Earlier today Philly.com published a report about the recent invasion of Orthodox Jews in Toms River Township. For the most part, I must say, the report was fairly balanced, and given the immense amount of hate and bigotry that has been disseminated in recent months, I give them a lot of credit.
But I learned something new. The article cites one Laurie Venditto, a homeowner in Toms River:
In adjacent Toms River, those tensions started in late 2014 when bearded men in wide hats began knocking on doors. They had friends in Brooklyn, they said, who would pay top dollar for the houses.
“The guy who came around our street called himself ‘Charles from Brooklyn,’ ” homeowner Laurie Venditto recalled.
He “must have been here 20 or 30 times” to tell her and others on Hunters Court that his fellow Haredi Jews were moving in.
“He said we wouldn’t want to live here when he was done,” Venditto recalled, speaking in the ground-floor office of her corner home.
Sidenote: I wonder if Charles from Brooklyn left a business card or a phone number? He did stop by “20 or 30 times”. I guess if the Vendittos wanted to sell their house, they would have to wait for Charles from Brooklyn to stop by a 31st time? Just wondering out loud.
The article concludes:
In Toms River, Venditto said she and her husband had gotten past their initial resistance to last year’s “threatening” message of “Charles from Brooklyn,” and had recently listed their home for sale – with an Orthodox-owned real estate firm.
Eleven of the 23 houses on Hunters Court and two adjacent cul-de-sacs have sold since 2015 at an average price of $631,000.
Venditto said she will miss her home of 19 years.
“We raised our children here.” But with their children grown, and the housing market hot, it seemed a good time to move on. “It’s the circle of life,” she said with a shrug.
Her new Orthodox neighbors across the street are “lovely,” Venditto said. But the real estate agents bearing what she called ” ‘suitcases of cash’ . . . gave me the feeling I was not welcome.”
Cash. Cash is what convinced the Vendittos to sell. Actually, cash gave them the feeling that they were not welcome. Who new cash could be so bad? Sounds terrible. They actually had to sell their home because of the “suitcases of cash”. My heart goes out to this lovely family.
The only question that remains is how do we fight this new monster?