Haredi leaders plan mass rally at Citi Field to highlight Internet’s dangers

NEW YORK (JTA) — Haredi Orthodox leaders are planning what they say will be a massive rally in New York City to call attention to the dangers of modern digital technology.

Tens of thousands are expected to gather for a May 20 rally at Citi Field, the Mets’ baseball stadium in Queens. The Hebrew-language Jewish Daily News reported that $1.5 million has been raised so far from donors to pay for the event.

“This will be a mass rally never before seen in the history of Orthodox Jewry in the U.S.,” one of the organizers said, according to the Jewish Daily News, as translated by The Jewish Press. “It will be a gathering of unity of all the Jews living in the U.S., a gathering to disseminate information and a prayer rally for the success of Klal Israel’s war on the technology which threatens the sanctity of the homes of Israel.”

A Citi Field representative reached by JTA confirmed that the stadium was booked for that date, when the Mets will be in Toronto, but would not confirm the nature of the event.

A statement has been published in Haredi Orthodox newspapers promoting the event, and ads promoting the rally have run in American haredi newspapers.

“It is well known that in recent times that through the Internet many serious family-related problems have been created, and it all happens because of it, and something must be done so they won’t be hurt,” the statement said, according to The Jewish Press. “And since this touches almost everyone, we must assemble together to protect and be protected, and we hope that through this gathering in search of ideas we will be helped from Heaven to save the many, and may it be that we will be successful in encouraging the public not to stumble over this obstacle, and the Lord will guide us in a truthful path.”

The letter is signed by a few leading Israeli haredi rabbis.

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