Hasidim: This ad is anti-sign-metic?

The Brooklyn Paper
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A billboard hyping the sexy teen drama “90210” has some members of Williamsburg’s Hasidic Jews all worked up.

The ad, which is visible from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, depicts a handful of swimsuit-clad actors and actresses lounging in a pool — starkly violating the Hasidic interpretation of at least two Jewish laws, neighborhood leaders say.

“In Jewish law, it is forbidden to see any part of a lady that is not dressed — and having men and women swimming together is also not permissible, even if they are fully clothed,” said Rabbi David Niederman, president of the United Jewish Organization, who last month protested against a risqué ad by the clothing retailer H&M on the same roadway.

But another problem with the sign is the location itself.

“People from our community pass by this daily,” said Niederman, who noted that the BQE is the primary route for Hasidic Jews who shuttle between communities in Williamsburg and Borough Park. “They are bringing Times Square to our home. What’s OK over there is not OK over here.”

Hasidim say their complaints to the company that owns the billboard — much like the careers of the original “90210” stars Luke Perry and Jason Priestley — have been ignored.

“We have called them and I’m very surprised that they are turning a deaf ear,” said Williamsburg resident Simon Weiser. “It’s real racy and it doesn’t belong in our community where you have children who aren’t used to seeing these images.”

The owner of the billboard at the corner of Clermont and Park avenues, a company called Fuel Outdoor, declined to comment.

A local rep for the CW network, which will air the “90210” redux, had no comment.

Not everyone found the image of bikini-clad women and semi naked men distasteful.

“I don’t think they’re offensive,” said Canarsie resident James Dean. “And I’ve seen a lot of women.”

— with Allison Bosworth

Updated 5:08 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Tula from Clinton Hills says:
Times have changed. So have our neighborhoods. We cannot predict what some ones idea maybe good for that time. We must understand the change and embrass it when and what it brings. That is just my own opinion.
Sept. 1, 2008, 4:29 am
fanny powder puff from helskich says:
crass? yes.

luke warm by today's standards.

Carnarsie! Wot Up!

come out and say it: the hassids live in their own world. if god didn't want us to take a hot bath with our ladies he wouldn't have created jacuzzis.
Sept. 1, 2008, 2:39 pm
Brandon from Brooklyn says:
I understand that they would be offended by this, but that is part of living in this country. Does society need to censor itself according to Hasidic customs? OK, so lets outlaw men and women holding hands in public; lets force all women to shave their heads and wear skirts!
Sept. 1, 2008, 11:49 pm
burt from Brooklyn Heights says:
Sept. 2, 2008, 12:46 pm
Gilly from Park Slope says:
my extremely secular, non-hasidic, yet jewish, take on this ad: tacky, simple-minded, crude and poorly executed....and I certainly wouldn't want to have to look at it...but that applies to a large percentage of billboard advertising in NY, with just a few exeptions.
too many billboard advertisers assault us where we live--not in Times Square, where they belong.
Sept. 2, 2008, 2:52 pm
vanessa from boerum hill says:
How about ditching the strip club billboards all along the BQE?
Sept. 2, 2008, 4:44 pm
WhatTheRuck from BigD says:
As a fellow semi-secular, very non-hasidic Jewish man, my thought is, who was the moron that thought this location was a good one? Advertising should be placed where it is wanted, not offensive or unwanted - don't put ads for strip clubs next to churches, for fur coats next to the ASPCA, or tampons during the Superbowl (not offensive, just not right).
Sept. 3, 2008, 5:31 pm
Jean from Carroll Gardens says:
Perhaps they are upset because there are no Latina prostitutes depicted.

But seriously, if they are going to get upset by these commonplace sightings...maybe they should move to Mars.
Sept. 5, 2008, 1:43 pm
John from FG says:
This isn't even located in their neighborhood, it's on the BQE in Ft. Green, near the Navy Yard. They're complaining because they see it as they drive down the BQE? You could see women in skimpy outfits and shorts in their cars on the way as well. Come on, this is silly.
Sept. 5, 2008, 3:58 pm
jerry from Borough Park says:
How can I list a two family house in Borough Park on this site in the Classifieds?..
March 15, 2009, 7:52 pm

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