Shimi Nussbaum & Yocheved Nussbaum are taken into custody at their Hadassah Lane in Lakewood.
Brian Johnston

The criminal acts of some members of the Lakewood Orthodox Jewish community have done egregious harm beyond the actual theft, deception and graft committed. It has also given fuel to the ugly specter of anti-Semitism. Whether it is the public schools or services to children and families in need, the selfish and self-serving exclusionary stances taken by some leaders in this community has led to manifestations of a culture of greed and entitlement.

We who identify ourselves as Jews are guided by two primary principles — tzedakah, or giving charity as a moral obligation, and tikkun olam, or deliberate acts of kindness to perfect or repair the world as an act of social justice. It is time for a dialogue within all members of the greater Jewish community — Orthodox, conservative and reformed — about what has transpired in Lakewood and what might be done to show support to the children and their families in Lakewood deprived of the public services they need and rightfully should be given.

It is beyond time for an awakening of the Jewish Orthodox community in Lakewood. Restorative practices should be put into effect that honor the…