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LAWSUIT FILED: Summer Camps & Organizations Sue NY Governor Cuomo

LAWSUIT FILED: Summer Camps & Organizations Sue NY Governor Cuomo 1

Following New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s crushing decision this past Friday to disallow overnight camps this summer, the Agudath Israel of America-led Association of Jewish Camp Operators (AJCO) and several parents filed suit today in federal court to overturn that decision.

READ THE LAWSUIT HERE

Camp is essential to children and families. Parents enroll their children in Jewish camps because they want their children to be immersed in an environment where they live Judaism 24/7.

The importance of camp is especially great this year. Children have been locked down for months, and have suffered emotionally, socially, academically, and spiritually as a result. Parents, too, lacking proper childcare, may have had to curtail or suspend their employment. While these drastic and painful steps may have been necessary during the pandemic, with COVID-19 cases plummeting for months now, it is time for the state to find safe ways to allow children to go to camp.

The lawsuit takes the Governor to task for rejecting the safety plan proposed by AJCO, a consortium of Orthodox Jewish overnight camps serving approximately 41,000 children. The plan, in the estimation of the nine nationally-recognized infectious disease doctors and other medical professionals who signed it, would have minimized the risk of infection and been far safer than having children remain in an unregulated environment that lacks the “protective bubble” and rigorous safety procedures the AJCO plan proposed.

The complaint describes how the executive decision deprives parents of their religious free exercise to choose an immersive Jewish camp experience for their children. At the same time, the state freely made numerous exceptions to its lockdown regime to allow, and even encourage, the protests of thousands, and various other businesses. The lawsuit asks for immediate injunctive relief from these deprivations to allow camps to open properly and safely.

Said Rabbi Yeruchim Silber, Agudah’s New York Government Affairs Director, “We worked to change the mind of the Governor’s office for months. But as soon as we received the decision, we mobilized to take the next steps, including this lawsuit. Our children and their health, development, and safety are too important to do anything less.”

MEMBER CAMPS:

Agudath Israel Camp Division
Camp Achim
Camp Adas Yereim
Camp Agudah
Camp Agudah Toronto
Camp Ahavas Yisroel Viznitz
Camp Arugath Habosem
Camp Bais Esther
Camp Bais Yaakov
Camp Belz
Camp Beth Jacob
Camp Bnei Shiimon Yisroel
Camp Bnos
Camp Bnos Belz
Camp Bnos Sanz
Camp Bnos Skwere
Camp Bnos Yakov
Camp Bonim
Camp Boyan
Camp Chayei Sura
Camp Chayl Miriam
Camp Darkei Emunah
Camp Dina
Camp Dora Golding
Camp Emunah
Camp Fay-Gah
Camp Gan Yisroel
Camp Ger
Camp Gila
Camp HASC
Camp Hedvah
Camp Horim
Camp Kavunas Halev
Camp Kehilath Yakov
Camp Keren Shlomo
Camp Kochavim
Camp Kibbutz Hamesivtos
Camp Ma-Na-Vu
Camp Machaneinu
Camp Mikdash Melech
Camp Mogen Avraham
Camp Morris
Camp Munk
Camp Nu Yu Chalet Vim
Camp Ohel Baruch
Camp Ohr Shraga
Camp Rav Tuv
Camp Rayim
Camp Romimu
Camp Shalva
Camp Shearith Hapletah
Camp Shira
Camp Simcha
Camp Silver Lake
Camp Simcha
Camp Skwere
Camp Sternberg
Camp Stolin
Camp Sva Rotzohn
Camp Toldos Yakov Yosef
Camp Toldos Yosef
Camp Toras Chesed
Camp Toras Chaim Tashbar
Camp UTA
Camp Viznitz
Camp Yeshiva Chasan Sofer
Camp Yesh. Tifereth Yisroel

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