OPINION: Askan or “photo-opper”? Where are the Wieders, Gestetners & Bennett’s of Lakewood?


The Jewish people have all types. Rabbis, musicians, plumbers, physicians, contractors, mechanics, politicians, and askanim.

Askanim are people who help the greater cause. They are involved in helping one another.

To be clear, they don’t do this for themselves, they do this to help others. Lakewood has few askanim but dozens of “photoppers”. Passive individuals who do nothing until something happens. At that point, they get into every photo to condemn or take credit for what transpired.

Instead of talking about people who stand up for their community, watch them in action.

Here is a clip of Aron Wieder from Monsey taking on Michael Hull – the head of the RUOC equal in Rockland county. (BTW – Insiders tell us he joined forces with RUOC lately.)

This is a leader – who stands up for his community.

Here is a clip of Yossi Gestetner from Monsey taking on politicians.

This is a leader – who stands up for his community.

Chaskel Bennett from Brooklyn, a regular citizen who spends his time helping the Jewish community in the NY-NJ area. Why does he do it? To help another Yid. That is it!

Whether it’s an interview with Governor Murphy on RUOC, or a fiery speech at the No Hate-No fear rally – there is one goal – helping another Jew.

Of course, there are askanim who help quietly from the sidelines, but to put this bluntly, Lakewood needs a Wieder, Gestetner or a Bennett, and we need it fast.

We have enough photo-oppers but it’s “all photos, no action.”

The GreaterLakewood area is one of the largest Orthodox Jewish communities in America, we need our leaders to condemn, fight and battle against those who seek our destruction and harm. It’s insane that one of the biggest fighters against Rise Up Ocean County is a secular Jew that couldn’t handle the way Religious Jews were being made fun of and disrespected, while our own leaders are “all photos, no action.”

Taking this up a notch, Askanim are not paid. Politicians are – by our dollars.

Where are they? Why don’t they stand up? We need to bring down a Simon Weisenthal center and sometimes an ADL leader from hours away – when we have our own Orthodox Jewish politicians here.

Let’s not wait for an attack to condemn – now is the time. Be proactive.

Let’s go!


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of GreaterLakewood.

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  1. Some of these Askanim in Monsey can use some basic English Courses to learn to Some basic English , and than take more advanced lessons on speaking English Grammatically correct. Having Askanim represent the Community on National Media with the vocabulary and Verbal skills on the Level of a Fifth Grader can possibily cause more Harm than good in the long run

  2. Although I’m the last one to stand up for our local askanim who have allowed Lakewood’s quality of life to deteriorate so badly, I don’t agree with this post. Screaming in public is merely a photo op. What does it accomplish ? The real work in this sensitive area needs to be done quietly, behind the scenes. Similar to the efforts for soviet Jewry back in the 70’s. There were many loud protests then, but the gedolim were against most of them. They believed in working behind the scenes using the proper channels. And they accomplished much that way.

  3. Lakewood vaad? they are busy licking……and spiiting on their own people.
    They only care to use your votes for their personal gain, not for the community at all.
    That is also why there is crisis in the schools, not everyone gets in….
    All because of your votes to the vaad cronies.

  4. totally wrong!!!!
    misunderstanding tora hashkafa!!!
    the way to fight anti semitism is stay away from them not to confront them, it comes from hashem not from them, theyre only sheluchem of what hashem wanrs and that is to STAY UNDER COVER, STAY AWAY FROM THEM

  5. David,
    Gestetner et al speak a much better English than most Quebec politicians. Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien (1993-2003, father of current PM) spoke a laughable English and everyone had an open mind. Me think you lack pride in your Jewishness,

  6. Our askonim cannot defend us with a straight face because they have given our enemies ammunition to condemn us. How do you expect a non Jew feels about us while trying to pass through our unpassable Lakewood streets? Does this excuse the vile antisemitism of Riuo? Of course not! But why has no one taken responsibility for the mess the township has caused by approving unsustainable growth? Many temimusdig ainom yehudim are very upset at us for ruining their commute through our town.
    It’s time for someone to say I’m sorry for ruining this place & make room for a non “connected” candidate.

  7. What is Gestetner so busy doing that he cannot learn to speak a normal English after living in America 3 Generations , dont compare him to a Quebecian immigrant or Africcan American , Jews are supposed to be the people of the Book , speaking with a third grade vocabulary makes him and the Jews he represents look like a fool


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