Black bear kills Hasidic infant

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Aug 20 08:25:01 MDT 2002

(Just spoke to my mother. She lives about a mile from the bungalow colony 
where the incident took place. Couple of interesting notes that the article 
only hints at. The reference to "trash generated by a camp full of 
families" is well understood by local citizens. It appears that the Satmar 
sect, which favors the area for its summer vacations, is--to be blunt about 
it--filthy. The last time I was upstate my mom told me that the year-round 
inhabitants--mostly Jews themselves--were putting pressure on the Satmars 
to clean up their act or else they would be fined or even arrested. A while 
back I reported on "Postville", a fascinating book dealing with the culture 
clash between Christians in Iowa and the Lubavitcher sect that has bought 
the local meat packinghouse and houses in town. The local residents resent 
the Jews for their insularity and their lack of tidiness. It is basically 
the same kind of clash in my mother's village. Another thing worth noting 
about these rival sects. The Satmars are militantly anti-Zionist while the 
Lubavitchers are totally committed to Israeli expansionism. The other 
interesting element is the environmental. NY has had 16 heat-alert days 
this summer and is in a drought emergency. Who knows. Maybe Yahweh is 
trying to tell us something. Either respect nature or avenging angels will 
gobble up your children like in Pharoah's Egypt.)

Middletown Record, August 20, 2002

Black bear kills baby girl

By Heather Yakin

Times Herald-Record

Woodridge  A black bear snatched a baby girl from her stroller and killed 
her yesterday.

Officials said the baby's death is the first such fatality reported in New 
York state history.

Just after 2 p.m. yesterday, 5-month-old Esty Schwimmer was sleeping in a 
stroller outside her family's bungalow at Wood Haven Bungalows, also known 
as Camp Ohel Fayge, on River Road near Woodridge.

Fallsburg police said Esty's mother, Rachel Schwimmer, was attending to her 
two other children, ages 2½ and 4, outside her bungalow, set in the back of 
the quiet, woodsy colony, about 15 feet from the tree line. Suddenly other 
residents screamed, "Bear! Bear!"

The mother pushed the two older children into the house.

But when she turned to grab Esty, the baby was gone.


Lawrence said the summer has been especially dry, and berries and other 
bear foods have dried up. The smell of cooking, other foods and trash 
generated by a camp full of families could easily attract hungry bears.

"Bears can smell food from a long way off," Lawrence said. He said if you 
see a bear, "take two pots and bang them together. And 99 percent of the 
time, they're going to run away."


Louis Proyect

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