Chareidi Visitors To Davos Creating A Major Chilul Hashem
Thousands of chareidi families are currently and will be visiting throughout Europe during bein hazmanim, mainly in region of the Alps in Switzerland or France, as well as Austria and Italy. Unfortunately, some are leaving a bad taste with their local hosts.
One of the most prestigious resorts in the country is Davos, Switzerland, where admorim, rabbonim and public figures visit, along with ‘amcha’ – regular Israelis. According to vacationers staying in the area, the streets of Davos during bein hazmanim appear similar to Meah Shearim and Bnei Brak due to the large presence of chareidim.
In contrast to the current summer months; in the winter, Davos functions as a luxury ski resort for the world’s wealthy. In fact, chareidim from all over the world come during bein hazmanim, and this provides employment and a livelihood for the region’s residents, so everyone seems to be satisfied.
However, according to a Kikar Shabbos News report, things may not be as cordial as they appear. The report states that last week, the head of the local Tourism Ministry, whose job is parallel to the mayor and considered the strongest man in the region, sent a letter to the head of the Jewish community, warning that the Jews are leaving dirt and harming the town’s reputation.
The letter was passed on to all the hotels and resort centers in the area and was even hung in shuls where the chareidim are mispallel during their stay.
Radu Branski claims, among other things, in his letter that the Jews are accused of improper use and theft of train and cable car cards. “Dear Mr. Mosbacher (head of the community). For many years we welcome you and your community as a faithful guest during the summer, and we are pleased to maintain a good relationship with you, and we would like to thank you on this occasion.
“Unfortunately, we have received more and more negative feedback from other guests recently, some of whom even want to avoid a visit to Davos in the summer in the future, which is related both to the general behavior of the village and to our guest program, Davos Klosters Active.”
The senior resident of the resort town, Radu Branski, continues his letter to the head of the local Jewish community: “Unfortunately, the complaints were received on a number of issues:
Guest cards, which allows the free use of cable cars and offers other benefits, are reported lost more often than the average;
Complaints were received that diapers and other waste are simply left behind in the woods;
The playgrounds were taken by large groups, while small families do not find a place;
Guests use the most popular tour with the bus, only to visit the cemetery. It is not fair that resorts are losing guests who want to complete the entire tour;
Group orders are made for a number of families, but some participants do not appear or participate under names other than those registered. This is not fair to other interested guests, and leads to additional and complex work for attractions providers;
Carts are taken for guided tours, while it is clearly stated that the activity is not suitable for them;
The participation of unaccompanied children is possible only when choosing the “children only” option. If the reservation is for the whole family, at least one adult is required to accompany each group of children;
During the tour of milk and cheese on Alfa Novay in 2017 and 2018, Jewish guests closed their noses. This bothered some of the other guests who participated. “
Branski concludes his letter with the hope of “finding solutions in a joint meeting and dialogue,” while announcing: “We are considering a full price for losing the ticket card or canceling Davos Klosters Active and Davos Inclusive programs during the summer months.”
The Kikar report also reveals that among the vacationers, opinions are divided.
Some of course are claiming anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews. “To say chareidim holidaymakers leave dirty diapers is an obscene and a false claim,” they insist.
On the other hand, there are those who view some of the claims as justified, explaining “large families arrive in Davos and cause a major Chilul Hashem as they try cutting corners. They make a great deal of noise and bother area residents who are accustomed to peace and quiet”.
The report concludes quoting, “the time has come for Yidden to act as Yirei Shomayim and to make a Kiddush Hashem, and they won’t come to us with gripes”, explain some of the frum vacationers to Kikar Shabbos News.