Saturday, November 26, 2005

Washington Post on Lakewood

They can't get enought of this. Well at least it's putting Lakewood on the map:

Washington Post:

Religious leaders in a tightknit Orthodox Jewish community in New Jersey have instructed parents who have Internet access in their homes to unplug from the Web, else their children will face expulsion from the area's 43 yeshivas, or Jewish private schools.
"We really . . . don't want children to see ladies who are dressed inappropriately. . . . If that one image goes into a child's head, it can wreak havoc with all the religious instruction," said Rabbi Netanya Gottlieb, one of the yeshiva principals, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.
Religious leaders in a tightknit Orthodox Jewish community in New Jersey have instructed parents who have Internet access in their homes to unplug from the Web, else their children will face expulsion from the area\'s 43 yeshivas, or Jewish private schools. SETI, or the Search for Rabbis said that the Internet is not inherently evil and acknowledged that it has some benefits for students in completing homework, but that its negatives far outweigh its positives.
The policy also prohibits students from using cell phones, Palm organizers and other handheld devices that have Internet access.
In a Talmudic compromise for adults who do business from home, the Star-Ledger reports, some exceptions may be made for parents who have only e-mail access or who promise to keep the Internet locked in a room or cabinet, like a handgun, out of reach of their children.
In many ways, the rabbis' actions are admirable -- if draconian -- and represent the kind of strictures that almost any parent could identify with. Web Watch respects individual beliefs and strong parenting. Unfortunately for the Orthodox community in Lakewood, N.J., the Internet no longer comes from just a wire. It cannot be unplugged, and attempting to police students' access to WiFi hotspots and other wireless access is about as effective as walking through a shouting crowd with your hands over your ears.
Further, denying the Internet to their children because it carries sexual content is akin to keeping them out of the Library of Congress because it shelves Playboy.
Instead, we'd recommend that the rabbis -- and, indeed, all parents -- check out software such as Kid Defender Lite, which is available for download from sites such as ZDNet and Cnet's Download.com. Kid Defender is not quite a V-chip for the Internet, and it is not infallible. However, it does allow you to monitor what your kid is watching on his computer in his bedroom from your computer in the den. Also, it lets you monitor and block instant-messaging systems and shield children from specific Web sites.
Security software makers such as McAfee and Symantec also give parents some power over what their kids see on the Internet. Comcast and AOL Internet service providers include some parental controls as well.
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 5:57 PM

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least it's putting Lakewood on the map? That's akin to saying at least Baruch Goldstein put Hebron settlers on the map. The actions of some right wing extremists that should embarrass us as Orthodox Jews is certainly not a cause for celebration.Once again, as has all too often been the case, religiious Jews are porteyayed negatively in the media because of a few misguided fools.

3:17 PM  

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