Assemblyman Ari Brown Pens Letter Following Offensive NYC Health Billboard


UPDATE: Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato has confirmed that the truck has been removed:

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In response to an offensive and anti-Semitic billboard that was displayed in the Jewish Orthodox Five Towns Community with the subtle message that “Jews Spread Disease,” Assemblyman Ari Brown (R-Cedarhurst) wrote a letter to New York State Department of Health Associate Commissioner Sam Miller admonishing the department and bringing to light the department’s subtle bigotry.

Commissioner Sam Miller
NY State Department of Health External Affairs

“Dear Commissioner Miller,

I wear several hats, one being a NYS Assemblyman, another, being the Deputy Mayor of the Village of Cedarhurst. I was appalled but not surprised to learn that the NYS Department of Health sent a truck to our Orthodox Jewish community of the Five Towns on Long Island, displaying the subtle antisemitic trope of “the Jew spreading disease”.

Antisemitism should not be a fact of Jewish life, something that we or anyone should simply accept as a way of life. We Jews, like any other group, want to live unencumbered to practice our religion, to wear our yarmulkes, to attend synagogue and attend Jewish events, without fear of harassment or violence.

Antisemitism is a hatred that can be manifested in conspiracy theories, often portraying Jews as pulling the strings of the world, controlling banking and the media are often repeated epitaphs. One of the worst and historically generated tropes is that, “Jews spread disease”. Over the course of history, Jews have had many encounters with contagious diseases; often blamed for them. The Nazis, justified the walling off of the ghettos as a preventive measure against the spread of typhus, while some 300 Jewish communities were destroyed in the mass hysteria associated with the plague.

Fast forward to the 21″ century. Antisemitism is sometimes expressed by people in power, in the soft and subtle bias of their words, much of which goes unchallenged. We have seen this disguised bigotry with the targeting of Orthodox Jewish communities by city and state

leaders during COVID-19 lockdowns in New York and now with a New York State Department of Health truck riding around Jewish neighborhoods with the rhetoric of, “Polio is spreading in Israel, Get immunized now”. They literally parked this truck today, March 27, 2023, in Parking Field One, in front of the Gourmet Glatt supermarket, Cedarhurst. It’s the same “Jews spread disease libel”. I will fight antisemitism and will not be silent whether it’s from a government official, media, academic institution, or whomever”. I would appreciate an expeditious response.”


Assemblyman Ari Brown


  1. Sorry, I guess this is just over my head. If polio is spreading in Israel, then what would be the problem in warning Jews here to be careful and get immunized? It would be the same thing if we knew that everyone was going to Florida for Pesach, and if we found out that the West Nile virus was there, we would warn people to get vaccinated.
    What if we found out that a brand of matzoh was incorrectly labeled kosher l’Pesach and we had a billboard that warned people. Antisemitism???
    If polio isn’t spreading in Israel, then the ad would be foolish or dishonest.

  2. Ari Brown has shown his anti-vaccine credentials during Covid. Is he now going to label all vaccines as inherently antisemitic?

  3. Aye Nachum. Polio is not spreading in Israel and the world today has more in common with the 1930’s then I’m comfortable to admit. As someone who has extensively studied that period of history I can tell unequivocally that history is repeating itself. Complete with the people who said ‘the Germans would never do such things! They are so enlightened, so modern.’

  4. I live on eretz yisroel and this is the first time i am hearing aboit polio here . It could be that there are a few cases here just like there were a few cases in monsey and orange county in the states . The anti semitic part is making it into a pademic when even here in israel most people didnt even hesr about this if it was truly spreading then we would of been told what to do about it .


    Although the five towns community shares little with some of the chareidi communities whose members have vaccination rates as low as 60% for dangerous diseases, it is a fact that vaccinations for measles and polio are highly effective and both diseases can risks of major damage eg brain damage, paralysis, etc.
    Education aimed at the sectors of the orthodox community rather than an offensive truck makes sense, if it saves even one child or adult from Brian damage or death.

  6. Remember that this is CORRUPT KATHY HOCHUL who is putting this up! She comes to us when she needs our votes. I didn’t see her telling us to stop spreading polio when she needed our votes!!

  7. A frum woman made the ads. It’s her parnassah. Ari Brown wants to showboat and try to score points with his anti vaxxer friends by making her lose her business

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