That Massive 'Jews Against the Internet' Rally This Weekend Is Not Very Press-Friendly

By Ben Weitzenkorn (
May 17, 2012

Update: Contrary to a previous source, there's at least one man behind this rally with an email address. The man in charge of the not quite non-existent but ever-elusive press-passes, Eytan Kobre, told Betabeat in an email that "to my knowledge, all available press passes are spoken for." If only it hadn't taken three weeks, six phone numbers and a call to another newspaper to find him. Mr. Kobre said he would "check further and try to get back" to us but that's the line we've been getting all along. Ichud HaKehillos may be online but organized, they are not.

Update: It turns out that the Five Towns Jewish Times will be at Citifield on May 20th, at least. Now on our sixth phone number ("the mailbox is full. Goodbye") Betabeat's attendance looks more promising, if not yet a sure thing.

After three weeks of getting the run-around ("Uh, I don't know, call this number") it seems that the rally of "Jews against the Internet" at Citi Field on May 20 is looking to exclude reporters as well as women. We asked, not The Times? The Post? The Daily News? Nope.

In retrospect, we should have purchased tickets. The rally is organized by Ichud HaKehillos, an Orthodox Jewish organization aimed at educating the masses regarding responsible use of technology, and we realized gaining access would probably be a unique experience after the moratorium on vaginas.

But after taking our information down on three separate occasions and promising to get back to us, one of the organizers gave us a flat-out no. The last number we tried led us straight to a voicemail explaining that there are no more tickets available for buses to the event.

When we called asking for an email address, the man who answered said they didn't have one because "we don't have the Internet."

Actually, Ichud HaKehillos does have the Internet, and a website:

Ichud HaKehillos is an organization that was founded with the purpose of educating the masses regarding responsible use of technology. Backed ... by Reb Matisyahu Salomon, shlita, and the Skulener Rebbe, shlita, after many years of trying to keep families disconnected from the rapid advancements of modern-day technology, this organization rose out of a realization that fighting technology is an exercise in futility and is doomed to failure.

Gawker reports that the sold-out event, where tickets were originally $10 dollars (wait, you have to pay to rally against something?) are now appearing marked up on eBay. Citi Field holds 45,000 people, and apparently some original ticket holders aren't against making a couple of bucks on the web, even if the Internet is inherently evil. The top bid for two tickets is $124.50. A single ticket has a top bid of $75, but if you want to lock it down for sure, buy it right now for $1,800.

Betabeat continues to call the two three four phone numbers that Ichud HaKehillos representatives gave us. They won't admit they have the Internet, but they seem pretty proud of all their phones.