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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The New Cancer!


Ch. 10 to air sting that netted several pedophiles on Sunday

By Asaf Carmel

Tags: Israel, pedophiles

Channel 10 will air Sunday a sting operation it organized that led to the arrest of several men suspected of trying to seduce underage girls online.

Over the past week, a team of Channel 10 journalists headed by Dov Gilhar took part in chat room conversations, presenting themselves as 13-year-old girls, and invited the suspects to a rented house in Tel Aviv that was wired with hidden cameras.

Journalists were exposed to blatant sexual passes by men between the ages of 24 and 62," a Channel 10 official said on Thursday. "Offenders offered to have sex with the 'girls,' sent hardcore pornographic images and recorded themselves performing illicit acts on Webcams."

According to the indictments later filed against the suspects, Channel 10 journalists were told not to initiate any conversations with suspects, but only to respond to their approaches via ICQ and Messenger. In addition, they were told to agree to meet the suspects only if they suggested it first.

When the suspects arrived at the house, they were confronted by Gilhar, who asked for their response to allegations that they tried to seduce underage girls and then showed them the pornographic material they had sent. Suspects were arrested by police waiting outside as they left.

"We decided to launch a hard-hitting journalistic campaign against the sickening epidemic that is affecting every household and endangering every child that sits in his room and surfs the Web," Gilad Adin, the director general of Channel 10 News, said. "The upfront behavior and lack of scruples by the adult men shocked us time and again, day in and day out, as we were working on the expose."

Channel 10's sting operation's concept is very similar to the one employed by U.S. television news show, Dateline NBC. Of the 200 people tried in U.S. courts using evidence gathered during the sting, more than 120 have already been found guilty, the network claims.

Channel 10's Adin added, "We hope our expose and fast and determined action by the police and the State Prosecution will scare anyone from sitting down in front of the computer and try to lure out girls and ruin their childhood."

35 comments:

The New Sexual Predator said...

WARNING: The New Sexual Predator
© (2007) Vicki Polin, MA, NCC, LCPC, ATR-BC
http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/NewSexualPredator.pdf


I recently was at a seminar conducted by Robert Hugh Farley, who is a highly decorated Police Detective, Deputy United States Marshal and currently as an international child sexual exploitation consultant for INTERPOL.

The Awareness Center strongly suggest that every Jewish community sponsors a program in which Mr. Farley presents. He is definitely one of the top investigators in the world when it comes to dealing with sex crimes against children. Below are some of my notes from the seminar I attended.

When a child (or an adult) has a page on facebook or myspace.com or any of the other social networking pages they are opening their entire lives up to the world.

All one needs to do is to I googled any child's name you know to see if they have a social networking web page (such places as MySpace.com, Facebook, etc.)

When I returned home from the seminar I immediately "googled" my nieces and nephews names (who are minors). The first thing that was listed was their profiles on places like MySpace.com and facebook. When I went to those pages I clicked on "view Friends." All of my nieces and nephews friends names came up along with their pictures. I clicked on their friends pages and could view their friends names and profiles too.

Almost all of the minors who have social networking pages have their own pictures up. Some of the photographs were young girls trying to "look cute or sexy" or guys trying to look "cool."

The new sexual predator will go to social networking web pages to find their next targets. They may go through your child's profile all of your child's friends profiles and so on -- until they find minors that meet the criteria they are looking for. Both boys and girls are targets as are young adults.

One suggestion is that minors have pictures of something other then themselves (i.e., a book, a tree, art, etc.). Also it's important to make sure there is no personal information about the child's life up on the social networking pages. Every child I saw had the name of their middle school, Jr. High and high schools listed along with their graduating year up on their profiles. Most sexual predators can do math and figure out exactly how old a child is on the sites.

Most of these pages require that the child be over 18 to join. What the norm is that the child signs in as be over 18 and then changes their age once they join, or leave the age up as being over 18, yet still list their high school graduating year.

Another huge problem is that the newest trend is not for children to be lured in off of the net but by using cell phones. With today's technology, most of the newest cell phones have text messaging and WiFi connections. This new technology is not something that parents can monitor.

Kids are also using their cell phones to video tape themselves in their own homes, at sleep overs, at parties, etc. These photographs and videos are then uploaded onto their web pages and end up being shared with the world. They are basically allowing a sexual predator into their homes, schools and their personal lives.

Sexual predators are then making links to kids social networking pages, and sharing the links with their friends. This is more common when a child/teen uploads photograph sand or video's the predator may find arousing.

It is not illegal for a sexual predator to make links to these pages. It is also not illegal for a sexual predator to have nude pictures of minors, which would be considered to be "child erotica." The only time images of a minor becomes illegal or would be considered child pornography, is if there is some sort of a sexual act involved involving a minor.

It's important to realize you can't prevent your child from going on line or using a cell phone to get on line, because a minor will find a way to get on line. Often from friends homes or cell phone, the library. Sexual predators have access to minors anywhere they can get a WiFi connection.

The best bet you have in keeping minors safe is by educating children on the dangers in language they can understand. It's vitally imprint to have a good relationship with your children to keep them safe. Your children need to know they can tell you anything without feeling ashamed or embarrassed If you can tell your children to look both ways before crossing the street, it's vitally important that you warn your children that there are sexual predators out there. A sexual predator is usually not "a stranger." Minors never consider someone they meet on line as being a stranger, which is part of the problem. Our youth often feel safe chatting with anyone on line. They feel comfortable and confident because they are doing this from their own homes.

A sexual predator on line knows how to make a child feel important. They make your child feel as if they care about them and are their friend.

Another problem is that often the child feels as if the sexual predator is their "boyfriend" or "girlfriend." They "fall in love" with the offender. They often do not realize they are being abused. As in many other sex crimes they target kids who are lonely, going through a personal crisis in their lives or that of their families.

There is a growing number of offenders out there. They are calling them the "new sex offender," because of they way they lure in youth. Many of these offenders are upper class, white males who are going on line at work. The most dangerous hours for our youth is right after school they get home from school, until these new sexual predators go home from work. Basically the most dangerous hours are from 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM. Often parents are not home yet to monitor what their children are doing.

For more information on this topic contact:

Robert Hugh Farley M.S.
Consultant in Crimes Against Children
10 South LaSalle Street, Suite 1420
Chicago, Illinois USA 60603
Phone: 847-236-9134
E-Mail RHFConsultant@aol.com

Red Alert said...

http://jewishsurvivors.blogspot.com/2007/12/urgent-call-to-action-baltimores.html

WARNING: Rabbi Paysach Krohn is Speaking in Baltimore Motzei Shabbos
Baltimore's Congregation Shomrei Emunah has invited Rabbi Paysach Krohn to speak on the topic "Bringing Out the Best in Our Children".

When: December 15, 2007, 7:30 PM
Where: 6221 Greenspring Ave., Baltimore, MD 21209

It is a known fact that Rabbi Krohn has been promoting alleged serial child molester, Rabbi Ephraim Bryks for years. How can it be that someone who has been protecting and promoting someone like Bryks be allowed to speak about "our children"?

It is time that everyone's voice be heard!
The Awareness Center is asking those who live in or around the Baltimore Jewish community to attend the event at Shomrei Emunah this Saturday evening.

Congregation Shomrei Emunah -- This Motzei Shabbos

7:30 - Navi Shiur by Rabbi Reisman on TCN

8:40 - Rabbi Paysach Krohn will be speaking on "Bringing Out the Best in Our Children".

CALL TO ACTION:

1. At the event do what you can to ask Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb how he could have someone who has been enabling an alleged sex offender to be speaking about children?

2. At the event and then afterwards, let Rabbi Krohn know how you feel about him promoting alleged sex offender Ephraim Bryks. Make sure Krohn understands that if any children are abused after the parents meet Bryks at an event he endorsed, that Krohn could be held accountable in a court of law, especially since he's been warned multiple times.

Rabbi Paysach Krohn
e-mail: pkrohn@brisquest.com
Phone: 866-846-6900

3. Starting on Sunday call Rabbi Gottlieb and let him know how upset you are that he would allow Rabbi Paysach Krohn speak at his shul considering he has been enabling and promoting Rabbi Ephraim Bryks.

Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb
Phone: 410-358-8604 (Option #1)
e-mail: rabbi@shomreiemunah.org

Dr. Thomas Weiss, President
e-mail: president@shomreiemunah.org


The only way things will change is by each and every one of you speaking out and letting your voices be heard! Just say no to sexual predators and those who enable them!
____________________


Rabbi Paysach Krohn, Rabbi Lipa Brenner and Alleged Sex Offender Rabbi Ephraim Bryks
The Awareness Center - November 12, 2007
http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/bryks_ephraim.html

Rabbi Ephraim Bryks's wife is Rabbi Lipa Brenner's daughter; and Rabbi Paysach Krohn is married to Rabbi Ephraim Bryks sister.

It's a known fact that Rabbi Paysach Krohn has a long history of protecting those who allegedly, perpetrate crimes against children. An example of this is the fact that to this day he still helps his brother-in-law, Rabbi Ephraim Bryks get speaking engagements.

In the book "Around The Magid's Table", Rabbi Paysach Krohn portrays Rabbi Brenner as a righteous man even though he was being accused as being a child molester at the time. When Artscroll learned that Rabbi Brenner was barred from Yeshiva Torah Vodaas because of his sex crimes, they removed the story from later editions of the book. Back in the 1990's rumors circulated that Krohn new about the allegations when he published his book, yet decided to ignore them.

The original charges against Rabbi Brenner included, 14 counts of sodomy, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. Brenner agreed to plead guilty to one count of sodomy in the third degree, a Class E felony, in exchange for a sentence of five years' probation.

Prosecutors said Brenner had sexual contact with a youth he met in the bathroom of the synagogue they both attended. The molestation's allegedly took place over a three-year period that ended in 1995 when the victim was 15 years old.

Gottlieb is no better then the rest of them. He might be able to write a great shir, but when it comes to action he's full of crap.

Satmar Putz said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/16/nyregion/16shun.html

Shkutzim araus!

Anonymous said...

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1196847322669&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Dayanim panel to vote on firing Metzger


Dan Izenberg , THE JERUSALEM POST Dec. 12, 2007

The Dayanim Election Committee is due to vote next month on whether to dismiss Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, an attorney for the Ometz watchdog organization has told The Jerusalem Post.

The attorney, Boaz Arad, said that as a result of the decision to put the question to the committee, Ometz withdrew a petition it had filed on September 27, 2006, calling on the justice minister to take steps to fire Metzger following a report presented a few months earlier by Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz.

In his April 3, 2006 report, Mazuz decided to close the file on the criminal allegations against the chief rabbi, but advised Metzger to resign of his own free will because he was allegedly unsuited for the job. Mazuz wrote that if Metzger did not voluntarily resign, he recommended that the justice minister have the Dayanim Election Committee convene and fire him.

Mazuz ordered the police to investigate Metzger on December 16, 2004 regarding allegations that he and his family had been comped at Jerusalem's David Citadel Hotel over Pessah.

In his decision, Mazuz wrote that there was not sufficient evidence to guarantee a conviction against Metzger and that therefore, he would not indict the rabbi.

On the other hand, Mazuz added, there were "significant flaws" in Metzger's behavior. Mazuz accused Metzger of lying to police during his investigation and referred to several questionable actions on the part of the chief rabbi, including receiving favors from other hotels and a questionable rental of a Jerusalem apartment.

On April 25, three weeks after Mazuz published his report, Metzger petitioned the High Court of Justice, demanding that Mazuz retract the section of his opinion that did not directly address the police investigation.

He said Mazuz's conclusions and recommendations had been extremely damaging to him and that the attorney-general should have granted him a hearing before making such allegations in public.

In September, Ometz also petitioned the High Court, calling on the justice minister to convene the Dayanim Election Committee to dismiss Metzger.

Arad told the Post on Tuesday that the justice minister had informed him that he had promised Metzger's lawyer, David Liba'i, not to convene the committee while Metzger's petition was pending.

The court handed down its ruling in that case on July 30, 2007.

Although Mazuz was forced to retract his recommendation that Metzger voluntarily resign and that the justice minister and the Dayanim Election Committee fire him, the High Court rejected Metzger's petition.

As soon as the chief rabbi's petition was rejected, Arad and Ometz demanded that the court hear their petition. The hearing was set for Wednesday. However, in the meantime, Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann informed the organization that he would bring the question of Metzger's future to the Dayanim Election Committee on December 3. Friedmann decreed that until the committee voted on the matter, Metzger would not be allowed to serve as a dayan or sit on the Dayanim Election Committee.

Arad said that in the meantime, the vote had been postponed until January; however, since Friedmann had promised to hold a vote and Metzger could not serve in the above-mentioned capacities until the vote was held, Ometz had agreed to withdraw the petition.

Anonymous said...

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1196847355474&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Four Israelis nabbed in international pedophile probe


Rebecca Anna Stoil , THE JERUSALEM POST Dec. 16, 2007

After receiving a tip-off from German and Spanish police, Northern District police arrested four suspects, all northern residents believed to have both downloaded and distributed pedophilic materials via the Internet.

This was the second major pedophile-related case cracked in Israel in less than a week, although neither of the cases originated as investigations by the Israel Police.

Interpol contacted the Israel Police after investigators in Germany and Spain alerted Interpol that investigations indicated that pedophiles in Israel were active on the Internet.

Following the receipt of the complaint, an investigation was opened in the Northern District's Fraud Squad.

During the Israeli investigation, four suspects were arrested under suspicion of pedophilia-related crimes. Two of those arrested are Haifa residents, aged 43 and 30. A third suspect is a 48 year-old Galilee resident and the fourth is from the Jezreel Valley area and is a career member of the IDF.

The suspects allegedly downloaded movies and pedophilic material from the Internet, and are also suspected of distributing similar materials on the Web. All four have confessed to the allegations against them.

On Sunday morning they were brought before a judge Also on Sunday, the Tel Aviv district attorney's office submitted two indictments against two other suspected pedophiles following an investigative report by Channel 10 detailing the ease with which pedophiles can find their innocent prey on the Internet.

Eitan Rozin, 33, of Rishon Lezion was indicted in the Tel Aviv District Court Sunday morning, and will face charges of attempted rape and attempted sexual harassment. Samir Roman, 36, of Ein Rafa was also indicted Sunday in Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court, charged with attempted sexual harassment.

Rozin allegedly engaged in an on-line "chat" with a Channel 10 investigator posing as a 13-year-old girl, during which Rosen allegedly asked the investigator if she had ever seen a naked man and if she was a virgin, adding that "that's exactly what I'm looking for."

He allegedly invited the "girl" to meet him in a hotel room, adding that it was his dream to have sex with a virgin, and that he would teach her "everything."

Rozin then allegedly met his prey, who was represented by a young (but legally adult) actress posing as the girl with whom he had chatted, in a Tel Aviv apartment, allegedly to make good on his promises to "teach" the girl. He soon discovered, however, that instead of his anticipated meeting with a young teen, he was also met by police officers who arrested him.

AARTSY FAARTSY said...

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/12/14/accredit

Next Round of Accreditation Agitation

And the Education Department staff that makes recommendations to the advisory panel cited an accreditor of rabbinical colleges for, among other things, failing to ensure that the schools it oversees “systematically” measure and collect data to show their effectiveness in educating students, drawing a solemn rebuke from the accrediting body’s leader.

This Putz sounds like Leib Tropper said...

He's a modern orthodox dude who used to get a lot of coverage from Steven I Weiss.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1196847354818&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

The Knesset State Control Committee will discuss on Monday a bureaucratic bottleneck in the Conversion Authority that is holding up 300 potential conversions.

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss may be called upon to investigate the delays, which have forced some potential converts to wait for years to join the Jewish people. Most of the prospective converts are the spouses of Israelis who met non-Jews abroad, got married in civil ceremonies and returned to Israel, where the spouses showed interest in converting to Judaism.

The delays are being caused by a committee for exceptional cases, made up of legal representatives from the Prime Minister's Office and the Interior Ministry and a representative from the Chief Rabbinate. This committee is vested with the power to either approve or deny requests by non-citizens to convert to Judaism.

Rabbi Dr. Seth Farber, director of ITIM - an organization that helps Israelis and non-citizens navigate the religious bureaucracy in Israel - called the malfunctioning committee an absurdity.

"Jewish communities around the world are fighting soaring intermarriage rates with conversion," said Farber, who petitioned the State Control Committee to discuss the bureaucratic delays in conversions. Farber said he had personally dealt with 27 different cases of prospective converts who had been delayed repeatedly.

"Young Jewish Israelis who fall in love with non-Jews are being forced to remain married outside their faith by an inefficient bureaucracy," added Farber. "For no logical reason, clerks and government workers have taken upon themselves the function of rabbinical judges [by claiming] to fathom the intentions of potential converts. This must stop."

Mordechai Tendler said...

Shkoyech to Shmuely Boteach for pointing me in the right direction.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1196847354591&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter

The receding hemlines of Crown Heights

Shmuley Boteach , THE JERUSALEM POST Dec. 16, 2007

Then there are the receding hemlines one sees all around Crown Heights. Chabad girls are showing a lot of leg, which might seem innocuous - but it's not.

Yehu said...

You're recicling old news here.

This is not even the tip of the iceberg.

In the early 90'es they discovered a huge prostitution/sex slaves ring in Israel - the story was quickly brushed off as too many politicians were involved. Ditto for the DuTroux case in Belgium. King Juan Carlos of Spain was deeply involved with "The children of God", a huge international paedofile/child prostitution ring. Where do you think many of those children from the Wal Mart posters and your tax return go? (although many are not really missing - there are many cases that leagally count for abduction, while the kid is with the parent who doesn't have custody. Or just skipped home to join a gang or who knows what.)

BTW - can you confirm if the author of this website is Shmarya Rosenberg? Certainly looks like it.

Anonymous said...

NEW YORK (AP) — Two former college students avoided jail when they pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge related to paying school officials to falsify their grades and transcripts.

Uzi Azizov, 22, and Boris Yakubov, 25, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor state charge of falsifying business records. Each was sentenced to seven days of community service and fined $1,000.

The two former Touro College undergraduates were among 10 people indicted by a grand jury in July in a scheme to use the city college's computer system to change grades and create fake degrees in exchange for money.

Azizov admitted during his plea that in January he paid a Touro official to change his grades. Prosecutors said when Azizov was arrested his grade point average had jumped to 3.63 from 1.23 because of the transcript changes.

Yakubov admitted he paid a college official in February to falsify his records. Prosecutors said when Yakubov was arrested that he bought a fake transcript showing he had earned a master's degree from Touro's Graduate School of Education and Psychology.

District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said in announcing the indictments that the defendants included Touro's former director of admissions, the former director of the school's computer center and three public school teachers.

The indicted school officials created or altered records for at least 50 people since January 2007, Morgenthau said, charging fees of $3,000 to $25,000 for better or deleted grades and for bachelor's and master's degrees. Cases involving those defendants are pending.

Lawyers for Azizov and Yakubov said that they had no comment as they left court Thursday.

Protect Women From Yaakov Menken said...

CALL TO ACTION: Boycott Events Associated with Alleged Sex Offender, Rabbi Yaakov Menken (December 16, 23, 30)

Download a pdf file of this call to action
http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/MenkenCallToAction.pdf

http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/menken_yaakov.html

Over the last few years The Awareness Center has shared information with you regarding the case of Rabbi Yaakov Menken (AKA: Yakov Menken, Kenneth Menken, Ken Menken). Due to the issue of confidentiality we have been limited in what we have made public. The allegations against Menken include sexual harassment and clergy sexual abuse.

Yaakov Menken's alleged modus operandi is to become a father figure to vulnerable young women and eventually manipulating them into having sexual contact with him. Menken is married with children and in his forties. The alleged women he targets are usually in their late teens or early twenties. In 2005 Rabbi Yaakov Menken had a discussion with Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky and confessed to having sexual contact with a very young woman he counseled. He basically blamed the survivor, stating "she came on to me".

Since The Awareness Center became aware of the allegations made against Yaakov Menken we were able to gathered information which included conversations with various rabbonim in Baltimore. It appears that a national Jewish outreach organization which included a relative of the Menken survivors were in a bet din dispute right before and during the time that Rabbi Yaakov Menken was sexually manipulating a young woman from an extremely insulated community.

The survivor was barely out of her teens at the time that Yaakov Menken started his grooming process on her. When Menken got started the young woman had recently moved away from her family for the first time. Menken allegedly marked her as an easy target and began to provide rabbinical counseling to her. It's important to keep in mind that Rabbi Menken was very angry with the survivors relative during this time period and the woman was unaware of the bet din dispute. It is believed that this is part of the reason why Menken picked her as a target and began to lure her in.

Usually when someone goes searching for spirituality they are in a vulnerable state because of some sort of personal crisis in their lives. These are exactly the type of people that Menken allegedly preys upon.

Several Kiruv organizations are partnering up with alleged sexual predator, Rabbi Yaakov Menken, for a Jewish Outreach event that will be featuring Dr. Gerald Schroeder. The problem is that by doing so they are basically saying that Yakov Menken is safe and someone both affiliated and unaffiliated Jews can trust.

The Awareness Center is asking that you boycott all events associated with Yaakov Menken, Project Genesis, Torah.org, Project Genisis and TorahMedia.org. We are also asking that you to call and or write the following people and demand that they stop working with Rabbi Yaakov Menken.

Contact:

The Associated Jewish Charities of Baltimore

Adam Rosenberg

E-mail: arosenberg@associated.org

________________________________
* The Center for Jewish Education

Larry Ziffer, Executive Vice President

Phone: 410-735-5000, ext. 5005

E-mail: lziffer@cjebaltimore.org

________________________________
* Gerald Schroeder, Ph.D.

HaHish 5, Jerusalem 93223, Israel

Phone 011-972-2-5671233

E-mail: gs@geraldschroeder.com

Survivor in Baltimore said...

I think Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb should spearhead a movement of collecting funds to pay for survivors to get counseling from the therapist of the survivors choice. He should also establish a fund for survivors to receive holistic treatment options such as acupuncture, chiropractic work, etc.

If Gottlieb can help a young man's family who died in a car accident, he can also help the thousands of survivors residing in the Baltimore Jewish community.

What I really think should happen is that all of the rabbis in Baltimore should fund raise so that all of those who were sexually abused in Baltimore would get 1.2 million dollars. This is the same figure that all of the Catholic survivors of priests in California got for their pain and suffering.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

USA Today

ConAgra has removed a controversial chemical from its microwave popcorn that gives the snack a buttery, creamy taste, citing concern for its workers' health. ConAgra manufactures more than half of the nation's microwave popcorn.

The chemical is diacetyl (dahy-uh-SEET-l). Workers exposed to the airborne chemical in plants making microwave popcorn have been diagnosed with a rare lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

CNN Money.Com

.....Separately, Greenspan said he is concerned about signs of a resurgence of inflation.

"Core inflation is up. Wholesale prices had their highest increase I think in a generation. That raises the specter of stagflation again," said Greenspan, referring to a simultaneous stagnant economy and upward pressure on prices.

He said the Federal Reserve should "do what it has to do to suppress the inflation rates that I see emerging, not immediately, but clearly over the intermediate and longer term period."...........

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

Editorial- New York Times
Why the Fed Can’t Fix It Now
Published: December 16, 2007

The credit crunch is back. Markets eased somewhat after August’s initial seizure. But bankers and other lenders, still uncertain about who is sitting on once-and-future mortgage-related losses, are again nervous about making loans. That is increasing the odds of a recession.

Having failed to use its power to curb junk lending back when it might have helped to head off the problem, the Federal Reserve is now confronting the limits of its powers to reverse the situation.

The Fed — which cut interest rates by a quarter of a point last week — appears reluctant to lower rates aggressively. That is understandable on some fronts. A deeper cut would have worsened fears of inflation and opened the Fed to accusations that it was using interest rate policy to prop up stock prices on Wall Street.

To have had a real chance of juicing the economy, however, last week’s cut would have needed to be more aggressive. That is because lower rates boost activity largely via mortgage lending. With the mortgage market freezing up, a significant rate cut might have broken the ice. The modest cut barely registered.

The Fed’s new plan to grease credit markets with $40 billion in loans to banks this month, and more next month, is also unlikely to solve the problem. Making the money available lessens the risk that banks’ short-term borrowing difficulties could, in themselves, provoke a recession. But the banks still have to cope with hundreds of billions of dollars of long-term loans that may well go bad as the housing market weakens and defaults soar — the same for securities that are tied to those loans. Given those underlying problems, a severe downturn, if not an outright recession, may be unavoidable.

Whichever way the economy breaks, the volatility and vulnerability of the moment should prompt a thorough investigation of how things got to this dangerous tipping point. There are a lot of angles, but one thing is sure: the mortgage bubble inflated as the Fed, other regulators and lawmakers looked the other way, a willful ignorance that was certainly reinforced by the Bush administration’s antiregulatory fervor.

The Treasury Department is now saying it will propose a new bank regulatory framework next year, but that will, at best, be an overdue starting point for change. Congress and the presidential candidates need to begin a serious discussion about how the mortgage debacle occurred, sparing no agency and no policy maker.

That is the only way to ensure that it does not happen again.

The Monsey Tzaddik said...

This Putz sounds like Leib Tropper said...


You do not realy think beheima Tropper cares about those poor Israelis? Beheima Tropper only cares about two things, food and power (with no particular order) and if you know him you know he cannot have enougth of it

OK. He also thinks how he can outdo Rabbi Noach Weinberg and rabbi Bomzer.

Lior Katzav said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/935084.html

Prosecutors to charge Moshe Katsav's brother with sexual harassment

By Yuval Yoaz, Haaretz Correspondent

State prosecutors are planning on indicting Lior Katsav, brother of former president Moshe Katsav, on charges that he offered to secure a woman a job at the Kiryat Malachi City Hall in exchange for sexual favors.

The incident is alleged to have taken place in 2000, while Katsav was serving as mayor of Kiryat Malachi.

Around six months ago, a separate complaint was issued against Katsav by a migrant worker who said that he sexually harassed her.

Charges associated with a separate complaint of sexual harassment were closed due to a lack of evidence.

Katsav's attorney's have argued that their client was not given a proper hearing as required by law, and have vowed to fight the charges against him.

Katsav's brother Moshe served as president of Israel from July 2000 until a series of sexual harassment charges forced him to resign from office in July 2007.

Police Investigating Shlomo Mandel & Co said...

http://exposemolesters.blogspot.com/2007/12/story-of-mary-ellen-which-started-child_14.html#c3225849419960082725

The police made a trip down to YOB in September 2006 and also the beginning of this year. Their investigation has been three-fold. They have received several complaints and accusations of.

a) Rabbi Yehudah Nussbaum sexually and physically abusing kids.

b) a Pre-1a Rebbe punishing students by hitting them.

c) ongoing physical abuse and corporal punishment by the YOB administration against students in the boys and girls devision.

Rabbi Arem of YOB was in touch with some Parents urging them to say there was no abuse whatsoever. There is more information which I cannot divulge at this time.

December 15, 2007

YTT "Rejects" Vulnerable for Shmad said...

Oleg Nemtsov, a 32-year-old massage therapist, arrived in Brooklyn from Belarus in the 1990s. A teenager at the time, he enrolled in an Orthodox yeshiva where other students "treated me like a dog," he says. They mocked his poor eyesight, provoking scuffles that led to Nemtsov’s being expelled after two months.

Struggling with depression, Nemtsov met some evangelists in a Brighton Beach park. He was touched by their kindness.

"I started picturing Christ as this sweet, wonderful friend," he says.

http://www.jstandard.com/articles/3615/1/Cross-purposes

Growing evangelical movement finding new ways to proselytize

Jews for Judaism, an anti-missionary group, follows 900 organizations in North America alone and calculates that $250 million annually is spent around the world. Estimates of the number of Jewish-born Christians and self-identified Messianic Jews worldwide range from 60,000 to 275,000.

Israel has more than 100 Messianic congregations, says Yaakov Ariel, associate professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina and author of "Evangelizing the Chosen People."

"Thousands of young Israelis — graduates of Israeli schools, graduates of the army — are in Messianic congregations," he says, adding, "Almost all of them come from non-Orthodox homes and many from secular backgrounds."

What’s more, evangelicals perform an increasing share of the charitable work in the Jewish state.

"They’ve become an important part of the welfare network: taking care of the elderly, taking care of the needy," Ariel says.

Last year, Chosen People Ministries brought $50,000 worth of food to southern Israel, where Jews had taken refuge from the conflict on the Lebanese border.

Mitch Glaser, the Ministries president, says his staff was "buying food from grocery stores in Jerusalem and schlepping it seven hours to Eilat."

Under the clankety-clank of an elevated train, the vertical banners lining Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach Avenue welcome visitors to "Little Russia by the Sea." Once vibrant with working-class Jews, then suffering a period of decline, the Brighton Beach neighborhood was enlivened in the 1980s by a new wave of immigrants, many of them Jewish and from the former Soviet Union. Now pedestrians stroll past furriers, a Russian ballet school, and grocery stores offering sausage, knishes, and smoked herring.

Through a doorway marked with a Star of David and up a staircase is the Russian Community Life Center, a modest cluster of rooms that has become one of Brooklyn’s missionary hot spots. On a Saturday morning, 60 immigrants in black plastic folding chairs watch as center director Leslie McMillan dons a head scarf and lights a pair of Shabbat candles. She recites the traditional Hebrew blessing, but with an addition: "B’shem Yeshua," which translates as "in the name of Jesus."

The Shabbat candles, a worship leader explains in Russian, are "like a symbol of the light of Jesus Christ, our Savior."

Evangelists have identified Russian Jews as particularly ripe for their message. They lived under a government that for decades suppressed worship, leaving them with few religious preconceptions.

"It’s been forbidden fruit for generations," says Eugene Lubman, a 31-year-old computer programmer from Kiev, Ukraine, who serves as vice president of the center’s board.

"There was a spiritual hunger, an understanding that the things in the world aren’t an end in themselves. People have been gravitating to any spirituality they can find."

Lubman, who was born Jewish, believes that Messianic congregations welcome immigrants more readily than do some religious Jews.

"In the Orthodox community there are things you are expected to start practicing," he says. "You have to change the way you eat. You have to change the way you dress. You have to change the way you act."

Perhaps this "hunger" explains why the center has attracted so much Christian interest. Chosen People Ministries helped launched the center and New York’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church provides funding. Jews for Jesus leads services for those curious about Christianity, and a Russian Baptist church holds Bible studies. Another congregation sponsors worship services for recovering drug addicts and their families.

Two summers ago, the center became a staging ground as Jews for Jesus missionaries descended on Brighton Beach en masse as part of their "Behold Your God" campaign.

Throughout the year, the center teaches sewing and offers citizenship assistance. But the bulk of its evangelism comes by way of inexpensive English classes — two hours of small-group instruction followed by 30 minutes of mandatory Old and New Testament study.

"We absolutely have to do this," Lubman says. "There’s so little support for immigrants. They don’t know the language. They can’t get a job. They’re absolutely lost in the new society." If missionaries can help newcomers acclimate, he insists, "we really deserve their ear."

Jewish leaders offer a less charitable spin. They say symbols like the Star of David confuse older Russians, who grew up under state atheism.

"They have no radar," says attorney Marcia Eisenberg, who works with the anti-missionary task force at the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. "They have no context to understand this is not Jewish."

Critics add that evangelists’ successes do not occur in a vacuum.

"I always thought missionary efforts were an early warning system," says Jonathan Sarna, professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University. "If you want to see where the weak parts are in Jewish communities, you look at where the missionaries are. Most recently you find missionaries focusing on immigrants, the elderly, and students — all areas where the Jewish community has not done its work."

Oleg Nemtsov, a 32-year-old massage therapist, arrived in Brooklyn from Belarus in the 1990s. A teenager at the time, he enrolled in an Orthodox yeshiva where other students "treated me like a dog," he says. They mocked his poor eyesight, provoking scuffles that led to Nemtsov’s being expelled after two months.

Struggling with depression, Nemtsov met some evangelists in a Brighton Beach park. He was touched by their kindness.

"I started picturing Christ as this sweet, wonderful friend," he says.

Nemtsov struggled with his religious beliefs for another decade, but now he is considering devoting himself to Christian evangelism.

"I don’t want anyone to burn in hellfire," he says.

Still, Nemtsov admits, he has some doubts about his new faith.

"I’m pretty vulnerable to being misled," he acknowledges. "I just need to relax, talk to God, and see what He shows me."

Steve Greenberg said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/935134.html

The Shas Party plans to prevent Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog from implementing a planned revolution that would allow same-sex couples to adopt children.

Currently, same-sex couples cannot adopt unrelated children; each member of the couple can only adopt the biological children of the other. Herzog's plan, first published in Haaretz Sunday, would give them the same adoption privileges as heterosexual couples.

"This is a crazy idea," Shas Chairman Eli Yishai told Haaretz. "It is part of a series of ideas by deluded parties whose sole goal is to blur the Jewish core of the Jewish people.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

"The reality is that business and investment spending are the true leading indicators of the economy and the stock market. If you want to know where the stock market is headed, forget about consumer spending and retail sales figures. Look to business spending, price inflation, interest rates, and productivity gains."

Mark Skousen is editor of Forecasts & Strategies and holds the Benjamin Franklin Chair of Management at Grantham University in Kansas City, Mo. He is the author of "The Structure of Production."

-------------------

He's got it almost entirely wrong. Consumer spending is the leading indicator of the health and faith in the economy. (1 in 10...but the most relevant)

Restricted spending leads to restricted business production....etc.

It looks like every yutz is out there with a book. He should contact Artscroll.

Joe Izrael on Yeshiva Tuition & Wal-Mart said...

http://theantisemite.blogspot.com/2007/12/monetary-lapse-of-reason.html

Yonason Rosenblum has a good article about helping Jewish schools cope with their financial burden. In short, he proposes a voluntary community “tax”, or fund, if you will, that would be evenly distributed between the local schools. Unfortunately, he leaves all too many variables out of the equation. This system worked well in the Windy City, where the community is by far not as large as in Brooklyn, Lakewood and Monsey. He also forgets that unlike Chicago, -home to more wealthy people and less schools-, in the aforementioned towns the ratio is vice-versa.

Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz tells us that we should deal with the challenge of Internet as small business owners facing a Wal-Mart arriving in Town. The hands-on details are to follow, he reassures us, and I am eagerly awaiting them.
Maybe lost on many of his readers, his comparison is a tongue-in-cheek joke on an actual Wal-Mart arriving straight to the heart of Monsey’s frum –mostly Hassidic- business district. The controversy has been dealt with upon the pages of Pinchy Salzberger’s rag, as well as a blog originating from Chic-ago. They both missed the point –or willfully distorted it- by saying that Hassidim oppose Wal-Mart because it would have a negative influence on their children, meaning the semi-pornographic celeb magazines at the check-out desks or the un-tsniusdik dolls in the store.

But they couldn’t have been more wrong. Many Hassidim shop in the Airmont Wal-Mart (two miles down the road from the controversial Wal-Mart in question). As they shop for “Bratz” dolls galore and other highlights of Western Civilisation, they don’t seem to be bothered by the mags, nor the fact that their young children stare at them. So what takeh motivates the Hassidim to join their dreaded enemies, Preserve Ramapo, in opposing the Monsey Wal-Mart? The simple fact is that it threatens many hassid-owned businesses, from groceries to toy stores.

Internet access for children is a totally different story. I’m not sure how it compares to a big business coming to town threatening small businesses. And perhaps the Internet raises a question of a much more global proportions: how to relate with Western civilization? So far, in my humble opinion, most approaches have, even if not outright failed, proved rather ineffective. The Hassidic emptiness has left real Judaism out of the picture, and absorbed the lowest of Western culture in an external frame of traditional garb and superficialities. Modern Orthodoxy has successfully integrated itself in left-wing intelligentsia while its adherents either leave the “Orthodox” or the “Modern”. The Yeshivish world is still somehow clinging on to Torah, albeit steeped in a little more oilom hazeh from Uncle Sam than they’d like to admit.

Now that the seven-headed dragon comes into our homes via his world wide web, we are forced to face reality – something we haven’t adequately done. Pasteur observed peasant women scratch off their cows’ pox and rub it on their children to immunize them. It is still a more a gut feeling of mine, rather than an opinion, that we could adopt a similar approach. The devil lies in the details, and the actual carrying out of the plan is not done as easily as said.

Ditto for the Rosenblum initiative that worked so well in Chicago. In all honesty, I doubt it would work in any Judeopolis at all. Who would contribute to a common school fund? The food-stamp father marrying off his ninth child, supporting another eight in collel, the MO actuary making $100K and having a budget of $300K, or the ‘gvir’ who donates millions to all the big mosdos anyway? And does anyone honestly believe that groups antagonistic to one another will gladly throw their money in the hat? Something tells me otherwise.

Hassidic groups are very protective, their money stays within the community, and teachers are basically paid by government subsidies and school freebies (free school and camp for a few kids – that’s not so little). Other schools are also secretive as to owners’ salaries and who gets tuition breaks and how much. I heard of a case when a parent offered to pay full tuition for his children (three, if memory serves) plus one extra as donation – on condition that the school opens the books. They refused.

I’m not sure there’s a magic solution to ease the burden on schools and tuition. A public school kid costs 11 to 18K, and the level of education is practically zero. Private schools achieve much more with much less, that’s unquestionable. But the voucher program wouldn’t be fair either. Orthodox Jewish families with numerous children would drain the state treasury faster than you could say “property tax”. But a little more openness and less exclusiveness from the schools would probably be of some help.

Perhaps if the spectator sport of schnorring and overall tolerating detrimental behaviors that breed poverty is successfully toned down, than schools could reach out to wealthy people outside their immediate constituency for support.

Anonymous said...

Viki, PAY ATTENTION TO THE NOTICE NEXT TIME! DO you know how to read????

Rabbi Krohn was speaking in NY VIA TCN satellite nationwidse. He was NOT in Baltimore.

He was speaking to support Chickens for Shabbos, run by the YI of KGH.

So leave the Shomrei leadership out of this. Nag TCN.

Shlomo Dwek said...

Washington Mutual Bank's objection to Dwek's most recent stipend request, citing "flagrant spending" at the Dwek household, which is also home to his wife, Pearl, and their five children.

The bank noted that in three months, they spent $25,000 on clothes, shoes, food and utilities, $600 on New York Yankees tickets and $2,500 at a wig shop.

Dwek has been paid more than $300,000 from his assets since they were first frozen in May 2006.

http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071214/NEWS/71214054

Bankrupt N.J. millionaire claims he's a slave
By JAMES W. PRADO ROBERTS, Asbury Park (N.J.) Press
Posted Friday, December 14, 2007 at 4:52 pm
As Solomon Dwek sees it, he's being treated no differently than internationally trafficked sex slaves or imprisoned domestic workers who have their passports locked away.

Such victims are typically impoverished women who fear for their lives.

Bankrupt millionaire real estate investor Dwek asserts no physical mistreatment, but claims in court papers that he's been unconstitutionally forced into indentured servitude nonetheless.

In an unusual filing in a case that's had more than its fair share, Dwek on Thursday invoked the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibiting slavery to argue that his advice to the bankruptcy court is worth the $15,000 a month he's being paid.

Dwek was first awarded the payments this summer after arguing his creditors could recoup more money if he advised his bankruptcy trustee how to sell his 350 properties. An initial request for $30,000 a month was enthusiastically attacked by various creditors, and now one bank is trying to knock it down further.

"We are collectively spending more in counsel fees than we are fighting over. If no one else can stop this madness, maybe I can," the 35-year-old Ocean Township resident said in a court statement.

Dwek and his lawyer have a solution — they asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kathryn C. Ferguson to declare a section of the federal bankruptcy code unconstitutional, and allow his trustee to pay him regardless of any creditor's objections. The payments are drawn from Dwek's assets. Failing that, he wants the judge to declare another law unconstitutional and allow him to convert his case to a Chapter 7 liquidation in which Dwek would get a job and spend his money as he sees fit.

"I understand that I cannot be forced to work for my creditors and that to require me to remain in Chapter 11 where my earnings become property of the bankruptcy estate is involuntary servitude proscribed by the Thirteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution," Dwek stated in a certification to the court filed Thursday.

Dwek lost control of his assets last year after he bounced a $25 million check at a PNC Bank branch in Eatontown. He was charged with bank fraud by the FBI and now creditors say he owes them $350 million. Dwek's bankruptcy trustee said in court papers this month Dwek obtained much of that money through a massive Ponzi scheme, but bounced the check when he was in fear of bodily injury. About 50 members of Dwek's insular Syrian Jewish community say Dwek owes them $150 million.

'Change the channel'

Dwek's request and reliance on the anti-slavery amendment raised eyebrows of some lawyers in the case.

"That is pushing the envelope on the 13th Amendment," remarked Dwek's bankruptcy trustee, Charles A. Stanziale. Stanziale supports Dwek's compensation petition; he has said he needs Dwek's assistance for at least another nine months.

PNC Bank lawyer Dennis T. Kearney said, "The guy's now a slave within the meaning of the 13th Amendment? This case keeps on getting nuttier. . . . If you saw this on TV, you'd change the channel."

But attorney Leonard S. Needle, who represents four creditors who claim Dwek owes them $3 million, said Timothy P. Neumann, Dwek's lawyer, has made an interesting and shrewd argument because it could force creditors to leave Dwek's stipend alone.

Neumann filed the motion after Washington Mutual Bank's objection to Dwek's most recent stipend request, citing "flagrant spending" at the Dwek household, which is also home to his wife, Pearl, and their five children.

The bank noted that in three months, they spent $25,000 on clothes, shoes, food and utilities, $600 on New York Yankees tickets and $2,500 at a wig shop.

Dwek has been paid more than $300,000 from his assets since they were first frozen in May 2006.

"Even a cursory review of the debtor's spending . . . establishes that his spending habits are far from reasonable, especially for an individual involved in a bankruptcy proceeding," wrote Washington Mutual lawyer Stephen M. Packman. The bank claims Dwek owes it $22.4 million.

Dwek is currently in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in which Stanziale is working to sell off his assets to pay creditors. This may allow Dwek to emerge with a reorganized business. In 2005, Congress required a Chapter 11 debtor's income to be spent only at a judge's discretion. Now Neumann wants creditors to be barred from the right to ask the judge to scrutinize and restrict his expenses.

Federal law also bars Dwek from converting to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Neumann said. So he has asked Ferguson to find that provision unconstitutional. He cited law review journals in his filing, but he said he could find no case where the argument has been made.

"Metaphorically speaking, he's in debtor's prison, which is what the 13th Amendment prevents," Neumann said.

THE 13TH AMENDMENT
"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

– 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, ratified one year after the end of the Civil War on Dec. 6, 1865

The Monsey Tzaddik said...

One bais din after another are refusing EJF proposed candidates for conversion.


Unfortunately, Tropper and his butler Dovid Jacobs have access to money and his that money they can buy basei din.

They have in-house beis-din run by one boor and ham haretz Pinchos Rabinowitz who is on Tropper payola and will convert a chihuahua dog if Tropper pays him and told him to do so.

And then the dog will have universally accepted conversion.

Chihuahua Dog said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taco_Bell_chihuahua

Psssst, yo queiro Tropper Bell.

Anonymous said...

Yehu,

I'm not so sure that Belgian pedophile is Jewish. That same website is making a stink about Dov Zakheim (not to be confused with his cousin, convicted sex offender Steve Zakheim). Many neo-Nazi type sites make a stink about Zakheim because they can't get over that a Jew was #3 in charge at the Pentagon.

John Browne said...

Financial Intelligence:

Stagflation Exploding — Big Rate Cuts Soon

Evidence is mounting fast that we are now entering a period of economic recession and mounting financial inflation at the same time.

Indeed, the latest annualized headline inflation is now running at 2.8 percent or, annualized, at a whopping 9.5 percent and still “politically cooked” to the downside.

Worse still, the producer price index for finished consumer goods (to be passed on either as higher consumer costs or reduced corporate profits) is now rising at some 9.3 percent.

Anonymous said...

Speaking in Fredericksburg, Va., Bush acknowledged the economy is facing "challenges," particularly in the housing market. Bush said it's going to "take awhile" to work through the housing downturn but reiterated government support will be limited. "We're not bailing people out," he said.

Rupert Murdoch said...

Rupert Murdoch, media tycoon and new owner of the Wall Street Journal, predicts that the U.S. faces a recession that will hit the overall economy and could undermine real estate for five or six years.
Appearing on Fox News' "Your World with Neil Cavuto," Murdoch admitted that he’s worried about the economy.

"I think we are in for a recession, probably. How bad it will be, I don't know. But I think there's a lot more bad news to come ...”

When Cavuto asked where the bad news will come from, Murdoch responded "European banks, insurance companies, pension funds."

He added that current woes "always start with housing booms."

"And it takes some time, a year or two, for an economy to come right through it, probably five or six years for the real estate market to come through it.”

Cavuto's asked, "Five or six years?"

Murdoch explained, "That has sort of been the history of these things in the '60s and the '80s.”

Murdoch suggested that banks will be back to normal in the near future. "I think in terms of banks cleaning up their balance sheets and getting back into lending and so on, I think that's only about a year or so," he said.

"The problem at the moment is, there is plenty of money everywhere, but the banks are frightened to lend it. And, therefore, it is harder for small-business men to get started. That's what have to watch, and the price of money. The banks are being so sort of super careful. They have had a big fright.”

Cavuto noted that prospective borrowers have also been frightened - that even those who would normally qualify relatively easily, are backing off, too.

Murdoch wasn't so sure.

"We just borrowed some money the other day," he said. "We're an investment grade company. And it was done on the telephone for $1 billion dollars. It was no trouble.”


Ending on a positive nore, Murdoch said "People talk. I was seeing the debates today, about jobs going overseas and so on. I thought disgraceful things. There is no one in America who wants a job who can't get one. We have got a state of very near full employment here. The country is doing pretty well.”

The Jewish Week said...

Dear Friend:

If you are reading this, you are someone who cares about Israel. So I ask you to join with me for a moment in thinking about the kind of Israel we hope to see.

Whatever our political views, there are few of us who have not dreamed of Israel as a Jewish homeland. And yet, ironically and tragically, because large numbers of Israelis react negatively to what they perceive as an oppressive rabbinic authority in Israel, they want nothing to do with religious Jewish life. We face the real risk that the next generation will be Israeli, but Jewish in name only.

Masorti is working to change that. Masorti believes it is possible to be traditional and spiritual and also committed to full participation of women in an egalitarian and pluralistic community.

Masorti believes that Jews who want a fully traditional, but non-Orthodox, wedding should be able to have one in Israel and to have it be legally recognized by the State. They should not have to travel to Cyprus for a civil ceremony Israel will acknowledge as valid. And Masorti believes that when a Jew dies in Israel, the decision whether women can say kaddish at graveside should be a family decision, not one dictated to them by rabbis they have never met.

Masorti does far more than fight legal battles. Masorti is teaching Israelis that a spiritual community has social obligations. That means that tutoring students from poorer neighborhoods, providing food to the needy, welcoming new immigrants and reaching out to neighboring Christian and Muslim communities are what Masorti kehillot regularly do.

It is clear that Israelis like what Masorti has to offer and respond when there is a kehilla in their community. One indication is the number of Masorti kehillot where attendance at services on the High Holidays numbered in the several hundred. In one northern Israeli town, where more than 800 came to daven, the mayor also came to the Masorti services, a political sign that Masorti had made its presence felt.

Masorti continues to offer strong programming for both high school and post-army youth. And its Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program for Children With Special Needs has now provided more than 3,000 families with a celebration most never dreamed possible.


Especially because the playing field is so uneven, and an estimated 98% of the very substantial government funding goes to Orthodox institutions, none of this progress could have been made without help from friends like you.

Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel

475 Riverside Drive, Suite 832 | New York, NY 10115-0122 | 212.870.2216 fax: 212.870.2218 | www.masorti.org

Leib Tropper said...

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2007/12/11/the-impending-destruction-of-the-us-economy-part-1.aspx?source=iflfollnk0000003

A nation built on debt?
Let's go back to the 1990s. It wasn't a bad time to be an American. Ace of Base was topping the charts, the economy was parading freely, and the stock market could make a Chihuahua look smart. With newfound wealth came newfound toys and spending habits, and a drive to leverage up to your eyeballs to fund the cars, boats, and multiple TVs for your second or third home. Since 1990, non-mortgage household debt has gone up more than threefold, outstripping economic growth and inflation.

But, heck, the amount of debt we had was not a problem! The economy kept buzzing at a pace that allowed consumers to fund their debt-laden habits. And with reasonable interest rates throughout the '90s, layering on consumption outside your earnings means wasn't that big a deal. The indulgences in spending kept going, and going ...

Since 2001, the U.S. has had the benefit of laughably low interest rates. Investors, still shell-shocked from the stock market turmoil, began salivating over another asset class they could exploit with those low rates -- real estate.

Savvy businessmen finessed ways to market exotic mortgage products to consumers most of us wouldn't lend a cup of sugar. Thus the birth of the subprime-mortgage calamity that propelled companies such as Countrywide (NYSE: CFC) into the stratosphere and allowed homebuilders such as Beazer (NYSE: BZH) and D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI) to crank out as many subdivisions as they could dream of.

I'll save you the ending of this real estate saga -- we know how much of a mess we're in now. And it's probably worse than any of us could have dreamed, with massive write-downs from respected financial institutions, such as Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER).

What now? Many of us would like to believe Uncle Bernanke will bail us out by slashing interest rates and bringing back the good old days. Right?

Kind of -- and that's where the massive economic debacle begins, my friends. Those same spend-happy consumers raised in the go-go 1990s -- they're still alive and kicking, and you better believe they still love to spend.

Dollar, schmollar ... I'm gonna spend!
The massive account deficit we currently hold with the rest of the world totals some $800 billion per year. Where the heck is all that money coming from? From foreign investors in China, Japan, the Middle East, and nearly every other conceivable corner of the globe. They have no problem lending us the difference, because while we as a country spend more than we make -- we're still incredibly wealthy and good on our word.

But like a massive Ponzi scheme, the fun will certainly end. In the past six years, the value of the dollar has taken a serious beating. The euro, worth $0.85 a few years ago, is now worth $1.47. Yikes. But because the average American shops mostly within the borders, this probably isn't too pressing an issue, and so the greenback's plummet doesn't show its full effects.

How about the foreign investors funding our perilous spending party? You'd better believe they're keeping a close eye on the dollar's precipitous plunge. As a foreign investor holding assets denominated in dollars, every drop in the dollar erodes the value their investments will be worth when they choose to convert them back to their native currency, whether yuan, yen, euros, or pounds.

Observant Jew said...

Why that plug for Masorati? That's just the name that the Conservative movement uses in Israel.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

Why that plug for Masorati?
------------
No plug intended!

Yehu said...

Anon 11:36 AM, December 17, 2007:


"I'm not so sure that Belgian pedophile is Jewish... ...neo-Nazi type sites make a stink about Zakheim because they can't get over that a Jew was #3 in charge at the Pentagon."

Du Troux is not Jewish. He had an Israeli accomplice/boyfriend whom he murdered. It's still not clear how and in what he was involved with DuTroux. My point was that many governments cover up such things, including Israel. In fact they had a few pigs who sold info and arms to Terrorists who actually killed Jews with it, and it was covered up. But of course Shmarya "Sieg Heil" Rosenberg and his cronies ADov HitBer and Gestaposchool (David DuKelsey) will never tell you about that. If it doesn't make haredim look bad, for them it never happened and is irrelevant.

The second link redirects to an anti-Semitic website, which is very similar to Scott "Sieg Heil" Rosenberg's site. Sarcasm, my friend, sarcasm.

J.I.