CANCELLED: Pesach Program Forced to Terminate After Hotel Refuses to Deactivate Sensors for Shabbos

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A hotel’s refusal to properly disable its motion sensors has forced a popular Pesach program to cancel its plans due to halachic concerns.

The cancellation was first brought to Matzav.com’s attention yesterday by the organizers of the program, who informed their customers that they no longer had a Pesach program to go to.

The “Pesach for Less 2017” program was to be presented by Shmully and Giti Tenenbaum at the Dolce Hotel and Conference Center in Basking Ridge, NJ, which recently installed motion and RF sensors in all their sleeping rooms.

“After consulting with poskim, we were advised that this would be a clear violation of Shabbos and Yom Tov,” the Tenenbaums, who are residents of Lakewood, NJ, told Matzav.com.

The Dolce refused to accommodate requests by the Tennenbaums to disengage the system, claiming that none of their other kosher groups were bothered by it.

“Therefore, we felt that it is our responsibility not to move forward any longer this year, and to avoid a last minute cancellation in the event that we are unsuccessful in persuading the Dolce to disengage the system,” the Tenenbaums told Matzav.com.

All deposits will be returned in full, the Tenenbaums said.

Matzav.com spoke to an electrician familiar with these systems. He explained that these sensors control all amenities in a hotel room, such as lights and heat. When the door closes and no motion is detected, these amenities are shut in order to save money. As soon as the door is opened, before the door is even fully extended, all amenities return to the state in which they were left. Most systems have a VIP override for individual rooms and a full override for the entire hotel that disables the system.

Matzav.com learned that the Dolce Hotel actually threatened to fine the Tenenbaums $1,000 per room that used the VIP override and refused to disable it at the hotel level.

A major frum caterer who spoke to Matzav.com was very disturbed by this development.

“If people know about this and the hotels see that they are losing kosher business, perhaps they will change their attitude and be more accommodating to the frum community,” the caterer said. “This problem exists in many hotels.”

{CB Frommer-Matzav.com}

23 COMMENTS

  1. If it indeed true that “none of their other kosher groups were bothered by it” it becomes imperative to determine what “kosher groups” are using that venue, if their machshirim are aware of the problem, and if indeed they are not bothered by it.

  2. for a hotel to turn down a lucrative business deal for them—and let’s be clear; they make a nice bundle by renting out their hotel for pesach—because they don’t want to turn off their sensors leads me to theorize the following possible reasons for doing so:
    1) they’re bad businessmen
    2) they’re real anti semites
    3) they suspect that the renters are pro-trump….and we can’t have that, right?

  3. I find it hard to believe that other Kosher groups were not bothered by the doors . It’s seems that either they weren’t aware of the problem and assumed it was taken care of – or the hotel was just bluffing aka lying

  4. It also becomes imperative to find out what other hotels have this type of system. If the lights and temp go back to normal upon the door opening, the person occupying the room has no idea that they shut off upon his or her exit, meaning it would not be readily apparent that the person has violated halacha.

  5. Maybe it is a sign from Hashem that people should celebrate Pesach at home with their families the way Yom Tov is supposed to be celebrated. Is it Rotzon Hashem to celebrate Pesach, the time we are supposed to free ourselves from Taruvois, Taavas oilam Hazeh, Bitul Zman? I dont think so

  6. Very interesting. The Dolce in Atlantic city, catered by Greenwald, doesn’t have this issue. It is a known fact that the Dolce in Basking Ridge hate Frum Jews like poison and have always discriminated against them. If this was a black or Muslim group, you darn well know they would bend over backwards to accommodate every request of theirs regardless of how “ridiculous” it may sound. This is clearly a case of Anti Semitism. I would urge everyone to call the Parent company and this hotel itself and voice our concerns. Money talks. We can’t let these pigs get away with it.

  7. Couldn’t they just rely on the “psak” issued in EY that one can use magnetic cards for hotel room access on Shabbos? 🙂

  8. MaNY Yiddesel actually do NEED to go to a hotel for Peach. Before judging others, perhaps you would like to offer a fully catered Peach to all of those you have judged.

  9. Its not like there’s a dearth of hotels out there;This is the metropolitan area. They come a dime a dozen; maybe not at the discount rate that was offered. And all amendments to a signed contract call for a premium. Hotel is not at fault here.

  10. Let’s not be quick to judge the other kosher groups. Perhaps they were hosting some kind of kosher convention or business meeting DURING THE WEEK.

  11. Interesting. “other groups didn’t have a problem”? Reminds me of the time i went to a non jewish barber. I noticed that he cut off one of my peyoth so i stopped him before he was able to cut off the other one so he says “you only had one”.

  12. I like it says, ‘have a gut yom tov’ after we lost our pesach hotel and deposit. I agree with others , stay home ‘ . Vacation another place and time.

  13. Pesach for Less hosted many families for Pesach that had homes destroyed in hurricane Sandy. Its not like they’re running the program in Hawaii. Not every family is full of young, healthy people like yours.

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