New Hasidic group seeks peace with Rockland secular community


NEW CITY – The members of Hasidic Peace International are unhappy with their community’s representation.  On Friday, Rabbi Yoel Loeb, the founder of the movement, lead a demonstration outside of Rockland County Government offices during which members of the group denounced Hasidic activists who they believe are harassing county officials and secular Rocklanders.

“Aaron Wieder [county legislator] be ashamed, don’t speak in our name!” chanted Rabbi Loeb and his fellow protestors, as they held up signs decrying the “take over” of the East Ramapo School District.

The protestors criticized Wieder and other Hasidic activists for “antagonizing the honorable County Executive Ed Day” who Wieder has accused of using anti-Semitic language in his political ads.

Rabbi Loeb and his group also echoed concerns voiced by many Rocklanders who feel displaced by the growing Hasidic community.  Specifically, the members of Hasidic Peace International condemned “the takeover of municipalities via block vote” saying “we are not to create our own municipalities and take away representation of non-Jewish neighbors.  I understand the pain of that and express sympathy.”

For years members of Rockland’s Hasidic community have been accused of manipulating local politics to push secular and non-Hasidic residents out of their neighborhoods.  Rabbi Loeb has acknowledged these concerns and criticized the “predatory tactics” employed by some members of his community.

“When you see some activists antagonize their neighbors, you should know this not our wish; this makes all the Hasidic people concerned,” said the Rabbi.  “According to the holy Torah we have to be very humble and peaceful in all the places we live in exile, unfortunately here in Rockland County for many years there has been a difficult situation between our community and county officials,” Loeb said.

Hasidic Peace International wants to rectify that.  The new group is working to create “peace between Hasidics and their neighbors.”  “We had to do that 20 years ago; better late than never,” he said.


Popular Stories