Panhandlers pose as Jews in hassidic communities in New York

Impersonators don traditional garb, incorporate Hebrew phrases converging upon popular food markets ahead of Shabbat, other Jewish holidays

July 5, 2014 18:01
Giving charity

Giving charity [Illustrative] . (photo credit: REUTERS)

A brazed handful of beggars in New York have been posing as Orthodox Jews to panhandle hassidic Jews neighborhoods in South Brooklyn.

The impersonators don traditional garb, dressing in long skirts and head coverings before converging upon popular food markets ahead of Shabbat and other Jewish holidays, according to a New York Post report published on Saturday.

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The panhandler's incorporate selective Hebrew phrases such as "Shabbat," "shalom" and "tzedaka" in the pleas directed at members of the hassidic communities.

Bernard Vei, an Orthodox Jew, told the Post that the panhandlers seek to exploit the communities because they always give tidings. 

According to the report, one panhandler, Vincent Maurizio, said he had collected some $750 during the Passover holiday.

He said he had learned to speak Hebrew and Yiddish to enhance his solicitations for charity.

“They’re good people. They’re righteous people,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

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