Monday, May 22, 2017

Charity whose rabbi sought to deregulate circumcisions sues city 

Charity whose rabbi sought to deregulate circumcisions sues city

A Williamsburg charity is suing the city for not getting a tax break in what insiders say is mayoral payback for its rabbi’s role in the circumcision controversy.

The city wrongfully revoked a property-tax exemption of a building owned by the United Jewish Organizations, the group claims in a lawsuit filed Friday in Manhattan Supreme Court.

City officials said they were open to revisiting the issue if UJO filed an appeal of the revocation. But insiders said the city’s move was a sign Mayor de Blasio is displeased with the group’s leader, Rabbi David Niederman, who has tussled with City Hall over the regulation of mohels who practice oral circumcision rites.

In the metzitzah b’peh ritual, the mohel sucks blood from the wound left by the cut foreskin. Several newborns have contracted herpes during the bris ritual.

De Blasio cut a deal with Hasidic leaders in 2015 that would allow the ritual to go on without a consent form as long as the community identified mohels spreading the infection. But the city has been unhappy with the level of cooperation.

“City Hall is pissed at Niederman for his circumcision shenanigans,” said one Jewish leader with ties to both City Hall and Niederman. “They’re not going to help him with any issues, such as the building’s property-tax exemption.”

UJO is converting a property at 500 Bedford Ave., which has been tax exempt since 2001, into a condo. The city said the building’s change in mission disqualified it from an exemption.

“The city never questioned UJO’s December application to renew the exemption before rejecting it in January,” the UJO argued in its filing.


Not sure if Neiderman can play hard ball with the city, after all ball is not allowed in Chasidic Yeshivos.


I take umbrage at the line "Several newborns have contracted herpes during the bris ritual". to date, as much as they have tried, and believe me they have tried, not one single case of Herpes have ever been traced back to the circumcision ceremony. In almost all the cases there was evidence that the virus transmission preceded the ceremony. (ie. the mother had it) In the rest of the cases a close family member had it.

In all the documentation and testing done they could never find a mohel that had it when the baby tested positive.


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