Thursday, July 6, 2017

Vaad Says Dont Condemn the Community

NJ.com - The Vaad members were concerned that the latest stories out of Lakewood could be used as "a wholesale condemnation" of the Orthodox community, Kotler said. "We have a failure in our community that we have to address," Kotler said, referring to the arrests. "Theft is wrong. We need to do better to educate people."

But, he said, in admitting to fraud problems, "we also have to be careful not to be part of the chorus that condemns our community as a whole."

"We invited him in," Kotler said. "The idea was to educate people and make sure they understood the rules. We have a regret that we didn't do more."

The problem, it seems, has its roots in the sheer number of poor rabbinical students in town who get used to government subsidies.

"The transition can be difficult," Muller said.

The Vaad members acknowledged that many of the rabbinical students in Lakewood's numerous yeshivas qualify for poverty relief.

Tuition at BMG nears $20,000 per year. The yeshiva has 6,500 students, about the same number as the College of New Jersey, and most live within walking distance of the yeshivas. Last year, BMG students got $10,208,627 in federal Pell grants for needy students. Another $631,183 in Pell grants went to students at five other much smaller Lakewood yeshivas. In comparison, Ocean County College, with an enrollment of 12,000 students received $15 million in Pell grants.


Many of the yeshiva students are married and have multiple children. The median age in Lakewood is 22.4 years, the lowest in New Jersey. Next is New Brunswick, where 50,000 Rutgers students contribute to lower the median age to 23.5.

The Vaad members said the rabbinical students, who are in a government system that yields vouchers for housing and food and pays for their medical needs, have to be better at extracting themselves from the assistance once they begin to generate personal income........... 
"The challenge for the Orthodox community is to get these students quickly into the workforce,'' Muller said, "where they pay taxes like everybody else, and make them understand the rules."

Heinemann said the focus shouldn't be on the four years the students are taking government aid "but the 40 years after when they pay taxes."

The Vaad members said there are plenty of jobs in Lakewood.

"We have a labor shortage," Kotler said. "We have a thriving tech scene. We have a thriving health care scene. Our job growth has accelerated." read more at NJ.com

60 comments:

  1. The only one who condemned the community is the Vaad. The statement signed by weisberg admitted to guilt with no evidence, and threw the community under the bus. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? there are many gray areas here that are not simple and let the lawyers work it out. This latest attempt is for the vaad trying to clean up the mess they made in the first place.
    The Vaad askanim only look out for themselves and to protect their personnel
    interests they have no business speaking on behalf or representing the community

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  2. I’m sure all are aware of the recent arrests in Lakewood. There are so many infuriating aspects that have not received any attention. The Asbury Park Press went to town with new articles every day about the Lakewood Orthodox community defrauding the government. They have given all our non Jewish neighbors an outlet to express their hate. This is unacceptable. I take this as a personal affront. I do not steal from the government so please do not give the entire community a guilty verdict without a trial. Even more so, the individuals arrested have not had a trial, and I personally know one couple that truly needs government programs to survive and has no money that would have made receiving programs justified. If the Asbury Park Press would treat any other community as this, there would be a large outcry with protests in the street.

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    1. Not only was there no outcry, but gannett, has followed their lead and made in national in the USA today.

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  3. Harold HerskowitzJuly 6, 2017 at 8:40 AM

    This is a classic pot calling the kettle black moment. Those that orchestrated all of this are now throwing the little guys under the proverbial bus. It's so ironic to see the names of people that have milked the lakewood taxpayer directly for their own benefits, act high and mighty above a few people that may have incorrectly received benefits from a system that wastes billions of dollars a year unaccounted for. In other words what these couples received is probably less than insignificant to the average Lakewood taxpayer. But those acting like they know better are actually responsible for a significant amount of your tax bill every year. I find it laughable that they find a need to jump to the defense of a community they care nothing about.

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    1. HH, you're usually my man, but I have to disagree with this comment.If it's true that these people took money they didn't deserve, & we have reason to believe that it's true, then it's wrong, and there's no justification. Just because the amount is not so large in the scheme of things or compared to other shenanigans, does not mean they can be defended. You have opened my eyes to what goes on in this town, but this time, you're letting your anti vaad feelings (which I share) skew your outlook on a very deep machla in our society.

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    2. Harold HerskowitzJuly 6, 2017 at 7:41 PM

      Most of them did nothing wrong. And the ones that did, did nothing to deserve having their lives destroyed. Do you believe we should cut off a thieves hand for stealing? Im sorry. I don't believe there is one person in the world that has never bent a rule or taken something they did not deserve . You don't ruin someone's life to punish them for a petty crime.

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    3. Hershel, that is unAmerican. Here in America we worship the Almighty dollar and lives get ruined for petty crimes.

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  4. One of the reasons I don't vote for the anti establishment crowd is because the VAAD seems much more responsible when it comes to dealing with and preventing issues like this.

    I'm scared to think about how much worse the situation would be if some of the people who don't know the meaning of "Sayag L'Chochma Shtika" would have been turned to by the media as our representatives.

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    1. The situation could not have been worse. The vaad had all this time to do things and educate. They are only in it for themselves otherwise they would have advocated on the community's behalf.The members have personal interests and Negius, it's impossible for them to represent and be the spokesman for the olam.
      All the vaad has been doing late is posting articles on the scpoop about themselves how great they are. If the Vaad truly cared about the community they should all resign and set up a new vaad with members that have zero ulterior motive whose only job would be to look out for and advocate for the community.

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    2. Sayag lechochma shtika would have dictated the vaad not to talk to the media at all.
      I am very disappointed at the Vaad's comments. At this point there was no trial yet. The Jewish way is to be dan lekaf zechus, by the way the American justice system also says innocent until proven guilty. I would have expected our advocates to give full support to the accused at this time. The fact that they did not smells very very bad. My feeling is some Vaad members have an agenda here. Very very amateurish and inexperienced of them at best. I am afraid there is much much worse. Kantonistin

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    3. Anonymous 8:57 Are you serious? I don't see anything being handled well. The fact that the VAAD is morally compromised, makes it very difficult for them to preach morality.

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  5. As above "Sayag L'Chochma Shtika" Therefore I will not respond to this on a public forum.

    they should all resign and set up a new vaad with members that have zero ulterior motive whose only job would be to look out for and advocate for the community.

    Such a thing isn't possible until Mosaich comes.(Even it were the new VAAD would get plenty of enemies very quickly.)

    I'm curious why do you trust them to set up a new VAAD?

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  6. The Vaad dropped the ball here big time.
    Where was the vaad when the community is constantly besmirched and maligned with factual lies?

    The vaad also has their hands in the cookie jar they simply can NOT be the ones in charge.
    They need to step away.

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    1. The vadd in-action should not surprise anyone. After all, thr vaad clearly stayed on their famous letter head that BMG yeshiva comes before the kllal. Why is everyone up in arms about this.

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    2. Sorry to burst your bubble but lakewood for the past 20 years id no longer a community. Its a town/city. Most communities have a community rabbi, a community shul,a community school, a community recreation house etc etc. Lakewood has NON of the above. The fact that many are religious yiddin still does not make it a community. And neither is monsey boro park or williamsburg.
      The closest community around here that i can think of is leasure village.

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  7. What hypocrites politicians can steal millions through kickbacks and other means of circumventing but the govt goes after people for a few thousand over a 5 year period.

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    1. My friend that is called legal corruption.

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  8. Its interesting that our brothers in israel made a yom tefilah for the lakewood matzav. Did lakewood make one too. Did lakewood give a chizuk speech? Did lakewood have a kinus??? Unfortunately the silence is screaming!

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  9. This doesn't surprise me this is the vaad at its best. Throw everyone under the bus. And What does AK say is the solution to the problem? He says that everyone should learn mussar. Unbelievable Makes me sick they should be replaced by a group of rabbanim..

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  10. Alumni Beis EliyahuJuly 6, 2017 at 12:16 PM

    Why are you looking for a solution to the problem from anyone other than yourself?
    If you are the beneficiary from anyone or anything you are meshubad to play by their rules. Plain and simple
    To quote Country Yossi..."vissen vehn tzu dreying git uhn vehn tzu handlin fyne..."etc ayin shom

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    1. Why are you assuming anyone is a beneficiary of anyone else? Really puzzling, is everyone you know a beneficiary of someone else?

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    2. Alumni Beis EliyahuJuly 6, 2017 at 5:56 PM

      If u take public funding u r by definition a beneficiary

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    3. Why do you assume everyone takes public money?

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    4. Alumni Beis EliyahuJuly 7, 2017 at 7:51 AM

      I am not implying that at all. I am merely calling out an Anon for not getting to the root of the issue. When people are hyper-focused on being anti anything they lose sight of the real issues. The issue of what recently occurred is not a Vaad issue. The Vaad didn`t throw anyone under the bus they are trying to put some dressing on this wound and if they did who cares.
      The fact that we have created a Lakewood where houses need to be larger than what we grew up in where fashion plays a big role and austerity is looked at with askance .
      We need to realize that young couples cannot go into marriage with a dream of surviving on public assistance .
      It makes no difference if that is how it is done in Harlem , Camden , Trenton or Newark. We need to hold ourselves to the Ribbono Shel Olam`s standard ..sheker soneisi voaseisaveh Tehilim 119:163

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  11. "We invited him in," Kotler said

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  12. A few weeks ago the vaad said they are going to have a weakly colum on TLS called ask the vaad. I have not seen it what day of the weak dos it come out?

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    1. it's there. you just have to read between the lines.

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  13. All these comments are disgusting. Our community is hurting and the least we can do is unite together instead of getting at each other's throats. I hate to say this but unfortunately it brings to mind the infighting in the period before Churban Bayis Sheini. I'm not one to analyze heavenly decrees but we had this nasty election campaign with an endless torrent of Loshon Hora etc, and a few weeks later we get slammed with these tragic events. Hashem Yeracheim Aleinu.

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    1. Ok so you are a vaad member. Typical vaad talk it is ppl like you that cause pogroms when you act so blatantly for self interests this makes g-D happy?maybe the heavenly decree was because of your actions? Point is hashem knows how to run this world he doesn't need our help so stop saying who/what caused these events. If it was a family member of one of you vaad members then you might see things differently but by us jews all of us are brothers hence we see things in a different view then your self appointed vaad. Makes me sick how you can publicly attack and use mafia tactics and then say it's the oppositions fault. It's time for the rabbanim to take over and disband the vaad.

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    2. I agree. Since the vaad decided to besmirch those running for office, we are suffering these gezeiros.

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  14. The Vaad did a damn good job condemning everyone

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  15. The sinas chinom in some of these comments is such a kitrug rl.

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    1. The kitrug is what the vaad is doing to the tzibbur. Rabbeinu Yonah is very clear about people in positions if power who abuse it and instill fear into the tzibbur.
      The Vaad steamrolled over any threat in their way just to remain in power and control the cookie jar.
      Where is the million dollars that was given to Lakewood taxpayers but was diverted and used for Cedarbridge?
      Was that yashrus??
      What gave vaad members any right to it?

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  16. Cedarbridge has nothing to do with the Vaad. If you have taynos, go the owners of Cedarbridge. The Rosh Yeshivas of Lakewood control cedarbridge. Speak To them. If you don't like BMG that us your prerogative. I happen to like them and fargin them.

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  17. Lets put everything into perspective
    When BMG decided to take in as many yungerleit as possible, at that point they shoildve though hey , how are these people going to support their familes, the 160. Aint gonna do it, then to top it off appointed whomever to twonship commitee Build Build Build keep upping the prices and bringing the rich to make it absolutley impossible for a yingerman to buy a home,
    Jobs? Any job here woild cause a person to be so poor his kids woild get yhrown out of school
    From the Top down , this situation is a monster
    Healthcare is so expensive
    Taxes are so expensive
    Mortgages are so expensive
    Tuition is so expensive
    And thats not including all the hidden goodies NJ tacks on at DMV , Bridges and transportation
    Theyve made it absolutly impossible and they created this monster to fatten up themselves at the top
    When I moved to Lakewood , it was possible for a yungerman on a small budget to stay in kollel and buy a house for 120k and manage
    Today, you either have to be on all programs to barely manage, be loaded rich or have two people income and still not manage
    The Vaad created this monster and the same Vaad is critocizing those it guided and advised to live like this?
    What shouldve happened is Sloatsburg shoilve opened

    This article doesnt even defend the accused
    Almost every single one is a strugling very large family, you would think from APP ימח שמם that they were millionares, well far it
    And since when do we go to the enemy AKA APP and try to cozy up with them
    THEY ARE RESHAIM OUT TO DESTROY US!
    And cozying up and saying our piece aint gonna make the Amaleikim in their underware commenting like us any better

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  18. This is sickining, I feel that i am on a blog with nazis. So much hate. Yes the monetary matzav is shreklach and there are no lemayse jobs...people are trapped and have no way to live its like living in russia you gotta luve to eat. But the vaad are not bad people! My understanding of their ambiguous statement is that they are placating some authorities by recognizing and admitting to a problem and offering to find away to fix it....they are trying to get the cops off our backs. They know of all the Yungerleit that are doing this to survive and want to keep the cops at bay!!!
    Please srop speaking about the vaad as the devil incarnate. I have recently had the pleasure of having deslings with some of the members birosham Rabbi Kotler. And after seeing them personally and upclose i can say that they honestly care and work day and night behind the scenes to help this community leagally, financially etc...
    Rabbi Kotler is a truly righteous man whos whole life is dedicated to Yungerleit. Please refrain from the delicious fun of blaming all of our issues on this scapegoat

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    1. Tottele , firstly there are tons of jobs available if you would only avail yourself to them. Secondly, if you think this is like a nazi site then you have no clue what a nazi was or is.
      Thirdly, if you think for one second that the vadd only found out now about the yungeliet issues with "draidlach" then you are more clueless then you think u are .many of those yungeliet from years back when these issues started are now ZAYDEs and bubbes.

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    2. Dutka, it is not fun to blame things on the VAAD, Do you think people are opposed to them for "fun" Do you think people want to waste an hour of their lives every day, just so they can participate in this "fun" activity of rightfully blaming the VAAD?

      The traffic, over development, high taxes, traffic accidents etc., are all because of the VAAD. You could have the made the argument, that these are unintended consenquences of their actions, however, after they see the results, and not only don't change course, but double down, it is clear the VAAD does not care about the Tzibbur.

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    3. hurray! a vaad apologist pulled the nazi card out of the bottom of the deck.

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  19. The VAAD were warned and they were told what to do to stop the investigation. They got 'busy' with other things and dropped the ball. Now they claim to continue to represent us?!

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  20. Who asked these clowns on the vaad to open their mouths?
    Just like Bilaams donkey all they did is damage. They were never appointed by the community and they should Shut up>

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    1. Bilaams donkey actually said things that make sense

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  21. So angry at them. What Gives The VAAD Members Any Right To Meet With The Press AND Talk On Our Behalf.
    Such Chutzpah on their part. Owninig a supermarket or print shop does not make you a representative of the Lakewood community.

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  22. Using the word nazi is not proper.
    However some of the posters comments here are absolutely abhorrent coming from a shomer mitzvos. Regardless of what you think about anybody and regardless of how you feel about them , Ehrlich Yidden do not make comments that wish other Yidden to be subject to investigation. Those comments are comments only mosrim would say. Comments here or on other blogs are monitored by those who wish us no good and these comments are used by them to do shlechts to acheinu Beni Yisrael. Even if you don't like that person ,it is from the biggest avlas to wish bad things to happen to him and to comment that publicly lifne kol hoolom

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    1. yes. that is why people are upset that the vaad threw the victims of their policies under the bus.

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  23. I absolutely agree. You dontvtealuze how much hezik these types of comments do. The authorities very carefully monitor all our blogs and use every comment to show their superiors that even our own people think badly of us. Stop with this bashing already in front of the whole world. I don't care how bad you think the people you are bashing are. Even if you think they ate terrible ,you are still doing a terrible thing by being mefarsem and commenting here or on,other blogs

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    1. Why dont you lead by example and stop commenting hear. Your saying everything os read including your comment, so lmann hashem , why are u commenting? You make zero sense.

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    2. Obviously this is not ideal however if they go out in public and then ppl. Feel abused/taken advantage of and or hurt. And you the vaad don't give them a place or venue to voice thier opposition. Then what do you expect they will resort to leaving comments open to the public. When candidates not approved by the vaad wanted to advertise in Jewish media outlets the Jewish media received threats from the vaad. So let's recap the vaad is allowed to use Jewish and non Jewish media whenever they want. But us we aren't allowed to use standard channels because the vaad won't allow it. Then forced to utilize blogs(again not ideal ) then you guys start saying we are making a chilul hashem? It's a reaction to the beast they created. Again that's why rabbanim should be running the town not the self appointed vaad.

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    3. If the authorities would be reading all the comments here, we would be looking at a totally different investigation

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  24. Regardless of how bad the vaad or anybody else might be ,mesirah is mesirah. Check with your Rov if commenting on an open forum hoping that others should target somebody because you don't like his actions ,is proper for a yerei shomayim or not.

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    1. and who says calling the arumeleit that got caught up in Christie's vendetta against Mr. Kotler "bad apples" is not mesira?
      did they check with a rov before giving their idiotic comments to APP and nj.com?
      did he check with a rov before doing his stupid app podcast or lichtenstein's show?

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  25. What does somebody else's bad comments have with your mesirah. This is a new heter ,that since I feel that somebody else is also doing wrong ,so I can also do bad things. Where does it say such a heter.

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  26. Vaad affiliated therapy agency had no problems with Mesira calling child services on youngeleit and having them thrown out of their homes. Whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

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  27. http://www.takebacklakewood.com/blogs/post/Shouldnt-the-VAAD-members-pay-taxes/

    Wow Maybe the vaad needs to learn some mussar...

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  28. You obviously fargin the galach but not lehavdil the Rov.

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    1. When a galach lives in a church owned tax free house we respect him ,but when a Rov who is admired by all as a tzadik lives in the shuls house tax free ,then we tell him to learn musar. How low we have sunk.

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  29. Are galachim our role models?

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  30. You didn't accept my last comment. I'll try and rephrase. When will we rid ourselves of this traitorous Judenrat, that calls itself "The Va'ad"??

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  31. be nice - it's the 3 weeks.

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  32. We are a lost cause r"l. The sinah that some of us have to other acheinu bnei Yisroel is so bad , its worse than at time of the churbon. Hashem yerachem. We can't expect the umos hoolom to treat us nicely if we have such sinah.

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