Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Winds of Change

Stamford Hill is changing. That may be stating the obvious though it would sound like news to many of those who descend upon us from time to time to describe us like some Amazonian tribe that talks in whistles and performs a ritual dance each time an aeroplane crosses overhead. They cannot be entirely at fault when some people who purport to speak for us like to present us as quaint delicate artefacts that are irreparably harmed when exposed to sunlight and require an army of representatives, carers, talkers to take care of our every unique need if not whim.

Yet despite their best efforts we are not what we used to be. We are more confident, more extravagant, less sarcastic and cynical, not so suspicious and secretive, less prudish and conservative, less hierarchical and respectful of authority but also brash and flash. Not all the change is for the better and there is much that I like about the old like paying for one’s way and not expecting life to be handed on a plate. I personally will never get used to the hysterical, sensational, shallow sentimentality that has been imported largely from Israel and to a lesser extent from the US.

However, I don't get to choose these things but nor can I ignore them. It would be impossible to try and lay a finger on the pulse of the up and coming and even less would I like to think what it means for our future because if one thing is certain whatever the future holds it ain't gonna be rosy. This is also a holiday week when people are extremely busy arranging outings and figuring out how to make a sandwich without the centre ingredients coming into contact with the outer layers. It is a feat that Hillel managed nicely some 2000 years ago but which appears to have been lost over time.

So rather than bore you with analysis and prognosis I present a list of old vs. new. This is not a value judgement and the old is far from dead while the new has yet to galvanise but it still tell us something. Like all lists it is likely to be invidious and undoubtedly reflects my bias but it should be fun nonetheless.





Breuer & Spitzer


Berger & Twersky





Taam Hayam

Satmar, Oldhill

Satmar Fleisch Gescheft

Woodberry Down




Satmar 86

Satmar 26

Belz 99

Belz 98





Prominent families








Dayan Dunner

Reb Sholem Freidman

Rav Padwa

Herschel Schneck

Shmuel Ludmir
Reb Yossel Padwa

Boruch Leib Rabinowitz

Meilech Schwartz



Jewish Tribune


Der Yid

Der Blat

Kol Ho'oilom Kilo





Tzorchei Shabbos v’Yomtov

Tomchei Shabbos

Chevra Kadisha

Hatzole, Shomrim, Chaveirim...

Beis Broche Bikur Choilim

Reb Meir Bal Hanes

Japanese drug mules





Anything with Hebrew letters?



West of Dunsmure Rd

North of Ravensdale Road



Joe Lobenstein

Avrumi Pinter

Sholem Ber Stern

Oshi Schapiro

Ita Simons

Simcha Steinberger

To watch


No one

Refoel Grosskopf

Aron Klein

Benzion Papier









Beis Chinuch



Beis Yaakov Girls

Side by Side

Family size


Double digits




Dudy Braun

The Shaigetz (z"l)



Fanatically against

Madly for



Generally self sufficient

Heavily dependent



Frugal and prudish

Outings to the zoo

Tsholent fress-up receptions

Quick Fit


Cricket, if at all



What to say


‘Shreklich the price of eggs’

‘What do you think of Gaby (or The Apprentice, Britain's Got Talent etc.)?’

What not to say

‘The beat at last night’s chasuno was gevaldik’ ‘Has your child been accepted?’


Anonymous said...

I am living here in SH and must be a different place to where you are. Your rabbis if you can call them that. Has Meilach Schwarz got semicha The other 'new'ones are all older than Dayan Schneck.
Der yid or blatt, does anyone read them. The others are magazines not newspapers.
The bikkur cholim is called satmar bikkur cholim. Although satmar has severed all connection with it.
The Japanese drug business (meaning the shnorrer business) has quietened down recently, they have to keep him, the last one in Japan as long as possible otherwise it will freeze altogether. Has anyone ever seen any books from them.
Westheim is not yet in SH I would have thought that Berrys would have started selling them. It seems the kedassia is still strong here.
Dont know aron klien what is he up to.
The eiruv is now being done in Salford maybe one day in SH. Everyone is for it. Why cant Belz get their act together. People going with wheel chairs didnt exist when the old R Padwa was alive.
I think grodzinski is a lot older than Woodberry down you mean sharon i suppose.
Do people really watch reality TV in SH.
Surprised that Pinter hasnt found Lord Sugar yet. Could be one to tap he comes from Hackney.

Anonymous said...

I forgot Lord Sugar claimed to be bugler in the old Victoria club where the YHS girls school now stands. Surely that is a good reason to help.

IfYouTickleUs said...

Well, you don't need semicha if you have a shul named after a Hungarian hamlet which is what Meilach Schwartz has. He is prepared to delve into areas like divorce that others prefer not to touch and unlike the local Beth Din he sticks up for the womenfolk. Hence the 'new'. Schneck on the other hand may be young but is as reactionary as they come. He's been behind the demos against teacher training courses and against Israel.

Grodz has been dragged into the 21st century and is a modern shop with pretty girls to boot. Others are stuck in the '50s.

Bikur Choilim has adapted to the increasing need for care for the elderly and disabled though I believe there is something of an internal power struggle going on at the moment.

Klein arranged an education weekend which itself is a novelty in this part of town where the chadorim would be a shame to the middle ages. That it was inter-chasidic deserves him further kudos.

As for Pinter and Lord Sugar, his first words would undoubtedly be, 'You're fired!'

IfYouTickleUs said...

Bobov is where the Victoria Club was.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why he is mentioned as completely unknown (and uninvolved) in the wider community, but for the unacquainted, Aron Klein is the power behind all large projects in Belz.

Anonymous said...

"Grodz has been dragged into the 21st century and is a modern shop with pretty girls to boot."

You positively make me sick. You should go get some help, PERVERT.

Anonymous said...

I put Oshi Schapiro into google and it came up with the world sumo wrestling championships. So thing really are changing

simcha said...

Can we change the subject a bit, I have a project to share with you and your colleagues which I hope you find amusing. Last Shabbat I was with a frum couple who didn't seem to approve of my reciting "The owl and the pussycat" (a poem by Edward Lear, in case you don't know). I therefore wondered how may issurim the owl and the pussycat were guilty of, as set out in the text of the poem. Amusing and erudite answers may be used in my compliation of the third chapter of Masechet Shikkurim, Boreita d'Rabbi Noach the Vinedresser on Intermarriage. (The first two chapters are concerned with sheitel breeding and Israel Independence Day.) Hope all are well, and a very happy Chodesh Iyyar.

IfYouTickleUs said...

There was no chupe, the ring was not a shove prute and a turkey cannot be mesader kidushin (though the velt is meikel with chickens) but then what do you expect of two eloping OTDs who made a shiduch without a shadchan, had a date on a boat and not at a dining room table or lobby of the Holiday Inn and yichud without eidim. And what hechsher is runcible?