Monday, 27 February 2012

Rabbi Abraham Pinter: internal competition drives land grab

Rabbi Abraham Pinter answered a number of questions about Stamford Hill's Charedi community. Here he addresses what might look like aggressive land grabs.

A full list of questions put to Rabbi Pinter and links to his answers can be found here.

Do you understand why people are worried about the way the community behaves?

Rabbi Pinter: What people don’t understand about the Stamford Hill Charedi Community is that there are 40-50 different sub-communities here - probably even more than that. And each one has their own infrastructure and they often compete with each other and there’s no way we, as community leaders, can attempt or even desire to control what is happening.

Although each sub-community is a member of the Union of Orthdox Hebrew Congregations each one has its own independence and ideology and often will compete over a suitable property. One example was the competition over the former Skinners School grounds. Everyone was competing to buy this off Berkeley Homes after the council turned down an application to turn it into homes at the end of 2010. The Belz and Lubavitch groups joined forces to buy the site and believed that Satmar had lost interest. But then a third party (The Satmar group) outbid the others in a one night negotiation, that prevented the others from bringing higher offers to the table - (Jewish Chronicle reported the deal):

To someone outside of the community may be the growth looks organised and aimed at general expansion of the community when in fact it is driven by internal competition.

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