N.Y. Councilman Apologizes for Implying Orthodox Jews Aren't Normal

Peter Bradley sorry for saying 'normal Jews and non-Jews alike were grieving' over Governor Cuomo meeting Orthodox leaders

An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man walks next to a synagogue during the celebrations of Simchat Torah at the Mea Shearim neighbourhood of Jerusalem October 1, 2018
\ RONEN ZVULUN/ REUTERS

A councilman in upstate New York has apologized for a text that juxtaposed Orthodox Jews with “normal” ones.

Peter Bradley, a member of the Clarkstown Town Council in Rockland County, apologized on Nov. 12 and again the following day at a council meeting for the statements he made on Nov. 2, less than a week after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in which 11 worshippers were killed.

On Facebook, Bradley criticized New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for visiting with Orthodox Hasidic Jewish community leaders.

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“Normal Jews and non-Jews alike were grieving at the JCC while they were meeting ‘the guy with the checkbook,’” wrote Bradley, who has been accused of using negative rhetoric about Jewish residents.

Before Tuesday’s Town Council meeting, demonstrators gathered outside Town Hall to protest his remark, the Rockland/Westchester Journal News reported.

“I do admit, the dialogue, the structure, the tone, has to be transitioned,” Bradley said during the meeting. He also said he has planned meetings with activists “just to get a grip on the complicated things … in Rockland.”

During a Nov. 8 interview on Channel 12 News, Bradley said that when he spoke of “normal” Jews, he meant “mainstream” or Reform Jews outside Ramapo, which also has a growing Orthodox community.