Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Sod‘em-on-Sea

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In normal societies and communities, when planning a new settlement, you might design colourful posters to attract young families, you might include some photographs or an artist's impression to entice the curious, you might hold a public meeting to gauge the interest and answer questions, you might invite people to nominate themselves to form a steering committee and you could even hold elections for this committee. In due course you would inform people who have expressed an interest on how the settlement is progressing, the range of available housing, the public facilities, educational institutions and so on.

If this is how it would operate in normal circumstances amongst normal people then say what you like about us but normal we are not. Perhaps I should rephrase that for though we are no less or more normal than anyone else that is not the conclusion you would reach reading the above notice.

This notice announces a 'new' settlement in Westcliff for "general-chasidim". This could be defined as moderately enlightened chasidim who can stomach living next door to someone with a different hat or coat so long as the hat's furry and the coat shiny and if an overcoat then shiny too but alos hooded, shapeless and reflectors on the upper arm. Should the neighbour, however, be a jacketed type with a downward titling hat or, Go- forbid, a hatless, coatless specimen then let them head north to Hemel Hempstead or in fact anywhere but east of the M25.

Anyhow, back to the notice. We can debate if it was written for the normal or less so but what shines through from every line is the contempt it has for those it is supposed to be serving. This of course comes as no surprise to us locals and is exactly what we expect round here from anyone in charge of anything .

Just consider the dry facts. A junta of four unelected individuals announces to the general public in as uninspiring language as it could muster that they have set up communal institutions in Westcliff with the 'guidance and blessing' of the gedoilim. Don't bother asking who the gedoilim might be because there are far more important things for which you will have to take them on trust. Such as the roof over your head.

For to gain even a foot in this Stamford Hill-on-Sea you may deal only with this 'non-profit' lot. On green and pleasant land this New Jerusalem may indeed be built but for dark satanic mills it shall not want either. Look not at the writing and consider only the look of the notice. No topography will compensate for the colourless and harsh typography of the notice and even this is no match for the sheer contempt of its content.

You need not take my word for it. Here is a translation of the last paragraph of the notice, the sting in the tail if you like:

"Understandably, for the [settlement] to succeed we require the public's assistance not to buy or hire houses without the committee and, therefore, to enforce the above, we hereby announce that it will not be at all possible for anyone who buys or rents a house not through the committeeto to make use of the communal institutions." (emphasis in the original)

Were this a notice from the Homerton Hospital in respect of the Shabbos room or the Cohanim sidewalks you'd have 5 extra supplements in our newspapers to cover the 'scandal'. If El Al spoke like that to an idiot holding up a flight they'd be bringing down the Israeli government. And if that was Ofsted writing, Interlink would produce another set of bogus statistics with its self-proclaimed Mrs "Intelligent" referring to our 'traditions' of buying up real estate on the cheap.

But since it's some newly arrived apparatchiks laying claim to Westcliff it's all in order.  Don't bother asking how many properties were bought on the cheap on someone else's turf to create the fortunes of the undersigned, and don't ask why what may be done with impunity in Stamford Hill or anywhere else becomes a capital crime if done in Westcliff. All you need to know is that someone somewhere has put himself in charge and by definition is wielding a big fat stick.

Because when they talk about 'communal institutions' they have in mind nothing other than our dear precious neshomelech. Dare to buy a home through anyone other than our 'non-profit' agents and your kids can sit at home or wander the streets but don’t bring them to us. This is the initiation rite for askonim the world over and there's no reason why Westcliff should be any different. Treat the kids like pawns and you'll earn your place in the chareidi hall of fame.

Benefits cheats will get their shishi and landlords letting sub-standard property to heimishe tenants will get their top-table but buy your own 2-up 2-down without it passing through the askonim's grubby fingers and you've had it. No rov or dayan is required for this edict because there's nothing revolutionary or novel about it. That four individuals can on their own accord hold a community to ransom simply because this is what they have decided is what counts as normal round here. Nothing illegal, of course, and they'll quote you scriptures in support as only the devil can.

But as a window to how we're treated by our own there are few better. No sense of fairness. No politeness. No kinds words. No explanation. No accountability. No transparency. Just raw brute force. Because so we said, so we can and so we will.

Welcome to Sod 'em on Sea.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

You the best, you always were, you speak for all of us, thanx so much we love you mr tickle

Ahrele said...

Tickle - you are not fair.
Everyone out there - read the whole sign, not just the translated part.

stamford hiller said...

Ahrele:
I have just re-read the whole thing (twice!). Please mention one point where Mr. Tickle is being unfair.

Essex Am Ha'aretz said...

For the avoidance of doubt, could somebody please publish a translation of the full notice?

Ahrele said...

stamford hiller:
by not quoting the REASON that all sales have to go via the committee; a very true and fair reason indeed.

satmford hill said...

Ahrele:

Quoting the reason makes it worse.
Just look around Stamford Hill.

BTW Not a fair comparison I know but in the pre-war years the Nazis in Germany published many quite well argued reasons for their excesses and many people accepted them (Why shouldn't they?)

Jack said...

I highly disagree with you this time. These people have worked hard to set up a community so that people have where to live and don't want a replay of what is happening in Stamford Hill where every property gets snapped up by investors. If they don't run it this way everyone will start buying there for their grandchildren who are not born yet with the speculation that prices will rise. I don't know all the Askonim metioned but one of them is a very wealthy individual who has a heart of gold and is not doing this for a profit. Accusing anybody who does something for the community is simply unfair. They have a serious housing crisis in S H and they are actually doing something about it. It makes alot of sense to control the market instead of having a bunch of hassidic Jews mobbing the estate agents who will within days catch on to what is happening and rise the prices.

Jack said...

Very much disagree with you.
A group have people have actually gotten up and are working hard to solve the housing crisis and all you can do is criticise. If they would not do it this way. A wave of chassidim would start snapping up properties for their children and grandchildren with the speculation that prices would go up. The estate agents would pick up on this rush very fast and rise prices. It makes perfect sense to keep prices stable to run it via a committee who would sell them only to people actually coming to live there and not have people bidding against each other. Don't know all of them but one individual of the committee is a very wealthy guy with a heart of gold who I very much doubt is doing it to make a few pounds. With house prices so high in the UK the government are also taking steps to discourage investors buying property. It makes perfect sense that as the whole reason of setting up this community is to offer adorable housing that they should take steps to assure it won't spiral out of control.

flat cap said...

The paper explicitly stated that this was not a profit making venture and implied that the intention was to use the margin earned on reselling our renting houses for communal amenities.

I do find both hard to believe. However, anyone with enough money to invest will probably have learned from the university of life (however shiny the raincoat) the smell of ruminant excrement.

In former times we used to use membership fees and fundraising for this kind of work; those with a heart of gold are most welcome to contribute.

flat cap said...

So far the only figure tickle has endorsed is the endearingly egomaniac self styled genius Mora dasrah of Wembley. It's not a record he should be proud of. By contrast interlink is doing what interlink should be doing however much gesher and its redoubtable founder dislikes it.

IfYouTickleUs said...

Our tory voter askonim should know the first asseres hadibros of their Godel, Rebbitzen Thatcher: you can't buck the market. If there is an influx of buyers then prices will rise. Such is life and even hatzole and shomrim can't save you from that. If they have found local agents who will withhold this information from sellers then that is collusion and unlawful unless different rules apply to hearts of gold.

Jack said...

For sure one can, to a certain extent. If they have one buyer trying to buy each house which comes on the market for more ot less the market value they can keep prices at the same level as they are till now. If suddenly all the estate agents in the area have a influx of interest and every house which comes on the market has ten Jews coming to view it and are bidding against each over night prices will rise. There is nothing unlawful with a group of people buying up property on the quiet side plus they can refuse to buy a house which comes up on the market which they feel is above market value. Very clever system indeed.

stamford hiller said...

Jack:
I greatly admire your idealism and wish there were more like you but you appear to be living in a sort of Shangri-La which doesn't exist in the real world.

In his (if it is a he!) Mr. Tickle, in his usual flowery manner, has made a valid point. You can't buck the market. If demand exceeds supply prices go up. If supply exceeds demand prices go down. Over the years many governments, NGOs and assorted other well-meaning individuals tried to artificially fix housing prices with all sorts of "tricks" and, without exception, they all failed.

The end result was always either a great housing shortage or crazy prices making the vey idea of ever owning your own home beyond the reach of ordinary people.

Present day Stamford Hill is a good example and while I concede that there is more to it than that I venture to suggest that the single biggest cause of the situation is the ridiculous housing benefit system. No reason to suspect that Westcliff, if enough people decide to move there, will be any different.

Jack said...

Obviously eventually prices will rise but for the time being if you were running the show how would you run it??

Jack said...

Agree with you about the housing benefit had we not had it we would have had by now communities across the UK as in America and in israel

IfYouTickleUs said...

Jack: I'll agree with you that it is a devilishly clever system indeed. Screw the locals by keeping them in the dark, threaten those in the know with excommunication if they don't toe the line and in a flash the housing crisis is no more. Someone suggest it to George Osborne and the whole county might go klal-chasidi. The Treasury could even advertise for hearts of gold to administer this ingenious scheme.

stamford hiller said...

Jack:
You miss the point. I don't know how I would run it. I don't believe I could and therefore do not undertake to do so.
Mr. Tickle is 100% right (even if he does express himself somewhat weirdly, his substance is far better than his style!).
The "hearts of gold" want full control of who buys and how much they pay and presumably of when/if they want to sell. The weapon they use is excommunication. And it works! Look at the conditions one must fulfil in Stamford Hill in order to get your child into a heimische moisod (Internet, Wife's mode of dress, Wife driving etc. etc.).
Do you think that in Westcliff it would be any different?
As an aside it was these and similar that created Gesher and its ilk.

Anonymous said...

Mr Tickle, can you please kindly provide us with some up to date information as to what is the status with new Golders Green hechsher (by R'Greenberg)
for those of us in GG who are not zoicha to hear the daily (or in some extreme cases even weekly) "mikva reid" were feeling "quite in the dark"
would be nice to know is R' Posen still part of Kedassia? is R' Sharf joining Belz, what really happened in the hotel in Austria? etc etc

Mehadrin Oaf said...

Anonymous – R. Posen is out of Kedassia, and Scharf is back in. All my sources are kli shlishi or worse, so excuse me if I get some of the details wrong. RYMG helped insert RJJP into Kedassia. RJJP surveyed what was going on there, and concluded that there were several things that needed fixing. At which point RYMG, holding Scharf responsible for these failings, demanded that he be let go.

Scharf proceeded to fight back, and he succeeded in pushing RJJP out. RYMG was furious, both at the way RJPP was treated, and with the fact that the issues he raised were not being dealt with. He was even on the verge of having GGBH use Gateshead matzos instead of Kedassia matzos this Pesach, but at the last minute Kedassia agreed to some of his kashrus-related requests, and he backed down.

IMHO, there is not the slightest chance that RYMG will be successful in setting up a new GG hechsher independent of Kedassia. There simply aren’t enough people in GG who would both be willing to follow him in rejecting Kedassia and would refuse to rely on the existing hechsherim. How many people would refuse to buy not only Kedassia chicken but also Oif Mehadrin and regular LBS on RYMG’s say-so? Not enough to sustain a hechsher.

kedassia man said...

We appear to strayed off the original thread of this post but for information only here a few brief facts.
There are 2 Rabbi Scharfs in London both in the kashrut industry.
One is Rabbi M Scharf (real name Assaraf) who is the executive kashrus director of Kedassia and the de-facto boss and has a personal financial interest in many of the products sold with a Kedassia hechsher.

The other Rabbi M Scharf is a respected member of the London Belzer community (his family have been Belzer chassidim for several generations)and is a fairly senior employee of LBD, but only an employee, and unlike the Kedassia Scharf, no say in policy etc.

The two are not related and to the best of my knowledge have no connection.
East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet (got it?)

Right, now let's get back to Westcliff!

Anonymous said...

Stamford hillis will remain stamford hillis regardless of where they live and obviously they will only sell and welcome people to their new Yishuv who adhere to their customs. This new Yishuv will be run with all the Meshagasin of SH plus extras.. The point discussed is if they will in the manner they are doing it manage to keep prices down if/once it takes off, which in my humble opinion they will to a certain extent. A friend of mine who will never be able to afford a house for his children in SH was already toying with the idea of buying something in that area but was put off by this ban. Stamford Hill is very different from the NW and is very much community orientated (hence they are actually doing something about the housing crisis) and people will keep to the rules. It works in Gateshead, no reason they can't pull it off.

rainbowShtreimel said...

The efficient market hypothesis is dogma, especially in thinly traded assets such as houses in a specific block in westcliff on sea. You can buck the market; which is why you shouldn't. Having said this a developer has no fiduciary duty to sellers - if anyone is acting unethically in this scenario it is the estate agents. I fail to see the brutality in banning independent buyers from a non existent shul...

yaakov said...

This new yishuv (next to a beach) seems to be under Belz and Gur. We dont yet know if their respective rebbes have approved.
Regarding kedassia, although Westheim a one man band managed to make his own shechita in London it is impossible. Satmar 26 have tried for years to go against kedassia with their own but realise that no one will touch it. The same with Eckstien in Belz his own chasidim wont touch it.
Kedassia is very powerful and rich. No one is able to stand up to them. So one has to give it in to them. But the question remains if there is something wrong why keep us in the dark about it. Unless one goes public Kedassia which is a law unto itself will never do anything about it. In Israel where there is competition like between Yerushalaim and Benei Brak each have now said the other's kashrus is unreliable. The question there was where is the best place to inject the chicken, in the leg or in the neck. R Moshe Sternbuch claims the leg is better even though it destroys the tsumas hagidin on that side. He claims that only the salting did it which I dont understand then both sides should be destroyed. Apparently the salting only destroys the one side with the injection. Whereas in BB where they inject the neck or other places it is possible to make real traifos.
So the only way to go against kedassia is like Westheim, start somewhere else like Manchester where the kashrut doesnt have a good name and bring the meat here.

stamford hiller said...

Yaakov.
Plenty of the, mainly younger, Belzers in Stamford Hill buy Eckstein's meat and so do a few others.. And in Golders Green the shop has been very successful. Note the decline of Kedassia in Golders Green. Satmer 86 has more or less full control of Kedassia.
The technicalities of the kashrus are of no interest to the average consumer and anyhow it is common practice for "heimische" hechsherim such as Edah or Kedassia to criticize and debunk other hechsherim. Something that no "proper" hechsher e.g. LBD OU or Rabbanut does.

yaakov said...

Most of the kedassia shops are run by Belzer chasidim. Their customers are most likely also Belzer chasidim. I doubt that many of them by Eckstein's meat.
Also no one who eats kedassia meat would eat his but not the reverse.
So far no caterer has offered his meat. Satmar 26 also only buy kedassia and they have their own shop under them. I dont know any satmar 86 who are on the kedassia board. The one on their notepaper is satmar 26 and used to be gabai there.
I think you will find that the "technicalities" are of great interest. Now that R Posen has been "let" into kedassia and knows all their faults he could easily make his own "improved" version.
I am not aware that kedassia has ever "debunked' other hechsherim. They are so strong and have no competition unlike the Edah that they have no need to. The federation have said they want to get hold of the kedassia "million" pound business but so far are not succeeding and never will who ever they take for dayan. The kedassia is a close-knit group of rabbonim mainly one family and others all over seventy (who should long ago have been retired) who make sure nothing ever gets out. Any employee who talks too much is dismissed.
The reason the hotel in Austria was closed, was due to R Posen, it is said that the Normandie has the same problem and no one has thought of closing it.
There are many things wrong with kedassia. They are the wholesalers and also the machshirim. This is against the din since they have a valid interest in making everything kosher. Calling it different companies (run by the same people) is the way halacha works these days.

Billam's Ass said...

On the subject of"Gedoilim", was it not the Beis Yisroel who said that one cannot make a brocho in the streets of Bnei Braq because it is impossible to go 4 amos without encountering Gedoilim.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating discussion on here as a former gger livig in SH it takes comments like these to put things in perspective. Two communities close in distance but far in culture. The melamdim from SH drive go gg each day and many young men from gg drive the opposite way for their bread and butter. The property empires are based in SH with the legal leg work carried out in gg. A SH looks at a gger when they come for a chassidus injection be it in Bobov or belz like speilbergs ET. And as a gger walks past the Langer reklech in isola Bella the bile of hate is difficult to swallow. What a strange setup.

stamford hiller said...

Yaakov. Do you know one single person who does not have a vested interested and is neither blackmailed nor intimidated who has a good word to say about UOHC/Kedassia?

As you know the whole set-up "enjoys" a reputation of being somewhat shady and disreputable and while I don't know of any evidence that they do anything actually illegal it is common knowledge that they are entirely unreliable in money matters. Anything relating to their (perceived) financial advantage has one, and one only, guiding principle; Can we get away with it?

yaakov said...

The good word to say about kedassia is that their kashrut is the most reliable in the world. If this is true or if they make sure that it is so secret that no one ever finds anything wrong with it(unless they let someone like R Posen in) is something we will never find out. I am quite sure that they also made sure not to tell him much.
Back to the subject of this post. A new poster in English came out offering a new yishuv for "bnai yeshiva" with houses priced at the 300-400 mark and an hour from London. They already have a donor for a shul and they have been working three years on it and the town council "welcomes them". What is surprising is that they don't tell us where it is. I doubt it is a new one but one of the three existing ones. Asking money for registration wont work anymore so it is very difficult to set up a new yishuv. It sounds to me like the Canvey Island one which because of the Westcliff one seems to have fallen through. But since they have put money in it (buying up houses to sell at a profit) they still have to keep on at it.
There is really no way SH can carry on much longer and it should really be up to the community leaders to do something about it, and not left to individuals who are only in it to make a quick profit.

stamford hiller said...

Yaakov. What ever makes you say that their kashrut is the most reliable in the world.
What have they got that OU or LBD or Rabbanut haven't got?

yaakov said...

Now that "buy to let" has apparently been killed off, how are these people going to buy houses in these new areas.

fake fur shtreimel said...

Isn't the most
chickens the ones no damaged by injection of prophylactic hormones and antibiotics at all? Clearly profit before principles

Yaakov said...

So Lord Graat is not giving up. He sees his project being overtaken by the Westcliff one, so now he advises us to buy houses in properties adjacent to his land which still seems to be secret.

stamford hiller said...

Yaakov. The market will continue exactly as before. If it managed to survive a greater than 100% price rise in less than 10 years it will survive a 3% increase in stamp duty. This was simply a political move by Osborne. It has done nothing to ease the housing problem in general and certainly not the great problems in the chareidi community. The landlords will simply increase the rent just as any businessman increases his prices when his costs rise.
The generally penniless newly marrieds still have to live somewhere. the newly increased rents will not affect them (much) as most of them have their rent paid by the housing benefit.
These problems cannot be solved locally. It needs a major change of national policy, and as of now that seems highly unlikely. The only medium term solution for SH seems to be Gratt or Westcliff or Schlaff or something similar. Can you or anyone else suggest another solution?
Same old story, demand and supply.

Yaakov said...

It is not a matter of increased rents. The problem is how they are going to afford to buy houses in these new areas without buy to let. I must mention there is already a fifth new yishuv. You missed out Tilbury. He does not write his name or where it is. People say it is someone from Ger. He writes he is already working on it for three years. He has posters in English and yiddish. Perhaps Mr Tickle can copy them on his twitter. He expects for 40-50 people to start. There is also a rumour that a certain new yeshiva is moving to Westcliff. This person's father was also in a similar "business". Maybe there are too many council houses in these areas and they are happy to fill them. That seems to me to be the only way they can do it.
What is the solution. Well for a start there was no need to bring the "taimono" here to take away our housing. They could just as well have gone to Israel or Manchester. Also they have to stop letting people who have no connection with anyone here live here. Let them go to Manchester. Just because they have grandparents who were in the EU is no excuse. So the first thing is to stop, meaning not rent, to people who have no reason to be here.
National policy which I suppose you mean government policy will be changing. They are starting with the chadorim and they wont stop there.
There are other measures which can also introduced. There are many large houses with only two old people living there. If they had where to move and downgrade they would. If on these new estates like the clock one, they would build for them, that would free them up.
The real problem is that all these new yishuvs are private initiatives. The union kehilla dont seem to care much. They are more interested in keeping GG for themselves.

Yaakov said...

Seen your latest twitter. You have put a copy of the new yishuv on there. But there is also an English copy with a different nusach.
Gratt may be forthcoming but remember he got 50000 pounds from 500 people which no one else will get for registration. He promised to give it back if it doesnt go ahead, but didnt say when. Now he says less expenses and hasnt even given that back yet. So he has to say he is still going ahead.

Anonymous said...

Keep out of canvey your not welcome.

normie said...

as I do not eat meat at home I am not bovvered the main issue is the high rents young couples pay for substandard housing-schools in Shnonners Hill are low standard(I taught in six) I cannot eat in a home of Hassidim too .much salt sugar and grease in the opinion of a housewife women are murdering their husbands -just take a look at tem they can hardly climb stairs I am 79 and won gold medals in sport (last race I was 78

Shloime said...

"Anonymous said...
Keep out of canvey your not welcome.

26 April 2016 at 20:49"

The lack of expansion by the frum kehilla into London's surrounding outer suburbs / countryside (in the way that exists in NY) is somewhat of a shame but in today's housing climate, any move, even with initial politics is surely a step in the right direction.

The comment I've quoted above is more than unfortunate, and shows just how much of what has been reported in recent days - Anti Semitism - lurks around the surface.

Anonymous said...

Union spokesman.

So Mr Shimon Cohen has sent £5,000 to the RNLI in Dover on behalf of the Ahvs Yisroel Community Centre. So the boys weren't on a school trip on a school day?