Radio 10 saga in Brooklyn

Feb 09, 2009 9:36 pm

From a tip from reader Sammy, check out this story from the Dec. 2008 issue of Community Magazine, a monthly for the Sephardic Jewish community of Brooklyn, about a Brooklyn Hasidic pirate radio station. The Federal Communications Commission does not list "Radio 10" with the 95.1 frequency in Brooklyn (the FCC lists a "new" application from Kingsborough Community College, which moved from 90.9 to 90.3-FM in 2006). In fact, it is a known pirate frequency. One Brooklyn reggae station, Big 95.1, claims to use the frequency in Brooklyn on its not-updated-lately myspace page. Another Bronx station, Hype Radio 95.1, has a current myspace page.

So there's also another Hasidic pirate in southern Brooklyn (Crown Heights and Williamsburg have had others). What's more interesting about this story (download the pdf here, pg. 98 of the magazine and 150 of the pdf) is the soap opera intrigue of a former employee absconding with equipment to start another station.

"Mrs. [Avigail] Lazarovitch [co-owner of the allegedly non-profit station] told Community after consulting with the station's Rabbinic advisor, and contacting the culprit, the family filed criminal charges with police detectives from the 70th Precinct," for the Oct. 16, 2008 robbery.
"Fearing arrest, she said, the employee appealed to a local Bet Din (Rabbinical court), claiming the Radio 10 owed him salary payments, and that the filing of criminal charges violated the halachic prohibition of mesirah (handling an innocent Jew over to the authorities). The Lazarovitchs categorically denied that the station owed any such money. The Bet Din proposed to hear the case on condition that the stolen goods were immediately returned. The employee indeed returned the equipment, whereupon Radio 10 consented to drop the criminal charges and remand the case to the Bet Din's authority.

But three hours after the first Bet Din session the equipment was stolen again and a Russian company began broadcasting on 95.1-FM the following day. The matter, according to the story, is still before the Bet Din.

The story also gives some, alleged, background for Radio 10:
The station began nine years ago under the name "Torah World Radio" and offered programming for Russian Jewish immigrants. Two years ago, it changed its format and began directing its broadcasts toward the area's observant English and Hebrew-speaking Sephardic communities. They have since gained a huge following and are known to feature popular rabbinic figures such as Rabbi Amnon Yizhak, Rabbi Eli Mansour, and Rabbi Maimon Elbaz, among many others.
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