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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Report From the Five Towns Israel Rally - UPDATED

Pictures from this evening's Israel rally in Cedarhurst Park:








I won't deny that the turnout was a bit disappointing, but it was not as sparse as it appears in the pictures - the crowd was spread out all over the park, which is quite large. In addition, today was visiting day for almost every one of the Modern Orthodox sleepaway camps. Factoring that in, and the fact that a somewhat sizable number of locals spend weekends in the Catskills, it was not quite as disappointing as it would have been on an ordinary Sunday - though it was still disappointing. The most personally disappointing to me: I saw almost no one from our Chevrah of friends.

Another part of the rally I found interesting was the interdenominational aspect of the rally. There was an Orthodox Rabbi who spoke, as well as a Reform and a Conservative Rabbi. The Conservative Rabbi mentioned in his speech that this is an issue that all denominations in the Five Towns can agree on, and one that can bring unity to the Five Towns - clearly alluding to the recent rancor in the community. That said, the rally was, to my eyes, attended almost entirely by Orthodox members of the community. I wouldn't minded seeing the issue of support for Israel picked up by some of my non-Orthodox neighbors in a more visible fashion.

Update: A few commenters have correctly pointed out that the turnout for this rally was not that disappointing when the lack of publicity it received is considered. We heard about the rally when we were forwarded an e-mail about it this morning, otherwise we probably would not have known about it at all. When I wrote this post, I did not know that this rally's lack of publicity was universal to the community, rather, I thought the Orthofamily was somehow alone in missing the bulletins. So please take that into account when considering the crowd.

41 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spoke to a good number of people (in the orthodox community) who simply did not know about it. it doesn't seem to have been publicized very well.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't publicized well at all, and I'm told a number of rabbis felt excluded/slighted that they weren't informed or invited.

Your pictures were taken early on in the program though, and it was far more crowded later in the evening

9:48 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Anonymous said...

I wasn't publicized well at all, and I'm told a number of rabbis felt excluded/slighted that they weren't informed or invited.


Interesting.


Your pictures were taken early on in the program though, and it was far more crowded later in the evening


The pictures were representative of the crowd.

I aqm not saying it was an abysmal showing. I am saying that when you consider:

1) How many Jews live within a 10-minute drive of Cedarhurst Park, and

2) How many of them crowd the park for an event such as a fair or a concert,

it wasn't exactly a fantastic turnout.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you see the group of 10-12 J4Js that showed up in the middle?

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a local orthodox rabbi and I can verify that I knew nothing about this. Ever since I started reading your blog I haven't had as much time to read the FTJT so I didn't see the ad for it until a family member of mine asked me if I knew anything about this tonight (sunday night). I am far from insulted, but I don't think it was smart planning. The easiest way to disseminate information is by going through the shuls. If the rabbis didn't know, the ba'alei batim who are in Manhattan all day during the week and only know what is going on in the community based on what they hear on shabbos, will never know about it. Considering how many people were aware of this event, I wouldn't be too disapointed with the crowd.

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Classy update OM.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Neil Harris said...

Glad to see that at least there was a rally. Who was the "Orthodox Rabbi who spoke"? Nice pics, haven't seen Cedarhurst Park since October, thanks!

11:29 PM  
Blogger Pinchas Floyd said...

short notice has been a problem with many of the gatherings in the ny metro area

i found out about one a couple of hours from me right around the time it started

certainly not enough time to get the kids together and head out

and i would really like to go to one

3:04 AM  
Blogger YMedad said...

Sorry but I couldn't identify you in the pics. ;>0

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with OM it was an extremely pathetic showing.Considering how many people show up to the chabad events, fairs, concerts,etc. it was not visiting day for ANYONE this week. none of my "chevra" "25-35" was there either. And although I did see Larry Gordon there I can't imagine that he did not know about it at press time to at least put an ad in the paper. it was in both the star and the herald (same thing) Very Disappointed.

7:14 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

it was not visiting day for ANYONE this week.

That is incorrect. Whether the showing was disappointing or not, it most certainly was visiting day, for all of the Modern Orthodox camps.

7:23 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...


YMedad said...

Sorry but I couldn't identify you in the pics. ;>0


:)

7:24 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

I'm pretty up on what goes on in the community. With that, i can definitively say the rally was barely publicized,

I didn't see any significant mention, if it was mentioned at all, on Five Towns Shuls. Nor was it included in my shul's weekly email. And I didn't hear anyone talking about it other than my wife.

It did occur to me early on that the event was somewhat lame (I wonder if Arab protest rallies begin with 11 minutes of acknowledgements, sponsors, and political gladhanding...). Still, one of your photos captures the area where I was standing. But it does not capture the heavy throng of people who stood with me. The crown was particularly heavy around the time Anthony Weiner spoke. Was that before or after your photo was snapped?

8:48 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

CORRECTION OF WEIRD TYPO:

The crown was particularly heavy...

The CROWD was particularly heavy...

8:49 AM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

Nice to know that a rally was heavily attended by the Orthodox. At one rally I went to, the Orthodox were outnumbered about 50 to 1.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Five Towns Jewish Council, despite the name, is not really representative of the community. It may have been 20 years ago but not now. It seems to me that they only invited those rabbis who normally participate in their interdenominational activites. That really leaves most Ortho Rabbis in the Five Towns out. It is a bit sad that given the fact that supporting Israel should be an issue that all Jews can agree on the 5TJC stuck to their usual cast of suspects. the same thing hold true with their Tenzer Breakfast. No one younger than 50 shows up to that one either. it is time that the 5 Towns Jewish council starts to represent the majority of 5 Towns Jews. some updating is needed.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

And I thought the grass was gold in the five towns...

10:10 AM  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

And I thought the grass was gold in the five towns...

10:10 AM  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

And I thought the grass was gold in the five towns...

10:11 AM  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

And I thought the grass was gold in the five towns...

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Five Towns Jewish Council has been irrelevant for as long as anyone can remember, and the poor organization of this event certainly didn't cast them in any better light.

They continue to pat themselves on the back for all they accomplish, while they really accomplish very little. They laud themselves for bridging the different segments of the Jewish community, yet they make minimal efforts to include the largest and fastest growing segment of the community.

The program included a couple of good speakers, but most people seemed disappointed with it, because too many of the speakers were terrible, and it carried the same "we are relevant - look how many politicians showed up" theme of all their other events (though some of the politicians were the best speakers).

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The MCs were all terrible too.

Were there other sponsors or organizers behind the event?

Was the JCC involved?

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to know that a rally was heavily attended by the Orthodox. At one rally I went to, the Orthodox were outnumbered about 50 to 1

At the rally in the city last week, which also was orgnanized by non-orthodox entities, there was a huge orthodox turnout

11:45 AM  
Blogger MoChassid said...

There is a community-wide women's tehilim gathering, sponsored by Aneinu, at Aish Kodesh Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. if anyone is interested.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, the JCC was a sponsor along with the 5 Towns Jewish Council, and it seems that the comments above from Anon 9:13 and Anon 11:15 apply somewhat to the JCC too.

2:59 PM  
Blogger YMedad said...

crown or crowd, there were a few "heavies" there.

and since when does Jameelie stammer?

but to be serious, the truth is that Jewish organizational ability and real-time infrastructure is woeful. It always has been (I was at the May 1, 1964 first SSSJ demo). It takes so long for you guys to get going but when you do, great. But still, we Israelis are taking all that the Hizbees are throwing, physically and mentally and economically and psychologically, whether are the front lines or on the home front and we need to benefit for the great power you guys there can wield. I saw the SF demo at Muqata and it was also shvach.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Annon---

The 5 Towns Jewish Council doesn't recognize the existence of the 5 Towns Jewish Times. I think its called Jewish unity

5:35 PM  
Blogger thekvetcher said...

And I thought the grass was gold in the five towns...

10:12 AM

jameel it is, once i saw a fight and a guys gold tooth got knocked out on the ground. A poor immigrant was walking buy and found the tooth. He cried that the 5 towns is really growing gold.

5:46 PM  
Blogger MDmom said...

something must be wrong with your grapevine. my parents told me yesterday evening (israel time, afternoon, ny time)that they were going... they live near but not in the 5T.

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come all the women there look fat?

6:53 PM  
Blogger MDmom said...

don't you know? the camera adds ten pounds!

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While touched on slightly, what these photos show (I think I saw a J for J in 1 by the way), is that there are things that can unite the community. See the nice mix of kippah wearers and non kippah wearers. Let's use this as an opportunity for positive, not negative as many us want.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or we can recognize that it was somewhat of a failure and see to it that future 5T gestures for Israel really do include and unite the entire community

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is incorrect. Whether the showing was disappointing or not, it most certainly was visiting day, for all of the Modern Orthodox camps.

7:23 AM

Visiting day for MO camps was last week. People in my office have kids in both Lavi and Seneca, and they went last week. So find yourself another exuse.

9:21 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...



Visiting day for MO camps was last week. People in my office have kids in both Lavi and Seneca, and they went last week. So find yourself another exuse.


Well, then visiting day for SOME camps was last week - but visiting day for others, including Camp Mesorah (a neighbor went up to visit their children) was certainly yesterday. So find yourself another point to be obnoxious about.

9:24 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Oh, and Morasha was yesterday as well.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, the issues ...

11:21 PM  
Blogger asdfj24972 said...

Please visit The hal Turner Show for important news coming out of Israel/Lebanon.

2:57 AM  
Anonymous TW said...

A few points:

1. Yes, the majority of the attendees were Orthodox. But note that there was a non-Orthodox contingent there. Remember also that there is a FiveTownsShuls list, which is geared to the Orthodox community, and there probably is no similar email list (to get the word out) for the non-O community.

2. To the community rabbi above. I know that the rav of my shul received a flyer and posted it on a bulletin board at shul and it was announced on shabbos. To this end- shouldn't there be a central directory of all the shuls and shteiblach in the area for community purposes?

3. As for the rabbinical speakers- Rabbi Marans of the Sephardic Temple
Rabbi Rosenbaum of Temple Israel (Reform)
Rabbi Stern of Temple Beth El (Conservative)
Rabbi Teitelbaum of YILC
Closing God Bless America and Hatikvah
Rabbi Graber of Temple Hillel

If you heard the list of people thanked you'd realize that it spanned denominationally, including Judge Goldman (O) and Steve Kline (C).

Was there any mention of the rally in the 5TJT?

1:57 PM  
Anonymous TW said...

BTW, Orthomom- you must have been standing right next to me as you took have of those photos.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great story. Waiting for more. » » »

3:29 PM  

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