Thousands of male Orthodox Jews will make Citi Field seem like a 10-year-old’s tree house this weekend, when they hold a women-less meeting about the risks of the Internet.
Orthodox Jews, as you may know, have a practice of strict gender separation, so woman will be able to watch the conference, but they have to do so on televisions at schools and event centers in Borough Park and other Orthodox neighborhoods, according to Hamodia, an Orthodox newspaper.
More than 40,000 Orthodox Jewish men are expected to pack the stadium — and nearby Arthur Ashe Stadium — to discuss the “dangers” of the Internet, and how to use it in a religiously responsible way.
A spokesman for the group holding the conference tells the New York Times that the dangers of the Internet aren’t just porn related, but that social media also poses risks to traditional Orthodoxy.
From the Times:
Speakers at the rally in Queens will not seek to ban the Internet, but
rather to raise awareness about how, unmonitored, it poses a grave risk
to the community, said Eytan Kobre, a spokesman for the organizers. The
risk, he said, comes not only from pornography, but also from social
media and the addictive pull of the Internet, which can limit human
interaction, reading and study.
“These are the same concerns that people across society — in academia,
in psychology, parents, spouses — have about the Internet,” he said.
“But here is a community that is actually standing up and coming
together and putting our money where our mouth is, to express a unified
communal resolve to address the issues.”
As the Orthodox Jews discuss the dangers of the Internet inside Citi Field, a counterrally called “The Internet Is Not the Problem” will be going on outside of the stadium in an attempt to draw attention to child sex
abuse that occurs in the Orthodox Jewish community.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 18, 2012