ANYONE wanting to attend a new summer camp organised by Brooklyn-based ‘health coach’ Naftali Schwartz, above, must show they’ve rejected COVID-19 vaccinations.
The Times of Israel reports that radio show host Schwartz, who has no formal training in medicine or public health, claimed that vaccinated people pose a real threat to those who have not had the vaccine.
Camp Hikon aims to prepare boys attending yeshivas (religious schools) for what it calls “political, environmental and economic” changes to come. Despite its stated interest in preparing campers for “natural disasters,” it will not allow any vaccinated campers or staff to attend.
Drawing on a debunked theories spread by the anti-vaccination movement, the camp’s website cites the “experimental nature” of the vaccines. It claims that those living in close quarters with vaccinated people could “enhance” the spread of the coronavirus.
The website refers readers to a site called NutriTruth which claims vaccines are a “biological weapon,” and to a livestreamed discussion between several notable anti-vaxxers. It adds:
We regret that we will be unable to accept campers or counselors who have already received any of these injections.
Schwartz said he made the rule because of:
Suspicious symptoms that occur to unvaccinated people who have spent a lot of time in the company of vaccinated people. It’s also been reported to me from parents of my to-be campers that this is a real thing and it’s worrisome.
COVID’s not the only thing that concerns Schwartz. In a misogynistic VoiceAmerica “back to basics” broadcast the conspiracy theorist says:
We talk about the traditional roles of men and women in the world. For example, women stay home with the children, cook, clean and look feminine for their husbands.
Men go out to work and fight in wars for their families. They are the sole providers.
Today, the world is so crazy that nobody knows who they really are because everything is unisex. Women are in the work place with men. Both of them contribute to society. They compete with each other!
Women claim they don’t need a man to support them today. Men don’t really feel needed.
This causes people to not want to get married. People no longer care about each other in the same ways as before. If people DO get married and have arguments, the marriage usually ends up in divorce because they refuse to learn about proper communication skills to work out their issues. Let’s talk. Let’s communicate.
The camp’s announcement coincided with the appearance of posters in Orthodox areas of New York, warning people against COVID-19 jabs. They claim that vaccines pose a threat to fertility.
One flyer read, using the Yiddish word for rabbis, said:
Many, many Rabbonim who have thoroughly researched the COVID vaccine are urgently saying NOT to take it.
The flyer included a link to an online pamphlet with the names of rabbis who have allegedly come out against the coronavirus vaccines. It also promoted medications for the treatment of COVID such as hydroxychloroquine that studies have shown to be ineffective.
The medication had been promoted by Dr Vladimir Zelenko, above, an Orthodox physician who, until last summer, worked in the Hasidic enclave of Kiryas Joel and whose treatment protocol was promoted by Donald Trump when he was US president.
An online pamphlet claims that people did not die because of the coronavirus.
They died either from lack of proper treatment of corona, or from other neglect or improper treatment at the hospital.
Anti-vaccine sentiment is persistent in pockets of the Orthodox Jewish community, which suffered from an outbreak of measles in 2019 after a child who had traveled to Israel spread the disease among other unvaccinated children in Brooklyn and upstate New York.
The outbreak was brought under control after New York City’s health department imposed fines on parents who refused to vaccinate their children and threatened to close religious schools that allowed unvaccinated children to attend. New York State ended non-medical exemptions to vaccination requirements in schools, leading to an increase in vaccinations.
According to COVID vaccination data from the New York City Department of Health, the uptake in Orthodox area has been shockingly low. Only 18 percent of residents in Borough Park are fully vaccinated, with 28 percent partially vaccinated. In Midwood, only 22 percent of residents are fully vaccinated and 30 percent partially vaccinated.
By comparison, among residents of the Upper West Side’s 10024 zip code, one of the more highly vaccinated areas of the city, 54 percent of residents are fully vaccinated and 65 percent are partially vaccinated.
The Times reports:
Whether Camp Hikon actually gets off the ground remains to be seen. So far, no children are signed up and Schwartz has yet to obtain a permit to operate the camp.
But he has a clear vision of what will happen there. Masks will not be encouraged at the camp; as to how the camp would fight the spread of COVID-19, campers would be treated “with an abundance of vitamin D and other prophylaxis” according to the website.
The camp appears to combine survivalist training with Torah study. The primary goal of the camp, Schwartz said, is to prepare campers for a future in which political instability, economic instability and unusual weather events could create supply chain issues that would interfere with everyday life. Campers will build their own shelters, according to the website, and the camp plans to provide special footwear intended for survival settings.
‘We’re catering to a demographic of families that are awake, who understand that the years in the future will not be similar to years in the past,” Schwartz said.