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John M. Caher

John Caher, Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications with the New York State Unified Court System, is a former senior reporter with the New York Law Journal, State Editor of the Albany Times Union and the author or coauthor of five books including King of the Mountain and A Time for Reflection.
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Titles by John M. Caher

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The Curious Case of Kiryas Joel
The Curious Case of Kiryas Joel (4 Formats) ›
By Louis Grumet, By John M. Caher, Foreword by Judith S. Kaye
Cloth Price 27.99

Cloth, PDF, EPUB, Mobipocket

Published Apr 2016

Twenty years ago, on the last day of session, the New York State Legislature created a publicly funded school district to cater to the interests of a religious sect called Kiryas Joel, an extremely insular group of Hasidic Jews. The sect had bought land in upstate New York, populated it solely with members of its faction, and created a village that exerted extraordinary political pressure over both political parties in the Legislature. Marking the first time in American history that a governmental unit was established for a religious group, the Legislature's action prompted years of litigation that eventually went to the Supreme Court. The 1994 case, The Board of Education of the Village of Kiryas Joel v. Grumet, stands as the most important legal precedent in the fight to uphold the separation of church and state. In The Curious Case of Kiryas Joel, plaintiff Louis Grumet opens a window onto the Satmar Hasidic community and details the inside story of his fight for the First Amendment. This story—a blend of politics, religion, cultural clashes, and constitutional tension—is an object lesson in the ongoing debate over freedom of vs. freedom from religion.