Playing With Fire: Rabbis say they are targeted

A group of rabbis claims their community is being unfairly targeted in Rockland County. A group of rabbis claims their community is being unfairly targeted in Rockland County.

A group of rabbis claims their community is being unfairly targeted in Rockland County.

Last month, News 12 investigated fire code violations and insufficient enforcement at private schools in Rockland County.

"We are being painted in a big brush as non-compliant, and in fact we are compliant," says Rabbi Tzvi Sternberg, of Yeshiva Adasyereim.

Sternberg says that the non-public schools with delinquent fire safety records that were recently highlighted in the News 12 investigation are the extreme minority.

He says that the community takes the accusations very seriously, and feels his community is being singled out in a way other parts of the community are not.

Sternberg says that nearly all local yeshivas are compliant with "county" safety inspections. He claims the problem lies with state law and the deadlines and requirements of input from overworked local fire inspectors are unclear.

Two local lawmakers have said they want legislation that would revoke state funding for any private school with missing fire safety reports, but Rabbi Moishe Schwab says he thinks they should sit around a table and air some issues out.

The state education commissioner is expected to release a list of non-compliant schools shortly.

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