‪BREAKING – NO CAMP: Judge Rules Against Overnight Camps In NY; Statement from Agudah [UPDATED]

A New York judge today denied a preliminary injunction requested by the Association of Jewish Camp Operators (AJCO) to temporarily block Governor Cuomo’s order banning overnight camps in New York State this summer. 

The AJCO said that banning overnight camps infringed on the operators’ First Amendment rights and would cause “irreparable harm” to the education of tens of thousands of Orthodox Jewish children who attend sleepaway camp in upstate New York.

There are dozens of Orthodox Jewish camps in the Catskill Mountains that cater to over 40,000 children each year and to whom their summer vacations are an integral part of their lives and educational experience.

In his denial of the injunction, Judge Glenn Suddaby said that granting injunctive relief to open overnight summer camps “runs contrary to the public interest in stopping the spread of Covid-19.”

Several spontaneous protests against Governor Cuomo’s order banning overnight camps broke out in Lakewood and Brooklyn, with hundreds of children demanding that, after being stuck at home for months, their summer plans should not be disturbed.

Rabbi Yeruchim Silber, Agudah’s New York Government Relations Director, said, “The impact on children is devastating. Instead of looking forward to a summer of growth, filled with learning experiences and preparation for an upcoming school year, many children of our community will now be forced to endure a continuation of the long-lasting lockdowns imposed by the State Government.”





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There are 36 Comments to "‪BREAKING – NO CAMP: Judge Rules Against Overnight Camps In NY; Statement from Agudah [UPDATED]"

  • whisleblower says:

    So our constitutional rights are down the toilet in the name of “public interest”?
    What’s next?

    • um... says:

      of course. why else?

    • Shari says:

      Yes, your constitutional rights are down the toilet in the name pf public interest. You don’t have a constitutional right to spread disease. If you’re not happy move. As a member of society you are expected to look out for the public good. Get over yourself.

  • Alteh Bucher says:

    This is because we don’t vote.

    A. B

  • Bro says:

    Unfortunately the responses so far are a predictable stupid frum response to this. Totally ignoring the spike in almost the entire country since in Lakewood and Brooklyn we’re ok.

    • common sense says:

      the spike in the entire country is irrelevant the fact is that the camps were prepared to take precutions that would have made sleepaway camp SAFER then day camp and they were refused !!! the spike in every other city state country or anything else does NOT change that simple fact! and when something is banned in the name of safety which is not in fact dangerous (or is as safe or safer then that which was permmitted) than it is an unjust suppression of liberties and that is TYRANNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • They are showing their true colors says:

    The judge and the Governor probably went out for coffee together.

  • "public interest" says:

    Aha! and the protest of Mr. Floyd, is public interest??
    Are we in communism?

    • common sense says:

      YES. at least DeBlasio is definitely a communist and cuomo would probably be one too but he can’t cuz then he’d agree with Deblasio and they’re not allowed to agree on anything!

  • Chacham says:

    Gam Zu Letova, it’s hard to swallow, but that is our mission here. We tried, Hashem has other thoughts, let’s keep moving….

  • Chaim says:

    The lawsuit was without merit.

  • ENOUGH says:


    • steve says:


    • P:J says:

      Sure, don’t vote for a Democrat and kiss your public benefits goodbye. Republicans aren’t fans of HUD, WIC, SNAP .Medicaid etc. Please vote Republican so my taxes go down. If you really want ‘rights” move to Texas and Alabama and let me know how great the community does without all your free benefits. Texas has the highest uninsurance rates.

      • justsayin.... says:

        Vote for the Democrats if you want this country to become a Socialist country. Free stuff for everyone, highest taxes for anyone that dares to make money and not bow to the will of the Democratic controlled country.
        Free food in long bread lines, look at ALL the failed Socialist countries and decide which one you want to live in.
        No one is allowed to own anything it is all owned by the Government.

        Good luck with that!

      • Freebie Towns says:

        But that is the attraction of so many places in NJ. Take it all and don’t think about who’s paying. Working taxpayers. For those who want to live in a socialist/communist state, move to a socialist/communist country, and seek your right to worship there. Good luck with that. At least then I won’t have to not only pay for my survival but yours as well. It’s cheaper for me to buy your plane tickets.

        • Patriot says:

          “If you want total security, go to prison.

          There you are fed, clothed, given medical care, and so on.

          The only thing lacking is FREEDOM.”

          – Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower

  • Lessor says:

    Not a surprise.

  • J says:

    If the camps were allowed to open and it spread the virus back to the community the same people yelling at Cuomo and the judge would blame the government for not doing enough to prevent a new outbreak in Lakewood.

    Just because the virus is contained in Lakewood doesn’t mean that it isn’t spreading worse now than in was in February – April. There are more new hospitalizations now in the nation than in that period.

    Maybe Hashem is trying to tell us something and we should listen.

  • ME says:

    Not sure why camps would spread the virus. If anything the children are quarantined in their camps and would more likely immunize themselves by getting the virus which will only help the herd immunity effect. Leaving the kids in the community to play with each other at the playground will more likely spread the virus to adults…

  • bizarre says:

    No, our response isn’t stupid, the decision was.
    In whose stupid mind is a daycamp safer than overnight camp ? A day camp is MUCH WORSE, because kids go back and forth from home to camp. In overnight, everyone is in “the bubble”.
    Sorry, it makes no sense.
    The judge is as nutty or power hungry as the Gov.

  • what ??!! says:

    @bro – ignoring the spike ?
    No one Is ignoring the spike, that’s why they had a plan. The protesters ignored the spike not the Camp directors.
    This ruling is so sad, for the 1000s of campers and the hundreds of staff members who rely on their summer income to survive through the year.

  • Uncommon sense says:

    Am I heartbroken? Yes. My oldest needs a lot of structure, and this is causing huge psychological issues. She needs this. My second loves camp, and is sad to not be away with his friends.

    But more important than their need to get away is the need to keep the community safe. If the camps being closed can guarantee even one life saved in our community, then it is worth it to stay home.

    I feel the same pain as everyone else. The governor seems to be changing the rules, delaying openings, there is no end in sight. But Hashem is still in control, and the virus, the community, and the politicians do Hashem’s will, whether or not they realize it.

  • Lazer G. says:

    How come since the days of Mesushelach camps were considered a luxury and unless you pay full, you couldn’t expect to send your child to camp, but this year it became ‘essential’?

  • s says:

    It seems to me that instead of spending more time on this issue, whether you agree or disagree with it, galvanize the schools to open as soon as they can to provide a structured, healthy environment. Our children are craving normalcy, stability and friendships. Many preteens have fallen spiritually just from a lack of structure and with more access (whether their parents know or not- they can find it easily at their neighbors) to technology.
    Agudah should swallow the huge financial loss to their camps (and so should the others who stand to lose) and work on the schools. The entire country is suffering financially, our community is not alone in this. Camps are only one segmant of individuals who are losing.
    We should daven for parnassah, as well as our childrens well- being and keep moving with hishtadlus. But in this case, were getting stuck on ony one aspect of hishtadlus. Time to move in other directions.

  • G Washington says:

    Nobody should pay any attention to the governor or his “executive orders”.
    They are ridiculous and make no sense. Schools should never have closed in the first place! Only tipshim keep laws that are ridiculous. Just figure out a way to beat the system. When the speed limit drops from 65 to 55 or 45 do you see anyone slowing down? Not advocating for breaking laws here but as long as you use your seichel, you can figure out what to “ignore”.
    Who remembers when that stupid “law” came out a few years ago that vehicles need to stop for pedestrians attempting to cross even where there are no signals? I remember that only tipshim followed that one for a few months. Eventually everyone forgot about it.
    When the “pandemic” first came out, people did not know what to expect or with what type of caution to proceed. That’s not the case anymore! Anybody with seichel is capable of looking at the data for themselves and realize when and how to exercise caution. It has also become quite clear which politicians could not care less about our community and don’t seem to be making rational decisions!
    America is a big country. An increase in one or some parts of the country may not have any significant impact on others! Maybe total enforced lockdown was not the way to go! Look at Israel, for example, with their “second wave”! Maybe herd immunity is not so shallow after all! Maybe the vast majority are ignoring your ridiculous executive orders and only select individuals are being forced to comply!
    @Chacham – Don’t blame your problems on Hashem! Use your brain (if you have one) and fix them!
    @Bro – Don’t compare apples to oranges! Unless you’re just spewing the same garbage as Cuomo, DeBlasio the anti semite, or knucklehead Murphy!

  • well, naturally says:

    Ouch. That’s a painful verdict.
    Just makes me doubly appreciative of my daughters’ camp, Camp Kolos, that found a beautiful campus in Maine.

    Thank you SO MUCH !!

  • Mutty says:

    This entire court case was a total shtus.
    Andi Cuomo Is good smart governor. Sleep away camps are a hatchery for all kinds of diseases; Kids come to Catskills Summer Camps from all over the US and all over the world; they sleep in bunks of very close quarters 9 hours a night, if any kid has something contagious it will spread to us like wildfire.
    The camps will survive without opening 1 summer as their expenses are minimal: all camps are Congregations of which they pay no property taxes, Catskills properties are cheap of which they have no mortgages, they need not even cut the grass, all that they have to do is inspect the structures for roof leaks or mold, do minimal repairs, blow out the water pipes and winterize everytining.
    When I was a kid in the 70’s I spent 2 summers at home, I found myself a summer job, I went on day trips , those were very successful, enjoyable summers.

    • common sense says:

      To Mutty what you are saying is shtus. First of all noone (normal) is claiming that they should simply open. They are saying that they will test everybody before coming to camp and they will not allow people to come who had been outside of NJ, NY, PA in the past 14 days. also covid-19 is NOT dangerous for young people and in sleepaway camps they do not need to worry about passing it to older more vulnerable family members. To any reasonable person the risk of opening sleepaway camps under those circumstances are far less dangerous than day camps where people cannot be tested each time they enter camp and they go home every night and likely they and their family members go other places as well. There is NO LOGIC AT ALL!!! to ban sleepaway camps provided they follow the precautions in the plan formulated !!! in regards to your claim about it not hurting camps is beyond absurd the camps already spent most of the money they spend on preparing camp and maintaining it and f they do not open they will not have the money for that add in mortgage and insurance and other expenses they already had and I quite frankly have no idea how camps are able to refund parents money it really doesn’t seem possible also all their staff will either need to be paid or will lose out financially (and many of these people are rebbeim year round and i shudder to think what that will do to their finances) As far as your experience as a kid it’s great that you were able to have a successful and enjoyable summer in the city but to some degree times have changed and there are many major issues includin the simple fact that the city is a bad place for guys to be in the summer. Also you had a job these people were PLANNING to go to camp THEY DO NOT HAVE ALTERNATE PLANS also it’s even more difficult then usual to do stuff in the city because of covid restrictions.

  • Sruli says:

    @Mutty…your comment is heartless and factually incorrect for many camps. Not all are owned by 501c3 who don’t pay property taxes. Also lots of camps have mortgage obligations to pay 12 months a year. Real estate in NY is not cheap and not bought with cash, especially a nice size property. Don’t dismiss and downplay other people’s financial challenges during these times so haphazardly.

    Hashem should watch over all of us physically, emotionally and financially.

  • G Washington says:

    @Mutty – You and your comment are a “shtus”.
    Cuomo the “smart” governor of yours is a total idiot. Normal people never voted for him in the first place. Many others will remember the harm he did to so many just for a little bit of kavod.
    If you don’t want to go to camp – DON’T! JUST DON’T FORCE YOUR STUPID IDEAS ON EVERYONE ELSE!!!

  • My 2 cents says:

    If all campers and staff take a Covid test before going to camp and they keep themselves isolated, there is no reason not to open camps.

  • Mutty says:

    The kids will have a break this year, it’s good for them, there’s no Halacha that they HAVE TO GO to camp every year ; and for the camp owners: this situation makes them eligible for many applications and government programs. The owners will probably make out better by being closed this year then opening up and being sued and harassed by parents as usual.

  • Yossi says:

    Terrible liberal politics. remember this when we vote in November.

  • common sense says:

    It is absurd Suddaby rules against camps because of problems of opening ALL camps so why not rule to allow camps WITH THE RSTRICTIONS AND PRECAUTIONS THAT THE CAMPS HAD ALREADY FIGURED OUT seriously they allowed day camps to open WITH restrictions why is it ll about the dangers of opening sleepaway camps with no precautions???!!! that is the WRONG conversation the discussion here is about opening WITH precautions!!!