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Atheist group’s Hebrew billboard thwarted in Chasidic enclave

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(JTA) — An atheist organization’s Hebrew-language billboard calling God a "myth" was not unveiled near a Brooklyn Chasidic enclave as scheduled. 

The billboard sponsored by the American Atheists organization was supposed to be unveiled Tuesday in New York’s South Williamsburg, but workers from the advertising company who came to erect the sign on top of an apartment building were denied admittance to the building by the landlord, the Brooklyn Paper reported.

The group will erect the billboard on Thursday at a site on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway near the original site, MSNBC reported.

David Silverman, president of American Atheists, blamed the hitch in the group’s plans on powerful neighborhood rabbis, according to the Brooklyn Paper.

“The Jews have stopped the billboard,” Silverman told the newspaper. “It’s really ugly bigotry. As a former Jew, it’s repugnant to see Jews act like this.”

Landlord Kenny Stier told the newspaper that “I don’t want to get involved in this.”

On Wednesday, the group is set to erect an Arabic-language billboard with the same message near an Islamic center in Paterson, N.J., a community with a large Muslim population.

The billboards advertise an atheist rally in Washington on March 24.
 

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