Foundation for Litigant Parity
JUNE 15 IS BLIND BAR MITZVAH DAY - IN HONOR OF FEDERAL JUDGE STEFAN UNDERHILL, POLITICO LEE WHITNUM IS ENCOURAGING JEWISH CHILDREN TO HOLD THEIR BAR AND BAT MITZVAHS AT MUNICIPAL BUILDINGS.
Politico Lee Whitnum is encouraging Jewish children to hold their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs at municipal buildings across the country, declaring June 15 Blind Bar Mitzvah Day. This in response to Federal Judge Underhill's ruling that since Whitnum had not viewed the highly publicized Bar Mitzvah she had no standing. Whitnum is encouraging Bar Mitzvahs in municipal buildings with the only caveat being attendees must wear blindfolds during the actual ceremony.
“Thanks to me and the very prejudicial Judge Stefan Underhill, Jewish Children won the right to hold a Bar Mitzvah in a municipal building,” said Whitnum. “You are just precluded from viewing the service, no probelm, wear a blindfold or turn around for that small portion of the celbration - the actual Bar Mitzvah. You can hear it, have a band, a party, refreshments, bring in the Torah, you just can't view the ceremony."
Whitnum is encouraging Manhattan children to investigate the lobby at 40 Foley Square the building of the Appellate Second Circuit, as they upheld Underhill. "It is an extremely impressive venue, white marble 15 foot walls. Don’t forget the band, the Shofty Bar Mitzvah had music and refreshments and thanks to me and Federal Judge Underhill Jewish children won the right to hold a Bar Mitzvah and party in a municipal building for just the custodial fee. Sorry Christian children you lost the right to hold a Christian Confirmation at a municipal building." said Whitnum.
The Bar Mitzvah of Aner Shofty took place at the Greenwich Town Hall on May 15, 2011 Whitnum, who is Christian, later tried twice to book the same venue, through her employee and friend, for a Christian Confirmation and was denied.
“That is preferential treatment and a violation of the Establishment Clause and Article Seven of the Connecticut Constitution,” said Whitnum, “but no one cares as no one is minding the store in Connecticut. It is the reason we are ranked 48th in the country. Even at the federal level it seems the law is completely ignored and it is all about who you are.”
On June 15, 2015 Underhill dismissed 3:11-cv-1402 on an impossible benchmark that since Whtinum had not "viewed" the Bar Mitzvah, she had no standing. Whitnum claims Underhill's ruling was impossible as the Bar Mitzvah was not a public even and took place behind closed doors, and Whitnum was not on the RSVP list.
"Underhill ruled on an impossible benchmark, the press erroneous reported that the Bar Mitzvah of Aner Shofty was part of the flag rising to commemorate the anniversary of Israel’s birth," said Whitnum. "Not at all; the Bar Mitzvah was a private, closed door event which took place hours later. There was a separate RSVP list and I couldn’t have attended if I wanted to. Underhill also expressed no opinion on the fact that the Torah had been brought in from the Carmel Academy. Therefore, that was okay.”
Whitnum said she believed Judge Underhill was either biased in favor of the Jewish Community or is prejudiced against her since she sent out a press release requesting the John Underhill Society to pay for the monument to the 500 plus Greenwich Native Americas slaughtered by Underhill’s 11-generation grandfather in 1644, John Underhill.
“It is personal and I don’t know why I can’t get this prejudicial judge off my back,” said Whitnum who has asked for Underhill’s disqualification at least ten times in three cases. “He would rather set the separation of church and state back 100 years than grant me a win in anything. Underhill has repeatedly refused to step down."
Whitnum is grieving over Underhill’s decision. “A precedent was set; people are now allowed to bring in the Torah and to hold a Bar Mitzvah in a municipal building as long as the attendees avert their eyes during the ceremony,” said Whitnum. “I fought for the rules to be the same for everyone and it backfired, Jewish children now have a federal ruling - a precedent that grants them a right that is denied to other religions; that was never my intent.”
Whitnum is also fuming at the waste of time as Underhill's ruling took five years of litigation and went to the U.S. Supreme Court who promptly dismissed the case without hearing it. "Ignored again," said Whitnum.
"Gee all I was asking for was $1 and the rules be the same for everyone," said Whitnum. "What a waste of five years of my life. I wish I had known it was a rigged game from the get-go. Well at least someone prevailed. I hope some disadvantaged kid who dreams of a real hootany for his/her Bar/Bat Mitzvah takes advantage of my hard work. Practically free awesome venue! I won you the right. Mazel tov and have a blast on me and please send an invite to Federal Judge Underhill: 900 Lafayette Place, Bridgeport, CT. Maybe he'll choke on a rugelach. Now that would be justice."
Whitnum is a 2018 democratic candidate for governor whose stated mission is to clean up the Connecticut Judiciary. ###