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Haredi modesty patrol catches violators on camera
Members of Committee for Preserving Sanctity and Education employ professional photographers to document yeshiva students attending 'immodest' cultural events. Images will be passed on to yeshiva heads
The next hot item in the haredi fight against immodesty is debuting this summer – professional photographers hired by the Committee for Preserving Sanctity and Education to catch yeshiva students on film at "immodest" concerts.
Rabbi Mordechai Baloi, chairman of the committee, recently announced that whoever attends the mixed-gender rock concerts of haredi performers Yakov Sheweky and Avraham Fried may be putting at risk his and his children's chances of being accepted into various yeshiva frameworks.
According to Baloi, the committee has arrangements with a number of the show's organizers to hand over pictures taken during the concert because they do not want be in trouble with the rabbis.
1st time offenders given pass"Once, we used to send photographers to the concerts. But now we have officials in the organization who send us pictures of those participating in the events," said Baloi. "Everyone who goes to these concerts knows that he was there. Everyone knew he was there, unless he disguises himself. We will bring this to the attention of the leaders of the educational institutions," explained Baloi.
The event managers themselves explained that the concerts are not directed at the haredi public, but are intended for the National Religious crowd. However, Baloi does not accept their claims, and says the fact that the artists are being billed as haredi attracts many haredim to the concerts, even if they are not officially part of the target audience.
Not only mixed-gender concerts are being targeted by the Committee for Preserving Sanctity and Education.
According to Baloi, the committee sent photographers out on motorbikes on the eve of the World Cup final to document yeshiva students watching the game.
"We dispatched three motorcycles with cameras to the streets to pass through restaurants, coffee shops, and bars in the city," elucidated Baloi. "The photographers are not haredim, but are secular professionals."
Baloi explained that the committee has no problem with the soccer game itself, but with things surrounding it, such as advertisements. He added that many of the yeshiva students left the venues when they saw the flashes go off.
The Committee for Preserving Sanctity and Education explained that they do not usually hand over photographs to the yeshiva heads the first time a student is caught, unless they are specifically asked by the yeshivas with which they are in contact.