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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

Showing posts with label Oorah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oorah. Show all posts

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Oorah on Tax Exemptions

Written By Editor on 7/22/14 | 7/22/14

After years of legal proceedings spanning two different municipal administrations, the New Jersey based Jewish organization Oorah has declared victory in what its attorney John Privitera called a, "landmark decision," on Friday evening over the Town of Jefferson.

It came in the hours following the New York State Supreme Court Third Appellate Division's unanimous ruling that the charitable entity was entitled to property tax exemptions at its facility located at the old Deer Run Ski Lodge near the Schoharie/Delaware county line on State Route 10. 

The not-for-profit summer resort/weekend camp getaway for underprivileged children praised the Supreme Court of Appeals in a press release issued over the weekend, quoting camp director Avraham Krawiec as stating, "we were confident in our decision to fight this injustice to the very end."

In response to the ruling, Town of Jefferson Supervisor Sean Jordan told the Schoharie News that, "The Town recognizes the recent decision rendered by the New York Supreme Court of Appeals, and will respect their decision as well as continue to pursue what is in the best interests of the Town, just as Oorah will understandably do what is in their best interests.

Oorah, which - in addition to its Jefferson site - has a camp located in the Town of Gilboa, has owned the property in question since 2010. The charitable organization has alleged animosity on the part of officials that have worked to deter them; namely, former Supervisor Dan Singletary, who was defeated by Mr. Jordan in the midst of the Fitzmaurice Report fallout last year. 

The Town of Jefferson has maintained that Oorah had failed to supply sufficient documentation before its Board of Assessment Review on multiple occasions, an argument that had been twice received favorably by Judge Eugene Devine of the Schoharie County Supreme Court in past cases. 

However, to the extent that previous decisions had found the religious organization to be not entitled to tax exemptions as written in federal law, the New York State Supreme Court of Appeals ruled Friday morning that they had been in, "error."

Mr. Jordan would later comment that both sides are "working amicably" to resolve other issues concerning building code statutes, and that, "The overall goal is to create an environment where the two sets of interests can coexist." 

Oorah Thanks Local Law Enforcement

Written By Editor on 7/11/14 | 7/11/14

Gilboa, New York - It what was one of the more heartbreaking crimes committed last holiday season, when three men broke into the Oorah campsite located at the old Deer Run Ski Lodge in Jefferson and stole thousands of dollars worth of ATV's, televisions, and other equipment over the Hanukkah holiday. 

With hundreds of young girls set to visit the campsite over the coming weekend, spirits were low at the not for profit Jewish organization that hosts hundreds of campers at its TheZone campsites in Schoharie County; the other site is in the Town of Gilboa. But fortunes were in Oorah's favor...

Within forty-eight hours New York State Police had not only found and arrested the three suspects in Liberty, New York, but had also recovered and returned a substantial amount of the stolen property - just in time for hundreds of campers who had made the trip to Upstate New York from across the country. 

On Wednesday afternoon, Oorah remembered the work of local law enforcement and offered its thanks to New York State Police stationed across the Catskill Region that assisted in the investigation, local Sheriff's departments, and countless other individuals who helped to catch the men responsible. 

The organization presented plaques to New York State Troopers from Groups C, D, and F for their hard work during the investigation. The ceremony was held at the Gilboa campsite and was part of the annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Luncheon, which was followed by a check presentation to town officials. 

Upon the luncheon's conclusion, guests were invited to the campsite's dinning hall where young campers shouted their appreciation and thanks to law enforcement, which they followed by singing their energetic camp song to the invited law enforcement personnel, town officials, and local media that were on hand.  

Oorah Thanks Gilboa, VanGlad

Written By Editor on 7/9/14 | 7/9/14

With hundreds of young ladies and dozens of law enforcement personnel in attendance, Oorah TheZone camp director Rabbi Avraham Krawiec presented Gilboa Town Supervisor Tony VanGlad with a token of the Jewish summer camp's appreciation Wednesday afternoon. 

That token being a $7,500 check to the town. 

In a short presentation, Rabbi Krawiec reminded campers that while they visit the rural town only four weeks out of the year, Mr. VanGlad administers its daily operations year round. Additionally, the longtime Gilboa Town Supervisor was elected Chairman of the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors this past January.

Mr. VanGlad was appreciative of Oorah's generosity, telling the convened campers that the Town of Gilboa used last year's $7,500 donation to make unexpected repairs to the small community's Town Hall building in the fall. Campers welcomed him and his guests with a rendition of their spirited camp song. 

VanGlad, always the joker, loved his #emojified sash 
Oorah is a New Jersey based Jewish organization that holds weekend and summer retreats for hundreds of young boys and girls at two campsites located within Schoharie County; one on South Gilboa Road in Gilboa and the other at the old Deer Run Ski Lodge in Jefferson. 

Prior to the check presentation, Oorah held its annual law enforcement appreciation luncheon, which will be covered in a separate story. 

Oorah Sues Town of Jefferson to Open New Gym to Campers

Written By Editor on 5/15/14 | 5/15/14

In a press release issued late Thursday afternoon, representatives of the New Jersey based Jewish charity Oorah announced that the organization has filed a lawsuit against the Town of Jefferson in order to secure the issuance of certificates of occupancy from the town's Building Inspector Keith Brooks. 

Oorah, which has summer camps in both the southern Schoharie County Towns of Gilboa and Jefferson, have alleged that Mr. Brooks has illegally withheld the certificates of occupancy for the recently built state of the art gymnasium on the property to deny the organization its rightful tax exemption. Campers wont be able to use the gym until the certificates are issued. 

Avraham Krawiec, Director of Oorah's TheZone camps, said that he believes, "It is unfortunate that we have been forced to the courts to resolve this issue," but he would later go on to add that, "At this point however, we have been stonewalled and mistreated for far too long. Time is of the essence in order to have this brand-new gym available for our campers who need it this summer."

The organization, which houses Jewish camp-age children from across the region in their two Schoharie County facilities, maintain that they have attempted to rectify the issue outside of the court system for years, but that both the town under former Supervisor Daniel Singletary and Mr. Brooks have actively resisted their efforts at every step of the process. 

Lamenting that, "It is truly a pity that we are being compelled to spend a charity's resources - time, money, and energy - on a matter which should have been simple," Krawiec viewed the situation positively that with a friendlier administration in place that, "we only hope that we can give our campers in Jefferson the same experience," as their counterparts in Gilboa. 

Oorah Hosts Girls for Weekend Retreat, With Most of Stolen Goods Returned

Written By Editor on 12/28/13 | 12/28/13

Just weeks after three burglars stole thousands of dollars worth of ATV's, gaming consoles and television screens from Oorah's TheZone Jefferson campsite, over five hundred Jewish girls arrived Thursday evening to enjoy a weekend retreat with most of the stolen goods returned and all of the suspects apprehended.

The T.V. screens were recovered in time for this
weekend's retreat. Photo credit: Oorah facebook
Oorah, a Jewish organization based out of New Jersey, holds weekend retreats through out the winter and summer months for both young boys and girls with two campsites in Schoharie County, one in Jefferson at the old Deer Run Ski Lodge and the other in Gilboa, that together employ dozens of local residents.

Three Arrests Made in Camp Oorah Burglary; Most of Stolen Goods Recovered

Written By Editor on 12/12/13 | 12/12/13

Just days after the break-in of Jefferson's TheZone Oorah campsite was initially reported, from which burglars stole thousands of dollars worth of ATV's, gaming consoles and several flat screen televisions that belonged to the Jewish affiliated retreat, New York State Police in Cobleskill have announced the arrest of three suspects in connection to the crime.
It was the culmination of efforts during a week long, multi-county investigation conducted by State Police from the Cobleskill, Stamford and Liberty stations that led to the apprehension and arraignment of Jose Lopez-Hernandez, 43, of Liberty, New York; Alexander Barragan-Pineda, 21, of Parksville, New York and Matthew Huebsch, 20, also of Liberty, New York. All three suspects were remanded to Schoharie County Jail on $15,000 cash and $30,000 bond.
According to representatives of the New Jersey based Oorah, "Footage captured by surveillance cameras on site and combed through by TheZone employees and volunteers was instrumental in cracking the case," which resulted in not only the detainment of all three suspects but also the recovery of most of the reported stolen property.  Just in time for a previously scheduled New Years weekend retreat by the non-profit organization.
The suspects are scheduled to reappear in the Town of Jefferson Court on Monday, December 16th.

Thieves Steal ATV's, Game Consoles and More from Jefferson Oorah Camp; Two Thousand Dollar Reward Offered for Info

Written By Editor on 12/8/13 | 12/8/13

In what can only be described as a despicable act, thieves targeted Jefferson's TheZone campsite that is run by the New Jersey based Jewish organization Oorah on Tuesday evening - in the midst of Hanukkah - and stole thousands of dollars worth of ATV's, gaming consoles and television screens that children affiliated with the charity use on retreats to the complex formerly known as Deer Run Ski Lodge.
Rabbi Avraham Krewiec, who is director of both TheZone campsites in Schoharie County, said that "these items are used in the camp to give the children a great time." He added that "during a winter retreat, a functioning game room is a significant indoor activity that really contributes a lot to the success of the weekend."
According to an official press release issued by representatives of Oorah
Security cameras on site caught footage of the robbery. New York State police are reviewing the footage, which includes several images of the thieves. Oorah is enhancing these images and will be releasing them to the public shortly. Camp representatives are confident that with the help of the state police, who are working diligently on the case, the perpetrators will be apprehended before long.
This has encouraged officials within TheZone, which also has a second campsite in the Town of Gilboa, to offer a $2,000 reward to anyone who can provide local authorities with information leading to the arrest of the thieves and the return of the gaming equipment, which they hope will be recovered in time for an upcoming scheduled New Years weekend retreat.
"It's horrifying to think that anyone would be callous enough to steal games from children," lamented Rabbi Krawiec, who concluded his statement by saying: "especially during the holiday season and especially from a non-profit." If anyone has any information regarding this crime, please contact the State Police, Sheriff's office or Oorah with whatever details you can provide.

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