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.