MAILBAG FROM LAKEWOOD RESIDENT: Here Is What I Am Thinking About This Tisha Bav

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It was two and a half years ago when Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz addressed a dinner in Lakewood and gave a speech that no one was expecting.

“L’tzaareynu harav, we have a machala in Lakewood,” said Rechnitz. “No other out of town community would ever allow a child to be left without a school. In LA if a child wouldn’t have a school , the first day the whole community would be all over it. The same thing would happen in Baltimore, Chicago, Toronto or anywhere else. This is basically a Lakewood machala. Yes, there a few kids in Monsey, more than a few kids in Brooklyn, but nowhere else and at no other time in history was this problem close to the magnitude it is in Lakewood.”

Rechnitz ultimately retracted his words and the firestorm that shook Lakewood to its core slowly settled down with everyone saying that, Baruch Hashem, the situation had changed.

Just four months later, my wife and I moved with our two daughters, then ages three and one, to Lakewood. Priced out of the housing market in Crown Heights, we did our homework before making the move, choosing Lakewood because of the affordable housing and the many amenities that it offered, moving our well known, New York based CJ Studios photography business with us. While it was true that the Lubavitch presence in Lakewood was not overly large, we found our place in a community and a shul where we felt at home, and we settled into a more relaxed pace, confident that we had made the decision that was best for our family.

Allow me to tell you a little about my family. I am from Denver while my wife hails from Miami. We are your average frum family. We are makpid on pas yisroel, cholov yisroel and I take both my davening and my learning seriously. It never once occurred to us that finding a school for our kids could prove to be a challenge.

We couldn’t have been more wrong.

We were somewhat discouraged when we first began looking for a school for our older daughter, hoping to find an appropriate place where she could learn and grow. We had been warned in advance that elementary school placements could be difficult, so we started looking for a four year old preschool program in order to get a foot in the door at an early age so that we wouldn’t have a problem down the road. Unfortunately, we struck out everywhere we went, told time and time again that the schools were full, so with no other option we put her into playgroup for four year olds and took comfort in the words of consolation from our friends who told us that we would get her in the following year. “Don’t worry about it,” they told us. “The 4 year old preschools can be harder to get into than the older grades.” “They only take families with kids already in the school.” “Just do to a playgroup this year and things will fall into place next year.”

We hit the ground running when the next school year started but by December we were already discouraged because no matter how many applications and deposits we sent out, the rejections kept on coming. We kept hearing the same words: “our school is filled to capacity” and “our classes are bursting at the seams.” Some schools wouldn’t even take our application because they literally had no room and a few that supposedly still had room they treated us very poorly, though I will spare you the details to avoid embarrassing them. We thought our worries were over when we were finally accepted at a school in February, after a very nice hour-long sit down meeting with the menaheles, but they retracted their acceptance a week later, telling us our daughter wouldn’t be “a good fit because she was too well mannered for the kids in their school” and assuring us that they would help us find another school. “It has nothing to do with being Lubavitch,” she said to us, hastily adding “I love Lubavtich people.” Ask yourself if we were black if she would have dared say the same thing to us. And as far as I know, they never lifted a finger to help us and we never heard from them again.

Believe it or not, we had even tried to start a school of our own, hoping that we could be part of the solution to Lakewood’s school crunch. We met with a few local families and others but couldn’t get the necessary commitments and since we were already busy with our full time business that often has serious time demands, we knew we couldn’t take this on on our own. It was clear to us that we had to stick to existing schools and daven for siyata dishmaya.

An ad placed around town by the Lakewood Vaad in February offering to help parents whose kids still didn’t have a school was another dead end; while they seemed well meaning and said all the right things, that was as far as their efforts went. Our hopes were dashed again in June when we had an extremely positive interview at yet another school but then didn’t hear back from them for weeks. When I finally reached them, they told us they had been ready to accept our daughter until something came up, refusing to tell me what the issue was. The mystery was solved a few days later when a rov I know called to tell me that the school was unhappy with my business’s Instagram page that featured pictures of brides, and after being told that I was a wedding photographer, they reluctantly agreed that I might be frum enough to send my kids to their school. They said they would call us back for another meeting in a few days but that was weeks ago and I am still waiting for that call to come through. Ironically, this particular principal had told us that she was from California and didn’t have the stereotypical “Lakewood” mindset, but her actions clearly proved otherwise.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out how is it possible that a wedding photographer can’t post his work on Instagram, even though apparently it’s ok for a frum man to run a lingerie store in the middle of Boro Park. Can someone please explain that to me? I run an honest business together with my wife, we provide people with treasured photographs of the most important day in their lives. Have we come to the point where we need to have wedding pictures without kallahs in them? Or is someone out there suggesting that if I take pictures at a more modern wedding then clearly my daughters will never be good frum girls?

Meanwhile, yet another promising lead at a small school evaporated just days after our registration was sent in. We got the following email from the school in late June that read “Thank you for your interest in our school. Unfortunately, the school will not be continuing in September, so please pursue whatever other options you have for your daughter.” Other options? We had no other options. And worse yet, dozens of parents now found themselves on board the same sinking ship that we were on.

Our only option left so far is to put our daughter in a van with local Chabad shluchim and have her driven 70 minutes each way to a Chabad school located in New Brunswick. I simply cannot come to terms with the fact that we live in an “Ir HaTorah” with dozens of schools and yet not a single one will take our child. And it isn’t just my family and my daughter – I have spoken to numerous people who have the same problem, and while some are finding themselves suddenly facing the possibility of homeschooling, quite a few of them are seriously contemplating enrolling their kids in public school simply because they have no other option. Is that what things have come to? Beautiful, yiddishe families putting their kids in public school because the existing yeshivos simply have no space?

As the product of Lubavitcher yeshivos, I was raised on stories of the previous Rebbe who risked his own life to send melamdim out to teach in underground Russian yeshivos in the 1920s and 1930s. They defied the authorities daily, despite the possible consequences because they knew that they had to keep yiddishkeit alive by educating the next generation and every time a melamed was captured, there were others ready to take his place, placing themselves in jeopardy to keep the flame of Torah burning bright. Yet here we are in America, the land of the free, living in Lakewood where there are over 60 elementary schools, where no one has to risk their life to teach, where countless teachers can’t even find jobs and we still have children near the end of July who don’t have a school to go to in September.

We all need to wake up and realize that Lakewood’s growth is unsustainable. We can’t keep building and building and building and growing a community without proper infrastructure in place. Yes, we have kosher supermarkets, and pizza shops and shuls and mikvaos and clothing stores selling the finest in designer clothes for kids of all ages, including babies. Is that where our priorities lie? In making sure our babies are dressed in Burberry? But what good is any of that if we aren’t able to provide our precious children with appropriate chinuch? Rumor has it that both Bingo and Pomegranate are opening up locations in Lakewood. I hate to be the one to burst anyone’s bubble but we don’t need another place to buy overpriced dips, $200 roasts or two gallon jugs of mayonnaise. What we need is more schools!!

Our community leaders need to step up and take responsibility for this problem. We as citizens need to take responsibility for this problem. Much as we would never feed our sons or our daughters tarfus, we cannot allow them to be raised with an education that is devoid of Torah values simply because our current yeshivos cannot handle Lakewood’s blooming population.

Baruch Hashem, every Jewish child and every yiddishe family is a bracha and a cause for celebration, but the irresponsible development of Lakewood, which seems to include everything except for ample educational opportunities for our beautiful children, has created an untenable situation. Anyone who is contemplating a move to Lakewood needs to be aware of the realities – you might have all of the conveniences you want here, but as things stand right now, don’t assume that you will be educate your child anywhere in the greater Lakewood area. Not until opening more schools becomes more real then more grocery stores.

P.S. – Someone reading this letter said to me I ought to not mention about Instagram or things like that. I say I am not embarrassed. Im not embarrassed about my work. Im not embarrassed about my lifestyle. I am a frum Jew. I am Shomer Torah and Mitzvos. The only person that needs to be embarrassed, is the person who rejected a yiddish nishama for a Torah education.

While he may have retracted his statements, Shlomo Yehuda Rechintz had it right when he said, “Who has the right, who has that G-d like complex, that feels they have the right to inflict such irreparable tzaar? If you are ready to take the achrayus, then stand up now. Amod, Amod.”

Thank you, Mr. Rechnitz. I can only hope that others heed your call.

Yosef & Sarah Shidler

Lakewood New Jersery


66 COMMENTS

  1. While I agree with most of the points I don’t see YOU Mr. Shidler as being in the position to have ANY complaints.

    YOU chose to move to Lakewood even though you must have known beforehand about the shortage of space in Lakewood schools. YOU chose to benefit from the cheaper housing prices caused by the Lakewood overdevelopment and now you are complaining about.

    There is no one in the Lakewood community other than some business people who advocating for more grocery stores or other such amenities.

    You lived here only four months. You can’t have such strong roots here . If Lakewood is so bad, pick yourself and go elsewhere. People have made much greater sacrifices for the chinuch of their children
    .
    But don’t think that after four months of living here YOU are in the position to have such complaints on the community.

  2. He is 100% right.
    And he writes what many others are going through, without writing it up.
    There must be a STOP to these tactics.
    Where are the rabunim??
    Hiding behind their shows?

  3. The Peleg Hafganos Mentality Of Sinas Chinam Of Other Jews wasn’t stopped in Israel, So now it’s spreading. To Lakewood. This Virus Of Hatred That has caused tragedy for Jews for Thousands years must stop. People actually think that Hashem likes certain Hats, Certain clothes- then they have no idea what being religious means.

  4. @smerel – Learn how to read. He move to Lakewood two years ago.

    #2 He proudly signed his name, yet you attack him using “smerel”. On Tisha Bav nonetheless. Shame on you.

    And if hes living there for 4 DAYS? Is that a reason to deny a Yiddish kindt an education?

    Lakewood is a horrible place. Busy with BILLBOARDS while there are BOCHRIM IN BMG THAT ARE PART OF FOOTSTEPS. And no. That not a joke.

  5. We all need to wake up and realize that Lakewood growth is unsustainable. that and the fact that everyone wants to go to established schools.. this has nothing to do with Lakewood or bmg or ihr hatorah.. its not sustainable

    the schools are packed there is no room to take in thousands of new kids from Lakewood and Brooklyn every year

    its not a crisis/… we need to stop building

    high schools don’t have room for Lakewood children… we cant keep building schools! there arent enought busses and people that want to start a school

  6. My comment came in after smerel.
    Who I meant was 100% right is Mr. Shidler. He has a very valid point and needs to be addressed.
    IN EVERY COMMUNITY.!!
    MONSEY OR BROOKKYN ARENT ANY BETTER.
    They play football with the parents and children.
    Call back, come again, we will let you know…… just to shukel you off their backs… Hashem Yerachaim on those educators….

  7. @smerel that’s your response to a frum parent that is suffering? This is a tragedy. Regardless of whose fault this is, it is inconceivable that there are frum families that cannot find a school that will accept their children in one of the largest frum cities in the world. Several years ago I was in BMG on the first night of selichos and R Yeruchum Olshin Shelita was saying divrei hisorerus. After he finished his derasha he said “Rabbosai I have to say one more thing. I know that there are several families that still don’t have their children in schools. I don’t know what the eitzah is but I have to mention it because it’s weighing greatly on my conscience.” He then broke down crying.

    Yosef: I wish you and the other families that haven’t yet found yeshivos for their children siyata dishmaya and a quick resolution.

    I will be davening (and crying) for you.

  8. “I don’t know what the eitzah is but I have to mention it because it’s weighing greatly on my conscience.”

    How have we gotten to the point that one of the gedolim of Lakewood could say something like this ? How did we get to a place where such a gadol feels powerless to do something? Why can’t he just make a few phone calls and finished. The kids will be in school. But he doesn’t “know what the eitzah is”. Could it be that he would make a few phone calls and would not be able to prevail? That people would refuse to heed the request of such a gadol?

  9. There is no eitza, thousands of new families moving to the same area without the proper infrastructure is a recipe for disaster. Although we can acknowledge the mafia that is prevalent in most frum areas. That is not the issue here. The letter should say, Beware, there is insufficient schooling in Lakewood. People should not move here. And although Chabad is part of Klal Yisroel

  10. By him advertising on Instagram, he’s creating the need for people to be in Instagram to be able to find a photographer. And the cycle continues.

    Noway akin to the lingerie store owner

  11. The letter is inaccurate, accusatory and not for Tishaah B’av. We empathise with your pain of not getting your children into schools. However there is simply not enough room in the schools.
    Instead of blaming the schools and askanim etc., you should caution people not to move to Lakewood, as it’s infrastructure is insufficient for the public it already serves. You can politely ask that the Rabbonim and Askanim that give of their time and money to benefit the community, should discourage new families from moving there. People have to either move out of town, or start new communities, there is unfortunately a major housing crisis for the frum

  12. simple solution: more yeshivos! Start 2 or more new modos and there won’t be any kids without a school. Offer attractive financial incentives for experienced, quality staff, plus tuition discounts and behold 2 or more quality yeshivos. Wealthy lay people like the aforementioned need to step up to take responsibility to at least get them started. Rabbi Ahron Kotler is the go to MAN that can make it happen!!

  13. I stand corrected about how long Mr Shidler lived in Lakewood but I’m standing by everything else.

    He moved four months AFTER Rechnitzes speech so he was warned beforehand about what he was getting into.

    He acts very accusatory as if the Lakewood community prioritizes grocery stores over schools .

    He acts in a manner that the schools don’t find acceptable (right or wrong is irrelevant) and then seethes that they won’t accept his child.

    He complains about Lakewood’s unsustainable growth when he himself moved there to benefit from it.

    If he was some poor guy who can’t get his kids he would have my fullest sympathy. When you start writing public letters blaming (and bashing) everyone but himself for your situation you deserve an honest response.

  14. I could not disagree more with the writer. There are many different communities and practices in Orthodox Judaism and they are all beautiful but it does not mean that a chassid from meah shearim should expect to find their place in a Lakewood school just by moving in. I have the utmost respect for chabad chassidim but if an individual moves to Lakewood whee he knows there isn’t an established chabad community is it fair to expect the schools to be responsible for him?

    Additionally, I looked up the website the writer referenced, and the photo studio website displays pictures of people in intimate contact, as well as exposed areas of the body that are unanimously covered in Lakewood ( I’m not just talking about the knee being covered) and videos of mixed dancing that are entirely against the spirit of Lakewood chinuch and religious practice. Yes, it is business, but ot is reasonable to assume that the children will be exposed to this content in one form or another. I know of a family where the parents have a television and they are consternated that a school will not take them- after all the TV is not for the children. That is not a reasonable expectation on the parents part.

    I have nothing against the writer and I think all types of Orthodox Jews are wonderful people, but that is not relevant.

    I would suggest that the writer convince more chabad families, and those who share his values to move near him, and then he can start a beautiful mosad that will cater to him and other like minded people that with be a beautiful addition to the many types of mosdos hachinuch that Klal Yisrael has.

  15. Spashut,

    You are highly mistaken! Are you saying there’s no room in any school for one family, no school can have 21 kids in a class instead of 20?

    Schools aren’t like a game of musical chairs and it shouldn’t be made into one

  16. I’m positive that after the tzaddik Mr. Rechnitz starts waiving a few hundred thousands dollars to the school that accepts this wonderful bas Yisroel in their school, as he has done in the past, suddenly there will be many openings available to them.
    Yosef and Sarah stay strong and I’m sure Hashem will come to your aid in one form or another.

  17. @smerel – You are a rasha. And I’ll say it on Tisha Bav. Where is your lack of compassion for a fellow Jew? Where is your veohavta lirayacha kamocha?? YOU yes YOU Smerel are the cause of the churban.

    There is no heter on earth to not make sure that every child is given an education.

    You list a bunch of excuses bashing the letter writer, but at the expense of his child?!
    Rasha what you are. RASHA.

    Its a good thing the writer wrote his name, so you can call him on erev yom kippur and ask Mechilla.

  18. Dear Shidler’s עמו”ש

    My heart aches painfully to see what you have been going through. It is my feverent hope and prayer that a solution will be found very soon.

    However, I think that the blame is mis-aimed. A school is really a group of parents that collectively pool their resources to hire teachers to learn with their children. Such an initiative is usually a financial losing proposition . On the other hand businesses such as Supermarkets are meant to be profitable. Hence there will usually be no shortage of groceries but there will be a shortage of schools. If you and other parents are not ready to shoulder the financial burden for your own children, why blame others?

    The fact that there are no seats available in the existing schools is not fallacy. Its true. My own children who are BMG talmidim and have been living in Lakewood for years are experiencing the same as you are.

    It is terribly unfair to blame others for a problem that is our own. Why should someone else put themselves at financial risk or be forced to knock on doors to raise funds?

    It is true that in a town where there isnt such a demand for classroom seats we are fortunate to benefit from the existing infrastructure that previous generations sweated to build. But that doesnt mean that therefore we have an entitlement to a seat even when they dont exist. Now its our turn to sweat and build. And that is happening by leaps and bounds. Just take a ride through Lakewood, Passaic, Monsey and so many other exploding communities. The problem is that the need is outpacing the supply. That is not the fault of anyone other than those that are moving in advance of securing a school for their kids.

    Hatzlacha Rabbah

  19. Tons of parents who have children and grand children in lakewood mosdos have pictures of thier businessess listed on line. Whether its facebook instagram or snapchat. Plenty have women on them. Go look for yourself.

  20. This is really good exposure for his business. And it was not a smart idea to publish this letter, as a result there are numerous men looking at non tzniyus pics and videos on his instagram page

  21. I am disturbed by the tzar that you and your family are going through, and just as much, by the tone of the replies.
    The problem is that 98% of the community has a place for their children in school, so that your issue is just Somebody Else’s Problem. Yes, the community is growing and growing. Yes, it takes much time, effort, and funds to add schools, or even to add classrooms to existing schools.
    Please do not blame the writer for moving to Lakewood. Even the natural growth of Lakewood, along with every other health, thriving, Jewish community, has an ever-expanding number of children needing seats in school.
    The local community where I live has added several new schools, and the existing schools have been expanding.
    The only solution that I see, and it will surely not please everyone, is for the community and the rabbonim to insist that the schools take in these children. An elementary class with 22 children may be more difficult to manage than a smaller class, but that will raise the shortage of classroom space to the attention of the entire community. It is not just Somebody Else’s Problem. It is really Everyone’s Problem.
    We went through something similar years ago, when my daughter moved here with her family when her child was going into 3rd grade. We begged, pleaded, argued for her, pulled every string we could think of, and eventually, probably also this close to the start of the school year, one school found a place for her. And a few years later, the menahel of the school that could not accommodate her admitted in a candid conversation with one of the local askanim that the one string that would have changed the outcome was not pulling heartstrings, but purse strings.
    Again, this is Everyone’s Problem, and it is time that Everyone realizes it.

  22. When I read these posts it always upsets me. Everyone has complaints at the rabbonim and michanchim for not doing more. If it’s so painful for all the “bashers” to Lakewood then do something about it. Open a school and accept anyone who can’t get in! Kuddos to Rabbi Robinson who did just that. For the ones that are pointing fingers, come to lakewood and put your money where your mouth is.

  23. This is painful to read, and Monsey is going through similar growth and lacks sufficient schools. What’s almost as bad is that in a decade or two many of Brooklyn׳s schools will have to close for lack of students. I don’t know what the solution is, but affordable Brooklyn housing may be one part of the solution. A solution that’s just as difficult to get to.

    Maybe our Rabbonim can beseech some Brooklyn construction magnates to build a percentage Leshem Mitzvah to sell at below market rates for their local brethren. Assuming it’s legally possible.

  24. The sad reality is that Lakewood is not as welcoming as it used to be and treats people who don’t fit the perfect cookie cutter mold -differently than people who do fit the mold. Something has got to change, and it’s in OUR hands!!!

  25. In some communities where there are no yeshivos or where there is overcrowding and no space available, some parents are sending their kids to the local public schools and using a private tutor for limudei limudei. This may not be an acceptable option for many parents, especially where the local schools are too “progressive” even at the lower primary grades, but it works for others. Much depends on the locality and how badly the public school might endanger a child’s ruchniyus, but it may be the only option in some cases. Two and a half hours of commuting to school and back seems a bit much for a 5 or 6 year old.

  26. Move to Waterbury. We love everyone! Just advice for anyone else seeing this, FIRST look at chinuch and worry about everything else after.

  27. Yosef if you don’t mind working at such simchas that’s your business… but once you show off such pictures to others you are lowering yourself below the standards of most frum communities.
    Call up a posek of your choice in lakewood and try to get a heter for it. If you can’t then maybe lakewood isn’t for you. Or maybe 70 min drive isn’t so bad if you think jewish education is important for your daughter.
    I also saw you on the news before and that may be another reason a heimish school may not want to deal with your attitude in case they do something not fully kosher and you’ll be making a big deal out of it.

  28. Freddyfish, the writer readily describes his website as featuring weddings that are not the Lakewood norm. A simple search for his website confirmed the same. This is not something he is hiding. He just feels that that business is business and should not be a factor in his children’s acceptance to Lakewood schools. Where is the lashon hara? Please enlighten me…

  29. Many in frum businesses post photos of frum women, whether it’s wig styling/selling, makeup, photography, etc. I it completely immodest to post pictures of females over age 5 ( according to some shittus it’s over age 7).

    My business would definitely grow from if I would have an instagram account but I refuse to grow my business on account of business practices that are against halacha. Besides for the fact that I cannot understand how frum women can promote themselves so shamelessly on instagram and other social media sites without any busha, between millions of indecent, most immoral images. It is disgusting and shameful.

    And of course, frum photographers and “frum” couples are posting intimate pictures of themselves touching and kissing each other. Hashem yerachim how low we have fallen.

    I understand a school which doesnt want to admit children of parents who post such images on seedy social media sites.

  30. This letter is only half the story. I find it fascinating that collive, the chabad website ran the letter and the chabad commenters almost unanimously took the viewpoint of the Lakewood schools! Many pointed out that in 2016 the site ran a story about this couples planned move to Lakewood, and there were many people at the time advising him to join one of many chabad options, rather than Lakewood since he would have trouble getting his children into school!
    At the time the article countered that claim by quoting a chabad shaliach in Lakewood who said that every chabad shaliach witching a 50 mile radius of Lakewood was sending his children to Lakewood schools, and that the schools made the kids feel at home; in no way were they considered different.
    So it appears that Mr Shidler was given erroneous advice by that shaliach and he failed to heed the advice of the many chabad chassidim who told him to move elsewhere.

  31. 1. This author refers to: “have the stereotypical “Lakewood” mindset”. Sorry, mister, but the problem seems to be with you and your attitude thinking of there being — and blaming — “the stereotypical Lakewood mindset”.

    2. This author obviously thinks there’s some kind of heter to publicly post pictures of women. Being in the business of photography provides no such heter to publicize pictures of women. Or as you put it, ” I take pictures at a more modern wedding”.

    3. Your being Lubavitch has nothing to do with this problem other than in your imagination. This is a town wide problem across all frum demographics.

  32. Someone should send this to the vaad of Lakewood, sorry I mean fakewood, mainly the Rosh yeshiva of BMG and see how bec of them moshiach will never come and soon God will be so disgusted with the so called from.people HE will destroy the world. I love those people who say being frum is what keeps us alive. What a bunch of baloney. I see how being frum and doing the right thing helps. Wow!!!

  33. Gadolhadorah- Agree with you that a several hour commute to school is detrimental. The whole point of a Jewish education is the anticipation that we’d be blessed to have children who continue their passion and continuation for yiddishkuit. Growing up with a several hour commute to get a Torah education will likely turn off those children from frumkeit altogether, just as I’d get burned out at some point with a 2 hour commute to my work for 5 days a week.

    I live out-of-town where there are no ‘boxes’ or ‘black and white’, but from what I understand there are many unnecessary situations where Lakewood schools may/or may not have open seats and may/may not be for financial reasons, but refuse admission for a student because 1. The student’s second cousin went to a coed summer camp five years ago. 2- The parents use various social media platforms for their business for parnasah (facebook, twitter, Linkedin, etc) 3. One of the parents is a Bal’ Teshuva and didn’t always wear tzitzis his whole life. The list goes on and one, the absurdity goes on and on. Avroham Avinu was a Baal Chesed, and rightfully got that title partly because he didn’t discriminate on one’s back-round, color of their grandmother’s shirt, or whether they were sefard, ashkenaz, or chabbadnik. Lakewood has many wonderful offerings, but is not nearly yet on the level of Avroham Avinu.

  34. Joseph, if you don’t want to see pictures of women then respectfully ask the YWN administrators to delete your account and you should patronize other sites. There are many who believe with your mindset that blurring a picture of a Rebbetzin next to her Rosh Yeshiva husband is the appropriate tznious thing to do, and many who are not in agreement with you. Just like I can’t “Pasken” for everyone else on this website, you must not either. I have no problem with the pictures on YWN (or on the photographer’s website), but since you do please consider looking elsewhere.

  35. philosopher, same comment to Joseph applies to you. There is a reason why your “filters” don’t block YWN (with pictures of both tznious men and women)- because there is a large segment of the frum population that things differently than you.
    “Besides for the fact that I cannot understand how frum women can promote themselves so shamelessly on instagram and other social media sites without any busha, between millions of indecent, most immoral images. It is disgusting and shameful.” – Not only is that fictional, but it is highly insulting to many Bas Melachim, Rebetzins, and family portraits from yesteryear. When a Rebetzin’s photo appears in YWN or other Jewish newspapers- I DO NOT find it to be disgusting, immoral, and shameful- I’m sorry you have an ideology of such disdain of other frum Jews, which gedolim of decades ago didn’t practice. Please consider permanently unplugging all of your media devices

  36. Yzn-nice checking collive article but did you get a chance to see the commentsas well? (Sickening)

    Mnml4740-you obviously didn’t see the hateful comments on collive. I think some Litvishers tried even-ing out the field and explaining how this isnt a discriminatory case, but the hatred is just overpowering. And then ask yourself who is stopping Moshiach from arriving. Last I checked Lakewood accepted all communities of NY including chabad. And if some lakewooders decided to make a kehilla in crown heights? Oy what riots would arise to stop them. Talk about hypocritical.

  37. Just to address the HALAHCA issue of posting women – as all other aspects of this are being sufficiently debated by others (who are doing a great job…):

    There isn’t a Halacha forbidding posting women, if it’s done in a matter of business, and is intended for viewers who are seeking a service. Period. And don’t let any עם הארץ or חסיד שוטה (who’s מחמיר to call it a Halacha on someone else’s חשבון) tell you otherwise. This is no different than a Shadchan or a bochur looking at a prospective shidduch etc.

    This is not to say that a school has no right to ban such a practice. Just because it’s Halachically permitted doesn’t mean it doesn’t represent a certain lax and materialistic culture. But while we’re zealous to preserve מסורה let’s not fall in the pitfall of making it more than it is, like we say in the Viduy – את אשר התרת אסרתי

  38. I don’t claim to be in the “Know”, but perhaps HKB”H is trying to push Bnei Torah to the smaller communities. There are Jews hungering for Torah all across North America. Many people who raised families in the small communinities will tell you that they were able to raise children with great depth to their Yiddishkeit – perhaps more than children raised in the large centers of Yiddishkeit – provided that the small community had at least a core of Orthodoxy.

  39. Just remember! causing מחלוקת and hatred when there’s no real discrimination IS what’s pushing away Moshiach
    There’s a group called Chabbad which does a lot of good, like other groups do as well, but contains a strong element of elitism. When they make someone frum they don’t encourage the person to seek his way in עבודת ה’ or discover his grandparents מנהגים, but the guy must become Chabbad – the single true way of Yiddishkeit, and the same people who do this claim monopoly on אהבת ישראל…

  40. There are so many things wrong with this post and many of the comments. Here goes:

    Lakewood is a community that is growing too fast. The powers that be have failed to grow the infrastructure at a pace that can handle the influx of families. The birthrate in Lakewood is, bli ayin horah, enough to mandate the building of a new school for boys and for girls each year! And this does not even include newcomers to the community. Everyone seems to know that it is taken for granted that one must prearrange for schools prior to finalizing the move.

    I did not review the Instagram postings, and have no desire to do so. From what I gather, these postings present a halacha/tznius problem. I believe that one can successfully portray the creativity and quality of the work without resorting to such compromises. As such, choosing to display these photos is siding with the wrong set of values.

    As far as this being the basis for rejection, I have long advocated that these nutty ideas be abolished completely. A father’s malbush has nothing whatsoever to do with the child’s need and suitability for chinuch. These artificial disqualifications are an embarrassment to Torah value. Gedolei Yisroel have attacked these practices. The video clip of Rav Shteinman ZT”L repeating his call that this is plainly “gaavah”.

    Communities have the responsibilities to create the services needed in town. Can you picture a community without a mohel? Importing from elsewhere would not be feasible on a steady basis. Without doubt, the leaders would undertake to bring in a mohel. Same goes for all other needs. BMG may represent the power in town, but despite being a large force, it is no longer the only game in town. There are other leaders who need to contribute to the process of building the community. This requires yeshivos and schools. Certainly, parents have their role in this, as members of the community. However, someone who resides elsewhere, works, and plans a move to Lakewood would be very limited in his ability to create new mosdos.

    Lastly, out of town communities have tremendous growth potential. Lakewood has its benefits. Who says that frum Yidden cannot create other communities that can grow and thrive? The choices of Brooklyn, Monsey, and Lakewood do not have to be that limited.

  41. @MDschweks – That’s coming from @Joseph. Trust him. He is the king of Pritzus. Likely the most addicted person to shmutz, trolling forums, and stalking (in real life. Yes in real life) on the face of the planet. So addicted that he can be on a computer 24 hours straight, losing job after job, ignoring his wife and children as he trolls shmutz and filth so then he can report back to us and preach to us what shmutz and pritzus is. All in the name of Rav Avigdor Miller, Satmar and Neturei Karta of course.

    Not to mention that he doesn’t live in Lakewood, yet he seems to be very familiar about Lakewood despite living on Avenue I between Flatbush and Boro Park.

    Just disgusting how this is his issue. The letter writer can’t get his kids into Yeshiva because of his business, yet Joseph, the filthy trash bin has his kids in prominent Yeshivos? What a horrible despicable disgusting comment by Joseph. Just adds to his hate, his horrible horrible sinas chinom, jealousy, self-righteousness and narcissism.

    Shame on you.

    Go take your meds and get lost.

  42. I must say I did not check out his site, ut in general, let’s not make the guy into a shaigetz. It might be insensitive, unyiddish, and definitely not in line with old Lubavitcher Chassidus standards – but Shulchan Aruch it isn’t.

  43. Yzj I’m not a rav and I take back what I wrote to you before I just think it’s a good idea to ask a rav before posting anything which might be taken as lashon hora Sorry!!

  44. Regardless what people think of women promoting themselves in untzniusdige manners on social websites full of immorality and tumah, if a mosed doesn’t want to admit your children because of it, then look for a school that suits your hashkafas. Or stop kvetching and open a new school.

  45. Just want to say that it’s really heartwarming seeing the ahavas yisrael and outpouring of love and support to Mr. Shidler and lubavitch in general, even more so than on the Chabad site. I will keep this in mind and refer fellow chassidim to it when they complain about “misnagdim.” It really does seem, although we’ve had a hard past and although there still may be the odd diehard anti lubavitcher, the by and large, the litvishe community has moved past this. Now it’s time for the lubavitchers who haven’t realized this yet, to realize and reciprocate.

  46. philosopher/Joseph

    When these selective Lakewood yeshivas send out fundraising letters,
    do they include frumkeit level questionnaires ? I’m sure their principles would never allow them to accept checks from people whose children they wouldn’t admit.

    Just curious

  47. The punishment is coming and all the school’s will be closed by the government. Hasem says u don’t want my children then i don’t want a school.

  48. GET OUT OF LAKEWOOD!!!
    there are so many beautiful small communities that would
    love you to become a member . they have schools/shuls/cheaper housing. /yiddeshe families.
    RUN as fast as you can to a community that will accept you with open arms.
    you should only have bracha and hatzlocha, and please let us
    know what your decision was.

  49. People who don’t know the issue they are discussing, really shouldn’t comment about it. I have lived in Lakewood for a while, and it is amazing how many people here are completely missing the boat. All these great ideas, “just have 21 students in the class instead of 20” Lakewood classes already have 30 to 40 students in each class, do you have any idea how many “just one more student” these schools already take each year. This has severely compromised the education in Lakewood, 40 student classes are just not viable, now what, you want them to go up to 50?

    “If one of the Rosh Yeshiva would call, they can get your child in”, you think this letter writer is the only one who has called the R”Y trying to accomplish the same. you think the R”Y have not and not do this many many times, every year? Do you think there is no point, where schools are to full, and do not accept students despite these phone calls?

    “Just open another school” guess what, new schools, multiple new schools, are opened annually, and they all face the same problem. So in theory, you would think, just open more, but it is not that simple for many reasons. The main reason, is that even though schools can be self sustaining in the long run, they lose Hundreds of thousands of dollars before breaking even, not many people can take on that responsibility, it is Nes that as many schools open each year as is.

    I am not coming at this as someone who has no empathy. I have lived in Lakewood for over 20 years, and am relatively well connected, and have had my own issues, as many Lakewood residents do, in getting my children into schools. Every school administrator has many applications for each spot is open. The growth is unprecedented, and as long as people keep moving to Lakewood, it will only compound the problem.

    If people are looking to move out of NYC as individuals, I understand their are limited options, what boggles the mind, is the self sustaining communities that are moving to Lakewood. Why, the infrastructure can not keep up, and the traffic is insane, sure the housing maybe cheaper at first, but property taxes are sky high, and are set to explode even further as the school district is running huge deficits and is in massive debt. At least with a high mortgage, your payments are fixed and you know what your expenses are, with taxes, they are constantly rising and you can find yourself taxed out of your home in 10 years

  50. Midwest Joe made some excellent points that I can add to.
    Just how many open parcels of land do you think there are that can accommodate school busses and a play yard? Opening a school in a house is not the answer. Children need a place to run around during recess. How would the neighbors react to their quiet street becoming filled with cars dropping off kids and idling school busses. More children means more transportation expenses and higher taxes. Saying more schools is not that simple

  51. Midwestjoe I would appreciate if you can call me at 732-552-6691 as I would b very interested in starting a girls high school and looks like u have experience and would like to get ur input.
    Thank you
    Muti