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February 14, 2012

Brooklyn Pol Condemns Haredim Who Leave Babies Unattended Outside Stores

Haredi babies in carriages outside Brooklyn stores 2-2012Less than a year after Leiby Kletzky was murdered and dismembered, Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) was shocked when he recently encountered not one, but two unattended children – one infant and one toddler – crying in their strollers while parked outside different stores on 13th Avenue in Boro Park. Both children were observed crying and by themselves for more than ten minutes. It is a dangerous phenomenon Hikind says he sees all too often in Boro Park. "Would you leave your purse unattended? Of course not! So, why do so many people leave their most precious asset of all – their children – unattended?"

Haredi babies in carriages outside Brooklyn stores 2-2012

Hikind Decries Leaving Children Unattended Outside Stores While Shopping
VIN

Brooklyn, NY - Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) was shocked when he recently encountered not one, but two unattended children – one infant and one toddler – crying in their strollers while parked outside different stores on 13th Avenue in Boro Park. Both children were observed crying and by themselves for more than ten minutes. It is a phenomenon Hikind says he sees all too often in Boro Park.

“This issue has been going on for years in Boro Park,” Hikind said. “Time and again, I have pleaded with parents, telling them that leaving their children alone in their strollers while they shop or dine in local stores and restaurants is incredibly dangerous. Would you leave your purse unattended? Of course not! So, why do so many people leave their most precious asset of all – their children – unattended? It makes absolutely no sense to me. We must protect our children.”

Hikind said that his concerns are reflected by many in the community who have complained to him that something needs to be done. “Constituents and I discuss all the time that the possibility for a real tragedy exists any time children are left alone. Our community already suffered a tremendous tragedy last July. I cannot bear the thought that something similar could God forbid occur again because people are being reckless with their children’s lives and safety.”

Hikind is urging parents to exercise better judgment and to use common sense before deciding to leave their children unattended.

Haredi parents have many children that they are often poorly equipped to care for. This happens because, thankfully, modern medical science has made infant mortality and death in childbirth very rare things.

Because of that, haredi families are larger today than they were 100 or 200 years ago.

But while the ability for haredim to have very large families has grown, training and help for parents of these now huge nuclear families have not.

Haredi rabbis have focused on increasing the population, but they have been derelict when it comes to child safety and even basic parenting support.

Leave your baby or toddler alone outside a store while you go in and shop will get you charged with child neglect and endangerment in most jurisdictions in the Western world – but not Borough Park, Williamsburg, Crown Heights, Flatbush, Midwood and in other large haredi population centers in New York State.

But do the same thing in Bed-Sty, Hicksville, Albany or SoHo and you risk both having the state take custody of your children and a prison sentence.

There are several reasons for this discrepancy.

One is the false perception that haredim are all non-violent. peace loving, family friendly people, and that everyone in haredi communities looks out for everyone else.

Another reason is that police view haredi communities as largely self-policing when it comes to internal crime. (This is, of course, wrong for many different reasons.)

But the most important reason is that haredi political power trumps a lot of things, including child safety law, and this is especially true when haredi 'fixers' wield so much influence with the NYPD and the DA that many cases like this would never make it to trial, and the kids will almost never be removed from the parents' custody. The pain and aggravation a cop goes through in haredi cases like this make cops ignore crimes they would otherwise respond to. And that's what haredi leaders and fixers want.

At any rate, I'm sure haredi leaders could find a good solution to this and other child safety issues in their community if they would put as much time into do so as they currently put into various bans and modesty pronouncements.

Where there's a will, there's a way.

The problem is, so far there is no will.

[Hat Tip: Seymour.]

Comments

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theese days babies are cheap a dime a dozen, thats the mentality of theese uber menchen hassidim they can do anything they want .

I, too, find it wrong that people leave their kids outside... on the other hand, it's a very normal behavior in some places and cultures, and the reality is that there is absolutely no documented case of anyone snatching a Jewish baby outside a store in Boro Park.

Is it bad that children are left outside? Yes. It's a throwback to the days when the US was a much safer place, and in many ways it still is true in Boro Park.

On the other hand, it's not the horrible neglect and abuse that Shmarya is trying to make it out to be.

what about inside the front of the store at chestnut? same deal...plus the damn strollers are always blocking the bread and pastry shelves...that's just annoying.

The mentality with the frumma is that if something happens to the kid, regardless of the parent's gross negligence, it is Hashem's will. In any case, they can always make another half-dozen babies to make up for the loss.

More generally, this explains the shocking disregard for safety in general among the frumma, e.g. routinely ignoring fire and other building codes. And don't get me started about their driving...

Shmarya - do you really think that it's in a childs best interest to be taken away from the parents and put in foster care because the mother left the stroller outside the store for a few minutes?

Do you know how horrible being removed from parents is for a child?

Do you know that child psychologists say that in many cases it's often better for a child's mental to be with their parents, even when they are (slightly) abusive and dysfunctional, than to be removed and places in foster care?

Have you ever heard the wailing and screaming of a child taken away from it's parents.

You throw around the idea of taking away kids from their parents constantly and casually as if it's something desirable and no big deal.

Well, child psychologists know more than you, and even your average parent knows more about children than you ever will. Until you've had a child of your own you should shut up about what's best for them.

And do you know the percentages of children that are sexually or emotionally abused in foster care?!

To clarify a bit more:

It has NOTHING NOTHING to do with Haredi rabbis or politicians.Its all about individual responsibility and thinking.
Some mothers are capable of handling 10 kids and some are are not capable of handling 4 kids.

There is one line that NO ONE here should let it fly by:
"One is the false perception that haredim are all non-violent. peace loving, family friendly people, and that everyone in haredi communities looks out for everyone else."

As hard and as much you will try to portray the haradei community as crime ridden where people are all about thieves, child molesters where thousands of kids are molested and they are violent and all the rest you accuse and desire the world should know,it WILL not work. People smell a rat and know the truth.People are not that bad as you think that they should buy the garbage.
But A plus for trying.

Way to go Hikind!

This needs to be looked into in greater depth. If it is because businesses are not allowing strollers in the stores then laws should be enacted to make it illegal. All forms of legislation have been put in place to make sure the handicapped are accommodated. I dont see why a stroller should be different.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people with handicaps, both physical and cognitive. ADA specifically spells out what must be offered to the handicapped in terms of access at many locations, including retail stores. ADA also offers enforcement action against anybody who does not comply with the law.

Does the picture show the actual abandoned babies being referred to or are these other abandoned babies?

many people do not leave their dogs tied up outside a store

what some do is just go with a friend and one stays outside and looks after the dog

why cannot the heridie (the ones who do this, I assume most do not)do the same with kids

I see a business opportunity here for young hairydim!

Pram watching services outside popular shops.

Leave your pram, get a ticket, collect later, and pay a small fee depending on the time you were gone.

Jingle: "if it's not watched, then it could be touched"

Hikind should be thankful for the chariedim's "mind their own business syndrome" and absent mindness.

The second the chriedim will wake up from their feel good,trusting everyone attitude.
They will see Hikind for what he really is.
a self grandiosing zionist, dual loyalty hack, and a left back kid (ask anyone who learned with him in Toirah V'daas) and an equal opportunity back stabber.

There are many unemployed brown ones in New York who have nothing to do all day except collect welfare. And there are many young mothers in our community who are in need of an extra pair of hands and eyes to watch the kids, change diapers and do the laundry. So why not solve both problems at once and assign some of the unemployed to work for us watching out for our kids? that way they get a job and a paycheck instead of calling it welfare and we get some much needed help at no extra cost to the taxpayer. And they would benefit from having this on their resume and besides, they might learn something from our example. Everyone wins.

Posted by: abcdef | February 14, 2012 at 01:34 PM

You need to work on your reading comprehension skills.

I do not advocate for removing children from their homes, but I do REPORT what would happen in cases of neglect like this – especially if if it wasn't a first offense.

מרדכי סטמר-Dou have anything good to say about anyone or anything do you?

Which is worse--leaving an infant in a stroller outside a store (or unattended in a store--same difference) or allowing school-age children to knock on strangers' doors as part of a school fundraiser BY THEMSELVES?!?!? I thought we cared about children!

See, the problem is that these families obviously were not large enough. Once a child is, say, six, she should be watching the stroller while mama shops. Or else mama should have sent the 10 year old to do her shopping while mama cared for the infant or toddler at home with the other 5 or 6 children. Then all the problems are solved, nu?

Sadly it isn't just Boro Park. I've seen these low IQ mothers leaving their strollers outside Rite-Aid on 7 Mile Lane. I personally told one young woman (politely) why she should never do that. She told me to mind my own business. The conclusion that I reached is that some people are simply hopeless.

מרדכי you are using the word Zionist like its an insult you might find the derivation of the word in the Torah.

I hope nothing happens to the poor babies. The haredi leadership needs to educate the populace about this important safety issue.

Is it bad that children are left outside? Yes. It's a throwback to the days when the US was a much safer place, and in many ways it still is true in Boro Park.

On the other hand, it's not the horrible neglect and abuse that Shmarya is trying to make it out to be.

Posted by: abcdef | February 14, 2012 at 01:28 PM

yes that is the same thing they said about child molestation

Shlomo1, please enlighten us as to where the word Zionist appears in the Torah?

satmars have no jewish blood. they are mostly descended of converted peasants from hungary; roma/gypsies of translavia, and the turkic mongol 'szekely' judaizing tribe of southern hungary. this may explain their obsession and visceral hatred for jews and israel.

Hinky ought to encourage observers to call the police because this is genuine child abuse. If the police took the children away, this would put an end to this narrishkeit.

This is negligence born of incompetence. I don't believe there is malice here, as some suggest, rather, there is ignorance and incompetence as parents (presumably mothers).

Education might be an answer to this, though I think the incompetence is structural so direct education on safety may be useless.

When I lived in BP 30 years ago I noticed the same what took Rabbi Hikind so long to see this ?
If stores were to be forced to accomodate strollers and double and triple strollers(tanks) no one else could get in which is the situation in some pizza places and fast food places in BP in the PM wneh the young moms hit the streets. Its simply impossibile to get in these eateries.
Many of these mothers are so overworked with their kids they lose it as thye need a bit of distraction by shopping.

I should add that it is a terrible error and should be corrected. While the actual risk is low the outcome can be catastrophic. The is akin to using bicycle helmets: the need for them is only in an unlikely accident but if it happens the results make the vigilance more than worth the trouble.

yiush shelo midaas:

There is no such thing as "Jewish Blood". A ger is a Jew. I don't agree with much of Satmar doctrine but suggesting that they are genetically impure is stupid racism.

If they are Jewish by halacha they are Jews no matter what "blood" in in their veins. Even if you are correct about their origins (which is far from clear), it has been the case that gerim have strengthened the Jewish people everywhere we have lived.

Erratum:

For:

…suggesting that they are genetically impure is stupid racism.

Read:

…suggesting that they are genetically impure, and therefore "less Jewish" is stupid racism.

The is akin to using bicycle helmets: the need for them is only in an unlikely accident but if it happens the results make the vigilance more than worth the trouble.

Posted by: Yaakov | February 14, 2012 at 03:55 PM


the compliance in willie with that is low

good point then

One would imagine that after the Leiby tragedy, people in these communities would have learned a lesson in child safety.

One would imagine that after the Leiby tragedy, people in these communities would have learned a lesson in child safety.

Posted by: Skepticalyid | February 14, 2012 at 04:25 PM

They haven't and they won't. Everything that happens is preordained and is Hashem's will.

@Yaacov

Good insights. Top to bottom.

While education IS the key, I am unsure who delivers the message. Th obvious answer is their rabbinate, but it notas sure as I once we that they are being listened to, and that a Charedi abbo that tries to guide the people away from the established norms of the community might soon find himself applying for a teaching position at JTS.

Ive seen this personally every time i go to brooklyn and it horrifies me. Anybody can simply come right up and take the baby if they wanted to. This idea that Jews are more "trustworthy" needs to be eradicated in these communities.

This will stop when, chas v'shalom, a child is snatched.

Watchout mothers and fathers .Here I come to the major shopping districts in boro park and flatbush. If I see a stroller or carriage with a baby or toddler in it and is unattended by an adult then I will immediately call the cops and ACS. I will call acs too because I don't trust that the cops will. We need one or two bad apples to show everyone a lesson unfourtunately. My Rov gave me the go ahead. So here I come. Don't say I didn't warn you.

So here I come. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Posted by: this is a promise | February 14, 2012 at 05:50 PM

A post on Failedmessaih will reach no one in Boro Park and Flatbush so I view this as an empty warning. However do keep us posted IF you call the cops on someone. I am curious what transpires.

A post on Failedmessaih will reach no one in Boro Park and Flatbush so I view this as an empty warning

I think you might be surprised at how many in Boro Park and Flatbus know exactly is written here.

I think you might be surprised at how many in Boro Park and Flatbus know exactly is written here.

Posted by: rebitzman | February 14, 2012 at 08:07 PM

I wont hold you to it, but if you would hazard a guess, what percent of the young frum mothers who are wheeling these strollers in Boro Park and Flatbush are Failedmessiah readers?

Regarding the infant, put the kid in a sling or snugli and carry the kid while you shop. Regarding todlers--that's a tough one. Maybe the moms should take turns watching each others kids so the moms can shop for an hour or two quietly. (not that anyone relevant is reading my suggestions. sigh)

(not that anyone relevant is reading my suggestions. sigh)

Posted by: Yonina | February 15, 2012 at 02:17 AM

You'd be VERY surprised who reads this blog. I have personally observed quite senior people in Chabad read it and talk to each other about it.

This is inhuman. They too behave like this with the responsible people when they grow up.

Babies for sale! Come and get your babies?

Is Assemblyman Dov Hikind being overzealous or clever ?

There are levels of trauma. You can actually rate them on a scale from 1 to 100 of actual damage and harm to the victim. Let me explain.

(a) Finding out the neighbour has topped up your half empty bin with his rubbish the night before collection morning. 0.1/100

(b) Realising as an adult your mother left you outside a shop in a safe neighbourhood for about ten minutes but was keeping on eye on you when you were eighteen months old. 1/100

(c) Discovering your new car has been keyed by a delinquent in the hood. 5/100

(d) Being trapped in an elevator for three hours with no communication with the outside world. 10/100

(d) Getting home from work and finding your wife in bed with another man. 40/100

(e) Being raped repeatedly. 99/100

The whole thing with this story is context. A mother who knows her neighbourhood will probably be able to assess risks and threats very well. Almost becomes liek a sixth sense. She may also have allies in the shop keeper, assistants and fellow shoppers who will help her monitor her charges. There is a widespread concern about attacks from strangers when in fact the vast majority of sexual assaults happen within the home. Of course this does not mean that one should leave children unattended for any great length of time. It is all about balance. Tapping into the paranoia and delusions of groupthink to score political points is easy. Calibrating a response so as not to increase unnecessary fear whilst still promoting safety is not as easy.


yaakov
קשים גרים לישראל כספחת

In this case, it is a compound problem. All people are lax about safety until something happens to them personally. (Like smoking or seat belts.) Add that the stores in Brooklyn are so narrow and crowded that it impossible to navigate them with a carriage or to leave the carriage anywhere in the store. Add that the woman has to go shop with here kids in tow and there is no one to leave them with.
Add that baby may need to nurse fairly frequently, and mom needs to be nearby.

This is not abuse. it is a practical problem.

The solution would be for shopping day care businesses to be established. IOW, a local day care that accepted children on a regular basis for an hour or two at a time at minimal cost ($5-8 / hr). Mother drops the kid at the neighborhood day care, shops and returns for kid with minimal fuss and time loss, no need to worry about "influences" etc. You just a need a reputable group of teenage sitters.

@yiush shelo midaas

That's because you aren't well versed in hallachah. The rabbis understood the importance of the ger. That you do not......well, it's not overly surprising.

W4M,
The only flaw in your hilarious parody is that the "brown ones" are generally morally and ethically superior to Borough Park hareidim.

yiush shelo midaas:

Narrishkeit. Oppressing a ger is an aveirah. Do teshuvah while you have the chance.

Luckily for you, most gerim are a lot more compassionate that you are so I am pretty certain they would forgive your stupidity.

This was a very common thing among all mothers a few decades back. I recall a baby stolen decades ago finaally reunited with the mother

http://fromwhisperstoroars.blogspot.com/2009/06/has-steven-craig-damman-missing-since.html

As you should know, the Gemara in Megilla says that Hamans first decree sent out from Achashverosh that all wives must respect their husbands, was received by the nation with laughter. Because even a lowest class worker knows that at home he is (or should be) king. Because of this Achashverosh was suspected as being a bit foolish, and that's why the nations hesitated killing the Jews right away.

I have to say that It's not the job of Rabbanim to educate the Tzibur on Safty rules any more than teaching them math or give driving lessons. In Eretz Yisroel many Chadarim are teaching the kids road safety rules, because for teachers to teach not Rabbanim. The fact that Rabbanim come out against things, are because they are a threat to Yiddishkeit, and others might learn from them.
As important as safety is, it's not a Rav's job to tell people that, it's obvious. And just like there are exeptions to the rule, it doesn't mean that you should put out pashkevillim saying that every wife should respect her husband.

The only thing I could suggest is that the city should do something to educate people , and not blame it on the fact that someone is Chareidi.

This habit of BP mothers bothers me a lot and the safety is not my main concern. The general attitude is more disturbing, I saw many mothers ignoring their babies cries even when they are close to stroller. Well - let me tell you this - it is well established that repeatedly ignoring of baby's cries had bad impact on his brain development especially of limbic system that governs our emotional life.

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