For the past few months, TLS took a deep dive into allegations being made by Agudath Israel of America and Orthodox Jewish residents of Jackson that township officials have been discriminating against them in various ways.
After researching the matter for a while, it became obvious that things in Jackson seemed fishy, and as we began writing about the oddities, numerous residents reached out to TLS telling their own stories and experiences with Jackson officials.
Some of the most disturbing incidents which TLS wrote about was the apparent spying on Jews by council president Rob Nixon, and how mayor Mike Reina targeted sukkas and eruvs. Our reports were based, on the most part, from information received from residents and documents obtained via OPRA.
But now, a former Jackson official seems to have confirmed that top Jackson officials have a vendetta against Orthodox Jews.
In a deposition given in the Oros Bais Yaakov lawsuit against Jackson Township, former Councilmember Ann Updegrave, who served on the Council from 2006 until the end of 2018, was questioned regarding the motive behind the decision to deny the building of a dormitory to complement the proposed Oros Bais Yaakov building.
Ms. Updegrave was then asked whether she considers Michael Reina an anti-Semite, to which she replied in the affirmative. She was then asked if she considers Rob Nixon an anti-Semite, and once again answered in the affirmative. Asked about whether Barry Calogero, a Jackson councilman who also enjoys a cushy job with the US Department of Agriculture, is an anti-Semite Ms. Updegrave once again replied that she did, indeed, believe him to be one as well.
This deposition was included as evidence in Friday’s massive court filing requesting an emergency injunction against Jackson’s discriminatory ordinances targeting Orthodox Jews. Ms. Updegrave was speaking under oath, meaning she could face legal trouble if she were being dishonest. As such, it is only fair to take her at her word.
So there you have it – one of Jackson’s politicians saying that her former fellow council members, and the mayor, are anti-Semites.
The question now is what actions will be taken.
Will the State finally decide to get involved?
Will NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal step in and take action?
Will Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Bilhimer do something about this?
Will other media outlets even acknowledge this scandal, or continue their habit of sweeping issues involving Jews under the rug? These questions remain to be answered.
More to come.Jennings Exh 19