Letter to the ADL

For members of Hoboken's Jewish community, it was a depressing week.

We learned that a City Councilwoman tried to manufacture a 'Nazi' scandal in The Hoboken Reporter with false charges and fabricated 'evidence', then an elected School Board official launched a tirade against student observation of our High Holy Days at a public meeting.

Is it something in the water?

From merely obnoxious, indecent behavior if by a citizen, this is absolutely unacceptable conduct from our elected officials, truly disturbing on so many levels.

I've reported these incidents to Etzion Neuer of New Jersey's Anti-Defamation League in the letter below.  Here is the ADL's Mission Statement:
"The immediate object of the League is to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people. Its ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens."
-ADL Charter October 1913
Dear Mr. Neuer,

I would like to report (2) incidents involving elected officials in Hoboken, New Jersey.

One is a cynical exploitation of the Holocaust to silence critics, the other is hateful rhetoric at a public meeting.

(1)  City Councilwoman Beth Mason  has submitted false and defamatory information to a local newspaper, The Hoboken Reporter, accusing (2) bloggers of using Nazi videos/discourse against her on their respective blog sites.

I am one, and my blog site is Grafix Avenger- the other is Mile Square View.  We are frequent critics of Mason, so  to discredit our widely-read sites  she has  peddled vile 'Nazi allegations' in an effort to get the paper to print them.  This exploitation of the Holocaust by an elected official- which includes fabricating evidence- is truly beneath contempt.    Mason's political operative, James Barracato, doctored a screenshot from my blog  to support the false allegation that Grafix Avenger wrote about a (Nazi) gas chamber.  Barracato was caught because his 'screenshot' contained  his electronic signature (The Hoboken Reporter had forwarded it to me).  It is posted here:


As for Mile Square View, Barracato submitted another 'screenshot' to The Hoboken Reporter  purported to show a Nazi parody video posted there.  It NEVER was.  Another doctored screenshot.

As of this week, the story has not gone to print. 

I have informed Rabbi Robert Scheinberg of United Synagogue of Hoboken of Councilwoman Mason's effort  to frame us for falsely for posting Nazi discourse and film.  As a Jewish woman,  I am disgusted that an elected official who is also Jewish is using the Holocaust to smear her critics.  

 I am advising the ADL of this matter because by using the Holocaust like a carpenter's tool, Councilwoman Beth Mason mocks it's  impact on human history and it's tragic consequences for the world.  It is most egregious and offensive and this elected official deserves repudiation.

 (2) Hoboken Board of Education member Frances Rhodes-Kearns attacked a (Jewish) School Board member for initiating changes in the district calendar to make Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah school holidays.  This occurred at a School Board meeting on May 8, 2012.  In rebuking the Jewish Board member,  Ms. Kearns  launched a tirade against 'them' (the Jews?) for 'taking away  her Christmas holiday and calling it Winter Break' and proceeded with offensive, disrespectful speech toward our High Holy Days-  an offense toward the Jewish community at-large.  Kearns questioned why (if schools close for Yom Kippur) she doesn't get off for St. Patrick's Day. Both  Jews and Gentiles in attendance were shocked by the School Board Trustee's hateful speech and her clear disdain toward the Jewish community.

Ms. Kearns owes our entire community an apology.  In my view such a person does not belong on a Board responsible for our diverse public school population- 25% of my daughter's 4th grade class is Jewish.   Kearns has shown her true colors- contempt for the Jewish children of Hoboken, their families and their Temple. 

These incidents are for your information, and if you would like to speak further on any please do not hesitate to call.   It is depressing to see this behavior from our elected officials.

Nancy Pincus
(201) 484-****


  1. Great letter. What actions are the ADL able and willing to take on? With Catholics, there's excommunication. With WASP's you can be banned from the best country clubs. What do Jews do? A moot point for Mason, since she's not really Jewish as opportunism, social climbing and convenience are not tenets of the faith one commits to for a conversion.

  2. You know Hoboken politics don't get enough "sunshine" when self righteous townies like Ms. Rhodes-Kearn who are where they are because of family connections think they can actually say such STUPID things in public forum.

    Where is the outrage other than on GA? I doubt the Snoboken Reporter or Jersey Journal will be bothered to report on this.

    1. QJ201, I just posted an update of sorts.

      Kearns is unrepentant- posting on Facebook that I need therapy. Clueless and blaming a blogger.

      She started a brush-fire, she is responsible for her words and is doing nothing now to contain it.

    2. The bigotry of the old guard has always been palpable. Expect more of same.

      That said, floating holidays to be taken by school employees makes more sense than the flawed system we now use that clearly favors one faith over all the others.

      If we had school year-round, most of this would be a non-issue. Taking the summer off is a vestige from our agrarian past and advancing nations don't practice a nine or ten month school year any longer. There are reasons why US students lag behind other developed nations in almost every way.

      Last time I looked, no Hoboken child had to help plow fields or bring in the crops, though we certainly have enough manure in town, courtesy of the council minority, to grow anything.


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