Sunday, November 30, 2008

Omission: Mumbai 

This post is in regard to all the messages that we have been receiving about why we reported nothing on the terror in Mumbai.

While we sat glued to our seat with one eye in a Tehilim and one eye on IBN/CNN, we felt that there was nothing that we could add to the reporting that was not being already speculated and confusingly and irresponsibly posted by others without much basis in fact.

With regard to all the messages that we have been receiving from everyone who knows exactly why this tragedy happened, please get a life. You have no idea why this happened, other than because there are still animals in this day and age who because they resemble human beings in their form are afforded the same rights as human beings.

To all you masochists who are sending us messages that as a kaparah new takanahs should be instituted that Yidden should stop doing this or stop doing that, is that really what Hashem wants us to do? Does he want us to merely assuage our guilt by banning things and doing nothing positive? What will that accomplish? Absolutely nothing.

As Torah Jews we are firm believers in looking beyond ourselves. Our religion is bigger than any one of us and we all have a responsibility one to another, and to the world as a whole. Only by looking beyond ourselves and by contributing and spreading good throughout the world can we ever really correct, or accomplish anything. It is not by what we take away, but rather what we give that counts. We can only fight the darkness with light.

In the next couple of days we will post links to the various funds that have been setup to help the families of victims of this attack and to help spread good.

If you think you have it all figured out and that you'll be helping anyone by stopping all concerts, then go right ahead and lock yourself in your room, put ash on your head and ridicule everything everyone does. However, if you want to be part of the solution and help to change the world for the better, start by being and doing good. Think and do positive!


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Kabbalah - It's not just a drink anymore 

No problem too big or too small for Kaballah.

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader

From The Jewish Press


Friday, November 28, 2008

Jewish organization magazine featured in Adobe Creative Suite manual 


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Black Friday has already begun at Best Buy in Brooklyn 



CHAPTZEM EXCLUSIVE - Reply from Shauly Grossman, singer of the megahit 'Eech Vill Zain A Rebbe' 

Hi guys.

This is Shauly Grossman. I'm not about to run after everyone I know and explain myself, but I can't hold myself back here. I made this song together with other similar songs (on Goyish tunes) for fun more than a year ago. I never dreamed that anybody but my few friends will hear it and if I would have known that a year later I'm gonna find it on the net, just like you, with no clue how and who, I wouldn't have made it. At least I would have made it a drop more professional.
Anyways, I'm sorry if I offended anybody. It was meant for my own private fun.

I am a Tzanzer Chussid and really look up to him, but I can't help but agree with the guy that said "if they want our respect, they should earn it". As my family found out the hard way, most of the BIG Rabbonim, especially the big ones by whom you are nothing but another piece of meat, (at least the small ones try their best to be there for their people, they need them) are good for telling you that you need to do the right thing and Hashem will help. They were there to tell us that. But when it came to real life, when you really need their help, you can talk to the wall. If you want them to do anything but talk, you are alone.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Accused child molester Yona Weinberg's trial to start in early December 

Yona Weinberg, the Bar-Mitzvah tutor accused of molesting four children, will have his day in court in just a little while. Mr. Weinberg's trial is set for early December in which, according to a source, his defense team will be working very hard to defend him pleading his innocence. One of the tactics to be used, according to the source, will be to discredit the young witnesses that are accusing him of the abuse.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jewish study center in Monsey damaged by fire 

A two-story building used as a Jewish study center was damaged by a fire late this morning.

Most of the damage to the center at 21 Rita Ave. was to the roof. Monsey Fire Chief Doug Perry thinks the fire started on the roof, perhaps in a sukkah that was still located there.

Flames and thick, black smoke was pouring from the building when firefighters arrived. Everyone had already been evacuated. No one was injured.



Monday, November 24, 2008

Hasidim having extra-marital affairs within the community 

Link to the full CBS story


Twelve New York City Transit workers getting paid to stand around 

Twelve New York City Transit workers stand and watch while no work is done. Then fares are raised because the MTA has no money.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tziharget in tzibuzshevet? Please call! 

From the Jewish Press


Saturday, November 22, 2008

YALDAH Magazine Thanks Jewish Bloggers for Winning $100,000 

A network of friendly email lists, blogs, and websites pulled her through. Leah Larson, the 17-year-old founder, editor and publisher of YALDAH magazine, will collect $100,000 for her mother's grand prize winning essay, "Dream Girl," in the Someday Stories Contest. (Larson was one year too young to enter the contest herself.)

After eight weeks of online lobbying and voting, a total of 28,880 people voted for YALDAH and Larson's mother's dream "to invest in her vision." The contest, sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank, started with 10,000 entries, from which five finalists were ultimately selected.

Larson started YALDAH, self-described as a "magazine for Jewish girls, by Jewish girls," at age 13. No Jewish magazine targeted girls her age and she decided to fill the void. Today, four years later, YALDAH, is a 48-page, full-color, glossy quarterly with 700 subscribers. The average age of the editors and writers is 11½ .

"[M]y daughter," Larson's mother wrote in her winning essay, "exchanged a typical teen life for one of purpose, determination, and hard work."

With her reward Larson hopes to launch an advertising campaign to expand YALDAH's readership. Her immediate goal is to publish three YALDAH books - a novel, an advice book, and a crafts & recipe book, the latter two written by girls.

"I'm really also looking," she told The Jewish Press, "for feedback from our readers of how they want to see YALDAH expanded."

Asked about the voter turnout, Larson said, "It's really been amazing to see the achdus . So many people sent out [word of the contest] to all their contacts, put it on their blog, their website - people really put in a lot of time into spreading the word. Every vote definitely counted and I really appreciate all the time people put into helping me."



Friday, November 21, 2008

Jew-elry thief 

Cops are on the hunt for what they described as a Hasidic woman who snatched two sets of earrings from a Lee Avenue jewelry shop on Nov. 11.

The crook snatched the gold and diamond trinkets — which are valued at about $1,400 — at around 4:10 pm, then fled from the shop, which is between Hooper and Hewes streets.



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Eech Vill Zain A Rebbe 

Listen to the overnight Jewish music mega-hit that's taking the Heimishe world by storm.

Watch the music video with English subtitles.


On 5th Ave., Discounts Arrive Early 

Up and down Fifth Avenue, it is hard not to see red. Along the storied avenue, once immune to garish displays of retail desperation, shops of all persuasions are using crimson sale signs as bait to lure in skittish consumers.

Just as Warren E. Buffett said recently of stocks — that now is the time to scoop them up — so, too, is now an ideal moment to, say, grab a really cheap scoop-neck sweater at the Gap, which was among many stores offering “Friends and Family” discounts of 30 percent off the entire inventory this weekend.

Or, if one happens into Takashimaya, the deluxe, eclectic Japanese department store at Fifth Avenue between 54th and 55th Streets, was selling a $290 pair of black pony hair gloves for $199. On Monday, a sign in the window of H & M’s flagship shop at 51st Street advertised a one-day 30-percent-off sale on outerwear. Four blocks down at Ann Taylor, where sales signs line the window, a saleswoman said discounting had been under way “pretty much since Halloween,” with no end in sight. Red signs promised up to 30 percent off at Armani Exchange over the weekend, while the Cole Haan shop at Rockefeller Plaza was having more “whisper sales,” one clerk said, offering 30 percent off to whoever wandered in.



'Builder on the Roof' 



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Photographing a clown on Ocean Parkway 



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dumb and dumber endangering lives in Boro-Park 

Story sent in by a Chaptzem reader

As if FDNY ambulances weren't slow enough already. An FDNY ambulance was rushing with lights and sirens to a call in Boro-Park, the driver encountered a double-parked car and came to a complete stop. The driver, with plenty of room on both sides, refused to pass the double-parked car. Even when motorists offered to guide the ambulance driver through, she refused to follow their directions, but rather called NYPD and sat and waited. About fifteen minutes later once the Cops showed and ticketed the double-parked vehicle, the ambulance driver then proceeded to pass under the close direction of a Police Officer. Typical NYC behavior on all counts.


Perv-fighting rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg: They're out to kill me 

A Brooklyn Rabbi who has been outspoken about child molestation in the city's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community said yesterday he's been targeted with death threats.

Nuchem (Nathan) Rosenberg, 58, complained outside the 90th Precinct in Williamsburg that cops have ignored his pleas for help since the summer.

The threats were so frightening, Rosenberg said, that he closed down a hotline he had set up in February 2007 for victims of abuse.

"And I am still afraid for my life, even though the hotline is closed, because they are still after me," Rosenberg said.

The NYPD confirmed that Rosenberg has gone to cops three times since July but said there is little they can do.

The threats came after a rabbinical decree, in the form of flyers written in Hebrew, popped up across Williamsburg in August calling him a liar, Rosenberg said.

"If you see him, scream [dirty Jew], [evil person], [immoral] & spit on him," read one text message sent to Rosenberg's phone.

Death threats came in calls to his cell phone, he said.

Sexual abuse in the Hasidic community is rarely discussed and not commonly prosecuted in secular courts.

In one unusual case, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, a teacher at Brooklyn's Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Brooklyn, was charged with sexual abuse in 2006. He ultimately pleaded guilty to child endangerment.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) has recently begun collecting his own stories of pedophilia in the ultra-Orthodox world and claims he has "hundreds" of complaints against rabbis and other Orthodox leaders.

In September, a psychologist stepped down from a task force that Hikind formed to explore the problem, saying he had been threatened. "I was prosecuted in the street for daring to join such a venture," Dr. Benzion Twerski told Jewish Week.

"We all live here in prison," Rosenberg said. "We can't talk about what is bothering us."



Monday, November 17, 2008

New street plazas endanger people's lives 

The new plazas that were installed on the streets in Manhattan as an indirect way to make it even more difficult for car drivers, end up endangering the lives of the people that sit there in the event of even slight driver error.

Pics sent in by Eli


Sunday, November 16, 2008

National Gair Tzeddek Convention 

Sent in by JoeFlix


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Convicted Chasidishe child molester Yechiel Brauner still up to his tricks 

convicted child molester
Yechiel (Jerry) Brauner

For all those people who keep saying that Yechiel Brauner has changed, read this and then send him your kids if you still believe that.

According to a teenager that confided in an affiliate, Yechiel Brauner has been harassing him with sexual conversations on a continuous basis over the past few months. The teenager says that Yechiel Brauner somehow or another 'finds him' on the street and then tells him how he has a problem of molesting teenagers and wants to know if he can help him. While talking to the teenager Brauner makes sure to get 'very close' to him. Although this may seem as an odd thing for a child molester to do, this is a common tactic used by molesters to help disarm their victim, get closer to them and to get things out in the open and make it more difficult for them to stop him. The teenager has confided that he does not know how to deal with this because every time when he least expects it, Brauner is right there forcing himself on him.

It is about time that we put an end to the reign of the molesters in our community who do nothing else but hurt innocent children every day. You may not know it, but this teenager here may be your son who is too scared to tell you about it. 'Ubiartah HaRah Mekirbecha'. Let's take out the trash!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Read the new Chaptzem article in the Country Yossi Family Magazine 

Make sure to pick up your free copy of the Country Yossi Family Magazine and read the brand new original article 'The Other Side' written by Chaptzem, the only Heimishe blogger to make the transition from cyberspace to print.



Will prayer help deliver world markets? If around 2,500 Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel have anything to say about it, hope may be on the way.

Concerned about the health of the global economy, Jews in 11 major seminaries across Israel prayed Thursday night for a fast resolution to the world’s financial crisis – and for Jews who contribute to Israel’s cash-strapped yeshivas.

The religious schools rely heavily on donations from American philanthropists, and consequently, the seminaries have started feeling the pinch from the crash of world markets and the weakening of the U.S. dollar.



Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hasidic hospital visitor accused of molesting elderly patient 

A 27-year-old man was busted Wednesday night on charges of sneaking into a Manhattan hospital room and molesting a 72-year-old patient, police sources said.

A nurse came into the victim's room to find Yakov Kramer allegedly standing over the elderly man's bed at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia yesterday, sources said.

Kramer had allegedly pulled up the victim's hospital gown and was fondling him, sources said.

The elderly victim, though frail, was able to describe the alleged assault, sources said. The horrified nurse called hospital security, who grabbed Kramer about 12:15 p.m., sources said.

"The whole story is wrong and stupid," said a woman who answered the phone at the Williamsburg, Brooklyn, home of Kramer's father, Jeremias Kramer.

"He is a student, a studious person," the woman said. "He was in the hospital with his wife. She had an appointment. Something is very wrong if someone could be arrested at a hospital. This is a stupid, stupid mistake."

Kramer, a Hasidic Jew from Spring Valley, Rockland County, was arrested about 9 p.m. and taken out of the hospital in handcuffs for processing at the 33rd Precinct stationhouse in Washington Heights.

Charges were pending Wednesday night.

Though the alleged assault was discovered about noon, hospital staff waited more than three hours to notify police, hospital security sources said.

"The allegations are disgusting, preying on an elderly person, a sick patient who couldn't fight back," a police source said.

The cloth Kramer allegedly used to clean up the evidence was seized by the NYPD for testing, sources said.

"He didn't know the victim - it looks like he just wandered into a room and took advantage," another police source said.

Kramer's father and relatives declined to comment as they waited at the stationhouse.



Hasidic Hip-Hop star Lipa Schmeltzer makes it to #45 on Forward 50 list of most influential Jews 

45. Lipa Schmeltzer -- In the cloistered world of ultra-Orthodox Jewry, Hasidic singer Lipa Schmeltzer is a superstar. Mixing Hasidic musical traditions and contemporary pop sounds, the 30-year-old Skverer Hasid has become something of a sensation -- though not an uncontroversial one. In March, Schmeltzer was set to headline a charity benefit at Madison Square Garden's WaMu Theater. A little more than two weeks before the concert, some of American ultra-Orthodoxy's leading rabbinic authorities issued an edict banning attendance. They warned that the event would cause "ribaldry and lightheadedness." Schmeltzer honored the decree, and the concert was canceled. But the ban generated a fierce backlash. Some people suggested that fanatics had misled the rabbis about the nature of the concert, which, consistent with communal norms, was to have separate seating for men and women. Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who represents the Hasidic stronghold of Boro Park, told The New York Times: "In all my 26 years of representing this community, I can't remember anything that has so shaken the people." Schmeltzer, for his part, has continued making music -- and drawing appreciative crowds at public appearances. The title of his latest album can be seen as a rejoinder to critics who regard his pop-inflected songs and burgeoning popularity as threats to traditional Jewish values. It is called "A Poshiter Yid" -- Yiddish for "A Simple Jew."



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hikind Subpoenaed On Abuse Information 

We predicted this, here.

State Assembly member Dov Hikind was subpoenaed Monday to provide testimony and files he has compiled about rabbis and yeshiva employees who have allegedly sexually abused children under their charge, and rabbinic leaders who may have protected the abusers.

The Brooklyn Democrat says he has assembled detailed dossiers on “hundreds” of such cases. But he said he would “go to jail for 10 years” rather than reveal the names of the alleged victims, whom he has guaranteed anonymity.

Michael Dowd, the attorney who served the subpoena on behalf of several clients allegedly molested by their yeshiva teacher as children, said he was willing to keep the names of the alleged victims from becoming public. He is representing his clients in a civil suit against Yeshiva
Torah Temimah in Flatbush and its longtime teacher, Yehuda Kolko, who was convicted of child endangerment last April.

“I’m willing to try to work with him in a way that protects the sources yet exposes the villains,” said Dowd of Hikind. “I am not at all seeking to do harm or impair his progress, but I have a responsibility to my clients.”

Hikind also faced new pressure this week over his effort — publicized on a recent edition of his radio show — to work with a chasidic man who has come to him acknowledging he has repeatedly molested children, and confesses to one incident as recently as two months ago. Hikind says he has gotten the man into therapy with a “top person in the field” and has declined to disclose his name or tell law enforcement authorities about what he knows.



Hikind says; "IT STOPS HERE. IT STOPS NOW." 

Sent in by Assemblyman Dov Hikind's office

There was a time when ignorance was blissful for me, when I did not see the parents whose shoulders were stooped from the weight of the suffering their son endured at the hands of a teacher. I did not see the grandfather who shudders for his teenage grandson who is being stalked by two men, scions of noble families, who want to continue to use him as their sexual plaything. I did not see the young woman who was repeatedly violated in shul by one of the gabboim when she was seven years old. I did not see when at thirteen she tried to obliterate her pain with drugs.

But ignorance is the refuge of the molestor. The clinicians are clear on this: Molestors who are not caught cannot control their urges, their sick need for children, and will destroy the lives of as many as 100 children.

Who will speak for the victims? Who will provide the balm for their interminable suffering? Will you? Will anyone stand up? I will messenger them my files, and they can collate, file and label the atrocities visited on our children. I will stand down….if someone takes the lead….I won’t speak about sexual abuse in our communities on my radio show. You take over. You deal with it in an effective way. I offered this proposal to a prominent head of a well known organization; he didn’t jump at the chance. There are no takers. And so I am left fending for the myriad victims, whom I continue to urge to come forward and call my office at 718-853-9616 and talk to me in the strictest confidence.

The work is laborious and exhausting, but I am committed to making a serious difference in the psychological landscape of sexual abuse in our communities. We are preparing dossiers to take to leading rabbis to brief them on the status of victims and molestors, to create a protective protocol for our children. I have formed a sexual abuse task force, with clinical specialists in the field to create new procedural imperatives.

The full article appears in this week's Jewish Press


The hippest, coolest Hasidic rabbi in the city 

Simcha Weinstein has done it again. The hippest, coolest Hasidic rabbi in the city — he has his own Web site, even! — has come out with another book about pop culture.

“Shtick Shift: Jewish Humor in the 21st Century” follows Weinstein’s definitive work, “Up, up and Oy Vey! How Jewish History, Culture and Values Shaped the Comic Book Superhero,” which is best remembered for proving that Superman was Jewish (or at least he had Jewish roots).

Now he’s focussing on the changing face of Jewish comedy. Weinstein, who worked on movie sets before he found religion and became a spiritual leader at Pratt Institute and at Congregation B’Nai Avraham in Brooklyn Heights, believes that Jewish comics are no longer ashamed to be … Jewish comics.

“Jewish comedians were always ‘Jew-ish,’” he said. “Think of Woody Allen, always being embarrassed about his Jewishness.

“But now, it’s comics like Jon Stewart or the guys with the big Jew-fros in Judd Apatow movies. These guys wear their Jewishness proudly.”

None more proudly, Weinstein quickly added, than Sarah Silverman, who actually wears a T-shirt that says “Jew” on it.

“Face it, our shtick has changed,” Weinstein said, seque-ing back to the title of his book better than a Borscht Belt comic. “There has been a ‘shtick shift,’ you might say.”



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What a backwards world we live in 

While pedophile-buster Nuchem Rosenberg gets shot in the head and thrown out of Shuls, convicted child molester Yechiel Brauner walks the streets freely and hangs around children in Shuls.

convicted child molester
Yechiel (Jerry) Brauner


New Square's new dress code for boys 

Sent in by JoeFlix


Monday, November 10, 2008

Two Bucks a Dance 

Rosa is a bailarina. For a couple of dollars per song, she dances with strangers in a bailarina bar. It’s a job held by many immigrant women in Spanish-speaking New York, filling a need created by many immigrant men. The man on the phone is typical of her clients. He’s in his twenties, doesn’t speak English, and immigrated to the United States by himself—no mother, no girlfriend, no wife. He works six days a week at a restaurant and sends his money back home to Ecuador. Most of all, he’s lonely.

Not all of the men are lonely immigrants. Some are Orthodox Jews, whom a bailarina bar worker described as “pinguinitos, because they stand there in their black coats and white shirts just looking around, like a scene at the South Pole.” And some of the men have significant others in New York. Rosa advises them to “Bring her flowers! Take her to a nice restaurant!” She admits that they’re spending money on her that they could be using for flowers and dinner. “But they’re making a good investment, buying my advice.”



Sunday, November 09, 2008

Get your Gehenim's Angels gear before riding season is over 

Official Gehenim's Angels Shop


Buy your official Gehenim's Angels gear here


Saturday, November 08, 2008

NY family opposes end to care for brain-dead boy 

A Washington hospital is asking a judge for permission stop treating a brain dead 12-year-old boy, even though his ultra-religious parents want to keep him on life support.

Motl Brody of Brooklyn was pronounced dead this week after a half-year fight against a brain tumor.

Doctors at Children's National Medical Center in Washington say the seventh-grader's brain has ceased functioning entirely. But Motl's parents, who are Orthodox Jews, are refusing the hospital's request to remove all artificial life support.

They say their son is alive because his heart and lungs are still working. A machine inflates and deflates his lungs and drugs help his heart beat.

A District of Columbia Superior Court judge will hear arguments Monday or Wednesday on the hospital's request.



Friday, November 07, 2008

Holy Cow! Milk is even more Skware! 



Thursday, November 06, 2008


Sent in by Assemblyman Dov Hikind's office

Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) today declared his vehement opposition to the New York City School Construction Authority’s plan to build a new primary school adjacent to P.S. 160, located on 52nd Street between Fort Hamilton Parkway and 11th Avenue. Citing the need to ease overcrowded conditions at P.S. 160, the City plans to develop an annex to accommodate 535 students in pre-kindergarten through grade five.

“Our research revealed that P.S. 160 has a 500 person capacity with a current enrollment of 821 students,” said Assemblyman Hikind. “It is disingenuous for the City to try and justify the need for a 535-seat school for 321 students. Had the School Construction Authority actually done its job, and investigated alternate sites as I did, they would have discovered that neighboring schools such as P.S. 164 are totally underutilized.”

Hikind continued, “Instead, the City, which is already facing a huge budget shortfall, is being fiscally irresponsible. Why would you build a new, absurdly expensive public school in a community which largely attends private schools? This project is wholly unnecessary and financially unsound.”

A public hearing on this issue has been scheduled for Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 6:00PM at the Amico Senior Center: 5901 13th Avenue in Brooklyn. Assemblyman Hikind strongly urges the community to attend this hearing to voice additional opposition.


Gehenim's Angels - Boro-Park branch 



Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Elderly gentleman doing his hishtadlus in Williamsburg 

Picture sent in by JoeFlix.blogspot.com exclusively online for Chaptzem


Pictures of car accident on 11th Avenue and 45th Street in Boro-Park 

Pictures sent in by Eli


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind at the polls in Boro-Park 

Apparently concerned about winning his Assembly seat, Dov Hikind made his way to the polling place on 16th Avenue and 56th Street in Boro-Park. Exit polls thus far are inconclusive whether the winner will be Dov Hikind or very possibly Dov Hikind.

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader


If you don't vote you don't count! 


Monday, November 03, 2008

A day in the zoo 

Here in New York city, polls reveal that some 80 percent of women and a slightly lower percentage of men feel they are severely stressed by the damage done to the country’s economy in the past month. No one has asked for my advice on what to do. But if they did, I’d tell them to spend a day at the Bronx Zoo, preferably on Wednesdays when the admission is free and the park is packed with thousands of children from the city’s schools. I’d advise them to listen to the children, watch how they react to the animals and learn from them. In fact, any zoo will do, or any park, beach, woods or rural area as long as there are children and small animals. No zoo is too humble, the Bronx Zoo or Manila Zoo; any strange animal, big or small, is as good as any other.

On the Staten Island ferry a day later, we saw another example of children’s openness. A small, curly-haired, Hispanic boy of 3 or 4 years old tried to make friends with a family of very orthodox, Hasidic Jews. The Jewish little boys had ritual locks of hair falling by their ears and wore brown and white clothes that looked like uniforms. They looked shy and not used to carefree ways. The little Hispanic boy ran around them and even put his head in the family’s baby carriage to kiss the baby. For him all kids were friends and family. The Jewish children were surprised at first, but soon they, too, were all playing.



Sunday, November 02, 2008

Williamsburgers watching the 2007 NYC Marathon 

Pictures sent in by JoeFlix.blogspot.com exclusively for Chaptzem

Even Moishe Gabbah enjoys watching a nice jog.


Saturday, November 01, 2008

Turning Out for McCain 

Sure, Barack Obama is leading in U.S. polls. But John McCain can take comfort. Americans abroad have started voting already, and the first exit poll of 2008, taken late last week, showed a sound victory for the Arizona senator.

The survey, published by Keevoon Research Strategy & Communications, measured U.S. citizens casting absentee ballots in Israel. These mostly Jewish respondents handed a big win to McCain, giving him some 76 percent of the vote. That preference stands in stark contrast to opinion stateside, where a recent Gallup poll of Jewish-Americans showed 74 percent favoring Obama. So just what do Keevoon's results portend for Nov. 4?

The survey found a high correlation between religious observance and voting patterns: 70 percent of respondents defined themselves as Orthodox Jews, while a mere 8 percent called themselves secular. Explaining why they went for McCain, 57 percent of respondents listed foreign policy as the most important concern (many also expressed concern over a nuclear Iran), with only 14 percent citing the economy—a dominant issue in the United States.

All this makes it tempting to dismiss the poll as nonrepresentative. Still, there are more than 42,000 registered U.S. voters in Israel, and close to half come from key swing states. Given the tiny margins in the last two U.S. elections, their opinions could still prove significant.



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