 183 plastic strips that the Eruv Association had attached to utility poles to be used as "lechis," which are necessary to complete an eruv. Many reportedly had reason to believe, from the debate that had preceded the order of removal, that Tenafly was simply trying to keep Orthodox Jews out of the town. But all the Council members swore that they had no anti-Orthodox bias ? which would have meant that their action against the eruv was a violation of the Constitution ? and the federal judge believed them.

What Is Going On Here?

Last week we addressed the widespread feeling that a monumental failure of the American intelligence apparatus contributed to the World Trade Center disaster. Indeed, tragically, every day brings new revelations of clues all around us of the impending onslaught, from the hijackers signing on for flight training limited to flying but not taking off and landing, to a total collapse of our illegal immigrant tracking system. Perhaps the most remarkable is what apparently was making the rounds of the Internet. In Friday's Washington Times' "Inside the Beltway" column, the following appeared:

Sabbath Observing Professor Wins Signal Legal Victory

A Sabbath-observant Orthodox Associate Professor of Education at William Paterson College, a state-run university in New Jersey, won a resounding landmark victory from a federal court of appeals in her religious-discrimination lawsuit. A unanimous Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a 38-page opinion sending the claims of Dr. Gertrude Abramson back to trial court for a full jury trial on her allegations that she had been subjected to a ''hostile work environment'' because of harassment relating to her observance of the Sabbath and Jewish religious holidays. The Court also upheld her claims that her employment had been terminated because she observed religious holidays, and that the College retaliated against her because she maintained her religious observance.

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/tenafly-new-jersey-eruv-controversy/2001/12/07/

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