A New Square mystery

What happened in New Square on Sunday night?

Don’t ask me.

About 500 Hasidic Jews held what police called an “unorganized protest about a conflict within the community,” according to my colleague Akiko Matsuda.

Someone put 8 minutes of video up on YouTube. But watching it sheds little light (at least for me) about what was going on.

At one point, the crowd (or part of the crowd) seems to be chanting: “Stop the terror now.”

What is the terror? Who knows?

According to some commentary on the YouTube post and the comments that followed, the conflict had to do with a certain faction(s) trying to force someone out of the community for following the advice of the wrong rebbe.

So there.

UPDATE: But wait, there’s more.

Apparently, some 800 people came out last night for another protest in New Square.

According to my colleague Steve Lieberman: “Ramapo police were still looking into the cause, but they believe the protests centered on who can worship at a synagogue at 91 Washington Ave. and other conflicts involving two factions within the Hasidic Jewish community.”

It’s no wonder, really, that these protests mean little to the outside world.

You have one group (or more) of Hasidic Jews trying to send a message to another group (or more). They’re not interested in providing play-by-play for curious onlookers.

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.