The real Ridgewood hero
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The real Ridgewood hero

Lois Goldrich’s December 20 story, “Celebrating history – warts and all,” said that a member of Barnert Temple related a story that attorneys from New York were brought in to challenge a realtor’s actions in rescinding a sale to a Jewish family for fear of being in violation of the Ridgewood code, which prohibited sales to Jews. This congregant’s recollection of the facts surrounding this controversy is incorrect. It was actually my grandfather, Benjamin E. Gordon, a noted Jersey City civil rights attorney and staunch advocate for Jews throughout New Jersey, who handled this case, which ultimately resulted in the rescission of the Ridgewood code.

The facts are contained in a book written by Joy Zaccariah Appelbaum, “The History of the Jews of Teaneck.”

My family is extremely proud of my grandfather’s legacy, and would like readers to understand that there was no need to turn to New York when there were effective Jewish advocates in New Jersey dedicated to protecting the rights of Jews throughout the state.

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