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Resident: Council Was Accusatory Toward Hatikvah

Writer says it seemed as though the council was either contradicting the zoning board's decision, or questioning its own lack of trust and faith in the board's members.

Dear Editor,

Having taught in public schools for 32 years prior to my retirement, I tend to follow local school related issues.  As a 40-year resident of East Brunswick let me make it clear that I have no personal connection to the Hatikvah Charter School—neither through the students nor the employees. Nonetheless, I did attend the December town council meeting.

The purpose of the meeting was to address a request made by two East Brunswick residents that appealed the unanimous decision of the zoning board, which had granted approval for Hatikvah to relocate to a facility on Lexington Avenue.  Hatikvah has been renting space at the Trinity Presbyterian Church on Cranbury Road for the past three years.

It was made clear that the school had already held two public hearings, retained experts in various fields such as traffic engineers, environmental consultants, and planners, had successfully gone through the formality of the zoning board process, and ultimately received unanimous approval of the zoning board to build a permanent home for the school on the property in question.

To an objective observer, the tone of the council appeared accusatory.  Rather than acknowledging the validation and approval of the zoning board, the council appeared to be conducting a trial in an attempt to overrule the decision.

It seemed as though the council was either contradicting the decision or perhaps questioning its own lack of trust and faith in a board whose members were appointed by none other than the town council members themselves.

In either case, I was saddened to have witnessed what appeared to be an undermining of the political process.

Judy Mischne

Paying Attention January 07, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Sale price of 7 Lexington Ave from Plumrose USA Inc to Eisenreich Family Foundation on August 14, 12 days after the EB Zoning Board use variance approval, was $2,715,000. Note: These are not your tax dollars.... but it does provide some insight into how these charter schools are financed.
Norman January 08, 2013 at 01:17 PM
@ Paying Attention: This has some interesting undertones....would you mind elaborating a bit as to what you are trying to say here?
Paying Attention January 08, 2013 at 05:36 PM
Over the past few years as Hatikvah Charter School emerged in our community, I admit to not paying much attention. I assumed local residents had sought a charter out of a perceived need for their children not satisfied by our public schools (like full-day Kindergarten or free language training). After the use variance was approved by the EB Zoning Board, I began to pay more attention and wondered how this school, with but a few hundred students and fewer tax dollars per student than other public schools in our district, had the funds to lease space at their current location, purchase and renovate a new building, pay attorneys, engineers, other expert witnesses, and administrators and STILL pay teachers and educate children. A bit of research revealed that a foundation based outside East Brunswick spent $2.7 million to purchase property for the school and seems to be providing much of the financial support I wondered about. The interconnections of at least two of the school's Trustees/Board members with the Eisenreich Foundation, OMNI Healthcare, Bayonne Medical Center, Steinhardt Foundation, etc, ALL outside of East Brunswick, made me wonder why they have invested so much in a charter school in East Brunswick.
Paying Attention January 08, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Re Schaap and Steinhardt Foundation According to Wikipedia, the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life is a "New York-based non-profit which funds projects and programs aimed at improving Jewish education and identify" its founder is Michael Steinhardt, a former hedge fund manager. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steinhardt_Foundation_for_Jewish_Life Re Spektor linkages to Bayonne Medical Center and Eisenreich See Bayonne Medical: Fraudulent Transfer and Value Nov 30, 2011 http://www.assetprotectionbook.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=1634 Re Eisenreich, OMNI Healthcare and Bayonne Medical Center land deal See Campaign Records May Prove Conflict of Interest,Hudson Reporter Oct 19,'11 http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/16089429/article-Campaign-records-may-prove-conflict-of-interest-Creditors-who-are-owed---by-BMC-hospital-management-want-more-money-for-land-deal-?instance=secondary_stories_left_column
Nga January 11, 2013 at 03:41 PM
How dare you say MY child is endangered!!!!!! As a parent of Hatikvah I make sure MY child is well taken care of and safe . When the school tries to continue to keep our children safe they are delayed by pety complaints about whats already been given. If residents were so worried about safety why dont they come with the facts as Hatikvah did----- ,with MANY EXPERTS.

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