רבינו סר מן הדרך
Meeting at the Ruby Schron offices
אלף ילדים צרפתים נרשמו למוסדות חינוך חרדיים
First there's this strange interest in French Jewry. They're not authentic-looking like the תימנים, so why care about them? They also don't think much of Satmar. So it's the Kaliver Rebbe that sounded the alarm. He's the one that traveled the world and saw these precious Jews, and he worries that once the make aliya they'll lose some of their will to fight. In the Holy Land we're all Jews, so it doesn't matter how religious we are. They might say. OK. At least the KR has some real concern for them; he doesn't do it out of a vendetta against the Israeli Government. And the Satmar Rebbe is taking the credit because of the Kaliver's illness. OK. SO they travel to Toronto - why davka Toronto? - to raise money for Chinuch Atzmai, so that the French olim that went to either Otzar haTorah or Chabad or other frum schools in France can continue to do that and not - chas veSholom - go to ממלכתי דתי schools. Dunno what kind of money they raised in Toronto, but it was significant. The entourage consisted of the Satmarer, R Malkiel Kotler and R Dovid Feinstein. A carefully choreographed group. Why RDF? Maybe since R Malkiel is closely identified with the מחבלים faction of Lithuanians in Israel they were afraid that people would think that this was not REALLY an issue. Then they came back to NY and started working on the oylem here. Stories in all Haredi publications, some week after week, including the Ami, which I found kinds surprising, since they're not supposed to be such alarmists. Then they started raising money here.
The Satmorim were perplexed. They've been taught their whole life that Chinuch Atzmai is חינוך לכפירה. The כפירה of ציונות, of course. Which is THE worst kind. And here the Satmar Rebbe who is more closely aligned with the zealot faction is going around raising money for them. OK, he's not flying coach on a commercial airliner, but STILL! Most swallowed it, but some could not. Pashkevillen started to appear decrying the travesty. Demonstrations by a few zealots happened right outside Schron's offices in NYC. And being that Satmar that is a chassidus run by the people, not by the Rebbe, the upper management decided that they needed to act. This was one thing they didn't think through. But what were they to do? They already collected the money. They can't send it back now, that would be foolish and embarrassing. So some genius came up with a plan to use the money for schools in France or something. Maybe 'splain to the Frenchies that Israel is a terrible place where they beat Jews and cut their beards off in the army. That will change their minds and make them stay in jolly ol' France. All this time his brother in KJ is laughing all the way to New Hampshire. They wanted to get him involved but he said no. Even his friend Reb Malkiel couldn't convince him. Let them all go וואו די גרינע פעפפער וואקסט. Said he. Which goes to show you: Satmar and Chinuch Atzmai mix like Gin and Slivovitz.