VIDEO: Dr. Rich Roberts talks about massively-successful Chol Hamoed Carnival; Says he was pained he couldn’t allow the non-vaccinated

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  1. Lakewood is growing! You can expect some growth just based on more families in Lakewood. Could also be that weather kept more families from traveling out of Lakewood which helped increase attendance. Thank you so much Dr. Roberts… what a wonderful Chesed and Service.

  2. My comment is Dr Rich Robert, is that you’re a HUGE tzzadik! Thank you so much for all you do! May hashem give you everything good! We love you! Lakewood is so fortunate to have you reside here! You’re a inspiration to us all! All the best.

  3. Thank you Dr. Roberts our family enjoyed immensely.
    My thoughts on the overflow crowd:
    1. The fact that it rained the first 2 days forced families to spend money from their already depleted bank accounts on indoor attractions since the free outdoor attractions parks etc were not an option due to the rain. so when it came to the third day with yet again rain in the forecast the only option was the great carnival.
    2. The fact that there was the Twins from France was definitely a major reason for even some non seasonal carnival attendee to attend.
    3. From looking around it seems like many many people are coming from outside Lakewood for the carnival. this may be just simply its becoming more widely known outside Lakewood or possibly because of the first 2 reasons from above. this trend should definitely be expected to continue.
    Improvements for the future:
    1. real bleachers for the shows. all it takes is for a few kids not to stay sitting and it has a domino effect for the whole place to be standing and NO ONE to see the shows.
    2. Do you have a problem with all the new yorkers coming? if no then you probably have to look for a new venue. if yes then that can be specified similar to non vaccers.
    thank you
    Tizku Lmitzvos

  4. My kids had a great time but the prizes and food had run out by 1:30 so they were disappointed. I never saw his carnivals run out of food before! So yes, this year had a lot more people due to the predicted thunderstorms and rain. Keep up the great work! Perhaps next year add a show for kids ages 10 plus so they could feel extra special and they are big enough to go on their own.

  5. Our family wanted so badly to attend but were warned by others who were there that it was not advisable that we come. They said there was no more parking and it was impossible to navigate the hallways. My children are truly disappointed that they missed the shows, especially the Twins from France. This past Sukkos the shows were so organized that it was the best trip we did! My feeling is that since Dr. Roberts works so hard each Moed to perfect the carnival it really works smoothly and more and more people want to come. Also, Lakewood now includes half or the Chassidish Boro Park and half of Flatbush as well. The carnival is now not only for the truly Lakewood families. Maybe there is a way to do the carnival over two days… we’re hoping Moshiach will come soon and we can all join together in Yerushalaim! Thank you again Dr. !

  6. is it possible to make it a 2 day carnival? maybe this will ease the congestion at the carnival as it gets better and better every year? Easy for me to say as I am not the one organizing the event.

  7. I think many ppl came because it was so many full days of chol hamoade as apposed to other years when chol hamoade include a friday and shabbos.

  8. Thank you Dr. Roberts. My kids got the prizes and enjoyed. I think the shows would have been more visible had there been bleachers.

  9. It was a really nice event. Thank you so much.
    Here’s why the larger crowd.
    The weather has been cold and rainy each day . Also we had a four day Chol Hamoed. So when the weather is inclement, expect a larger crowd.
    The shows were great, but small kids could’nt really see as many adults were in front. Speak to the chasidim, they have the bleacher thing down pat when they do a Bais Faiga event.
    Also more and more chasidim are moving here, many dont have cars so expect a more Hasidic crowd.
    The workers did a phenomenal job.
    ( some of the cops scream a bit too much) but overall everyone was great.
    The prize and nosh rocked.

  10. As for the parking:
    What you can do is there are more yeshivas in the area , have spillover parking there and buses to and from taking people back to their spots.
    As for the people who gave up coming, you should’ve came anyways, because eventhough the lots were full, people leave and sometimes you can get a really close spot like I did.
    Uncle Moishy would be a great idea , there are two more gyms and one more lunchroom at the cheder.
    Blueclaws wouldnt be good if it rains

  11. You honestly don’t have to ask us how to make this better. It is incredibly nice of you to arrange such a huge event and not charge at all. You gave thousands of people a great time and Lakewood thanks you for that.

    I have gone with my kids a number of times and we really enjoyed. I enjoyed when it was in your backyard and pine park. The last year that it was in pine park I personally had a hard time with the crowds. The lines were so long and my kids who were excited to see the shows didn’t end up being able to see. I understand that is why you moved the carnival to the cheder. I remembered the chaos in pine park and therefore did not attend at the cheder. I guess I have a hard time with crowds, even if it’s free. One poster mentioned that now all the chassidim are coming and people who are not even from Lakewood … perhaps a much larger place is needed then. Or maybe double of each ride… so the lines would be shorter. Personally I wouldn’t mind paying a small fee if it would eliminate some of the crowd/chaos however since I think you originally wanted this carnival for the children of Bnei Torah in Lakewood it might not be the right thing to do. Can you make one day free for people who need it and charge for the second day and invite everyone else? Whatever you do I want you to know that everyone appreciates your kindness and giving to the community. May Hashem bless you and your family.

  12. Dr.Roberts, the issue we anti vaxxers have with your stance on vaccination is not about your private carnival. The problem is the coordinated effort in the tri state area to exclude and expel unvaccinated children from schools and the effort to undermine the religious and or personal belief exemption laws nationwide. Your claim that that an unvaccinated child is a “danger” to others is unsubstantiated by the science.If anything the science indicates that vaccinated children are more likely to be able to colonize pathogens like Bordetella Pertussis and spread them asymptomatically. In fact on the CDC website you can find a study from the year 2000 demonstrating a pertussis outbreak in a fully vaccinated group of children in Israel. .I reiterate my previous challenge to you. Lets hold a full, open, and honest, debate between the best expert pro vaxxer scientists and doctors you can bring to the table,with the best anti vaxxer credentialed scientists,doctors,and anti vaxxer activists. In my estimation you need about 4 hours to fully hash this out. Here is a list of leading anti vaxxer and semi anti vaxxer experts that I would recommend many of whom have publicly offered to debate Dr. Paul Offit who has so far refused.
    1. Dr Suzanne Humphries MD. 2.Dr James Lyons Weiler Phd 3.Dr Andrew Wakefield MD., 4.Robert Kennedy Jr.Esq. 5.Del Bigtree producer of “Vaxxed” 6.Dr Brian Hooker Phd. 7.Dr Toni Bark MD. 8.Dr Yehuda Shoenfeld MD.
    Until such a face to face debate is held so the truth can be established, I ask the pro vaxxer side to cease and desist from the campaign to exclude unvaccinated children from schools,camps,and shuls, and to stop the false insinuation that an unvaccinated child is a danger to others or is a bio hazard.

    • Very interesting to see your list of “experts”. First name that jumps out is Andrew Wakefield, the British guy who published a “study” linking autism to measles vaccine. That study was found to be false. Then it was found that he was paid 400,000 British pounds to write his study by a law firm that was suing vaccine manufacter. As if that wasn’t enough, he was in the process of forming a 70 million dollar company based on his scientific “research” (and then the pro-polio crowd talks about how the pro-vaccine docs are in it for money!).
      Other name is Robert Kenney, a left wing lunatic.
      You mention Tobi Bark, Suzzane Humphries, both with formal medical education who now practice homeopathy, in other words practice all kind of quackery.
      Brian Hooker is a well known anti-vaccer, his son has autism and he blamed it on vaccines. Of course, he also sued (not for the money, I’m sure), his lawsuit was thrown out. He also published a study (the basis for the movie Vaxxed) which was redacted when it was revealed how sloppy (or dishonest) his research actually was.
      You left out Boyd Haley, the professor who made up the thimerosal autism link as a way to get people to buy his product OSR#1, which he claims removed mercury from the body and cure autism.
      Question for you- what would happen if all your experts would just debate each other. You would have Wakefield claiming the measles component causes autism, then Haley and Kennedy would say he’s wrong, it’s the thimerosal. Then along comes Schonfeld and says you’re all wrong, it’s the aluminim. The only thing they can all agree on is that each of the others’ theory is wrong!

      • Thank you for adding the biographical information to these comments. You have further elucidated the fraudulent information of the anti-vaxxers which also provided me with information as we enter the research phase of this project.
        Best regards,
        Rich Roberts

  13. For the children who did not get Nosh and prizes maybe LAG BAOMER would be good day to give out to all the ones who didn’t get.
    In all cases ‘twas a great event

  14. Hi, thank you for making such an incredible event. The simchas yom tov you bring to thousands of families is a tremendous zechus!
    I live in lkwd for 6 years, and the first few years, to me, it was considered more of a “tzedakah” kind of event, which held people back from going. I think recently it became more accepted and therefore doesn’t hurt peoples “pride”…
    ( I just had one concern- the choc bars said in the back may contain wheat?? I’m assuming was a packaging mistake..)

  15. Ty so much Mr roberts. Huge chesed. Although this is not deserved rather a present, can there be bleachers so more can enjoy? Thanks again.

  16. Everything was great.
    A few suggestions.
    1. Maybe no left turns from oberlin to vasser easing traffic.
    2. A designated place for strollers.
    3.One way in the hallways
    4. Designated seating for children. Parents in the back.
    5. Information desk
    6. All shows on stages
    7. Instead of whole bar of choclate 1 piece wrapped.
    8. Possibly a small bottled water
    9. A place that announces children that are being searched by their parents.
    10. 2 shows at the same time for the same length.
    11. Someone to contact for lost and found.
    12. I Agree with the bleachers suggestions
    Thanks again

  17. I want to thank so many people for some great analyses and suggestions.

    Karl, we will consider giving tickets to children who attend future carnivals after we run out of nosh and prizes for redemption at a future date. The nosh and prizes together cost about $2.00 to $2.50 for each child. Having 9000 of each but only giving out 5000 leaves about $8,000 to $10,000 extra. Storage and movement of the leftover prizes is an issue. For Pesach, chocolate bars can get stale with the oils separating and rising to the surface. Having 6000 of each and giving a ticket to others is a good idea. However, it is another thing to do on another day after so much work went into preparing for and executing the carnival itself. I’ll have to think about this. We have to order the nosh and prizes about 2 months in advance due to the numbers. If we don’t have consistent turnout then maybe we will continue to just order a certain number, between 6000 and 9000, and give away the extras to schools or run out.

    Regarding bleachers, they are surprisingly expensive and represent a large storage issue. We have looked into buying them previously and they are prohibitively expensive and bulky to store. “Mark Levine”‘s suggestion of researching how the chassidim get bleachers for Bais Faiga events will be pursued by us.

    Regarding Blue Claws stadium, and two days of carnivals, the current carnival costs around $60,000 each. It has grown from several hundred people in our backyard to about 15,000 people at Pine Park or The Cheder. I think that we have hit our limit for what we want to do. To manage a stadium requires another level of access and crowd control and financial commitment that could be largely for naught if it rains. I don’t envision such a move but never say never. The same applies to two days of carnivals. We will still be left with the same questions of turnout when the commitments on expenditures must be made months in advance. At some point, “enough is enough” and we will just do our best for one day.

    Regarding rides, we eliminated rides since they do not have the throughput rate that we need for an event of this attendance with the surface area available to us.

    Regrading New Yorkers attending, that’s a difficult issue. This is a Jewish religious event so excluding religious Jews is a tough question that I would prefer to avoid. It might have to be addressed at some point. I don’t know.

    Lastly, I want to thank those who posted words of encouragement. There is a lot of work done in preparation by me, Shaya Leifer, and my assistant for about five months before each carnival. We work with The Cheder, the LPD officers and Traffic Control, and Rabbi Newhouse and Rabbi Yossi Posen for months before the carnival as well as reviewing potential shows for kosher content, entertainment value, applicability to the Cheder facility, costs, schedule and contracts. Nosh, prizes, cotton candy sugar and machines, and popcorn quantity and machines are worked on for months in advance. On the day of the carnivals, Shaya Leifer, Meir Deutsch, Pesachya Lowenberg, (especially) Rabbi Newhouse, Chaverim, and my assistant do a TON of work under pressure to serve the Klal. Your words of support are very much appreciated. For the first five years of the carnival, my entire Chol Homoeds were spent preparing for, executing, then days of being sick-from-exhaustion after each carnival. Now, due to the excellent work of these people and organizations, the carnival can continue and at a smoother fashion then when I led it myself.

    Thank you,
    Rich Roberts

  18. Dr. Roberts,
    Thanks for putting out a world class event for free. As a parent, my suggestion is to skip all the nosh and prizes and channel the money instead to a bigger, better event. Every parent is able to provide their child with nosh if they want (and some don’t want for kashrus or health reasons). What we can’t provide, and where you help most, is giving our kids an entertaining, fun day, in a kosher way, that is local and doesn’t break the bank. I would much prefer an organized event in blue claws without nosh and with enough elbow room and parking for everyone than what’s provided now. Also, there would be allot less stress for you and your team as you’d never run out of anything!
    Thanks again for your tremendous chesed and for your willingness to hear critique and suggestions.

  19. @Dave
    Your suggestion is contradictory.
    “give kids an entertaining time” – for kids, that’s equalls getting nosh and prizes.

  20. Dr Roberts,
    Firstly I would like to thank you for another wonderful event it is truly amazing what you do.
    Just want to mention in regards to some of the suggestions to raise the level of the event(Blue Claws stadium)that although it’s a bit much to imagine one person(who already does so much for the klal)to make such a financial commitment for this event,pherhaps there are some other philatropist who would be interested in partnering for such a unbeleivable cause.
    Or you can charge each child a small fee to help defray the cost.
    Once again,I want to thank you for this event that means so much to so many families.

  21. To the flatbushantivaxxer,

    The following is my reply to various issues that you raised in your comments above.

    1. You wrote “I reiterate my previous challenge to you”. I don’t remember any previous such challenge. Maybe you wrote it and I missed it or maybe you didn’t really write it. Stating your point as a challenge implies that there is some legitimacy to your points if we don’t meet your challenge on your terms. That is simply the opposite of the truth per the next point.

    2. Your main theme is that you want me to organize a public debate for about four hours to settle which side is correct on this matter. Your point is misguided or misinformed for the following reasons.

    Verbal, spontaneous debating is a skill unto itself. Debate teams will have members debate particular sides of an issue then reset and have the same people debate in favor of the viewpoints that they just opposed. We do this in politics because the verbal and leadership skills of the candidates are important too. But debating skills and leadership skills have no value in the vaccination issue. Facts and risk management are the only important issues here.

    Scientific, mathematical, and geometric thinking tends to be from one side of the brain whereas verbal, emotionally expressive, and artistic thinking comes from the other side of the brain. The vaccination issue is a factual scientific matter and not a debating-skills matter. Many (dare I say “most”?) physicians and scientists are not predominantly verbal types but are predominantly logical, scientific types. So your point about a public debate is no more valid here than a debate about if the earth is round or flat. Vaccination is a medical scientific factual issue.

    3. The overwhelming majority of (nearly all) physicians and medical scientists overwhelmingly support vaccinations for the health of the public. Almost every frum physician in Lakewood supports vaccinations because the risk/benefit ratio so severely favors vaccinating everyone who can.

    4. Why do schools try to exclude children who are not vaccinated? Are the rabbaim and morahs involved doing this because they want to hurt children? They care about the health and safety of THEIR children, the talmidim.

    5. You cited one study among hundreds on the website without listing the identifying information. This is just not proper science. We need to know which study this was. I suspect that if your “fact” is true then it is an anecdotal report and not a “study” as you state. The studies on the risk/benefit ratio of vaccines have involved millions of people over long periods of time.

    6. There have been deaths in the Lakewood frum community from contagious diseases which could have been prevented by vaccinating including pertussis and meningitis. This information is flowing to me now from the community.

    7. Claiming that not vaccinating is healthier is just crazy. The world used to live in fear of the terror and death, suffering and crippling, that would sweep through humanity before vaccinations. Smallpox has been COMPLETELY ELIMINATED from the entire world through universal vaccinations (except in military biological warfare labs). Your using distractions does not have any weight against the overwhelming mountain of facts.

    8. Antivaxxers have been involved in enormous amounts of fraudulent activities to promote their false ideology. I have been told that an antivaxxer who worked in a pediatrician’s office in Lakewood falsified records to show that children were vaccinated when they weren’t. I have cited, in my previous comments on this website over the last week, many other cases of fraudulent information disseminated to the frum community by antivaxxers who do so anonymously. Everyone should read for themselves on where they can search “vaccinations”.

    Best regards for the rest of your Chol Homoed and Shabbos,
    Rich Roberts

    • Dr Roberts, I attempted to post a partial response to your post on Erev Yom Tov but the comment is still awaiting moderation.I am not sure why but there are 3 possibilities. 1. I may have entered my email address with incorrect spelling. 2. I had posted the hyperlink to the CDC website referencing the Pertussis study I had cited and perhaps Lakewood Scoop did not want to post a hyperlink. or 3. Lakewood scoop is engaging in censorship by selectively omitting pertinent comments. I will attempt to post that response again without the hyperlink and you will be able to search for the article with the title. Here is the the post minus the hyperlink.
      The CDC link for the Pertussis study from the Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal I cited is below. The title is “Pertussis in fully vaccinated children in day-care centers,Israel” It was published in the year 2000,14 years before the Warfel baboon study which reinforces the point. Link omitted. I will try to find the time after Yom Tov to respond to the rest of your post,but I urge you to reconsider your position. I am not calling for a made for TV debate where the loudest wins. I am calling for a scientific debate with enough length of time for both sides to be adequately presented without theatrics. If the Pro Vax side is afraid to have such a debate then maybe it is an indication of their fear of being proven wrong rather than their deficient debating skills.

      • Not sure what point you are trying to get out of that study. If anything, it shows the importance of vaccination. It shows that vaccinated children can be colonized with b. pertussis without becoming symptomatic, as opposed to unvaccinated people who will become symptomatic. Also should be noted that this was an old study of people who received the whole cell pertussis vaccine, not the current acellular vaccine (TDaP), whatever findings were in that study are not relevant to current vaccines.
        Maybe this study is celebrated on anti-vacc websites all over as some kind of breakthrough, but I just don’t see what is significant about a study showing that pertussis vaccine protects from active infection.

  22. beautiful. maybe have the carnival start early, we always go to first shows, usually they are the best. this time they were super crowded (especially the twins from france for since they started 15 minutes late for the reasons you know. btw your staff handled them well, she was professional and stood her ground) maybe then can start at 10 am like the chai lifeline / chuck e cheese thing today.

  23. @Dave You have a very good point.
    The added value of the free food and prizes seem to be adding consequences that may ultimately disturb the better good.
    By avoiding the expense and hassle of supplying free food Rich, you can focus instead on the carnival accommodations.
    However you can consider having vendors which sell food and drinks (you can choose to profit from that towards the carnival or only allow the vendors to sell at normal prices). If you want to offer the “full” experience, maybe free water bottles will do it.
    Whatever you choose to do is appreciated by everyone in the kehilla and I envy your generosity.

  24. Dr Roberts your Amazing!!!! Can you perhaps make a video together with Dr Shanick explaining the importance of vacation? Not just do it it’s very important….. or maybe there should be a live event with Dr Shanick and yourself and maybe others….. if it’s very important than this MUST be done…Just like they make a gathering for anti internet… this is a health issue than it MUST be addressed!!! Thanks you and have a great Yom Tov! Avi

  25. Dr Roberts,
    Thank you fur clarifying your position vis a vis “Flatbush antivaxxer”. I respect you as an individual person and I respect your interest in serving the Klal. The reality is that I have submitted several factual, referenced, and well constructed comments to this site pointing to similar studies which call the current thinking regarding the level of vaccine risk into question. Unfortunately the editors have opted to not approve them. Science is science whether in a debate format or otherwise. The notion that no discussion is warranted on this topic in any format, is not only severely misguided, but further underscores the reality that true ongoing and critical analysis regarding vaccine safety is underserved and not of no interest.

    • Good question.
      It seems that Wakefield was in the process of putting together investors for a company called Immunospecifics Biotechnologies. According to the draft proposal he was circulating, the company would have a predicted revenue of 72 million British pounds (I earlier mistakenly said dollars, not pounds). The company was to use Wakefield’s studies to devise new molecular tests for Chron disease, immunotherapies, and “safer” vaccines. Worth mentioning here that Wakefield himself had a patent on a single measles vaccine (as opposed to combo action with MMR), the company would have been developing that (it is only after his fraud was discovered that Wakefield became anti-vacc, until then he just wanted everyone to use his vaccine). Wakefield had formed a holding company, Carmel Healthcare to run the investment in Immunospecifics Biotechnologies. Wakefield was to retain a 37% share. In the end, investors backed out when his fraud was uncovered.

  26. I’m happy to help out with the event or after the event if you need more help due to the bigger crowd. You’re doing a tremendous chesed to the community and we greatly appreciate.

  27. The carnival is a beautiful event and my family has often benefitted from it. Not to impose on your generosity but maybe a solution would be to have two separate locations. Even more so you can make one for those vaccinated and one for those who oppose vaccination. A good Yom Tov.

  28. Hi, I think a mistake was made. I don’t think New Yorkers come to this carnival. If they are visiting family and they come along with their family that makes sense. But that is probably a very small number.

    Dr Roberts many people just say things without knowing 100% what their talking about or just exaggerate so keep up your great work and let’s all be thankful to this tremendous chessed.

    We need more people like you. Thank you! Thank you!

  29. Thank you so much for the amazing carnival!!! we have gone a bunch of times & really enjoyed!!! One of the problems i noticed this year was that there was lots of kids sitting on the floor in front of the benches….and at some points in the show these kids would stand up to see better, causing a huge domino affect to everyone sitting behind them. Maybe in the future you can have barricades around the stage and have benches going all the way to the barricades to eliminate the kids sitting on the floor & everyone will have to sit on benches…

  30. My kids had a great time at the carnival they especially enjoyed the animals we were able to see them close up thanks for bringing the zoo to us it saved us the expense of going there

  31. Regarding bleachers, I want to point out that BMG with which Dr. Roberts has an excellent relationship owns bleachers that they use on Purim. Perhaps a simple call to Rabbi Ahron Kotler would enable the use of bleachers for free! win win.
    Thanks Dr. Roberts!

  32. When I went for a medical exam to become a Green Card holder the US government made sure I had proof of all my vaccinations. If it was so bad why would the government stop me from moving to the US unless I’m vaccinated?

  33. Manipulation! Why exclude the non-vaccinated? ow can the non-vaccinated give something to the vaccinated? Also, it’s not like one can’t, chas v’shalom, catch something from a vaccinated person. By all rights, vaccination extremists should wear surgical masks in public or they cannot attend public events either.

  34. #1 reason for the overcrowding: TWINS FROM FRANCE
    NO NEED FOR A TOP-NOTCH SHOW- kids will be happy with anything usually. and there will be more room.

  35. Dear Dr. Roberts:

    Thank you for your all you do.

    I am confused. If you follow the medical experts, then why are you so concerned if approx 1-2 percent of people are not vaccinated? All the experts say that b/c of herd immunity, there is nothing to be worried about?
    If the CDC say there is nothing to be concerned of, why are you so scared?

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