Monday, 27 February 2012

Rabbi Pinter: Is the Charedi community led by its politicians and other questions..

Rabbi Abraham Pinter answered a number of questions about the high growth rate of the Charedi Community in Stamford Hill and its effect on Hackney.

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

1. Can you point to a Charedi community which you think Stamford Hill and Hackney Council could use as a good example to follow?

Rabbi Pinter: We need to be more positive. I think that in most areas the community works in a very positive way with both central and local government. Even the issue of Planning, with a little work, is an area that can be improved. That aside, I think Hackney could be a role model to others to follow.

2. Is it correct to say that you take a negative view of Charedim going to university or spending time learning skills that could be used to earn a living? (This seemed to be the implication in a Daily Telegraph article from last year)

Rabbi Pinter: Totally incorrect. I have always supported initiatives which would enable members of the charedi community to gain higher education in an environment that respects the community and its values.

3. I have been told that college education is encouraged and prevalent in New York and that this is a difference between the London and New York Charedi communities?

Rabbi Pinter: There is no fundamental difference.

4. Do you think that the leaders of the Charedi community are its politicians in the council?

Rabbi Pinter: No way. This never has been. and I sincerely hope never will be. However, you might have a unique case where an individual like Joe Lobenstein is so committed to the public good, resulting in a situation where they contribute in a leadership position to both the charedi and general community alike.

5. What group are you part of and what are the main groups in the community?

Rabbi Pinter: I would probably be classed as more broad. I am Chasidic but I don’t belong to any particular sect. But the largest group is Satmar, which has now split into two and are heavily divided over theological differences. Each of the Satmar groups has 4 synagogues, the largest of these is on Clapton Common and it is led by Rabbi Wosner. However aside for them, there are many other groups.

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