An Orthodox Jewish Rockland County legislator on Thursday denounced comments made online by a fellow legislator following a contentious hearing about yeshivos the night before.
Legislator Aron Weider, a Spring Valley Democrat took Laurie Santulli to task for referring to the way the hearing was led as “Gestapo-like.” She also called Weider and others who testified “religious zealots” for defending the education provided by yeshivos.
“It’s hard to believe that in the year 2018, Legislator Laurie Santulli would choose to use the words ‘religious zealots’ to characterize observant Jews,” Wieder said, “simply because we hold a different point of view and want to protect religious freedom, the very foundation this great country was built upon.”
Santulli sponsored a resolution at the board’s Multi-Services committee Tuesday night calling on the state to aggressively enforce the secular studies mandate in yeshivos. The motion failed in committee.
Within hours of the resolution’s failure, Santulli took to her online page to blame Wieder and Legislator Phil Soskin, the chair of the Multi-Services committee, for the failure.
“What we all witnessed last night was religious zealots hijacking our government to protect their perceived rights,” posted Santulli, a Congers Republican.
She added that she would like to “apologize to those who attended for the gestapo-like actions by Legislator Soskin by using the sheriffs officers to intimidate those who spoke.”
Weider said that “by her own words, Legislator Laurie Santulli has allied herself with other notorious haters of religious Jews in Rockland County. I denounce them all.”