The 5Towns this past week and upcoming week seems to be playing host to an influx of Rebbes of a variety of stripes and flavors, among them the Toldos Avraham Yitzchok. No matter what the hashkafa of the R' Ahrele descendents or other visitors, I don't believe withholding funds from a soup kitchen or a hungry family is right -- we can discuss our hashkafic differences after first making sure everyone has dinner on the table and a roof over their head. But I do think the invitations which bring these travelling circuses to town are wrong.
We have hungry people even in the 5Towns, the land of rich and plenty. There is a Tomchei Shabbos that does a weekly route and always can use volunteers and funds. We have people suffering unemployment who are in danger of losing their homes and we have yeshivos which have lost the tuition $ and support these families provided in the past. I am sure the TA"Y kollelim (5, according to the color brochure mailed to my home) are wonderful mosdos, but what of the community yeshivos in the 5Towns and Far Rockway that desperately need support and funding? I'm not talking about institutions which are ivory towers for scholars, but yeshivos which provide a direct benefit to the community. Sha'ar Yoshuv runs dozens of shiurim a week in their community learning center, all free of charge; Yeshiva of Far Rockway is a community school with bochrim mainly from Far Rockaway and the 5T; Yeshiva Gedola of the 5 Towns is currently housed in a storefront for lack of a building and also opens its doors and offers shiurim and chavrusa programs every night. Why write a check to a kollel in Mea Shearim when the yeshivos and schools (and I can't list them all) right in your own backyard need help? What about "aniyei ircha", "achicha ha'evyon"?
Why is this encouraged? The answer is simple: because the "leaders" and Rabbis involved believe the pocketbook will never run dry, the pie will always expand to accommodate another shul, another yeshiva, another kollel. Of course, that is simply not true, and the struggle the community schools have to simply make payroll (and I am not exaggerating) as funds are drained off elsewhere is the net result.
Community leadership is not a democracy, and he who pays the piper calls the tune, so unforunately the car we are all in together will keep picking up steam as we approach the cliff ever faster.