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Satmar Hasidic Scolds Pressure Merchants to Comply with Dress Codes – Force Business Owners to choose Between Boycott or Potential Discrimination Rap

A gang of overbearing religious scolds is targeting Jewish store owners who  open shops in Williamsburg’s Satmar Hasidic enclave, ordering them to comply  with a shadowy but strict set of standards or face sinful consequences.

Residents said the Va’ad Hatznius — known as the modesty patrol — struck again Thursday, blanketing lightposts and car windshields with flyers  calling for the boycott of a new women’s clothing shop at 100 Lee Ave. and  trumpeting an afternoon protest.

The store’s offense? Having big windows, through which the sight of women  holding up dresses and picking through clothes are too easily observed from the  street.

A new women’s shop is the latest merchant to be targeted by Williamsburg’s Satmar Hasidic “modesty patrol.” The shadowy standard-bearers have already called a boycott, saying the are put off by the windows.

“It is not right,” said Moshe Spira, the manager of Grill on Lee, a sandwich  shop down the block from the dress shop, explaining that the “man and his wife,  trying to make a living for them and their family” opened just days ago.

“When we opened the store, they put up flyers,” Spira added. “They made a  protest saying, ‘Don’t eat here.’ We were the first fast-food restaurant in the  neighborhood. They were saying men and women can sit together and are on the  line together. We just ignored them and they moved on.”

The manager of the dress shop declined to comment about being the modesty  patrol’s newest magnet for wrath. Community affairs cops checked out the store  Thursday, scouting for protestors who never showed up.

Members of the Va’ad Hatznius don’t advertise, and its leadership is  unknown. During the recent sex abuse trial of Satmar counselor Nechemya  Weberman, prosecutors said the 54-year-old was affiliated with the shadowy  group.

But its influence is unquestionable.

“They came to me and said they don’t like this and that,” said another  merchant, Victor Klein, owner of Ice Cream House on Bedford Ave.

Bearded men paid Klein a visit one month after he opened his two-story  parlor, demanding that he put up signs telling customers how to dress.

Klein spoke to his lawyer, asking how to follow their orders without being  sued for discrimination should he ban clothes favored by the non-religious.

“You have to respect the community,” Klein said, describing the dilemma. “I  want people to send their children here. If people don’t send their children  here, I am out of business.”

The Williamsburg merchants’ dress codes are being probed by New York City’s  Commission on Human Rights, which filed suit against seven Lee Ave. shops last  August.

“It’s a new kind of discrimination case,” said Cliff Mulqueen, the  commission’s general counsel. “There is a clash between anti-discrimination laws  and freedom of religion.

“If you have a business in New York, you have to treat everyone who walks in  your door the same way, regardless.”

Source: The Daily News

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Posted by on February 22, 2013. Filed under Jewish News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to Satmar Hasidic Scolds Pressure Merchants to Comply with Dress Codes – Force Business Owners to choose Between Boycott or Potential Discrimination Rap

  1. BP Jew

    February 22, 2013 at 9:27 am

    This is a perfect example of how important education is. These bums are uneducated and are doctored to think one way and it’s disgusting.
    O
    ne of my employees (Non Jewish) told me this morning, and I quote: “These people make the Taliban look good”

    This non-sense action has to stop and someone with real authority has to speak up, it is out of hand. Are you telling me that there is not ONE Rabbi with a little brain that can stop this? Can start educating these people that we live in the USA and there is something called “The Law”?

    These action only bring more and more anti-Semitism and it never ends well