Yeshivas agree to inspections after Rockland threatens legal action

Months of tensions over the issue of code enforcement in Rockland's private yeshivas reached a boiling point Monday when the county threatened to take legal action.

"It is beyond my comprehension what the issues are anymore," said Rockland County Executive Ed Day just moments after learning several yeshivas refused to let county fire inspectors inside Monday morning to conduct state-ordered safety checks. He added that the schools told the inspectors to make an appointment and come back.

But those yeshivas could soon be forced to let in the inspectors as Day's lawyers will be at the county courthouse asking a judge for warrants. Soon after the threat of jail time, the schools' lawyer called the county to say inspectors will be allowed in Wednesday morning.

Although Rabbi Moishe Schwab, of Yeshiva Degel Hatorah, is listed as compliant, he said other school leaders feel they are being targeted because of their religion, prompting them to form the School Religious Freedom Coalition. But Executive Day points out that the county also ordered the reinspection of Catholic schools as well, and that only the yeshivas have turned away inspectors.

The lawyer representing the yeshivas told News 12 that the schools adamantly deny the county's characterization that they refused entry to the inspectors. According to Dennis Lynch, the yeshivas have been cooperative and only asked that the county follow proper legal guidelines before gaining entry.

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