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amother




OP


Post  Mon, Sep 09 2019, 11:19 pm
What can stop tourists, without laws stopping tourists from entering certain neighborhoods, which is probably not legal?

Can Hasidic Jews stop tourists without building a wall or hiring security like in Seagate (Williamsburg is way too big for protecting all of it)?

Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn are said to be unhappy with being treated like they’re ‘on some sort of display’ as if they’re ‘in a zoo’ by tourists who flock to their neighborhoods to take photos of their traditional clothes and customs.

Residents of Orthodox communities in Williamsburg and Crown Heights told the New York Post that they are not amused by the way sightseeing tours bus hundreds of tourists into their neighborhoods for ‘contrast’ tours daily.

‘People snap pictures of you like you’re on some sort of display – like you’re in a zoo,’ one member of Williamsburg’s Satmar community, Chaim, 42, told the newspaper, adding, ‘We are people, not animals to be photographed.’

https://www.theyeshivaworld.co......html
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amother




Azure


Post  Mon, Sep 09 2019, 11:29 pm
I'm from Crown Heights and never met anyone who has a problem with tourists. They come to learn more about Judaism and our way of life so we hope they gain something valuable and move on. Never felt like an animal in the zoo
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amother




Papaya


Post  Mon, Sep 09 2019, 11:29 pm
I live in Williamsburg, and I don't mind the tourists at all. I must admit, we really are an interesting community. To see an entire neighborhood like this in the midst of NYC.... These tours go to Chinatown, too.It's not just us they're looking at. Plenty of us go to Amish town to see how they live, why should we resent them coming here?

What did bother me, from reading the article, is that there are tour guides who perpetuate old stereotypes about us. Isn't the purpose of a tour like this to get an up close look at the community and get to see how we live? Isn't it the job of a tour guide to educate tourists, teach them about the places they're seeing, and do exactly the opposite of what they seem to be doing?

To answer your question, though, I don't see how we can keep them out, nor do I see why we should. They're not doing anything wrong. They're not harassing anyone, or disrupting anything. They just walk up and down the streets, gazing around wide-eyed. Yes, they do congest the sidewalks, but hey! Traffic isn't anything new in Brooklyn!

ETA: They bring business to the neighborhood, too. They always make a stop at one of the local bakeries to sample some of our food. (Except those who come on Shabbos, poor them.)
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Ravenclaw




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Sep 09 2019, 11:31 pm
Never bothers me when I am in Williamsburg.
That’s life.
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Ravenclaw




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Sep 09 2019, 11:32 pm
One of their tour guides is on Quora. Freida V. or something? Very interesting to read her answers to questions.
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amother




OP


Post  Mon, Sep 09 2019, 11:33 pm
amother [ Papaya ] wrote:
What did bother me, from reading the article, is that there are tour guides who perpetuate old stereotypes about us.


Such as?
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aliavi




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Sep 09 2019, 11:34 pm
I saw the article on YWN. As an answer to your question, I think there could be some barriers or possibly traffic restrictions on the busses and installed or initiated under the thought of for safety purposes. There are grants for some of these things too.

In reality, this is another “she’s looking at me!” situation. Why would chassidim have any more privilege to be in that street than anyone else? Courts have already ruled about diminished reasonable expectation of privacy. I am sympathetic and do think some calls should be made to the tour companies. It can be scary for the children.
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amother




Plum


Post  Mon, Sep 09 2019, 11:37 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Such as?


Here is the article.

Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish residents are fed up with tourists who swarm their insular neighborhoods by the busload — all to gawk at their clothing and customs.

“People snap pictures of you like you’re on some sort of display — like you’re in a zoo,” said Chaim, 42, who lives in Williamsburg’s Satmar community and asked that his last name be withheld. “We are people, not animals to be photographed.”

Sightseeing groups venture into Williamsburg and Crown Heights several times a week, some via tour-bus companies InterviajesNY, Tour America and Civitatis. The three offer so-called “contrast” tours of various cultural communities in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and The Bronx — with one touting the “numerous memorials to gang members who were killed in shootouts” in that borough.

The tours — which cost from $40 to $70 — have been going on for years, but locals say that this summer the throngs, and the tensions they cause, have reached a new high.

“Lately they’re out there every day by the hundreds, and it’s become a ‘must see’ for tourists,” said Max Hauer, 41, who lives in Williamsburg’s Satmar area. He added that he has been photographed many times without his consent.

“They see me as a freak,” said Hauer. “They see us as people from another world [and] if you’re not seen as human, then they think it’s OK” to take photos and stare.

Hauer blames the uptick on a recent cultural obsession with his way of life, thanks to the documentary “One of Us” and the Israeli series “Shtisel,” both popular on Netflix.

On Wednesday, The Post attended a Spanish-speaking tour with InterviajesNY. As the bus entered Williamsburg, the guide discussed the ultra-Orthodox lifestyle.

“It is considered wrong to touch bodies . . . how can they procreate?” he said. “There is a sheet, or fabric, with a strategically placed opening for — you all know what that is for.”

Later, he pointed out the window.

“Look at this woman, how many children she has and how young she is,” he said. In the past, he claimed, the community would “intermarry. The uncle married the niece, the cousin would marry the cousin.”

Enlarge ImageOne of the 'cultural' tour group buses that brings tourists to Orthodox sections of Williamsburg.

One of the ‘cultural’ tour group buses that brings tourists to Orthodox sections of Williamsburg

The dissemination of outdated stereotypes has locals upset. “I’ve tried to engage with these visitors, but they aren’t interested to learn more about us,” said Hauer.

At 1 p.m., the bus, along with two others, parked along Lee Avenue in South Williamsburg and unloaded nearly 200 people — from countries including Spain, Argentina and Germany — outside Oneg Bakery.

One woman tapped herself in the sign of the cross before stepping off the bus. Another loudly asked, “Are they wearing wigs?” while pointing at a Hasidic woman.

A representative for InterviajesNY had no comment. Tour America spokeswoman Karen Dane told The Post: “Our tours are meant to show the diversity of New York, and Williamsburg is part of that fabric.”

Hauer said shutterbugs get extra excited on Saturdays — the Sabbath — when local men don large fur hats called shtreimels.

“Whenever I go to synagogue . . . they’ll all start snapping photos in front of my face,” said Hauer.

Some people do ask for permission before taking pictures, and “the answer will always be ‘no,’ ” said one Hasidic woman, who wished to remain anonymous because of her religion’s expectations of modesty.

Stops include a Hasidic toy store called Toys 4 U, and Kaff’s Bakery for a taste of challah bread.

In Crown Heights, a tour led by Rabbi Yoni Katz takes groups into an extremely intimate space: a shop that sells wigs, or sheitels, to women who are mandated by Jewish law to cover their heads. The Post observed as tourists were invited to touch the wigs.

The Hasidic woman said that her beef has been with the interlopers’ racy, flesh-baring summer get-ups.

“The levels of modesty are totally against our beliefs,” she said. “We have a right to request that they respect our customs . . . when they walk our narrow streets.”

Some stores have gone so far as to hang signs that say “Conservative Dress Appreciated” followed by “No Shirtless, No Shorts, No Tank Tops and No Barefoot.”

Even tours headed by people associated with the community — such as the ones Frieda Vizel leads in Williamsburg and Katz guides in Crown Heights — are controversial.

Vizel is “very respectful, and she knows the culture well,” said Hauer.

But Chaim said Vizel’s background as a former Satmar raises suspicion.

“Some people [who are Satmar] think because she left, she’s probably saying bad things about us,” he said. “We are an insular community. And we want to remain isolated.”
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amother




Orchid


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 1:36 am
I live in Williamsburg and don’t mind the tourists at all. It’s interesting though that whenever I try greeting them or smiling to them they never smile back. They ignore. No one has ever attempted to take a picture of me, I do see them snapping pics of the architecture like old buildings.
I once had a tourist walk over to me (she didn’t come with the tour bus) asked me if she can take a pic. I didn’t see a reason not to let her. I smiled and posed for her and she thanked me and walked off.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 5:01 am
I wonder how the Amish and Mennonite communities handle it.

There's a right to public access, but at the same time the tour conductors should be held to a standard. If you took a tour bus to Harlem, you wouldn't be allowed to announce "Look at all them darkies! You know they love watermelon and fried chicken. Ladies, hold on to your purses, and men, hold on to your ladies!"

Taking pictures is a type of "othering" different groups. I've seen many African American women with absolutely stunning hairstyles, but never in a million years would I ask to take their picture. It just feels too personal and intrusive.
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finallyamommy




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 6:23 am
FranticFrummie wrote:
I wonder how the Amish and Mennonite communities handle it.

There's a right to public access, but at the same time the tour conductors should be held to a standard. If you took a tour bus to Harlem, you wouldn't be allowed to announce "Look at all them darkies! You know they love watermelon and fried chicken. Ladies, hold on to your purses, and men, hold on to your ladies!"

Taking pictures is a type of "othering" different groups. I've seen many African American women with absolutely stunning hairstyles, but never in a million years would I ask to take their picture. It just feels too personal and intrusive.


EXACTLY. I love your comparison to Harlem. Personally, being chareidi but not living in Meah Shearim etc., I feel like I can empathize without actually "being" one of them. And I know way too many people who treat frum/chareidi Jews like animals in the zoo: "Oh, you're going to Israel? Get some pictures of the natives!"

As for the Amish, I believe they monetize it. "Come on in and while you're at it buy some of our homemade jam and butter."
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Raisin




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 6:59 am
I'm pretty sure the Crown Heights tours are run by a local lubavitch institution as an outreach exercise. Lots of Shluchim might bring community members on tours as well. Lubavitchers are slightly less interesting to look at anyway then chassidim in williamsburg. No long peyos or streimels and they speak english mostly.
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amother




Fuchsia


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 7:36 am
I'm from Williamsburg and the tourists never bothered me. I don't think many people mind them at all. It's interesting.
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amother




Forestgreen


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 8:39 am
amother [ Fuchsia ] wrote:
I'm from Williamsburg and the tourists never bothered me. I don't think many people mind them at all. It's interesting.

They mostly tour the congested shopping areas anyway. Where I live, on the outskirts, no one bothers us.
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amother




Fuchsia


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 8:42 am
The stores in Williamsburg love when the tourists come in. Tourists are coming to Williamsburg for decades already, everyone is used to them by now.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 9:07 am
A few years ago Hamodia's Shabbos Chanukah Inyan magazine had a beautiful article about a Chanukah menorah tour in E"Y. They spoke to R' Yom Tov Glaser, who talks to tours in his chatzer. He spoke about his neighbor, Rav Yitzchok Nosson Kuperstock, zt"L, a great talmid chochom (authority on electricity among other things) and zakein who knocked on his door one Chanukah, shlepping bags of candy. Rav Kuperstock explained that he wanted to throw down candy for everyone to make a bracha on and enjoy, but he thought it would be safer to hand it out.
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Mama Bear




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 9:13 am
I think that article is exaggerated. I don't mind the tourists. I even smile at them.
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amother




Mint


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 9:14 am
I think amish is different because they themselves are leading the tours. Our money goes directly to them and they get to control the narrative. So maybe that's a good idea we should follow, we should do the tours, profit off of them and control the narrative.
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amother




Burgundy


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 9:19 am
amother [ Plum ] wrote:

.

On Wednesday, The Post attended a Spanish-speaking tour with InterviajesNY. As the bus entered Williamsburg, the guide discussed the ultra-Orthodox lifestyle.

“It is considered wrong to touch bodies . . . how can they procreate?” he said. “There is a sheet, or fabric, with a strategically placed opening for — you all know what that is for.”



This part bothers me tremendously. They are spreading sheer falsehood. At least get your facts straight.
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amother




Ginger


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 9:34 am
sounds like people are describing two different types of tours: one run respectfully and considerately by people like run by lubavitchers as a type of intro for jews to CH

versus

tour groups run by who knows who saying who knows what and FF has an excellent point -- so rude, dehumanizing, and not ok -- reeks of more of the double standard to which jews and anti semitism are unfortunately subjected

really not acceptable

maybe someone can look at the groups running the intrusive tours, for whom, how is it operating and find out ways to stop it if possible
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