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Monsey, NY - Safety Announcement Encourages Greater Caution For Rockland's Jewish Residents

Published on: June 4, 2015 11:16 AM
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Rockland County, NY - Fueled by overwhelming concern for the safety of the littlest residents of his town, a Monsey man is issuing a strongly worded public safety announcement warning parents to be as vigilant with their children as they are with their valuables.

The announcement, which appears as a full page ad in this week’s edition of The Front Page, a weekly Monsey magazine, blasts residents for safeguarding their crystal and jewelry while allowing unsupervised children to play in the roadway,  cross streets unattended, ride bikes and scooters without helmets, take rides from strangers and for living in safety violation ridden homes that have no smoke or carbon monoxide detectors.

“The way people guard their treasures says a lot about how much they value them,” reads the announcement, advising parents that allowing their children to engage in unsafe activities “makes a statement to Hakadosh Baruch Hu and to the world about what value we place on these treasures Hashem has granted us.”

Dashcam captures child on scooter darts into street.

“My goal is to raise awareness that Monsey is not a bungalow colony,” Chaim Saperstein, owner of The Front Page told VIN News.  “There are real streets, with real cars, that can cause real damage when they hit a real kid who is playing on the street.”

The advertisement shows screenshots from three separate videos taken in recent weeks in Rockland County’s Jewish communities.  VIN News obtained copies of all three videos.

One video, taken on Widman Court in Spring Valley, shows a group of children sitting on a curb, with one little girl darting into the street, picking up a rock and throwing it into the roadway.  The only adults present in the video were seated in front of the neighboring house, clearly engaged in conversation.

“The kids were just running out in front of school busses,” said Saperstein, a father of five.

Another video shows an unaccompanied toddler crossing a street in New Square, just seconds after a car passed by.  Saperstein said that it was a miracle that the child wasn’t injured.

“Without rachmanos from Hashem there could have been a levaya in New Square with a tiny coffin,” noted Saperstein.

The third video, taken from the dashcam of a police cruiser, was posted on Facebook and YouTube by the Ramapo Police Department, showing a child riding his scooter into the middle of the street directly into the path of the oncoming police car.

Saperstein said that he has discussed pedestrian safety on numerous occasions with members of the local police department.

“I had an officer who came to my office and he said of all the municipalities in the country, Ramapo is one of the few where pedestrian accident rates are going up, not down,” said Saperstein.  “Some of it could be the attitude of people in our community. Some of it could be cultural things, including the fact that we do walk more than most people. The police officer even suggested that since Chasidic mothers don’t drive, they don’t understand how brakes on a car work and that a car doesn’t just stop on a dime when you hit the brakes.”

Car accidents, particularly those involving children, seem to be all too common in both the Chasidic and non-Chasidic areas of Monsey.  A 15 year old Airmont boy was hospitalized in critical condition in April after being hit by a car on Route 59 while riding his bike without wearing a helmet, as previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/1KaIFw4).

“I remember nearly hitting a toddler who ran right off the curb,” said former Spring Valley resident Sara Adina Baker.  “They were being ‘watched’ by an older sibling who was about four years old.  It felt like it was just inches but I probably stopped a few feet from the child. It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.”

Monsey resident Michael Steinhardt recalled finding a toddler sitting in the middle of the street in the New Hempstead area just prior to Pesach several years ago.

“I pulled over, picked up the child and walked to a nearby house where some other children were playing and a woman was vacuuming the inside of her car,” said Steinhardt.  “She couldn’t hear anything over the noise of the vacuum and hadn’t noticed that her child had wandered off. I could have easily run over or simply taken the child.”

“I once saw a little kid, maybe three or four, playing in the street on W. Central Avenue, with absolutely no one watching him,” added Ari Rubin of Monsey.  “It was a miracle I didn’t hit him. I knocked on the door and the woman at least had the good grace to look embarrassed and relieved but it still doesn’t address the issue.”

In another incident that took place this past Sunday, Brooklyn resident David Kornblum was driving through the Blueberry Hill area when he noticed an apparently unattended baby strapped into a stroller in front of a house, whose door was closed and shades were drawn.  Kornblum stopped his car and honked his horn repeatedly, waiting for a responsible party to appear.

“I had to honk my horn for five minutes until another child finally came out and retrieved the baby,” said Kornblum.
Sapersetin, who said he saw a positive response from public service announcements he posted in his magazine reminding residents to procure proper permits to burn their chometz and build Lag B’Omer bonfires, says that the idea of reminding parents that their children’s safety is of paramount importance has been percolating in his mind for a long time. He is in the process of translating the announcement, published in conjunction with Hatzolah EMS of Rockland County, into Yiddish so that the message can be shared with an even larger number of area residents.  He said that the announcement is intended as a teaching moment for parents who may not be aware that their children’s lives are potentially at risk.

“It is so incongruous,” noted Saperstein.  “How is that when something bad happens, people are so good about mobilizing, saying Tehillim and starting challah baking campaigns, but we are so bad at just stopping these things b’derech hateva, by making sure these things don’t happen in the first place? It is terrible when a child gets cancer but there is nothing sadder than a preventable tragedy.”


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Read Comments (41)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 04, 2015 at 11:30 AM LionofZion Says:

Kol Hakavod, Chaim

2

 Jun 04, 2015 at 11:31 AM monseyer1 Says:

This ad looks like its written by an outsider. Not someone from the community. It has 'punch' and offensive 'punch'. I as part of this community am offended. The message is all wrong. Like a preserve ramapo piece. Factually correct but wrong and written negatively with contempt. Hatzoloh should have never put their name on this

3

 Jun 04, 2015 at 11:49 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
monseyer1 Says:

This ad looks like its written by an outsider. Not someone from the community. It has 'punch' and offensive 'punch'. I as part of this community am offended. The message is all wrong. Like a preserve ramapo piece. Factually correct but wrong and written negatively with contempt. Hatzoloh should have never put their name on this

Would you have a better way of wording it? (Obviously, nothing that has worked until now has worked)

How would you have worded it to make it look like it was written by an "insider"?

4

 Jun 04, 2015 at 11:53 AM PowerUp Says:

Reply to #2  
monseyer1 Says:

This ad looks like its written by an outsider. Not someone from the community. It has 'punch' and offensive 'punch'. I as part of this community am offended. The message is all wrong. Like a preserve ramapo piece. Factually correct but wrong and written negatively with contempt. Hatzoloh should have never put their name on this

wow your right

5

 Jun 04, 2015 at 12:07 PM Jonathan Says:

Reply to #2  
monseyer1 Says:

This ad looks like its written by an outsider. Not someone from the community. It has 'punch' and offensive 'punch'. I as part of this community am offended. The message is all wrong. Like a preserve ramapo piece. Factually correct but wrong and written negatively with contempt. Hatzoloh should have never put their name on this

Monseyer, I was actually impressed with the "lashon sagi nahar" used in the poster. Nobody can dispute the facts, and I don't think anyone would say the parents don't love their children. What it points out, respectfully, is that we need to show care with the gifts HaKadosh Baruch Hu gives us. It doesn't demean or point fingers. However, your comparison to Preserve Ramapo just may serve as the "leitzanus achas" that allows someone to disregard the message. That's not something I'd want on my plaitzes.

6

 Jun 04, 2015 at 12:10 PM judith Says:

It's the same in third world countries. They care about their kids, but are much more lax in safety precautions, partially because they believe G-d is watching.

7

 Jun 04, 2015 at 12:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
monseyer1 Says:

This ad looks like its written by an outsider. Not someone from the community. It has 'punch' and offensive 'punch'. I as part of this community am offended. The message is all wrong. Like a preserve ramapo piece. Factually correct but wrong and written negatively with contempt. Hatzoloh should have never put their name on this

Did you see any of the videos? The kids playing in the busy street, adults a few hundred feet away completely ignoring them?
If you had, I would not be surprised if you would have put out this same ad.
Either way, I do not think "outsiders" will be as concerned about the safety of Frum kids as the author of the ad obviously is.

8

 Jun 04, 2015 at 12:29 PM Anonymous Says:

My daughter lives in Monsey whenever,I talk to her she tells me her 3 year old is playing on the street with her 5 year old unattended.I think Chaim,your wording is understated

9

 Jun 04, 2015 at 12:30 PM BakerPhoto08 Says:

So glad this is being published. I think this wording is perfect- the ad addresses issues seen in various parts of the Jewish community- it isn't vilifying anyone. Not contemptuous- it's pleading- HaKadosh Baruch Hu gave us these gifts; let us do all we can to protect them!

10

 Jun 04, 2015 at 12:47 PM ExpatriateOwl Says:

Kol Ha Kavod!! This is a message that needs to be sent out, and reinforced.

[Query: How does he expect the problem to be resolved if the women of the community do not start lengthening their skirts, shortening their sheitels, stop driving, and stop appearing in photographs? Lack of tznius is the cause of ALL the problems in frum communities. And if you are reading this, then you are connected to the Internet, so you are part of the cause of the problem!]

11

 Jun 04, 2015 at 12:49 PM ctwid Says:

Reply to #2  
monseyer1 Says:

This ad looks like its written by an outsider. Not someone from the community. It has 'punch' and offensive 'punch'. I as part of this community am offended. The message is all wrong. Like a preserve ramapo piece. Factually correct but wrong and written negatively with contempt. Hatzoloh should have never put their name on this

Monsey1 seriously?? Preserve ramapo??? Thats all youve got?? How about preserve yiddish neshumas..preserve our lives..finally someones raising awareness. We should be encouraging him not calling him names

12

 Jun 04, 2015 at 12:52 PM Mazal1 Says:

Keep the kids inside playing computer, where it is safe.

13

 Jun 04, 2015 at 12:54 PM monseyer1 Says:

its the tirade - railroading all the issues, listing anything from bikes hitches carbon monoxide detectors. its obviously written by someone who views the Hasidim in a negative way

14

 Jun 04, 2015 at 01:03 PM L'hefech Says:

Reply to #6  
judith Says:

It's the same in third world countries. They care about their kids, but are much more lax in safety precautions, partially because they believe G-d is watching.

Here's a suggestion: YOU watch the kids, and HASHEM will watch the jewelry. Dig?

15

 Jun 04, 2015 at 01:14 PM Stressed Says:

Reply to #2  
monseyer1 Says:

This ad looks like its written by an outsider. Not someone from the community. It has 'punch' and offensive 'punch'. I as part of this community am offended. The message is all wrong. Like a preserve ramapo piece. Factually correct but wrong and written negatively with contempt. Hatzoloh should have never put their name on this

I'm not sure where I'm monsey you live but everyone in monsey is aware of the issue and agrees that something drastic needs to be said and done before more people are hurt and/or killed. We'd all rather see a strongly worded preventive ad than go to do a Shivah call. Hopefully this is the wake up call that people need.

16

 Jun 04, 2015 at 01:35 PM monseyer1 Says:

Reply to #15  
Stressed Says:

I'm not sure where I'm monsey you live but everyone in monsey is aware of the issue and agrees that something drastic needs to be said and done before more people are hurt and/or killed. We'd all rather see a strongly worded preventive ad than go to do a Shivah call. Hopefully this is the wake up call that people need.

ok so address the children playing on the street - when you put "living with code violations" into the package it stinks

17

 Jun 04, 2015 at 01:36 PM a pusheter yid Says:

i suggest to print up Giant Colored Posters with some Photo's of Accidents on Monsey Roads in the Past.
I remember about 9 Years ago. on August 14th 2006. a 21 year old Young man crossed route 59 in middle the night. The driver did not see him in the Dark, ל"ע he god killed by a car ר"ל by a other Rockland residnt.

18

 Jun 04, 2015 at 01:38 PM kayboy Says:

If people don't learn the simple things from accidents, like wear a helmet when someone who wasn't was seriously injured, instead of overthinking and looking for some "emotional" or "spiritual" reason, like tznius; the issues on the ad will never be resolved. The rabbanim and others who can say something have to say it right "don't leave your kids unattended" "don't let your kids risk their lives by riding without a helmet" etc.

19

 Jun 04, 2015 at 01:38 PM fat36 Says:

Insider outsider what is the difference someone has to watch these kids this person may have visited and sees all the kids running around something that I witnessed myself visiting a couple of times

20

 Jun 04, 2015 at 01:47 PM Pragmatist Says:

Reply to #2  
monseyer1 Says:

This ad looks like its written by an outsider. Not someone from the community. It has 'punch' and offensive 'punch'. I as part of this community am offended. The message is all wrong. Like a preserve ramapo piece. Factually correct but wrong and written negatively with contempt. Hatzoloh should have never put their name on this

Hey Monseyer1, you are wrong.Stop criticizing the messenger and try look at the message objectively (assuming your bias can deal with objectivity). It was written by an "insider", and he is 100% correct.

Take your blinders off and look at Rt.306 between Maple Ave. and Phyllis Terrace on a Friday afternoon and you will see unsupervised toddlers playing right next to the roadway. This is only one example of what's going on.

21

 Jun 04, 2015 at 01:55 PM therapy Says:

Get real. I see this on a daily basis. I nearly killed a teenager who was cycling at dusk without a reflector when he darted out between cars in traffic.

Then what about all the little toddlers and preschoolers riding big wheels in the Viznitz area on 306? Oh and who is watching them, their siblings who are maybe 8 years old tops. Children should not be left outside to play without an adult present. An adult would be someone over the age of 18....well maybe 15 would qualify in this case if they are alone as the babysitter and not chatting with their friends.

22

 Jun 04, 2015 at 02:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
monseyer1 Says:

This ad looks like its written by an outsider. Not someone from the community. It has 'punch' and offensive 'punch'. I as part of this community am offended. The message is all wrong. Like a preserve ramapo piece. Factually correct but wrong and written negatively with contempt. Hatzoloh should have never put their name on this

Maybe Hatzoloh sees the results of neglect on a daily basis.
As a Monsey resident i can say it is understated.

23

 Jun 04, 2015 at 02:31 PM jewishflorida Says:

Reply to #16  
monseyer1 Says:

ok so address the children playing on the street - when you put "living with code violations" into the package it stinks

monseyer1 The truth is.... they are living outside of the code rules. Every consider this as a chillul Hashem?? Lastly, I'd rather read about code violations issued by Goyim, than attending a funeral of a young Jewish child (G-D forbid)!

24

 Jun 04, 2015 at 02:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
ExpatriateOwl Says:

Kol Ha Kavod!! This is a message that needs to be sent out, and reinforced.

[Query: How does he expect the problem to be resolved if the women of the community do not start lengthening their skirts, shortening their sheitels, stop driving, and stop appearing in photographs? Lack of tznius is the cause of ALL the problems in frum communities. And if you are reading this, then you are connected to the Internet, so you are part of the cause of the problem!]

ExpatriateOwl.... How can you say such a thing?! So are you saying Loshon Hara, lack of davening and learning, and lack of chesed aren't criteria for issues? The Bais Hamikdash was destroyed because of Loshon Hara. I am a male, and will openly say that the blame isn't upon women. We must step up our personal avodah! Earth is large, and there are many other frum communities which have Jews still in the learning process of Frumkeit. They may not be holding by YOUR standards of female tznius, but others out there commend them for their growth and effort.

25

 Jun 04, 2015 at 03:09 PM savtat Says:

Children need supervision. Little ones need lots of supervision. How about an organization to supervise the kids Friday afternoon? Call it Frumeh Friday! Are there parks or backyards in Monsey? Have young adults take turns watching the kids play AWAY FROM THE ROADS!!!

26

 Jun 04, 2015 at 03:38 PM yonasonw Says:

Reply to #2  
monseyer1 Says:

This ad looks like its written by an outsider. Not someone from the community. It has 'punch' and offensive 'punch'. I as part of this community am offended. The message is all wrong. Like a preserve ramapo piece. Factually correct but wrong and written negatively with contempt. Hatzoloh should have never put their name on this

Bla bla paranoid bla bla defensive bla bla dismissive bla bla just plain stupid bla bla.

Anyone driving through Monsey knows or should know that Saperstein is spot on.

27

 Jun 04, 2015 at 04:05 PM hashomer Says:

Letting the kids run wild without supervision is ok. I clearly remember seeing this in haBeshts shetl in 1690.

28

 Jun 04, 2015 at 04:20 PM OscarMadison Says:

Everyone should mind their own business and let these people live as they see fit. If a kid gets killed, that's just Darwinism at work. Besides, the way they procreate would they even miss one or two?

29

 Jun 04, 2015 at 04:22 PM jsjcbs Says:

Reply to #21  
therapy Says:

Get real. I see this on a daily basis. I nearly killed a teenager who was cycling at dusk without a reflector when he darted out between cars in traffic.

Then what about all the little toddlers and preschoolers riding big wheels in the Viznitz area on 306? Oh and who is watching them, their siblings who are maybe 8 years old tops. Children should not be left outside to play without an adult present. An adult would be someone over the age of 18....well maybe 15 would qualify in this case if they are alone as the babysitter and not chatting with their friends.

I agree with #21

30

 Jun 04, 2015 at 05:47 PM Somejusticeplease Says:

Reply to #24  
Anonymous Says:

ExpatriateOwl.... How can you say such a thing?! So are you saying Loshon Hara, lack of davening and learning, and lack of chesed aren't criteria for issues? The Bais Hamikdash was destroyed because of Loshon Hara. I am a male, and will openly say that the blame isn't upon women. We must step up our personal avodah! Earth is large, and there are many other frum communities which have Jews still in the learning process of Frumkeit. They may not be holding by YOUR standards of female tznius, but others out there commend them for their growth and effort.

Somejustice, I think ExpatriateOwl was being sarcastic...

31

 Jun 04, 2015 at 05:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #24  
Anonymous Says:

ExpatriateOwl.... How can you say such a thing?! So are you saying Loshon Hara, lack of davening and learning, and lack of chesed aren't criteria for issues? The Bais Hamikdash was destroyed because of Loshon Hara. I am a male, and will openly say that the blame isn't upon women. We must step up our personal avodah! Earth is large, and there are many other frum communities which have Jews still in the learning process of Frumkeit. They may not be holding by YOUR standards of female tznius, but others out there commend them for their growth and effort.

Many times I have asked a child walking around by himself, "Who's watching you?" and some adult or sibling who is sitting way up on the steps of a house nowhere near the child will respond that they are. I always wanted to say, "Great, so when they get hit by a car it won't hurt as much because you were watching and saw it."

32

 Jun 04, 2015 at 05:57 PM Anonymous Says:

One thing that is missing. Taking children, including little babies in taxis without car seats. Yesterday, I watched several taxis drop off women at Woodbury Commons shopping center carry babies in their laps. Not only is this dangerous, its illegal!

33

 Jun 04, 2015 at 06:04 PM jd613 Says:

About time somebody took this to heart! I wish this campaign would spread to other neighborhoods. Insider, outsider - doesn't matter. As long as the message gets out. If one child doesn't get hurt or one family gets out of a house filled with carbon monoxide then this campaign becomes one of the most worthwhile efforts there can be!

34

 Jun 04, 2015 at 07:01 PM kayboy Says:

Reply to #28  
OscarMadison Says:

Everyone should mind their own business and let these people live as they see fit. If a kid gets killed, that's just Darwinism at work. Besides, the way they procreate would they even miss one or two?

You are a sick man......

35

 Jun 04, 2015 at 09:42 PM gimmeabreak Says:

Reply to #16  
monseyer1 Says:

ok so address the children playing on the street - when you put "living with code violations" into the package it stinks

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

36

 Jun 04, 2015 at 10:29 PM Monseyite Says:

Reply to #32  
Anonymous Says:

One thing that is missing. Taking children, including little babies in taxis without car seats. Yesterday, I watched several taxis drop off women at Woodbury Commons shopping center carry babies in their laps. Not only is this dangerous, its illegal!

It's not! Taxis are exempt from the car seat law
Yep as stupid as it sounds that's the law

37

 Jun 04, 2015 at 11:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #32  
Anonymous Says:

One thing that is missing. Taking children, including little babies in taxis without car seats. Yesterday, I watched several taxis drop off women at Woodbury Commons shopping center carry babies in their laps. Not only is this dangerous, its illegal!

legal in a taxi

38

 Jun 05, 2015 at 09:24 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
ExpatriateOwl Says:

Kol Ha Kavod!! This is a message that needs to be sent out, and reinforced.

[Query: How does he expect the problem to be resolved if the women of the community do not start lengthening their skirts, shortening their sheitels, stop driving, and stop appearing in photographs? Lack of tznius is the cause of ALL the problems in frum communities. And if you are reading this, then you are connected to the Internet, so you are part of the cause of the problem!]

My fieind I hate to break it to you but this dor is more tznuis than past doros. Most of our grandmas or mothers had no problem wearing short sleeves, going mixed swimming etc.. Who had mechtizas by simchas 40 yrs ago? And I am not talikng about some modern out of town american family. Even unzera hiemisha hungarin familes were like this. The Aguda convention use to have mixed seating with a nice Turkey dinner.I am not blaming the old dor. No am I saying that we are perfect. i just hate when people knock tznuis and blame all our problems on tznuis. Then they claim we are the worse ever when it comes to tznuis. Thats factually a lie.
Bottom line we are doing great and striving in tznuis. Keep it up!

39

 Jun 05, 2015 at 11:03 AM yonasonw Says:

Reply to #27  
hashomer Says:

Letting the kids run wild without supervision is ok. I clearly remember seeing this in haBeshts shetl in 1690.

LOL...love it

40

 Jun 05, 2015 at 11:09 AM yonasonw Says:

Reply to #28  
OscarMadison Says:

Everyone should mind their own business and let these people live as they see fit. If a kid gets killed, that's just Darwinism at work. Besides, the way they procreate would they even miss one or two?

Very amusing rant, from some creature whose existence, at least socially, defies the notion that the fittest survive. Shameful.

41

 Jun 05, 2015 at 02:33 PM OscarMadison Says:

Reply to #40  
yonasonw Says:

Very amusing rant, from some creature whose existence, at least socially, defies the notion that the fittest survive. Shameful.

Sorry, I thought "mind your own business" was the proper response to all forms of criticism of the frumma. I'm just an am haaretz with common sense, how could you expect me to know any better?

42

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