(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

Behind all of the false bravado & chest thumping of ineffective rabble rousers, aggressive Covid testing campaigns have been ongoing. These efforts led by well known community leaders & organizations under the guidance of Rabbonim with the stated goal of reducing the covid positivity rate, thus freeing orthodox neighborhoods in South Brooklyn from the Iron grip of the Cuomo RedZones. Unfortunately, despite the continuous testing, community leaders & politicians remain extremely frustrated with State & City authorities for their refusal to share pertinent and timely data that can assist these frantic efforts. An influential and respected community leader in Boro Park who didn’t want to be named for fear of the Governor’s staff told YWN, “as long as we don’t have real and updated data from the government, we are shooting blindly.” He continued, “we need the community to come out and get tested and see the fruits of those efforts realized in an easing of the lockdown. The status quo cannot remain like this, people are losing it.”

With thousands of children locked out of Yeshivos and small businesses drowning in fines the leaders and elected officials try every angle and tools to impress upon Governor Cuomo and Mayor deBlasio the untold damage being inflicted on their helpless citizens. So far press conferences, public appeal videos, & social media posts have not moved the needle. With Court cases winding their way through the system, community activists Chaskel Bennett and Leon Goldenberg filed FOIL requests to NYS DOH asking to see accurate Covid numbers in hopes that with better numbers, activists could better focus their extensive efforts on solving the problem. As the states response below reads, the state is passing the buck to the city and leaving community leaders to wonder why the zip code numbers are such a secret. Conspiracy theories aside, this seems to be standard Cuomo vs Deblasio with the Jewish community once again, stuck in the middle.

When reached by YWN, Mr. Bennett responded, “the City previously released Covid numbers by Zip Code. When the State created their color-coded zones, that information stopped being shared and the new information now provided was changed to include the entire RedZone in South Brooklyn and not by local zip codes. That makes it more difficult for community leaders to assist in targeting the rising infections in a micro cluster manner. We can offer the State & City a real partnership if they would just work with us, but unfortunately they have chosen an approach that sidelines the very leaders who could help fix this.”

“I feel and share the pain and anger of the fathers & mother’s who simply want their lives back. Government is failing the people it professes to care about. They need to do way better”, Bennett concluded.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. I hope he doesn’t stop this lockdown until we find a vaccine. Every day Jewish lives are being lost. I wish they wouldn’t have reopened. Please don’t publish news that pressures him to reopen since in my mind that’s pushing for shfichas damim. Kidding parnassah is sad but loosing a loved one is much worse. please be responsible in your reporting and only write articles that will save jewish blood such as accurate medical guidance of masks and social distancing. Not articles that will cause the deaths of jews, like criticising coumo or the lockdown.

  2. 75 years ago Hermann Göring was asked at the Nuremberg trial how the Germans had accepted all of this.
    He replied: ′′ It’s very easy and it has nothing to do with Nazism; it has to do with human nature. You can do this in a nazi regime, socialist, communist, monarchy or democracy: the only thing a government needs to turn people into slaves is fear. If you can find something to scare them you can make them do anything you want.”

  3. No wonder nothing gets done. We have self appointed activists who have few bucks thinking they speak on our behalf. Where were these big shots in March and April. They ran to Boca or Miami until Things calmed down. As a kid I remember R’ Moshe and R’ Yakov
    Shut down the Yeshivas and sent thousands of kids to Manhattan to demonstrate on behalf of Soviet Jewry.
    Where are our leaders today to organize a similar demonstration. Is the Chinuch and the well-being of our children not as important?

  4. What data do you want. NYC publishes the data by zip code every week (on Github. They provide a link from NYC’s website to this info) and has been doing so for a long time. One minute with Google and you can find the zip code data for case counts and rates for each of the last 4 weeks.

    You don’t believe me? Well then tell me what this data is:

    Are these community activists ignorant, lying, or did they honestly not know this data is put out every week? I don’t get it. Am I not understanding the data at the link provided? What is going on here?

  5. Neither they nor any of the others that have numbers like this around the world can afford for the real numbers to become public because it would immediately become clear to even the most innumerate person that the politicians have been lying to the public.

  6. People were afraid that after Sukkot and Simchas Torah there will be a surge of people getting very sick and hospitalized (like after Purim) – however Boruch Hashem NON OF THIS HAS HAPPENED !

    Very few people – if any – are known to need to go to the hospital. Its mainly become a “viras” like any other “viras”

  7. We might have Covid here in the red zone. But our “very high” positivity rates reflect about a DOZEN cases. In a city with millions. It’s all nonsense

    And many of those cases aren’t even sick. Our hospitals are not full or even close. Yes death is sad and horrible. But what about the many kids who will go off the derech because of a year spent not going to Shul, not learning Torah , becoming addicted to all day technology? Are those lives less valuable?
    Trust me, I see the damage already. So do many parents I know that have teenage sons.

  8. Many cities around the country and even in NY have far more cases but they’re not getting locked down
    Most sensible people realized it’s just not worth it
    The cure can’t be worse than the disease

  9. @alter, they give case rates (number of cases per 100K of population) for each of the last 4 weeks. Do you mean the percentage of positive cases to total tests? You can probably infer that data point and in any case it should track with case rates. The governor is not going to say open when case rates remain high even if the positivity rate goes down. This, I think, is obvious. Not getting into whether the governor is right or wrong in the first place about his actions or his understanding of the science, just talking strictly about the data.