Jewish math teacher Jacob Rabinowitz has filed a lawsuit Dec. 4 in federal court in Newark accusing St. Joseph Regional High School of religious discrimination, unlawful retaliation and creating a hostile work environment.
The nine-page complaint says that Rabinowitz was hired to teach pre-calculus for the 2017-2018 school year. The anti-Semitism began on the first day of class, the lawsuit says.
The classroom that Rabinowitz shared with two other teachers had a swastika carved into the blackboard. Students, for several weeks of the school year, threw coins at Rabinowitz whenever his back was turned, “An obvious reference to Jewish stereotypes,” the lawsuit says. A student told the class that his favorite scene of Schindler’s List was a scene involving the gruesome murder of a Jewish woman, which he acted out in the classroom. And one student wrote on his desk, “sechs millionen waren nur der anfang,” which means “six million was just the beginning.”
“The conduct he was subjected to was not kids being kids but conduct highly offensive to a Jewish individual who had to stare at a swastika every day,” said Justin Santagata, an attorney for Rabinowitz.
The school is claiming that Rabinowitz only filed his lawsuit after recieving a bad evaluation and was asked not to return.
“The issues involve a first-year teacher who did not raise any complaints about anything until after he received a less-than-satisfactory evaluation,” Jim Goodness, a spokesman for the diocese said.
Rabinowitz is asking for compensatory and punitive damages, damages for emotional distress, attorneys fees and any other relief the court deems just. He also is seeking a jury trial.
Read more at NJ.com.