Three communities in the Hamptons on Long Island have repeatedly denied requests from local Orthodox Jewish groups to place an eruv on utility poles. The markers create a boundary in which observant Jews are allowed to perform manual labor tasks without violating the Sabbath. After two years of wrangling, a lawsuit has now been filed, charging the towns with infringing on religious freedom by refusing to allow the eruv to be placed on city property.
"Our efforts for rational discussion and fair treatment have been met with harsh words and obvious discrimination," Marvin Tenzer, EEEA's president, said in a statement. "These villages and town are violating our constitutional and civil rights by engaging in an active campaign to obstruct our ability to practice our religion."
Eruvs have been placed in many communities—there's one around the White House and another in Manhattan that runs from river-to river. But when the issue first surfaced in the Hamptons in 2008, local residents expressed concerns that allowing the eruv would lead to an influx of Orthodox Jews.