Ultra-Orthodox Jews Are Having Another Mass Meeting About the Internet, This Time With Women

Another gathering is scheduled to discuss the threat the Internet poses to communities that want to live in isolation.

Internet asifa, take two.

Not everyone in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community was pleased with how that recent rally against the Internet at Citifield turned out. The event was only for men, and its conclusion was that the Internet should only be used in the course of work and when necessary to earn a living–even though the event itself was livestreamed. Mixed messages!

Certain contingents were fired up after the event. Following the rally, one rabbi in upstate New York told his congregation to get rid of their cellphones within a month or find themselves a new rabbi. But some Jewish men and women found this position to be extreme, and so a second rally has been scheduled for the local ultra-Orthodox community in Flatbush.

Next weekend, rabbis will speak on the topic of “Practical Solutions to Internet Challenges.” The second event illustrates the divide between ultra-Orthodox sects in the New York area. The meeting will be conducted in English, in contrast to the first rally, which alienated attendees who did not speak Yiddish. (There was a translator, but he was inconsistent and apparently unreliable, rendering his own opinion into a translation of a sentence decrying Zionism.) Women will also be permitted, nay “urged,” to attend, reports the Flatbush Scoop.

Attendees at this new, ostensibly less conservative or more modern rally, will receive a free “Technology Awareness Guide,” and the event promises to feature advice from “professionals.” Presumably there will be literature concerning kosher Internet filtering software. The event will also be streamed live over the Internet.