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Sunday, June 29, 2008

"...Money laundering scheme that involved the leader of an Orthodox Jewish group and several Los Angeles businesses."

BANKER AND SHAMASH START PRACTICING FOR THE YOMIM NORAIM - HIGH HOLIDAYS!


Funny Videos

Israeli banker pleads guilty in tax fraud
L.A.Daily News Wire Services Article

An Israeli banker pleaded guilty today to taking part in an elaborate tax fraud and money laundering scheme that prosecutors claim involved the leader of an Orthodox Jewish group and several Los Angeles businesses. Joseph Roth, 66, of Tel Aviv, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit tax fraud. U.S. District Judge George Schiavelli scheduled sentencing for Oct. 20, when Roth faces a statutory maximum term of five years' imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Roth once worked at the Los Angeles branch of the Israel-based Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd., and is the first defendant in the case to plead guilty.

Roth is one of several defendants named in a 37-count federal grand jury indictment alleging that Naftali Tzi Weisz, the 59-year-old Grand Rabbi of Spinka, promised to secretly refund between 80 percent and 95 percent of millions of dollars of contributions to several Spinka charities. The contributors could claim the full amount for tax deductions, even though they gave as little as 5 percent of the amount declared on federal income tax returns, prosecutors said. The secret refunds, or kickbacks -- as prosecutors have called them -- allegedly were laundered through third parties. Spinka is the name of a Hasidic sect within Orthodox Judaism. The group is named for the European town where it originated along the border of Hungary and Romania. Trial is set for Sept. 9.

After today's hearing, Roth smiled and shook the hand of the case's lead prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel O'Brien. Roger J. Rosen, one of Roth's attorneys, told reporters he was pleased with how the case has been resolved, but he had no comment on whether Roth was cooperating with the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Roth -- who has been in federal custody since late last year because he was deemed a flight risk -- helped American contributors get loans from Mizrahi Tefahot Bank, so the money could be used in the United States, prosecutors said. The contributors also could hire Spinka to help secretly repatriate the money into the United States in exchange for an additional money-laundering fee after the money was placed in secret accounts at the bank, prosecutors allege.

In addition to Roth's guilty plea, another prominent defendant in the case, Weisz's personal assistant, Gabbai Moshe Zigelman, 60, of Brooklyn, N.Y., has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit tax fraud, according to court documents.

Zigelman is alleged to have played an integral role in the scheme, paying kickbacks and laundering large amounts of contributions from "R.K." -- a participant in the scheme who turned into a government informant once he ran into problems with federal authorities. One method Weisz and Zigelman allegedly used to issue the secret refunds was by an underground money transfer network involving other parties, including businesses in and around downtown Los Angeles' jewelry district. One business was run by 60-year-old Los Angeles resident Moshe Arie Lazar. Other defendants in the case include Yaacov Zeivald, 43, of Valley Village, Los Angeles residents Yosef Nachum Naiman, 55, and 43-year-old Alan Jay Friedman and Tel Aviv attorney Jacob Ivan Kantor.

Five Spinka charities were also named as defendants: Yeshiva Imrei Yosef, Yeshivath Spinka, Central Rabbinical Seminary, Machne Sva Rotzohn and Mesivta Imrei Yosef Spinka. The charities are alleged to have used fraudulent receipts for bogus charitable contributions and benefited from fees charged for transfers of funds as part of the money laundering conspiracy.

Comments Showing posts 1 - 12 of 12 .......

Preach The Truth.... Glendale, CA Good job!........... They need to focus on all the hocus-pocus Armenian church scams here in Glendale/Tujunga, CA now. It's getting rediculous how all these parasites and leeches keep sucking the blood dry of our once-great nation. whatever

Minneapolis, MN
...........Wow, I can't believe that! Not the fact that he did it. The fact that he plead guilty.

Jew Watch Columbus, OH ..........Jews are disgusting..I mean they got white collar crime all over them. It is a pretty much a done deal that they knew of 9/11 before the attack actually occurred. The question is, how did Jews NOT know it was going to happen? abe Los Angeles, CA we all know how jews make money in the us is like big mafia

Israel1948 .................“Am Chai Yisra'el!”

Jew Watch wrote:................ Jews are disgusting..I mean they got white collar crime all over them. It is a pretty much a done deal that they knew of 9/11 before the attack actually occurred. The question is, how did Jews NOT know it was going to happen? And neo nazis such as yourself have blue collar crime. Would you rather have a few bucks taken away, or your life? If you say money, then you're one cheap Jew lol.

Jew Watch wrote: Jews are disgusting......I mean they got white collar crime all over them. It is a pretty much a done deal that they knew of 9/11 before the attack actually occurred. The question is, how did Jews NOT know it was going to happen? Hmmm, lets count how many Jews are in American prison. Now, lets count how many other people are in American prison. There are so many whites in prison, they needed to create the "nazi low riders" and "aryan brotherhood" just so the blacks and hispanic don't beat their asses. Do you see any Jewish gangs in prison? You don't? Really? Who would have guessed.

Abe Los Angeles, CA ..........here are some names mousa shaya,abe camaro,jo.shabany.koby,from koby windows joshi attia,and sam cohen, some jews some persians but all the same

**** Praise Jesus Los Angeles, CA........ There we go again. Los Angeles, CA Quit picking on the Jews they are good folks with big hearts. They are even fully accepting of gays who stood side by side with them in the concentration camps and went to the gas chambers for their families horrific deaths. Take a visit to the museum of tolerance here in Los Angeles and maybe you might get some compassion. I cannot believe some of the racist tones I have read here on this blog. You bigots need to really get a life.

jojo Garland, TX.......... Hmmm, lets count how many Jews are in American prison. Now, lets count how many other people are in American prison. There are so many whites in prison, they needed to create the "nazi low riders" and "aryan brotherhood" just so the blacks and hispanic don't beat their asses. Do you see any Jewish gangs in prison? You don't? Really? Who would have guessed. did you say Neo Nazis?? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Collin "Arguably, the downfall of Frank Collin was the revelation that his father's real surname was either "Cohn" or "Cohen" and had reportedly been a prisoner at the Dachau concentration camp. It meant that Collin was at least half-Jewish by ancestry. It was also discovered that Collin was a pedophile. "

Encino guy Los Angeles, CA.......... there are not jews in jail because they don't take a gun and rob $100 at the liquor store, they just cheat on the system and is hard to catch them they send millions to israel just to ''plant trees'' im not racist im just tellin the truth................

113 comments:

UOJ gets it right said...

... by seizing on how cozy the banker putz is with the prosecutor.

Shmarya missed the boat on this one.

AP said...

Oil prices surged past $143 a barrel for the first time ever Monday, and the price for a gallon of gas hit an all-time high in the United States.

Supply concerns and a fragile global economy continue to drive the price of oil to new highs, as well as continued tensions in the Middle East.

Light, sweet crude for August delivery rose $2.13 to $142.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In early electronic trading, the contract hit a record $143.67.

five towns uoj fan club said...

A hearty mazel tov to Rav UOJ!

Anonymous said...

NEW YORK (AP) - Just as Americans grow more reliant on credit cards to help pay monthly bills, they're being hit with a one-two punch: Card companies are reducing borrowing limits for tens of thousands of consumers, which then can lead to lower credit scores.

Those facing this predicament might not even know it until they apply for a loan or another credit card, and then get denied because their credit score has dropped.

This is an unintended consequence of the financial world's widespread ratcheting down of risk. Banks and other card lenders are trying to better protect themselves from more massive losses like those they've seen from subprime mortgages.

As a result, they are looking for ways to reduce their exposure to cardholders more likely to default. That's why they are lowering credit limits, which means they are reducing the maximum amount of credit extended to an individual, along with boosting card interest rates and allowing fewer balance transfers.

"This is what they have to do at this time," said John Hall, a spokesman for the American Bankers Association, a Washington-based trade group.

Such moves come as consumers are increasingly using their credit cards as a source of liquidity, especially since it's becoming harder to tap their home equity as much to pay for everything from renovations to vacations to trips to the mall. As the housing and mortgage markets have collapsed, lenders have also reduced the limits on what are known as home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs.

Net home equity extraction fell nearly 60 percent from a year earlier to $205 billion in the first quarter, according to Merrill Lynch. The investment bank also notes that some $1.2 trillion in equity and housing wealth was wiped out in the first quarter alone because of plunging home values.

At the same time, revolving credit usage - which includes credit cards - accelerated sharply to a year-over-year growth rate of about 8 percent in recent months. That's the fastest rate in seven years and well ahead of the 2 to 3 percent rate of growth from 2004 through 2006 when home equity lines of credit were a bigger source of cash for consumers, according to Merrill.

But as credit cards are used more frequently, that often results in bigger balances left on the cards. What's worrisome is that consumers who are faced with a number of ugly economic scenarios hitting at once - falling home prices, surging commodities costs and a weak job outlook - won't be able to pay their bills.

American Express warned Wednesday that more of its customers were falling behind on their payments.

Pesach Hotel Fresser but Cheapskate during the year said...

http://money.aol.com/videos/video/main/americans-pinching-pennies/927254856

Americans Pinching Pennies

Haaretz News said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/994457.html

My Night of Broken Glass

By Caryn Aviv

Tags: Caryn Aviv, attack
For years after I was attacked on the 52nd anniversary of Kristallnacht, I would light a yarzheit candle every year to mourn the loss of who I was before it happened.


About eighteen years ago, on the 52nd anniversary of Kristallnacht, I was walking home from the subway in Brooklyn. I was twenty, an aspiring jazz pianist and singer. One block from my house, a young man on a bicycle rode up to me, grabbed me by the neck, told me to 'shut up or I'll kill you,' and other disgusting, unprintable obscenities. He blindfolded me, dragged me into the bushes between two houses, and violently sexually assaulted me.

The attack probably lasted ten minutes. During the entire assault, I was terrified and convinced he was going to kill me. He told me to count to twenty as he fled on his bike. When I was sure he was gone, I stumbled home and collapsed on the porch, shaking, hysterically crying, bleeding, and in shock. My boyfriend found me and immediately called the police. We spent the night at Kings' County Hospital, where I was asked to tell and retell my story over and over to police officers, detectives, nurses and physicians. Then I went home in the morning, and didn?t leave my house for the next couple of weeks, except to meet with the police.

This event was singularly traumatic. It broke everything I understood about myself and the world around me into shards of glass. For years afterwards, on the anniversary of that attack, I would light a yarzheit candle to mourn the loss of who I was before it happened. I call it my night of broken glass because ultimately, it shattered my former self and changed the course of my life. And looking back eighteen years later, I can say that, paradoxically, what came out of that night has changed me for the better.
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My assault forced me to rethink who I was, who I wanted to be in light of what happened, and how to make sense of a violent world. I stopped singing and playing piano and started writing again, writing out of pain and anger, which were pretty much the only feelings I could muster at the time. The aftermath of that assault left me with intense and debilitating anxiety and fear, which took years and years of therapy to understand and let go of.

But thankfully, I also discovered feminism and the women's movement in the United States. I decided to get a degree in social theory and then a Ph.D. in sociology. I wanted to understand how people use and abuse power in all its manifestations, but particularly regarding gender. I wanted to know how people try to create more justice in the world and how I might participate in those movements for justice. I trained to become a rape victim advocate, and volunteered for years to provide support and counseling to other rape victims in emergency rooms all over Chicago. After many years of struggle, I decided that I needed to live a life of integrity, authenticity and clarity, rather than fear and anger.

Why am I telling you all this, writing about something so personal and so shocking in such a public venue? Because writing about what happened to me and coming out of the closet as a rape survivor is not just personal. The only remarkable fact of my sexual assault is that it is entirely unremarkable. What is really shocking, and frankly outrageous, is how common sexual violence against women is in the United States (and elsewhere). Girls and women are raped and sexually assaulted every day, in every city and town, in every country. The sad reality is that victims/survivors of such assaults often do not report what happens to them, and rapists often go unpunished. What happened to me was beyond unspeakable, and shouldn't happen to anyone. But sadly, it does, with astonishing frequency, often in silence. And this violence takes a lasting toll not only of the survivors of assault, but their partners, families and friends. Just ask my parents.

Fast forward eighteen years. About eight months ago, I started dating a woman who works in law enforcement here in Denver. She fights the good fight against the bad guys. That's part of why I love her so much. When I disclosed to her about my assault, she asked me what happened. I told her the truth. I never knew what happened to 'my rapist.' All I knew is that in the early 1990s, a serial rapist was preying on women in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, and I was one of his victims. I identified 'my rapist' in a line-up, and I testified before a grand jury in 1991. Then I never heard back from the District Attorney again about my case, and I tried to move on with my life.

My girlfriend, who is also my super-hero now, made a few calls. I discovered that 'my rapist' has served time in prison for the past sixteen years. That?s the good news, and when I learned that fact, I felt elated and relieved that he was off the streets. Then I learned that 'my rapist' is up for parole in December, and that I have a right to make a victim statement to the parole board about the impact this event has had on my life.

Where to start? Should I highlight the suffering and anguish this event caused, telling a narrative that emphasizes pain? Should I tell a narrative of triumph over adversity, and focus on how it strengthened me as a person, how this singular event clarified my life priorities and my consistent desire to work for justice? There are so many ways to tell the truth.

And truth be told, just saying that world that word ? victim ?in relation to my own story makes me cringe. It practically screams powerlessness. I don't want to minimize that truth - powerlessness and terror are indeed exactly what I experienced that night of broken glass eighteen years ago.

But a few long and hard years after that attack, I decided that I wanted to live my life differently. Not as a victim and not as a survivor, but as a 'thriver.' I know and regret that my life will forever be marked indelibly by this violent crime, and by the pain it caused. That will never go away. But I had an important insight. I can choose to not be defined by my victimization. Today I can say, gratefully and without reservation, that I am not just surviving, but thriving. And I know that I am one of the lucky ones. That is the truth I want to tell the parole board members, and why you are reading this today.

Shmueli said...

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/la-fi-samueli24-2008jun24,0,5021176,full.story

Broadcom co-founder Samueli pleads guilty in stock options fraud case

The billionaire owner of the Anaheim Ducks is to be placed on probation for five years and pay $12.2 million in fines and penalties.

By E. Scott Reckard and Christopher Goffard | Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
June 24, 2008

Henry Samueli, flanked by his wife, Susan, and attorney Gordon Greenberg, leaves the federal courthouse in Santa Ana after pleading guilty to one count of lying to federal authorities

Technology billionaire and philanthropist Henry Samueli pleaded guilty Monday to a felony charge of lying to regulators about his role in an alleged plot to secretly reward his Broadcom Corp. employees by manipulating stock options.

Under a deal with prosecutors, Samueli pleaded guilty in federal court in Santa Ana to making a false statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The government is recommending five years' probation and $12.2 million in fines and penalties at sentencing, scheduled for Aug. 18.

Samueli, 53, who also owns the Anaheim Ducks National Hockey League team, becomes the most prominent executive convicted in the federal investigation of the manipulation of stock options. His guilty plea Monday spares him jail time but complicates the legacy of one of Southern California's biggest philanthropists.

"There are people who come back from criminal convictions, but usually only after a long period of penance and full admission of responsibility," said John Coffee, a Columbia University law professor and expert in white-collar crime. "But if he continues to give away a billion dollars in a thoughtful manner, I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who will forgive him."

Born to survivors of Nazi Europe who arrived destitute in the United States, Samueli started off stocking the shelves of his family's Los Angeles liquor store, launched a chip-making firm in his partner's home and rode the 1990s tech boom to a multibillion-dollar fortune.

Along the way, he gained a reputation as a sober-minded scientist and a soft touch for good causes that included the arts, higher education, a Holocaust memorial library and a marine science institute for children.

Samueli, with a fortune estimated by Forbes magazine at just under $2 billion, can afford the fine, said Barry Slotnick, a white-collar defense attorney in New York. And by pleading guilty, Slotnick added, Samueli avoids an even greater threat to his name: jail time.

"At the end of the day Henry Samueli has a huge legacy and will be remembered not for his guilty plea but for his generosity to needy causes," Slotnick said.

The statement that prosecutors focused on was made May 25, 2007, when Samueli denied under oath a role in making options grants to high-ranking executives.

"I was not involved in the actual granting process," Samueli said.

That statement was false, Samueli said Monday, because in January 2002 he twice helped to decide the date on which options should be granted. In his plea, he admitted being part of the options-granting process but stopped short of acknowledging that the options awards were flawed.

Stock options are rights to buy shares at a set price at a future date. If the stock price goes up, recipients make money. Irvine-based Broadcom, like many other technology companies, backdated the grant dates to take advantage of dates when the stock price was low, so that the options were already "in the money" when they were awarded.

During the tech boom, Samueli and Broadcom co-founder Henry T. Nicholas III awarded millions of stock options to attract and reward employees. Samueli and Nicholas didn't receive backdated options themselves, but prosecutors alleged they granted them to others, including some other top executives, to avoid having to report $2.2 billion in compensation costs to shareholders.

Last month, the SEC filed a civil suit against Samueli and Nicholas, leading Samueli to step aside as chairman and chief technical officer of Broadcom, which makes chips used in a variety of products, including Apple iPhones and Nintendo Wii game consoles. The SEC is also seeking to bar Samueli from serving as an officer of a public company, though Broadcom said in a statement that the plea agreement, if approved at sentencing, would allow Samueli to remain as a technical advisor.

A federal grand jury indicted Nicholas this month on 25 counts of backdating stock options, distributing drugs to associates and spiking the drinks of Broadcom customers. He has pleaded not guilty and faces the possibility of lengthy prison time if convicted.

Samueli's plea agreement does not require him to cooperate with or testify for the government. Legal experts said it would be problematic for prosecutors to call a witness who had admitted to lying to the SEC. Even so, U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney suggested Samueli might wind up on the stand -- for the defense.

"I don't think I have to be a rocket scientist to think Dr. Nicholas is going to call him," Carney said.

Samueli's attorney, Gordon Greenberg of Los Angeles, said he was aware that might occur. He acknowledged that if Nicholas called Samueli to the stand, Carney might rule that Samueli had waived any right not to testify on grounds he might incriminate himself.

Samueli's guilty plea Monday did not have any immediate bearing on his ownership of the Ducks, the team he purchased in 2005, or Anaheim Arena Management, which operates Honda Center.

"The Ducks and Anaheim Arena Management will not be commenting on this matter, except to say that today's events will not affect Henry Samueli's role with the team or arena," Ducks CEO Michael Schulman said.

According to NHL bylaws, the league can assume control of a club whose owner is convicted of a crime. It has happened as recently as 2002 when John Rigas, facing fraud charges involving his family's firm, Adelphia Corp., was forced to relinquish his ownership of the Buffalo Sabres.

AEG Chief Executive Tim Leiweke, whose company owns the NHL's Los Angeles Kings, voiced support for Samueli.

"Although this is a difficult time for Henry and his family, I believe he will come through this and continue to be a great partner and an important part of the sports and entertainment scene in Southern California," Leiweke said.

At Broadcom, Samueli's quiet personal manner contrasted sharply with that of his partner. Samueli had a reputation as a straight-arrow family man, and as an encouraging father figure to his engineers. Nicholas was known as a brash, hard-driving deal maker who did not shy from browbeating his staff to get results.

Samueli's parents, Sala and Aron, were Polish immigrants who survived Nazi Europe and arrived in the United States with almost nothing.

In 1991, Samueli co-founded Broadcom with Nicholas, his former engineering student at UCLA. They each threw in $5,000 and worked out of Nicholas' Redondo Beach home, moving to Irvine four years later and taking the firm public three years after that.

Samueli has cut a singular figure in the world of Orange County philanthropy. His name adorns the engineering school at UC Irvine (as well as the one at UCLA) and a 500-seat performing arts theater in the county's arts district. His gifts, which now exceed $200 million, have placed him at the vanguard of a growing generation of tech-wealth donors in a county once ruled by real estate fortunes.

Samueli's donation launched the Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library at Chapman University, which was dedicated in 2005. Speaking at the dedication, Samueli said that he got his best qualities from his parents.

"There was not a dry eye in the room," said Mike Lefkowitz, a longtime friend of Samueli and Samueli's wife, Susan, and former head of their charity foundation. "His parents, as my parents, were Holocaust survivors. When you come through something like that you want to be generous, you want to give back, you want to be thankful for having survived."

James Doti, Chapman University's president, recently recalled Samueli's remarks at the library's dedication.

"After we acknowledged him and Susan for the gift, he pointed to me in his remarks and said, 'I know your mother passed away. For you to be here means a great deal to me.' He personalized it. He knew what I was feeling at the time," Doti said.

Allen Krause, rabbi of Temple Beth El in Aliso Viejo, which Samueli occasionally attends, said Samueli and his wife had "lifted the level of philanthropy in this county geometrically."

"In the Jewish community, they created a golden age of philanthropy here, because they pushed the bar higher than it had ever been before," he said.

Columbia University's Coffee noted that it was common for white-collar defendants to be charged not for what they originally did but for their actions afterward. That happened with Samueli.

"Most of these high-powered people who rise to that level of stature have perfected their ability to talk their way out of problems," Coffee said. "That's a fatal mistake when you're dealing with the government. You've got to shut up."

Menachem Lubinsky said...

Someone who criticizes Rubashkin is like a Nazi who attacked Jews on Kristallnacht.

Passover Lerner, 2nd Fiddle to Steve Mostofsky said...

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2008/06/rubashkin-pr-me.html

Rubashkin PR Meeting Canceled
Conference Call To Only 20 Selected "Leaders" Instead.

5W PR:

"Too Many People RSVP'd," "More Of A Circus" Than A Meeting.

Young Israel head Rabbi Pesach Lerner defends Rubashkin, attacks Modern Orthodox boycotters:

http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c36_a12529/News/New_York.html

Damage-Control Mode For Embattled Kosher Meat Giant

‘Informational’ meeting planned for Midtown abruptly changed to conference call.

by Debra Nussbaum Cohen
Staff Writer

Fearing an onslaught of protestors, kosher meat giant Agriprocessors hastily changed a meeting planned for Tuesday afternoon in Midtown into a conference call.

Agriprocessors’ attorney, Nathan Lewin, and the company’s newly hired compliance officer, former U.S. attorney Jim Martin, spoke to about 20 listeners who had been invited to participate.

They included “distributors and community leaders,” said Juda Engelmayer, senior vice president of the public relations firm 5WPR, which was recently hired by the embattled kosher meat giant.

“Having a meeting in a public forum where too many people RSVP’d, it seemed like it was going to become more of a circus than an informational meeting,” said Engelmayer.


During the 45-minute telephone briefing Tuesday, Martin told his listeners that “ ‘he has zero tolerance for any wrongdoing and that anything it takes to bring [Agriprocessors] up to where they’re supposed to be he’s going to do,” Engelmayer recalled.

He did not cite any specifics about what needs correction at the plant, which is struggling to replenish its workforce after a raid by federal immigration authorities on May 12 removed about half of its production line staff.

Lewin, who did not return phone messages, said during the conference call that “it’s important to correct what’s wrong, but also to separate rumor, gossip and just smearing,” according to the Engelmayer.

Rabbi Pesach Lerner, executive vice president of the National Council of Young Israel, a network of 225 Orthodox synagogues, participated in the conference call. He told The Jewish Week, in a phone interview, “We have a right to demand answers of the Rubashkins [owners of Agriprocessors] but not to convict them before anything happens.”

Immigration authorities at the Postville, Iowa, plant, arrested nearly 400 workers. Most have been sentenced to five-month prison sentences followed by immediate deportation.

The company itself, which is owned by Brooklyn-based Lubavitcher Aaron Rubashkin, has not been charged by the federal government with breaking any laws.

The affidavit for a search warrant filed by federal immigration authorities, however, listed allegations against management, including knowingly hiring underage workers and illegal immigrants and paying them less than the mandated minimum wage, among other things.

The company has also been under scrutiny for the past four years by state and federal workplace-safety monitoring agencies, and the animal-rights group PETA.

In response to the current and past charges relating to workplace conditions, two groups — one aligned with the Conservative movement, the other initiated by Modern Orthodox Jews — are organizing boycotts of Rubashkin products.

The efforts seem to be making some impact.

The B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, which will have some 900 Jewish teens at its three overnight camps this summer, says that it is boycotting the company’s meat.

“A lot of Hillels and restaurants around the country are changing their meat,” said Shmuly Yanklowitz, founder and co-director of Uri L’Tzedek: Awaken to Justice, which, he says, has collected more than 1,500 signatures of people and groups which are now boycotting Agriprocessors products.

Rabbi Lerner of the National Council of Young Israel dismissed the number of petition-signers. “Fifteen hundred signers doesn’t impress me a bit,” he said. “Give me an hour and I’ll get a petition for anything on the Web and get you 5,000 signatures.”

He described Uri L’Tzedek’s organizers as being “young kids who need something to put them on the map” who are taking advantage of Agriprocessor’s current problems.

He said that “we’re a bunch of idiots” to be Jews boycotting other Jews. “We’re going crazy, and I don’t think they [Agriprocessors] deserve it,” he said. “I’ve been eating their meat in places where no other company gets to, and for that the Jewish community owes them a debt of gratitude and at least the benefit of the doubt.”

Still, the boycott seems to be making an impression on Agriprocessors. Representatives of Uri L’Tzedek met with people connected to Agriprocessors on May 11.

“They were very focused on trying to intimidate and prove wrong our positions,” said Yanklowitz. “At the same time they were admitting to a bunch of allegations, saying ‘of course we had children working there but some of them looked over age,’ and that ‘if there was abuse there it probably wasn’t one of the rabbis,’ ” he continued.

His organization asked Agriprocessors to agree, in writing, to pay above minimum wage and to have a workplace sexual misconduct policy. The company has not yet gotten those documents to Uri L’Tzedek.

“They sat down and agreed to the commitments, even if they haven’t fulfilled them yet. We will keep pressure high and increase consumer awareness and refraining from their products while at the same time trying to partner with them from the inside,” he said.

Requests to interview AgriProcessors management were passed along, said Engelmayer, but no one was made available. The company’s former public relations consultant, Menachem Lubinsky, did not return phone messages. AgriProcessors took on the New York-based firm 5W, which also represents evangelical televangelist Benny Hinn, controversial Pastor John Hagee, the Trinity Broadcasting Network, the Zionist Organization of America and Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, among others, after the bad publicity following the immigration raid.…

And, it seems, Agriprocessors has not been able to restore its production to pre-raid levels.…

Gotta love 5W.

If this PR "powerhouse" along with a slew of Rubashkin rabbis, consultants and attorneys can't handle a meeting that should tell you two things:

Rubashkin has a very weak case.
Rubashkin and company don't have the ability to compete in an open marketplace of ideas.
Put another way, lies only work in closed environments. Openness is an ally of truth.

Of course, Rabbi Pesach Lerner and Young Israel know that first hand:

Young Israel Scandal: 1, 2.

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

Everybody knows 5W is a fraud! For honest and world-wide PR - the way to go is 5E!

Joe Putz said...

So what's happening with Steve Mostofsky, Marty Samson, and all the abuse cover ups?

Anonymous said...

Would that be "5E" or Feiv-E?

Quack Quack Menachem Genack said...

"The billionaire owner of the Anaheim Ducks is to be placed on probation for five years and pay $12.2 million in fines and penalties."

Poor Shmueli, but are hearts are with him as the Ducks are the OU's favorite sports franchise.

Young Israel VP Pesach Lerner said...

UOJ is just taking advantage of Rubashkin to put himself on the map.

Passover is not a quick Lerner said...

Does the Young Israel dinner use Rubashkin meat just like the Agudah Fresser Convention?

Is Lerner afraid of losing his discount?

When Moish Finkel offered Shaar Hatorah chickens at half price, R' Zelig Epstein shlita turned it down because he smelled a rat.

Young Israel attorney Marty Samson said...

UOJ published my name again? I thought he learned his lesson last time when I had Google's Blogger division almost shut him down?

Arthur said...

Storm: They hurt Rabbi Nachman

Haredi world in turmoil over pamphlet published by Rabbi Yermiah Cohen of Safed, in which he accuses idolized Rabbi Nachman of Breslav of insanity, attacks his followers, calling them 'sinners and those who cause the masses to sin.' Counter attack follows swiftly

Neta Sela
Published: 06.16.06, 17:02 / Israel Jewish Scene

Over the years, numerous controversies and heated arguments have rocked the hassidic world. In time, the assorted haredi sects learned to get along with each other, more or less. Apparently, however, old resentments die hard, as evidenced by the latest scandal involving Breslav hassidism.


The first shot was fired by Rabbi Yermiah Cohen, head of the Or HaYakar Yeshiva in Safed, with the publication of a pamphlet attacking Rabbi Nachman of Breslav, who passed away 196 years ago, at age 38. The reaction was immediate. By last night, the walls of haredi neighborhoods were plastered with blistering condemnations of Rabbi Cohen, signed by the heads of the Breslav community in Safed, as well as other leading rabbis.


“How can we stand still when God’s angels are insulted and His words are scorned and His prophets are defamed with words of vanity, lies and slander,” read one such notice.


Signs against the rabbi (Photo: Gil Yochanan)


Another sign was even harsher. “Evil has descended from the north. Soul-searing blasphemy, profanity and pollution against God and His messenger emanated from a man of evil deeds known as Yermiah Cohen of the city of Safed. Let the lips that dared to haughtily and scornfully utter lies against the world’s righteous ones be silenced.”


'Sinners who cause the masses to sin'


Even in the early days, Breslav chassidism was controversial and susceptible to attacks from major hassidic personalities. In his pamphlet, Rabbi Cohen repeats the old accusations.


He notes that in the past, “Breslav chassidim were insignificant. They barely managed to bequeath their master’s teachings to their own children and were saddled with excommunications and ostracisms. It was said about them that ‘it is a good deed to repulse, hunt and confound them’. Also, their books were burned and trampled.”


Rabbi Cohen even quotes from one excommunication attempt, attributed to the Savraner Rebbe, in which Breslav chassidim are referred to as “sinners and those who cause the masses to sin”.


In the pamphlet, Rabbi Cohen scorns the newly religious who embrace Breslav and describes how “even before each newly religious individual opens his eyes, he discovers that his hands are full of multicolored booklets”.


Hassidim in Uman (Photo: AP)



He criticizes the chassidic custom of traveling to Uman for Rosh Hashanah and claims that they “waste a lot of money… for naught”.


In addition, he accuses Rabbi Nachman of Breslav of insanity and quotes incessantly from Rabbi Nachman’s writings as proof. Rabbi Cohen cynically writes that should one “choose to defend (Rabbi Nachman), what can be said? That (Rabbi Nachman) was righteous but somewhat arrogant? One can only say: He did not err intentionally. Rather, mental sickness caused him to hallucinate.”


With respect to the behavior of Rabbi Nachman’s followers, Rabbi Cohen remarks, “an outsider can see how ludicrous it all is”.


'Once it starts, it becomes more extreme'


According to one rabbi of the Or HaYakar Yeshiva, when Rabbi Cohen realized that Breslav hassidism was growing and gaining momentum, he decided to confront the phenomenon. This rabbi claims that Rabbi Cohen’s discourses “were not meant for general consumption. It was in the framework of an internal course in the Yeshiva. Also, it was only addressed to certain specific students and not everyone.”


The Or HaYakar rabbi explained to Ynet the reasoning behind the attack on Rabbi Nachman.


“There is the paved road which is clear: Torah study and other paths that have been accepted for years. But all of the sudden, this type of awakening? Seclusion, less learning, and once it starts, it becomes more extreme. The student no longer carries standard religious texts but only one of Rabbi Nachman’s works. This is not the paved road that the head of the Yeshiva and his teachers received. Each person does what they want in their own homes, but either you are here and continue in the path or you are not here.”


War on the walls (Photo: Gil Yochanan)



The rabbi is well aware that Breslav is the most widespread chassidic sect in Safed.


“There are many of them. Some are crazy or insane,” he avowed. When asked if Rabbi Cohen is now concerned about walking around the city, the Or HaYakar rabbi replied negatively. “Although there were students who thought about guarding or remaining on alert, as far as he himself is concerned, he walks around freely.”


Reaction: This is incitement to murder


When told of the "repulse, hunt and confound them" comment, several young Breslav Jerusalemites responded with some strident words of their own: “This is incitement to murder.”


One even mentioned that he was considering filing a police complaint against Rabbi Cohen. The young chassidim defiantly quoted Rabbi Natan, Rabbi Nachman’s chief disciple who said that “mitnagdim (lit., those who oppose) should know that they also possess windows.”


Nachum Karlinski is another Breslav adherent. He had not read the pamphlet, “because it simply hurts my eyes and I can’t read it”. Nevertheless, he claimed, “what (Rabbi Cohen) is trying to do is to represent Rabbi Nachman in the most disgraceful, most negative and worst light possible.”


“In hassidism, when one hurts a chassidic master,” he added, “it is the most horrible thing that can be done. Throughout the entire history of hassidism, no one ever arose and spoke out against Rabbi Nachman of Breslav.”


Yet another Breslav chassid is clearly upset by Rabbi Cohen’s onslaught. “That man is starting to rummage through dumpsters and attacking Breslav hassidim and (even) aiming at Rabbi Nachman. Nowhere is it acceptable to begin casting aspersions on someone who is still revered after 200 years.”


Breslav hassidim charge that Rabbi Cohen also attacked the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of hassidism. At the Or HaYakar Yeshiva, they concede that there may be some truth to the claims.


“By doing this, he has decided to open a Pandora’s Box about the whole dispute between the hassidim and their opponents, the mitnagdim,” one chassid said. “It just shows how determined a man is. Once his honor has been insulted, because some students left him, he lashes out at everyone.”

Arthur said...

Shtreimel vs. Shtreimel

Opposing camps in Hasidic Viznits community in Bnei Brak find new fighting method – stealing expensive fur hats, then bartering them

Buki Naeh
Published: 06.30.08, 11:08 / Israel Jewish Scene

West-Side Story, Hasidic-style: The conflict among the two opposing camps in the Viznits Hasidic community in Bnei Brak doesn’t include stealing money or ideological arguments; instead, the Hasidic way of quarreling entails “swiping” shtreimels and bartering their return.



The shtreimel is a fur hat worn by many married haredi Jewish men belonging to the one of the various Hasidic sects on Saturdays and holidays. The hat is usually made out of a young fox’s fur, and a single hat requires 30 of them. A Hasidic man buys one or two expensive shterimels throughout his life for a price range of $2,000 to $4,000.


The shtreimel is worn without fastening, a significant factor in the latest street fights in the Viznits neighborhood. Those looking to humiliate a Hasid snatch his shterimel, forcing him to return home with a lowered head sporting on his yarmulke.



In recent weeks, the brawls between the camps have intensified, with both sides snatching each other’s shtreimels. During the peacemaking, each camp returns the other’s goods stolen in the last strife.



The barters, one of which took place two weeks ago, also include returning torn shterimels that were intentionally spoiled and torn in the heat of battle in exchange for ones in mint condition.


In each fight, the Viznits Hassids try to snatch as many shterimels off their opponents’ heads, so as to have as many bargaining chips as possible ahead of the next barter.



An entire book can be written about the background leading to these street fights in the Viznits community. When Hasidic leader Rabbi Yehoshua Moshe Hagar fell ill, a world war was ignited between his sons – the elder Yisrael and the younger Menachem Mendel – on who will succeed him.



Mendel vs. Yisrael
Viznits Hasidism is divided between the “Yisraelists” following Rabbi Yisrael and “Mendelists” supporting Rabbi Menachem Mendel. The walls in Kiryat Viznits are filled with defamatory posters. Rabbi Yisrael controls the synagogue and the community institutions while Rabbi Mendel reigns over the neighborhood.


Until about six weeks ago, the status quo between the two camps had the Mendelists come to pray at the central synagogue of “Torat Chaim” only on Fridays. They would stand on their seats during the tish (a Hasidic gathering of Hasidim around their Rabbi) held by the ailing Rabbi.


But then the visiting Mendelists’ seats were broken down, and the Yisraelists prevented their entrance to the synagogue. In response, the Menedlists tried to stand on the Yisraelists’ seats, waging war once again.


The recent street fights – mainly during weekends – included more than 100 participants hitting each other and trying to grab the shterimels. One brawl follows another, sending dozens of people to hospital.


The police claim they are doing their best to calm the atmosphere, but they are ill at hand, as each camp complains the police is siding with its opponent. Legal counseling has recently been applied to the case, when Attorney Moshe Meroz was approached by some Mendelists. Meroz immediately sent a letter to the Tel Aviv Police, asking them to handle the pogroms issued by the Yisarelists against the Mendalists.


In his urgent letter, Meroz claims that the Mendelists’ complaints about the pogroms are not being handled by the police. He further says that hundreds of Yisraelists attacked Rabbi Mendel and his followers, beating them mercilessly – completely overlooked by the police.



Meroz ends his letter by saying that some 20 shterimels have yet to be returned to the Mendelists, and that real danger is at hand due to the police’s continued disregard of the matter.



The police responded by saying they were well aware of the strife and is handling the case without siding with either camp. The police also claim they have arrested Hasidim from both camps after the last fight.

Miami Kashrus said...

Someone wrote:

"KM kosher miami or kosher maybe is not a reliable hasgocho
they are being sued and people are talking about perhpas using only ORB or NK"

ORB is not as upgeheet as it used to be.

NK is a joke, especially for Pesach hotels.

Shmarya said...

Can Rubashkin's New "Compliance Officer" Be Trusted?

The short answer, I think, is no – he can't be trusted, even though Rubashkin's new "Compliance Officer," Jim Martin is a former federal prosecutor with a sterling reputation.

But that reputation has now come into contact with Rubashkin and his PR machine and his rabbis, and Jim Martin is starting to look less sterling by the second.

Here is Rubashkin PR flack Menachem Lubinsky's press release on Tuesday's meeting-turned-conference call staged by Rubashkin to dispel the "lies," "slander," and media conspiracy aligned against him, as posted on Yeshiva World:

Jewish Community Leaders Briefed on Progress at Agriprocessing
June 25, 2008

An impressive group of Jewish community leaders participated in a 45 minute phone conference briefing last night on developments at Agriprocessors following the federal raid on its Postville plant on May 12th. Menachem Lubinsky, President of LUBICOM Marketing Consulting, whose firm represents Agriprocessors, reported that the plant’s production was approaching pre-raid levels and that shortages have eased significantly. He detailed the ongoing onslaught in the secular Jewish media by Conservatives, Reform and other liberal Jewish groups. “The daily barrage of stories, including faulting Agriprocessors for giving homeless people an opportunity to work were unprecedented,” he said. “In 35 years of practice, I have never seen such a methodical systematic lynch mob in certain Jewish media,” he added.

Jim Martin, a former US Attorney and the new compliant officer at Agriprocessors reported on the many dramatic improvements that were being made in compliance with government regulations. He stressed that he would have “zero tolerance” for anything less than full compliance. He detailed the reputable firms that were hired to retain workers, his hiring of a former OSHA official to deal with plant safety issues, and announced the launch of a new anonymous hotline for workers. Martin said that he would go beyond “fixing any violations” but was absolutely determined to make the plant a showcase of compliance and safety.

Prominent Washington attorney Nathan Lewin briefly discussed some of the legal implications of the raid and also criticized the secular Jewish media for incitement. He urged the Orthodox Jewish community to voice its strong opposition to the disinformation being spread by many secular groups. Many of the participants joined in this call to action. Aaron Goldsmith, a resident of Postville, described the witch-hunt by journalists in his town.

(Lubicom Press Release)

First of all, how "reputable" are those firms Agriprocessors hired to get it workers? According to the Iowa Independent, not very:

…Ryan Regenold, a spokesman for Des Moines-based Jacobson Companies, said his staffing company was relying on two Texas agencies, one in Amarillo and another in McAllen, for recruiting in that state.

"I represent Jacobson Staffing, and we were brought here on June 2 to basically bring in an entire new community -- at least that's how it seems," Regenold said. "There are two outside-sourced agencies that Agri is using that were bringing the people from Texas. As I'm sure most have already heard, they are coming in from Amarillo and McAllen. To shore up that, we are screening those people a little bit better, we will be starting to have them drug screened and background checked prior to their coming to Postville. The wave of people that you might have seen in the past, those causing the police chief to do a little bit of extra paperwork on his weekends, hopefully will begin to stop."…
In other words, at first Jacobson did not screen these people and took almost anyone its two partner agencies could ship.

But it's worse than just that:

One of the firms being utilized by Jacobson is Bravo Labor Agency in McAllen, Texas. Although the company's Web site has been taken off-line, a May 30 cached version of the page indicates that the firm began in 1987. One of the specialties highlighted by the firm is its ability to "lower overhead, with inexpensive labor from South Texas and Mexico." The site also indicates that "all workers" will be drug tested and interviewed, "if needed."
Are those workers from Mexico legal? Not likely.



The website says, "Workers will be legal or able to work in the United States." "Or able"? I think it's more than reasonable to read that as "Workers will be legal or will have fake documentation that will allow them to pass as legal," especially since this statement follows another whopper: "All workers are drug tested and interviewed, if needed".

And were Agriprocessors' homeless hires drug tested? Nope.

Regnold goes on to say his agency pays for the return trips of homeless who are not hired. But these homeless were promised return tickets from the get go, to use if they were not hired or did not like their jobs or living in Postville. But that and much more were lies:

In an interview on KPVL radio, Diana Morris said that she was one of about 15 people who were recruited from an Amarillo shelter. Morris said she was promised $10 per hour at Agriprocessors, 30 days of free housing and a $100 starting bonus. According to Morris, her employment at Agriprocessors came to an end on her third day when, at a doctor's urging, she phoned in sick. She claims that the housing was a four-bedroom facility without electricity or hot water that she was expected to share with 10 male roommates.

Morris told Iowa Independent on Monday afternoon that she had received her paycheck for the work she provided to Agriprocessors and that she was working with other organizations within the community to raise money for a bus ticket back to Texas.

"I was told that I have a place to stay for one more night -- that I'll be evicted tomorrow," she said. "I really hope that everything comes together and that I'll be able to get on a bus tomorrow and go back to Texas. This was a mistake. I believed a bunch of lies."

On Tuesday afternoon, Morris had collected enough money through donations for her return trip home.

The "bad apples" aren't the first to come to Postville for work at Agriprocessors only to seek exit shortly after their arrival. Labor Ready, a Waterloo staffing firm, cited health and safety concerns as the reason it pulled roughly 150 workers out of the Agriprocessors plant 10 days after they started employment there. Another group of workers from the company's Nebraska plant opted to return west, claiming the working conditions in Postville to be far inferior to their original location.…
But what Jim Martin's "reputable" companies and Agriprocessors did is worse than stranding and maltreating workers – they also left them hungry and begging for food:

Paul Rael, director of the Hispanic Ministry at St. Bridget's Catholic Church, said the church's resources for outreach have been severely taxed by all the newcomers.

"[St. Bridget's] operates a food pantry here in town and we've been wiped out on every occasion that we've been open," Rael said. "We have been serving well over 100 people each time that we feel we have zero responsibility for. ... I would plead that these people be given a better advance so that they can better take care of their needs."

Regenold said that Jacobson [Staffing, the company that recruited Rubashkin's homeless workers] does not provide any payroll advances to employees.

"You come here with an opportunity to work -- that's your opportunity to make money," he said. "I'm not going to make any promises or guarantees of money on advancements. Any arrangement that has ever been made with money has been put together directly with Agriprocessors."

[Getzel] Rubashkin, who was in the room and listened to Regenold's explanation of Jacobson policy, did not offer further comment in relation to employee pay advances.…
In other words, Jim Martin lent his credibility to people who accuse the media of "incitement," running a "witch hunt," and a "methodical systematic lynch mob," and non-Orthodox Jews of mounting an "onslaught" against Agriprocessors. And he also lent his credibility to companies that took homeless people from Texas to Postville and left them without money to buy food – and the company Jim Martin now works for, Agriprocessors, didn't feed them.

Jim Martin also lent his credibility to people who claim Agriprocessors production is close to pre-raid levels when that is clearly and unambiguously false.

Sharing the stage with others in Rubashkin's employ (even of that stage is a phone line) means Martin is endorsing their claims – unless he distanced himself from them. But he did not. According to reports, there was no objection from Martin to the language and tone of Lubinsky and Lewin or to the lies they presented as fact.

When you add to that the true nature of the call – the scheduled meeting was canceled because these great defenders of Rubashkin were not confident enough to appear before a crowd they did not wholly control, and the original number of invited attendees, thought to be over 100, was cut down to 20 closely selected friends of Agriprocessors for the conference call – you have a package that calls Martin's honesty and integrity into question.

Martin is another paid consultant, just like Lubinsky, just like Lewin, just like Rubashkin's rabbis and just like 5W Public Relations.

Unless Martin's work is completely transparent and verified by an independent third party, there is no reason to trust him.

If Martin had stayed behind the scenes and not lent his name and participation to Rubashkin public relations, a case could be made to trust the man.

Instead, he jumped into the mud and slopped around with Lubinsky and Lewin.

Jim Martin will never be clean until he walks away from those lies – and away from those who paid for them.

JK DIamond said...

As to corruption in the OU, I want to pass on observations sent to me from Rabbi Yoel Weisshaus, a former employee of the OU.

Also, I have received confidential information from very reliable souces, that Rabbi Seth Mandel, present head of OU Kashrut, years ago, pressed the OU to pull its certification from Rubashkin for abuses that PETA later verified, but backed down after being threatened with termination.

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

Rabbi Yoel Weisshaus on the OU

I do want to share with you some insights how the OU works from my
personal knowledge working with and working for the OU.

The OU is a very professional business that is being operated on a multi-million dollar level. The OU has set their business team in many different ways:

1) Marketing
2) Share holders (stocks etc.)
3) Money operations
4) Their approach to people with different interests

Let’s go now through those guidelines:

Marketing: Marketing is a very important topic in the OU

A: They are very much on the outlook to make sure people respect them and have a fear of their words.

B: If you go on the OU web site, you can see even with blind eyes what I'm talking about (www.OUkosher.org) On the OU web site, you will see a whole different approach than any other kosher website on earth. The OU talks non-stop what a great thing it is for a company to carry their label on their product. "But they talk about great having of the OU label non-stop." They talk very little about actual kosher.

C: The OU has a whole bunch of rabbis that work for them just to
keep the highest word on the street. For example, Rabbi Belsky of Flatbush (a very popular rabbi and a Rosh yeshiva), has nothing to do with any thing the OU is doing in general, but whenever the OU is in big trouble, Rabbi Belsky is the one standing up to talk in public, (“that the problem is not a issue”) and he will just repeat the exact words of whatever the office told him to say

Share holders: As you hear me clearly very well, the OU is very big (under ground) in the stock market of Wall Street - the OU invests in stocks of small and big companies and gets enough of a big share to have a say in the company and asks it to put their label on the companies’ products and still charges them a certification fee etc. Now do the calculation; the OU makes a fortune of money just by investing the stocks - now the OU is making a additional 10,000+ for the certification - now the stock of company is going up because they just gained more customers because of the kosher label and now there is more money in here (the OU has been saying that some beer company had a 30% increase in sales with their label)

Money operations:

Beside the money the OU is collecting business-wise, they fund raise millions of dollars for all sorts of work, including kosher work.

Their approach to people with different interests:

This is a very important part to understand how the OU talks and acts to people with any sort of different interest against them - the OU will act into that persons face on any concern like that rabbi or individual does not know what they are talking about and will ask them wired questions that will hurt that person’s feelings. For example, if PETA would approach the OU with any concern, even a minor one, the OU will act towards PETA like they would be the worst people on the planet (even we all know better then that) Check that web site: http://amashgiachspeaksout.com/index.htm and you will understand the real picture of the OU

Therefore, I would like you to understand that OU is not interested in any public opinion. They have multi-million dollars to operate and they won’t give it up. My strong opinion is, again, to attack the OU with their assets and demand from all sorts of companies to simply leave the OU for good in a counter protest (like SEVENTH GENERATION
- friendly environmental - carries an OU)

Carol said...

Nathan Lewin criticized the secular Jewish media reporting on Rubashkin and called for opposition from Orthodox Jewish groups?

I thought he was a constitutional lawyer.

Hasn't he heard of freedom of the press?

Me-Shigellosis said...

http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080625/NEWS03/806250370

More cases of shigellosis infection reported in Monsey, New Square

BY JANE LERNER
THE JOURNAL NEWS • JUNE 25, 2008

MONSEY - When schools that serve young children in the Jewish community closed for the Passover break in April, Rockland County health officials thought an outbreak of a highly contagious bacterial disease would end.

To their surprise, the number of shigellosis cases among children in Monsey continued to rise. The disease is now being reported in New Square, as well as in New York City and in the town of Monroe in Orange County.

As of yesterday, 130 cases of shigellosis have been reported to county health officials, said Dr. Joan Facelle, Rockland's health commissioner.

"Unfortunately, the cycle of transmission has not been broken and we are still seeing more cases," she said.

Only one case of the infectious disease was reported during the first six months of last year, records show. The infection causes diarrhea, often bloody; abdominal cramps; and fever.

All of the current cases occurred in youngsters who attend private Jewish schools in Monsey and New Square. No cases have been reported outside of those communities.

The bacterial disease first was seen among a few children in January, with a majority of the infections occurring in early April.

The bacteria that cause the disease are present in the diarrhea of those infected while they are sick and for as long as two weeks afterward. Most shigella infections are a result of the bacteria passing from stool or soiled fingers of one person to the mouth of another person.

Lack of hand-washing and a failure in basic hygiene -particularly among toddlers who are not fully toilet-trained -cause the disease to spread.

Health officials had hoped that when schools closed for nearly two weeks in late April, no more children would be infected.

The case numbers did go down a little in late April and early May, Facelle said, but the numbers began to rise once children returned to school.

Eighty new cases have been reported since.

Outreach workers with the Health Department have been meeting with community leaders, including rabbis in Monsey and New Square, and visiting schools where cases have been reported.

"Now that the school year is ending, we will make an effort in the summer camps as well," Facelle said.

"We continue to stress the importance of hand-washing," she said, as key to preventing outbreaks.

No deaths have been reported as a result of the infection, Facelle said.

Children younger than 2 who get the infection sometimes develop seizures, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 14,000 cases of shigellosis are reported to health officials nationwide yearly, according to CDC figures.

Shigellosis is more common in summer than winter, according to the agency. Children, especially toddlers ages 2 to 4, are the most likely to get shigellosis. Many cases are related to the illness spreading in child-care settings, and many are a result of the illness spreading in families with small children, according to the CDC.

Rubashkin was into cutting benefits before the corporate trend said...

http://www.startribune.com/local/22226519.html?page=1&c=y

New replacement worker Josephina Ortiz, near tears, telling strangers that she came from California based on promises by Agriprocessors of free rent, food and a good job. Instead, she claims, she found a filthy, expensive apartment and mandatory 14-hour days.

"Please God, somebody help us," said Ortiz, who is in the United States legally. "There's something bad in this town. I don't know how this can happen in the United States of America."…

Then there are Agriprocessors' new hires, whites and African-Americans, who arrived on the bus. They said they'd been promised a $100 advance, but few of them got it. So their first stop was the [Catholic Church's] food shelf.

Diane Morris, who was living in a Texas homeless shelter, said the company promised a free furnished apartment for a month. Instead, she was put in a four-bedroom house with 10 men, she said. "Everywhere I've been I've been sexually approached," she said.

She claims she was fired after two days when she went to the company clinic for medications for a mental illness.…

One recent morning, [Father Paul] Ouderkirk slipped on his St. Paul medal "for protection" and drove to the plant to get money he said is still owed to arrested workers. He waited for 40 minutes, then left, empty-handed and exasperated. [The workers' families need the money to eat and pay rent.]

"Workers openly say they were advised by the plant on how to get false documents," he said. "Now if the government does not take action on that and charge the owners, then this was strictly a raid to threaten and terrorize people."

The situation at Agriprocessors reveals "a lack of respect of human dignity of people other than you," Ouderkirk said.…

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2008/06/new-allegations.html

I checked into Diane Morris' situation. Late last week I was told she was returning to Texas. She did not get the promised return bus ticket from Agriprocessors – the company Jim Martin works for. She got her ticket when the Catholic Church raised the money and purchased it. That is also how she got food, housing and medical care. The Rubashkins and their compliance officer did nothing to help.
Something is very bad in Postville, and all the multi-million dollar PR firms and former US Attorneys now on the Rubashkin PR payroll cannot change that fact.

Shmarya said...

New Allegations Of Rubashkin Worker Abuse, Part 2

Earlier I wrote that Jim Martin, Agriprocessors new "compliance officer," was not doing a good job. Martin was hired with much fanfare 23 days ago. So far, his major accomplishment…

…seems to be a bilingual workers hotline where workers can, supposedly, anonymously report abuse.

Of course, the problem with that is twofold: First, employees must first trust Martin, who they see as an employee of Agriprocessors, just like the supervisors who abuse them. Second, Martin just announced the hotline Friday, three weeks to the day after he was hired.

Hardly scintillating progress.

Meanwhile, the WFC Courier has a devastating account of Agriprocessors continued abuse of workers:

http://www.wcfcourier.com/articles/2008/06/29/news/regional/10426772.txt

workers:

Safety fears persist in Postville
Workers say little has changed at Agriprocessors meat-packing plant
Sunday, June 29, 2008 9:06 AM CDT
BY JENS MANUEL KROGSTAD, COURIER STAFF WRITER

POSTVILLE --- Despite last month's immigration raid and a federal investigation, workers say Agriprocessors has done little to improve the safety and welfare of its workers.

More than a dozen current and former workers last week reported poor working conditions, low pay and high turnover at the nation's largest kosher meat-processing plant.

Agriprocessors spokesman Chaim Abrahams said the company took steps last week to ensure it complies with all state and federal laws. On Thursday and Friday, he said, a workplace safety compliance expert toured the facility to review its practices.

Many of the complaints workers voiced last week are not new. Over the years, Agriprocessors has left a long trail of workplace safety violations documented by state and federal authorities.

The company was cited in April during testimony before a Senate committee as one of three packing plants in the country with a history of safety problems.

Concerns persisted after the raid on May 12. Labor Ready, a Waterloo company, pulled approximately 150 workers from the plant in late May because of safety concerns.

Jim Martin, a former U.S. attorney hired earlier this month as the company's chief compliance officer, said he spent significant time last week with plant supervisors addressing "workplace health and safety issues."

On Friday he said he notified employees of a toll-free, bilingual tip line they can call to report any concerns anonymously.

"I am very comfortable we're making great progress on safety issues," Martin said.

The actions came too late to convince Derrick Howard to stay on the job. Standing last week amidst "Now Hiring" signs on the plant's lawn, Howard, 32, waited to begin the 50-hour journey home to Amarillo, Texas.

A veteran of the industry, he said he expected the back-breaking labor. What he didn't anticipate, he said, was the company's disregard for his personal safety.

For nearly a month, Howard pushed frozen carcasses that each weighed several hundred pounds on a chain without a safety belt to protect his back.

"To me, they don't think about your physical (health); you can actually hurt yourself," he said. "I think they're more worried about production than their people."

A half-dozen current and former employees, all with previous meat-packing experience, said they have never worked at a plant that provides such inadequate training and then asks workers to perform duties for which they weren't trained.

After three weeks on the job, Rene Lopez sat near the plant's entrance waiting to join Howard on the trip home.

Lopez, 37, said supervisors yelled at workers who butchered the meat for not keeping up with the pace of the production line. He said the task proved impossible, with so few workers and so little training.

The plant operated two shifts before the raid, but workers say Agriprocessors struggles to adequately staff just one. Federal officials arrested 390 workers last month, nearly half the workforce, on illegal immigration and identity theft charges. Despite an intense recruitment effort, workers say turnover remains high.

Lopez, who speaks only Spanish, said new workers were never trained on how to properly cut meat, or even how to sharpen a knife.

"Without proper training, how can we keep up with production?" he said.

He made the long trip north, he said, because recruiters in Texas promised him $16 an hour based on previous experience. When he arrived, company officials told him the pay would start at $10 an hour.

Lopez said he grew concerned about his new job before he set foot in Agriprocessors. Upon his arrival, former workers warned him of the conditions inside the plant.

He said he plans to return to Texas for a similar job that pays $14 an hour, and, he hopes, better working conditions.

"They asked why I was leaving. I told them they don't pay well, and it was too hard work," he said.

Broken promises

Many complaints, workers say, center on sales pitches made by employment agencies in Texas. They said recruiters promised monthly rent around around $120, wages significantly higher than $10 an hour and other perks. Landlords in town say they never made such offers.

Advertisements posted online and in newspapers by the company offer to pay $10 an hour or more, based on experience.

Abrahams, the Agriprocessors spokesman, said the company is looking into the allegations.

"We have specifically sought out labor companies with reputations for honesty and integrity," he said.

The recruiter, Jacobson Staffing in Des Moines, has subcontracted with recruiting companies in Texas. Marty Howard, vice president of administration and general counsel for the company, declined to comment.

Those who can find better-paying jobs in Texas often decide to return home. Jose Quintanilla said he plans to stay, despite what he considers substandard working and living conditions. With no money, he said, he has no choice but to keep working.

"If I lose this job, how the hell am I going to get home?" he said.

Quintanilla hopes to make Postville home because the pay raise could mean a better life for his family. For years he worked temporary jobs for minimum wage in McAllen, Texas, a border city.

He hopes to bring his family to the town. But for now his wife and young child live with his mother-in-law in Texas.

Quintanilla said when he made the trip to Iowa, he was led to believe by a recruiter that he would pay $120 a month for a fully furnished home or apartment and receive enough cash in loans to cover expenses until his first paycheck, which arrived two weeks after his first day of work.

Instead, he and eight other workers pay more than $2,000 a month to rent a home --- $225 per person --- and share four rooms and a large walk-in closet.

While giving a tour of the house, at 269 Post St., he pointed out mold in the bathroom, broken window screens and a patio screen door with no lock. He noted they spent hours cleaning the home. When he first arrived, he said, garbage littered the front porch and rotten food was in the kitchen.

The landlord, Gabay Menahem, owner of Gal Investments, said the rent provides new workers a place to stay while they look for reliable roommates to join them on a long-term lease. The price includes all utilities and maintenance, and allows workers to pay a fixed rent even if a worker decides to suddenly leave town. After they find roommates, he said, they can sign a standard lease and move into a home or apartment with cheaper rates.

Menahem said he rents out homes in poor condition out of necessity. The raid left him with more than 100 vacant units, and he has not been able to fix up every home before someone moves in.

"People come begging me for a house, and I tell them it's not ready yet," he said. "But they're begging me for it. So what do I do? Do I let them sleep in the street?"

The men fill their refrigerator with basics. The cartons of eggs, tortillas, margarine, mayonnaise, onions, lettuce and bologna would barely fill one rack of a refrigerator.

To ensure they have enough money for food, many do not buy sheets, pillows or blankets, much less any furniture. Used to a warmer climate, Quintanilla and others say they shiver through the nights.

At work, Quintanilla works in a freezer, a job he has performed at other meat-packing plants. Unlike previous employers, he said, Agriprocessors provides him only thin cotton gloves, and no boots or a jumpsuit. So he wears a pair of boots he bought at Wal-Mart to at least keep his feet warm during his 12-hour shift.

"My feet are frozen, my hands are frozen," he said. "We don't have anything; no money, we're just working. We were just talking about how we feel like prisoners."
Gal Investments was busy evicting workers' families after the May ICE raid. Gaby Menahem's stated reason for those evictions? To make room for the new workers coming in. Like the Rubashkin family that owns Agriprocessors, Menahem is a Chabad hasiid.

To get an idea of how high Menahem's rents are, a room in a nice house in the Highland Park area of Saint Paul costs $300. That includes all utilities and often includes cable and high speed Internet. A four bedroom home rents for $1500 to $2000 per month, depending on location and amenities. A $300,000 home in Highland Park would sell for about $50,000 in Postville (perhaps even less).

What is Gaby Menahem?

Like the Rubashkin's who own Nevel Properties, Menahem is a slumlord.

Jim Martin vouched for the employment agencies Agriprocessors hired. Yet it is clear these agencies lied to prospective Agri employees, as did Agriprocessors.

Agriprocessors still does not properly train its workforce. It does not outfit its workers with proper safety equipment and protective clothing. In a brutal industry, Agriprocessors is a bully.

It is a form of modern slavery, run by Chabad hasidim. The hechsher on this slavey comes from the OU, Rabbi Weissmandal, United Mehadrin Kosher, Chabad, and anyone who purchases Rubashkin meat.

Jim Martin may have come into this with good intentions. But his name and reputation are being used to cover for some of the worst worker abuse in modern American history. And that is how history will remember Jim Martin.

As for Rubashkin's new PR agency, 5W Public Relations, it makes it money defending the indefensible. If 5W had existed 150 years ago, it would have taken as clients plantation owners and slave traffickers.

In the PR business, much like in today's OU, etc, rabbinate, it is money – not truth, not ethics and not morality – that matters.

Email from the Israel Father's Rights Advocacy Council said...

A front page story in Yediyot Aharonot reports that Falasha couples are being told by government Rabbanut rabbis days before their wedding (after the hall is paid for, the guests arriving) that there is a question of their Jewishness, but that the matter can be corrected without embarrassment to the families in front of all the guests for a mere NIS 5,000 ($1,500). The Rabbis then perform a "mock" wedding ceremony before the guests, who do not know anything is amiss, and the couple then attend an expedited (third) conversion class at the Rabbanut after the false ceremony and then are wed properly in private -- the family unaware. They have rabbis counting the cash in hand on hidden photos on the front page of the newspaper.

5W VP Juda Engelmayer said...

"If 5W had existed 150 years ago, it would have taken as clients plantation owners and slave traffickers."

Shut your mouth, boy, and keep pickin' that cotton!

http://news.aol.com/story/_a/reopening-black-farmers-suits-could-cost/n20080628120309990002

Reopening black farmers' suits could cost billions

By BEN EVANS,AP
Posted: 2008-06-28 12:03:08
WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawmakers budgeted just $100 million for damages when they reopened the government's discrimination settlement with black farmers. They probably should have handed over a blank check.

With more than 70,000 potential claimants, the liability could exceed $3 billion - three times what was paid out in the original 1999 agreement.

Kikar Shabbos said...

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3561923,00.html

Ultra-Orthodox community in Jerusalem enraged over sales of MP4 devices, considered 'devil's way of driving people to sin.'

Orthodox Righteous Court of Law issues formal ruling banning vendors from stocking devices; two stores selling them vandalized

Neta Sela

Technological advancements have always posed somewhat of a problem for the ultra-Orthodox community. The rabbis often choose to ban any public contact with any unfamiliar gadget, for fear their users might be exposed to inappropriate content; and so MP4 players, which allow users to watch films, have now become the newest threat to chastity.

The fight against the device reached a new level last week, when an MP4 supplier, whose store is located on the outskirts of Jerusalem's Meah Shearim neighborhood, found it vandalized – its window and showcases smashed.

A second store, located just off the capital's Shabbat Square, did not fare much better: It too was vandalized and its repair lab burnt down. Some say that was an event waiting to happen: For several weeks prior to the arson, a dozen-or-so yeshiva student used to demonstrate in front of the store every week and protest the sale of the banned devices.

The storeowners even found pashkevilim (informative ads or posters often plastered in the Jerusalem's religious neighborhoods) distributed against them: "A terrible plague is upon us, calming victims every day… these sinful devices were banned by all the great rabbis, but are still common in the haredi world… their devilish distributors want nothing more than to drive the people of Israel to sin, through movies and other abominations," read the ads.

Another pashkevil, by the "association for the saving of the youth in the Holy Land," informed the public about a rabbis and an Orthodox Righteous Court of Law ordinance banning MP4 devices all together: "This little device is the devil's way to try and gain entrance to our protected homes and yeshivas, disguised as something you can listen to Torah lessons through," it said.

Ynet has learned that the Orthodox Righteous Court of Law [i.e., Beit Din Tzedek of Jerusalem, Badatz Yerushalyim] had, indeed, held a session on MP4 devices. The court ruled that the devices must be banned and issued a warning to all vendors not to stock them, saying those who do "will be subject to a court hearing," and giving vendors three week to comply with its ruling.

The police have reportedly launched an investigation into both vandalism incidents.

NY TIMES said...

TOP STORY

Financier Starts Sentence in Prostitution Case

On Monday, he quit that Xanadu, with its 70-person staff and flamingo-stocked lagoon to report to the Palm Beach County Jail, to serve an 18-month sentence for soliciting prostitution.

"I respect the legal process," Mr. Epstein told The New York Times in a telephone interview as he prepared to leave his 78-acre island, which he calls Little St. Jeff's. "I will abide by this."

It is a stunning downfall for Mr. Epstein, who grew up in Coney Island and went on to live the life of a billionaire, only to become a tabloid monument to an age of hyperwealth.

Separately, Mr. Epstein was confirmed as the "Major Investor No. 1" described in a recently unsealed indictment as one of the three largest investors in two Bear Stearns hedge funds that collapsed.

Spokesman for R' Moshe Sternbuch said...

http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/06/th-chillul-hashem-of-renegade-kanoim.html

The problem of renegade kanoim - is a growing plague in the chareidi world. These are lawless animals who are endangering the life and limb of others - in their self proclaimed campaign of terror - to rid the world of all they find offensive. Their actions are not in accord with the Torah - and they are a major chillul HaShem.

Erev Shabbos an electronics store was burned down in Geula for selling mp4 players (video). It seems a miracle that aside from people who broke their legs escaping from the fire - B"H no one was killed. In addition the fire required police and firemen to endanger their lives - as well as forcing them to work on Shabbos.

http://www.bhol.co.il/forum/topic.asp?topic_id=2431730&forum_id=771

Some of the details are reported in Chedrei Chadorim. More developments are expected tomorrow and will be dutifully reported here.

Recipients and Publicity said...
Let's call a spade a spade, they are not "renegade" anythings, least of all "kanoyim"! They are plain and simple CRIMINALS and HOODLUMS and should be treated as such.

These are the modern day version of the baryonim who eventually murdered, vandalized, and pillaged their fellow Judeans in the times of the Churbam Bayis Sheni and they were the main contributors to the victory of Rome and the exile of the Jewish people for their rebellions against Rome.

Stop calling them "kanoyim" which is still a valid Torah term and call them for they are are: gangsters, thugs and even potential murderers absoltely no different to the Taliban and Al Quida in modern Islam or the Catholics Papal Inquisitors of the Middle Ages who destroyed everyone and anything that did not conform to their version of doctrinal "purity" and "correctness".

Let the BADATZ and the rabbis of Jerusalem talk out openly, vogorously and with kol kores against them as strongly as they do agaianst Zionists, chilonim and gays because they are far worse sinsce they cover up their criminal actvities with retarded and evil excuses of "frumkeit" as the Kotzker said "a frummer iz a rotzeiach"!!!

Anonymous said...
"Let the BADATZ and the rabbis of Jerusalem talk out openly, vogorously and with kol kores against them as strongly as they do agaianst Zionists"

Almost ten years ago already...

"A Jew whose act ignores the explicit directives of preeminent halachic authorities undermines the belief in the guidance of Torah scholars, which has always been the foundation of Jewish communal life. (The Eda Haredit has repeatedly distributed a proclamation signed by its rabbinical court stating unequivocally: 'Our only power is that of mouths [open in prayer], and God forbid [that] anyone should ever act with violence or force...')

http://www.jewishmediaresources.com/article/47/

The only kol korei's people online care about are the ones they can make fun of.

Leib Tropper said...

"They have rabbis counting the cash in hand on hidden photos"

Cash businesses are much less cumbersome than leaving a paper trail.

Wall Street Journal: Rubashkin has no time for PeePee said...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121485315802616845.html?mod=hps_us_editors_picks

Raid Unsettles Kosher Beliefs

By Miriam Jordan
Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2008

An immigration raid on the country's largest kosher meatpacking plant has fueled a nationwide debate in the Jewish community about what it really means to be kosher. The debate flared after May 12 when federal immigration agents raided the country's largest kosher meatpacking plant, Agriprocessors Inc., and ultimately arrested 389 illegal immigrants. The Postville, Iowa, plant specializes in kosher slaughter, a process that is overseen by rabbis and involves a quick, deep stroke across the throat designed to kill an animal within seconds. The closely monitored process, deemed humane by Jewish law, is designed to spare suffering. But the people doing the work were allegedly treated inhumanely. The raid, an example of the Bush administration's crackdown on industries employing illegal immigrants, exposed allegations that workers were being underpaid, physically abused, sexually harassed and extorted. A federal investigation of the plant is under way and immigration officials declined to comment.
No officials at Agriprocessors have been charged yet with wrongdoing, and management
declined to be interviewed for this article.

The incident involving alleged mistreatment of immigrants has dismayed some Jewish leaders who say that Jews should be particularly sensitive to human suffering. "The Jewish narrative for 2,000 years has predominantly been about our powerlessness as
unprotected immigrants," says Shmuly Yanklowitz, co-founder of Uri L'Tzedek, a progressive Orthodox group. The allegations are
"particularly embarrassing because of how deeply connected our religious and historical identity and universal moral mandate are to the plight of these workers."
One such worker, Joel Rucal, is a Guatemalan immigrant who worked on the chicken line before the raid. He says his mother, who also worked at the plant, was arrested and wears a monitoring device around her ankle. Mr. Rucal also listed alleged abuses in the plant including extra shifts without pay and sexual advances by supervisors.
"Sometimes we needed to use the bathroom and they didn't allow us," says Mr. Rucal. "We were
afraid to say anything because it was the only job we could get."
Agriprocessors, started by Aaron Rubashkin, a Hassidic Jew from Brooklyn, is best known for its kosher brands such as Aaron's Best and bills itself the world's largest processor of what's called glatt kosher beef, which adheres to the strictest kosher standard. A statement issued by vice president Chaim Abrahams said the company had hired immigration and safety-compliance experts after the raid. An employee hotline was activated last Friday.

Rabbi Weissmandl, top supervisory rabbi for kosher certification at the plant, says: "We were not aware of any mistreatment of workers." However, he added, "we are not involved with cutting and packing...That's not the kosher part."

But for Rabbi Morris Allen, kosher is about more than a process. The revelations at Agriprocessors have prompted the conservative rabbi from Mendota Heights, Minn., to call on consumers to avoid the company's products. The 53-year-old is founder of a movement that
advocates for animal and worker welfare in kashrut, food prepared in accordance with Jewish law. "We shouldn't accept a standard of kashrut that is more concerned about the lung of a cow than the hand of a worker," he says. "Isn't it important for us as Jews to care that our food isn't just
ritually kosher but ethically kosher, too?"

Rabbi Allen's critics say that until wrongdoing is proven, no Jewish organization should condemn Agriprocessors or seek punishment for the company. Some Orthodox rabbis, who control the supervision of kosher plants, have charged the Conservative movement with hatching a plot to take over kosher certification. Some detractors also say that most Conservative Jews, who constitute the largest Jewish denomination, don't even keep kosher.

Rabbi Allen first became concerned in March 2006 when he read an article in the Jewish press about poor conditions for Latino laborers at the Agriprocessors
plant. With the blessing of the Conservative movement's leadership, he formed a commission of inquiry and won Agriprocessors' permission to visit the plant.
Rabbi Allen led a five-man team that included a Spanish-speaking rabbi, labor and immigration activists and an official from the United Conservative Synagogue, representing Conservative congregations. "We discovered things that were unbelievably painful," Rabbi Allen says. Among other allegations, he says pregnant women working on their feet all day were denied bathroom breaks; An immigration raid at a meat plant sparked debate over kosher standards. injured workers lacked proper medical care; and accounting machinations deprived workers of payment for all clocked hours.

To avoid creating controversy within the Jewish community, he says the team decided to quietly
make recommendations to the Rubashkin family. While the company didn't respond, he says the
situation "gives us an opportunity to link social responsibility with religious ritual" by introducing ethical standards into kosher certification.

Rabbi Allen went public with his gripe against Agriprocessors after agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, raided the 60-acre plant during the morning shift in May. A 56-
page affidavit filed by an ICE agent to obtain a search warrant cites informants who allege that
plant supervisors hired minors, forced workers to buy cars from them "or they would be fired or
given poor work shifts" and abused them physically and mentally. The document refers to one rabbi "calling employees derogatory names and throwing meat at employees," and a supervisor blindfolding a Guatemalan worker and hitting him with a "meat
hook." After the raid, Rabbi Allen returned to Postville to meet community leaders, clergy and workers awaiting deportation. On May 22, the Rabbinical Assembly, the association of Conservative
rabbis, issued a statement calling on consumers to avoid Agriprocessors' products. It quoted
Deuteronomy: "You shall not abuse a needy and destitute laborer."
Reaction has been swift. Synagogues and blogs are rallying in support of the ban. Uri L'Tzedek, the Orthodox group, joined in with a boycott petition so far signed by 2,000 Jewish religious and political leaders. And this week, the Conservative movement is set to release guidelines for an initiative called Hekhsher Tzedek, Hebrew for "justice certification." Meant to supplement traditional kosher certification, it will attest that kosher food was produced at a facility that meets ethical standards in areas like wages and benefits, health and safety and animal welfare. Rabbi Allen's BlackBerry is stuffed with angry emails accusing him of sowing discord among Jews. "It's not a matter of hurting Jews or non-Jews," says the rabbi. "It's a matter of finding the truth and what is acceptable according to whom we are as a people."

Write to Miriam Jordan at miriam.jordan@wsj.com

Blogger "State of the Jews" imitates UOJ said...

"There are more stories in major pubs coming down and there is nothing Lubinsky or 5W can do about it. Wait for it.

There is nothing more powerful than the truth."

Being medayek said...

"there is nothing Lubinsky or 5W can do about it"

Because "5E" is doing something about it

Rubashkin Fresser said...

http://yudelstake.blogspot.com/2008/07/rubashkin-update.html

Due to Rubashkin loosing their outlets for plain kosher & treif markets, it's alledged that most is being marked as GLATT for the gullible Glatt consumers.

You might as well go to Hebrew National, at least you know what you are getting. [some kosher standard]

Neither of them are Glatt. By Rubashkin can you be sure it's at least kosher? We think NO!

Treif Chicken in Monsey Again - June 2008 said...

http://yudelstake.blogspot.com/2008/06/kinor-david-meat-43-rte-59-monsey-ny.html

Monday, June 30, 2008

Kinor David Meat. 43 Rte. 59, Monsey, NY 10952. Rabbi Weissmandel.

The Truth hurts-Did RABBI WEISMANDEL, Shlita instruct everyone kasher their pots & dishes [again]? Why not?

Why did they close up?????????

T-h-e a-l-l-e-g-a-t-i-o-n i-s:

It was a SHEVACH performance-all scenes & acts were identical.....They served you "TREIF-poultry!

One Scene was different "The Rav Hamachshir buried the story & had them close up:"....

Therefore (before anyone discovered the story) the Rav Hamachshir dropped all of his Monsey Hashgochas......He is starting to surface again...Consumer-Beware.....

Now back to what's new with his kashrus at Rubashkin? R"L

I'll give you 2 guesses.

Wasn't he in the forefront by Shevach...Only pre-paks, only proper Hashgochas & Mashgichim, new Takonos etc....

Now you know why the don't wait for him at the end of "Kiriyas-Shema"-He can't get to the EMES.

Anonymous said...
They mistomme don't realize he's leining krias shma. How should they tell the difference when he's always covering his eyes from seeing kashrus violations?

Yudel Shain said...
Bodek-ad-..yu'doi-ma'gaahs,[$$$$] v'hashar-mi'vatloi-bi'liboi.A real Pesach hashgocha standard. R"L

Arthur said...

As someone involved in a variety of kiruv (outreach) efforts directed toward teens and young adults from Orthodox families who have now abandoned normative Jewish practice, I often hear the complaint that Orthodox Jews are indifferent to the welfare of the wider community, uninvolved in the struggle for social justice, and excessively parochial and self-centered in their concerns.

Defending the Orthodox community from these sorts of allegations is made far more difficult by the types of comments made by many of the posters on this board, comments that reflect an indifference to alleged wrongdoing, a willingness to slander those whose religious or philosophical approach or interests differ from their own, and a “circling of the wagons” intended to shield the Chareidi community from criticism or scrutiny.

Unfortunately, we as an Orthodox community are indeed acting and being perceived, more and more, like a mere self-serving interest group of the sort that is common in today’s fractionalized world, hardly the standard bearers for HaShem’s great and holy Torah and message. The world is suffering from our absence, and our idealistic and young are being lost.

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

Defending the Orthodox community from these sorts of allegations is made far more difficult by the types of comments made by many of the posters on this board, comments that reflect an indifference to alleged wrongdoing, a willingness to slander those whose religious or philosophical approach or interests differ from their own, and a “circling of the wagons” intended to shield the Chareidi community from criticism or scrutiny.
------------------

C'mon Arthur - you know better.

The vast majority of the commenters on this site are frum - yeshiva leit - who are able to call it as they see it.

Slander is false accusations...unfortunately - for the behaimas, thieves, gangsters, molesters and enablers, Agudath Israel, OU, and the rest of the shgatzim - we at UOJ speak the truth - mostly - with sarcasm, leitzonus...whatever - for myself - I wish UOJ was not needed!

How's that? A Jew with no motive other than to FORCE Yiden to do the right thing. No dinners, plaques, pictures in the papers, NOTHING other than right! Tough to believe - no kavod - no money!

In the Footsteps of Steve Mostofsky & Marty Samson said...

http://start.telsheyeshiva.com/

We would like to share with are readers the following letter:

(nothing like supressing information with threats and slick legal moves)

Agudah Kovod Zucher said...

"Tough to believe - no kavod - no money!"

Mer vee dem. It's poshut shekker vechuzev by UOJ.

What is the Krainess connection to Telshe? said...

http://start.telsheyeshiva.com/%22comments%22

THE TRUTH HURTS: Rabbi Aron Levitansky was hired to be the Rov in the Basement Shul that Rabbi, Lawyer J. Krainess built in his basement. When you get a letter from a lawyer you know that you are telling the truth.

Has the Board of Directors hired this firm? According to my info, I think not. They may just be representing Levitansky and Shainbaum

Lubavitcher company that was once caught with Treif Cheese said...

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20080627/NEWS05/308094532&SearchID=73322446607916

FORECLOSURE RISK: Ogdensburg, county officials meet chief of kosher company

By DAVID WINTERS
TIMES STAFF WRITER
FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008
OGDENSBURG — The city and St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency are threatening to foreclose on the kosher cheese plant if delinquent utility payments, property taxes and loans aren't paid.

City officials met for about 30 minutes Thursday with Ahava Dairy aka St. Lawrence Food Corp. President Moise A. Banayan to discuss the unpaid bills. The St. Lawrence Food Corp., which operates the North Country Manufacturing Inc. kosher plant at 30 Main St., owes the city about $600,000.

The IDA and the city will jointly file a foreclosure notice. The IDA is owed about $335,000 on two loans totaling $500,000. Loan payments haven't been made since December, IDA Chief Executive Officer Raymond H. Fountain said.

"We want to see them making cheese and employing people," Mr. Fountain said. "We don't want to own a cheese plant."

The outstanding city bills include $200,000 in payments on the mortgage used to purchase the property, about $90,000 each on the 2006 and 2007 property tax bills, nearly $60,000 in fines from improper discharges to the city's wastewater treatment plant and about $160,000 for water and sewer services.

The deadline for making a property tax payment was Monday.

City Manager Arthur J. Sciorra said of the meeting that Mr. Banayan was looking to "cut a deal of some kind" to settle the delinquent bills, but a written offer would have to be submitted for the city to review. He also said Mr. Banayan was looking to refinance some of his debt.

Ahava Foods Corp., Brooklyn, operates the Primo Foods and North Country Manufacturing kosher plant. The plant is affiliated with Lewis County Dairy Corp., Lowville. All are operated by Mr. Banayan. The Ogdensburg plant employed about 60 full-time workers last July, according to company officials.

Mr. Banayan couldn't be reached for comment Thursday.

In April, the Ogdensburg Growth Fund Development Corp. was seeking $246,623 plus more than $60,000 interest owed by Mr. Banayan under the terms of a $350,000 Growth Fund loan made in 2004. He hadn't made any payments on the loan since April 30, 2007, according to city officials. Growth Fund officials didn't return calls for comment Thursday on the status of the loan.

Ahava Dairy is the Rubashkin of Milchdiks said...

Yudel Shain once caught them forging the teudas kashrus of Chug Chasam Sofer for some meats they import from Israel.

http://yudelstake.blogspot.com/2008/06/ahava-dairy-in-financial-dificulties.html

Anonymous said...
This company is another scandal-plagued loser under the banner of the Crown Heights Beis Din.

This is a huge chilul Hashem. They operate in areas so far north that the is hours away from even a small city. The Ahava shysters are the only Jews that these rural gentiles ever come in contact with. What a way to make an impression on behalf of Klal Yisroel.

Anonymous said...
It's alledged that when Ahava dairy was at Kreiders farm in PA, they took Kreider for a ride in the tune of some $300,000.

And they took HOD-LAVAN from Israel a ride for some $180,000.00

And they short weight some of their commercial size products 'cause the inspectors don't weigh the commercial size only the retail.

Poyretz Geder for Dummies by Belsky & the OU said...

http://yudelstake.blogspot.com/2008/06/lubicom-rubashkin-weismandel-withdraw.html

Anonymous said...

Some rabbonim are furious that Rabbi Belsky is machshir the OU venison because they are using the hind quarters of the deer. There was a minhag in America since time immemorial not to use hindquarters. Comes along Rabbi Belsky and he just does whatever the heck he feels. Rav Rubin, the former NY State Commissioner of Kashrus Enforcement was furious but was afraid to battle the OU head on by prohibiting the meat.

I know a rov who is searching for any kol korays or anything bichsav regarding the minhag America. He fears that it may have only been mipee hashmuah.

Does R' Yudel or anyone know if anything exists in writing?

There may be a Rubashkin tie in too since Rubashkin produces ox tail. I would think that cattle and deer are included in the same gezeayrah.

Yudel Shain said...

The Gezeira on hindquarters is due to the complications of treiboring the Chalev & Gid-Hanusheh.

The deer is a Chayah & there is no chalev but there is the gid-hanusheh.

Ox-tail is definetly part of the gezeirah.

Alle does not sell ox-tail.
Rubashkin /Supreme / Aaron etc sells ox-tail. [if you break 1 gezeirah, why not 2 & 3 etc?]

Anonymous said...

A rosh yeshiva informs me that Rav Rubin, who was also known as the Muszay-Ropshitzer Rov, who was in a position to stop and knass the OU, held that deer WAS part of the gezeira. It may be no coincidence that the first restaurant selling the venison hind quarters about 20 years ago was Levana's who were also caught being machshil the public with treif. (The OU tries to keep this and other Levana's stories a big secret)

If anyone knows Professor Marc Shapiro from Scranton, he would probably be aware if the gzeireh is mentioned anywhere in print. He is a tremendous baal bekius who has kleibed through hundreds of thousands of pages of old otzros and various zeitiggeh sforim.

http://yudelstake.blogspot.com/2008/06/deer-venison.html

Deer Venison meat products are available in some upscale restaurants.

Deer is a CHAYAH and does not have an issur of Chalev per se, but does have the "gid-ha'nusheh" that must be removed by an expert minaker.

By beef we aren't concerned with Gid Hanusheh as we don't use the entire hindquarters.

Therfore "ox-tail" is a not permitted part of an animal.

The Takonah of not using the hindquarter is because of the complications of removing the chalev from the hindquarters. There may be another reason, the gid-hanosheh... in that case the deer hindquarter would also not be permitted to be used.

"Mitzva goreres mitzva" said...

First Rabbi Belsky is poretz geder to be "mattir" the hindquarters, then he got caught last year on secret videotape at Musicon in Orange County just standing by and doing nothing when the deer were being abused before shechitah.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the OU bison meat is also taken from the behind of the animal?

Anonymous said...
Is an American bound by the takanna when visiting other places where they make deer meat or filet mignon and other back parts of cow? This is nogeah in Israel, Australia and mistomme Europe too.

Ephraim Bryks's brother in law Paysach Krohn said...

http://yudelstake.blogspot.com/2008/06/who-is-telz.html

Yudel Shain said...
Based on what heard & saw re: R' krohn, I would question if he should be used for a mohel...

Arthur said...

REB UOJ
I agree with you 100 percent and perhaps did not explain myself clearly.
We live in a time when when an insidious cancer is attacking the body politic of the Torah observant world.A time when moral pygmies put on a facade as so called gedolim, as Das Torah and whose "kol korehs" are accepted by many of us as being the infallible word of Hashem.If our alleged leaders pass themselves of as such what can one expect from us the hamon am? As a result we suffer from problems with kashrus,our youth, perverts in our midst and many more.Problems that as a whole did not affect our zaides and bubbahs in der alte heim (at least not to the degree that it infects us now)
In treating the cancerous cells when one is ill with cancer R"L, we often have to destroy the healthy cells along with the diseased
As a backlash to the times we live in, our zealousness prompts many of the worthy bloggers here (and I include myself) and on other blogs to attack the "healthy cells" along with the "diseased", which may be the only way to fight a physical cancer but not a spiritual one. When the Chofetz Chaim ZT"L wrote Shmiras Haloshon it was at a time when true giants of the spirit walked the earth.Now ,when we are collectively a dor yosom, his words are more applicable then ever before.

Shalom Ash said...

My problem is with this New Hechshser Tzedek, if it ever kicks off, G-d forbid.

First of all, instead of just boycotting Rubashkin, let them offer an alternative. As of now, all they managed to do is get stores to stop buying Rubaskin meat screwing whomever lives there. They have not offered alternatives.

A manager of large store near IL, told me that he received a phone call from these Hechsher Tz kids asking him to stop buying from Rubashkin, he replied find me another company who will supply me out here and then ill stop, nobody called him back.

OU-Aligned Spin Machine said...

UOJ will get a kick out of this one.

A high ranking schmo at a kashrus organization that works closely with the OU is trying to parse words in the michtav of Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz ztl.

He says RSFM lived at a time when fake rabbis and treif meat was much more rampant than today. He says that while RSFM had the right to attack the shysters of yesteryear, it's not poshut lehalacha if you can attack today's hashgochos that are (in his words) not nearly as bad (sic) as in those days.

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

..it's not poshut lehalacha if you can attack today's hashgochos that are (in his words) not nearly as bad (sic) as in those days.

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

Aza meshugener. You knew who the rishaim were in the old days for the most part - today - the rishaim are dressed like rosh yeshivas, tzitzis in derossen, presidents of organizations, langer bords mit payos, kids in Brisk and kollelim.....

Tell the putz to take a hike!

Dr. Bungalow Putz Neuhoff said...

"Tell the putz to take a hike!"

Ahhh, this kashrus fellow sounds like someone I could along with.

Tell him to hike on down to my colony in Fallsburg. It's best to come over on Sundays when my pal Gil Student swings by to visit.

Arthur said...

"Lubavitcher company that was once caught with Treif Cheese" Here's a case in point of the subject I that wrote about in my previous post.No where in the article you quoted is there any mention of the name Lubavitch.Why is it necessary for you to do so?Is the fact that it is or isn't a Lubavitcher company make the crime any worse or better? Is there a specific agenda in mentioning Lubavitch.When the fellow in Monsey was caught selling treif vi chazer meat was any mention made as to what yeshivah he went to,whether he was chassidish or Litvish? Was any reference ever made as to which kriez Yudi Kolko belongs to? When it comes to Lubavitch we have found a convenient punching bag whether it's Rubahskin or Ahava.What percentage of white collar crime is committed proportionately by Lubavitch?These things happen in all kreizen of Torah Jewery so lets not single out specific groups.

Mr. Practical said...

Arthur may be ashamed of the Lubavitcher connection but it makes perfect sense to tag Ahava Dairy Corp as a Lubavitch entity, since the corrupt Rubashkin-controlled Crown Hts beis din oversees so many shady enterprises.

Agudah Fresser said...

As an expert on all things food-related, I can tell you that Ahava is poor quality even by cholov Yisroel standards. At the request of Chabad rabbonim they don't use certain vitamins that have a tarfus shaylah which makes the milk spoil even faster. Most cholov Yisroel companies are using the questionable stuff by the way. It seems you can't win whether you go with Belsky or Lubabs or anyone else. Yudel suggested using a vitamin substitute that is known to be completely free of treif but it doesn't seem anyone is doing that.

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

There's not much Friedman and I agree on - He's got it dead right on the economy.
---------------------------

Op-Ed Columnist
Anxious in America
The New York Times

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: June 29, 2008

Just a few months ago, the consensus view was that Barack Obama would need to choose a hard-core national-security type as his vice presidential running mate to compensate for his lack of foreign policy experience and that John McCain would need a running mate who was young and sprightly to compensate for his age. Come August, though, I predict both men will be looking for a financial wizard as their running mates to help them steer America out of what could become a serious economic tailspin.

I do not believe nation-building in Iraq is going to be the issue come November — whether things get better there or worse. If they get better, we’ll ignore Iraq more; if they get worse, the next president will be under pressure to get out quicker. I think nation-building in America is going to be the issue.

It’s the state of America now that is the most gripping source of anxiety for Americans, not Al Qaeda or Iraq. Anyone who thinks they are going to win this election playing the Iraq or the terrorism card — one way or another — is, in my view, seriously deluded. Things have changed.

Up to now, the economic crisis we’ve been in has been largely a credit crisis in the capital markets, while consumer spending has kept reasonably steady, as have manufacturing and exports. But with banks still reluctant to lend even to healthy businesses, fuel and food prices soaring and home prices declining, this is starting to affect consumers, shrinking their wallets and crimping spending. Unemployment is already creeping up and manufacturing creeping down.

The straws in the wind are hard to ignore: If you visit any car dealership in America today you will see row after row of unsold S.U.V.’s. And if you own a gas guzzler already, good luck. On Thursday, The Palm Beach Post ran an article on your S.U.V. options: “Continue to spend upward of $100 for a fill-up. Sell or trade in the vehicle for a fraction of the original cost. Or hold out and park the truck in the driveway for occasional use in hopes the market will turn around.” Just be glad you don’t own a bus. Montgomery County, Md., where I live, just announced that more children were going to have to walk to school next year to save money on bus fuel.

On top of it all, our bank crisis is not over. Two weeks ago, Goldman Sachs analysts said that U.S. banks may need another $65 billion to cover more write-downs of bad mortgage-related instruments and potential new losses if consumer loans start to buckle. Since President Bush came to office, our national savings have gone from 6 percent of gross domestic product to 1 percent, and consumer debt has climbed from $8 trillion to $14 trillion.

My fellow Americans: We are a country in debt and in decline — not terminal, not irreversible, but in decline. Our political system seems incapable of producing long-range answers to big problems or big opportunities. We are the ones who need a better-functioning democracy — more than the Iraqis and Afghans. We are the ones in need of nation-building. It is our political system that is not working.

I continue to be appalled at the gap between what is clearly going to be the next great global industry — renewable energy and clean power — and the inability of Congress and the administration to put in place the bold policies we need to ensure that America leads that industry.

“America and its political leaders, after two decades of failing to come together to solve big problems, seem to have lost faith in their ability to do so,” Wall Street Journal columnist Gerald Seib noted last week. “A political system that expects failure doesn’t try very hard to produce anything else.”

We used to try harder and do better. After Sputnik, we came together as a nation and responded with a technology, infrastructure and education surge, notes Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International. After the 1973 oil crisis, we came together and made dramatic improvements in energy efficiency. After Social Security became imperiled in the early 1980s, we came together and fixed it for that moment. “But today,” added Hormats, “the political system seems incapable of producing a critical mass to support any kind of serious long-term reform.”

If the old saying — that “as General Motors goes, so goes America” — is true, then folks, we’re in a lot of trouble. General Motors’s stock-market value now stands at just $6.47 billion, compared with Toyota’s $162.6 billion. On top of it, G.M. shares sank to a 34-year low last week.

That’s us. We’re at a 34-year low. And digging out of this hole is what the next election has to be about and is going to be about — even if it is interrupted by a terrorist attack or an outbreak of war or peace in Iraq. We need nation-building at home, and we cannot wait another year to get started. Vote for the candidate who you think will do that best. Nothing else matters.

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

Pretty much of a statement!
------------------------

Yahoo! Alerts Yahoo! News - My Alerts - Edit Alert
Tuesday, July 1, 2008 SEATTLE (AP) Starbucks says it is closing 600 stores in the United States.

Anonymous said...

DENVER (AP) — The Archdiocese of Denver says it has agreed to pay $5.5 million to settle 18 claims by people who said they were sexually abused as children by Roman Catholic priests.
Church officials said Tuesday that 16 of the cases were lawsuits and two were claims filed outside the court system.

The archdiocese says the claims involved three priests who have since died.

Archbishop Charles Chaput says the archdiocese has now settled a total of 43 lawsuits or claims involving sexual abuse for a total of $8.2 million. Two lawsuits remain unresolved.

Arthur said...

"The corrupt Rubashkin-controlled Crown Hts beis din oversees so many shady enterprises."
I have absolutely no affection for the CH community council nor for the CH Beis Din.My problem was was with using the word "Lubavitch" which many of us here in CH do not see as being relevent to the "entity" known as Lubavitch. The Beisdin is a profit making business more or less, but for my own edification what other "shady enterprises" is the Beisdin involved in?

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

.....And this....
---------------------

Special Report Election 2008: The candidates and your money

Americans say they'll vote with their wallets

The battered economy is the top issue for voters, and that isn't expected to change by November.

By David Goldman, CNNMoney.com staff writer

Last Updated: July 1, 2008: 12:29 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The slumping U.S. economy has become the top issue on voters' minds, according to a new poll and that concern is likely to carry on up through election day.

According to a recent CNN/Opinion Research Poll released Tuesday, 93%of voters say the economy
is "extremely" or "very" important to their vote for president this November. 84% of the more than 900 registered voters surveyed from June 26 to 29 said the situation in Iraq was their top concern.

In January, the economy was virtually tied with the Iraq war as the top concern for voters.

"With the poor economic environment right now, it's not surprising at all," said Wachovia economist Mark Vitner.

As bad news out of Iraq has taken a back seat to dour economic news, Americans say the economy has become the issue that may decide the election in November, according to the survey.

Economic bad news continues to mount, with the S&P and Dow suffering their worst June since the Great Depression.

Adding to the pain, more than 324,000 jobs have been lost so far in 2008, and the mortgage and credit crises have crushed consumer confidence. Also, rising food and energy costs are hurting Americans in the pocketbooks.

Accordingly, 77% of those polled felt gas prices were "extremely" or "very" important to their vote, making fuel costs the third most important issue for American voters.

Economists say that the economic pain will not ease for voters come the November election.

"The next two quarters are likely to see a bit of an improvement, mainly because of the tax rebates, but there really isn't anything out there on the horizon that's going to change the economic landscape in a meaningful way," said Vitner. "Consumers are likely to be very concerned about the economy come election day."

That may be good news for Barack Obama.

"When the economy is bad, it tends to favor the party that's out of power," said Vitner. "It's going to be very difficult for the Republicans to take the White House."

First Published: July 1, 2008: 12:25 PM EDT

Rabbi Moshe Heinemann said...

"The archdiocese says the claims involved three priests who have since died."

More proof that Phil Jacobs is a dog. Even the AP doesn't name dead men!

Touro Putz said...

How did UOJ miss the big Touro event a month ago?

Fartscroll's Nosson Scherman gave the "keynote" address as they conferred an honorary doctorate on Uncle Milty (Aron Rubashkin's son-in-law Balkany).

Boog should give hell to Stanley Boylan about this.

steve said...

Trimming the pork by cutting out the Agudah:

http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2008/07/angry-at-agudath.html

Angry At Agudath

Leaders at Agudath Israel of America, a nonprofit that provides a variety of community services to the Orthodox Jewish community (mostly in Brooklyn) are seething over the dramatic cut in discretionary funding they're on tap to receive in 2009, dropping from $383,000 to a mere $3,500.

In 2008, Agudath received $33,000 from the Council ($25,000 directed by Councilman Mike Nelson and another $8,000 not from any specific member) plus an additional $350,000 from Mayor Bloomberg's personal pork pot (as directed by Councilman Simcha Felder).

This year, with the Council slashing its pork by 8 percent and the mayor declining to hand out anything at all, the group was among those that fared very badly. The reason? Well, it depends on who you ask.

"It was very, very rash and very, very hurtful, personally hurtful," said Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz, Agudath's VP of community services, who handles the organization's lobbying (although he insists he isn't a lobbyist and isn't registered). "We've always had a respectful relationship with the speaker."

"I don't know who to blame. I don't know why. I haven't been given an explanation as to why we were singled out."


There's some speculation that politics were at play here, although the speaker's office insists that's not the case. And it's true that a wide variety of groups lost funding - from HIV programs to cultural institutions.

Nevertheless, it appears no one went to bat for Agudath, which is unusual, although Felder insisted he tried to intercede on the organization's behalf.

"I'm not happy at all," Felder said. "They got cut disproportionately. I don't think it was fair."

But some observers suggested that Felder might have been less disposed to fight hard for Agudath this time around, in part because of a fund-raiser held at the home of the organization's board chairman for Joe Lazar, a candidate for Felder's Council seat who is running against Felder's preferred candidate, David Greenfield.

Agudath techincally doesn't pick political sides, since it's a nonprofit and doing so would endanger its tax status. But its leaders are fairly politically active. (Case in point: This fund-raiser last year for Councilman Bill de Blasio's 09 Brooklyn borough president bid).

Another observer pointed out that a former Agudath attorney, Morton Avigdor, is now working on behalf of Rep. Anthony Weiner, who is one of Council Speaker Christine Quinn's potential '09 mayoral primary rivals, which might disincline Quinn to provide the funding.

But Lefkowitz rejected that theory, saying: "That has nothing to do with it. He hasn't worked for us for 10 years."

There's also the hypothesis that the Orthodox Jewish community is highly unlikely to support a lesbian woman for mayor, so there's no political reason why Quinn should make them a priority as opposed to, say, the UFT, which was very pleased by the Council's $129 million restoration of classroom funding in the '09 budget.

But, like I noted above, the speaker's office insists politics didn't come into play at all when the discretionary cuts came down.

Shea Fishman said...

BY ADAM LISBERG
DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF

Monday, June 30th 2008, 9:18 PM

Con Edison says it can keep the power flowing if almost 9,000 union workers walk off the job early Wednesday - but the union says New Yorkers had better get ready.

"If there's a prolonged heat wave, the stress on the system is tremendous," said Joe Flaherty, spokesman for Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2.

"It's very, very involved. It takes a lot of work, a lot of expertise," Flaherty said. "If anything even remotely comparable to [the 2006 Queens blackout] happens again, forget about it. It will be devastating."

An Ocean Parkway State of Mind said...

It doesn't matter if it's YTT or down at Ave Z.

Hospital video shows no one helped dying woman

BY JOHN MARZULLI
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Monday, June 30th 2008, 11:32 PM

A shocking video shows a woman dying on the floor in the psych ward at Kings County Hospital, while people around her, including a security guard, did nothing to help.

After an hour, another mental patient finally got the attention of the indifferent hospital workers, according to the tape, obtained by the Daily News.

Worse still, the surveillance tape suggests hospital staff may have falsified medical charts to cover the utter lack of treatment provided Esmin Green before she died.

"Thank God for the videotape because no one would have believed this could have happened," said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

"There's a clear possibility of criminal wrongdoing with regard to recordkeeping, and that has to be investigated."

Leopold Margulies said...

Feh, Esmin Green was a reject anyway.

NY Sun said...

http://www.nysun.com/editorials/sage-and-sages/79069/

For those of us who are following the constitutional struggle over religious freedom, it was quite a moment last night when the Agudath Israel of America gathered for its annual dinner here in New York. There at the Hilton, in the middle of a four-tier dais on which were seated scores of the most distinguished rabbis in Judaism and between the Novominsker Rebbe, Yaakov Perlow, chairman of the Council of Torah Sages, and New York's police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, was the justice of the Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia, who has marked this issue more clearly than any other. Call it a fundamentalist of constitutional law among fundamentalists of the laws of Agudah Fressers.

Correction said...

The Agudah Fressers were trying to get the food and Scalia was in the way.

http://www.nysun.com/national/scalia-decries-drift-of-court-on-religion/79084/

Members of the audience appeared so pleased to meet the justice that, during a smaller reception beforehand, a bodyguard from the U.S. Marshals Service called on people to allow Justice Scalia more space, as a crowd four people deep quickly enveloped him.

Before his speech, Justice Scalia tucked into a plate of salmon over noodles, even as a veteran Supreme Court advocate and Harvard Law classmate of his, Nathan Lewin, introduced the justice in a speech recorded in Fez, Morocco, and played across several screens throughout the banquet hall. The transmission of the speech was marred, making sections unintelligible and prompting Justice Scalia, who rarely turns down an opportunity for a quip, to exclaim that Mr. Lewin was "an easy act to follow."

Where's Jewish Whistleblower? said...

http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c36_a12480/News/New_York.html

He will probably blow a gasket when he reads this chevra kadisha story involving the Agudah & the Queens Vaad.

Ehud Barak said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/997277.html

Ex-Barak aide says has incriminating evidence on campaign donations

By Jonathan Lis, Haaretz Correspondent

A former campaign manager for Labor Chair Ehud Barak is scheduled to meet police investigators on Monday to give them what he describes as incriminating evidence against the politician, which pertains to donations Barak received for his 1999 campaign for the premiership.

The former campaign manager, Shmuel Levi, will go the headquarters of the Bat Yam Fraud Squad for a meeting that he requested.

On January 27, 2000, the then state comptroller said the campaign to elect Ehud Barak as prime minister had established no less than 23 fictitious non-profit organizations that had channeled illegal contributions to Barak's campaign coffers.

Jerusalem Post said...

Arthur is all bent out of shape because Rav Schach didn't like Isaac Herzog, who may be a corrupt fraudster:

Police launched a probe in 2000 after suspecting that several non-governmental organizations were used to illegally raise funds for the One Israel Labor campaign in 1999.

Chief suspects in the investigation included former government secretary and current Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog; lawyer Doron Cohen, who was Barak's right-hand man; and Tal Zilberstein, Barak's former campaign manager.

Police ended the investigation after failing to convince any of the key players to testify - including Levy, who rejected an offer to turn state's witness.

Ehud Olmert said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/998037.html

Inquiries made over the past week in the United States by Israeli law enforcement representatives are strengthening suspicions of fraud and other crimes against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, say senior officials in the State Prosecutor's Office and the Israel Police.

Olmert is being investigated for allegations that he accepted illicit funds over many years from a Long Island businessman, Morris Talansky, who is the main witness in what has been dubbed "the envelopes case."

Chazir Treif said...

http://www.jewishexponent.com/article/16430/

Last week, the chief executive officer of Agriprocessors, Sholom Rubashkin, announced that he would resign.

Still, his father, Aaron Rubashkin, remains the owner of the plant, which can only make you wonder about the prospects for a true housecleaning.

Until that day comes, I can only say that, for me, the putatively kosher meat from Agriprocessors will be as treif as swine.

Samuel G. Freedman teaches journalism at Columbia University.

Rubashkins on the move said...

Real estate transactions
Tampabay.com, FL - Jun 26, 2008
3207 Hurley Grove Way, to Tzippa Sara Rubashkin by William & Sandra Hodgdon, $175000

Are they buying Florida real estate to protect their assets under the Homestead Act? OJ Simpson would be proud.

Cholent Fresser said...

Mr practical said'"the corrupt Rubashkin-controlled Crown Hts beis din oversees so many shady enterprises"
As an individual who has no vested interest in The Crown Heights beis din,Rubashkin,Ahava dairy or Chabad I would like to play the devil's advocate here.I am also puzzled by Mr. practical's statement."The Rubashkin controlled Crown Heights beis din" hasn't given Agri their hechsher in years,if ever.On the other hand the "yekkis" of KAJ had given their hechsher to Agri for years.Is KAJ also one of the Rubashkin controlled "shady enterprises"? When will it be their turn to be part of the Korban of the month club?

Mr. Practical said...

Cholent Fresser should take pause for a moment from gorging himself and get a clue.

One of the Agri / Rubashkin labels is Shor Habor which has always had the mark of the Crown Hts Beis Din.

As far as KAJ, they deserve plenty of criticism too. They finally pulled out because of kashrus violations but they continue to allow their caterers to use Rubashkin. One prominent rov has angrily wondered out loud if they are still getting being cut a check from Rubashkin for this.

Mr. Practical said...

I am not a Crown Hts resident so I am not overly familiar with the details but there have been some issues with the local establishments under CHK.

There is a woman in Flatbush making petit fours in her home. Even Kehillah Ca$h-R-US threw her out for kashrus violations, despite their hi$tory of cover up$ to hang on to money making account$. The Crown Hts Vaad continues to certify her.

Moishe Rubashkin conspired with Osdaba to kick Rav Schwei off the beis din. Osdaba has a number of sons working for the beis din, working for Moishe Rubashkin at CHJCC and working for Sholom Rubashkin at Agri.

State of the Jews said...

This situation has been going on for years and many, many people with expertise in the meat and poultry industry have raised these issues directly with the Rubashkins. They have chosen to ignore people who wanted to work with them for the betterment of the community.

After all the hoopla has died down, and Rubashkin is in jail and the plant sold, who will be there to guarantee that these workers will not be mistreated again? Many unions grew out of the horrors of the packing industry in the first 20 years of the 20th century, and those horrors continue today in Postville. BTW, many kosher plants are organized and they seem to be doing quite well. You can be as capitalistic as you like, make as much money as you can, and still treat your workers with derech eretz.

The OU, KAJ and others have been trying to put band-aids on this place for years and it hasn’t worked. Rubashkin has lost the confidence of the Jewish community. It has simply gone too far. You cannot say Al Chiat for some many years and not engage in real change. Enough is enough.

And, if you think a “compliance professional” will have any impact its because you’ve been smoking those funny little weeds again. The Chief Complience Officer is part of a pr campaign of mis-direction.

BTW, the consumer is pretty smart and they are voting with their pocketbooks. I’am hearing it from congregations across the country – No Rubashkin products until there is major change at the ownership level.Point is no one trusts the Rubashkins and that doubt is spreading to those who certify them as well. There is an old Russian proverb: A fish stinks from the head down.

Kashrus Insider said...

Osdaba holds, like Belsky, that there is no problem with copepods in the water. Rav Schwei holds like most other poskim they are an issur d'Oraysah.

If any Crown Heights store wants to be machmir, Osdaba doesn't let them. He forces them to remove filters. What the heck is the guy's problem?

As far as I know, there is only one bar hochi, the Viener Dayan, who holds copepods are not assur and it just so happens he is examining new evidence to make a re-evaluation of his position.

When it comes to Belsky and company, just ask the Vaad Hakashrus Leinyanei Hamayim - Belsky & company won't listen to anyone bringing new evidence. Is this the derech Hatorah?

And back to Osdaba, they call this guy "Av Beis Din"? Why does he sit around like a goylem when M. Rubashkin physically assaults other Chabad rabbonim in his presence? Why is Osdaba silent when M. Rubashkin has people thrown in jail on fabricated charges?

Inquiring Minds Vant to Know said...

Was it the OU or CHK that is responsible for this classic?:

Rubashkin's cousin Pinny Lew is a sex offender who was kicked out of the Lubavitch shlichus network after he stripped arum vee Adam Harishon to proposition his Mexican cleaning lady for sex and hold her hostage.

Later while he was working at Rubashkin, he was arrested for driving the getaway car that another Lubob, Pinchos Stillman used in two armed robberies that resulted in a shooting that left a woman paralyzed for life.

Shouldn't the hashgochos check to see if people working for them have criminal records? Or did Fishman-Shafran-Zweibel and 770 tell them not to?

Half-Baked Effort said...

http://uriltzedek.webnode.com/information-on-the-agriprocessor-effort/establishments-in-your-area-that-use-non-agriprocessors-meat/

The left-wing modern orthodox group that claims to be "boycotting" Rubashkin is not doing a very good job.

1. They are just taking people's word for it when it's been proven that some stores are lying about dropping Rubashkin.

2. Even worse, some restaurants on their recommended list admit using Rubashkin while giving you a gantze megillah about how narrow the circumstances are:

http://uriltzedek.webnode.com/information-on-the-agriprocessor-effort/how-restaurants-can-join-the-effort/

I have today received a copy of the email that you had sent out to the community recently regarding the "Rubashkin" situation. I read your email together with the contents of the hyperlink with interest and disgust and fully endorse your sentiments. As owner/operator of Griller's Pride, I would therefore appreciate the opportunity to provide my input and state our position:

As many of our customers know, Griller's Pride does NOT have Rubashkin (or any of its associated brands)as one of its primary suppliers. This has been the case since our inception but especially over the past 18 months – well before the Rubashkin "fiasco" surfaced.

Occasionally, in response to customers' special request, we have brought in hotdogs or other specifically requested items from Rubashkin, representing perhaps 0.25% of our overall product offering. Any Rubashkin item that we have offered (and therefore have published on our website), is explicitly shown as such.

Arthur said...

To Reb UOJ,
I'm a victim of identity theft.The last two posts that were signed using my name were NOT posted by me.I am not involved in outreach work and never have been.Is there any way to to get around this situation?

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

Arthur:

It's very difficult to control. I could block out that IP address, but that would prevent an entire group of people in that IP zone from commenting.

Not to worry...or perhaps keep rotating your screen name...ie; R' Arthur etc...eventually they'll catch up with you.

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

Very funny stuff!
----------------------

http://kvetcher.net/2008/07/02/dawn-of-the-gedoylim/

trading pit fresser said...

Fugitive Hedge Fund Manager Surrenders
By ABHA BHATTARAI
Published: July 3, 2008
The fugitive hedge fund swindler Samuel Israel III surrendered to law enforcement officials on Wednesday, ending a manhunt that began shortly after he faked his suicide on the day that he was to report to prison.

Mr. Israel, who disappeared June 9, surrendered in Southwick, Mass., Wednesday morning, the authorities said..

Mr. Israel was talking to his mother on the phone when he walked into a local jail and surrendered to the United States Marshals task force, a spokeswoman for the marshals said. He is currently in federal custody and will most likely be transported to the federal prison in Ayers, Mass., where he was to have reported the day he left his sport utility vehicle on the side of a bridge and disappeared, the marshals said.

Ronnie Schreiber Must have done their embroidery and never shipped his drek said...

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp (GM.N) will need to raise as much as $15 billion in cash to shore up liquidity and bankruptcy is "not impossible" if the U.S. auto market continues to slump, Merrill Lynch said on Wednesday.

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

Olmert you fraud - time to get back to talking "PIECE" of the Jews!
-----------------------------
Driver rams bulldozer into Jerusalem cars; 2 dead By STEVEN GUTKIN, Associated Press Writer
Wed Jul 2, 6:58 AM ET

JERUSALEM - A Palestinian bulldozer driver plowed into a string of vehicles on a busy Jerusalem street Wednesday, killing two people and wounding dozens of others before he was shot dead by an off-duty soldier, authorities said.

The attack wreaked havoc and left a large swath of damage in the heart of downtown Jerusalem. Traffic was halted and hundreds of people fled through the streets in panic as medics treated the wounded.

JK Diamond said...

Rubashkin absolutely forbids unannounced inspections of his facilities.

Nathan Lewin, Agri's Attorney, was offered a deal by Bruce Friedrich of PETA, in a public debate in NYC in November, 2006, that PETA would remove all of it's Rubashkin stuff on it's web site, if Rubashkin agreed to unannounced inspections.

I know this to be true, as I was sent several recordings of this debate.

This kind offer has received no response, to date.

Modern Orthodox Morons said...

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/07/02/obama_israel/

Jews for Obama is even planning to send Orthodox Jewish supporters of Obama to Florida to go door to door and persuade their co-religionists that the candidate would serve their interests.

Anonymous said...

Bulldozer plows into crowded bus on Jaffa Street

Three dead, dozens hurt in Jerusalem terror attack

By Jonathan Lis, Haaretz Correspondent

A Palestinian from East Jerusalem deliberately plowed a bulldozer he was driving into a passenger bus on Jaffa Street in the capital shortly after noon Wednesday, killing three people and wounding dozens more.

One of the dead was a woman who had been driving her car at the scene of the attack. Police shot and killed the driver of the bulldozer, who held an Israeli identification card, and who had a criminal record.

Footage of the attack shows the policeman and an off-duty soldier climb up to the cab of the moving bulldozer, reach in through the window and shoot the driver dead.

A preliminary investigation showed that the bulldozer left a nearby construction site, drove against the direction of traffic on Jaffa Street, hitting the Egged bus, which turned over, along with other vehicles and pedestrians along the way. The attack took place near the old Central Bus Station and the headquarters of the Israel Broadcasting Authority.

One of the fatalties in the attack was named as Elizabeth Goren-Friedman, 54, of Jerusalem. She will be laid to rest at 10:30 P.M. on Wednesday at the Givat Shaul cemetery.

The second woman killed was named as Bat-Sheva Unterman, 33. The name of the third fatality has not yet been released.

Magen David Adom rescue services said that a total of 22 people were taken to Jerusalem hospitals, including two in serious condition. Four were moderately wounded and another 16 were lightly hurt.

The wounded included two babies whose parents could not be located.

The mother of one of the babies hurled the child out of the car window before being struck and wounded by the bulldozer. The mother of the other baby was killed in the rampage. Social workers appeared on TV frantically searching for the father.

The attack set off a panic in downtown Jerusalem, when a state of emergency was declared. Dozens of people were seen running through the streets to flee the scene of the attack, where wounded people lay on the ground amid piles of broken glass and blood stains.

"I saw the tractor's shovel turn to the bus and deliberately hit it. It hit other vehicles as well," an Israel Radio reporter said.

Emergency vehicles rushed to the scene, where the single-decker commuter bus, its side slashed by the tractor, lay on its side. The Toyota driven by the woman killed in the attack was reportedly flattened.

At least three other vehicles appeared to sustain damage, including a van whose entire front section was crushed.

The incident marked was the first terror attack in Jerusalem since a gunman killed eight students in a religious school in March. The attack came nearly two weeks into a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The attack occurred in an area where Jerusalem is building a new train system. The project has turned many parts of the city into a major construction zone.

Jerusalem has been the target of dozens of deadly terror attacks over the past decade, most recently in March of this year, when a gunman entered a religious seminary and shot dead eight students before he was killed by police.

'I fired at him twice'

Policeman Eli Mizrahi said he was at the Mahane Yehuda open-air market when he heard over his radio that the bulldozer was rumbling in his direction.

Speeding to the scene on his motorcycle, Mizrahi arrived just after a policewoman shot the Palestinian driving the vehicle. But then, unexpectedly, the attacker stepped on the gas pedal once more and ran over a police car, Mizrahi said.

"He started to drive like crazy and held the steering wheel, pressing against it, and started to race down the street," Mizrahi told reporters at the scene.

While the construction machine was moving, Mizrahi and the off-duty soldier climbed up to the driver's cab. The soldier fired first, and then Mizrahi shot the driver twice.

"I ran up the steps and, while he was still driving like crazy and trying to harm civilians, I fired at him twice more and that's it, he was neutralized," Mizrahi said, speaking calmly to a swarm of reporters.

The soldier said he had been riding his bike through downtown Jerusalem en route home when he noticed the bulldozer plowing into the bus.

"I understood imemdiately that this was a terror attack. I threw down my bank and hurried to make contact with the terrorist," the soldier said. "I got closer to the bulldozer, the whole time looking for my weapon to shoot him. I noticed Oron Ben Shimon, an armed civilian, and together we tried to neutralize the terrorist. We tried at least to pull his feet off the accelerator."

"The terrorist yelled, 'God is great.' I grabbed Oron's handgun and fired three bullets. As soon as I was sure he was dead I lifted the gun so as not to hurt passersby," he added.

Arab Murderer Putz with the Backhoe said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/998340.html

It's not every day you see video footage like this.

. said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/998400.html

Three Israelis were killed and dozens more wounded on Wednesday when a Palestinian construction worker driving a bulldozer plowed deliberately into a crowded bus and a string of cars in downtown Jerusalem.

Jerusalem residents Bat Sheva Unterman, 33, Elizabeth Goren-Friedman, 54, and Jean Raloy, were named as the fatalities in the attack.

Unterman was a resident of Jerusalem's Rehavia neighborhood, and worked as a nanny in a religious kingergarten in the city's Har Homa quarter. She was killed when the car she was driving was crushed by the oncoming bulldozer.

Unterman's 6-month-old daughter, Efrat, was evacuated from the car just before the vehicle was hit.

Her husband, Ido, was notified only hours after the attack that his wife had been killed.

Unterman was the daughter of Rifka and James Lubenstein, immigrants from Holland. Her husband, Ido, is the grandson of Rabbi Isser Yehuda Unterman, who served as chief rabbi of Liverpool and of Tel Aviv, and also as chief rabbi of Israel from 1964-1973.

The Unterman couple had tried for years to have children, but managed only with the birth of Efrat last year. Bat-Sheva had extended her maternity leave by a few months, returning to work last week with her daughter to celebrate the end of the year party.

Unterman's friend, Meira Schwartz, described her as a person filled with faith, who never gave up her dream of having children, even after having to go through countless procedures.

"Until Efrat was born, the children in the kindergarten were like her own, and she was a nanny of the highest excellence, with exemplary patience for each and ever child," said Schwartz.

Unterman will be laid to rest at 11:30 P.M. in the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem.

'It's difficult to speak about her in past tense'

Elizabeth Goren-Friedman, originally from Austria, was a resident of Katamon who worked as a teacher in a school for the blind. She was laid to rest at 10:30 P.M. in Givat Shaul.

Goren-Friedman was divorced and the mother of three children: Yael, 16, Issachar, 19, and Zvi, 23. Both of her sons were students at the Horev hesder yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Her friends described her as a "wonderful person," who volunteered regularly at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.

Rachel Sakrovish, who worked with Goren-Friedman, said her colleague was an excellent teachers. "It's hard to speak about her in the last tense. Lili was a wonderful person. There was not a student that she did not help progress on a personal, educational, and rehabilitative level. We knew that if a student was retreated or having difficulties, Luly was the teacher who would do the fundamental work to help him advance."

"When I think of her, I remember the phrase, 'a woman of valor, who can find,'" she said.

'The first thing with Jean was his family'

Jean Raloy, an air-conditioner technician who lived in the Gilo neighborhood, was the third person killed in the terrorist's murder spree.

His nephew said "the first thing with Jean was his family." Raloy, who was born in Iran, was married to Hanna and the father of two daughters and a son, and was to become a grandfather in about a month.

Black Gold said...

(AP) - Oil soared to a record above $144 a barrel Thursday in Asia, fueled by concerns over a larger-than-expected drop in U.S. stockpiles and the threat of conflict with Iran.

Expectations that the European Central Bank will raise interest rates later Thursday was expected to weaken the U.S. dollar and drive oil prices even higher, as investors turn to commodities as a hedge against a falling greenback.

"Even though the rise of European interest rates has been priced into oil, an official announcement by the ECB will still add momentum to oil prices," said Victor Shum, an analyst with Purvin & Gertz in Singapore.

Prices may also be lifted with increased buying before U.S. oil markets close Friday for the Fourth of July holiday.

"There are numerous supply-side concerns that support a strong pricing. As we head into a long weekend in the U.S., it's likely that we will see pricing bubbling away at $145," Shum added.

Midday in Singapore, light, sweet crude for August delivery was up 68 cents at $144.25 a barrel in Asian electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the electronic session, it rose to a record of $144.44 a barrel.

That was after setting a new closing record for floor trade Wednesday at $143.57 - a full $2.60 above the previous close.

Xbox Putz said...

http://www.switched.com/2008/07/02/sexual-predators-using-xbox-playstation-to-find-kids/

Sexual Predators Using Xbox, PlayStation to Find Kids

by Tim Stevens, posted Jul 2nd 2008 at 11:41AM

Online worlds are already plenty dangerous enough for impressionable kids. Now, according to USA Today, online gaming is being pegged as the next possible source of harm for young kids, with sexual predators using voice and text chat in online gaming services like Microsoft's Xbox Live and Sony's PlayStation Network as venues to meet kids.

Several predators have been arrested after taking advantage of kids through these services. They tend to get to know the kids as they play games together, and as they become more familiar, exchange contact information.

For its part, Microsoft is helping law enforcement agencies figure out how to track the histories of such predators online and extract their messages and activity from Xbox consoles. However, as usual, the best prevention is for parents to keep an eye on what their children are up to.

Sholom Rubashkin Scratching Away said...

First floods, now pesky mosquitoes for Midwest

By LINDSEY TANNER,AP
Posted: 2008-07-02 16:11:03
CHICAGO (AP) - First came the floods - now the mosquitoes. An explosion of pesky insects are pestering clean-up crews and just about anyone venturing outside in the waterlogged Midwest. In some parts of Iowa there are 20 times the normal number, and in Chicago up to five times more than usual.

The good news is these are mostly floodwater mosquitoes, not the kind that usually carry West Nile virus and other diseases. But they are very hungry, and sometimes attack in swarms with a stinging bite.

Heavy rain followed by high temperatures creates ideal conditions for these bugs, whose eggs hatch in the soil after heavy rains. Scientists call them nuisance mosquitoes. You could call that an understatement.

"About 3 p.m. the bugs come out pretty bad. They're all over the place," Bill Driscoll, a flood cleanup worker in Palo, Iowa, said this week. "We've been burning through the repellent with the volunteers."

In Lisbon, Iowa, about 20 miles east of flood-ravaged Cedar Rapids, biker Larry Crystal said mosquitoes have made his rides miserable.

"Every time I stop to rest at a rest area these buggers just find a way to bite me all over my neck area between my helmet and jacket," he wrote on a bikers' blog.

"They seem to be very aggressive, they're even coming into my helmet, finding any bits of skin," Crystal told The Associated Press. "They're just going at it."

Some mosquito surveillance traps in Iowa have up to 20 times more mosquitoes than in recent years, said Lyric Bartholomay, an Iowa State University insect expert.

For example, last week, 3,674 mosquitoes were counted in Ames-area traps, compared with 182 for the same week last year, Bartholomay said Wednesday. Trap quantities are just a tiny snapshot of the true numbers of mosquitoes flying around.

In Iowa, the main culprit is the Aedes trivittatus, a common nuisance mosquito with "a voracious appetite and they hurt when they feed on you," she said.

A relative called Aedes vexans is doing much of the biting in Chicago's suburbs, hit by recent heavy rains, said Mike Szyska of the Northwest Mosquito Abatement District.

Mosquito numbers in northwestern suburbs peaked last week at about five times higher than normal for this time of year, Szyska said.

Complaints and requests for insecticide spraying have the district "working day and night. We're extremely busy," he said.

Right now there's no evidence of higher than normal numbers of Culex mosquitoes, more commonly associated with West Nile virus. Several states have found evidence of West Nile, but only a few cases, which tend to start occurring later in July.

But health authorities say that could change with drier weather, which Culex mosquitoes prefer, so they're advising people to take precautions.

Culex mosquitoes breed in stagnant water and sludge in protected areas like ditches, storm drains or backyard bird baths and discarded tires, Szyska said.

"One thing that we're warning people with the flooded homes, as they're gutting them and getting rid of debris, make sure you dispose of that kind of stuff correctly," said Howard Pue of Missouri's Department of Public Health.

Anonymous said...

a reliable source informed me that there is evedense connecting members of the Rabbinical Council of California to the spinka case
this person (whistleblower)recieved this information through recorded conversations of RCC members engaging in Extortion and blackmail an investigation has been set up to investigate other allegations as well as to (kick Backs) that have been occuring in the jewish community of Los Angeles with RCC members and affiliates. further investigation has opened up Pandora's box implicating several well know people in the orthodox community of LA what will the orthodox community do how will they survive without the leadership of the RCC and other leaders of the jewish community the evedense is shocking
what people do for money these days
but a rabbi

Telz Angels said...

http://telzyeshiva.blogspot.com/2008/07/rabbi-shlomo-miller-letter-2-in-support.html

Rabbi Shlomo Miller letter #2 in support of the Din Torah

After his first letter comes out they go running to him "How can you write such a thing Rabbi Chaim Stein is there were is your kavod for him" so he says ok I will write another one...

Barack Islamobama said...

These modern ortho guys are great! One putz in Flatbush on East 22nd between L&M even has an Obama for President sign on his lawn.

OU Crony Watch said...

http://yudelstake.blogspot.com/2008/07/rubashkin-update.html

In a magazine interview this week with a PETA undercover agent who believe it or not is a shomer Shabbos Yid, he speaks of cutting out of ear tags on conscious animals, a cruel procedure done at the Rubashkins' Local Pride slaughterhouse in Nebraska.

Menachem Genack of the OU—in a lecture at the "Ask OU" conference in August 2006—admitted that PETA was correct that animals were demonstrating prolonged consciousness at AgriProcressors:

"The initial claim from our community was that [the animals] were not conscious, but that's probably not true because that type of complex motor activity means that there is a certain level of consciousness." (Rabbi Genack in a lecture at the AskOU8 conference titled "The PETA Controversy," August 2006)

Rabbi Genack, in that lecture, also said explicitly that AgriProcessors never should have been doing trachea dismemberment on conscious animals:

"It's a procedure that shouldn't have been done, frankly; when the OU found out about it they stopped it right away."

Rabbi Genack stated that "shackle and hoist" was "extremely stressful and probably painful" (Rabbi Genack in a lecture at the AskOU8 conference titled "The PETA Controversy," August 2006). Why then can't the OU just suspend its hechsher from these companies in light of these horrible abuses? There is still a paranoid mentality that we should never speak out publicly against our own community. Damage control is the priority. Discrediting the messenger seems to be the tactic of choice.

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

Lest we forget where Menachem Lubinsky got his start as a spokesperson.

Let's see how many people know where?

Gerrorist said...

I give up - where?

Anonymous said...

What Wonderful Resume Builders...COPE and Agudath Israel

He served as the founding director of the Boro Park Senior Citizens Center and Project COPE (Career Opportunities Preparation for Employment) a multi-million dollar job-training agency, and then as Vice President of Government and Public Affairs of Agudath Israel of America. In that capacity he represented the nation’s 600 Jewish elementary, high school and postgraduate schools.

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

What Wonderful Resume Builders...COPE and Agudath Israel
---------------------
Anon: 11:54 - COME ON DOWN!

Gerrorist: NEVER GIVE UP!

Anonymous said...

11:54 Anon

I win?

But really...we all lose here...

Anonymous said...

JERUSALEM - A 5-month-old baby whose mother threw her out of a car window to save her from a Palestinian attacker has been reunited with her father.

The child's mother was killed during the deadly rampage Wednesday by a Palestinian from east Jerusalem, who slammed a construction vehicle into buses, cars and pedestrians. A total of three people were killed before the attacker was shot dead by security officers.

Seconds before her car was struck, Batsheva Unterman saved her baby by throwing the child to safety. Initial reports had said the 33-year-old Unterman was injured but survived.

The baby escaped unhurt. It took hours to locate the child's father, who did not know his wife and baby were involved in the attack, rescue services said Thursday.

The baby's great grandfather was Israel's chief rabbi from 1967-1973

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

9,350 youth beds recalled due of entrapment danger

WASHINGTON (AP) — About 9,350 youth beds were recalled Thursday because the toy chest that's attached to the bed can entrap children.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission says a 22-month-old boy in Roseville, Calif., was killed when the lid of the toy chest on his LaJolla Boat Bed fell on his head, entrapping and strangling him.

The CPSC says the lid supports on the toy chest don't work properly and can close too quickly.

The recall involves two youth beds by Bayside Furnishings of San Diego, Calif. The beds are the LaJolla Boat Bed and the Pirates of the Caribbean Twin Trundle Bed. They were sold at Costco and other stores nationwide from January 2006 to May 2008 for between $700 and $1,400.

The pre-assembled toy chests are attached directly to the bed as footboards. The chests are designed in the shape of a ship or a boat's bow.

Parents and caregivers are advised to immediately stop children from using the toy chests. The CPSC says the children can still sleep in the beds, but must not use the toy chests.

Consumers can contact Bayside, a division of Whalen, for instructions on receiving a free repair kit with replacement lid supports.

__

Shea Hecht said...

http://www.jewcy.com/post/kosher_keeping_vegans_go_undercover_break_biggest_case_animal_cruelty_american_jewish_history

I also attended the Ivy League Torah Study Program, which is run, ironically, by the National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education (NCFJE). I say "ironically" because now this organization is the focus of a multi-year PETA investigation into abuses during kapporos. Rabbi Shea Hecht of NCFJE has been completely resistant to making humane changes.

steve said...

THE RIDVAZ REGARDING KASHRUS IN AMERICA? 100 YEARS LATER, ARE WE ANY BETTER OFF? I'M AFRAID NOT!!

http://matzav.com/default.asp?sourceid=&smenu=181&twindow=&mad=&sdetail=1686&wpage=1&skeyword=&sidate=&ccat=&ccatm=&restate=&restatus=&reoption=&retype=&repmin=&repmax=&rebed=&rebath=&subname=&pform=&sc=2222&hn=matzav&he=.com


Chief Rabbi of Chicago and Zekan Harabbonim of America

The Ridvaz, Rov of the famed Lithuanian city of Slutzk, first visited the United States in 1900 for the purpose of raising funds for the publication of his monumental commentary of the Talmud Yerushalmi called the “Ridvaz”. It was then that he got his initial taste of the deplorable kashrus situation in New York. He visited Rav Yaakov Yosef, famed Chief Rabbi of New York and found the great gaon and tzaddik to be a broken, forsaken man. Rav Yosef suffered terribly as a result of his unsuccessful attempts to regulate the kosher meat industry in New York. The Ridvaz spent five months in American during which time he visited almost every major Jewishly populated center of the country.

In 1903 he returned to America and settled in Chicago. He was appointed Rov of several shuls there and was called the Chief Rabbi of Chicago. In addition, the Agudas HaRabbanim gave him the honorary title of “Zekan HaRabbanim of America.”

It was in Chicago that the Ridvaz set out to try and organize the kashrus standards amongst the slaughterhouses and the butchers. At the outset, the Ridvaz refused to accept a salary or even allow the kehilla to pay his rent saying, “Until I feel that I am able to make improvements with regard to Torah and yirah, why do I need the Rabbanus or the salary that goes with it? I did not settle in this country in order to earn a living. I was not lacking for anything back home.”

The Root Causes of the Kashrus Problem in Early 20th Century America

The Ridvaz incisively pointed out the root causes of the complete chaos that characterized kashrus and organized Yiddishkeit in America. He explained that the reason so many people are eating non-kosher meat in America is because “America is a country comprised of immigrants from all four corners of the earth. No one knows who the other immigrant is; no one knows his situation; no one knows what he was in his home land and what he did there; and no one knows how he was viewed in his community back home. Many people who, in their hometowns were known as Jews who had cast off mitzvah observance, came to America and grew beards in order to fool unwitting people who have no way of checking into their past. These charlatans with long beards and rabbinic garments deliver public drashos and display semicha documents ostensibly written and signed by great European Rabbanim.”

In a candid admission on how European Rabbanim unknowingly and unwittingly contributed to the problems facing American Jewry, the Ridvaz continued, “The masses in America do not know that one cannot rely on semicha documents issued in Europe over the past few years. European Rabbanim now give semicha to practically every young man who requests it. They are well intentioned when granting such semichos. They feel that by granting semicha they are thereby encouraging their petitioners to come closer to Torah. In truth, over the last years that has been a strengthening in Torah learning in Europe as a result of the more liberal distribution of semicha documents. It is for this reason that every avreich who knows a bit about the first section of the Yoreh Deah order of Shulchan Aruch, receives semicha. I too granted many such semicha documents. I did not even dream that these people were far removed from Torah and yiras shamayim. These people were eventually thrown out of their communities in Europe because they were found to be involved in unfavorable conduct. They then fled to America where they came to shuls and began to deliver drashos. If they were good orators they were employed by the shul to deliver the Shabbos sermon. They then pulled out their semichos and called themselves Rov of the shul. There are many such “Rabbanim” throughout the country’s shuls.”

Then, with great passion and consternation, the Ridvaz decries the resulting kashrus problems emanating from the relationship of such ‘Rabbanim’ with evil butchers. He writes, “Similarly, reshoim gemurim, absolutely evil people came from Europe to America and assumed the role of butchers who sell “kosher” meat to Jews. These ‘Rabbanim’ have teemed up with the wicked butchers. For a substantial fee, the butcher retains the ‘hashgacha’ of the ‘Rov’ and then earns even more money by feeding tarfus to fellow Jews.

“In addition,” writes the Ridvaz, “The ‘shochtim’ come from homes completely ignorant of Torah. They know how to wield a knife and shows a ‘kabalah’ that authorized them to shecht, but in truth, they are kal shebekalim – they are people who make extremely light of all that is holy and display a cavalier attitude to Torah observance. This can clearly be seen by all. For example they will go to the theater even on Shabbos Kodesh and the like!

‘The Jews, however, show no interest in clarifying who their butcher is and who is the Rov who is being mashgiach over him. They rely on the well known advice, “Az mi ruft ehm Mendel, meg men essen fun zan fendel – if they call him Mendel, one can eat from his pot…”

“Everything is Kosher”

The Ridvaz explained that not every Rov in America is guilty of the above mentioned transgressions but the G-d fearing Rabbanim are powerless to stop the diabolical bond between the corrupt Rabbanim and the butchers. “I cannot deny that I also find Rabbanim in this country who are true Torah scholars and possess much yiras shamayim and there are even shochtim and butchers who are upright Jews. They, however, do not have the power to help. The reason is that due to the unscrupulous conduct of many “Rabbanim,” the honor of the rabbinate is at a low. The simple Jews cannot distinguish between one “Rabbi” and another, between one shochet and another, between one butcher and another and they have therefore lost their trust and honor for all Rabbanim making it all but impossible for the trustworthy among them to have any influence. It is impossible to discern which meat is kosher and which is not because every store window flaunts a sign that “kosher meat is sold here”. Everywhere one walks, one sees bold signs touting basar kosher to the extent that one cannot find anywhere in the country that sells treif. Everything is kosher!”

“The G-d fearing Jews who know about Torah and know what Torah learning means are broken hearted when they see how difficult it is to actually obtain kosher meat. Unfortunately, they are helpless against the masses who have gathered from the four corners of the world and do not care one bit about kashrus! Those masses already ate tarfus on the ships that brought them to the United States and they have no interest in the chareidim’s efforts to institute safeguards that would guarantee that meat claiming to be kosher is actually kosher. Their ‘Rabbis’, their ‘shochtim’ and their butchers’ help them sell meat for cheaper prices. This then is all about cheap meat – cheap meat at the cost of the kashrus. Thus the ehrliche, Torah true butcher cannot even compete with them. He too, must lower his prices and he cannot make a profit…”

A Shochet That
Is So Tired He Can
Not Raise His Hand

The Ridvaz goes on to explain that not only is the lack of Torah observance of most of the Rabbis, shochtim and butchers in the meat industry a problem, but the actual way that the slaughterhouses are run and set up make it very difficult to have kosher meat.

“I have seen in this country another terrible thing that causes the hair to stand on end. The chicken shochtim have the job of plucking the feathers of the chickens that they slaughter. There are shochtim who shecht on Thursday and Friday close to 2,000 chickens and also pluck the feathers. They are so exhausted that on Friday night they cannot even raise their heads to eat. In some cases, family members have to spoon feed them because they simply do not have the strength to eat with their own hands. In such cases their shechita is complete neveilah and the utensils used to cook and eat the food become prohibited.

“Either way, as a result of this situation, untold numbers of Jews are consuming treife food, rachmana letzlan. Chazal teach that if a person wants divrei Torah to penetrate, he should daven that no forbidden food should ever enter his body. Once forbidden food is absorbed into one’s system, it drives out the spirit of Yiddishkeit and enables the forbidden desires to increase, r”l. As a result, a person becomes attracted to all kinds of abominations in a way that makes it difficult to do teshuva. All of this is caused by the fact that this country is such a gathering place for all types of people, good and bad, from lands throughout the world and no one is able to differentiate between good people and bad people…”

The Ridvaz also writes several horror stories that he himself witnessed and as he put it, “were nevalah, travesties of which we have never heard from the time of Mattan Torah up until today.”

He writes about a sly, immoral person who came and claimed to be a Rov, with rabbinic garments who then joined forces with non-Jewish owners of some of the largest slaughterhouses and meat-processing plants in the entire United States. Without the supply of animals from these slaughterhouses there would be no meat in the entire city [of Chicago] and would affect the amount of meat available in the entire country. This ‘Rov’ decided that he would drive away all the Rabbanim from the slaughterhouses so that there would be no true rabbinic supervision and he would be the only ‘Rov’ responsible for all of the kashrus in the four biggest slaughterhouses that supply large parts of the country with meat. Under the threat of losing their jobs, he forbade the shochtim from showing their shechita knives to any Rov other than him and declared that he would be the only person responsible for the kashrus in those four slaughterhouses.

“Gather together and listen bnei Yisroel to what this base individual did. Rend your hearts and not your garments upon hearing this. Have you ever heard of such a nevala?! Have you ever, in your days or in the days of your forefathers, heard that in the largest slaughterhouses and plants in the world where many thousands of workers are employed that there should be three shochtim for an entire plant?! All in all there are 12 shochtim for 4 plants, three of whom are also given the duties, in addition to shechita, of checking all of the organs and marking each piece of meat with a seal. They must check and mark the feet, the intestines, the livers, each one separately. They must sharpen and check their knives in between each shechita, they must blow up the lungs and they cannot rest for even one second because if they are in any way delayed, hundreds of slaughterhouse workers will be waiting for him to shecht. If these workers see the shochet delayed in coming to shecht they just kill the animals themselves [and call it kosher].

The Ridvaz concludes this chilling, heartbreaking story about that ‘Rov’ saying, “What did this sly, wicked man do? He prevented all Jews from keeping kosher and he caused Jews from across the United States to transgress the prohibition against eating treife meat from the slaughterhouses under his “supervision”. It is possible that one person could accept upon himself such a veritable mountain of aveiros? To forcefully prevent Jews from keeping kosher and then to boast about the brilliant move he had made!”

Agudah Fresser who's a regular at Chevrah Chazerim said...

http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/full/92/2/246

The Contribution of Expanding Portion Sizes to the US Obesity Epidemic

Lisa R. Young, PhD, RD and Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH

The authors are with the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, New York University, New York City.

Sheldon Adelson said...

UOJ should check out this article which explains among other things why I was so rude to Uncle Morris when I found out he was good friends with Putz Olmert.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/06/30/080630fa_fact_bruck

The World of Business
The Brass Ring

A multibillionaire’s relentless quest for global influence.

by Connie Bruck
June 30, 2008

Anonymous said...

UOJ has long since ceased to be interesting or relevant. Initially, the messages there were discomfiting but germane. He served an important role in uncovering a major outrage in our communities and made it acceptable to express such outrage.

Of late, however, the blog seems to be infested with Peak Oilers, Sustainability freaks and other such converts to the Ch-rch of Earth G-ddess Worship who drone on about how frum lifestyles will arouse the furious wrath of Gaia vch'. I get enough of that from the secular blogs and the Greenpeace! nutballs outside my office building.

Wall Street Journal said...

A very important detail in the Wall Street Journal is that fraudulent IDs were found in the office of Rubashkin's HR dept.

The supervisors were not acting alone.

How are Genack and the rest of these losers going to explain this one away?

- Archie Bunker

http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB121515228034328675-lMyQjAxMDI4MTA1NDEwNTQyWj.html

Agriprocessors Supervisors Arrested On Charges of Aiding Illegal Immigrants

By MIRIAM JORDAN
July 4, 2008 6:57 a.m.

Federal agents on Thursday arrested two supervisors at Agriprocessors Inc., the country's largest kosher meatpacking plant, on charges they helped illegal immigrants secure fake documents and encouraged them to reside in the U.S.

The arrests marked the first by U.S. authorities of individuals in supervisory roles at the Postville, Iowa, plant. On May 12, Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents arrested 389 workers at the facility, most of them undocumented immigrants from Latin America.

On Thursday, ICE agents arrested Juan Carlos Guerrero-Espinoza, 35, and Martin De La Rosa-Loera, 43, on various criminal immigration and fraudulent identity charges outlined in separate complaints filed in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A federal warrant has been issued for the arrest of another manager, Hosam Amara, 43, who hasn't been located, according to a court statement.

Both Messrs. Guerrero-Espinoza and De La Rosa-Loera were charged with aiding and abetting the use of fraudulent identification before the raid. Mr. Guerrero-Espinoza is also charged with aiding and abetting "aggravated identity theft," according to the court. Both men were detained temporarily until their detention hearings on Monday.

Illegal immigrants typically get jobs either by presenting Social Security cards and other identification carrying a fabricated name and number, or by utilizing the real name and Social Security number of a U.S. legal resident or citizen, which constitutes identity theft.

The court complaint, based on information from unnamed "sources" who worked at the plant, cites an instance in which Mr. Guerrero-Espinoza asked illegal immigrants for $200 and a photograph. The supervisor, who oversaw the plant's beef-kill section, then allegedly provided the workers with fraudulent identification.

According to the complaint, Mr. De La Rosa-Loera, who oversaw the poultry-kill division, allegedly asked illegal workers to secure new work papers to ensure they could keep working at the plant just days before federal agents stormed the plant.

The complaint also alleges that the May 12 raid resulted in the seizure of dozens of fraudulent permanent alien resident cards in the human resources department at Agriprocessors.

An Agriprocessors spokesman said after the arrests that the company couldn't offer any comment because "its attorneys are reviewing the paperwork pertaining to the federal action today."

The May raid marked the single largest worksite operation by the Bush administration, which has recently stepped up enforcement at companies believed to employ illegal immigrants. Most of the detained workers were sentenced to five months in prison for engaging in identity theft, in addition to being charged with committing a civil offense for living in the U.S. illegally.

The raid exposed allegations that workers at the sprawling plant, which employed more than 900 people, were underpaid, physically abused, sexually harassed and extorted. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a U.S. government official who has visited the plant described the operation as "medieval." An investigation is still under way, and a court spokesman declined to disclose whether more arrests are likely.

The allegations about worker mistreatment at Agriprocessors have sparked a heated debate in the Jewish community. The raid has also disrupted kosher meat supplies, with shortages affecting customers from supermarkets in Kansas City to kosher restaurants in Los Angeles.

Write to Miriam Jordan at miriam.jordan@wsj.com

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

There are two new exceptional essays on "UOJGROUP.BLOGSPOT.COM"

Yankee Doodle Jew, and one by The Wolf!

Anonymous said...

UOJ,
Get a life already-
every other day u r finding another rav or respectable jewish person to fight with-
and if you notice all them get off because 99% of the time they are not guilty and have alterior motives.
give it up man-use your smarts for something useful

Bunch of Freaks said...

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20210581,00.html

Amid swirling rumors of infidelity and divorce, Madonna and Guy Ritchie took their children to Kabbalah services in New York City on Saturday, July 5. Also in attendance? Guy Oseary, who manages the careers of Madonna and Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, to whom she has been linked.

Madonna arrived at the Kabbalah Centre in Midtown Manhattan with wet hair and sporting large studded sunglasses to shield her face. During the service, the singer sat apart from her husband and on the women's side of the aisle—which is the custom in Kabbalah worship.

The couple's sons David, 2, and Rocco, 7 – wearing matching white T-shirts and baseball caps – sat with their mother, as did Lourdes, 11, who occasionally propped her youngest brother up on her lap.

After the service ended, Ritchie – also decked in a white baseball cap, white T-shirt and white pants – reconnected with his family. They all left together, with Ritchie holding David in his arms.