Thursday, May 09, 2013
Several thousand ultra-Orthodox Jews are expected to pack the Rockland Boulders baseball stadium Thursday night for a rally about the potential dangers of the Internet.
The event follows rallies last year — including a gathering of an estimated 60,000 people at Citi Field and a tennis stadium in Queens — that warned of the Internet's dangers to members of the cloistered Hasidic Jewish world. Others there promoted some uses of the Internet as positive.
The Viznitz rebbe — Mordachai Hager of Kaser — is to be one of Thursday's keynote speakers, members of the religious community have said on Twitter.
The rally is from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $10.
Congregation Khal Torath Chaim, which organized the rally, has paid Ramapo $5,700 for use of Provident Bank Park, the home of the independent league Rockland Boulders baseball team, Ramapo Parks and Recreation Director Michelle Antosca said.
The fee covers use of the big screen and loudspeaker system. The contract says the organization must clean up afterward, and provide security and staffing for parking, she said.
The volunteer group Chaverim of Monsey will have people at the event to maintain order, users have said on Twitter. Ramapo police plan usual patrols in the area, off Route 45 by Firemen's Memorial and Pomona roads.
"I believe this is being characterized as a youth awareness day with young men older than 10 attending with adults," Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence told The Journal News.
"It's about the proper use of the Internet," he said. "It's a very positive event from the viewpoint of the community that doesn't usually utilize the ballpark for athletic events."
In many ultra-Orthodox communities, leading rabbis have prohibited their followers from using the Internet, though exceptions are made for businesses.
The religious leaders don't want their followers exposed to sex, pornography and modern relationships on the Internet, as well as news and other information about the outside world.
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