Ultra-Orthodox Hosts Sold-Out Event at Citi Field on Tech Risks

By Tracie Hunte (WNYC News)
May 20, 2012

More than 40,000 ulta-Orthodox Jewish men will gather at Citi Field Sunday to discuss how to use modern technology – including how to avoid potential dangers of the Internet.

The event is sold out and another 20,000 men will fill nearby Arthur Ashe Stadium. Women are not permitted at either stadium.

Critics have called the event an anti-Internet rally, but Eytan Kobre, a spokesman for the Ichud Hakehillos Letohar Hamachane said the faith-based group wants to teach families to use technology responsibly.

"They'll make decisions about how much technology they want to allow into their lives and what kind of safeguards they want to apply to that technology," Kobre said.

Though the Internet will be the focus of discussion, smartphones will also enter the conversation, he said.

"If we can't do that because we got this ball and chain, at out side, on our waist, our pocket," Kobre said. "Then that means we can't be the best Jews that we can be."

A group is planning a protest across from Citi Field, saying instead of focusing on the potential dangers of technology, religious leaders should be doing more to root out alleged sex abuse within their community.