Roundup: House speaker supports yeshiva status quo, requests for gun permits up in Lakewood, and other Haredi news

This week's notable stories from the Haredi world

U.S. House speaker Mike Johnson. Credit: Speaker Mike Johnson

Dec 8, 2023 12:45 PM


House speaker voiced support for Hasidic yeshiva leaders Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Mike Johnson and Congressman Mike Lawler met with Haredi rabbis on Sunday to discuss community leaders’ disagreements with state officials over private school education requirements. “The speaker, who is a deeply religious man himself, [affirmed] his support for private Jewish education in New York, noting that New York bureaucrats’ attacks against Orthodox Jewish schools are not only a serious concern for Orthodox Jewry, but for all religions,” the Yeshiva World News reported. Lawler previously expressed support for yeshiva parents during a debate on the House floor regarding the Parents Bill of Rights in March.

Increase in requests for gun permits in Lakewood — In Lakewood, New Jersey, requests for gun permits went up after the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, the Asbury Park Press reported. The trend is taking place across the entire state. Earlier this month, Lakewood philanthropist Moshe Tress was arrested for allegedly shooting an unregistered AR-15 without a legal permit.

Bills could pose a challenge to Hasidic village incorporation New York Governor Kathy Hochul is expected to decide on two bills that would pose a challenge to two Hasidic communities hoping to be incorporated as villages, Lohud reported. Among other changes, the bills would increase the minimum requirement for how many people must live in the area before it is incorporated as a village, posing a challenge to Ateres in Sullivan County and Seven Springs in Orange County.

Rabbi says Nadler owes Satmar constituents an apology In an opinion piece in the Times of Israel, Rabbi Ysoscher Katz, who grew up in the Satmar Hasidic community, criticized U.S. representative Jerry Nadler after the congressman invoked Satmar anti-Zionism on the floor of Congress as part of his argument against a resolution that would equate anti-Zionism to antisemitism. Nadler “seemingly completely misunderstands the nuance of his constituent’s anti-Zionism stance,” Katz argued.

YAFFED director advocates for Holocaust education in Haredi schools Activist Beatrice Weber, director of the organization YAFFED, which advocates for secular education in Haredi schools, wrote an opinion piece for Newsweek advocating for the inclusion of Holocaust education in Haredi schools. “I was forbidden from reading books on the Holocaust, and we never used the words ‘Holocaust’ or ‘Shoah,’” wrote Weber, who grew up Hasidic and is a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors.

Case adjourned for man accused of stabbing Hasidic Jews The case for the man accused in the deadly stabbing of Hasidic Jews in Monsey at a Hanukkah event in 2019 has been adjourned, News 12 Westchester reported. The defendant, Grafton Thomas, is due back in court in January, and also faces federal charges.

Lauren Hakimi is a journalist whose work has appeared in The Forward, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, New York Jewish Week, WNYC/Gothamist and more. She graduated from CUNY Hunter College with degrees in history and English literature. Hailing from an Iranian Jewish community on Long Island, she looks forward to shining a light on stories that matter to the Jewish community. Follow her on Twitter @lauren_hakimi.