Hasidic Brooklyn

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Jewish Leaders Worried NY Measles Outbreak Is Fueling Anti-Semitism

April 15, 2019 - 11:25 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Some are worried that the measles outbreak centered in Brooklyn and Rockland County may be leading to an unfortunate side effect – a backlash against Jews.

As a rabbi and infection disease specialist, Dr. Aaron Glatt has seen both sides of the issue.

“This has nothing to do with the Jewish religion,” he said. “This has nothing to do with Orthodox Jewry, per se.”

Related: Lawsuit Expected Next Week To Challenge Mayor’s Measles Order

Glatt says it’s an issue among anti-vaxxers, some Jewish and some not.

“I’m concerned, very concerned, about anti-Semitism,” he said.

It has led to at least one instance of backlash against the Jewish community.

The United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg says an MTA bus driver passed a Hasidic man by this past week. He caught up to the bus and the driver allowed him on by covering her face and saying, “Go in, measles.”

The MTA says it’s investigating the incident.

Related: 8 Unvaccinated Children Diagnosed With Measles In Westchester

Rabbi David Niederman says there are two infections going around -- measles and anti-Semitism. 

"People are using this as an excuse to show their anti-Semitic, ugly face," Niederman said.

Well some rabbis have advocated against vaccines, Glatt says they can’t city anything in the Jewish religion to support their stance.

“The Jewish religion strongly recommends that a person take care of their own health,” he said.