The Schmooze

For the Orthodox, Blurred Lines Between Private and Business Lives

Back in March, the Forward asked the Village Voice’s Elizabeth Dwoskin, who penned the weekly’s highly publicized New York’s Ten Worst Landlordsroundup, if there was anything that made Jews particularly bad property owners; Semites like Rabbi Moishe Indig, Vantage Properties’ Neil Rubler, and alleged Orthodox bully Jacob Bernat populated the list. At the time, Dwoskin said “there’s no big picture” around religion.

But Dwoskin herself raised a similar question in a Voice cover story this month. ‘How can a religious person justify being a slumlord?” blared the headline. One of the writers Dwoskin sought out for answers was Rabbi Jill Jacobs, the “rabbi in residence” at progressive activists Jewish Funds for Justice and author of “There Shall Be No Needy: Pursuing Social Justice through Jewish Law and Tradition” (2009). “A lot of [Jews] just bifurcate their lives,” she told Dwoskin in a pointed interview. “There is a difference in their head between their religious lives and their business lives.”

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For the Orthodox, Blurred Lines Between Private and Business Lives

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