Teaneck Town Council Addresses Community Unrest Over Middle East Conflict, Passes Unity Resolution

The recent Teaneck Town Council meeting saw the adoption of a “Peace and Unity” resolution amidst an emotionally-charged exchange of viewpoints from residents over the Israel-Hamas war and its impact on the Teaneck community. The move follows an October council resolution condemning Hamas for the recent terrorist attacks in Israel.

While the stated goal of the unity ordinance was to foster a greater sense of community and peace in Teaneck, residents and Council members expressed varied viewpoints on the nature, content, and timing of the resolution.

Resident Emma Harowitz expressed gratitude to the council for their clear moral stance, commending them for their earlier resolution condemning the intentional killing of innocents. Another resident, Elish Shatsky, thanked the council for the October 17th resolution and emphasized that denouncing a terrorist organization did not negate the pain of others.

In contrast, Yesen El Carani criticized the council for their perceived favoritism towards the Jewish community, accusing them of neglecting the suffering of Muslims. He felt the council’s resolution lacked mention of Muslim casualties, suggesting a discriminatory undertone. He questioned what the “threshold” of Muslim civilian deaths would be for them to be acknowledged by the council. El Carani concluded by urging the council to abstain from involvement in international geopolitics, believing it brought nothing beneficial.

Jesse Leon expressed skepticism about the sincerity of the unity resolution, stating that Jewish community members were advised not to attend the council meeting due to fears of potential unrest.

Cheryl Hall, a lifelong Teaneck resident, called for interfaith dialogue and unity in the face of adversity. She expressed her disappointment with the divisive nature of social media and hoped that Teaneck could serve as a model of communal harmony for the nation.

Ron Schwarz commended the council for their effort in drafting the resolution. He praised two high school students, a Jewish student and a Muslim student, for organizing an interfaith dialogue event. Schwarz recognized the importance of continuing such dialogues and acknowledged the township manager, Dean Kazinski, for ensuring security at the dialogue event and advocating for continued interfaith discussions.

A resident of almost 17 years shared her feelings of insecurity and recounted instances of Islamophobia she and her family had faced. She expressed concern over the divide in the community, noting that despite the many shared experiences between the Muslim and Jewish communities in Teaneck, there remained significant tensions and misunderstandings.

Another resident expressed concerns about the council’s practice of passing resolutions. He felt that these resolutions often led to more harm than goodwill, citing the absence of resolutions mourning civilian deaths in conflicts such as Syria or Ukraine. He urged the council to focus on municipal responsibilities, like garbage collection and park maintenance, instead of international politics. He remarked, “don’t play in politics at all,” emphasizing that the council wasn’t affiliated with any political party and that their role was to represent the town.

After closing public comments, the council members shared their own views and calls for unity. Hillary Goldberg voiced concerns over anti-Semitism. Danielle Gee highlighted the importance of understanding different perspectives and promoting peace, while Mayor Michael Pagan echoed these sentiments.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Not avaliable:

City Council Officials:
Not avaliable

Receive debriefs about local meetings in your inbox weekly:

Trending meetings
across the country:

Meeting Date
Filter by bodytypes
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Airport Advisory Board
Art and Culture Board
Beach Committee
Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Board of Elections
Board of Health
Borough Council
Building Committee
Cannabis Control Board
Cemetery Commission
Charter Revision Commission
Child and Family Services Board
City Council
City Identity Committee
Code Enforcement Board
College Board of Trustees
Community Appearance Board
Community Preservation Committee
Community Redevelopment Agency
County Council
Disability Advisory Committee
Economic Development Board
Elderly Affairs Board
Electric Advisory Board
Environmental Commission
Financial Oversight Board
Historic Preservation Commission
Housing Authority
Human Relations Committee
Insurance Fund
Land Use Board
Library Board
Licensing Board
Mental Health Commission
Municipal Alliance
Open Space Commission
Oversight and Review Committee
Parking Authority
Parks and Gardens Commission
Parks Commission
Pension Board
Planning Board
Police Review Board
Property Assessment Board
Public Safety Committee
Recreation Commission
Redevelopment Agency
Rent Leveling Board
School Board
Sewerage Authority
Shade Tree Commission
Special Magistrate
Taxation & Revenue Advisory Committee
Tourism Board
Trails Committee
Transportation Board
Utility Board
Value Adjustment Board
Veterans Committee
Water Control Board
Women's Advisory Committee
Youth Advisory Committee
Zoning Board
Filter by County
FL
Bay County
Bradford County
Brevard County
Broward County
Clay County
Duval County
Escambia County
Gulf County
Hendry County
Highlands County
Hillsborough County
Indian River County
Lake County
Lee County
Leon County
Levy County
Liberty County
Manatee County
Marion County
Martin County
Miami-Dade County
Monroe County
Okaloosa County
Orange County
Osceola County
Palm Beach County
Pasco County
Pinellas County
Polk County
Putnam County
Santa Rosa County
Sarasota County
Seminole County
St. Johns County
Taylor County
Volusia County
Walton County
MA
Barnstable County
Berkshire County
Bristol County
Essex County
Franklin County
Hampden County
Hampshire County
Middlesex County
Norfolk County
Plymouth County
Suffolk County
Worcester County
NJ
Atlantic County
Bergen County
Burlington County
Camden County
Cape May County
Cumberland County
Essex County
Gloucester County
Hudson County
Hunterdon County
Mercer County
Middlesex County
Monmouth County
Morris County
Ocean County
Passaic County
Somerset County
Sussex County
Union County
Warren County
Filter by sourcetypes
Minutes
Recording