Satmar (Kiryas Yoel) Approves Of Gambling In Sullivan County


indigA short article on YWN this past Friday caused a firestorm of behind-the-scenes phone calls, and political back-room deals. The article was headlined “Orthodox Jewry Organizes to Vote Down Gambling Referendum”.

The article stated “With less than 2 weeks to the general elections, on November 5, the main Orthodox bloc-votes in New York started an intensive campaign to turn out tens of thousands of Orthodox voters to block plans for new casinos in the Catskill region and elsewhere in the state.”

The article accurately stated that both Satmar weekly newspaper (Der Yid and Der Blatt – representing Satmar Aronies and Satmar Zalys), featured long articles in their papers on the ills resulting from the casinos, specifically to the Catskills region’s Sullivan County. They cite an increase in violent crimes and gambling addictions, among other troubles resulting from turning the area in a gambling region. Di Tzeitung, another widely-read newspaper among Yiddish speakers, had a sketching editorial, calling the community to vote “No.”

The article ended by saying “Given the low interest among statewide voters in the casino referendum, Orthodox opposition may turn out to be decisive in blocking the plans to expand gambling in New York.”

YWN never expected what happened this past Friday. All we did was publish an article stating what appeared in THEIR publications. Our phones did not stop ringing. It became apparent, that Satmar of Kiryas Yoel was pro-gambling in Sullivan County. The leaders of that community called us repeatedly. Politicians began calling us. All day Friday. Newspapers began calling and emailing us.

Not surprisingly, the Times Herald Record did an article on this topic this Saturday. It became clear from the article that Satmar of Kiryas Yoel is all for gambling.

Here is what Rabbi Moshe Indig, a senior spokesperson for Satmar of Kiryas Yoel had to say:

“He (the Yeshiva World writer) is not affiliated with anybody. He’s not even Hasidic,” said Rabbi Moishe Indig, who helped bring at least one New York City mayoral candidate to Sullivan this summer and noted that one “article” was actually an advertisement.

Then Indig offered his community’s support for the referendum – support that was similar to another Hasidic leader, David Weiss, own owns the former Kutsher’s Sports Academy [a Satmar Kiryas Yoel owned camp] and said he was “fully supporting” the referendum.

“Our community is always here to support whatever…is the benefit of our state and county,” Indig said in an e mail. “That is why we are not against the proposal to authorize casino gaming, because it is in (favor) of our great Sullivan County.”

Indig is right. YWN’s writer is not Hasidic, and he is not affiliated with anybody. But Mr. Indig is Hasidic. And not only is he affiliated with Satmar of Kiryas Yoel (one of the 3 largest Hasidic sects in the world), but he is their leading spokesperson.

Again, to be clear, YWN is not stating any opinion on the New York State gambling referendum on Election Day. What we are stating is that Satmar of Kiryas Yoel clearly endorses gambling.

(Dov Gordon – YWN)


  1. Rabbi Indig is NOT endorsing a Casino in Sullivan county.
    He is NOT against it because the Heimishe camps in Sullivan benefit alot from the Counties members and the Moisdes dont want to jepordise their relation with the county…They same goes with certain votes the City council wants our council members to vote for which is against jewish religion but they need to vote for it so they can get the other council members to vote when the jewish candidates need their endorsement..
    Sorry this is POLITICS…

  2. The writer is just as chassidic as Indig a Rabbi, where the (expletive removed) do they get this Rabbi title, where were they ordained, they don’t have a shul or yeshiva, they call themselfs Rabbi to fool the police department and the elected officials.

    I don’t think the Indig even knows what sedra is this week, forget about about a perik in the mishna.

    The title Rabbi has become so cheap that every (expletive removed) in town they call Rabbi, money lauderers, molesters, divorce goons and crooks…

    More edited….

  3. I am a Jew who opposes Proposition One. I am not Hassidic, in fact I am non-believing. Is it okay with you bigwigs if I still vote?

    My great grandfather was a rabbi, so I should get an extra vote, don’t you think?


  4. This comes as no surprise.

    Unfortunately, thanks to a very solid and powerful bloc of voters in KJ, all the politicians come courting with platters of grants, waivers and huge sums of money.

    This has caused so much resentment and hatred in Orange County – since KJ receives more state handouts than any other municipality.

    There is rampant corruption, with pockets being lined from the top down.

    That the advent of gambling in the Catskills might destroy families; increase already intolerable weekend traffic; and raise the price of property affecting the needs of a rapidly growing summer population, means nothing to these self-serving people.

    So much so, that they had to correct Yeshiva World and make a public statement that they ARE FOR gambling so that the politicians pushing the casinos should generously reward their loyalty.

    I just wonder, where are the rabbanim, dayanim and askanim of KJ? How can they stand by without speaking out? They are well aware of the perils of casinos and the devastation they have wrought for many families – victims of addicted gamblers who have sold their souls to the satan.

    For that matter where is the Rebbe himself?

  5. This is nothing new. Rav Indig has spoken previously about the economic benefits that casino gambling would have for Sullivan County and the region. He has noted that gambling would be regulated and not have the problems of other sates. He has also noted that it would provide many entry level jobs to the frum tzibur that did not require advanced degrees. I assume he was not talking about having bnai torah working in the gambling part of the casinos but rather in the accounting, administration and housekeeping departements to avoid anhy concerns about tzinius and pritzus that sometimes go on at casinos. With unemployment over 12 percent, Sullivan county and the heimeshe communities in the area desparately needs casino gambling.

  6. Satmar operates on two levels. One level is for public, meaning politicians and reporters, which is rendered in English and one for internal consumption which is rendered in Yiddish.
    For public consumption, in order not to alienate the local politicians, Satmat supports the casinos. This position is made loud and clear in English.
    In reality they do not want the casinos for many obvious reasons. In Yiddish they tell their people to vote against the casinos.
    That is why the papers which, are published in Yiddish, publish in opposition. YWN, by reporting in English what was being printed in Yiddish, blew it wide open which cause the frantic announcements in English denying the Yiddish printed position.

  7. “David Weiss, own owns the former Kutsher’s Sports Academy [a Satmar Kiryas Yoel owned camp] and said he was “fully supporting” the referendum.”

    Reading between the lines, is this one of the sites of a casino?

  8. #10 Firstly when did Indig become “Rav”? He is so full of it! How many KJ men are going to get jobs in the casinos (in any capacity?)

    After gambling had been promoted for Atlantic City as an economy booster and job-creator, the reality is that the areas surrounding the hotels are in worse shape than ever, and the poverty level in the city is unchanged. The only difference is that the state is making money from the casinos.

    #11 Are you saying that the politicians are not going to count the returns?! If KJ votes against the casinos do you think that they will not realize that they were double-crossed? Count on them being furious.

    Besides, what are you teaching children – lying and hypocrisy is acceptable behavior?

    There is something so inherently wrong with the message KJ is sending to the whole world – Jew and non-Jew alike!

    The Satmar Rebbe zt”l fought with every breath he had (sometimes as a lone voice) to defend the principles he held as morally correct. He was incorruptible!!

    How sad to see the utter collapse of this high moral standard in the very town he built!!!!

  9. like I see that whole thing is, that everyone is taking his side on the story, that means, that a an Aroiny is the taking the side that he did right and a Zaly is taking the side that he did wrong, so from here I won’t see nothing.
    Where I did see the true was, when I was talking to some people around BP, Williemsburg and I even travled to Monsey,( because I was really curiuos what the people who didn’t took a side in that Satmar Politic are saying about that).
    And what I heard was, that at first when they heard that somebody – a Hasidic Frum Jew – said, that he supurts Casinos and Gambling -what is against the Torah at no doubt – they got – more or less – really surprised, so some of them were good with it and finish, but most of them couldn’t let it go as is, so they checked it out, and on today’s technolegy you don’t have to be such a pro. investigater to find out these things, and – after listening the whole recording from Indig’s statement on 102.0, and reading his Article, and some other stuff, and without any politics mixed in – came to the conclusion that he’s… 100% RIGHT. And I thing that every neutral – who is not in that (stupid, sorry) Satmar fight – is also saying so.
    If anyone is really intrested in knowing the true, he would look up for his Article, which is very clear, and after that I would like to hear what you say about it…