Modern Orthodox developer Shalom Lamm (pictured at right), a son of the former Chancellor of Yeshiva University Rabbi Norman Lamm, claims he has lived for two years in the tiny 420-person village that had no other Orthodox Jews, no synagogue and no rabbi. Lamm's claim has been challenged by locals and will likely end up in court.
Bloomingburg Votes, Anti-Lamm Candidate Leads By More Than 3 To 1, But Many Votes Still Uncounted Due To Court Order
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Frank Gerardi – a staunch opponent of Shalom Lamm’s controversial Satmar hasidic “shtetl” being developed in Bloomingburg, New York – leads the incumbent mayor of the tiny 420 person village, Mark Berentsen, 81 to 25 in yesterday’s election.
Berentsen is seen by locals as a crony of Lamm.
Lamm is attempting to build 396 townhouses he first maintained were to be country homes centered around a golf course. The golf course was never developed and the townhouses, which are currently under construction, have become a Satmar-only hasidic village. Lamm allegedly used deception, lies and even bribes to get permits and zoning changes needed for the Satmar development.
The FBI raided Lamm’s office and many other properties he owns in the tiny village late last week in what appears to be an ongoing investigation into attempted voter fraud on behalf of Lamm and Satmar and other irregularities.
Satmar has registered dozens of new voters in the village over the past few months, many reportedly with the same street address.
234 total votes were cast yesterday, but 126 of them were challenged.
Those challenges must be examined. Once that is completed, legal appeals of the decisions on many of them will likely be made. The process could take months and, until then Berentsen and the current village trustees will remain in office, the Times Herald-Record reported.
Sullivan County Supreme Court Judge Stephan Schick ruled last week that all voters whose registrations were challenged had to vote with an affidavit swearing they live at the address they used to register. All of those ballots were sealed and locked away without being opened or counted. They will reportedly remain that way until all legal appeals have been exhausted.
Lamm now claims residency in Bloomingburg and voted yesterday. His vote and affidavit are under seal. He reportedly read the following statement outside village hall after he voted:
"Today, my faith in America is shaken. I have lived in Bloomingburg for more than two years and yet I was not permitted to vote like every other American. I am sad and disheartened. No matter what the outcome is today, I hope, I pray, and I will work so that we can all come together and heal to make Bloomingburg a better place to live,” said Lamm, who has been quick to shout anti-Semitism every time locals, the media or law enforcement has uncovered questionable activities committed by him of by Satmar hasidim.
Lamm is a Modern Orthodox Jew. Bloomingburg does not have an Orthodox or hasidic synagogue and had no Orthodox or hasidic residents until very recently, and many locals believe Lamm’s residency in Bloomingburg is fiction – legal or otherwise.
More than 80 anti-Lamm voters had their registration challenged by Lamm or his supporters, but unlike the hasidim who descended on Bloomingburg at last minute, many have lived in the village for years.
"I've lived here the last 10 years. Come on,” Julia Phillips, one of those locals whose registration was challenged by a Lamm supporter, told the Times Herald-Record after she voted.