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Thom Little Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 08:17 AM
Original message
Jewish schools ban Internet
LAKEWOOOD, N.J. -- Like so many Americans, Mesh Gelman relies on the Internet for work. But in a move that's likely to complicate his business in international trade, he plans to unplug his home computer from the wired world, shutting out all that's good--and bad--about the Web. Gelman's reasoning is simple: His religious leaders have told him to do so.

The father of four is a member of Lakewood's tight-knit Orthodox Jewish community, whose leaders have declared that Internet access should be removed from homes with school-age children to better protect them from sexual images online.

It is more than a suggestion. The community's policy--formed with the principals of the area's 43 yeshivas, or Jewish private schools, and unveiled in late September--decrees that any student with home access faces suspension or expulsion on the grounds that even one Internet-corrupted student could sway others.

Rabbi Moshe Weisberg, who has long discussed the dangers of the Web with other Lakewood rabbis, said children are not mature enough to use the Internet and are susceptible to sites sexual in nature, either openly or subtly so.

"Kids can become addicted to the point where it's almost like a drug addiction or an alcoholic addiction," said Weisberg, who runs a social-services agency in Lakewood. "Even though there might be some value--research, schoolwork--the negatives so far outweigh the positives."


http://www.chicagotribune.com/technology/chi-0512020271...
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 08:20 AM
Response to Original message
1. Is that orthodox or just ultra-conservative?
Edited on Fri Dec-02-05 08:25 AM by porphyrian
Most Jews are not threatened by sexual images and wouldn't think this was a good idea.

It could be Chabad, which is a fast-growing cult-like fundie version of Judaism that goes through the motions without really understanding them, yet likes to speak for the entire religion.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. The word is "ultra-orthodox"
American Orthodox Judaism in general and yeshiva education in particular were transformed following World War II, when several distinguished rabbis, rosh yeshivas (heads of Jewish academies), and Hasidic rebbes fled Europe and relocated their institutions in America. (A Hasidic rebbe is a religious leader of a particular group of Hasidim, members of a pietist movement which originated in the first half of the 18th century.)....

The American yeshivas established prior to World War II encouraged secular study and promoted programs in rabbinical ordination, while the Telshe yeshiva in Cleveland, Beth Midrash Gevoha in Lakewood, and other postwar yeshivas founded by eminent European rosh yeshivas, encouraged Torah study exclusively, and eschewed accommodation with American mores....

While Hasidim in America formally eschewed accommodation with the modern world, and their distinct custom, dress, external appearance, and exclusive neighborhoods set them apart form other Orthodox Jews, they have adapted aspects of American society into their community. Modern technology, business and public relations skills, and diverse occupations are some of the ways in which Hasidim have been affected by American life.


www.myjewishlearning.com/history_community/Modern/Moder...

Chabad Lubavitch, of course, has Hasidic roots. They also have a website. The Lakewood Yeshiva is MORE conservative than they are.

www.chabad.org


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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Don't let Chabad get you on a mailing list, either...
...unless you want to be on it. It's easier to grow an extra head than to get off of it.

My problem with the Orthodox in general is that they like to speak authoritatively for the entire religion, as if their brand is the only brand. Ask a Reform Jew how Jews celebrate Seder and you'll get at least two versions (the conservative plus version and how they do it), but ask an Orthodox Jew the same thing and they'll only give their way. Fundie Christians do the same thing, I guess.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Officially, I'm still Roman Catholic....
I'm no longer a believer, but I've not started attending any other church, synagogue, temple, mosque, ashram or coven. And I haven't been excummunicated.

So that's not a problem!
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
2. A lot of religious groups and schools "ban" the Internet.
Edited on Fri Dec-02-05 08:24 AM by onehandle
A lot more Christian schools than any other religion.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
3. Lakewood is creepy
Just to prove I am not stereotyping here, let me tell you about
Manalapan, a heavily Jewish community about twenty miles
north of Lakewood. Manalapan is full of expensive houses, the
families work at places like AT&T or commute to NYC. The
education levels are very high.

Meanwhile, Lakewood is like some shtetl from 19th century Russia.
It is an older, urbanish area with a lot of apartment buildings. And
it is full of ultra-orthodox loonies in their black and white suits and
trademark hats in the middle of the broiling summer. Wives who
shave their heads at marraige and wear a wig.

And kids, kids, and more kids.

We lived near there and kept running into them. You would
think that their traditions would make them somewhat intellectual,
but think "47th Street Photo" - all they cared about was business.

Fundamentalist is fundamentalist - Jewish, Christian or Moslem.
Hardly surprising to hear they would throw the baby out with
the bathwater on the internet. You would think that such
"involved" parents would supervise their children and invest
in filtering software. But, no, they just ban it.

I expect to be flamed for bias or something. Go ahead.

arendt

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madaboutharry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. I am speechless
n/t
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Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 09:12 AM
Response to Original message
6. Just another group of idiots longing for the 15th Century.
Idiocy apparently has no religious bias.
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Talismom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
8. Just to show you how much variety there is in "the Jewish community",
our congregation is urging its families with kids to check out a great on-line program for learning Hebrew. My almost 8 yr old twins think it's the best computer game they've ever played and are competing with each other for how quickly they can come up with the right pronunciation of the word as it's flashed on the screen!
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Good point
I grew up with a ton of Jewish kids and my sister married into a Jewish family. Yet I can't think of any Jewish families I know but ONE who are this conservative.
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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 10:29 AM
Response to Original message
11. they are "extremists" in all religions, nothing new...
some of them wouldn't even acknowledge me as being Jewish, since I follow the conservative/egalitarian track.

peace.
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
12. How stupid! There are MANY software features to use for parental control.
:eyes:
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