Feb 7, 2008

local RBS Tzedaka: Kupa condemnation

The following email was published today on the local RBS email list:

Lemaan Achai is a wonderful organization and a valuable asset to our
neighborhood. The Kupa Shel Tzedaka absolutely condemns any negative
comments made against Lemaan Achai or any other worthy Tzedaka or
chessed organization.


Shmuel Zalman Eidensohn
Chairman

Rephoel Leitner
Executive Director

Dovid Greenwald
Treasurer

NOTE: Comments are open, and I will delete anything I deem inappropriate

69 comments:

  1. Well done Rafi Goldmeier and Life in Israel!

    You get the credit for having had the courage to run this story, from Rav Soloveichik's dramatic and passionate defence of Lema'an Achai against damaging rumors two weeks ago, to Kupa Shel Tzedaka's eventual acknowledgement & condemnation of those rumors.

    In this neighborhood, that's progress!

    Rafi For Moshiach!

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  2. Kudos to Rafi... and the other posters who discussed this issue. You're definitely baaaaad.

    While some may KST defenders may have complained of Lashon Hara, we can already see that this entire discussion is clearly letoelet and you have performed a service for Klal Yisrael.

    Next, I hope that local Rabbanim will post equally unequivocal messages (and posters for offliners)about the neighborhood violence and harassment.
    ;-)

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  3. Maybe they'll ask a Rav or two from LMA to give a dvar Torah at their melave malka.

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  4. A beautiful breakthrough! May this whole episode serve as a powerful precedent for how Jews can and should get along! Frum Jews of different stripes don't necessarily have to agree about everything, but mutual respect is the name of the game.

    Kol HaKavod to Rav Soloveichik's moral strength and to the Kuppah leadership's courageous announcement.

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  5. "Kol HaKavod to Rav Soloveichik's moral strength and to the Kuppah leadership's courageous announcement."

    Isn't it a sad commentary that an announcement condemning malicious comments has to be called courageous.

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  6. When are the elections for Mashiach? ... I'll have to make sure to register.

    I also want to thank Rafi for his efforts. Personally, I think the lesson is: years of complaining and quasi -- if not full blown --lashon hara accomplished nothing, while a blog dedicated to understanding BOTH SIDES led to a not-insignificant break-through. I, for one, now have a much stronger desire to support both of these wonderful organizations.

    Kov hakavod, Rafi!

    Zevy R.

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  7. A victory for normal frum Jews. A very sad day for the fanatical fringes

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  8. Kol HaKavod to the kuppah poeple who chose shalom and ahavas yisrael over appeasing a certain fanatical rabbi.

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  9. according to the previous commentors that adamantly claimed that Rabb Perlstein is the official guiding light of the Kupa and/or controls the whole operation, then I guess this condemnation must have come with his approval.
    so much for your fanatical Rabbi's

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  10. Kuppah people, do not fear the fanatics-the silent majority of haredim support your act of reconciliation with Le'Maan Achai

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  11. The Kuppah's announcement constitutes a weakening of extremist strength in Ramat Beth Shemesh. Keep on taking similar ac tions for the sake of the greater community!

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  12. We love you Rav Soloveichik!

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  13. Wouldn't it be great if the Kuppah and Le'Maan Achai could now work with each other when this would be of benefit to those who need their help?

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  14. Rav Soloveichik took on the fanatics and convinced the Kuppah to do the right thing!

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  15. I appreciate the comment from the lay leadership of KST, but would also like to hear something from its Rabinic leadership. After all, it was Rav Chaim, the Posek of Lema'an Achai, who had to come to the defense of "his" organization.

    And yes, I contribute to both organizations.

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  16. Light at the End of the Tunnel?February 08, 2008 7:18 AM

    "Kol HaKavod to the kuppah poeple who chose shalom and ahavas yisrael over appeasing a certain fanatical rabbi."
    ***********************************

    While I feel that the somewhat "parve" comment of KST is a step in the right direction I must comment as follows:

    1) Had they made it right after Rav Chaim's speech (2 weeks ago) much loshon harah and motzei hsaim rah would have been prevented.

    2)The timing is curious. Is it related to the Melave Malka which is themed Uniting the community?
    If so then this comment is WAY too late.

    3)Where are the Rabbonim in all of this? I haven't heard one word from the main Kupa Rabbinic leadership?

    I hope that this isn't another Kmtze and Bar Kamtze where the Rabbonim will sit by and let sinas chinam flourish.

    In any case actions will speak much louder than words. Will the many volunteers and supporters really internalize this announcement and begin to support and help Lema'an Achai as well?

    Time will I"YH tell and heal!

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  17. This is a victory for Rav Soloveichik over the forces of insanity!

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  18. May haredim in RBS continue on the path of their latest announcement and work together with Jews with other approaches

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  19. In light of the recent developments that
    will Be''H lead to more unity in our community
    and as we are now in Chodesh Adar Alef...

    We would like to propose for this Purim...

    A parade of both Lema'an Achai and
    Kupa Shel Tzedaka together!

    One of the greatest results of the Purim story
    was achdus among all of klal Yisroel.

    One can just imagine what this will do to
    solidify achdus in our wonderful city and
    what nachas it will give to Avinu Shobashomyim!

    Have A Great Shabbos!

    Avrohom Leventhal & David Morris

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  20. Another great idea to unite the community from Lema'an Achai!

    Please post this on the email lists!

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  21. We want a united Purim Parade with the heads of Le'Maan Achai and the Kuppah leading. But, please do not spoil it by inviting Ehud Smolmert.

    Somebody should write a march anthem devoted to extolling the chessed of these organizations.

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  22. Perhaps Le'Maan Achai and the Kuppah can call a joint press conference. We can invite all of the major news networks and set an example of ahavat yisrael.

    At this press conference I want to see David Morris and R' Eidensohn give each other a big hug.If R' Perlstein should decide to show up then I would like to see him and Rav Soloveichik also give each other a big hug!

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  23. Rav Soloveichik saw injustice, acted, declared war on the fanatics, and was victorious. Rav Perlstein has suffered a defeat!

    Rav Soloveichik, we are all relying on you to continue to lead the battles ahead so that Ramat Beit Shemesh can remain a great cdommunity!

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  24. Rav Soloveichik deserves an award-he has shown that he is the true mara d'asra of Ramat Beit Shemesh!

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  25. We must rally behind the mara d'asra, Rav Soloveichik to make sure that sanity prevails!

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  26. Thank you Rav Soloveichik-you have kindled a new spirit of hope in Ramat Beit Shemesh.You are our mara d'asra!

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  27. I am haredi and have admired Le'Maan Achai because of their efficiency, integrity, and profeesionalism.

    I have waited years for moderate haredi rabbis to come out and forcefully condemn Rav Perlstein and those who support a fanatical line. Unfortunately, I am still waiting. Kuppah Shel Tzeddkah's latest announcment gives me some hope that perhaps some moderate haredi rabbis will take Rav Soloveichik's lead and take a stand against extremism. For now, and until I see moderate haredi rabbis take a clear stand, my rabbi is Rav Soloveichik even though not all of his views jibe with what my previous rabbis agree with.

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  28. Why should we be "moderate"? What are we Reform? What are we Zionists? HaGaon HaRav Perlstein is the only real Toyradik rabbi in this town.-we need a radical approach in order to defend our children! There is only one daas Torah-R' Perlstein is the only godoyl in this town!

    Rav Soloveichik may have won this battle, but I don't think it is possible for him to take away R' Perlstein's position as mara d'asra. Rav Perlstein is a gadol and has das Toyrah!If Rav Soloveichik is accepted as mara d'asra I'm joining Satmar!

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  29. Chaim, I am haredi like yourself and with your attitude I really do suggest that you join Satmar or perhaps better Niturei Karta. The latest rapprochement between Rav Lamaan Achai and the Kuppah is tremednous-what are we crazy? Why should there be fighting among frum Jews? The real problem nowadays is truly assimilation and the secualr zionist gvt. Rav Solvoeichik and his supporters is the part of the solution, not the problem. Weh should be united and if there is indeed a Purim unity parade then I'm joining.

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  30. I love Leman achai and the Kuppah! Thanks to the hard work of Rav Soloveichik, there is more ahavas yisrael in this community!

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  31. Let's focus on the the right priorities and not on stupidity. Kol Hakavod to Rav Solvoeichik for his letter and to the Kuppah as well.

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  32. regarding the Kuppah-may you continue to act in accordance with the spirit of your latest announcment.

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  33. Kuppah Shel Tzeddakah's statment is commendable

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  34. The rabbis in RbS have a lot to learn from Maran Soloveichik

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  35. We need more unity!

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  36. There should only be more besoyros toyvos

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  37. can I catch a ride with anybody to the dinner tonight?

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  38. Darkei Shalom and unity is what it's all about.

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  39. The Purim Parade-a great idea!

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  40. David Morris-you're my hero!

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  41. Ummm... I think Chaim was being sarcastic.

    Why are so many people afraid to sign their names? Regardless of what you think of them, R' Perlstein, R' Eidensohn, R' Leventhal and David Morris have never hesitated to sign their names to anything they've said. Ditto for R' Rafi G., who is certainly not anonymous (although I don't believe he uses his last name online).

    If you have something constructive to say, why not back it up with a real name? If you just want to be snide, why do you think that will help?

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  42. Halevay that R' Perlstein would engage in dialogue with those who don't share his radical approach!

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  43. Baruch Hashem I have noted that most of those who have posted have maintained a positive tenor. Most have praised the kuppah , lemaan achai, and Rav Soloveichik and said really nice things!

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  44. Binyamin GoldsteinFebruary 09, 2008 9:05 PM

    Chaim, think about what you said-what you said does not seem to be a mainstream haredi attitude. Ahavas yisrael is the correct way!

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  45. Chaim, with your dinosaur attitude how on earth can you justify reading or writing on a blog?

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  46. I am haredi and support the latest moves of the Kuppah and Leman Achai. Yasher koach!

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  47. Jews are great!

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  48. It seems that it is unanimous on this blog that Chaim's hateful approach is NOT "toyradik"

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  49. Thak you Rav Soloveichik for your willingness to do something for the betterment of this community!

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  50. Kuppah, you did the right thing-continue this way!

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  51. Let's put politics aside. Chaim, chill out!

    The latest news is great!

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  52. How dare Chayim claim that there is only one Rav in this town!

    Satmar is much to moderate for you!

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  53. Why isn't the RBS e-list discussing this great victory for the forces of reasonableness?

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  54. This is really surrreal! Jews are starting to get along. Unbelievable!

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  55. Chayim, go back to your cave!

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  56. Rav Soloveichik RulesFebruary 09, 2008 9:44 PM

    Rav Cha, Rav Chayim, Rav Chayim Solo, Rav Chayim Soloveichik- the new song of Ramat Beit Shemesh!

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  57. New to RBS and even newer to this blog. My interest was piqued with all the hubaloo over the last 2 weeks.
    My wife and I just got back (left early) from the Melave Malka. We thought it would be a great new way to meet more people (and its free!).

    A few observations:

    1) Nice event...alot of time and effort went in.
    2) Kupa says that they do a lot of good.
    3) It is obvious from tonight that
    Kupa has more time, money, sponsors and volunteers that it knows what to do with.
    I think that it is a fine organization and probably does a lot of good but I can just imagine how many people could have been helped by the money and man hours
    expended for this evening, sponsors or not.

    I don't much about Lema'an Achai but am curious to see how they operate.

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  58. Oleh Chadash - Welcome to Israel, welcome to RBS, and welcome to Life In Israel blog!

    The Kupa has indeed been very successful over the years in making PR splash. This has generated the amounts of money & man-hours available to them, which you witnessed tonight.

    For the purposes of comparison, Lema'an Achai has kept a lower profile (and less messy to our neighborhood) PR presence, putting the bulk of its resources into building up the amazing breadth and quality of its services to the needy families.

    Lema'an Achai is the thinking man's kupa.

    I recommend you take a look at www.lemaanachai.org to learn more.

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  59. oleh - welcome. Let me first say that both organizations do great work in helping the local needy. Each serves a different crowd in a different way, with some overlap..

    To your comment, I highly doubt they have more money than they know what to do with. If they did, they would distribute all that money to the poor and solve the problem. Just make them all rich. Alas, a dinner like this is standard among organizations all over the world. It is done, even lavishly perhaps (I was not there tonight so I am not commenting on the style of the dinner), with the knowledge that it will bring in more money in donations and volunteer hours than it cost to produce. So just because they put on a nice dinner does not mean they have more money than they know what to do with..

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  60. thank you all for commenting and keeping it positive. I read every comment and have been very pleased with the tone and the way you responded. Let us all keep working to keep the community together and not drive it apart. Sometimes rash actions, and sometimes words, need to be taken, but they can also be directed towards fostering unity and comm-unity, rather than divisiveness.

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  61. Yerachmiel davidoffFebruary 10, 2008 10:43 AM

    Rafi, thank you for providing a forum for these discussions. You also have a role in bringing this community together and in marginalizing the fanatics.

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  62. Has anyone verified that the email was genuine, and not a forgery in the name of the signers?

    It could have been sent by someone who doesn't like the criticism that the Kupa has been getting.

    Just so that people won't think that this is a case of indiscriminately being "choshed b'ksheirim", the main reason I'm suspect is that it was posted on the RBS list, while none, or almost none, of the alleged criticism by the Kupa toward LA appeared there. It seems that either:
    - someone posted this as a forgery to diffuse some tensions (which is ridiculously easy to do), or
    -the Kupa wants to go on record as taking the high road, but in a forum which (it believes) many of the supporters of a hard line against LA are not likely to see it.

    This would not be the first time that hard-line chareidi elements in town were accused of forgeries (see here).

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  63. yoni - I guess it is possible, but we all want to believe it was real.. don't ruin it for us... :-)

    I suspect it was real, because Rav eidensohn wrote to me regarding some questions I had asked him. At the end of his response he mentioned (nothing to do with the email I had sent to him) that the Kupa does not pay attention to discussions on blogs and does not participate in them blah blah blah... (I thought it was funny being right after they put out that notice of condemning criticism of Lmaan Achai..)

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  64. Down with intolerance of other hashkafot!

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  65. What are "negative comments" against "other worthy Tzedaka or chessed organizations"??

    Not to be negative, but it sounds like a bit of a cop-out.

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  66. the "other worthy organizations" bothered me as well... but give them credit for what they did, even if you think it was not 100%

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  67. Discussion to date raises two general issues.

    The first is that of derech eretz.
    It is disappointing to see not just 100% Tzedoka posters but also large posters of other Torah-style organizations, plastered double on the limited number of public notice boards in the Rama. Do these organizations give no thought that perhaps other groups have a right to share the public's notice boards? We should all view it as a community service to remove duplicate posters from public boards.

    The second is the question of efficiency.
    A claim of 100% tzedaka is not just an issue of truth. Assuming a claim of 100% tzedoka is true, then the implication is of gross inefficiency. Any moderately large chesed organization that does not invest at least a small percentage of its income into at least several activities from amongst management, organizing, advertising, tracking, structure building, and professional input - cannot hope to deliver anything like as much as another that does. And this leads to another key question of efficiency. Despite surficial differences, the population essentially shares a common set of needs: food, accommodation, employment, health care, dental care, finance, etc. In the situation of replicated kupot, there are inevitably many economies of scale that are being squandered. Why, given one geographically united population, should there be two general kupot for the one community?

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  68. Ohr Chodosh Al TzionFebruary 11, 2008 1:17 AM

    The Kupa comment may in fact show some progress. But is it real and concrete. This question is very important.

    I heard the rumors about Lema'an Achai directly from a Kupa collector in my area. This guy comes each month to me in the name of the Kupa and takes my donation.

    I have yet to hear an apology from him or the Kupa about these false comments.

    To me this announcement had more to do with negative PR about them leading up to their event than it has to do with a real apology or commitment to do things right.

    Kudos to Rafi and the blog for achieving even this.

    My real challenge is to those residents of RBSA (myself included) who might have bought even some of the nonsense about Lema'an Achai.

    Our teshuva can only be done through actions, not words!

    If we have time to give let's give some to Lema'an Achai as well. If we have money to give let's give to Lema'an Achai as well.

    They deserve credit and our support in this community as well as Kupa does.

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  69. Ohr Chodosh-

    I second your thoughts! I'm certain that there are many people out there who would like to find out more about Lema'an Achai and help them as well.

    I urge you to contact them and see how you can be of assistance.

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