Charedi web centre goes online

By Craig Silver, July 31, 2008

A new strictly Orthodox internet business centre has been opened in Stamford Hill, thought to be the first of its kind.

The new establishment, the Heimishe Business Centre is located on the Triangle Estate, Stamford Hill, and only allows people who are married to attend. It houses nine computers in separate sections for men and women, and costs £1.20 an hour.

The aim is to help make the internet more accessible and private to the strictly Orthodox community. There are many rabbinical strictures about use of the internet and very few strictly Orthodox families allow computers into their homes.

Simcha Finkelstein and his business partner, who did not wish to be named, set up the centre. Mr Finkelstein said he hoped it would be a place where privacy could be observed when checking business emails or booking flights. He said: "I set it up because I couldn't use the internet at my office and I found it very inconvenient and not very private to go to an internet café.

"This is not a café. It is a place where the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed. You do what you have to do, and then leave."

Each computer in the centre has an American filter system which blocks all questionable websites.
Mr Finkelstein added: "We block chat and gambling sites and you can categorise your own account. We ask people only to use the internet when they really need to. This is a point we are keen to get across."

Last updated: 11:49am, July 31 2008