Edison Councilman Sam Joshi apologizes, meets with Rabbi Aaron Kotler in Lakewood: “Contrary to outside opinions, I saw first hand there was practically no one outdoors”

Statement from Sam Joshi in response to his Facebook post:

This morning I drove to Lakewood, New Jersey and was blessed to meet Rabbi Aaron Kotler from Lakewood, the largest Yeshiva outside of Israel and with Michael Cohen from Simon Wiesenthal Center. Lakewood is totally shut down including all schools, yeshivas, and synagogues. It was saddening to see that the synagogues were padlocked-shut due to COVID precautions. Contrary to outside opinions, I saw first hand there was practically no one outdoors.

I stress this because I made a huge error of judgment in this age of viral social media. Yesterday, I posted about the Corona pandemic with a reference to Lakewood, New Jersey. During these tense times of combatting a deadly virus and social isolation for all of us, the post should never have been made. As soon as I was made aware it could have been used by anti-Semites to spread their hateful agenda, I immediately took the post down. To Lakewood, to the Jewish community in Edison, my Jewish friends, to all my neighbors of all faiths, creeds, and ethnicities, my sincerest apologies. I ask for your understanding and forgiveness. I will strive to better in the future for all my neighbors in New Jersey– in good times and bad.

*Note* Our meeting was entirely compliant with social distancing laws. We met for over an hour while keeping socially distant outdoors and had three separates cars on a conference call while driving.

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  1. I’m sorry. If a regular citizen does this & apologizes, is one thing. But this guy is an elected official. He can NOT, under any circumstances say anything negative based on race, religion or ethnicity. Had he made a comment about Af-Ams, it would be on national TV.
    Chutzpah !!

  2. This was not a simple “I’m sorry”. Spending many hours investigating the situation is a sincere gesture, and should be recognized as such.

  3. רשעים מלאים חרטות.

    Anti-semites are always apologizing. Their slander goes viral while no one knows about the retractions. Thanks but no thanks.

  4. Unfortunately, I think he really meant it. Otherwise why would he have said it in the first place? He apologized and met Rabbi Kotler to save his face, the people of Edison – which is by the way the largest Indian community in the US – and look politically correct.

    And to Shana above – the Indian American community is one of the most educated, affluent and successful communities in the US now. They are on par with your Orthodox Community and the larger Jewish American one. So he did not want to make Indian Americans look bad either.

  5. wat is the reason for smile faces in Joshi original face book post
    corona virus = not funny ; ppl r sick & dying
    same guy was in ‘ nj . com ‘ news on mar 8 2020 ; petition say 1900 + ppl want him out … guy can not stay out of trouble

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