The Aftermath of the New Jersey Scandal

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Some ultra-Orthodox Jewish leaders are describing the arrests in NJ as a “wakeup call” rather than issue the usual suspicion that anti-Semitism is at work. (Forward)

In the community of Deal itself, there are some signs of fracture, perhaps along Haredi vs non-Haredi lines. (Forward)

As damage control gets underway, there is great anger against the informant. Says a former assemblyman from Borough Park, “This person should have been killed.” (Jewish Week)

Hershey Friedman argues that in the current financial scandals, “the yeshiva system is partially to blame.” (Jewish Week)

Rabbi Boteach argues, “The accused rabbis should be judged charitably.” (Jerusalem Post)

The NJ and Madoff scandals raise the question of Jewish exceptionalism: Perhaps “it isn’t Madoff and Dwek who are exceptional”–but that the average Jew gets heartburn over them being on page 1 which makes us exceptional. (New York Magazine)

Jonathan D. Sarna sees similarities to an earlier scandal in the early 1920s concerning Orthodox rabbis, which gave ammunition to the notorious anti-Semite Henry Ford and “confirmed in the public’s mind the association of Jews with corrupt practices.” (Forward)

Posted on August 12, 2009

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