PUBLIC OUTCRY: Dov Hikind’s Public Disgrace Of Rabbonim — WHY ARE WE SILENT?! [MAILBAG]


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By now voters in Flatbush are aware that there is a city council race for the 48th District between Steven Saperstein and Inna Vernikov. Saperstein, the winner of the Democratic primary, is a well-known individual, who ran previously as a moderate republican, has campaigned gracefully and respectfully, never attacking his opponent with negative mailers or ads. He’s been endorsed by respected communal organizations like the FJCC and Sephardic Federation and earned the support of the Police and Fire unions because his views and positions are really conservative. It’s important to note that Saperstein only ran as a Democrat so he could sit with the majority in the City Council and better deliver for his constituents. It will prove to be a smart decision, and a win for the entire district should he get elected.

As for Inna, Flatbush residents have been bombarded on a near daily basis with her negative mailers attacking Mr. Saperstein as some sort of AOC left wing progressive. These attacks are false and ridiculous. After all, Saperstein previously ran twice as a Republican. But to some candidates the truth simply doesn’t matter, anything and everything is used to smear an opponent in order to win.

Unfortunately nobody should be surprised. The last time our community was inundated with this kind of deplorable filth was the forgettable Yoni Hikind- Kalman Yeger City Council race, four years ago. The common thread between those two nasty campaigns? Dov Hikinds was involved then and he is now.

Inna has entrusted Mr. Hikind to run her election. But it might as well be Hikind running now. Political observers see Hikind’s aggressive tactics and attacks on Saperstein as a way for him to regain political power through his surrogate, Inna. His personal attacks on Saperstein have escalated as the campaign heats up and voters are realizing just how absurd it would be to send a firebrand Republican to the Democratically dominated City Council to represent us. Saperstein to his credit has been turning the other cheek and I’ve been impressed by his focus and unwillingness to go negative. But the relentless negative ads against Saperstein continue in this week’s newspapers and mailers and when you see them, know who is responsible, none other than Dov Hikind. Voters should soundly reject this negativity on Election day.

Mr. Hikind though has crossed a line recently and that’s why I’m writing this. Despite running one vulgar ad after another – Dov’s latest anti Saperstein video “demands” that community members call leading Rabbonim in Flatbush to confirm that Mr. Saperstein actually took pictures with them. As if the pictures Saperstein is using were photo-shopped from thin air. Hikind stoops even lower by sharing the Rabbonim’s private phone numbers on the video, with subtitles urging people to call them. Really Dov? People should call and harass Harav Hagoan R’ Yisroel Reisman Shlita to inquire if he’s lying? Frankly speaking we’ve rarely seen this kind of reckless chutpzah before and this is my protest for Kovod Hatorah. But this is hardly the first time Dov has used Rabbonim and Gedolim for his own political agenda.

In another brazen Chutzpah, it has been confirmed that on a random day a few weeks ago, the bell rang at the home of a revered Rosh Yeshiva and Gadol. Waiting at the door was Hikind and Inna. Neither Hikind or Inna had ever met this Rosh Yeshiva before. Hikind asked him for an endorsement for Inna, which he immediately declined. Hikind then asked if he can just take a picture with him, which this Rosh Yeshiva also refused. Mr. Hikind didn’t take that as a no. Instead, Hikind and his crony David Strobin then attempted to place ads in various publications which claimed that this Rosh Yeshiva had endorsed Inna for city council. One editor of a highly-respected newspaper had the foresight to call this Rosh Yeshiva and ask if he had endorsed Inna, to which he replied that he had not. This exercise in chutzpah has repeated itself with multiple Rabbonim all across Flatbush. Dov, it must be asked, who is really the one attempting to exploit Rabbonim for a political agenda? I beg you, cut it out already.

Lets be blunt. Flatbush voters do not want Hikind style negative campaigns and they really don’t want politicians using our Rabbonim in their negative ads. Whether going to a Rov or a Rosh Yeshiva and asking for a picture or endorsement is respectful or appropriate in the first place, is really up to the respective Rabbi or Rov. But what many find intolerable is basing Inna’s entire campaign against her opponent by creating mailers and ads questioning this picture or that alleged Rabbinic endorsement, when your own actions are highly questionable yourself. I don’t fault Inna for this, I fault you Dov. You know better. Or at least you should. Are you so desperate for power and relevance?

The Hikind political gamesmanship is old and tired and needs to stop. We have so many real issues to confront and this is an unneeded distraction and embarrassing. A vote for Inna is unfortunately a vote to bring Dov Hikind back into our lives. Let’s get serious and fight together for the common good, not against each other.

Yosef Katz – Flatbush

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.


(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. did you mention that Saperstein not only was endorsed by the yeshiva hating UFT but is a card carrying member of this anti frum group? Trumps tactics were also aggressive yet the frum adore him, so I dont see that as disqualifying for Inna.

  2. Just curious who the hell approved this sick Lisbon hora fest…? Obvs such an article has its place lichvod hatorah — but I’m just curious which poses went through it word for word and made sure it contained Loshon hora…? Shame on u ywn. Never can resist a little hachzakas machlokes…?

  3. Sorry lol I meant: Just curious who the hell approved this sick Loshon hora fest…? Obvs such an article has its place lichvod hatorah — but I’m just curious which posek went through it word for word and made sure it did not contain any Loshon hora…? Shame on u ywn. Never can resist a little hachzakas machlokes…?

  4. Once again, YWN and surrogates see fit to besmirch and lie about about candidates that they want defeated.
    Almost every word stated above is not true.
    The truth is that Saperstein does not have the endorsement of one Rov though he advertises that he is endorsed by Rabonim. He does not list one Rov who endorses him.A picture does not equal endorsement.
    Also, why has Saperstein refused to have one debate with Ina Vernikov. Maybe he knows that Ina will call him out for the deceptive campaign he has run.
    The only Rabonim who have endorsed in this race have publicly endorsed Ina Vernikov. The FJCC does not equal “Rabonim” and everyone knows that.
    YWN has long had a running feud with Hikind and with this article it continues. However, you need to be called out when the feud leads to outright lies.
    I hope that you will have the courage to printv this comment.

  5. PUBLIC OUTCRY: Dov Hikind’s Public Disgrace Of Rabbonim — WHY ARE WE SILENT?! [MAILBAG]PUBLIC OUTCRY: Maybe its because this is the first time i AM hearing about it.

  6. Listen up; people have been condemning Hikind for years for the right reason for the blatant disregard towards Torah values. His behavior was sickening when he threw us under the bus by hia atrocious pro Zionist comments endangering all of Klal Yisrael.
    Im happy you guys woke up now. Hes an old danger to Jews.

  7. Is Saperstein a shomer Shabbos? Is he a shomrei Torah umitzvos? Does he represent OUR values? Does he even know our values and what we stand for or against? Are the voters allowed to ask? Or must we follow the dictives of the heiligeh askanim and blindly vote for anyone with a D before their name? No need for morals. You must vote for the Party in power even if it means throwing your Torah morals down the toilet?
    Putting on a “kippa” for the pictures doesn’t mean squat.

  8. Slick move you did there he didn’t ask you to harass the rabbis he said you should call the rabbis to find out that the rabbi’s never endorsed saperstein you switched that and made it as if he’s claiming that the pictures that saperstein took or false the only one who claimed that is you the reason you claimed that is because you have no idea what to do with an obvious truthful video put out by Mr hikind no I’m not fed up with hikind campaign I’m fed up with liberal people trying to buy Orthodox votes with dirty cash saperstein supports every disgusting immoral position known to man he is a low life

  9. What a disgusting article full of lies. Dov Hikind has fought for jews non stop for decades. Yeshiva world news- shame on you for allowing a random man to write this lie and joke of an article and make it the cover of the website. disgusting. absolute lashon hara and absolute lies.

  10. Even more shocking then what Hikind did are the comments here who are instead of defending kavod hatorah are choosing to point fingers against either candidate.

    What Hikind did is utterly disgusting.

  11. Did anyone notice that Starobin is listed in a Vernikov ad as Senator Starobin despite the fact that he lost the race for State Senate several years ago.

  12. Rabbi Reisman to attack. Of all people. I saw this video yesterday and my blood boiled. What a low thing to do. This article is the least that should be done. Where are Rabbi Reisman’s mispallelim? This letter writer is correct!!! WHere is the outcry?!

    This is a bizayon hatorah. Hikind needs to make a full throated apology.

  13. cant believe people are not posting comments against hikind for this terrible bizayon hatorah. instead they are attacking the letter writer of the candidate. how low have we fallen

  14. Know who the last person who released a phone number in a video was? Trump to Senator Graham.

    Guess Hikind learned from the best.


  15. Why doesn’t someone please go make a swastika on a toilet seat in a public bathroom on an interstate highway in North Dakota to keep Hikind busy?

    Please someone.

    Know why there are none? Cuz Hikind is busy smearing gedolim olam instead.

  16. This is not lashon hara whatsoever. clearly you ignormaouses have never learned a lick of chofetz chaim shmiras halashon.

    In the old days, the Vilna bais din would have put this lowlife straight into cheirim for this horrific bizayon hatorah. And no, there were none of you “OMG ITS LASHON HARA” idiots walking around back then.

    Halacha is halacha.

    Not that means anything to Hikind.

  17. Hikind says he proudly represented us for 38 years.

    When he dressed up as blackface and caused a colossal chillul hashem, was that representing us as well? Has he ever apologized?

  18. Unfortunately flatbush has had weak turnout for local elections compared to the numbers they have
    Most never saw hikind video , I think I know the hock and didnt hear or see it
    This article will just give yidden a reason to not vote , by saying its politics with a wave of the hand
    As far as endorsements my feeling is fjcc is equivalent to flatbush rabonim endorsement.

  19. Amazing
    Is there nobody attacking hikind who actually has a shred of intelligence?
    All he said is the following.

    Saperstien is claiming that rabbi reisman endorses him (saperstien)
    It’s not true. I personally asked rabbi reisman and rabbi reisman told me that not only does he not endorse saperstien ,but he asked him to stop claiming that he does.

    If you don’t believe me (hikind) ,call rabbi reisman yourself and ask him.
    Here is his number…. (his number is not secret hundreds of people have it. Just most people would be too lazy or busy to get it so he posted it)

    I challenge any and all of the people here, agitated about what hikind did, to respond in a clear logical unemotional post,
    What or where is the bizayon haTorah, bizayon of rabbonim, or lashon hara?

  20. I guess Dov isn’t making enough running around screaming “Holocaust” to old ladies in Conservative Shuls. As Dov’s motto is “There’s no business like Shoah business.”

  21. This letter is typical of the Sapirstein campaign.

    Sapirstein fakes Rabbinical endorsements in his ads and now posts this very long (fake?) letter
    bashing Dov Hikind
    about the “Kavod” of our Rabbonim
    when in reality, Inna Vernikov is the one
    who actually DOES HAVE the endorsements of Rabbi Goldwasser and others.
    I have confirmed that Rav Yisroel Reisman has not endorsed Sapirstein and has asked him to stop using his picture (yes, he was photographed with him – that is not an endorsement!)
    I have not reached out to the Rosh Yeshiva Rav Reuven Feinstein, but I’m sure that the Sapirstein campaign
    is betting that most people won’t bother to either. (Sapirstein doesn’t even claim to have that endorsement – he just posts the pictures and assumes that people will think it is an endorsement.
    Basic and standard political dirty tricks.
    (By the way – Starobin WAS our State Senator and he is allowed to be referred to as such.)
    I just read that our former Councilman (who Sapirstein ran against) and whom the frum community especially knows how much he actually did for us, has endorsed Inna Vernikov.
    The City Council booted him out because he stood up for us and our values (something they could not tolerate)
    What record does the non-frum Sapirstein have, to show that he will represent our community?

  22. All those who bash Hikind, I am sure you have not done nothing for other Yiden besides your family & members of you shul maybe. You are bunch of nothing to do people who only know how to put dirt on the person who was always there for other Jews. In terms of Saperstein, who is a (election) loser and tries every way to get elected. He lost at least 2 elections before, and now put up a “mask” of Democrat and friend of frum community. In Russian community he is proud Russian, in Jewish he is a friend of yeshivas while he never cared for frum Jews before. While Inna is a baalat Tshuva and shomer shabbos. So if want to elect someone who will just bring cash for some organizations who endorse him, go ahead and vote for Steven, but just remember that he he will be another Mark Treyger, liberal and who supports all Democrat garbage. And in terms you wonder why YWN put this so called article, it is simple. Steven paid YWN for ads and that is a part of the deal.

  23. It should be noted that rabbi reisman only answers his public phone (the one posted) at certain hours of the day, and it is very easy to get the number. It is not a personal cell phone that he carries around with him all day. There is no invasion of privacy; it’s akin to posting the phone number for Yeshiva Torah Vodaas (actually, it’s sometimes easier to reach him by calling a bochur who is learning there).

    It’s not as if callers will be calling a private cell phone. Dov hikind does not publicize his private chessed endeavors, but I think it’s time to be mefarsem osei mitzvah, to make known people who do mitzvos. I’ve personally benefited from his chessed, which clearly was done lishma as no one else knows about it, nor did he mention his then-political ambitions. I don’t think it’s appropriate to explain the details of what sort of chessed he does on a constant basis, but I’ll say that it’s something very few people do.

    The community consistently voted for Dov for decades, and for good reason. One need not agree with his political views or his Zionism (i surely, emphatically do not) to accept the herculean efforts he has expended on behalf of the klal.

    The discussions in the comments and the article do not fulfill even one of the 7 conditions for lashon hora laid out in the chofetz chaim. As people here are aware, I am not averse to bashing opinions, practices, movements and the figures that represent them, because it’s to distance ourselves from bad influences. But personal politics? There’s no toe’les whatsoever in airing one’s opinions and attacking individuals, especially baalei chessed and oskim betzorchei tzibur be’emunah. Did he err in posting rabbi reisman’s phone number? That’s up for discussion, mainly because of the optics.

    Was he intentionally mevazeh a talmid chacham? Definitely not. He didn’t say people should call a rov and complain. He didn’t say to call the rov and express your own opinion. He does not believe reports that the other candidate received an endorsement from Rabbi reisman, and he is asking people to verify it beyond a doubt. Dov has never in his entire public career gone against the gedolei yisroel. He’s been a defender of the community and our values, which is something not able to be said of many frum politicians.

  24. I have no interest in Flatbush politics any more, but I have great interest in Rabbi Reisman (who I’ve had the honor of knowing and have respected for nearly 40 years) and Dov Hikind, who I’ve known and respected for even longer. Though I’ve not agreed with everything Dov has done (I sure hope he asked Rabbi Reisman’s permission before posting his number to confirm the lack of endorsement), Dov has ALWAYS had the needs of Klal Yisroel first and foremost in his mind. This real estate agent’s polemic is vicious nonsense.

  25. I don’t live in your city which is as looney as my city when it comes to elected officials. But Dov Hikind has a reputation of helping Yidden and our causes for many, many years. I would trust Dov over any elected official in your city or even in your state for that matter.

  26. alexfromny got it right, we have many “friends” in politics Cuomo was a friend, Treyger the UFT member who voted to defund NYPD like Saperstein is a friend, de blasio was a friend. Saperstein has no actual values if he switched from Republican to Democrat its called opportunism what he is doing, he will have no power in the City Council as he will be a junior member whom the Democrats wont trust. If the FJCC says they have rabbanim backing them we need NAMES of rabbanim.

  27. YWN is a medium stop bashing the messenger. These are the facts Saperstein is pretending that Rabbi Reisman endorsed him he did NOT, he had 1 of his campaign people pull down Inna flyers, he is a UFT member and endorsed by them which compromises what he can do for yeshivas, he switched to the Democratic party and will now need to prove his loyalty to the party line unlike Chaim and Kalman who were long time Democrats who had more leeway.

  28. Kinsler, I think YWN is demonstrating a) they allow for dissenting viewpoints that oppose their headline and b) that in fact they are NOT editing comments. The fact is no one is being forced to read YWN if you dont like it. I personally still see Inna as the more sensitive and viable candidate for this district as Saperstein goes with the flow, Republican then Democrat and who knows tomorrow a Socialist?

  29. Dov Hikind just can’t retire gracefully, can he? In his own way he’s as irritating as Chuck Schumer: he too can’t resist the lure of a camera or journalist. He’s not an Assemblyman any more, but he can’t get over his long-term power trip.

    I guess nothing hurts as much as a political has-been who is desperate to cling to some level of power. He must be really desperate for attention if he stoops to pressuring Rabbonim.

    Kuvult and Ferd… I’d laugh if it wasn’t so true.

  30. I’m so relieved to see that there are others like me who are sensitive to loshon hara and decided to comment about it. YWN, by leaving this up without asking a shaila, (and I’d be extremely shocked if indeed a shaila was asked to a well known and widely respected Rav who approved of posting it like this,) the harm that can (and probably will) be caused, directly or indirectly, from this decision of yours can have deep repercussions. Whether they be financial, emotional, social, or even chalilah, phsyical, the possibilities of negative consequences are beyond our imagination. But, just in case I have a better imagination than yours right now, I’ll touch on them just a tiny drop.

    The first thing I want to write is that you wouldn’t be at fault only for causing people to read this. You’d be at fault for so much more loshon that happens as a result of people reading this. Just an example: Rochel reads it, starts a conversation about it with coworker sitting next to her, the whole office joins in, and then half of them bring home the discussion to their families and continue the conversation there, and then family members talk about it to others, and so on and so forth. Something like the example just written here can cause the following things to happen, and it would be considered your achrayus whether it chalilah happens with the third person in the “loshon hara chain” or with the one hundredth:

    1. It can fuel someone’s dislike for the subject, thus turning that dislike into hatred (which can then have actual repercussions).
    2. Financial harm is so self explanatory.
    3. Insensitive, nasty people can make insensitive, nasty remarks (via email, in person, phone calls, etc.) to subject in the letter, causing emotional anguish. That would be you, YWN, causing Ona’as Devarim.
    4. Some crazy person can get so fired up and angry with subject that he assaults subject in the street.

    To be honest, it’s even hard to think of more ways because there are just so many infinite possibilities of what can happen as a result of this letter, and they are literally beyond human imagination. So I only wrote a measly four. But one more thing it is definitely causing: more loshon hara reading material on here. All those comments that are nasty and full of hate and badmouthing. I found myself needing to stop reading after about three comments due to the amount of loshon hara being written by readers. And it goes without saying, that I definitely did NOT read the entire letter, nor nearly all of it. I stopped reading, went to the comments hoping there’d be others who called out the loshon hara, was glad to see there were, and then had to stop skimming through due to the added loshon hara, and so I came here to add my comment.

    YWN, there’s so much tragedy in this world and in Klal Yisrael. We need unity, love, and kindness. Are you really going to ignore Hashem’s desire and command for us to spread love and not hate, just so you can be the place for people to turn to for the news and the latest hock?? You need to do better. It’s time you raise your “Yeshiva” standards.

    P.S. (This is definitely more deserving of being included above and not as a postscript, but as long as it’s read, it works.) Revenge is assur as well, so no amount of replies to this comment defending the loshon hara on this topic can change the fact that it’s all loshon hara.

    P.S 2. YWN, if you decide to take it down, ask a shaila, and then repost after receiving an okay to post it, do yourself a favor and put a very clear disclaimer at the top saying it is being posted with Rav _____________’s permission. In general, you’d get a lot more respect if you would attach your business and news to a Rav (or a few Rabbanim) and clearly display their names on your website. Then, I’d say you’d be living up to your name.

    May Klal Yisrael become only more and more united, and in doing so, bring Moshiach speedily.