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Statement from the Lakewood Vaad on Recent Arrests

The following is a statement from the Lakewood Vaad:

We are saddened beyond words by the arrests of seven couples in our town. As firm believers in the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ we suspend judgment until the disposition of these charges, and are comforted knowing that our judicial system is an able arbiter of justice.

Regardless of the outcomes of these cases, we have, in our view, a valuable teaching moment that cannot be wasted.

There is no such a thing as “justified” theft. Federal and State social safety-net programs are meant for those in need, even those in need have rules and criteria that must be strictly followed. To deliberately bend a safety-net eligibility rule is stealing, no different than stealing from your friend or neighbor.

We would all do well to redouble and triple our efforts in our communities, reminding each and every one of us that there is never any excuse for dishonesty in any form. Let us take this moment to speak openly of these matters, from the pulpit, in the classroom, and by parents at the dinner table, so that this tragic but necessary learning moment is not lost.

In the days ahead we will help launch a set of intensive educational programs that can ensure that such does not happen again, and will invite the public to participate in these timely programs.

Rabbi Moshe Zev Weisberg on behalf of The Lakewood Vaad

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There are 84 Comments to "Statement from the Lakewood Vaad on Recent Arrests"

  • Kristin Pappa says:

    When would these educational programs begin? I would like to attend one, will a schedule be posted on the scoop?

  • anon says:

    Same here, how soon can we get information that is true. I went to the last speech and still had questions

  • Christine Forsyth says:

    I would like to attend one of these educational programs too. When will it be opened to the public?

  • Wondering says:

    Why wasn’t this addressed before this tragedy happened as strongly as internet bashing.

  • K.W. says:

    I would like to attend one, with my husband and children. The younger they learn, the better.

  • Seychel says:

    Dear Va’ad,
    It is time for our Rabonim to incorporate these concepts in their weekly sermons. Preventive is the best medicine. Perhaps the vaad can keep the rabonim abreast of the latest contemporary issues, and the rabonim can be madrich the tzibur on an ongoing basis.

  • K.W. says:

    Anon at 6:19, what was “the last speech” that you’re talking about?

  • Rui says:

    Yes..lakewood scoop please let us know when star..and if for non orthodox. …too…

  • Anonymous says:

    There should be an immediate assifa ASAP with attorneys and prosecutor discussing the issues- also every shool should have their Rov speak about this this shabbos

  • Need organization says:

    They shouldmake a Organization or office that ppl can constantly have the ability to update any changes in their income while having the ability to speak to some one that knows instead of waiting till it can be to late and this office should have direct contact with all programs so they can work it out with out having to wait 6 months for answers and by that time you can be eligible again or not at all and you would t know

  • Anon says:

    Fill out the forms truthfully ,
    It’s that easy, you do not need a course

    • Tim says:

      Could not have said it better myself

      • It Gets Confusing says:

        There are certain types of income that are unclear if they should be reported ie; scholarship income. I had to contact many people and heard many different answers if this is considered income. In the end I included it, just to be sure.

  • hi says:

    we should have asifa/yom hisorerus for the terrible decree that has befallen this town

  • Iyh says:

    I was by the last asifa with the prosecutor etc. and I still had so many questions. I called the jersey care offices and they also couldent answers correctly.
    There r so many grey areas and we need to have an office were one can call people WHO REALLY KNOW and get the proper guidance
    Please make this happen ASAP !!
    bsuros tovos

  • BOBBYC says:

    all this is poshut! Midvar sheker tirchok. What’s so hard to understand?

  • Luzer Chaim says:

    The belated response is still welcome, yet misses the point. As Am Yisroel we are judged as a singular unit, where the outside perception is that if it’s one it’s all, we should raise up on a pedestal and be emesdik to ourselves, to others and focus on being mekadesh Shem sh’mayim between ourselves and to the outside world. We need to do a chesbon hanefesh and know regardless of the vile and missinformed outside noise we could still do better as a kehilla.

  • Genius says:

    To all those who think it’s black and white and no education is needed, you are mistaken. There are many sources of income such as parental support, tips, gifts, parsonage, a charity or relative paying tuition, kollel checks etc that are not clear cut and may depend on which program one is applying for. We don’t need a seminar on how to be honest but rather a book with very detailed and clear guidelines for each program and every source of income.

    • Tim says:

      Ot being mean, but if you have parental support, tips,gifts or charity, you should not be taking taxpayer money.

      • Michael says:

        Tim, with all due respect, if the govt deems them eligible despite there parental support then there is no reason why they shouldn’t take the money.

        • Curious says:

          That is considered income and should be reported. Direct from the IRS website. No class needed for this.
          “Types of Income Subject to Tax
          The following categories represent types of income, which may be subject to Federal/State income tax, as set forth by the IRS::

          Wages and salaries
          Tip income
          Interest received
          Dividends
          Business income
          Capital gains and losses
          Pensions and annuities
          Lump-sum distributions
          Rollovers from retirement plans
          Rental income and expenses
          Farming and fishing income
          Earning for Clergy
          Unemployment compensation
          Gambling income and losses
          Bartering income
          Scholarship and Fellowship grants
          Social Security and equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits
          401(k) plans
          Passive activities (losses and credits)
          Stock options
          Exchange of Policyholder Interest for stock
          Canceled debt
          Alimony and child support

          https://www.irs.com/articles/what-is-taxable-income-2

          • Morris says:

            Who says that taxable income and government programs have the same guidelines?!

          • 1040-613 says:

            When you apply for these benefits you must produce your most recent tax return which lists all those items. If it’s mid-year and you are self-employed, you must provide a profit & loss statement and documentation from a bank and receipts or your accountant to back it up. The FBI has the right and means to verify that data without cause and correlate the data to make sure it is alignment with all government agencies, municipal, county, state and federal. At the bottom of the forms it states that you assert that the information provided is true to the best of your knowledge and false statements are punishable by law including criminal charges with fines and penalties. As long as you signed that, the FBI, IRS, etc., has full jurisdiction and the right to verify your statements to make sure they are true and aligned across all involved parties. The governing agencies use all powers and techniques in their possession to analyze and correlate the data including the ability to monitor your electronic communications which provides a precise trail and to obtain any and all paper records from any source including a response from you or your legal representation (which you will need) should you be subpoenaed or indicted. Proof is not required for either, merely suspicion of illegal activity, whether it is in fact illegal or not. There is little leeway for “legitimate” mistakes and no credence granted for your subjective interpretation of what those forms mean or require.

          • Anon 2 says:

            If you are receiving any federal program (Sec 8, food stamps, etc) or social service benefits you must report any money given to you, including charity. Is someone gives you a valuable item such as a car , expensive items such as furs, jewelry , etc , you must report it . Better to report than to be sorry .

    • Concerned says:

      Since when did having children entitle anyone to public support. My family and all the families we grew up with had the number of children their income could afford.

  • David says:

    I agree we are judged as a unit. Today one of my coworkers told me “I hope I’m not going to see you in the papers in the coming days.” We have no choice but to distance ourselves from those who make these poor choices to gain a few dollars instead of earning an honest living. Innocent until proven guilty does not apply in this case. Many things you can get away with in a bubble you cannot get away with if it is the mainstream. In simple terms the FBI can clearly see the average yearly income and the average expenditures in the community. At that point they just need to go through a relatively small list until they find some guilty people; they know there are numerous in our midst! We must denounce this kind of behavior and unequivocally condemn those who make these poor choices and steal money. I look forward to associating myself with a strong group of Jews who believe in core Jewish values – honesty, Integrity kindness. These ideas should be PROMOTED, this is what a Jew is. Secondarily we can rag on the internet at cetera, which helps us as Jews, but first we need to solidify the qualities that make us special.

  • efsher2 says:

    I respectfully request the the our Manhigim the Roshei Yeshiva themselves come forward and lead their people through this crises. Please implement the very difficult and necessary changes. Please show the same tenacity that was displayed in regards the interned usage. If you agree please second this request. Thank you.

  • Baal Habuss says:

    רבי יהודה אומר כל שאינו מלמד בנו אומנות מלמדו לוהטות

    If u want real change make your kids get real professions. We need to change status quo. The fraud process starts when your child is 14.

    It’s not very complicated. It’s a Breisa in Kiddushin

  • John Smith says:

    How come most people put their name up as Anon or Anonymous? If you have nothing to hide and “so concerned” put your name up. Nobody defrauds the government 100’s of thousands of dollars and doesn’t know what they are doing. It’s called stealing. You do the crime, you do the time

  • Ratzy Szimonowitz says:

    I join my friends and neighbors in Lakewood in bemoaning the arrests this week and my heart goes out to all the families involved. While we need to reconsider the way some of us rely on government programs, we must equally pay heed to the unfair way the government treats us when it comes to allowing for certain expenditures. Perhaps most significantly and urgently, the state and federal governments must allow for educational expenses which eat up a HUGE chunk of the average orthodox family’s income. Sending our children to public schools is not an option as it would run contrary to our religious beliefs. We save the state millions of dollars in education as we all send to private schools. at the same time, our community contributes generously to the school system via taxes and other vital contributions to the economy. Our elected officials must work tirelessly to obtain educational vouchers for our children. by doing so, reliance on public assistance would plummet.

  • Ratzy Szimonowitz says:

    one more point: “going to work” should not be something to be ashamed of. it should be something to be proud of. I’m going to work so I can feed my family and pay for my rent. i’m going to work so I can get health insurance, so I can earn my money the way it’s meant to be earned. EARNED not received. EARNED not entitled to. I invite others in the community to expand on this terribly important point. let’s not shy away from it. political correctness has not gotten us very far.

  • Me too says:

    I’m going to work!

  • izzy says:

    What is so difficult to be honest??
    If your not sure which income is used for which program (I.e. parental help, scholarship etc) why not tell the case worker. If its a income that does not count for that particular program then the case worker will not count it
    If your honest then you wont have any problem. As one of commentators above pointed out you know if your stealing.

  • Bisiyatta Dishmaya says:

    @Baal Habuss

    Look up The Yeshiva@IDT

  • Bubbie Zelda says:

    Let me put in my 2 cents, First of all stealing is stealing. Whether we steal from the government or from friends its still GANEIVE, And we also have to consider what CHILUL HASHEM is, There is an old Jewish proverb that says SOF GANEW LETLIA. Now letme tell you a personal story, When we finally came to Canada in 1950 they wanted to continue to give CARE PACKAGES like they gave us in Europe . At that time we didnt have any money but my father ALAV HASHOLEM got a job teaching and we more or less had enough for our daily expenses, So my father said i have enough for my family what i need for our essentials and I do not need any more support from anybody. Eizehu Ashir she sameich bechelko. I Chas Vesholem dont mean to belittle anybody. But Please Yidn think twice before you do anything illegal And by the way what example are you setting for your children ? I think I said more than enough, Good night everybody.

  • Anonymous says:

    I vehemently disagree with the statement that was made to the press by a community business man without consultation. He stated that our needs compel us to bend the law! Absolutely, unequivocally wrong!Our adherence to Torah and it’s God given commandments demand that we never steal, cheat or lie.
    I respectfully request that he immediately clarify’s that he in NO way represents our community. Btzpiah lyeshoua bkorov!
    (I am not judging nor should anybody those individuals arrested)

  • H says:

    To anyone who is looking for something practical to do – at least until the seminar is organized – take out a tehillim and daven for the families in pain(regardless of your opinion on the guilty/innocent), for the Chilul Hashem that was created, for the darkness of the Golus – and the fact that as Yidden this happened to us.

  • Bitochon says:

    Amazing story about the level of Bitochon we should strive for in all our dealings (from today’s Daily Emunah email)
    Rabbi Menachem Mendel Poterfas was imprisoned in Siberia for eight years. He went through unspeakable torment and suffering there, yet he came out so strong in his Emunah and religion. Throughout his stay, he was always hopeful that he would be released, and eventually he was.

    He was asked how he stayed so strong for so long. He replied that he took a powerful lesson from a scene that he observed one day in Siberia.
    “During a short break, one of the other inmates asked us if we wanted to watch him walk a tightrope between two mountains. We all said no, because we were too afraid for him. But he was stubborn and did it anyway. As he progressed, we were afraid to even look. When he finally made it, he called out and asked us if we wanted to watch him go back. Again, we all said no, but he did it anyway. When he came back, he asked if we wanted to see him do to again with a wagon attached to him. We protested, but he was stubborn and attached a wagon to himself and walked across the abyss. Our hearts were beating a mile a minute, as we watched, until he made it to the other side
    “Then he called out to us to see if we wanted to see him come back. We knew that if we said no, he would do it anyway. So we all said, ‘You already proved yourself. We know that you can easily come back. There’s no need to do it.’ He called back, ‘You really believe I can do it?’ ‘Yes, we really believe!’ we responded. ‘If you really believe, then you come up and sit in the wagon, and let me walk you across.’ Nobody budged. ‘See,” he said, ‘You don’t really believe.’
    “During the rest of my difficult stay in Siberia, I constantly reflected on that scene and asked myself whether I would be willing to sit in that wagon if Hashem was pulling me across. Would I be able to sit calmly and look down, knowing that I am in the most loving and merciful hands? If I believe that Hashem is always pulling me, and that He is always with me, even in the scariest and most troubling of times, then there is nothing ever to fear. That is how I got through the tough times.”

    “גם כי אלך בגיא צלמוות לא אירא רע כי אתה עמדי”- “Even when I walk through the valley of death, I have no fear because You(Hashem)are with me”

  • JC says:

    The social services the federal and state government offers, that is funded by every tax paying hard working American, was put into place to help those that involuntarily fall on hard times or are in desperate need of food, shelter and medical care. And as such, should be treated with the utmost respect and due diligence by anyone submitting their forms for assistance. No, this is not “free money” to be used to offset your own personal expenditures. Nor is it meant to be abused.

    To read how the burden of high cost Jewish education can somehow “justify” the need or propensity for Jewish families to omit, misrepresent or flat out lie on their applications should make every hard working honest person (Jewish or not) sick to their stomach. We all face financial challenges at one time or another but that will never justify stealing from the most vulnerable people in our society. Not while you have health, spirit, family and friends. If you can’t afford it, then do without.

    I would also like to think that if a private Jewish education is required, the high cost and ways to reduce it must be a high priority to your schools, Yeshivas, Temples and community leadership to help contain the unique cost burden to your community and prevent offsetting it to the public at large.

    I hope the majority of honest hard working Jewish families in Lakewood can help prevent this from feeding into the stereotype and reject, guide and inform those willing to steal from the most vulnerable.

  • Just saying says:

    @Ratzy Szimonowitz, well said. Exactly my thoughts

  • apple says:

    Fortunately I’m not dependent on social programs. But, lets not be naive, this is the American Anti-Sematism! Here in America it’s against the fabric of its culture to slur some anti-Semitic curse. So the Hatred is acutely expressed in the legal system. Out of the hundreds of articles bashing the “orthodox Jewish community of Lakewood” you won’t find one sentence about the non-existed crime rate! The police department of Lakewood has been on vacation for years!

    • Just saying.. says:

      What cave have you been living in? The Scoop lists crime stories every week. Stop pulling the Jewish card. A thief is a thief. I do not condemn the Community for the acts of a few. But I cannot stand when you pull the “they are picking on us” because we are Jewish. Stop it.

      • TheDoctor says:

        none of those crime stories are about jews when was the last time a jewish person in lakewood shot or stabbed someone or robbed a house or store or mugged someone

  • melamed zchus says:

    for all the very “honest people” out there that are saying “whats the big deal to be honest??? im sure all of you report every little check and cash that goes in and out of your pocket.! some of the ppl arrested were simply for minor things that could have happened to YOU as well. im not justifying or saying that these ppl are tzadikim but they were simply the unfortunate korbonos.

  • TS says:

    Anti-semitism is out in full force and being fueled by the press. These people have already been tried in the papers and on radio. Innocent until proven guilty? Mitigating factors? That’s a laugh! For me, the following must be considered:
    1. This is not a “Jews in Lakewood” matter. We all know the good that goes on here, beyond compare.
    2. Illegal immigrants stand on the street corners to work off the books in plain sight, and the FBI does not care about the funds and schooling they receive that they are not entitled to. And what about their fraudulent license plates, licenses, apartment lease agreements, collection of social services, and they never even paid a tax in their lives, AND they are helped to acquire such funds by government officials.
    3. Wells Fargo Bank had tellers fraudulently create accounts in the names of their actual clients. I did not see one picture and read about one name in that case.
    3. Every state, except for maybe two, and the federal government are so far in debt, and there is no accounting of where taxpayer monies have gone.
    4. Gang related raids written about in the paper have never had the push of names and pictures and nationality etc., plastered in our minds with the same intensity as this case.
    5. In a town with over 100k people, according to some sources, 15 people under investigation is a ratio the rest of society should appreciate.
    6. And consider people who, like Tesla, get monies from taxpayers to develop who knows what and for what purpose. Subsidies in those cases are stealing. Get your own money if you want a business. Not my tax dollars.
    In short, as long as our government assists and encourages people who are here illegally after avoiding immigration officers of the law, our same government has no moral authority to hold ANYONE accountable for such things.
    I hope these people were just incorrectly advised, and cleared. Otherwise, there is a LONG line of people ahead of them for being sloppy with government funds these days….

    • Shmuel Chaim Kessler says:

      I agree 100%.

      • zev says:

        TS we are held to a higher standard. No matter what. If it smells treif, it is. How can you compare us with others in this area. ?

    • Good one says:

      Two wrongs do NOT make a right! Pointing at other cases (your statements are not entirely correct, by the way) does not absolve ANYONE of breaking the law and, even worse, creating a Chillul Hashem.

  • We the people! says:

    The silent majority can no longer stay silent while God’s name has been disgraced! I humbly suggest that a letter of commitment be signed by every shul and submitted to a authentic Talmud Cochin!

  • Boruch mikadesh shmo brabim says:

    Kindly address the law in regard to Rabbi’s residence in relation to real estate taxes.
    Thanks

  • Bd says:

    If it would be OKAY to go to work when you get married, it may not be so necessary to bend the law when you suddenly have 8 kids in school!!! In shamayim they ask if you dealt in business honestly, not how many hours of Torah learnt!! If people started working earlier it is more likely they would have $ when needed. To bend the kaw and have bitachon is a stira.

  • Ce says:

    @Bd Well said! I hope the Klal will reconsider the fact that the yeshivas have full sedarim beginning in high school. (vhamivin yavin) This should be prohibited across the board! The Gedolim from the last generation understood the situation and had no issue with it. Today we feel we are better and smarter or…… perhaps not.

  • saraw says:

    what is this bend the law business? he couldn’t just say no comment?

    let’s let the shame of going to work right after getting married (or even before) go away.

  • NJ Family Care says:

    And one more thing. The articles say that you are required to inform the state if you’re income increases during the year. This again seems to be not what NJ Family Care says. When I spoke with them they told me coverage is for 12 months and there is no need to update the numbers until the next time the insurance is up for renewal. I think there is a lot of confusion and even the people working for the programs do not give the right information.

  • NJ Family Care says:

    I once looked into getting NJ Family Care because I had lost my job and had zero income. I spoke with them and received an application and I was told more than once that the only issue for qualifying was income not assets. The application does not ask if you own your home or what other assets you have (as far as I remember but it’s been a few years ago). So these articles that keep repeating how large of a home someone lives in seems to me to be irrelevant unless there are other benefits with different rules. If someone can explain this to me I would appreciate it. Thanks.

    • Morris says:

      I can explain, its the media trying to promote their hateful agenda with irrelevant inflammatory statements. Period

  • Mordechai Ginzberg says:

    I am shamed and saddened by these posts. There are families that lives have been turned over and are in turmoil. These families are our neighbors our friends.These families have contributed to our community above and beyond.
    How dare you join the asbery park who can’t wait to smack our community on the front page! How dare you eat up everything they put out!
    Nothing is so black and white.
    We live our lives to best that we can.
    These are some of our best people.They picked the cream of the crop.They pick Lakewood NJ!Jews is news.We should be rallying the streets.But that’s not our way.
    The least our community can do is be there and support these families.Let them know we feel their pain.We are all in this.This wasn’t a raid on these families,it was a raid on us all
    Hashm should bring all of us a yeshua.

  • Chaim E says:

    Get real, of course this is antisemitism. Have you ever heard of the nationality of murderers?When do you ever have videos and pictures plastered everywhere for welfare charges? This is an everyday accurance in the US. These couples were released without bail! It’s almost comical the charges they have.
    As far as chilled Hashm,
    Our life style is so different than the world .If they want to find something they will. All we could do is our best.how many of us have legal cleaning help? Report every tip? Pay a babysitter in cash?
    We do what we can to survive.
    Get off your phone and take out a tehillim

  • Morris says:

    There is an important point worth mentioning. Anyone that has dealt with the Jersey Care offices over the the last few years knows that they were seemingly very overwhelmed by the large workload (especially with the medicaid expansion) and therefore very behind in processing notices, documents and renewals that they received. Therefore, even if one notified the office of a change of income it could take many months till they receive their termination letter (if they received one at all). Furthermore, one cannot apply for new private individual insurance without showing the termination letter of the previous carrier because there needs to be a qualified event in order to be eligible so until they receive that termination they have no choice other than to use the insurance that they had in effect. Everyone should keep this mind before passing judgement as this reportedly was the case in at least one of the high profile cases. Lets not rush to judgement and lets hope and pray that our judicial system is truly an able arbiter of justice.

  • Mistapak Bmooat says:

    To NJ Family Care:

    There is the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. We live in golus and must concern ourselves with the spirit of the law. If someone has a $800K home possibly he/she should consider downgrading prior to taking social services

  • Jews stop judging says:

    1. for all those who are worried about being honest it also says in our torah to be dan lekaf zechus (and to the one who said this situation doesnt require that – can you tell me who put you up to decide?)

    2. for all those giving advice about being honest when applying. please educate yourselves first and then preach and if you cant apply for programs to educate yourself then keep your two cents.

    3. i am eligible for programs -( i am young and do not have experience and right now we dont make too much money.) If i can tell you how many times the social service workers THEMSELVES have contradicted each other in drastic ways you would be surprised. If I can also tell you how many times they LOST documents that I submitted attesting to income changes, you would be surprised at how the govenment is showing that they care all the sudden. In my case, you cant blame me, i did what i was supposed to. When i realized that they never updated their info, i went back (this happened to me a nice bunch of times). It is not easy to teach the caseworkers how to do things correctly and then you go and blame the citizen???!!!!!!! fix up the stupid system and work things out timely and then people will work timely with you!!

    4. and forget about the FBI blaming. I dont want to say it but for frum yidden to be blaming without knowing details???!!!!! I only wish Hashem has rachmanus on you! They say that Hashem deals with people the way they deal with people so just watch yourselves!

  • Lpd says:

    Ok here’s the problem
    These programs are designed to help people who can’t afford to live without them but the guidelines are not designed for people with large families that are paying 60,70 thousand a year in Tution plus have to pay for camp,Yom Tov, modest clothing,suits,hats,shaitels etc now obviously there are those that are abusing the system but the vast majority of people are not trying to steal just put bread on the table which is what the programs are intended to do..now I’m not saying it’s following the letter of the law but it is in the spirit of the law. Again not for those making hundreds of thousands of dollars but for the vast majority of people just trying to make ends meet

  • Lpd says:

    Just to add to my earlier comment
    This is the same problem that we have with the school district they don’t take the needs of the Jewish community into account when making formulas and guidelines

  • RAM says:

    The relevant dinim and hashkafos need to be taught in all our schools at all levels, and be reinforced by proper behavior of the parents.

  • nj family care #2 says:

    NJ family care is on the mark. The big problem here is that these families had a sudden spike in self employed income. When they report it to NJFAMCAR they’re told to wait till the end of the year. Then there told that they have to prove the higher income and must wait till their tax return is ready…then they’re told that it’s a six month process to review the higher income….meanwhile 2 years pass with NJFAMCAR refusing to take them off…then the fbi investigates and arrests them for “stealing ” for 2 years…this is insanity…due to disfunctional NJFAMCAR offices…then they come arresting …claiming they warned in 2015…. but go after issues from 2011,2012 etc…here’s where the states dishonesty kicks in…

    • Morris says:

      You are absolutely correct and anyone who dealt with Jersey Care over the last few years knows full well that this was the case. I heard from many people that over the years they called up to say that they had an income change and that they are no longer eligible and Jersey Care did not cancel their insurance.If only social services would provide email addresses these people would of had a record of the communication.

  • Wow says:

    We should also take into account not to beleive everything we read ..and of course innocent until proven guilty these ppl are fine good ppl no one intentionaly stole from the gov !they got into a mess without even realizing because they weren’t informed like so many of us..I also know that that religious guy that made that comment on app helps economic development! He is a tzaddik!! I feel terrible for him that he was interviewed on economic development and the needs for the community trying to get funding for Lakewood struggling families and this reporter took one line and stuck it into this article!!had zero connection!!we live in a very scary world!!dont beleive anything and be careful not to judge!!!

  • Joon says:

    to LPD: a bit of a reality check is needed here. America is founded upon the principle of separation of church and state. Government bodies should not and can not consider religion when developing guidelines. If they did that for the Jewish population…they would also have to do that for Muslims, Hindus, Mormons etc. Religious communities are not entitled to special changes in guidelines that everyone else has to follow

  • newcomer says:

    what rubbish, TS! are you promoting ‘ni’hiyeh k’chol hagoyim’? personally, i am very glad that some of our DESERVING families are elligible for govt programs. after all, it’s my taxes that are paying for them and we are producing citizens who benefit our community and the whole world. but ONLY when they are truly deserving. otherwise, they are the cause of some of the antisemitism we cannot judge anyone until all the facts are in, but it is incumbent upon us to behave in such a way so that no one would dare see us in a bad light. we are supposed to be setting an example

  • Lpd says:

    To joon
    This has nothing to do with religion the point is that programs should be based on income and expenses obviously it would be reasonable expenses not extravagance and as for your point of seperation of church and state the Supreme Court just ruled that religious institutions can receive programs I don’t see why individuals should be any different.

  • Luzer Chaim says:

    It’s interesting to see the true colors of our neighbors come out, as a kehilla we take this laying down. We should stand up for our dignity and respond on APP, NJ.com etc. according to TWP officials the estimated population is 124,000. Hypothetically from our community we have 40-50 of us getting in trouble for different crimes a year (which is absolutely unacceptable, we are better than that) Frum people represent 70% of Lakewood which is 86,200 which equal 0.17 of a percent of our communities crime, the national percentage of people in prison or on parole is around 3.0 percent which is 17 times worse than us and that’s assuming there 50 people in the orthodox community being convicted. Furthermore the alleged money that is talked about is around $3 Million dollars (which is extremely arbitrary) , NJ prevented $771 Million dollars in fraud in 2016 alone which out of 9 million people in the state we represent 1.4% which the alleged crimes are still a third of the state average.

    I’ve read multiple false accusations, for example:
    1. Most frum people don’t get legally married to milk the system which is as false as Jews have horns (most Rabanim won’t officiate if there isn’t a Legal marriage certificate).
    2. The notion that all the frum people could afford $400k houses is also false, Lakewood is unique where we could Legally rent the basements and only put down 3% which subsidizes the mortgage payments.
    3. The idea that most of Lakewood doesn’t pay property taxes because their houses are under a non profit was also proven wrong, the report that came out last year was that there were under 150 houses that belong to a non profit that didn’t pay taxes.
    4. Our schools only get a minimal amount of the taxes for bussing compared to what the town pays for public school, which again we are unique in the sense that the state formula doesn’t account for our lifestyle. We could bankrupt the state and our town if we all sent to public schools ($400 Million not including building new schools could cost almost $1 Billion dollars)

    The amount of people who pay taxes in this town is astronomical, yet we don’t get participation trophies for being model citizens. Being beachdus and helping each other out is a double edged sword, we are judged as a unit, yet come to each others side as a unit. Open your eyes we are in galus, the haters are joyous and thrilled that they could finally justify their bias. Let see not give them that pleasure. 21% of Americans are on programs according to the 2015 census. This is a hit job by the prosecutor, yet it still doesn’t justify us putting ourselves into such situations (guilty or not). Yes I will say this, anti semitism is rife and well alive, it’s funny to see people comment that “whatch Lakewood cry wolf” then explain the comments from the prosecutor “I warned the community’s in 2015” what does that mean? Every one of us are guilty? Or he meant that there are a select few? If that’s the case why didn’t he warn Ocean county as a whole? Calling the press and notifying them prior because why? He’s trying to help? Because he really cares? Even though I layed out the case that it’s only a third of the state average? By APP pinning this story as the top headline is to help us? Or is it to rile up the heaters? My point is there is a microscope on us and we should never be in such a situation knowing that the a select group of people around us don’t want to be our friends and want our demise.

  • adlc says:

    To Lpd:

    Even if you are right that programs should be based on income and expenses, I doubt that’s possible, because its very hard to judge each family’s expenses and say “that’s reasonable, that’s not,” and so they simply use a given number that doesn’t account for private school or shaittlach et. cet. But regardless, nobody has a right for the gov’t to be paying their bills; it is a privilege that has whatever limits have been declared by those who grant it in the first place. Wishing that the law would change is no excuse for acting as if it already has.

  • fl says:

    Anti-semitism is out in full force and being fueled by the press. These people have already been tried in the papers and on radio. Innocent until proven guilty? Mitigating factors? That’s a laugh! For me, the following must be considered: 1. This is not a “Jews in Lakewood” matter. We all know the good that goes on here, beyond compare. 2. Illegal immigrants stand on the street corners to work off the books in plain sight, and the FBI does not care about the funds and schooling they receive that they are not entitled to. And what about their fraudulent license plates, licenses, apartment lease agreements, collection of social services, and they never even paid a tax in their lives, AND they are helped to acquire such funds by government officials.

    Agree 100%%%

    PLEASE NOTE THE FANCY EXPENSIVE CARS BEING DRIVEN BY ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS RECEIVING CASH SALARIES WHO DO NOT PAY INCOME TAX, PROPERTY TAX, CAR INSURANCE, HEALTH INSURANCE, EDUCATION, FOOD AND BUSSING. THEY ARE RECEIVING FULL BENEFITS FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND HAVE ALOT OF MONEY LEFTOVER TO PAY FOR CADILLACS AND JEEPS. WE HAVE PHOTOS TO PROVE.

    • Anon 2 says:

      Illegal aliens also take work away from Americans who wish to do construction and other day jobs until they can obtain steady employment. Illegals pay nothing for the hospital system , and some even benefit from Section 8 and food stamp programs . It would solve a lot of the school funding problems if they did not live in Lakewood.

  • AL says:

    I believe part of the problem here is the NEED people feel to live in Lakewood. While the Lakewood cost of living may be lower than some areas, it is high. Housing is very expensive. Tuition costs are discounted but remain hefty for larger families. Keeping up with the cultural norms adds more expense. There are many families that could move to a midwest city and decrease expenses tremendously. Some cities, like Cleveland, Cincinatti, and Milwaukee (Cleveland being most Torah vibrant) actually have fully subsidized tuition. Other Torah vibrant cities have partially subsidized. (Contact Agudas Yisrael for more details.) Such cities have houses for sale for $200k. Yet, 90+% of those who aren’t making it yet opt to stay in Lakewood and resort to tzeddaka, or as we see, even worse. Morei derech and rabbanim should bear this in mind. The kids and the parents will be best off, not in the city that has the winning number of Torah moisdos, but in the Toirah’dik city that offers the most harchovas hadaas and ehrliche living!

  • G says:

    To: Genius one has to provide tax returns proof of all income and your W-2 shows tips etc. every social worker will request needed documents and by signing you attest to truth and no fraudulent information.

  • choo cha says:

    tefilo and emes is the key

  • Working Parent says:

    I have two children that had the privilege of attending a private education from grade school through high school. My husband worked several jobs and I worked full time in order to afford this option. We paid our taxes and collect no public assistance. My kids attend college and this will land our family with another 300,000,00 in debt This will enable my children to be responsible, educated individuals that will add to all of society. I don’t have an issue when someone hits hard times and needs public assistance. As an American it’s your responsibility to work hard so you can to pay your debt and add to society. No one has assisted me with my responsibility as a parent and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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