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New York - Fed Up With Misconceptions About Anti-Vaxxing Chasidim, Times Square Billboard Goes On The Offensive

Published on: May 21, 2019 03:41 PM
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New York - Hoping to counter misinformation about vaccination rates in the Chasidic community, a Rockland County based public affairs group has taken out a Times Square billboard assuring passersby that nearly all Chasidim immunize their children and asking them if they do as well.

The billboard, located above the marquee at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, is short and to the point, stating simply “96% Hasidim Vaccinate.  Do You?”  The public service announcement was created by the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council which goes by the acronym OJPAC.

The eye-cathcing message went up Tuesday morning, with a two pronged purpose, explained OJPAC’s Yossi Gestetner.

“In recent weeks we have had firsthand reports of people being berated, criticized and asked questions in very uncomfortable ways regarding vaccinations and diseases,” Gestetner told VIN News.  “We are looking to get the message across that vaccination rates are very high in the Chasidic community and also to bring attention to the fact that there are many anti-vaxxers outside the Chasidic community.”

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Gestetner said that the 96 percent statistic comes from media reports. 

According to an opinion piece that appeared in the Daily News (http://bit.ly/30BkyTW) last week, the New York State Department of Health reported a 96 percent vaccination rate at 200 Jewish schools, most of which are located in Borough Park and Williamsburg.

That number surpasses the 90 percent vaccination rate among other New York State private schools.  A statement released by Agudath Israel of America on April 10th also quotes the 96 percent statistic, a number that it said comes from “governmental records” and encompasses yeshivas all across New York.

The billboard will remain in place for one week.  Gestetner declined to say how much it cost to place OJPAC’s message in the prime location that is often referred to as “the crossroads of the world”, acceding only that it costs “thousands.”  He hopes that additional donations will allow him to post another in Brooklyn near the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and a third on Route 17 heading toward the Catskills where thousands of Chasidic summer residents summer each year.

Feedback so far has been very positive, noted Gestetner.

“People in the Orthodox community, and even more so in the Chasidic community, feel like they are under siege,” said Gestetner.  “They have had people running away from them, crazy stories. This is pushing back, in a simplified way.”



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Read Comments (17)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 21, 2019 at 03:46 PM Educated Archy Says:

Yes great move. And the media should be sued for continuing to blame the ultra Orthodox Jew and blame us. Keep religion out of it. If o said more blacks have AIDS to wreckless behavior you'd sue my pants off. This is not just an issue with the fake liberal news. I think conservatives are just as guilty although I hear it on wcbs all the time

2

 May 21, 2019 at 03:52 PM Reb Yid Says:

Fed Up With Misconceptions About Chasidim Not Knowing English Grammar, Times Square Billboard Seeks to Reinforce the Stereotype

3

 May 21, 2019 at 03:57 PM Anonymous Says:

While I applaud the effort to put a good face on the Hasidic community the reality is the statistic is misleading. Even if the average over 200 schools is 96% there are some schools which have much lower rates, which is why the disease is spreading. And the 96% rate would include all grades, whereas the anti-vaxx movement has increased in the last few years, so in younger grades you have more children not vaccinated.
Vaccination rates should ideally be, I think, between 98% - 100% and that should be for each and every school not an average of all schools together.

4

 May 21, 2019 at 03:57 PM Maven Says:

There is a VERY FAMOUS Orthodox news phone hotline which is based in Brooklyn they report worldwide news on a minute by minute basis especial news that pertains to the Frum community. Thousands of frum Jews worldwide call in daily to listen.

MOST who read this comment know about this phone news hotline.

They have many many interviews daily on all kind of topics including doctors,lawyers,pilots and anything and everything.

It is a HUGE SHANDA that on the topic of Vaccination they talk nothing like the topic doesn't even exists.
They are doing a huge disservice to the entire worldwide Jewish community by ignoring the topic.

5

 May 21, 2019 at 04:30 PM ercsd Says:

Instead of spending a lot of money on billboards maybe they should spend it on reimbursing Rockland for all the tax money used for vaccinations.

6

 May 21, 2019 at 04:53 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

While I applaud the effort to put a good face on the Hasidic community the reality is the statistic is misleading. Even if the average over 200 schools is 96% there are some schools which have much lower rates, which is why the disease is spreading. And the 96% rate would include all grades, whereas the anti-vaxx movement has increased in the last few years, so in younger grades you have more children not vaccinated.
Vaccination rates should ideally be, I think, between 98% - 100% and that should be for each and every school not an average of all schools together.

The reason why the disease is spreading is not bec its lower than 96%. its because we are a tight knot community and play with each other. the disease spreads very easily when there is lots of interaction.

I do agree with you that in light of our close interaction we should strive to bring that 96% up to 99.9%.

7

 May 21, 2019 at 05:40 PM ShiraLee Says:

"Educated Archy" and Anonymous - you might want to check your data.

According to the OVG (the British version of the CDC), "To achieve herd immunity for measles at least 90-95% of the population need to be vaccinated. A disease like polio is less contagious, and 80-85% of the population would need to be vaccinated for herd immunity to work."

The immunization rate across the country is is hovering around 93% - with New Jersey being under 90% (89% as of January).

The Hasidic's community's 96% vaccination rate is a purposely kept secret - with a nefarious agenda: By equating the anti-vax movement with "Hasidic Jews," the attempt is to kill two birds with one stone. It makes anti-vaxxers look "dirty and stupid" and it makes us Jews look like "uneducated anti-vaxxers."

The fact is that 96% of Hasidic Jews are vaccinated and 99% of anti-vaxxers aren't Jewish.

8

 May 21, 2019 at 07:18 PM Efram Says:

Reply to #2  
Reb Yid Says:

Fed Up With Misconceptions About Chasidim Not Knowing English Grammar, Times Square Billboard Seeks to Reinforce the Stereotype

I agree with Reb Yid. Whoever composed this billboard needs to brush up on how to wrote a coherent message. It seems to say that only someone who is 96% of a Chasid vaccinates.

9

 May 21, 2019 at 08:56 PM MazelMan Says:

The highly respected and independent U.S. Center for Disease Control in said the vaccine rate for measles in 2017 was a "stable" 90% across the whole country for all children. Everyone reading VIN knows the Chassidishe rate is far below that. The billboard won't protect anyone from diseases. Vaccines will.

10

 May 21, 2019 at 09:44 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

Better to fix the problem than to spend effort laying blame.

11

 May 21, 2019 at 09:53 PM Eich Says:

Enough with this stupid nonsense propaganda
If you really want to shut the debate down then just do the frikin survey showing vaccinated kids against non vaccinated kids
As long as they refuse and fight against this study they fule the fire and enlargening the debate and will eventually loose it

12

 May 21, 2019 at 10:24 PM Brexit Says:

Reply to #8  
Efram Says:

I agree with Reb Yid. Whoever composed this billboard needs to brush up on how to wrote a coherent message. It seems to say that only someone who is 96% of a Chasid vaccinates.

Lol. "on how to wrote a coherent...."
Read that sentence again.

13

 May 22, 2019 at 03:41 AM Greener Says:

Sombody erased the dot! It originally said "9.6% [of] HASIDIM VACCINATE"

14

 May 22, 2019 at 07:24 AM qazxc Says:

As long as these shotim claim a religious objection we will all be blamed if there is heaven forbid a major outbreak.

We need more signs like this one to let the world know the strange behavior of rodfim like Hollander and his crowd of unEDucated lunatic followers have no basis in normative Torah Judaism.

15

 May 22, 2019 at 03:31 PM ShiraLee Says:

Reply to #14  
qazxc Says:

As long as these shotim claim a religious objection we will all be blamed if there is heaven forbid a major outbreak.

We need more signs like this one to let the world know the strange behavior of rodfim like Hollander and his crowd of unEDucated lunatic followers have no basis in normative Torah Judaism.

The hate here is lovely. Sounds like true Torah Judaism.

Since when are you only supposed to respect people you agree with? If you truly want to know what's wrong with Klal Yisroel, it's the sinas chinam - against people who've never hurt you.

Don't pretend to be outraged for hypothetical victims whilst you ignore the very real victims who've already been hurt. The vast majority of "anti-vaxxers" are actually "ex-vaxxers." Sadly, we've vaccinated our kids in the past, and paid the price no parent should ever pay.

Our kids aren't sacrifices to appease you! We've done our research and are now asking that our doctors do theirs (they learn the schedule, not the science. Ask your doctor.)

All we ask: Will someone PLEASE do the studies?
Show us the double blind placebo studies (none exist) or a vaccine that has had more than 2 months of testing (medicine trials run for years!)
Why aren't vaccines evaluated for "its carcinogenic, mutagenic potentials or impairment of fertility"?
Where are the safety studies on injecting aluminum, polysorbate 80 and human fetal cells - directly into the bloodstream?

Why are we told "the science is settled" when the science is 30 years old?!

16

 May 22, 2019 at 10:24 PM qazxc Says:

Reply to #15  
ShiraLee Says:

The hate here is lovely. Sounds like true Torah Judaism.

Since when are you only supposed to respect people you agree with? If you truly want to know what's wrong with Klal Yisroel, it's the sinas chinam - against people who've never hurt you.

Don't pretend to be outraged for hypothetical victims whilst you ignore the very real victims who've already been hurt. The vast majority of "anti-vaxxers" are actually "ex-vaxxers." Sadly, we've vaccinated our kids in the past, and paid the price no parent should ever pay.

Our kids aren't sacrifices to appease you! We've done our research and are now asking that our doctors do theirs (they learn the schedule, not the science. Ask your doctor.)

All we ask: Will someone PLEASE do the studies?
Show us the double blind placebo studies (none exist) or a vaccine that has had more than 2 months of testing (medicine trials run for years!)
Why aren't vaccines evaluated for "its carcinogenic, mutagenic potentials or impairment of fertility"?
Where are the safety studies on injecting aluminum, polysorbate 80 and human fetal cells - directly into the bloodstream?

Why are we told "the science is settled" when the science is 30 years old?!

They are not anti-vaccine. They are pro-disease.

Encouraging knuckle dragging 6th grade drop outs incapable of reading the directions printed on a bottle of children's cough syrup Neanderthals like Hollander to spout his scientific opinions of medical issues reeks of sinas yisroel.

17

 May 23, 2019 at 07:44 PM ShiraLee Says:

Reply to #16  
qazxc Says:

They are not anti-vaccine. They are pro-disease.

Encouraging knuckle dragging 6th grade drop outs incapable of reading the directions printed on a bottle of children's cough syrup Neanderthals like Hollander to spout his scientific opinions of medical issues reeks of sinas yisroel.

You are right. They aren't anti-vaccine, they're pro-science and pro-education.

Our vaccines are tragically bereft of any double-blind placebo control studies. Among many other issues, including dangerous ingredients and lack of safety studies, is their gumption to insist that "the science is settled" even though the science is over 30 years old. We change our minds annually on the health benefits of eggs, dairy, corn, etc. but they can't be bothered to reevaluate the safety of our vaccines?
(Why would they? They can't be sued. Zero liability + mandated product = gold mine!)

You insist that we're uneducated, yet the vast majority of pro-vax moms, not only cannot tell you about a single ingredient in their vaccines, they likely don't even know which vaccine the doc just jabbed into their child's arm!

How is it possible to call people who research science, petition for studies and question their doctors - the "naive" ones ("cult members" even)? Wouldn't that title be more apt for those who are ignorant of all relevant facts and who blindly and faithfully trust their docs? Aren't cult members the ones of blind faith, too "naive" to realize they need to learn more information?

18

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