lakewood kollel wife

Thursday, November 09, 2006


[Thank you "anonymous" for today's post. To all readers - please comment on any topic, your comment might be tomorrow's post - KollelVeib]

We are in galus and should keep a low profile.

A little known fact: Many years ago Rav Shach was asked by Lakewood askonim if they should elect one of their own to public office. He emphatically declared "NO", for two reasons. 1- We should remember we are in galus and by having our own elected officials it would generate more anti-semitism. 2- The elected Frum people would eventually become corrupted.

Of course, they chose to ignore his advice, after all who knows better than "us askonim". Today both of Rav Shach's predictions have come true, and who knows if the worst is still ahead of us.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Lichtenstein, Miller return to Lakewood's committee
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 11/8/06

- - - EXCERPTED - - -


LAKEWOOD — Democrat Meir Lichtenstein and Republican Menashe Miller were re-elected to the Township Committee on Tuesday, easily beating three other candidates.

Miller pulled in 9,288 votes — or 32.2 percent of the vote — on his way to a second term. Lichtenstein, also the appointed mayor of Lakewood, received 8,768 — or 30.4 percent of the vote.

"I was absolutely nervous going in. I didn't know where it was going to go," Lichtenstein said. "I didn't take it for granted."

Lichtenstein's running mate, Michael Sernotti, received 5,054 votes — 17.5 percent of the vote. Miller's running mate, Hannah Havens, received 4,741 — 16.4 percent — and independent challenger Dovid Egert received 875 — 3 percent.

There are numerous complicated issues that Lakewood officials are wrestling with, including concerns about gang activity, taxes, overcrowded rental units and a growing population of illegal immigrants.

Hector Ricci, however, went against the incumbent.

"In Lakewood, there's a division among the people," said Ricci, 35, referring to what he perceives as a fissure between Lakewood's large Orthodox Jewish community and the rest of the residents.

Ricci said he voted against Miller and Lichtenstein — both members of the Orthodox community — because he believes the men are inclined to put the interests of the Orthodox residents ahead of other groups.

Lichtenstein, however, said he's elected to represent all people.

"I think I've proven myself as a mayor that I'm a fair person and treat people fairly, regardless of their race and affiliation," Lichtenstein said. "I promise to do it again."



Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 11/7/06



LAKEWOOD — The Vaad, an influential council of Orthodox Jewish leaders, will be restructured to better respond to the concerns of the township's fast-growing Orthodox community, the organization announced in a letter to Orthodox residents.

A council of rabbis is to be formed for the purpose of giving guidance to the 11-member Vaad, which issues political endorsements and takes positions on various civic matters.

"It is the intent . . . to place the Vaad under the guidance of the Ichud Rabbonim (council of rabbis) and through that to ensure that the needs of the entire Kehilla (community) are appropriately met," the letter stated.

The Vaad was created by leaders at Beth Medrash Govoha, the country's largest rabbinical college and center for Talmudic studies, which has long been the magnet that's drawn Orthodox families to Lakewood. Now, however, many of the newer Orthodox residents have no connection to the yeshiva, which has injected a new dynamic into town politics, say close observers of the Lakewood scene.

"We sincerely recognize that the Vaad . . . must adapt in order to better represent the needs of a growing and diverse (religious community)," the letter stated.

Joe Atlas, a Vaad member and spokesman for the group, said it has become increasingly difficult for the Vaad to respond to all the various concerns of residents as Lakewood's population grows. "As much as the Vaad tries to meet the needs of everybody in the community, it cannot meet with every single person," Atlas said.

The Vaad comprises 11 Orthodox leaders. The council of rabbis will include between 60 and 70 religious leaders from Lakewood's Jewish congregations, Atlas said.

The expectation is that the rabbis will be better able to keep their fingers on the pulse of the community and bring concerns to the Vaad, Atlas said.

In its endorsement letter, the Vaad wrote, "As we see it, municipal government needs to drastically and rapidly change across the board and become much more responsive to the needs of the Kehilla (community) and Yochid (individual)."

The Vaad endorsed two incumbent Orthodox committeemen seeking re-election — Meir Lichtenstein and Menashe Miller.

"We have asked Meir and Menashe to implement a forceful program of change in the way town hall is run and operates," the letter stated. "This will include some significant personnel changes and restructuring, backed by a continued aggressive advocacy for the needs of each and every individual in Lakewood.


Monday, November 06, 2006


- Dovid Egert -

Two Republicans, two Democrats and an independent candidate are competing for two three-year terms on the Township Committee

Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 10/24/06

Here are statements submitted by the candidates:

Dovid Egert (I)

I, Dovid Egert, am running for Lakewood Township Committee. I was born and raised here, and believe that we can bring fairness and equality to all sectors of our diverse community. I believe that we must put an end to waste in our local government, and we must encourage economic growth and development without destroying the unique character of our town.

All groups should be treated fairly when applying for building approvals and permits. No single group should be harassed for quality-of-life offenses.

Public Works must be held accountable for all expenses, and should be maintaining our town accordingly. We must reassess certain departments within Public Works to see if it would be more cost effective to outsource.

All jobs and salaries paid by our taxpayers should be re-evaluated for their necessity.

The Master Plan Committee members must be impartial; no builders, landowners or developers should take part. Downtown Lakewood is the lifeblood of our community - it must be saved. Not by building large buildings that will destroy its character in order to benefit individuals or a single group. We must investigate businesses using our downtown as a front for their illegal activities, and turn our downtown into a family-friendly shopping district of which we can all be proud

Hannah Havens (R)
(No statement submitted)

Meir Lichtenstein (D)
(No statement submitted)

Menashe Miller (R)
(No statement submitted)

Mike Sernotti (D)
(No statement submitted)


Sunday, November 05, 2006


Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 11/3/06



LAKEWOOD — Alexander Vorhand, 31, walked up to the microphone and told an audience of some 200 people that he moved to Lakewood for his piece of the American Dream.

"Most of my neighbors grew up in Brooklyn and they left the city because we wanted the quality of life, or as it is called, the American Dream," Vorhand said. "Places for the kids to run around."

Tension mounted through the night as angry residents spoke against sweeping zoning changes proposed by a Master Plan advisory committee. Those recommendations were under consideration Thursday by the Planning Board, and the fate of Vorhand's neighborhood was at stake.

Township officials are in the midst of updating Lakewood's Master Plan, the document that governs and regulates development.

That document has provoked outrage in the community.

A host of residents Thursday told the Planning Board that some members of the advisory committee who recommended the zoning changes were looking to enrich themselves and not working for the people of Lakewood. Speaker after speaker said the advisory committee had been taken over by builders, attorneys and engineers — people who stand to gain from an eruption in development.

Vorhand named names when he spoke, singling out prominent developer Ralph Zucker, who was a member of the advisory committee.

After Vorhand spoke he walked out of town hall and into the hallway. He was greeted by a crowd of young Jewish Orthodox men, who thanked him for speaking out. None of the men said they would do such a thing.

"They're all afraid. I'm not afraid," said Vorhand, the father of four children.

Away from the crowd, Vorhand and Zucker met face to face. They engaged heated words, with Vorhand criticizing the plans for more development.