SOURCES: Ocean County Jewish Federation Administrator Fired Over Facebook Post Supporting Chabad
TOMS RIVER-A post on the Ocean County Jewish Federation’s Facebook page this week asking members to support the Chabad of Toms River led to the termination of the organization’s top-ranked employee.
“Please come and show your support on Thurs @ 7:30 pm at Town Hall,” the post said.
It has been learned from a source within the Jewish Ocean Federation that the author of that message has since been terminated.
Executive Director Naomi Levecchia’s name still appears on the Federation’s website, but we have learned she no longer works for the organization. Levecchia was cited as the individual who made the post.
According to its website, “The Jewish Federation of Ocean County serves as a central resource for our growing Jewish community. We are composed of volunteers, contributors, and member agencies, seeking to meet the various human needs of the Jewish community.”
Congregation B’nai Israel, the townships most notable and prominent Jewish congregation disagreed with the Jewish Federation’s stance on the matter and issued a letter to Toms River Township officials which supported their effort to uphold township zoning laws at the Chabad.
“Congregation B’nai Israel, a conservative synagogue and proudly serving the Jewish community of Toms River since 1950, is fully supportive of the Township of Toms River’s current Master Plan and Zoning Regulations and the ability of its elected and appointed representatives to implement, interpret and review same in the best interest of all of its citizens,” the congregation wrote Bob Van Bochove, President of Congregation B’nai Israel. “Accordingly, we do not believe that the Church Rd application currently before the board of adjustment for a synagogue and school represents a Jewish issue, or even a religious issue, and that in the end it will be handled in a professional and dispassionate matter in which we will fully support the final decision.”
The letter, a document of public record, was sent to the township on October 20th.
Sources also told SNN that the statement made was the opinion of an individual and not of the Federation and that all public communications on behalf of the Federation are to be approved prior to publishing. No approvals were given for the post made by Levecchia. It has since been removed from the group’s Facebook page, but the Federation has not issued a retraction or clarification on their stance.
The Federation was contacted today, but we have yet to receive a response or clarification.