Originally published: May 8, 2013 1:45 PM
Updated: May 8, 2013 2:02 PM
More than 5,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews are expected to pack the Rockland Boulders stadium Thursday night for a men-only event to decry the inappropriate use of technology.
Congregation Khal Torath Chaim rented out Provident Bank Park in Pomona for the three-hour rally starting at 7 p.m.
With computers at home and cellphones in the hands of almost every teenager, immorality is sometimes just a click away, explained Yossi Gestetner, a spokesman for the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council.
"The purpose is to alert people to the dangers of technology and the Internet and encourage people not to use the Internet at home," said Gestetner. "It's not an issue of banning the Internet; it's limiting its use and using it responsibly."
Excessive time can be wasted using the Internet to sin, Gestetner warned, like looking at X-rated websites or finding illicit dates.
"(The Orthodox community) encourage or insist on not using (the Internet) at home and using it in the office with a filter," Gestetner said. "They encourage teenagers to not have access to iPhones. We understand it's the 21st century but those phones allow for communication with others without supervision."
Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence said many young students will attend the event accompanied by their teachers.
"It's a real educational forum," St. Lawrence said.
Rebbe Mordechai Hager -- the grand rabbi of the Viznitz sect, the largest Hasidic group in Rockland -- will deliver the keynote address. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Similar events were held throughout the metropolitan area last May, including 60,000 who flooded and in Queens. With a similar separation of men and women in mind, more than 15,000 Hasidic women watched the live-streamed speeches from other sites -- by use of the Internet. It was unclear if live streaming would be available again this year.
Two volunteer groups will be on site -- including Hatzolah, a volunteer emergency medical service that caters to mostly Jewish populations along with 60 members of Chaverim of Monsey, who will provide security.
Additional police presence may be required, St. Lawrence said, and if so, the event's organizers can hire Ramapo police officers for $100 an hour per officer.
"They have to pay for police if they want it and all other things," St. Lawrence said.
The town rented the stadium for $5,700 for the rally. Tickets are $10 per person, but the town will not receive any proceeds from ticket sales, St. Lawrence said.
According to the report, Yeshivat Avir Yakov is one of many fervently Orthodox Jewish schools in the state that tapped the E-Rate program, which subsidizes telecommunications services and infrastructure for schools. In 2011, the program paid out some $30 million to Orthodox Jewish schools.
Yet The Jewish Week notes that last May, fervently Orthodox Jews filled and stadiums in Queens for a rally about the dangers of the Internet. What's more, Hasidic schools often require parents to sign guarantees that no Web access is available at home before enrolling their children in yeshivas.
Using publicly available data, the newspaper found that although Jewish schools enrolled about 4 percent of 's primary and secondary students, they received 22 percent of the state's total E-rate allocations in 2011.
The Jewish Week said it did not receive calls for comment from the seven schools named in its story. Newsday could not reach a representative of Yeshivat Avir Yakov for comment Sunday.
Since 1998, Avir Yakov has received more than $3.3 million in such aid, including $817,065 in 2011 and $209,423 in 2012, according to the report. The school's 2012 request asked for items including 65 direct Internet connections for 25 classrooms, 40 computers or other devices, phone service for 96 classrooms and 260 cellphones with data plans.
The newspaper also noted that it has obtained a video of the inside of Avir Yakov from the past two weeks that shows no computers or telephones in the classrooms. The video is not posted on the newspaper's website.
Posted by Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg at 5/09/2013
די גאנז איז טריף אבער די פעדערען זענען כשר - The Goose Is Treif But Its Feathers Are Kosher
Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg