Monday, December 02, 2013

Moral Responsibility Obviously Does Not Apply To Gedolim!

THE UOJ ARCHIVES: October 2007

A Doctoral Candidate Writes:

The Moral Responsibility Research Project was launched in October 2007. The researchers are graduate students in psychology at the University of Chicago, DePaul University, and Loyola University. The focus of the research was the prevalence and effects of molestation in the Chicago Orthodox Jewish community. Using evidence-based best practices the team set out to research this vital subject.

The following is a sampling of the data compiled to date:

1 in 6 Chicago Orthodox Jewish teenage boys reported being molested at least once.

1 in 5 Chicago Orthodox Jewish teenage girls reported being molested at least once.

Boys who are victims:
52% reported being molested by teachers
35% reported being molested by a relative
13% reported being molested by a friend/others

Girls who are victims:
0% reported being molested by teachers
73% reported being molested by a relative
27% reported being molested by a friend/others

Who did you report this to?

57% reported this to parents
20% reported this to a school/community rabbi
0% reported this to police
23% reported this to no one

Why didn’t you tell the police?

10% responded - their parents wouldn’t allow it
54% responded - their rabbi doesn’t approve of informing on another Jew
15% responded - they feel guilty about what happened
21% responded - they fear for their family safety, financial stability or prestige

Of those who reported the abuse:

How knowledgeable and accepting was the person you spoke to?
50% responded - very knowledgeable and empathetic
30% responded - knowledgeable but unsympathetic
10% reported - it went right over their head
10% reported - being insulted

What was harder for you, being victimized or coming forward and talking?


63% responded - coming forward
37% responded - being victimized


13% responded - coming forward
87% responded - being victimized

Those who did not report the abuse to anyone:

63% responded - it would ruin the prospect of leading the life they desire
19% responded - "Who needs to deal with a mental health worker?"
16% responded - "I must be a terrible person so why tell people how bad I am?"
2% responded - I don’t know

All victims were asked these two questions:

1] Does God still love you?

73% responded - Yes
20% responded - No
7% responded - I don’t know

2] After what you went through do you still love God?

23% responded - Yes
77% responded - No


Anonymous said...

no wonder tiferes tzvi made a big push last year to send graduates to philly and long beach. This way the numbers of victims look smaller. the numers are terible as it is. 77% of the yeshiva kids say they don’t love hashem, no wonder so many kids are at-risk in chicago. So sad, I hope heads start to roll.

Asher Lipner, Ph.D. said...

Dear UOJ,

Thank you for publishing this ground-breaking research. This subject has never been studied scientifically in this way before.

As a psychologist working with adult and adolescent survivors of sexual abuse in the community, very little about the study is surprising to me, but it is helpful to see results that validate what clinicians have been finding in our day to day work.

Some of the aspects that I do believe are of note and worth commening on:

1) The much higher rate of having more difficulty coming forward about the abuse than with the abuse itself among boys than girls. This phenomenon has been noticed in the literature on the general population. The the prevailing theory is that boys have more difficulty with feeling ashamed of being victimized because social stereotypes have conditioned them to feel that it is shameful for a boy to a) be victimized and b) feel and express feelings of pain. In other words, for a girl to be a victim and to admit suffering is considered acceptable and does not challenge their sense of femininity, but boys struggle with their sense of masculinity after these experiences. (See Dr. Richard Gardner's "Betrayed as Boys" and Dr. Mic Hunter's book on men abused as boys.) This is clinically relevant as boys often have identity and sometimes sexual orientation problems after being molested, especially by a male. (Being molested by a female creates other unique difficlties.)

2) The 77% rate of self-disclosure in teen-agers seems very high, especially in our community, but it could be that recent efforts at publicizing the problems (including UOJ's) has already been helping people take the chance at least with parents. Rabbi Horowitz has been publicizing the need for parents to have what he calls "the talk" with their children. The level of victims reporting having a positive experience with disclosing is also a little more than I would have expected and probably can be attributed to increased community awareness about the problem as well.

3)The questions about victims' relationship with G-d seem to suggest that even if Jewish people feel angry and have difficulty loving G-d, they still know that G-d loves them. While this can obviously be helpful, it is also extremely confusing for a young person or anyone in fact, to deal with the ambivalence of feeling guilty and ashamed about not loving someone you know loves you. I would be thrilled for people to do more research on the impact these relational outcomes vis a vis G-d have on people's personality development. My dissertation for graduate school was on "Unconscious Ambivalent Feelings Towards G-d in Psychoanalysis and in Judaism."

This research will prove to be invaluable to clinicians, rabbis, community leaders and parents. It is obvious to me that it can help us with planning and implementing prevention, assessments and treatment for victims. In addition it will hopefully spur on additional research that will further help us in tackling this problem in our community in a wide range of strategies.

One question: I'm assuming this has been published in a professional, peer reviewed journal or presented at a professional conference. Can you give us the source?

Kol Tuv,

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

Top Twenty List of Things Wrong With Today's Orthodox Culture



LVF said...

Uoj, do you have any info on mondrowitz, his court appearance in israel was schedualed for may
29th, I do know that it was pushed off till sometime after yom tov (shavuos), can anyone please inform us of his new court date, Thanks.

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


I'm informed that there is no new date scheduled for his final appeal as of yet; it could be announced at any time and heard without formal notice.

This is the information as I know it.

Boruch said...

I wait with sincere interest the debate that will ensue regarding this research. The shaklah ve'tariah will reach Bavli or maybe Yerushalmi proportions when shielded men and women shunning the methodology of scientific inquiry (regardless of how un-scientific or imprecise) will put forth their own "research". I hope that those who will debate will sign, not their names, but their degrees and the degree granting institutions. For example, chaver from Lakewood, or yungerman from TARY, or the like. I await the great debate, Yavneh will be paled.

Anonymous said...

How do i get a copy of this study?

Bernie said...

Rav Sternbuch: Against Torah to go to Hotels


Rubashkin Fresser said...


Does anyone know if Rubashkin is currently under water from the "500 year flood" in Iowa where entire cities are flooded to the rooftops? This NY Times map from 4 days ago is before the worst was over and the northeast corner of State around Postville already had moderate flooding.


By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer
Last Updated: June 17, 2008: 7:02 AM EDT
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The flooding in Iowa over the last week has been a tremendous human tragedy for many in the Hawkeye state.

But it appears that the heavy rains will also have an impact that reaches far beyond the Midwest. Nationwide, consumers are likely to see higher grocery prices into next year due to disruptions in corn production. That could be another blow to an economy that's already reeling in part because of inflation fears.

Corn futures hit a record intra-day high on Monday as traders tried to estimate the damage to the corn harvest.

Iowa alone is estimated to have lost between 1 million and 3 million acres of corn production. That's about 7% to 21% of the overall production by the nation's top corn producing state.

But the flooding is only the latest weather problem to hit corn production this year.

Cold weather late into the planting season in much of the nation's corn belt, coupled with heavy rains elsewhere in the Midwest during the last week, could leave the harvest down 10% to 12% this year, said Gavin Maguire, director of research for the Iowa Grain Co. a private brokerage firm in Chicago.

"We can't make a final assessment until we get into June and July," said Maguire. "We're really slashing our expectations now. Maybe we're being overly aggressive. But if July is very hot and dry, it could reduce expectations even further."

It won't just be corn on the cob or other corn products that see price increases. Experts say some of the biggest impact might be seen in meat and dairy products, since nearly half the nation's corn crop is used for animal feed.

But corn is also used in a wide variety of other foods. High fructose corn syrup is a sweetener in soda, for example. And it's even used in non-food products, most notably for ethanol as more companies seek to use that as a fuel alternative to oil and gasoline.

"There's so many uses for it," said Maguire. "It's even in toothpaste. It's a product we've grown very dependent on."

As such, there already was pressure on corn prices even before the floods. In addition to the increased use of corn for ethanol, growing demand for meat in developing countries also sent prices higher.

The already record high prices for corn caused many farmers to shift acreage to corn from wheat and other crops. That has helped drive up the price of other crops, such as soybean and wheat.

So when are consumers likely to see higher prices at the supermarket?

Bill Lapp, a former chief economist of food giant ConAgra who now runs his own research firm, Advanced Economic Solutions out of Omaha, said some of the price increases caused by this summer's flooding might not hit grocery stores until 2009, while others could be felt later this summer.

"It's not like crude oil going up 10% and gasoline prices rising a couple of weeks later," he said. "These gyrations will change the outlook a little bit."

Corn producers, however, are downplaying the impact of rising corn prices. Some say that that the corn used in a can of soda or a pound of tortilla chips represents only pennies of the overall cost of those products.

But even Larry Mitchell, director of governmental affairs for the American Corn Growers Association, says he would expect to see future increases in food prices because of the rising price of corn futures.

Exports may also take a hit due to the floods. That's because much of the corn, as well as wheat and soybeans, sold to other countries are transported down the Mississippi River or over railroad lines from the Midwest.

So the damage done to these areas may wind up slowing the shipment of corn outside the U.S.

Maguire said about 19% of U.S. corn production is exported, outpacing the 11% to 12% that is consumed directly as corn or corn products by Americans.

Any disruption in corn exports could be another blow to the economy since selling goods to other countries has been a source of strength during this downturn. It also has been a factor helping to keep the trade gap in check despite rising oil prices.

Baltimore, the City that Breeds Morons said...


At Baltimore's largest kosher grocery store, meat manager Chaim Fishman has learned to order twice as much poultry from his chief supplier as he used to. He knows that however much he orders, the company will ship half.

Three weeks after federal immigration agents raided the AgriProcessors slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, and detained almost half of its work force, Baltimore's kosher markets and caterers are finding ways to satisfy one of the nation's most dedicated clienteles.

"I'm ordering much more because I know they're going to halve me," said Fishman, sitting in an office above the Seven Mile Market in Pikesville.

"I'm getting about 25 percent of my supply from them. It used to be 75 percent."

Some customers loyal to Rubashkin - perhaps the best known label marketed by AgriProcessors - are buying, and in some cases hoarding, what they can find on shelves.

Outside Seven Mile Market, some customers said they have found enough kosher meat to feed their families, and they seemed to be reserving judgment about AgriProcessors' employment practices.

"I need to see both sides," said Stan Hochman, who lives nearby. "When I hear these things, there's always a tainted side. I just don't know."

Rabbi Shlomo Porter, director of the Etz Chaim Center, which eduates adult Jews about religious practices, said AgriProcessors should not be blamed for employees who supplied false documentation.

"I think there has been a slant to try to make a negative picture of kosher slaughtering," said Porter. "If the government felt Rubashkin had done anything wrong, they would have indicted Rubashkin."

(Senior Federal agents have told the Washington Post that a case is being built against the Rubashkins but that white collar cases take years to produce indictments)

Orthodox Hechsher Tzedek said...


Kosher to eat is not the same as kosher to buy

by rabbi shlomo levin

Is meat produced at Agriprocessor’s plant in Postville, Iowa, really kosher?

In spite of it bearing the Orthodox Union’s kosher symbol, that question has been on many of our minds since U.S. immigration authorities raided the plant May 12 and arrested 390 illegal immigrant workers.

The raid also raised allegations that workers were paid less than the minimum wage and subjected to forms of abuse.

What does “kosher” really mean? As used in Jewish law, the definition of kosher is “fit for a certain purpose.”

For example, one could ask whether a dried out lulav is kosher to wave on Sukkot, or whether a cracked shofar is kosher to blow on Rosh Hashanah.

With regard to food, kosher means “fit for a Jewish person to eat.” As most of us know, the Jewish tradition includes intricate rules for food.

But there is no rule that if an illegal immigrant manufactures a food, or if workers producing food are abused or not paid, the food itself then becomes forbidden to eat.

Consider, for example, someone who hosts an extravagant wedding but then never settles the food bill. Even though this would be theft, the wedding guests have not retroactively eaten traif. Pots and pans used to cook the meal don’t need to be kashered.

The rules regarding whether food is kosher and how we conduct our financial affairs are two different things.

However, I don’t think whether the meat produced by Agriprocessors is kosher to eat or not is really our concern. We don’t want to know if it is kosher to eat. We want to know if it is kosher to buy.

Why would meat from Agriprocessors not be kosher to buy? A legal discussion in the Talmud (Shabbat 3a) provides a reason:

On the Sabbath it is forbidden to pick up an object in the public domain and put it down in a private domain. If someone picks something up in a public domain and puts it into the hands of a second person standing in a private domain, the first person has violated the Sabbath and the second person has not.

The Tosfot commentary on the Talmud questions whether it is really possible for this second person to be completely in the clear. After all, he is a party to violating the Sabbath.

So Tosfot explains that while this person has not violated the law of carrying on the Sabbath, he has violated a different prohibition: the prohibition of being part of an activity that involves wrongdoing.

This is the way many of us may come to feel with regard to Agriprocessors if the allegations turn out to be true. When we buy the meat, even though as consumers our role in perpetrating the alleged violations is passive, we nevertheless associate ourselves with doing something wrong.

The Orthodox Union states clearly that its supervision relates only to whether food is permitted to be eaten. It does not consider labor issues, animal cruelty, environmental impact or anything else of this nature and has no plans to start doing so. Why not? For many reasons.

The list of potential issues to include in expanded supervision is nearly endless. The government already regulates some of these matters; the O.U. lacks the required resources and expertise.

And many of these concerns are not uniquely Jewish, while the O.U.’s purpose is to serve the special needs of the Jewish community.

There is nothing wrong with the O.U. conducting itself in this manner, as long as we understand what the O.U. symbol means. A product is kosher to eat, but whether the company manufacturing that product is kosher to do business with is unknown.

What we need is not a replacement for the current kosher supervision system, but an addition to it.

Since how a business treats its workers, the environment and its animals is important, we need another mechanism by which consumers can receive that information.

The Conservative movement has taken some steps to form a “hechsher tzedek” kosher certification focused on the above issues. Some other small, independent groups have done the same.

The Orthodox kashrut establishment, however, due to its large existing infrastructure of supervisors, would be able to produce a new certification with the greatest ease, efficiency and speed.

As kosher consumers, let’s make clear that we want them to do so. Only if we as consumers make known that we will base our purchasing decisions on the presence or absence of such a new symbol is it likely that substantial action will be taken.

Rabbi Shlomo Levin is spiritual leader of Milwaukee’s Modern Orthodox Lake Park Synagogue.

Wall Street Journal said...

Floodwaters Add to Pressure on Gas Prices

By Ben Casselman and Lauren Etter

Flooding in the Midwest could mean drivers will be getting a bigger soaking at gasoline pumps nationwide.

In recent days, corn-based ethanol prices have risen along with floodwaters as commodities traders worry about damage to corn crops. Ethanol futures are up 17% over the past week, to $2.89 a gallon, mirroring the price of corn, which has risen 13% during the same period, according to Thomson Reuters.

Since refiners blend ethanol into gasoline, higher ethanol prices mean higher costs for refiners, which could be passed on at the pump as Americans enter the summer driving season.

UOJ Gets Results said...

WASHINGTON -- The $33 billion-plus U.S. children's product industry faces increasing state efforts to regulate its products while Congress wrangles over federal rules that won't be in place in time for this year's holiday shopping season.

That could fuel consumer worries about another slew of safety recalls and leave many makers of children's products uncertain about how to comply with a proliferation of state standards and a federal framework that still is uncertain.

Mattel Inc., which had to recall millions of toys last year because of problems that included potentially deadly high-power magnets

Cornell Professor Joe Regenstein said...


If the company can maintain production at the plant, its prices may still rise as it hires documented workers, said Joe Regenstein, a food-sciences professor at Cornell University.

"I suspect prices will rise disproportionately as the real costs of production will have to get factored in," Regenstein said. "The particular competitive advantage of Agri is likely to be lost. If they end up in further trouble, there could be a shortage of (kosher) meat sometime over the summer."

Kosher companies are also smaller than many other meat producers, so they lack economies of scale in marketing and logistics, Cornell's Regenstein said.

A handful of meat producers, including Agriprocessors, Alle Processing and Aurora Packing Company Inc., dominate the North American kosher-beef industry, giving the few players pricing power.

The poultry market is similar: Empire Kosher Inc. and Marvid Poultry Canada are the top chicken sellers.

Marvid raised wholesale prices for a pound of regular chicken from $1.30 to $1.62 in mid-May as the U.S. dollar remained weak against the Canadian currency.

Rubashkin Fresser said...


Today's map from the National Weather Service shows the closest major river to Rubashkin (and by extension it's tributaries) still have not reached flood stage. The treif & rotting meat may soon get very soggy.

Final Warning to Rubashkin said...

Why did YCT push off the deadline for Rubashkin to cooperate by 8 days?


A Modern Orthodox social justice group launched a boycott of the kosher slaughterhouse Agriprocessors.

Uri L'tzedek, an initiative started by students at the liberal Orthodox rabbinical seminary Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in New York City, set Monday as the date it would stop patronizing Agriprocessors if the company did not agree to abide by certain ethical labor standards.

Organizers say some 1,300 people, including several leading Jewish figures, have signed the group's petition asking the company to establish a transparent department to ensure compliance with both Jewish and U.S. legal requirements regarding worker treatment.

Representatives of Uri L'tzedek met last week with several company officials in New York, including members of the extended Rubashkin family, which owns the company. The group was promised a statement of the company's position on worker rights within 48 hours, but the document had not materialized as of Tuesday morning.

The representatives also spoke with Jim Martin, a former federal prosecutor who was hired recently as the company's compliance officer. The group submitted written questions to Martin regarding the parameters of his role; they are awaiting a response.

"In the interests of fully restoring consumer confidence, we have asked that the company be transparent about Mr. Martin's findings, recommendations, and new policies instituted," said a statement Tuesday from the group. "We are also looking forward to receiving the document that Agriprocessors has promised to provide that will detail Agriprocessors' policy towards the rights of its workers. Provided that Agriprocessors supplies the information that is has promised to provide and is willing to make Mr. Martin's reports and conclusions available to the public, we are hopeful that we can resolve these issues positively for the workers at Agriprocessors, the Rubashkin family, kosher consumers, and klal yisrael."

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested nearly 400 Agriprocessors workers in a raid last month on the firm's plant in Postville, Iowa. Employees since the raid have complained of working long hours without being paid and being sexually harassed.

Agriprocessors spokesmen have not responded to JTA requests for comment.

Rubashkin donates (Rotten) Chicken to Flood Victims said...


The American Red Cross came into town to aid volunteers and those who were still without power or water. They had been serving 300 meals each day, both lunch and dinner, at the Clermont Opera House.

Merchants from the city of Oelwein sent a truckload of cleaning supplies to Clermont to assist residents with the cleanup. H &H of West Union donated snack foods, and Agriprocessors of Postville, chicken.

Shea Fishman said...

I warned Rubashkin that UOJ works in strange ways. Now he floods Iowa.

Rabbi Meir Kessler said...


Boca rabbi finds niche helping Jewish addicts


South Florida Sun-Sentinel

May 30, 2008

When Rabbi Meir Kessler set up an Orthodox synagogue in Delray Beach three years ago, a certain type of person consistently walked through the door: Jews seeking help with alcohol and drug abuse.

Little did the 30-year-old rabbi realize that his rabbinic specialty was about to be born.

Working with Chabad of Boca Raton, he began leading support groups and organizing Torah study sessions for addicts. He also helped open a halfway house for women and, with his wife, Frumi, organizes Sabbath dinners in his home for 40 people in recovery each Friday night.

Kessler hopes to open a halfway house for men this summer and is looking for a Boca Raton storefront to start a gathering place, to be called the Jewish Recovery Center.

It's an unusual calling for a rabbi, especially one who has never been an addict. But it's also a growing field of interest among Jews in South Florida, where the nation's first synagogue support network for addicts was started last year by Mindy Agler, a Boca Raton mental health counselor.

"People in the Jewish community are opening up to people in recovery," said Kessler, a father of two. "We are giving [the addicts] a positive feeling so they can nourish their souls and have a reason to stay sober."

Some observers say synagogues have been slow to understand the frequency of Jewish alcoholism. According to rabbi and psychologist Benzion Twerski, who has written extensively on Jews and alcohol, Jews are often ignorant of or in denial of the symptoms of alcoholism.

South Florida rabbis said they have become increasingly aware of addiction problems among their members. Boca Raton Synagogue, an Orthodox congregation, and Temple Bat Yam, a Reform synagogue in Fort Lauderdale, now serve grape juice instead of wine at most ceremonies after watching congregants abuse the alcoholic drink.

Avi Bernstein, 29, a former alcohol and drug abuser whose parents sent him to a Delray Beach rehabilitation center three years ago, said he is among the people who benefit from these alcohol-free events. He attends Sabbath dinners at Kessler's Boca Raton home and said Kessler has never judged him, even though he wears tattoos and piercings forbidden by Orthodox Jewish law.

"He always welcomes me to his house," said Bernstein, who works in a Delray Beach delicatessen. "He never asks for anything in return."

Kessler said he is learning as much as his congregants about addiction and recovery. He said he used to be quick to offer them money or other material aid, but learned he could be deepening their dependency problems.

"He's had to understand what is helpful and not helpful," said Sharon Carter, former co-owner of a Boca Raton treatment center who assists Kessler as a volunteer. "If he is having people over for dinner, he can't have alcohol or medicines around. He can't get into triangles with families."

Kessler said he doesn't wait for addicts to approach him. He seeks them out at local recovery centers and plans to expand his work into other addictions, such as gambling and eating.

"It's been challenging and tiring, especially the 'tough love' element," Kessler said. "You want to be kind and helpful. The most fruitful part is seeing people recover. People come in so sick and down, but then you see a complete transformation."

Lois Solomon can be reached at lsolomon@sun-sentinel.com or 561-243-6536.

The Tort Putz said...


TCDI® (www.tcdi.com), a market leader in litigation support solutions for electronic data discovery and litigation case management, announces that it has been selected to manage, and provide access to, data associated with the World Trade Center Disaster Site Litigation. In an order in United States District Court, Southern District of New York, approving the recommendation of the Special Masters to this litigation, TCDI was chosen to build, maintain and operate a database to store the Core Discovery that the parties have begun to produce.

The Special Masters to this litigation, Aaron D. Twerski (Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School) and James A. Henderson, Jr. (Professor of Law, Cornell Law School) led the vetting process with the aid of an approved technology consultant and the Liaison Counsel to the litigation. TCDI was chosen as the vendor appearing to be most proficient and economical in meeting the outlined requirements.

The order approving the Special Masters recommendation of TCDI indicated that without responsive and reliable information and reports, the parties, the Special Masters, and the Court would not have a common basis to deal with the many and complex issues that regularly arise as this immense and important litigation proceeds with its approximately 10,000 cases.

Rabbi Yossi Engel said...


ADELAIDE community stalwart Jack Hines has expressed grave concern for South Australian Jewry after police recommended that Rabbi Yossi Engel face 17 counts of fraud over more than $50,000 in funding applications for a Jewish school.

“This is a most horrendous situation for the Adelaide Jewish community, but it also has wider ramifications for the Australian Jewish community generally,” Hines said.

“The Adelaide Jewish community is struggling ... there is a general level of distaste keeping people away from shul and from involvement in Jewish community affairs.

“We Jews have enough people out there who like to point the finger at us, and exposure of these latest problems in the media is not going to help at all.”

Hines, a businessman who is now based in Melbourne, is immediate past president of the Jewish Community Council of South Australia, a past president of Massada College and of the Jewish National Fund, and a former board member of the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation (AHC).

But a close friend of Rabbi Engel and his family blasted AHC, which terminated the rabbi’s employment in 2006, and accused it of waging “a political campaign”.

Linton McGirr, a former AHC board member, told The AJN Rabbi Engel “has been treated in a way totally unbecoming of a Jewish community”.

McGirr, whose seven-year-old child attends classes Rabbi Engel has been conducting since his departure from AHC, said he fully endorses the embattled rabbi and “will be helping him with emotional and moral support whenever I can ... It’s very unfortunate it’s come this far. We never wanted it to come to this point.”

Rabbi Engel has been recommended for prosecution on nine counts of false pretences and eight counts of deception, in relation to funding applications made by the Spirit of David Adelaide Hebrew School, to South Australia’s Ethnic Schools Board.

The rabbi’s lawyer, Ron Bellman, said last week he would make a statement shortly, but had not issued any comment at the time The AJN went to press.

Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia president Rabbi Mordechai Gutnick said his organisation would not comment on the reports to the Director of Public Prosecution’s (DPP) office unless Rabbi Engel was charged.

The Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) issued a statement that “there is a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and the RCV will reserve further comment until such time as clarity has been achieved”.

The Victorian rabbinical body last year attempted to broker a deal where Rabbi Engel’s protracted dispute with AHC -– in which he challenged the synagogue’s decision to terminate his employment -– would be settled by the London Beth Din, but the British religious court pulled out of the controversy before an adjudication began.

Police said that after their recommendations were made to the DPP’s office on June 3, moves got underway to prepare a prosecution brief to bring Rabbi Engel to court.

Police told The AJN they would not arrest the rabbi, but issue a report of his alleged offences to the DPP’s office.

Police said that after the DPP’s office had assessed a brief of evidence, which could take six to eight weeks, Rabbi Engel was likely to receive a summons to appear in court for charging.

A 10-month investigation, headed by Detective Senior Constable Stan Tsoulos of the Adelaide Criminal Investigation Branch, which has interviewed more than 50 people, is set to continue, and a second person linked to the case is likely to be reported to the DPP’s office this week.

In July last year, two school reports sighted by The AJN, dated 2001 and 2003, both allegedly carried Rabbi Engel’s signature as teacher. One of the reports was allegedly co-signed by Rebbetzin Chana Engel as teacher.

Police told The AJN that the alleged offences “relate to the filling out of forms and applications submitted to the Ethnic Schools Board in order to receive funding”.

Rabbi Engel’s dispute with AHC over his termination was settled in the synagogue’s favour last year when the South Australian Supreme Court rejected an appeal from the rabbi and ruled that his contract with AHC had ended.

But Rabbi Engel, who is barred from the premises of AHC and Massada College, has remained active in Adelaide’s Jewish community, conducting his own Jewish classes.

Rabbi Engel first came to Australia from the United States as a Chabad shaliach in the 1980s and worked in Sydney’s Chabad community before returning home.

He returned to Australia to commence his job as the AHC’s rabbi in 1998.

Picture of Yossi Engel said...


Rabbi Yossi Engel

He should have been an Agudah Fresser said...



On the Lam and Living Large:
Comverse Ex-CEO Parties in Namibia
For Son's Bar Mitzvah, Kobi Alexander
Flew in 200 Guests and a Hip-Hop Band
June 12, 2008; Page A1

WINDHOEK, Namibia -- In this sparsely populated southern African country, which has only about 100 Jews, the locals in the capital city are still talking about The Bar Mitzvah.

Some 200 guests were flown in at the host's expense from New York and Israel. The entertainment included Subliminal, a leading Israeli hip-hop artist, backed by his 11-piece band and three sound engineers. Gazza, a popular Namibian singer, also performed. The out-of-towners, joined by 50 locals, celebrated for four days in March.

"It's the only four-day party that's ever happened here," says Zvi Gorelick, a diamond-factory manager who officiated at the religious service since Namibia has no rabbi.

The host? Jacob "Kobi" Alexander, the Israeli-born, former chief executive of Comverse Technology Inc., a New York software company, who is wanted in the U.S. on stock-options backdating charges. He fled to this remote, arid outpost with his family in July 2006 and has been fighting extradition ever since.

Mr. Alexander is accused in a 35-count federal criminal indictment of fraudulently scheming to backdate Comverse stock options to days when the stock was trading at low points, generating millions of dollars in extra compensation for himself and other executives. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison. The timing of Mr. Alexander's stock-option grants was first reported in The Wall Street Journal in March 2006, sparking federal probes.

Gregory Reyes, the former CEO of Brocade Communications Systems Inc., has been sentenced to prison for his options backdating crimes; so has the company's former personnel director. Prosecutors last week indicted ex-Broadcom CEO Henry Nicholas on 25 counts, including backdating and drug offenses; he has not yet entered a plea.

No Rush to Leave

But it's beginning to look like Mr. Alexander is putting off his day in U.S. court indefinitely. Namibia has no formal extradition treaty with the U.S. At the request of U.S. officials, Mr. Alexander was arrested in Windhoek in September 2006. He was soon released on $1.4 million bail, setting in motion a lengthy legal battle.

To the frustration of U.S. prosecutors, Mr. Alexander has shown no sign that he is tiring of life in this former German colony, known for its safaris and sand dunes. "There was awhile where he was really stressed," says Mr. Gorelick. "But now he's settled in."

The bar mitzvah of Mr. Alexander's 13-year-old son, Jordan, the oldest of his three children, was only the latest public splash the millionaire ex-CEO has made here. Last fall, he and his wife, Hana, announced an annual $20,000 scholarship award for Namibia's top 80 science and technology students in grades 10 and 12. Known as the "Kobi and Hana Alexander Prize of Excellence," the couple has funded it for five years.

"The secret for the success of any nation is a well-educated populace and workforce," Mr. Alexander was quoted as saying in a local newspaper. (His Namibian attorney, Louis Du Pisani, said that an interview with Mr. Alexander for this story was "out of the question, unfortunately.")

Mr. Alexander has donated money to Windhoek's only synagogue and a coastal soup kitchen that was struggling financially. He also invested $2.9 million in an 84-unit low-income housing project in Walvis Bay, according to Claudia Ramos, a real-estate agent handling sales. She says the houses, priced at $25,000, are almost sold out. "We sold 10 just last weekend," she says. "My agent sold nine today."

She says she's only vaguely aware of Mr. Alexander's legal situation. "I know that he's in a court case in America," she says. "He doesn't speak about it; I don't ask."

Mr. Alexander has promised to invest millions more in the country. "If you're Namibia, even if you want to follow the rules and return him, what's the rush?" asked one U.S. official familiar with the case.

The U.S. has provided reams of documentary evidence to the Namibian prosecutor, but the case has been marked by repeated postponements and hearings on procedural matters. Mr. Alexander's local legal team has won time by filing a motion arguing that the magistrate currently assigned to the case should be disqualified and replaced by the magistrate who released Mr. Alexander on bail.

The motion is being argued in a higher court where a two-day hearing is scheduled for next week. Until that matter is resolved, the extradition case can't proceed.

"The defense is always playing for time," says Johnny Truter, who is prosecuting the extradition case in Namibia. He says he is still researching whether backdating stock options is a crime in Namibia, a legal issue the case could turn on. He has plenty of time to look into it -- Mr. Truter says that because of the country's crowded court calendar, the extradition case will drag on until at least 2009.

Mr. Du Pisani calls that "probably a conservative estimate. These things take a long time."

Fighting Over $48 Million

In the interim, his client has scored a couple of legal victories. Although the Namibian government continues to hold Mr. Alexander's passport -- preventing him from leaving the country -- a judge has ruled that he can travel freely throughout Namibia. A court also gave Mr. Alexander access to his Namibian bank accounts, which the government had frozen. His bid to win permanent residency in the country is pending.

Meanwhile, back in New York, Mr. Alexander is dealing with a raft of other litigation. In January, Comverse sued him for fraud and other claims. Mr. Alexander countersued over severance pay and other benefits. Robert G. Morvillo, a New York attorney who represents Mr. Alexander in the U.S., says his client would not comment on these cases or on the federal criminal indictment, for which he has not yet entered a plea.

Paul Baker, a Comverse spokesman, says, "While it is company policy not to comment on ongoing litigation, we are pursuing our claims against Mr. Alexander, on behalf of the company and its shareholders."

Mr. Alexander also is named in a series of Comverse shareholders' suits and, along with his wife, is fighting the Justice Department over $48 million the agency froze following his disappearance. A federal official says the frozen assets have decreased in value some because of declining stock-market investments. Mr. Alexander did manage to transfer $57 million to Israel.

Since fleeing to Namibia -- and buying a $543,000 house in a guarded, gated community alongside a golf course -- the Alexander family has received a steady stream of visitors from New York, Israel and Europe.

Mr. Gorelick, who says he visited the house weekly over four months to teach Mr. Alexander's son his religious reading, still marvels over the bar mitzvah. It was one of only a handful Namibia has witnessed over the past five years.

This one fell during the festive Jewish holiday of Purim. In between the nightly parties, the guests packed the local synagogue for a service, which began with an unscheduled performance of holiday songs by the Israeli hip-hop band. "It took an hour before we could start the service," says Mr. Gorelick.

The guests included numerous relatives from Israel, as well as some of the bar mitzvah boy's former classmates at Congregation Rodeph Sholom's school in Manhattan. Several kids who opted not to travel from New York to Namibia sent a video greeting.

One former schoolmate didn't make the invite list. His mother is a U.S. federal prosecutor.

Write to Steve Stecklow at steve.stecklow@wsj.com

moral responsibility said...

Does the title of your post mean to imply that the Moetzes Gedolei Yisroel of Agudah (not to mention the gedoim in eretz yisroel who CONSTATNLY send us appeals for money for various important causes) have NOT been raising money for, funding, or facilitating research of this kind?

Could it be that they continue to feel that their moral responsibility is better served by fighting gay marriages in the non-jewish world than looking into the problem of child sexual abuse of jewish children?

Avi Shafran has repeatedly used the excuse that CSA does not happen as much in our community as in society at large. Aside from the fact that we all know this is not true (and Rabbi Horowitz has recently posted on his blog that he believes it is even MORE prevalent in chareidi society), the fact that it exists at all should be enough to make the problem the focus of investigation and intervention by our so called leaders. Aside from cruel indifference, stupid short-sightedness, fear of image tarnishing, arrogant inability to admit mistakes, a focus of concern about the welfare of rabbis in general including those who molest, anger at UOJ for having the chutzpah to point out the problems in their "perfect Torah system", inability to use any kind of creativity, original ideas or inclusion of secular wisdom in their decisions for klal yisroel, and self-serving need to protect their own territory, IS THERE ANY OTHER REASON WHY OUR GEDOLIM ARE NOT ON THE FOREFRONT OF THIS ISSUE????

Is there a moral version of chapter 11? As in, it is past time for them to declare moral bankruptcy?

Lawsuit threatened against Shulamis school said...


Parents Fighting School Sale

asher lipner, ph.d. said...

By far the most surprising and hopeful finding about this research is the fact that it took place at all. UOJ, do you have any idea what the researchers must have gone through in order to get community approval for them to speak to so many teenagers about this issue? I would assume it had to be approved at the top. Might we owe a yahser koach not only to the researches but also to some community leaders? Might this serve as an example to other communities such as Brooklyn and Lakewood that these problems exist, can be studied and addressed, and exposing them poses less risk for our society than covering them up?


p.s. Still waiting for you to cite where you discovered this research. Could not find it on google.

Kosher Molesters said...


Mendel Slavin went to work as a chaplain in a San Diego prison in 2006. A Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic rabbi from the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, he was one of about a dozen Jewish chaplains serving California's fractional Jewish inmate population at the time. But in the two years since then, that number has doubled. Today Slavin is one of two dozen full-time chaplains employed by the state of California to provide counseling and lead religious services for Jews - and interested non-Jews - who are doing time.

Why the sudden surge in the numbers of Jewish chaplains in the Golden State? Three words: kosher food supervision.

In 2003, the state of California settled a lawsuit with Victor Wayne Cooper, an Orthodox Jew serving a 60-year sentence for child molestation. Cooper had sued the state for not providing him with kosher meals. As part of the settlement, the state agreed to make good-faith efforts to have kosher food available to inmates in all of its 33 prisons by 2006.

As a direct result of the lawsuit, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has been scrambling in recent years, in conjunction with the Northern and Southern California boards of rabbis, to install a Jewish chaplain at every prison in order to oversee the preparation of kosher food.

A similar case in Texas is still pending. But that state's answer to a lawsuit brought in 2005 on behalf of Max Moussazadeh, a Jew of Iranian descent, has been to consolidate all 23 of its kosher-observant inmates into one prison, bypassing the need for Jewish chaplains across the board.
The work extends far beyond merely vetting jailhouse kosher cuisine. According to one longtime Jewish chaplain, his niche is as close as a rabbi can come to performing missionary work.

"We work with the underbelly of society, the spiritually void, the morally empty," said Rabbi Lon Moskowitz, the Jewish chaplain at California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo. "It's important to have chaplains so we can facilitate the Jewish Kosher Diet Plan statewide, but it's a requirement so that the spiritual needs of incarcerated Jews are met."

Moskowitz, 52, is a former pulpit and Hillel rabbi who has worked at California Men's Colony - perhaps the most scenic of the state prisons, built on Highway 1 along California's stunning central coast - for 11 years. Among the inmates with whom he has worked most closely over the years, he said, including those who have become his clerks and helped with paperwork, there is a 0% rate of recidivism.

Moskowitz also sits on the prison system's Jewish Kosher Diet Task Force. He estimates that California Men's Colony - which houses one of the state prison system?s only dedicated Jewish chapels - has some 35 inmates on the kosher diet plan. Since the phase-in of kosher meals several years ago, Moskowitz has been actively working to recruit Jewish chaplains. Still, he said, there simply aren?t enough chaplains to fill all the vacancies.

Moreover, the Board of Rabbis of Southern California - the ecclesiastical endorsing body for the state's Department of Corrections - upholds high standards, according to Moskowitz. The "overwhelming majority" of Jewish chaplains are ordained rabbis, and those who are not have graduate degrees in Jewish studies and experience in chaplaincy work, he said.
California is one of several states, including New York, that have paid chaplains serving in their prisons. In many states, chaplaincy is a volunteer position, or one chaplain attends to all faith groups.

California employs a total of 185 chaplains from five different religious groups: Protestants, Catholics, Native Americans, Jews and Muslims.
Jewish chaplains in California state prisons have a small pool from which to draw their congregants. Incarcerated Jews make up only one half to 1% of the state's 170,000 inmates - a disproportionately low number.

The rabbinical board seeks to recruit rabbis who can work with Jews across the denominational spectrum, said Mark Diamond, executive vice president of the Southern California Board of Rabbis. "If you're a Reform rabbi, you?re going to work with Orthodox guys who want to put on tefillin, and if you?re a Chabad rabbi, you?re going to work with Jews whose Jewish identity is based on patrilineal descent," Diamond said.

According to Diamond, the number of Chabad rabbis taking up the work is increasing. Currently, nine of the 24 full-time Jewish chaplains are from the Hasidic sect. Diamond explained that Chabad rabbis, who set up shop in far-flung corners of the globe as part of their overarching mission to reach Jews everywhere, are frequently those in closest geographic proximity to prisons built in remote locales.

Slavin, 30, is among them. Based in San Clemente, Calif., Slavin commutes an hour each way, twice a week, to San Diego's Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, which houses both low- and high-security inmates. His congregation numbers some 40 inmates out of a total prison population of 5,000. When the kosher diet plan was first introduced two years ago, Slavin said, non-Jewish inmates began attending his services and claiming to be Jewish in order to get on the meal plan. "With the kosher diet, it became fashionable to be Jewish," he said. He had worked to explain to the non-Jews that eating kosher was not a privilege, but rather a requirement for those who truly were observant Jews.

And working with Jewish inmates, Slavin said, is something of a privilege for him. "I'll do it and help as much as I can until Moshiach comes, and there's no more prisons."

UOJ joins the search for Sam Israel said...


The Search for a Missing Trader Goes Global

Seemingly conflicting clues reflect the bizarre trajectory of the life of Samuel Israel III, the perpetrator of one of Wall Street’s biggest recent scams, who federal authorities believe is now on the run.


Is Samuel Israel III dead or alive?Federal authorities strongly suspect he is alive, and have begun an international manhunt for the former hedge fund manager, who was facing a 20-year prison sentence for defrauding investors out of about $450 million when he disappeared on Monday.But exactly two months before abandoning his car by a Hudson River bridge Monday with the message “suicide is painless” written in dust on the hood, Mr. Israel admitted he had considered killing himself. Ultimately, however, he concluded in a letter to the judge presiding over his case that “taking my own life would be a shortcut, and would only do further harm to my son as he would know that I am not willing to accept the consequences of my actions.”These seemingly conflicting clues reflect the bizarre trajectory of Mr. Israel’s life, beginning as the scion of a New Orleans family and ending up the perpetrator of one of Wall Street’s biggest recent frauds, the 2005 collapse of his Bayou hedge fund. Now investigators think Mr. Israel may have tried one final hoax — his own death — and the United States Marshals Service has termed him “armed and dangerous” and issued a wanted poster.No body has turned up, and the marshals on Thursday were said to have questioned a driver whose car was seen near the area where Mr. Israel had abandoned his GMC Envoy, leaving behind the car keys and a bottle of pills. In addition to the marshals, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States attorney’s office, which oversaw the case, are involved in the search.Former prosecutors and other law enforcement officials say that along with monitoring airports and border crossings, the police check credit cards and cellphones for any activity in fugitive cases. They also track the phones of friends, family, and in some cases even lawyers.If Mr. Israel, 48, is indeed on the run, he will have added a whole new cast to the list of people he fooled while seeming to be a skilled money manager, including his lawyers, his girlfriend and even his family rabbi.In a presentencing memorandum to Judge Colleen A. McMahon of Federal District Court, Mr. Israel’s lawyers assured the court that “there is no question that Sam is neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community.”What is more, they said that Mr. Israel should be allowed to report voluntarily to prison on June 9 because of a long history of back pain and other medical problems. Mr. Israel, who has a pacemaker as well as another implanted device that emits electrical currents to ease pain, was scheduled for a spinal operation before he disappeared.Mr. Israel’s lead lawyer, Lawrence S. Bader, declined to comment.Mr. Israel’s girlfriend, Debbie Ryan, told investigators she last saw him when he left their Armonk home at 9:30 Monday morning, telling her he was on his way to report to a federal prison in Ayer, Mass., according to the state police.The GMC Envoy was found about three hours later on a shoulder along the Bear Mountain Bridge, and the police say they were initially puzzled at the idea that Mr. Israel would drive his own car alone to prison. And they recognized “Suicide Is Painless” as the theme song from the TV show “M*A*S*H.”If he did flee, another mystery is why Mr. Israel waited until the day he was to report to prison. Mr. Israel was sentenced in April, and individuals knowledgeable about the case say he has spent recent months receiving medical care and cooperating with investigators seeking to recover money on behalf of his former investors.The contradictions do not end there.In the same April 9 letter to Judge McMahon where he speaks of suicide, Mr. Israel said he had become increasingly desperate as Bayou’s losses mounted. But “when what I perceived as divine intervention occurred in the form of the fictitious investment programs, I leapt at the opportunity,” he wrote.Mr. Israel makes other puzzling personal revelations in the letter. Although the Israel family is prominent in the Jewish community in New Orleans — Mr. Israel’s father was recently honored by a local hospital for his philanthropic work and their rabbi also submitted a letter of support to the judge — Mr. Israel wrote that he has “always been a person of Christian faith, but through my saturating guilt and profound shame, I have reassessed what it means to be a Christian.”Hearing of Mr. Israel’s spiritual turn, David S. Goldstein, emeritus rabbi of the Touro Synagogue in New Orleans, said, “You could knock me over with a feather.” He described Mr. Israel’s parents, Ann and Larry, “as greatly anguished over these events. The Israel name is one of distinction in this community, and that’s part of the embarrassment and the hurt.”Indeed, Mr. Israel wrote that the pressure to live up to his family’s legacy was a reason for the fraud. “Ever since I can remember, I met people everywhere that have told me they know my family either directly or by reputation,” he wrote. “I cheated my investors because I was afraid to admit my failure. I did not want the world to think I was not good enough and I did not want my family to see me as a failure.”Older Wall Street types still remember Mr. Israel’s grandfather and namesake, Samuel Israel, who built what had been founded as a family company into ACLI International, a commodity trading powerhouse. It was sold to the firm of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette for $42 million in 1981.After studying at the private Hackley School in Tarrytown, N.Y., and then Tulane University, Mr. Israel headed to Wall Street in 1982, working for various firms during the 1980s and early 1990s, including Omega Partners, the multibillion-dollar hedge fund headed by Leon Cooperman.When he established Bayou in 1995, former colleagues and others say Mr. Israel repeatedly inflated his résumé and exaggerated his role at Omega. Ira Harris, a longtime Wall Street banker and investment adviser, says he briefly looked at Bayou but was quickly dissuaded by Mr. Cooperman. Mr. Cooperman said he did not want to discuss Mr. Israel’s brief tenure at Omega.“It was obvious from talking to Leon Cooperman that this individual was not who he said he was,” Mr. Harris recalls. “If the first thing the guy is lying about is his résumé, why would you want to go further?”Nevertheless, Mr. Israel and two associates, Daniel Marino and James Marquez, managed to gather more than $400 million before investors began to demand their money back and Bayou abruptly collapsed in the summer of 2005. Mr. Marino is now in prison appealing a 20-year sentence, while Mr. Marquez is serving a shorter 51-month term.During Bayou’s heyday, Mr. Israel oversaw a high-tech trading floor, which featured pet snakes encased in aquariums, while he rented a $32,000-a-month mansion in Mount Kisco from Donald J. Trump. After the collapse of Bayou and his guilty plea in September 2005, Mr. Israel moved to a modest house in Armonk.The shades on the olive green ranch home that Mr. Israel shared with Ms. Ryan were drawn tight late last week. Several knocks on the front door went unanswered. Ms. Ryan was unavailable for comment. Mr. Israel, who is divorced, has a teenage son and daughter.Darci DiBari , who lives across the street, said the couple had lived there, on the shady hillside lot just off Route 22 in Armonk, for about 18 months.“I’d see him occasionally, outside taking a walk,” Ms. DiBari said, adding that Ms. Ryan was often seen walking her dogs. “They were nice, no trouble. It’s a hi and goodbye neighborhood. People kind of keep to themselves.”Mr. Israel was to report to Federal Medical Center Devens, which holds inmates requiring long-term medical or mental health care. The compound, west of Boston, includes a hospital with inpatient beds and 24-hour nursing care.Most of the 1,007 male inmates, who range from low- to high-security, live in double-occupancy cells and work seven and a half hours a day, performing tasks like cleaning the showers, according to Mike Truman, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.While the police keep an eye on the Hudson River as well as airports and borders for any sign of Mr. Israel, former victims say they are convinced he is on the run.“Knowing Mr. Israel, he probably faked this,” said Samuel Christen, who invested about $825,000 in the Bayou Group in 2003. “Everything about him was phony.”

Lawsuits against Oorah & Mintz said...


Activity at Gilboa site leads to lawsuit

LAPD investigating Iranian Jewish Violence said...


Iranian Jews Grapple with Community Violence

Jun 18, 2008

LOS ANGELES – On May 26, 17-year-old Beverly Hills High School student Bianca Khalili fell to her death from the 15th floor of an apartment building in Century City.

The girl's passing -- homicide has been ruled out by the police -- has left members of the local Iranian Jewish community shocked and speculating on the unusual circumstances of the girl's death.

Despite many inquiries, no one from the tight-knit community would comment publicly on the tragic incident, but, privately, local Iranian Jews have been abuzz with rumors and perplexed by how to properly resolve a new and growing problem of violence within their ranks.

Lt. Ray Lombardo, commanding officer of the West Los Angeles Detective Divison, said there is still an ongoing investigation into Khalili's death.

"Unfortunately this was a very tragic incident, but there is no evidence to substantiate that there was any foul play," Lombardo said. "We do have reason to believe it may have been an accidental fall, or possibly a suicide," he added.

West Los Angeles detectives said there was one witness to the incident, who has been interviewed but is not a suspect in the case. While police investigators did not disclose the name of the witness, an internal Beverly Hills High School (BHHS) memo, circulated via e-mail and obtained by The Journal, has identified the girl as an Iranian Jewish student at BHHS.

There has been a number of recent incidents that point to a need for Iranian Jews to address circumstances of violence. In February, Alfred Hakim, an Iranian Jewish resident of Beverly Hills, was shot at his family home on the 400 block of N. Palm Drive in Beverly Hills, allegedly by his brother, Adel. That shooting has prompted local Iranian Jews to struggle with the notion that violence can happen in their normally peaceful community.

"The Jewish Iranians have been brought up to help and protect each other," Jimmy Delshad, Iranian Jewish Beverly Hills City councilman and former mayor, said after the shooting. "This incident is not at all a typical situation in Beverly Hills, and especially not in the Persian community….”
On March 27, 47-year-old Adel Hakim was arraigned at a Superior Court in Beverly Hills, where he plead not guilty to a felony charge of first-degree attempted murder of his 49-year-old brother Alfred Hakim, according to Sandi Gibbons, a spokesperson for the L.A. County District Attorney's office.

Neither Beverly Hills police nor Gibbons would name a motive for the shooting, but said Adel Hakim's next appearance in court will be a preliminary hearing currently scheduled for June 19.

The Iranian Jewish community has been preoccupied by these incidents, but a community-wide taboo against openly discussing violence, for fear of public embarrassment, has kept the community and their leaders from talking openly.

"Generally, the very deep-rooted cultural ethos of hiding all problems and pretending that everyone's life is perfect is what ends up fueling the unchecked anger that leads to the situations where someone ends up getting physically hurt," said Nazila Shokrian-Barlava, an L.A. County Deputy Alternate Public Defender. "Our community does not have the tools to deal with percolating situations before they reach that violent level."

Despite the proscription against publicly discussing the shooting, Rabbi Hillel Benchimol, who is not Iranian but works within the community, said he was not familiar with the Hakim incident, but believes the community problem with violence may be rooted in more serious disputes involving finances that have remained unresolved over the years among some local Iranian Jewish families.

"There's a lot of divisiveness and resentment over money issues among some Iranian Jews, because the community since it left Iran in 1979 has always been looking to restore its glory and financial prowess," Benchimol said. "So many of them are relentless in their pursuit of the American dream. I think this incident is a personification of that extreme mentality, and it's a malady that should be rooted out of the community."

Shokrian-Barlava said that while she knows of only 10 incidents in the last 30 years involving guns where either the perpetrator or the victim have been Iranian Jews, domestic violence among Iranian Jewish families has been a more substantial problem that has not yet been addressed by local Iranian Jewish leaders.

"What I hear, usually from the victims, is that there was no support for them when they wanted help, and they were discouraged from speaking to anyone outside of the family," she said. "If they seek support from our community leaders they are told to just try harder to avoid any violence -- the language does not exist, the will to solve these problems does not exist, and there is no real and productive support system for anyone to go to for help."

Dara Abaei, an Iranian Jewish activist and head of the L.A.-based Jewish Unity Network, said, "The culture in Iran in general has always been OK with these forms of physical violence in their society," Abaei said.

Anonymous said...

A prominent person in Jewish history made the same claims as UOJ about us not having gedolim!

His name was Korach.

He borrowed Shafran's Dusty Borsalino said...


The world was a stage for accused bank robber Thomas Kenney.

But a joint Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York City, Nassau County and Suffolk County Police Department investigation finally closed the curtain on his bad act last Wednesday after the theatrical robber made some fatal mistakes.

Kenney was arrested as a suspect in 13 robberies over two years in Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island – allegedly donning ethnic costumes and using homemade props to swindle $53,000 from local banks.

“This guy wasn’t your average bank robber,” Detective Paul Courtney, who has been tracking Kenney since March with the NYPD and FBI’s Joint Bank Robbery Task Force, said.

A combination of old-fashioned-gumshoe investigation and state of the art technology led authorities to Kenney. He was identified as the primary suspect at his home in East Northport, NY when a surveillance camera recorded his 1989 Honda Civic, missing four hubcaps, fleeing the site of a robbery on May 9. After tracking the vehicle, investigators began gathering evidence against the 59 year old.

Authorities tied Kenney to the other robberies with a simple Band-aid, allegedly used to mask his fingerprints, recovered from a 2007 robbery in Northport, according to court documents. Investigators followed Kenney to a bar in Deer Park on May 21, where they gathered DNA from his drinking glasses to compare with the DNA on the Band-aid. It matched.

Kenney allegedly disguised himself as a turban-clad Sikh at a Chase Bank on Liberty Avenue in Richmond Hill during an April 28 attempt. He also dressed up in what was described as a Hassidic Jew or rabbi costume during two separate attempts in April, escaping with $3,400 from one of the banks.

London Police said...

Rabbi Louis Jacobs was an iluy from Gateshead who later went off the derech.


Two well-known members of the London Jewish community have been arrested in connection with the Metropolitan Police’s first large-scale investigation into the use of safety deposit boxes by criminals.

The JC understands that Leslie Sieff, 60, and Milton Woolf, 52, were arrested after more than 300 officers simultaneously raided Safe Deposit Centres Ltd’s three depots in Hampstead, Edgware, and Mayfair.

Mr Sieff and Mr Woolf are directors of the company.

Police officers, led by the Met’s Specialist Crime Directorate, targeted the business on Monday in what they termed Operation Rize. They have so far seized around £14 million in cash.

“Firearms, counterfeit currency, fake passports, cheque books, credit cards and high-value jewellery were also found,” a police statement said. “Four other addresses were also raided, including offices and homes of the company directors.”

Some of the safety deposit boxes are alleged to have been rented out by criminals. The hi-tech concrete and steel vaults in which they are kept are designed to be fire- and flood-resistant.

Police confirmed that a 60-year-old man was arrested in Finchley Road, North-West London, on suspicion of money-laundering and bailed until September. A 52-year-old was arrested at Heathrow Airport on the same suspicion and similarly bailed, and a 44-year-old woman was arrested in Park Street, Mayfair.

The woman, said to be fellow company director Jacqueline Swan, was also arrested on suspicion of money-laundering offences and also bailed until September. Two other men, aged 47 and 53, were arrested for obstruction but later released without charge.

Mr Sieff and Mr Woolf are both South African Jews who have lived in London since the 1980s. Mr Sieff is a former treasurer of New London Synagogue, while Mr Woolf was head of the search committee seeking to appoint a new rabbi to the New London after the death of Rabbi Louis Jacobs .

The Met said that each safety deposit box would be handled and packaged individually by forensically trained staff, and that searches of the three depots would be likely to continue “for some time”. At the time of going to press, a number of safety deposit boxes were still being searched. Armed police were due to remain at all the premises until the searches had been completed.

Commander Allan Gibson, head of the economic and specialist crime directorate, said: “Operation Rize is a huge undertaking and we are still in an early phase of the enquiry. Search teams have been working around the clock to open all the boxes at the location and are progressing well, although we are likely to remain at the locations for some time yet.

“This is a complex and unique investigation that will use all of the expertise within the economic-crime command and the findings are within our expectations at this stage.

“I am confident that this operation will have a damaging impact on organised crime in London and around the rest of the country.”

Members of the public who legitimately used the safety deposit boxes to store valuables have been reassured that items will be carefully handled and stored at a secure location. The Met said they could claim back legitimate goods by phoning 0800 030 4613.

Crown Heights said...


June 1, 2008

Crown Heights

Patrolling the Streets, and Dissing the Rivals


IN mid-April, a young black man in Crown Heights was struck with a baton and sprayed with Mace by two white men, according to the police, and ever since, tensions have run high in the Brooklyn neighborhood. Jews and blacks who live there eye one another warily, and police patrols and surveillance have intensified.

But there is another split on these streets, not between Jews and blacks but between Jews and Jews. The feuders, paradoxically, are neighborhood patrol groups that officially aspire to keep the peace.

Jewish patrols exist in several New York neighborhoods, like Brooklyn’s Borough Park, but Crown Heights is the only area that has two such competing patrols. Their names, Shomrim and Shmira, both derive from the Hebrew word meaning “guard,” but the two groups fiercely resent each other nonetheless.

“Shmira has a litany of things about Shomrim that they say they did wrong,” said Dov Hikind, an assemblyman who represents several other heavily Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn. “As for Shomrim, when I met with them, they said, ‘We have a file about Shmira.’ ”

Aron Hershkop, the coordinator of Shomrim, said that Shmira members had intimidated his volunteers, falsely informed on them to the police, and even jammed their radios with shrieks, beeping sounds and what he described as “Christian music.”

Yossi Stern, the director of Shmira, denied these accusations, saying, in effect, that Mr. Hershkop was a sore loser with a weakening organization.

Shmira and Shomrim were once a single group, but they split apart roughly a decade ago and, predictably, disagree over the reasons why. They also display a sibling-like rivalry. Mr. Hershkop said that he put a patrol car on the street in 2006, complete with flashing roof lights and the Shomrim logo, but pulled it off a month later when Shmira introduced its own car.

“I don’t want people to think I’m the Shmira,” he said. “Their whole motive is to be like us.”

Tensions have been stoked by an anonymous blog called “Who Is Shmira?” featuring posts and comments that are virulently anti-Shmira and strongly favorable to Shomrim.

Mr. Hikind said he had been urging the two groups to reunite. “There is no reason in the world why there should be two groups of people involved in patrols,” he said.

But Mr. Hershkop resisted, explaining: “When people come and tell me to make peace with them, I say, ‘To me, they don’t exist anymore.’ ”

The feuding patrol groups have surfaced in the recent tensions in Crown Heights. Charles Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney, has mentioned Shmira’s name in connection with his investigation into the assault on April 14. By contrast, Mr. Hynes, who has convened an investigative grand jury to look into the attack, praised Shomrim, calling the group “established” and “respectable.”

Mr. Stern has denied any link between Shmira and the attack.

And the feuding continues.

“It’s a real shame, an embarrassment for myself and the public,” said Rabbi Israel Shemtov, who is sometimes credited with founding the group that preceded Shomrim and Shmira.

Picture of Yossi Stern said...


Yossi Stern of Shmira

Rubashkin Fresser said...


Jewish Community in Iowa City Joins Sandbagging Effort

Rabbi Avrohom Blesofsky, co-director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Iowa City, helps shore up a wall of sandbags to protect a neighborhood bordering the rising Iowa River.

Lower East Side said...


The son of respectable members of New York's Orthodox Jewish community, and the brother of a rabbi, Arnold Rothstein turned prohibition to his advantage and became a racketeer.

Moetzes Resign! said...


Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has cancelled a June 16-20 trip to Israel due to the corruption scandal surrounding Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

"Uncle Morris" Talansky said...


A key figure in the investigation of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert failed to show up for a court hearing on misdemeanor assault charges stemming from a dispute over a dentist's bill.

Morris Talansky's lawyer told a judge that his client was in Israel, aiding prosecutors looking into allegations the prime minister took envelopes stuffed with cash from Talansky over a decade and a half.

Talansky, who has a home on Long Island, is facing charges that he scuffled with his longtime dentist after getting into an argument over his bill. The dentist also claims the 75-year-old Talansky left threatening telephone messages.

Judge William O'Brien said if Talansky misses his next court date in July, he will sign a warrant for his arrest.

Political Analyst said...

It's better to face the music in Israel than being arrested by the FBI for violating the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.


Ehud Olmert's eldest son is returning to Israel after a decade abroad.

Shaul Olmert, a 33-year-old hi-tech executive, will relocate to Israel with his family next month, Yediot Achronot reported Sunday. He has spent recent years in New York.

Of the Israeli prime minister's four children, Shaul is the one most identified with his father's political career.

Morris Talansky, the American businessman at the heart of a corruption scandal now dogging Olmert, named Shaul as a go-between in his dealings with the Israeli prime minister.

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

Dr. Asher,

The researcher is anonymous for now, and I do not believe this study has been published other than here - yet.

A call to a friend in Chicago confirms that "a" study of this issue, has been researched at major universities.

My own information - in communications with confirmed victims - are similar in certain areas and different in others.


Researcher at Barnard On abuse in the Orthodox Jewish Community said...

To Whom It May Concern:

Hi. I hope that all is well with you. I am doing research about sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish Community and I was wondering where you got
your statistics from your most recent blog posting.

I would like to be able to cite them; unfortunately, I am not allowed to cite a blog. If you can get back to me as soon as possible, then that would be greatly appreciated.

I need this information as soon as it is available.

Please e-mail me back:

Homo-Wack Squared said...


An Orthodox Jewish sect has kept quiet since buying more than 450 acres in rural Sullivan County, but a booklet circulating in the Jewish community reveals a plan to establish a religious village there.

The Skver sect of Orthodox Jews is quickly running out of room in the Village of New Square, its enclave in Rockland County. So in July 2006, the sect paid $6 million for 458 acres, including the old Homowack Hotel, in the Town of Mamakating.

A 12-page booklet outlines plans and solicits donations for the new community, which is referred to as "Kiryas Skver."

"We are talking about creating a city from scratch," the booklet says, "building an infrastructure costing tens of millions of dollars, setting up a Talmud Torah, a girls school, a yeshiva," as well as shopping and health centers.

Those plans are reminiscent of Kiryas Joel, the Satmar Hasidic village in Orange County that was established in 1977.

The site is now being used for the Machne Bnos Square girls' summer camp. Goldman says the Homowack — which is now called Spring Glen Resort — is not accepting guests anymore. But a phone call to the resort was answered by a woman at the reservation desk, who said a nonsummer-weekend visit costs $499.

The hotel's activity irks Sullivan County Treasurer Ira Cohen, because its owners owe roughly $60,000 in sales tax and hotel room tax, he says. They also haven't paid their property taxes since buying the land in 2006. They owe $343,413 in back taxes and, if it's not paid by October, Cohen's office will begin to foreclose on the property.

"Glatt" said...


When the consuming of “glatt” kosher took off like a rocket in the 1980’s, a prominent West Coast journalist who was also a qualified kashrus supervisor took me aside after davening one Shabbos morning and asked, “Do you really think that you are eating glatt kosher meat all the time, even though the label says so?”

Before I could utter a response, the journalist/kashrus supervisor revealed, “There’s no doubt you are eating kosher meat but it’s physically impossible to check everything thoroughly, especially the lungs, because of time constraints and the demand to move things along. At the slaughterhouse, the mashgichim from the different kashrusagencies have specific time slots on the line that must be kept. If you are eating glatt meat 50 percent of the time, that’s good.”

Yeshiva Tuition Crisis said...


According to a report issued in April by Legal Services of New Jersey’s Poverty Research Institute, one in five New Jerseyans — some 1.68 million adults and children — cannot afford to live without some kind of public assistance. The report, "The Real Cost of Living in 2008: The Self-Sufficiency Standard for New Jersey," found that nowhere in New Jersey can anyone live on the state’s $7.15-an-hour minimum wage.

Leah Kaufman, executive director of Jewish Family & Children’s Services of North Jersey in Wayne, told the Standard that her agency is seeing "an increase in the number of clients in financial crisis due to loss of employment or [because they are] uninsured." She pointed out that some are also turning to organizations such as the Hebrew Free Loan Society in Paterson for assistance with expenses such as medical bills.

"It’s definitely affecting everyone," she said, "and the staff has seen an increase, especially in Fair Lawn. And not among Russians or older adults, but middle-aged and young families."

Kaufman, who said that she hasn’t personally seen any clients lose their homes, added that she has gotten calls "from people on the verge of being evicted."

While she said she cannot provide actual figures, "a number of families have been affected by the housing/mortgage crisis and are facing homelessness."

"There is simply a pervasive sense of anxiety and malaise about the overall economic situation," said East.

"JFS of Bergen County has seen a 50 percent increase in career counseling from the start of 2008 and an enormous jump in requests for financial help in our community," said executive director Lisa Fedder. "We currently have a waiting list for our Kosher Meals on Wheels program because the need and demand is so high. We are working with several people who have been laid off and some who have already lost their homes." Fortunately, she said, "We have been successful in getting funding to help the neediest in our community."

Tomchei Shabbos of Bergen County, which delivers meals to needy Jews every week, has seen some increase in requests for help, perhaps 10 percent, said Chani Schmutter, co-founder of the group with Claire Strauss and Lori Frank.

The organization, which receives referrals primarily from JFS, doesn’t know why the need is growing. "We don’t know the reason," said Schmutter. "Our work is very basic. If people are hungry, we give them food."

"There’s a hierarchy of need," she said, suggesting that the economy may not yet be at rock bottom. "We’re the providers of last resort. I think it may be easier for families to go to food pantries, which I understand are being hit more severely, than to get food delivered to their door."

Schmutter said the group, founded in 1990 and headquartered at Cong. Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, receives its funding mainly from community donations and that 97 percent of the money collected "goes directly for the food, which is delivered by volunteers."

Career development specialist Marlena Lechner, director of the Job Search Network at Jewish Family Service of Bergen County in Teaneck, told the Standard that "people’s financial situations are becoming more tenuous. We’ve had some 35 percent more calls over last year," she said, "both for jobs and because people are not getting offers or even interviews."

Lechner said she was surprised that even people with good skills, including administrative and computer skills, are not getting calls, despite having excellent résumés.

Jobs are available in department stores like Marshall’s and Target, she said, but for most JFS clients, "those jobs would mean a significant cut in pay. People who come here will do those jobs [only] as a last resort."

"It’s coming as a shock that there is so much poverty and hunger inside our ‘well-to-do’ Jewish community in Bergen County," said Tishchenko. "And the situation is getting worse day after day. The current economic situation is destroying the middle class," she said. "It is facing extinction. People with decent salaries can’t afford simple, basic living. And how much worse [is it] for someone who is sick, with children, and no health insurance."

And then there’s the stress factor, she said. "A father who can’t support his family and a mother with a tiny baby who must now try to find a job — it contributes to emotional disorders as well as physical illnesses."

Kaufman agreed, noting that loss of income is a major stressor, leading to marital discord or to children acting out, which may affect their schoolwork.

Tishchenko said she is also troubled by the fact that "people who would send their children to yeshiva or congregational schools are now sending them to public schools" because of their financial situation. "It’s important for Jewish survival that we educate the next generation. It’s a very bad sign," she said.

Several weeks ago, the Orthodox Union submitted testimony before the state’s Economic Growth Committee in support of the New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone Jobs Scholarship Act (S.1607), which would raise scholarship funds from corporations so that lower and moderate income families living in certain failing public school districts could attend an out-of-district public school or a nonpublic school. The group held that "while we are a synagogue based movement, we say unashamedly that nothing is as crucial to families that move in — or out — of any community as the educational opportunities afforded their children."

The economic climate is also affecting charities — local and national, Jewish and non-Jewish.

"As the price of gas and food continues to rise, many who have generously donated to us in the past are now not as able to do so," said Thelma Fedele, CFA director of community and government relations. "In fact, some of our past donors are coming to us for services."

uoj gets results said...

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two former hedge fund managers at investment bank Bear Stearns are expected be indicted following a federal criminal probe into the funds' collapse, a person with knowledge of the situation said on Wednesday.

Charges against the former managers, Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, could be announced by authorities as early as Thursday, this person said.

Bear Stearns was sold in March to JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) in an emergency takeover deal brokered by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Brooklyn, New York has been investigating the funds' collapse, sources have previously told Reuters.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment. A lawyer for Tannin also declined to comment, while Cioffi's lawyer did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

(Reporting by Martha Graybow and Emily Chasan)

Serious Brain Damage said...


William Potter Gale, the man who founded the anti-Semitic Posse Comitatus in the 1970s, was secretly descended from a long line of devout Jews. And in 1965, The New York Times revealed that neo-Nazi Daniel Burros had been a Jewish yeshiva student. He killed himself the same day.

Chabad Village said...

Village re-elects dead mayor

Mon Jun 16, 2:19 PM ET

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - The residents of a Romanian village knowingly voted in a dead man as their mayor in Sunday's municipal election, preferring him to his living opponent.

Tomato Fresser said...


Wednesday, June 18th 2008, 10:11 AM

Health officials say six new cases of salmonella that may be linked to three types of raw tomatoes have been confirmed in New York City.

That brings the total to seven.

Federal officials are hunting for the source of a nationwide salmonella outbreak that has afflicted more than 200 people.

In the meantime, the Food and Drug Administration advises consumers to avoid red plum, red Roma and round red tomatoes and products containing those tomatoes.

Salmonella causes diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Ex-Lax Fresser said...

There were food ganovim in at least 2 yeshivos that were caught after cakes were spiked.


Students' laxative-spiked cake sends Brooklyn teachers to hospital

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

The way I see it!


U.S. economy likely won't improve until summer 2009, with more layoffs and higher inflation looming, according to a survey of CFOs.

June 18, 2008: 2:05 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Economic woes are expected to continue until at least mid-2009, and things may get worse before they get better, according to a quarterly survey of chief financial officers.

The quarterly Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook study found 71% of more than 1,000 CFOs surveyed said the U.S. economy will not begin to rebound until 2009. And 54% think the turnaround will happen by next summer at the earliest.

"This could be the longest slowdown since the double dip recession of 1979-81," said John Graham, director of the survey.

There was some positive news from the survey: Overall, optimism rose slightly from the previous quarter.

Still, financial chiefs from a broad range of public and private companies hold a grim view of the economy and attribute their pessimism to a tough jobs market and rising inflation. Weak consumer demand and high fuel costs also topped their concerns.

CFOs said difficulty in attracting and retaining high quality employees is their the top concern, followed by the difficulty of planning in the uncertain economic environment. Accordingly, they expect employment to fall another 0.2% in the next 12 months.

A net 324,000 jobs have already been lost in 2008, the worst start to a year since 2002, when the U.S. economy was just coming out of the last recession.

As the economy sheds more and more jobs, businesses said they are increasingly worried about the fallout of rising prices and mounting layoffs.

With soaring fuel and food prices, 45% of companies said they have passed along rising costs to customers in the form of higher prices.

"In recent years, U.S. companies have largely shrugged off increasing fuel costs," said Kate O'Sullivan of CFO Magazine. "For the first time in the history of our survey, fuel costs are tied as the top corporate concern, and ... a majority of companies tell us they have taken explicit actions in response to increased fuel costs."

That may exacerbate inflationary pressures, as only a quarter of the businesses concerned about rising prices said they will absorb those costs by cutting into profit margins. As a result, the surveyed CFOs said they are forecasting prices to increase by 4.1% by the same point a year from now.

"Rising fuel costs are seeping into the overall price level, contributing to inflationary expectations of over 4%," O'Sullivan noted.

Signs of stabilizing
Despite its gloomy findings, the survey suggests that CFOs are starting to feel better about the economic outlook. Pessimists outnumbered optimists by 8 to 1 in the past two quarters, but that ratio has improved to about 3 to 1.

"For the last several quarters, CFOs reported bad news and more bad news," said Campbell Harvey, the survey's founder. "This quarter, we're seeing bad news with a little bit of good news."

Harvey said the improved ratio potentially indicates stabilization. But he warned that the worst is still not over, and encouraged the Federal Reserve not to raise its key funds rate just yet.

"This is not the time to cut off the meds," he said.

Rip off report said...

It's not your imagination, packages really are shrinking.

There is less ice cream in the tub you just bought.

Rather than upping prices in tight economic times, American food manufacturers are skimping on the size of their products - but often keeping their prices flat, consumer advocates charge.

"It's secret inflation," said Brooklyn blogger Ben Popken, who runs the Web site consumerist.com.

Evidence on the supermarket shelves Tuesday had shoppers fuming.

"Edy's [ice cream] got smaller!" said Alison Koeppel, 58, as she picked up a cold container in a Brooklyn Heights Key Food supermarket. "They're ripping us off once again."

Edy's officials said the 1.75 quart-size container was reduced to 1.5 quarts to make up for a 30% to 60% rise in the cost of gas, cocoa and dairy products over the past several years. Orange juice giant Tropicana also squeezed its container size recently. A 96-ounce plastic jug of OJ shrank to 89 ounces. The suggested retail price remains $4.99.

Tropicana officials denied they are passing on increased costs to consumers, saying their bottle redesign was in response to customer complaints.

"We had a lot of spillage with our old products," said Tropicana spokeswoman Jamie Stein. "It's a value-added redesign."

The downsizing phenomenon ranges across brands and products, from cereals to mayonnaise, margarine and toilet paper, consumer advocates say.

Restaurants and bars are cutting portions, too, serving draft beers in 14-ounce glasses instead of 16-ounce, for example. Some shoppers were disgusted. Others shrugged it off.

David Kaufman, a retired dentist from Brooklyn Heights, said he started noticing packaged food products were getting smaller several years ago.

"Soon people will be buying empty bags and empty boxes," Kaufman said.

Boruch said...

A prominent person in Jewish history made the same claims as UOJ about us not having gedolim!

His name was Korach.

It's wonderful that they now teach English in the Yeshivas. Kol HaKovod to gadol wannabees who, in their blatant ignorance, cherry pick names from Tanach. I invite you to join one of the many botei dinim in Eretz HaKodesh (Brooklyn NY) where many of your ilk practice their which?craft.

Maimonides Hospital Horror Show said...


City Cracks Down on Fire Code Violators

By JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN, Staff Reporter of the Sun
June 11, 2008

The violations have included blocked exits, missing fire extinguishers, and broken sprinkler systems, among others issues. The sweep is being conducted by the Fire Department and the city's Department of Investigation. In each instance, those arrested had failed to appear in court on a prior occasion to address earlier fire code violations, according to a statement put out by the two agencies.

Others cited include residences, gas stations, restaurants, a yeshiva, and even a Brooklyn hospital, Maimonides Medical Center, according to information provided by the Department of Investigation. Those arrested for violations at these locations ranged from building owners to employees.

"This effort is helping to keep New York safe and reminds individuals of the serious consequence of ignoring the fire code," the commissioner for the Department of Investigation, Rose Gill Hearn, said.

For about a year, the city has been coordinating sweeps of people who have arrest warrants signed for having missed court appearances related to misdemeanor fire code violations, according to the statement. Almost half of the 221 such arrests made since the sweeps began occurred in the last week. More than $50,000 in fines have been collected.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:00 p.m.

After the prune juice did it's work this morning, very well indeed, you miss a simple yedia; Korach was wrong.

Anonymous said...

We are talking about creating a city from scratch," the booklet says, "building an infrastructure costing tens of millions of dollars, setting up a Talmud Torah, a girls school, a yeshiva," as well as shopping and health centers.

great anothe rcommunity founded on welfare food stamps unemployment section 8 and medicaid

lets get jobs chevra lets get jobs

Anonymous said...

are you aware about this scandal in miami beach with the administartor or teacher having innapropriate relations

can you elaborate
they are claiming never happened
can your people find out for us
please put out a plea

Anonymous said...

are you aware that a rabbi in north miami beach
when he was asked to assist in a domestic abuse case told a lady so make better chicken soup for him and you wont be beaten

what the hell is going on there

UOJ that information will be coming your way

Yosef Abrahamson said...


Why hasn't UOJ shared his thoughts on Obama vs McCain?

uoj wannabee said...

Why hasn't UOJ shared his thoughts on Obama vs McCain?

Never heard of them

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


seen online

Worried about the effect of the recession on your career prospects? Don't be. Even in an economic downturn, one sector is staying strong -- health care.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Current Employment Statistics, health care employment continued to grow in the first few months of 2008. During the past 12 months, the health care sector overall has grown by 363,000 jobs, making it the largest industry in the United States, accounting for 13.5 million jobs.

Better yet, the health care sector will generate 3 million new jobs by 2016, more than any other industry -- thanks, in part, to aging baby boomers and increased numbers of retirees. Plus, most positions will require less than four years of college education. Here's a look at the four accessible health care jobs -- and the education or training necessary to break into this growing field.

Registered Nurse

Registered nurses are in high demand. If you're nurturing, detail oriented, and capable of staying calm in stressful situations, a career in nursing may prove a good fit. By 2010, 1.7 million nurses will be needed, but only 635,000 will be available. Demand is highest for nurses in emergency room, operating room, intensive care, pediatrics and labor and delivery room. Median salary in 2006 was $57,280. To become a nurse, enroll in a nursing program, which range from bachelor's, associate degrees, and diplomas.

Health Information Technicians

Were you the designated "note taker" in class? If you're super organized and meticulous to boot, a career in health information technology may suit you. Health information technologists maintain the medical records for patients -- including observations of their general health, medical history and symptoms, X-rays, diagnoses, surgery and treatments. Don't especially like working with people? This is one of the few careers in the health field where you can hunker down in your office, during day, evening, or night shifts. Computer skills are essential in analyzing data. Health information technicians typically earn around $29,290, according to latest BLS figures, and have an associate degree from a community or junior college. Many employers prefer to hire technicians who have become Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT).

Dental Hygienists

Dental hygienists earn an average of $64,740 and enjoy a relatively "clean" job fostering good oral hygiene by scraping teeth, applying fluoride or sealants, and sometime taking and developing X-rays. Perks often include flexible hours; more than half of all dental hygienists work part time. Many dental hygienists arrange their schedule so they only work two to three days a week. As for educational requirements, you'll need an associate degree or certificate from an accredited dental hygiene school and a state license.

Health Service Managers

Health service managers, also known as health care administrators, manage the business end of specific clinical departments or entire health care facilities. They can be in charge of millions of dollars worth of equipment and hundreds of employees. They must be good managers with an understanding of finance and accounting. The job generally requires some travel and overtime, and pays a median salary of $73,340, according to the BLS. While a master's degree in health services administration, public health, or business administration is standard, a bachelor's degree can land you an entry-level job at smaller facilities.

Shulamis Lawsuits Begin said...


But the parents feel otherwise. Through one of the actions filed in court, they have demanded to see the appraisal of the campus, the school’s bylaws, the contract of sale of the building, annual reports, as well as financial records of both the Brooklyn and Long Island branches.

Rabbi Zwick has declined to disclose any of the above information on the grounds that it is personal and is not in the school’s tradition to show financial papers to anyone who asks for it.

No wonder UOJ can't stand Marvin Hier & Abe Foxman said...


What a colossal waste of Jewish resources. Every year, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent monitoring and examining, exploring and investigating the extent of global anti-Semitism.

Reports are compiled, press conferences are held, and trends are carefully studied and assessed, all as part of a monumental effort to track the spread of that age-old virus known as Jew-hatred.

On the governmental level, the US State Department maintains an Office to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism, while Israel runs its own Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism.

Universities from Yale to Hebrew U have created centers to study the phenomenon, and then, of course, there is the alphabet-soup list of American Jewish groups, such as the ADL and AJC, all of whom make a fine living by sounding the alarm over anti-Jewish bigotry.

And yet, despite it all, confusion still reigns regarding the very nature of the beast. Who hates us so much? And why?

You'd think that after pouring so much time and money into the issue, we'd have a better grasp of the subject.

Now consider the following. The Anti-Defamation League, based in New York, which bills itself as "the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency," spent over $76 million in 2006.

That same year, the American Jewish Committee laid out more than $48 million, while the American Jewish Congress shelled out another $6 million.

All told, these three self-styled US Jewish defense agencies, which are devoted to combating anti-Semitic hatred, spent over $130 million in just one calendar year.

Now, according to the ADL's own figures, the total number of anti-Semitic incidents reported in the US that year was 1,554.

That comes out, on average, to a whopping $83,655 per incident that these organizations are costing the Jewish people.

Is that really justified?

Yeshiva Tuition said...

Two months ago, the New York Jewish Week reported that tuition at Ramaz, a leading Manhattan yeshiva day school, will top $30,000 for 12th grade this year.

steve said...

Besides the huge numbers, the scariest part of this survey is the 54% who were told by their rabbis that they don't approve of reporting another Jew. These "rabbis" by giving out totally false halachic information are causing more destruction that can ever be imagined. The term "Zaken Mamre" is befitting them. We need to get their names and they need to be exposed for the frauds that they are. Jews are too lazy to open up a Shulchan Aruch and look up a halacha for themselves. Instead they blindly go to these misleaders who feed them false information in order to protect the status quo. It is about time that we educate the people on the laws of "rodef" and when the laws of messira and lashon hara are applicable, as well as the laws of pidyon shvuyim.

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


Please send me your e-mail address. I want to formally invite you to write for UOJGROUP.

Re: the Ramaz tuition at 30G - it's co-ed - some charedim may find it worth the price:-).

Crain's New York Business said...


Mortgage delinquency soars in NYC

steve said...


I humbly accept your kind invitation. It will be my pleasure to write for UOJGROUP. I will e-mail you my post soon.

UOJ wannabee said...

Friday, May 06, 2005

The Religion Of Holocaust Museums

Alas,a new branch of Judaism is upon us, Museum Judaism.

I know ALL the answers....the money being raised would not be able to be raised without magnificent structures etc.is one of the many responses.

What exactly is the purpose of building another museum for two hundred sixty five million dollars in Jerusalem?

Do people protest in the streets for another museum? Were foreign dignitaries not satisfied with the ambiance of Yad Vashem?

Just because the money can be raised,that does not mean we should raise it for another museum...unless someone is looking to expand his business.

Holocaust museums have been making big money,and the executives (owners)and their families are milking many hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from them. (one source tells me it could be close to a million dollars annually for one family)

These executives claim they could make these huge salaries at any large business.

THIS IS THE HOLOCAUST,GUYS,AND YOU ARE TAKING PUBLIC MONEY, this is not just any other business.

These self proclaimed rabbis and moralists have decided it is ok to pay themselves these huge salaries, when as rabbis they would starve to death.

It reminds me of another "rabbi" who raised money and built an empire of real-estate...it's called the Kabbalah Center.

Posted by "UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" May 6, 2005

Michoel said...

As I hope the readership is realizing, there is NO MENTION of this study on the web. A reasonable person would have to suspect that this is a bubamaaseh made up by UOJ. If not, please post a link.

LA Times said...

California cellphone law may be more costly than the $20 fine

After July 1, drivers cited in California for using hand-held cellphones will face fines starting at $20. But if the cellphone use leads to a fatal accident, the driver might end up paying huge civil judgments or doing jail time.

By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

June 19, 2008

The threat of a $20 fine may not sway every California driver from using a hand-held cellphone when a state ban takes effect July 1, but a motorist who ignores the law and causes an accident could face huge civil judgments or even jail if fatalities result.

"If you cause a fatal accident and you are running a stop sign, speeding or crossing a double line, any additional violation would add to the possibility a manslaughter charge could be filed," said W. Scott Thorpe, chief executive of the California District Attorneys Assn. "It all goes to state of mind and your recklessness."

The cellphone law is moving the state into uncharted territory. Though other states have enacted such laws, prosecutors, trial lawyers and insurance companies say it is still too soon to measure the effects.

California already has been more aggressive than some states in prosecuting drivers for causing fatal accidents, even when they are not impaired by drugs or alcohol. Dozens of vehicular manslaughter cases in Los Angeles County alone are brought annually against sober drivers whose conduct is negligent, prosecutors say.

A cellphone violation during a fatal car accident may not be enough to bring a felony charge, but it could trigger a misdemeanor manslaughter charge, Thorpe said. Conviction on those charges can carry up to a year in jail for each death.

But other experts predict some even tougher outcomes.

The Advantage of Anonymity said...

And we have no idea who "Michoel" is other than that he sounds a like either Avi Shafran or Marvin Schick.

tzvi bs Frankel said...

or it could be me from the jewish observer

Kolko's pal said...

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The winner of last week's $57 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot is a registered sex offender who also pleaded guilty to two breaking and entering charges in the 1980s.
Fred Topous Jr., 45, was discharged from Michigan Department of Corrections supervision in October 2006.

The Kent City man traveled to Lansing on Tuesday to claim the prize from Friday's drawing in the multistate game. Topous chose to take the prize as a $34 million lump sum payment, before taxes.

Topous said he planned to buy a house, send his children to college and have some fun with his winnings. He said he and his wife work multiple jobs to make ends meet and thought they'd have to work till they died.

"I want to enjoy a little bit of life," Topous told state lottery officials. "We're plain folks. We've struggled all our lives."

another first for R' UOJ said...

The indictments against two former managers of hedge funds are the first to be brought against top Wall Street executives linked to the tight credit market.

ywn said...

According to a Channel 1 TV News report, Maran Rav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv Shlita called for protests against next Thursday’s scheduled To’eva parade in Yerushalayim.

Degel HaTorah MK Moshe Gafne met with Rav Elyashiv earlier in the week, reportedly to discuss the strategy for protests, reporting that Rav Elyashiv called to stop the parade from taking place.

One of the organizers explained to the news that when Jews wanted to go onto the Temple Mount, the Supreme Court permitted it but police called it off, explaining the threat of Islamic violence was too great. He stated the same must take place here — that police must fear widespread protests to compel them to cancel the parade permit.

Earlier in the week, YWN reported that Eida Chareidis leaders are calling for controlled protests, fearing instigators will provoke violence and a return of the chilul Hashem seen in the past.

While the parade is taking place, a large tefilla rally is planned, not along the route of the parade to avoid exposing participants to the abomination.

Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly 300 people have been arrested in a 3-1/2 month national coordinated mortgage-fraud probe to be disclosed on Thursday, a U.S. Justice Department official said.

The official said 60 suspects were arrested in a sweep on Wednesday and more arrests were being made on Thursday. The Justice Department is set to discuss the probe at a news conference at 1:15 p.m. EDT.

(Reporting by Randall Mikkelsen)

Time for UOJ to Shake up Fartscroll said...

Nosson Scherman and the boys are now distributing a 140 page catalog of publications. It's business as usual with the usual suspects like Leib Pinter on page 79 being touted as a "noted scholar" with "great sensitivity" who "distills a wealth of wisdom" and "provides guidance".

In the bizarro world of Scherman & Zlotowitz the derech Hatorah is to be a career criminal who steals 100s of millions of dollars.

I was suprised by the way at how many mechabrim I never realized were with Artscroll, including Dovid Cohen.

bankman said...

man, religious fundamentalists are OBSESSED with gays.

aaron from l.a. said...

Some undisputed Gedolim: Haystacks Calhoun ................... John Goodman........................ Jackie Gleason.................... Roseanne ........................ John Candy....................... Orson Wells....................... Kathy Najimi......................... Santa Claus........................

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


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

The above link may not be functional:


Retribution for Child Molesters
June 13, 2008 Episode no. 1141
The Capital Appeals Project

NPR: "Does child rape warrant the death penalty?" May 30, 2008

CNN: "High court split over execution of child rapists" by Bill Mears, April 16, 2008

Religious Tolerance: "Widening the scope of the death penalty beyond murder"

Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: Supreme Court Considers New Case on Death Penalty, April 4, 2008


BOB ABERNETHY, anchor: The Supreme Court ruled this week that all 270 foreign terrorism suspects at Guantanamo have the right under the U.S. Constitution to challenge their detention in federal court. Another High Court decision excepted soon could expand the death penalty. Right now, 36 states permit capital punishment for murder. Should that penalty be extended to those who rape children? Criminologists say people are punished to prevent them from committing another crime, as a deterrent to others, to rehabilitate them and as retribution -- revenge. Does revenge for child rape justify execution? Tim O'Brien begins his report from New Orleans, and his story contains some material that may be disturbing.

VOICE OF FEMALE ANCHOR (ABC 26 News 1998 file footage): Today, safety shattered in a quiet neighborhood. A child raped. The teens who did it: on the run.

VOICE OF MALE ANCHOR (ABC 26 News 1998 file footage): An eight-year-old Girl Scout raped in her Harvey neighborhood is recovering from surgery tonight.

VOICE OF MALE REPORTER (ABC 26 News 1998 file footage): People who live in the Woodmere subdivision are hoping for peace of mind. The thought -- a rapist is on the loose...

TIM O'BRIEN: The brutal rape of a small child galvanized this normally tranquil community just outside New Orleans and horrified the neighbors.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: There's got to be some maniac running around out here.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I wouldn't have never thought that someone would live on my street and do something like this.

Sheriff HARRY LEE (Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, during 1998 press conference): I'm in my 18th year as sheriff and I've seen a lot of bad things happen, and this is probably the worst.

O'BRIEN: So bad that Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee put up $5,000 of his own money for information leading to an arrest. In addition to the psychological trauma, the eight-year old girl also suffered severe physical injuries. The city of New Orleans rallied to help, including the New Orleans Saints football team, which launched a fundraising drive to help defray the child's mounting medical expenses.

KAREN TOWNSEND (Reporter, ABC News 26, from 1998 file footage): Sheriff Lee says the prime suspects in this case are two black teens.

O'BRIEN: The manhunt became so intense sheriff's deputies began stopping all young black males in the neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: They made me take my shirt off, and, you know, it's cold out here, you know?

VOICE OF FEMALE REPORTER: What were they looking for?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Just tattoos, any little marks.

O'BRIEN: The victim had told police her attackers were two black teenagers. But the story fell apart, and suspicion began to shift to the child's stepfather, Patrick Kennedy, who had called co-workers on the morning of the rape seeking advice on how to remove blood from a white carpet. It turned out Kennedy also had been accused, although never convicted, of sexually molesting four foster children in his care. They were removed. His eight-year-old stepdaughter eventually said that it was Kennedy -- six-feet-four, 375 pounds -- who had raped her and then told her to blame it on the teenagers.

CHILD VICTIM : First, he told me that he was going to make up a story and I better say it.

O'BRIEN: And, she said, it wasn't the first time Kennedy had sexually molested her.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Did Patrick Kennedy do something to you just that one day, or did he did he do anything any other times?

Rep. Pete Schneider
CHILD VICTIM : He did more than once. I think five (holds up five fingers).

PROSECUTOR : More than once? You think five?


PROSECUTOR : Okay. Do you remember how old you were the very first time he did something?

CHILD VICTIM : (shakes her head "no")

O'BRIEN: Three years earlier the Louisiana legislature overwhelmingly passed a law authorizing the death penalty for anyone who rapes a child under the age of 12. The jury agreed unanimously: Patrick Kennedy deserved nothing less. The law was introduced by then state representative Pete Schneider

(to Rep. Pete Schneider): Is this the kind of guy you had in mind when you passed this law?

Representative PETE SCHNEIDER (Former Louisiana State Representative): Absolutely. Someone who would brutally rape a child -- and rape is wrong no matter whom it is done to, but in a situation like this I believe the death penalty is the appropriate punishment for the crime.

O'BRIEN: Kennedy's court appointed lawyers disagree and have taken their case to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing if the death penalty for rape isn't cruel, it certainly is unusual, violating the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

BILLY SOTHERN (Capital Appeals Project): Mr. Kennedy is one of only two men on death row in the state of Louisiana for the crime of child rape. Indeed, Mr. Kennedy and this other individual are the only two men in the United States for the crime of child rape who've been sentenced to death.

O'BRIEN: The U.S. Supreme Court, more than 30-years ago, found the death penalty unconstitutional for rape -- that death is disproportionate to the crime.

Billy Sothern
BARBARA WALTERS (Anchor, ABC Evening News, from 1977 file footage): Good evening. Our top stories: The Supreme Court says the crime of rape should not be punishable by death.

O'BRIEN: But that case involved a 16-year-old married woman. Louisiana contends the rape of a child is much worse and that the Court's earlier opinion shouldn't apply when the victim is so young.

Rep. SCHNEIDER: Twenty-nine percent of the rape cases in this country -- and it's probably underreported -- are committed on 11-year-olds and younger. Twenty-nine percent! And they're horrendous crimes. You steal their childhood. You steal their soul. You hurt the world when you do something like that to a child.

O'BRIEN: We may never know to what extent, if any, the death penalty actually deters, but there's clearly another theory behind this Louisiana law. Call it revenge, or retribution, or a thirst for simple justice which, if left unfulfilled, may encourage others, loved ones, to go out and find it on their own. Sex offenders may be the least likely to be deterred, and their crimes are the most likely to bring retribution. Jeffrey Doucet: suspected of kidnapping and molesting an 11-year-old Baton Rouge boy. When sheriff's deputies brought Doucet back to Louisiana, the boy's father, Gary Plauche, was waiting at the Baton Rouge airport with a gun. Believing they could never get a conviction, prosecutors allowed Plauche to plead guilty to manslaughter with a suspended sentence. The state's attorney general, Buddy Caldwell, says it's the state that must exact the retribution, not loved ones, and that the Louisiana law makes it less likely they''ll try.

(to Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell): Even if it doesn't deter others -- that's an open debate. Bu even if it doesn't, you say the death penalty in cases like this is justified?

BUDDY CALDWELL (State Attorney General, Louisiana): I believe it absolutely is.

O'BRIEN: Retribution alone is enough?

Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell
Mr. CALDWELL : Retribution alone is enough.

O'BRIEN: Some of your opposition, including the Catholic Church, will quote the Bible and say "vengeance is mine, so sayeth the Lord."

Mr. CALDWELL : Well, we see a lot of people that don't have a clue. But I think most people understand, even liberals have children that if they're raped and mutilated, like in a lot of these cases, they would be for the death penalty, whether they say so or not. It's always the other guy.

O'BRIEN: It's a retributive function of the law?

Mr. CALDWELL : I think so.

O'BRIEN: Ironically, a number of child advocacy groups are siding with the defendant in this case, telling the Supreme Court the death penalty for child molesters is counterproductive. Judy Benitez, who heads the Louisiana Foundation against Sexual Assault, says Louisiana's law may discourage children from coming forward and give the molester an incentive to kill his victim.

JUDY BENITEZ: If they're not facing any harsher punishment for killing the child and raping them, then they are for -- and I say this sort of facetiously -- for just raping them, you know, the state can't kill them but once. So what are they going to do? And this way they don't leave a living witness.

O'BRIEN: Patrick Kennedy's lawyer says if retribution is the goal, life in prison is retribution enough.

How can we improve our program or Web site?

Mr. SOTHERN: The alternative punishment here in Louisiana for the crime of child rape is life without the possibility of parole at Angola penitentiary. It's "you die at Angola." So it's not like the alternative punishment for this is somehow lenient. The alternative punishment in this instance is extraordinarily harsh.

O'BRIEN: Both sides agree the law does make it easier for prosecutors to negotiate a plea agreement with the defendant for life in prison, sparing the child the trauma of having to testify at a trial. The question for the Supreme Court, however, is not whether this is a wise law or even a good law, or whether it even makes any sense at all, only whether it's such a bad law as to violate the standards of decency of a civilized nation as embodied in the U.S. Bill of Rights.

For RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY, I'm Tim O'Brien in Washington.

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


Salmonella's Tricky Attack Plan Revealed

By Maggie Koerth-Baker, Special to LiveScience

19 June 2008

As the tomato scare spreads across the country, scientists have discovered how the salmonella bacteria silently builds to formidable numbers while lurking inside your body for days.

More than 380 people have been infected with a rare strain of salmonella bacteria in the recent outbreak, most likely spread by shipments of tainted tomatoes, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most of the victims became ill between April 10 and June 5, and could have eaten the toxic food up to three days before they actually got sick, the CDC said.

This lag time between infection and the onset of symptoms is extremely significant, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

Dr. Jun Sun, assistant professor of gastroenterology and hepatology, said during the lag, salmonella is copying itself, waiting to strike until its numbers are large enough to put up a fight.

And what a fight. Salmonella rarely kills, but victims can end up wishing they were dead. Vomiting, diarrhea, fever and cramps are common symptoms, usually lasting between 4 and 7 days. Most people get better without treatment, but the disease can be dangerous for children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. The recent outbreak hasn't officially caused any deaths, but has put at least 48 people in the hospital.
Sun and her team figured out how salmonella is able to get your immune system to ignore it while it grows.

The culprit is a protein called AvrA. Here is how it works: Usually, when your body is invaded by a bacteria, the bug causes tissue damage, releasing chemicals that lead to swelling and inflammation. Physically, inflammation can isolate the invaders, making it difficult for them to travel to other parts of the body. Chemically, it attracts phagocytes, white blood cells that kill bad bacteria.

Salmonella has the ability to punch through the tight links of cells that make up the intestinal wall, using an arsenal of proteins and toxins it can inject into cells. Sun said scientists always thought AvrA was one of these, but, as her team reported June 4 in the online journal PloS One, AvrA actually has an opposite function.

The study found that AvrA can maintain the tight structure of cell junctions in the intestinal cells, she said.

AvrA temporarily stops salmonella from breaking apart the cell links. Because the bug doesn't damage tissue during this phase, there's no inflammatory response. Instead, salmonella is mostly left alone, free to grow and multiply into a formidable invasion force. Only then does it break through the intestinal walls, beginning its reign of terror and making you sick.

"This changes the way we look at bacteria," Sun said. "We're beginning to realize that salmonella is a creature that has existed many years longer than us and they have skills we don't understand fully. It's trickier than we thought. This helps us better understand how bacteria and we, their hosts, interact."

steve said...


You are invited to join a select group of community leaders at an



A. What is the truth behind the troubles at Agriprocessors?

B. Is there a potential for a kosher meat crisis in America?

C. What steps were taken at Agriprocessors following the raid on May 5th?

D. What can be done to stop the slander and vilifications against Agriprocessors?

On Tuesday Evening June 24th at

4:45 p.m.

At the Bnai Zion

136 East 39th Street

(corner Lexington Avenue)


The briefers will include:


Nathan Lewin Esq.

Menachem Lubinsky

Rabbi Menachem M. Weissmandl

Local community activists from Postville

Kosher food industry leaders



Please RSVP: Eda at LUBICOM Marketing Consulting 718.854.4450,

Or e-mail eda@lubicom.com

Cholent Fresser said...

The Missing Ethic
Filed by Avi Shafran @ 5:12 pm

A reader asks why I haven’t seen fit to address ethical concerns raised by news reports about a kosher slaughterhouse/meatpacking concern in Postville, Iowa that was the subject of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid in May, during which hundreds of illegal immigrant workers were arrested.

He is right to chide me, especially since one ethical concern – perhaps the most important one – has been all but ignored by press and pundits.

The company, Agriprocessors, has been in the news before. In 2005, an animal rights group secretly recorded scenes of unusual post-slaughter procedures that appeared inconsistent with animal welfare and asked the local District Attorney to open an investigation. He declined to do so. Nonetheless, Agriprocessors immediately changed its methods. Subsequently, renowned animal expert Dr. Temple Grandin declared her satisfaction with the changes, and the plant received excellent grades in five independent audits.

Then there were other charges over several years by local authorities of violations of environmental and safety laws. Fines were levied and the plant made the necessary changes.

What has seized the public’s attention, however, was the recent raid on the facility, said to be the largest such ICE action ever. Some of the illegal immigrants arrested, moreover, subsequently accused their erstwhile employer and supervisors of a host of crimes, including exploitation, abuse and illegal drug production.

Jewish reaction came fast and furious. The Conservative movement urged kosher consumers to consider forgoing meat produced by Agriprocessors; a Reform leader called for investigations of all kosher slaughterhouses; a liberal Orthodox group circulated a boycott petition aimed at the concern; well-known activists like Ruth Messinger, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and Rabbi Avi Weiss signed it; and Jewish newspapers and blogs buzzed with outrage at Agriprocessors and its owners.

The ethical offense I see here is a different one. It violates something not only rooted in Judaism but part and parcel of American jurisprudence and respectable journalism as well. It is called the presumption of innocence.

I don’t know if the violations of regulatory laws on Agriprocessors’ record are unusual for plants of its type and size. But whether they are or are not, the firm corrected whatever needed correcting.

Which brings us to the recent raid, about which we know three things: 1) Illegal aliens presented forged documents to obtain employment at Agriprocessors, 2) Some of those workers subsequently leveled complaints against the company and 3) The company has stated that it had no reason to doubt the workers’ documentation and has vehemently denied all the workers’ charges.

Yet, the petition-circulating Orthodox group has judged Agriprocessors guilty of “knowingly exploiting undocumented workers,” and deemed the situation a “desecration of G-d’s name.” A self-described “leading progressive Zionist movement” has called on Jewish organizations to “avoid serving Agriprocessors products at their kosher functions’ and expressed shock at how “a company devoted to selling… kosher meat can be so inhumane to the people working for it.” A well-read Jewish blog has demanded that the company “make legal all those people whom they’ve brought in illegally, since they deliberately sought out illegal workers so that they could be treated with less care.” A Conservative cantor sermonized about how wrong it would be to “dismiss the events in Postville.” A Reform rabbi demanded to know “what it mean[s] to label something as ‘fit and proper’ that hurts people, exploits people or was produced cruelly.”

Neither I nor Agudath Israel of America has any connection to Agriprocessors. And for all we know, it may yet be shown that the firm indeed knowingly hired illegal aliens. Or that it mistreated them, or that it was a front for a drug operation, a neo-Nazi group or a baby-cannibalizing cult. All under the eyes of the federal inspectors present at the plant at all times.

But unless and until some wrongdoing is actually proven, not merely suspected or charged, no human being – certainly no Jew, bound as we are by the Torah’s clear admonition in such matters – has any right to assume guilt, much less voice condemnation or seek to levy punishment.

To be sure, a Jewish business operating in bad faith, violating the law of the land or mistreating its employees deserves tochacha, halachically appropriate criticism. Its actions violate the Torah and carry great potential for “chilul Hashem,” or desecration of G-d’s name. But, as the Rabbinical Council of America rightly noted in a statement about Agriprocessors, “in the absence of hard facts,” no one may “rush to premature judgments… or impute guilt…”

It’s not at all clear why so many Jewish groups, clergy, papers and pundits are so energetically railing against Agriprocessors in the wake of the recent government raid. The righteous indignation has the smell of adolescent excitement at the discovery of a new “noble” cause. Whatever the motivation, though, until the facts are actually in, the armchair ethicists would do well to give some thought to the Jewish ethic they somehow managed to miss.

When is UOJ planning to attack? said...

June 20 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil rose in New York, recovering from yesterday's decline, as the weaker dollar enhanced the appeal of commodities as a currency hedge.

Israel held a rehearsal for a bombing attack on nuclear facilities in Iran, the New York Times reported, adding to concern that conflict may cut supply from OPEC's second-largest producer.

An Israeli military exercise involving more than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters seems to have been a rehearsal for a bombing attack on Iran's nuclear facilities and long-range conventional missiles, the New York Times reported, citing several unidentified U.S. officials.

Chana Engel said...


Police in South Australia have recommended that the wife of a U.S.-born rabbi facing fraud charges also be charged.

Chana Engel and her husband, Yossi, face multiple charges of fraud relating to a phantom Hebrew school in Adelaide that they allegedly registered and for which they received government funding, according to
a report in the Australian Jewish News.

The Engels allegedly signed fake report cards to secure approximately $50,000 in funding from the South Australian Ethnic Schools Board.

Police earlier this month recommended that Rabbi Engel face 17 counts of fraud. A court date has yet to be set for the Chabad-Lubavitch couple.

Engel, 41, was appointed to the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation in 1998. His employment was terminated in December 2006, sparking an acrimonious legal battle that wound up in the Supreme Court of South Australia. The court ruled in favor of the city’s only Orthodox synagogue.

London Beis Din said...


Rabbis slam school Kabbalah classes
By Leon Symons

Two Orthodox rabbis have expressed grave concerns and called for government intervention after it emerged that a charity linked to the controversial Kabbalah Centre has been establishing a foothold in a number of UK primary and secondary schools.

After the JC made inquiries at one Catholic school, Westminster’s St Vincent de Paul, it suspended lessons run by workers from the charity, Spirituality For Kids (SFK).

SFK workers have been giving lessons in schools in two London boroughs, Westminster and Tower Hamlets. Parents have not been told about the lessons because they come under personal health, social and citizenship education, not religious study.

The Kabbalah Centre sprang to prominence after attracting celebrity supporters such as Madonna and Demi Moore. But it has faced serious criticisms over its aggressive fundraising and what some cult-monitoring agencies have claimed is its destructive impact on the lives of some individuals who become involved.

Four years ago, the Chief Rabbi took the unusual step of issuing, together with the London Beth Din and the United Synagogue, a public warning to be read out in synagogues. “In the light of issues which have been brought to our attention relating to the Kabbalah Centre in the UK,” it stated, “we wish it to be known that this organisation does not fall within the remit of the Chief Rabbinate or any other authority in the UK recognised by us.”

Two United Synagogue rabbis, Barry Marcus of the Central Synagogue in Great Portland Street, and Yitzchok Schochet from Mill Hill, viewed the latest news as a sinister development.

Rabbi Marcus, who assisted a BBC Panorama exposé on the centre, said: “It was quite a shock to read that these people are being allowed into schools.They have an agenda which is getting to the adults and their money through the children. They have become a lot more sophisticated since they started in the 1990s and are exploiting the naïvete of schools, which are playing with fire.

“The Panorama programme did a lot of damage but they seem to have regrouped. The problem is when this all begins to unravel, people will say it is kabbalah, it’s Jewish and the community will be blamed by association.”

Rabbi Schochet said: “The Kabbalah Centre never makes reference to God. There is nothing Jewish mentioned in Kabbalah Centres but they are peddling themselves on the back of being an ancient part of the Jewish faith. The themes taught by SFK are similar to those in Kabbalah centres, but dumbed down.

“When these ideas are implanted in such young, innocent minds, they will make a lasting impression.”

But although the rabbis told the schools to beware of the messages being given to the children and suggested schools’ freedom to introduce such groups should be curbed, one headmaster of a Roman Catholic primary initially told the JC how well the lessons fitted with his school’s ethos.

Children were taught to find “the light” and reject an inner voice called “the opponent”, Jack O’Neill, head of St Vincent de Paul, said. “We heard about SFK at a conference and we approached them to come in. They have not asked for any money for anything .

“I and my staff have been very happy with the lessons. It’s a straightforward programme that gets children to reflect on choices they make and how they make them.

“One of the biggest festivals is Easter and ‘the light’ with reference to Christ sits very comfortably,” he added.

“There has been no reference to Jewish spirituality, the Kabbalah or any such thing. There has not been one iota of anything Jewish.” He described his school as “one of the most orthodox, conservative Roman Catholic schools”.

But later Mr O’Neill said that after talking to his diocese — in charge of the religious side of the school — he had decided to suspend the lessons “for the moment”.

He said: “The school has used the SFK programme as a part of its personal, social, health, and citizenship education. The school has monitored use of the programme carefully and is now reviewing its use in conjunction with the education service of the Diocese of Westminster. Pending the outcome of the review, use of the SFK programme has been suspended.”

Rabbi Schochet said the government should intervene to exercise more control over what schools could allow through their doors. “The government has allowed free rein to schools without appreciating what is going on,” he said. He said he would join forces with Rabbi Marcus to counter what he described as “a threat to society as a whole”.

Two schools in Tower Hamlets, Oaklands Secondary and Lawdale Primary, have been working with SFK. A Tower Hamlets spokesman said: “SFK originally approached Oaklands. Oaklands works closely with Lawdale and SFK now also work with Year 6 pupils at Lawdale.

“SFK is just one of a number of different organisations that work within our schools, all of which are supervised and closely monitored.”

The Kabbalah Centre was given the opportunity to comment, but had not done so as the JC went to press.

Shame on Zev Yaroslavsky! said...


Beverly Hills -- The era of gay marriage in California began amid a circus-like atmosphere in Beverly Hills today, as two lesbians whose court struggle led to the lifting of the state's ban on same-sex unions exchanged vows in the first gay marriage in Los Angeles County.

Wearing cream-colored outfits, Robin Tyler and Diane Olson, arrived at the Beverly Hills Courthouse amid a crush of media and worked their way inside to obtain a marriage license.

They were mobbed by photographers as they exited the building and worked their way under the chuppah, a canopy that is held above couples in Jewish wedding ceremony. The ceremony was performed by Rabbi Denise Eger.

Between 50 and 75 invited guests, including Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who is openly gay, attended the wedding ceremony

"I now pronounce you spouses for life in the sight of God, the Jewish community and all people," Eger said, wrapping up the roughly 15-minute ceremony.

Israel Belsky said...


Taxi and truck drivers protest fuel prices, clog main T.A. artery

After consultation with Kolko's lawyer Putz Schwartz said...


Child abuse suspect Elior Chen to fight extradition from Brazil

By Jonathan Lis and Paula Idoeta

The self-proclaimed rabbi who was arrested in Sao Paulo a few weeks ago on suspicion of encouraging his followers to abuse the children of a Jerusalem family has decided to contest the Israeli extradition order.

Elior Chen, the spiritual leader of a Jerusalem sect, fled from Israel amid suspicions that he initiated severe child abuse, including torture, which left two children, aged 3 and 4, hospitalized in March in critical condition.

Chen this week denied the allegations. His lawyer, Ariel Atari, said Chen had asked him "what kind of person could do things like that?"

Atari, who returned from Brazil on Wednesday, said Chen refuses to be
extradited to Israel and will contest the extradition order.

"Chen did not preach to hurt children. It did not even occur to him," Atari said Thursday.

"He is sorry he left Israel because he feels it would have been better to state his case to the police and public in Israel. He fled to Brazil because three years ago he was interrogated by the Shin Bet about a plan to blow up the Temple Mount and had no intention of repeating that experience. So he took his things and fled Israel."

Chen is being held in a small prison with 36 inmates in Sao Paulo. Because of Atari's efforts, he receives kosher food from a catering company and has been allowed to have a phylactery in his cell.

"I found an optimistic, believing man. Contrary to his image in the media, Chen is a gentle, modest man who cannot understand how this affair has been blown up like this," Atari said.

Lubinsky = Pathological Liar said...


Agriprocessors’ marketing consultant, Menachem Lubinsky, said output should be back to normal in two weeks. And he was confident that the raid would not have a significant impact on consumer loyalty.

Telzer Machlokes said...


According to R' Yudel Shain, R' Dovid Feinstein was the rosh beis din and poskened against whoever is trying to hijack the yeshiva. Anyone know who that is? Aron Schechter was also on the beis din.

What's pathetic about this is that Matzav.com is another proganada organ for Oorah & Yahoo Mintz. Mintz, who is a Telzer, posted it but will not allow anyone to comment on the details.

Belsky Video Bloopers said...


Avi Kolko defends Brooklyn Beheymos said...

Hey Avi, stick to chauffering your father from jail about 2 minutes before Shabbos.

I have a big taava to list shuls in the East 20s & East 30s that are guilty of this.


A Reader Writes: Ignored at Shul

Posted: 19.JUN.08

Dear Editor@Matzav.com,

There is something that has been bothering me for a while. I grew up in a typical yeshivishe family and I davened at the local yeshivishe shul. All the years I was davening at my shul, I always felt anonymous and completely ignored (i.e. no "shalom aleichems" when I would come home for bein hazemanim, an aliyah once a Shmittah, and never a seat at a kiddush).

In contrast, the few times I woke up late and davened at the Young Israel, I was greeted and welcomed warmly by the mispallelim and even the rabbi. I was given an aliyah right away. At my shul, the rov doesn't even acknowledge my existence.

I would like to be dan lekaf zechus, but it is difficult.

Am I the only one experiencing this?

Avi Kolko
JUN 19 • It's possible that you blend into your shul and therefore don't have much of a presence, but in a Young Israel you are the "different" one and get special attention.

If someone with a kippah serugah would walk into your shul, wouldn't he get special attention the same way you got in a Young Israel?

JUN 19 • No! Me too.

Lubinsky is not the only whore for cash said...


R' Yudel Shain is reporting that Rubashkin paid off Zev Brenner to stop letting him speak on his radio show.

R' Yudel also says the the Jewish Telegraphic Agency's Sue Fishkoff has some very damaging information on Rubashkin that she is not publicizing.

Upper West Sider said...

What do you expect from Zev Brenner who advertises that his "Rebbe" in Torah Vodaas was Nosson Scherman?

Lakewood Report said...

Maybe Heinemann was mattir this chilul Yom Tov ... Strulovitch was picked up by the U.S. Marshall's Service on the 2nd day of Shavuos.

Elli Josephson, the British bochur from Manchester, was just the courier for a criminal gang. The Clifton police might not have a clue but the FBI will soon learn where the money trail goes.

Pride of the OU - Baruch Lanner said...



The goal of this warning is to protect any more children from becoming the next victim of a convicted sex offender.

Rabbi Baruch Lanner was released from prison back in January of this year. He is currently residing in Elizabeth, NJ. There has been some concerns from community members who keep spotting Lanner hanging out at a local Dunkin Donuts "with several the kids from the local school". Please warn your children to stay away from this man (see photograph below). If you spot any children or teenagers near him call 911 immediately!

Allegations surrounded Rabbi Baruch Lanner for years. The allegations include kissing and fondling scores of teenage girls in the 1970s and '80s, repeatedly kicking boys in the groin, and reports of taking a knife to a young man in 1987, and propositioning girls in 1997 at the yeshiva high school where he was principal for 15 years. He was convicted back in 2002.

Avi Shafran picks & chooses convenient opinions said...


Tzitz Eliezer (19:52) also permitted calling the police in the case of teacher molesting his students. He based his psak on the Aruch HaShulchan.

Rav Sternbuch would tell you to call the police in this situation. He stated that the cure rate of molester is not significant or likely and so therefore you presume that they will do it again. In other words someone who has committed such an act is presumed to be a danger and the police SHOULD be called

Rav Sternbuch states very clearly that if one knows that an individual is molesting one or more children, he should call the police. This is not optional; failure to do so would be a violation of “Lo Saamod Al Dam Reiacha”. The only exception, in Rav Sternbuch’s view, is where there is 100% certainty that the person will never again molest any child.

It is clear that the molester would bear the burden of proving (not just promising) that he will never molest again, because it would not be fair or reasonable to put that burden on the victim(s). There are very few cases, if any, where the molester will be able to meet this burden, unless, perhaps, where he has had a debilitating stroke, or something similar.

Bob Grant imitates R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach said...


Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach paskened that surgical castration is permitted so that the molester will not be a danger.

Zalman Silber said...


A prominent Hasidic businessman from Rockland County was arrested and charged with impersonating a gynecologist to allegedly sexually assault women.

To make matters worse, the already stunning allegation grew even more shocking when CBS 2 learned that a Rockland County police officer is accused of helping him.

The alleged incidents took place inside a building on Park Avenue between 34th and 35th streets, where women told detectives they'd been molested during what they thought was a gynecological examination.

When Manhattan sex crime detectives who work out of the same building investigated, the man they arrested turned out to be Zalman Silber, a Hasidic businessman and philanthropist who moved to Rockland County from Boro Park in Brooklyn about a year ago.

Silber's lawyer is the former Rockland County District Attorney, Kenneth Gribetz, who claims that two of the four women did not pick Silber out of a lineup.

"It was a lineup conducted with numerous Hasidic people. Mr. Silber was not identified by two of the victims. Two of the victims did do it," Gribetz said.

The Ramapo Police Department is now also buzzing because a ten-year veteran has been suspended without pay after one of the women told investigators the officer pretended to be a doctor conducting an exam while Silber allegedly watched.

Though no one would talk about this story on the record, there are hearings underway at the Ramapo Town Hall that will determine the future of the police officer.

Gribetz said there is more going on than meets the eye.

"I think the facts will come out that this was an offshoot of a very upsetting divorce that transpired in Mr. Silber's life. And what is taking place is really a disgrace, and society and law enforcement owes him an apology when all the facts come out," he said.

Postponements have caused the hearing involving the Ramapo police officer accused of posing as a fake doctor to drag on for at least four weeks. The next hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.

Silber's lawyer Kenneth Gribetz said...


Plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of defrauding the government in a deal he worked out with the U.S. Attorney.

Although married, a father and grandfather, Gribetz was partly done in by his former mistress, who went to the media with information about him.

Rabbi Moshe Tendler, Gribetz's longtime rabbi, said in an interview that he had often cited Gribetz in his speeches to illustrate how a devout Jew can remain faithful to the laws of kashrut and Shabbat while pursuing any career --even in law and politics.

But evidence police collected from Gribetz's ex-lover's home included whips, a dog collar, sex toys and pictures of Gribetz modeling women's clothing. Their three-year affair apparently included trips they took together funded by taxpayers' dollars.

Scott Tulman said...

Avi Kolko will be fine when he puts on a kipa seruga for Shabbos.

Anonymous said...

I will weigh in about the “recovery” of a molester. It is true, as mentioned in the earlier post, that “cure” is either impossible or very unlikely. Therefore, the scientific evidence does not support the belief that a molester can be ever trusted again in the presence of potential victims.

The halacha angle is also not so simple. The statement given in defense is that the molester has “done teshuvah”. This statement has no merit in beis din, and should not carry weight by any Rov either. The entire concept of teshuvah is relevant to the individual in his relationship with Hashem. There is no Rov or Beis Din that can pay any attention, as far as halacha is concerned, to claim of teshuvah.

The bottom line is that once a molester, always a molester. They need to experience the full consequences of their behavior, and most poskim agree that the secular systems are just fine. Regardless, I would never, ever consider them for positions in chinuch, camps, or other arenas where crimes had even the remotest possibility of recurrence.

Ridwan said...

Influence can be defined as the power exerted over the minds and behavior of others. A power that can affect, persuade and cause changes to someone or something. In order to influence people, you first need to discover what is already influencing them. What makes them tick? What do they care about? We need some leverage to work with when we’re trying to change how people think and behave.


UOJ gets results said...

Edward DeMarco, Director of the federal Housing Finance Agency, told putz Obama to take a hike today about forgiving mortgages. This independent government entity set up by Congress has the sole authority to decide these matter and says Obama's demand is politically motivated and bad for taxpayers.

Check it out - breaking story on the front page of the NY Times

Israel Belsky SHLITA said...

What's wrong with you, UOJ?


You don't even wish mazal tov when my eidim Rechnitz is honored alongside all the Hollywood machers at the ICON awards?

Mitt Romney said...

Rechnitz's uncle came along for the ride


In private, President Barack Obama may be kicking himself for missing out on a campaign finance bonanza in Israel after learning that a group of U.S. Jewish businessmen are handing over $50,000.00 each during a fundraising breakfast Sunday with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to the Law Enforcement Examiner's Israeli police source.

Obama's opponent began his highly anticipated visit to Israel on Saturday following his controversial visit to London.

More than 50 businessmen flew to Israel in a private jet specifically to attend the fundraising meal with Romney at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. The former Massachusetts governor said he would reveal his proposed Middle East policies during a speech.

While the guest list is being kept a secret, the Israeli Ma'ariv newspaper named a few of the attendees such as casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, top attorney Philip Rosen, and California real estate magnate Bobby Rechnitz.

A key guest listed by the newspaper is Kenneth Abramowitz, a New York-based multi-millionaire and one of the leaders of an organization that raises money for Israeli defense.

Casino owner Sheldon Adelson is an enthusiastic political supporter of Israel's tough Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and is said to be the largest donor so far to Romney's campaign.

Reports indicate Adelson pledged a more than $100 million in his quest to see Romney oust President Barack Obama in the election scheduled for November. He recently sued the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for libel as a result of a vicious campaign by them and their blogosphere friends to vilify him.

Some of the group's members have previously donated funds, directly or indirectly, to the Likud -- Israel's conservative and hawkish party -- primaries last Spring.

"I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Obama is making an important trip to Israel in the coming days once he learns how much cash is available from the Israeli left-wing," quipped Michael Baker, an attorney and political consultant.