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Every Jewish Community has Politics

This is an old rant I wrote a long while back that still rings true today

You may think your city is the worst, everyone always does, but let me tell you something from my personal experience, every city is bad. Every city has their yeshiva’s, semi kosher  vegan Indian restaurants, shuls with mechitzas that are- too short, see through, too tall, too thick, too thin. Shuls with too many women not covering their hair, shuls that make you cover your hair, shuls with too much talking, shulls with drunken Kiddush clubs, day schools that accept non-Jewish children, not frum enough day schools that hate frum folks, too frum day schools that won’t cater to your child, too much controlling chabadnicks, maybe a couple meshichists speak too much yechi for your taste, that donut shop with the controversial hechsher from a guy who sends his kids to coed camps. Or maybe you think all the frummies hate the modern folks, the chabadnicks get along with everyone but secretly disagree with the misnageds, or maybe the school board members are too frum and wont let their kids over at your house because they don’t keep triangle-K.

Or maybe your local butcher sells Hebrew national and glatt kosher meat, or maybe the local girls school has too few students and you decide to send your child away only to be avoided in shull, or maybe you adhere to a strict hashgacha and wont eat anywhere, or maybe your children are druggies/untznius/or just nebachs and you wont go to shull for fear of more “advice”.

Maybe the local vaad refuses hashgacha to a local pizza store because it is a hangout on moztoi shabbos, or maybe the vaad just controls everything. Maybe your new eruv was made by someone who only half the community holds by- you know who you are. Maybe the yeshiva is disliked in your town (very common) or maybe the yeshiva alienates all the people who don’t adhere to its strict policies, or maybe the local lesbian reform Rabbi bashes the gay hating orthodox folks, or maybe Jews are really bored with their lives and just like to argue. 2 Jews 3 opinions you know……

Now here is a list of places I have lived or been that claimed that they had the most problems of any Jewish community. Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Washington Heights, Cleveland, Detroit, Denver, Los Angeles, Scranton PA, Pikesville MD, Providence RI, Monsey, Jerusalem, Miami, Salt Lake City, Chicago.

I cannot say who was the worst but many people will agree that every community has their problems and it all depends on willingness to shut up eat your flippin’ donuts and go about your business. Yeh I am sure its more detailed than that but since I don’t have any kids in school I guess that it’s my world view.

{ 32 comments… add one }
  • anony March 14, 2010, 10:36 AM

    Cincinnati has no problems….

    • m March 14, 2010, 2:45 PM

      cincinnati is the HQ of politics, from Reform being there for 100 years already, to the chabad/kollel politics, to the chabad/chabad politics, to the religious/not religious politics, there is a little bit of every kind of politics there

      • The Real Joe March 14, 2010, 4:20 PM

        I spent this summer in cincy I agree 100% for such a small community its crazy what goes on their the only man in the house is Barry Silver he figures out how to have a big mouth yet get along with everybody he’s a legend in cincy

        • Cincy man March 14, 2010, 8:57 PM

          screw you man. Barry Silver is a douche-bag. Fucking liar and a backstabber.
          you dont know what your talking about……….

          • m March 15, 2010, 12:32 AM

            barry actually tries to be friendly to everyone (sort of mediate a bit), he doesn’t actually DO that much, in general he is a very friendly guy.
            what did he do to you that you are cursing him out like that?

          • Anonymous December 2, 2012, 1:40 PM

            very easy to talk shit with a name like cincy man

            • Anonymous December 2, 2012, 1:43 PM

              Cincy man you must be one of those fakes who lives in the cincy frum community, loshon harra!!!!!!!!!!!!!! go say Al Chet on yom kippur so that u can be a piece of shit the rest of the year

    • Anonymous March 14, 2010, 3:00 PM

      Either you’re being very sarcastic or you no longer live there…

      • m March 14, 2010, 6:41 PM

        i actually don’t live there now, i spent a year there recently,
        i doubt everything changed so quick,
        the politics might not be that serious, but “has no problems” is not true, they have at least as much politics as your average community.

        • Anonymous March 14, 2010, 7:24 PM

          Oh, I was trying to reply to Anony from above. I know that it has lots of problems. I don’t live there now, but I grew up there and I’m kinda sad to see how much everything has changed.

          • anony March 15, 2010, 6:08 PM

            if I remember the problems started occuring when kollel arrived… chabad and conservative got along until conservative got a new head rabbi in cincy who went to reform rabbinical school… prior to that the head conservative rabbi was an orthodox rabbi… even today, reform rabbis come learn at chabad…. Barry Silver is trying to continue what his grandfather the Illustrious Rabbi Eliezer Silver started… Barry does his best and takes care of the Yeshiva Bochurim at the same time…

    • SF2K1 March 17, 2010, 11:48 AM

      I’ve seen Cincinnati, it was terrible with machlokes and politics between every group and their mother.

      My hometown of Columbus was actually great. I wish more communities could be as cohesive and get along as well.

      • anony March 18, 2010, 8:55 AM

        Columbus is nice… but they still have their share of garbarge… when Kollel moved in and gave Chabad Troubles…. the grandson of the shul’s former rabbi taking over, etc.. etc.. etc..

  • Phil March 14, 2010, 10:48 AM

    All the constant bickering, no wonder mashiach isn’t here yet.

    I have the solution: co-ed mikvahs. Everyone could use a little more love.

  • Anonymous March 14, 2010, 10:51 AM

    Phil: Now there is idea 🙂

    Whats Judaism without politics? If it weren’t for all this drama then we would convert elsewhere.

    • Phil March 14, 2010, 11:14 AM

      Would work great until the vaad establishes the mikvah police.

  • frum single female March 14, 2010, 12:21 PM

    i have to agree with you, every city has there problems. as to which city is best to live in… well it depends which problems you prefer to live with.

  • Bubba Metzia March 14, 2010, 4:24 PM

    LOL, this is so true. It’s even like that at my uni.

  • SkepticButJewish March 14, 2010, 4:33 PM

    This reminds me of a joke that I once heard.

    A Jewish guy shipwrecks on an island. He is the only person on that island. No other ship in sight anywhere. He knows he is far from civilization. So he figures he might as well build himself a Jewish community all by himself because he is going to be staying there for a long time before he gets rescued assuming he even gets rescued. Many years later a ship arrives at the island to rescuse the Jewish survivor. They land on the island and the Jew welcomes them. He shows them the city he build all by himself. Everyone is so amazed at his skill. The Jewish guy invites them to a shul that he build to daven to God for being rescued. But as the rescuerers are walking with the Jewish guy they see another shul a block down the road. So they ask the Jewish guy, “why would do you need two shuls?”. So he responds, “that is the shul I refuse to go to”. ^.^

    • Anonymous March 14, 2010, 4:42 PM

      The sad thing is that it would really happen!

  • SylvanParkAve March 14, 2010, 10:22 PM

    Rochester has absolutely no politics or megalomaniac characters who own guns and habitually expand their homes 🙂

    • Heshy Fried March 14, 2010, 10:53 PM

      But it does have one of the most unwelcoming out of town shuls I have ever been to – and I lived there for 10 years

      • SRegis March 14, 2010, 11:19 PM

        But they have Bodek prechecked Romainne now! Maybe next is a real Yeshiva and Girls School!

  • RIZZO March 15, 2010, 8:44 AM

    Seriously, where did you get this picture?! This is so funy- no way you got that off google…

  • Der Alter March 15, 2010, 10:02 PM

    Ok, good post. It gave me an idea to “test the waters”, so to speak.
    I live in a city with a minuscule Jewish population, which is too small
    to support a Yeshiva/Hebrew Day School.
    Yet we do have a state supported school (not in USA), with a Jewish curriculum that does teach Hebrew , Jewish History and Tanach. The students are from five to 13 years of age.
    Once the enrollment falls below a certain level, the state will no longer support the school and tuition will rise to that of a Yeshiva in the US.
    Should we take in non-Jewish students?
    I would be very interested in the response you receive.

    Many thanks.

    • Michaltastik March 16, 2010, 8:47 PM

      Usually non-Jewish students are children of intermarriage or children who are in the process along with their families.

  • Der Alter March 16, 2010, 9:05 PM

    #22, You beg the question asked.
    Should a Jewishly oriented school be dissolved because of a lack of students or should there be an open admissions policy.
    The reason for asking is that the entire “admitted” Jewish population is under 2,000 all told.

    Please review my post #21


  • L Matchka October 11, 2010, 3:47 PM

    Cincinnati ohio has the most vicious gossips in the entire jewish world. These people should be ashamed of themselves…this is why Jews are hated by gentiles…from the arrogant, gossiping head of the Bet Din to the do-nothing-but-harass vaad to the infighting among the chabad. These institutions are the root of what’s wrong in Cincinnati. Run and don’t look back is my advice to any Jews wanting to stop here! If you stay here (or worse move here) you will need to take multiple showers a day just to get the slime off of you from interacting with these people. YUCK!

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