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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cui Bono? - "Who Benefits From This?"

Attorneys use the above Latin phrase often - not as often though as evolutionary biologists. I trained myself to think in these terms - when I do, I am always able to shine a light on the essential causes of why people do what they do.

Men (humans) are extremely selfish animals. One just needs to view their surroundings, and we will see people keeping busy with their own needs, primarily. The failure to realize what's good for us is also good for our neighbor (and the converse), is exactly what is destroying our civilization.

So when we clean our yard - and we dump the trash over the fence - our yard is clean - but the trash is still there and toxic. When we send our children off to school in the morning; if there's dangerous bacteria in the school dining room, or there's a teacher, a principal, or any school employee that is emotionally ill with a mental health infirmity, it is only a matter of time when your child could be debilitated by an illness or damaged emotionally by a person who is so sick that they are unable to control their deviant proclivities.

Stephen Jay Gould, the famed paleontologist, in his work - "Rock Of Ages", went through great lengths to reconcile science and religion, with his theory of "Non-Overlapping Magisteria". He claimed that science explained the natural world, while religion spoke for morality. His students actually pointed out that religion was redefined as a moral philosophy.

An overwhelming number of scientists and philosophers called this intellectual rubbish, and were shocked that a man of such brilliance could actually delude himself by claiming that morality was something that only religion could articulate.

Nothing could be a bigger falsehood! When we put religion under the microscope - all religions - we discover that humankind is being destroyed in the name of religious morality. Cui Bono? Who benefits from religion today? Not the masses of people or the plain-folk! It is the leadership and the leadership only.

There is no greater corrupt body of people in the history of mankind than the "religious" leaders!

Who benefits?

1 - When your children are kept ignorant and discouraged from getting an education that would permit them to develop their intellect and have the ability to discern right and wrong, truth from lie - other than what their religious leaders are telling them?

2 - When the leadership themselves are ignorant, evil and deceitful charlatans?

3 - When the so-called leadership, line their coffers with your money - while they amass fortunes in real estate for themselves and their families - while you can barely survive paying your monthly expenses?

4 - When the Agudath Israel allies themselves with the Catholics to keep law enforcement out of the religious schools while our children are endangered by sexual predators, whilst the teachers, principals and the schools' finances are not held accountable to anyone!

5 - When poverty is encouraged for the masses - by encouraging your children to rely on God and miracles for a living!

Every rabbi sitting on the Moetzes Gedolei Torah is directly responsible for protecting and enabling child rapists and child abusers!

And there are scores of people that choose to remain anonymous, that accuse them and tens of other rabbis for knowing about other rabbi-rapists, and have done nothing!

Is this the moral philosophy that religion is suppose to have given us? When the Agudath Israel's allies, the Catholics, knowingly let millions of Africans die rather than educate them on sexual disease prevention - is this the morality of religion?

The children, the helpless, the poor, the ill, the weak --- are not these the people that religious morality dictates that we do everything possible to prevent them from a tortured existence? And yet, these religious leaders are the most responsible for the hell on earth that they visit on their flock, with total impunity! No police --- No IRS audits - No taxes ---- NOTHING!

What morality does religion exactly provide us with?

Yisroel Belsky will not perform a bris unless he performs metziza b'peh; yet he had no problem letting any child's bris kodesh be fondled and violated by Kolko, and only God knows how many others over his fifty plus year history in supervising children - In Camp Agudah, Pirchei Agudath Israel, Camp Torah Vodaath and Yeshiva Torah Vodaath. We're going to be extra cautious on the halacha - are we now? Did anybody notice that he was not on the list with the twenty five other whiskered cows visiting Postville the other week. He's even too corrupt for the OU to roll him out in public anymore!

This it what it's come down to - We've let every single outside decadent influence into our homes and souls - we don't have any idea what morality looks like any more.

62 comments:

Rinat Member said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rabbi Yaakov Neuberger said...

I was afraid I would get on UOJ's radar screen.

http://www.yutorah.org/speakers/speaker.cfm?teacherId=80124

Rabbi Neuberger is rosh yeshiva at the Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies, an undergraduate school for Talmudic studies at Yeshiva University. Rabbi Neuberger is also the spiritual leader of Congregation Beit Avraham in Bergenfield, NJ. From 1986-1990, he was spiritual leader of the Jewish community at the Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Jack D. Weiler Hospital.
A Toronto native, Rabbi Neuberger received semikha from Yeshiva University’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1979. He was one of the first to receive Yadin Yadin ordination from RIETS. Rabbi Neuberger is a 1977 graduate of Yeshiva College. He also holds a Master’s degree in psychology from Columbia University.

Ari Wieder said...

http://www.bethabraham.org/index.php?id=contacts

As President of Beth Abraham in Bergenfield, I must say it's embarassing to be the subject of blog scrutiny but we may not act unless UOJ forces us to.

Mordechai Tendler said...

http://www.yutorah.org/browse/browse.cfm#speaker=80196&

Isn't it odd that even after I was kicked out of YU, they still make my shiurim available, including one on pesulei kahal?

NY Times said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/23/us/23kosher.html?ref=us&pagewanted=print

After touring the Postville plant on July 31, a delegation of 20 Orthodox rabbis, including leaders of kosher certification organizations from the United States and Canada, concluded Agriprocessors was “an A-1 place,” said Rabbi Pesach Lerner, vice president of the National Council of Young Israel, an Orthodox group.

“An old medieval plant we didn’t see,” said Rabbi Lerner, who organized the trip. “We saw a Cadillac with top-of-the-line machinery and a heavy emphasis on safety, security and health.”

A spokesman for the company, Menachem Lubinsky, said it had been unfairly singled out for labor violations that were unproven accusations. Mr. Lubinsky told The Jewish Week newspaper that Agriprocessors was facing a “Dreyfus trial in the media,” referring to the case of a Jewish military officer in France who was unfairly tried for treason in the late 19th century.

Agriprocessors managers, at first stunned by the immigration raid, have since gone on the offensive, revising management practices and hiring lawyers and public relations advisers in an effort to rebuild the company’s reputation, especially among Jewish consumers.

The Postville plant has been owned since 1987 by Aaron Rubashkin and his family, Lubavitch Hasidic Jews who built the company from a Brooklyn butcher shop into a kosher meat giant controlling more than 60 percent of the market, with annual kosher sales of more than $80 million, according to analysts’ estimates.

Agriprocessors specializes in glatt kosher beef, the highest kosher certification that is reserved for meat from animals with smooth lungs bearing no lesions. The shortages after the raid highlighted the company’s dominance in the kosher meat market, with brands like Aaron’s Best, Shor Harbor and David’s.

Kosher experts said that Mr. Rubashkin and his son Sholom, until recently the chief executive in Postville, had vastly extended the distribution of kosher products across the United States by selling them to major supermarkets along with nonkosher beef.

But workers at the Postville plant had long complained of forced overtime, frequent accidents and extortion by floor supervisors who sold jobs for cash. Their complaints were amplified after the raid, when nearly 300 illegal immigrant workers, most from Guatemala, were criminally prosecuted, with most sentenced to five months in prison followed by deportation.

On Aug. 5, Iowa labor authorities said they had found 57 cases of under-age workers employed at the plant, and they called on the state attorney general to bring criminal charges against Agriprocessors for “egregious violations” of the state’s child labor laws.

On Friday, the Iowa labor department announced 31 citations against Agriprocessors for safety violations and proposed $101,000 in fines. Kerry Koonce, the department’s spokeswoman, said 21 violations were serious and 6 were repeat offenses cited earlier this year by authorities, which the company had agreed to correct.

The violations, found in inspections that began on July 8, included inadequately shielded meat-cutting saws and improper storage of compressed gas cylinders — “a very high number for one inspection,” Ms. Koonce said. One repeat violation was a hole large enough for a worker to fall through in the plant floor, she said.

Mr. Lubinsky, the spokesman, said Agriprocessors was not aware of under-age workers in its plant and had moved swiftly to fire four workers under 18 who were discovered by managers. In a statement on Friday, the company said all of the safety issues identified by Iowa inspectors in July were remedied within days. The company denied that it had failed to correct any earlier violations.

A low-level Agriprocessors floor supervisor pleaded guilty this week to criminal immigration charges, the only manager convicted to date. Higher managers remain under criminal investigation.

Last month, a New York public relations firm representing Agriprocessors, 5W Public Relations, posted fake blog comments under Rabbi Allen’s name on FailedMessiah.com, a Web site that is fiercely critical of the Rubashkins, and on the Web site of JTA, the Jewish news agency. Shmarya Rosenberg, who runs FailedMessiah.com, traced the fraudulent comments on his site to a 5W address. JTA reported that one false posting in Rabbi Allen’s name came from an address belonging to a 5W executive, Juda Engelmayer.

The postings seemed intended to discredit Rabbi Allen by making him appear to use crude, arrogant language.

Rabbi Allen said the campaign was not seeking to change ancient kosher dietary laws, which are traditionally administered by Orthodox Jews. “We are not revising, we are enhancing,” he said.

But some Orthodox leaders predicted that the campaign would be spurned by Orthodox Jews. Rabbi Avi Shafran of Agudath Israel, a national Orthodox group, warned that the Hekhsher Tzedek was likely to backfire by raising the price of kosher food.

The campaign’s leaders appear “not so much interested in ensuring fair treatment of employees and the like as they are in redefining the very concept of kashrut” (the Hebrew word referring to kosher laws and practice), Rabbi Shafran said. “That, in our view, is deeply troubling.”

Meanwhile, the negative news from Agriprocessors spurred Orthodox leaders to action. David Eliezrie, a California rabbi who joined the trip to Postville, called the delegation “the New York Yankees of rabbis.” Aaron Troodler, another delegation member, said Agriprocessors had paid for the rabbis’ travel.

They saw changes that Agriprocessors had made since the raid, according to the report of their trip. They met with James Martin, a former federal prosecutor recently hired as a compliance officer, and were told of a toll-free hot line he set up for confidential worker complaints.

Workers interviewed on video by Yair Hoffman, a delegation member, said Agriprocessors now pays a starting wage of $10 an hour, up from $7.25 before the raid. Jacobson Staffing, an outside company that has taken charge of hiring, has enrolled the company in E-Verify, a federal program devised to block illegal immigrants from getting jobs.

After the three-hour tour, the rabbis issued an unqualified endorsement. They said they did not intend to delve into conditions before the raid or address the plight of the immigrant workers caught in the raid.

“I have no firsthand knowledge of what went on before,” Rabbi Lerner said.

Shmarya said...

Actually, 5WPR was forced to admit the "intern" story was also false. Morris Allen and Hechsher Tzedek have been waiting for 5WPR to apologize. Sources tell me that patience is up, and the Conservative will file suit against 5WPR shortly.

Les said...

Rabbis where constanly in the Rubashkin VP's office trying to get paid, pre-raid.

Agriprocessors excecutives consider using vendor money to support their family business an art form.

When the plant was fully staffed with illegals (cheap labor), Rabbis, and US Citizens, shipping close to 6,000,000 (six millon) pounds of product a week, with their own trucking company which consists of approximatly 85 freightliner tractors and close to 200 refrigerated trailers, they still did'nt pay their bills or their Rabbi's in a timely manner.
Ask any vendor that tried to do business with Agriprocessors.
They never payed their bills according to their commitments, contract, or even personal promises.

So all this talk about about Agriprocessors not paying is nothing more than business as usual just like pre-raid.

Shmarya said...

Is there already a secret fix in to not prosecute Rubashkin at the State level due to "lack of evidence"?

In an op-ed published in yesterday's Des Moines Register, Iowa's governor Chet Culver calls on his attorney general to prosecute Agriprocessors "promptly."

But is there a catch?

I think so. Here's why.

Both Culver and his lieutenant governor, Patty Judge, have taken campaign contributions from Agriprocessors' owners, the Rubashkin family.

Judge in particular took large donations from the Rubashkins while she was Iowa's Secretary of Agriculture, during the PETA scandal and at a time she was supposed to be enforcing Iowa law. After a staged tour of Agriprocessors – the slaughter line ran just for her – she made a statement much like the statement made almost four years later by the Orthodox rabbis who 'cleared' Agriprocessors.

The governor's op-ed reads like a campaign speech and the outrage it tries to project seems to me forced and insincere.

And, Culver writes:

The lieutenant governor and I, in the strongest terms, call on the attorney general promptly to prosecute all alleged criminal and civil-law violations that are backed by sufficient evidence.
No attorney general should need direction on how to press charges, and I doubt this one does– especially when the evidence is so compelling and overwhelming.

The governor's column could be read as an attempt to cover for himself and Judge in the event – perhaps already agreed on –charges are not pressed.

On the other hand, Judge wants to be governor one day and Culver would like to keep his office.

Even though agriculture is to Iowa what oil is to Texas – perhaps even more so – there is only so much horrific news Iowans can take. If the fix is in, like it clearly was during the PETA scandal, the backlash against Culver and Judge would be significant.

Iowans now know too much about Agriprocessors and the Rubashkins to remain silent. The same can be said about the nation as a whole.

State of the Jews said...

Excuse me for interupting, but Hechsher Tzedek does not call for or demand, the automatic recognition of unions. It does call for the enforcement of US labor law, including the recognition of worker rights to a fair union election, free of employer interference and threats.

Workers at Agri were routinely threatened with retaliation for even speaking with a union representative - something which is a blatantly violation of US labor law. But the penalties for such violations are so minimal as to have no inpact.

That is why, contrary to Agri pr spin, there has never been an attempt to hold a union election at the Postville facility.

BTW, some of the workers who met with the Conservative Movement Commission of Inquiry were later fired - they had been warned "not to speak to the Rabbis." If they treat free, unmonitored conversations w Rabbis this way, how do you think the regard worker discussions with union representatives?

One final note: The day after the last charges have been adjudicated and everyone leaves Postville, who will be in Postville to look out for the interests of the workers? Rav Wiessmandl? Rabbis Mandel and Geneck? Or maybe Pesach Lerner?

Whatever else has been written about the Postville scandal, one thing is absolutely clear: the owners of this plant are ethically blind when it comes to the treatmnent of their workers.

RCA Executive VP Pickled Herring said...

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-te.md.kosher23aug23,0,1899500.story?page=1

"Kosher is kosher, and kosher reflects the requirements of what renders an animal ... acceptable for a Jew to properly eat," said Rabbi Basil Herring, executive vice president of the council. "Of course there are always ethical concerns whether it's regarding food or clothing or furniture ... but it is inappropriate to mix the two realms together."

Furthermore, Herring said labor law is the government's domain: "For a kosher agency or a rabbinic group to take upon itself those responsibilities ... would be enormously complex, inefficient and, frankly, very, very expensive."

Most Rabbonim Today are Cowards said...

Belsky was not on the Gilligan's Island tour to Rubashkin because even he could not remain silent when thousands of sofeik treif chickens went to market because Weissmandel kept it a secret from the OU.

Shmarya said...

Blatant Double Standards – How The RCA Ignored Its Own Policy And Covered For Agriprocessors
In 1999, the Rabbinical Council of America passed a policy resolution, Human Law and Dignity, in support of workers' rights.

That resolution, reprinted below, mandates the RCA and its constituents to "speak out vigorously" against unsafe working conditions.

Yet, despite Agriprocessors horrific safety record, the RCA did not speak out against Agriprocessors. It did not insist that the OU remove its kosher supervision. It did not support the UFCW attempts to unionize. It did not speak out against exploitation of workers by Agriprocessors.

The RCA stood by in silence while workers suffered greatly.

Here is the resolution:

http://www.rabbis.org/news/article.cfm?id=100999

Human Law and Dignity 1999
Jun 1, 1999 -- Human Law and Dignity

Jewish law commands us to uphold tile dignity of all workers regardless of their station or task. Relations between employer and employee are spelled out explicitly in the Torah.

Agricultural workers, many of whom are migrants, remain among the most wretched segments of our society, victims of scandalous living conditions and wages. They are routinely denied healthcare and education for their children, ensuring that they will remain on the bottom rung of our society. Migrant workers are regularly deported to their countries of origin and deprived of the opportunity to better them while their employers benefit from their inexpensive labor.

At the same time, modem technology has brought with it new problems for the work force along with benefits for all Americans. For example, workers in factories may be exposed to dangerous chemicals or radiation, the effects of which are not recognized or diagnosed for many years. Recent class actions suits brought by tile victims of serious work related disorders point up the need for scrupulous research into occupational hazards.

As the need has arisen, workers have organized themselves to preserve the dignity of human beings and protect them from exploitation. The RCA is proud to have been one of the first national Rabbinic bodies to have supported the United Farm Workers [union] in their efforts to organize the vineyards and produce fields of California. Similar efforts are underway in other areas of the country where migrant laborers are found.

We therefore resolve that:

The RCA and its member congregations reaffirm their support for the United Farm Workers [union] in their struggle to bring justice to all agricultural laborers.

The RCA strongly supports legislation to ban sweatshop labor and to hold contractors responsible for any subcontractor exploiting their workers.

The RCA and its constituents shall speak out vigorously whenever human dignity is compromised by unsafe working conditions.

Would the cost of Hechsher Tzedek truly be "very expensive" as Basil Herring claims? I don't think so. Certainly, the costs won't be any more than existing kosher supervision – and the RCA would never label those costs "very expensive."

Also, as we pointed out, the "it's not our job" excuse flies in the face of the RCA's stated policy:

…As the need has arisen, workers have organized themselves to preserve the dignity of human beings and protect them from exploitation. The RCA is proud to have been one of the first national Rabbinic bodies to have supported the United Farm Workers [union] in their efforts to organize the vineyards and produce fields of California. Similar efforts are underway in other areas of the country where migrant laborers are found.

We therefore resolve that:

The RCA and its member congregations reaffirm their support for the United Farm Workers [union] in their struggle to bring justice to all agricultural laborers.

The RCA strongly supports legislation to ban sweatshop labor and to hold contractors responsible for any subcontractor exploiting their workers.

The RCA and its constituents shall speak out vigorously whenever human dignity is compromised by unsafe working conditions.
Either the RCA views abuses by businesses that produce specifically kosher food (and that pay the OU a large amount of money annually) with a much kinder eye than it views equal abuses from businesses that produce other goods and services, or the RCA word means nothing.

The truth is, both are probably accurate.

Vaad Hatznius said...

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3586142,00.html

The ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Meah Shearim in Jerusalem was shaken up last week following the arrest of three residents suspected of being active in the haredi community's chastity squad.

Religious Tensions
'Modesty patrol' suspected of spilling acid on teenage girl / Neta Sela
Religious tensions at boiling point in Beitar Illit as 14-year-old girl attacked by member of town's 'chastity guard'
Full story
Demonstrations in protest of the arrest were held in the neighborhood's Shabbat Square every evening in the past week, and on Thursday, protestors clashed with police forces and even flipped over a police car on Yoel Street.

The first person arrested three weeks ago was Elhanan Buzaglo, who was indicted of attacking a woman suspected of improper ties with married men in the capital's Maalot Dafna neighborhood. According to the indictment, Buzaglo received $2,000 in return for his involvement in the attack.

Clashes on Yoel St., Thursday (Photo: Pini Rosen)

Following his arrest, two additional suspects were detained last week. One of them is Shmuel Weisfish, who was allegedly involved in the torching of a store selling MP4 players against a ruling of the Ultra-Orthodox community's court of justice.

On Wednesday, the police arrested Binyamin Meirovich, a Jerusalem resident suspected of being one of the chastity squad's leaders, and the person responsible for the organization's operations. The police were expected to ask the court to extend his remand on Friday.

Battle against MP4 players
The protests against the three men's arrest were intensified Monday after the court decided to leave Weisfish in custody for seven additional days. The demonstrators directed their anger at a store on the Shabbat Square accused of selling "non-kosher" MP4 players.

On Wednesday evening, a group of yeshiva students demonstrated opposite another store in Meah Shearim, demanding that it stop selling "impure films."

The haredi community accused the police of "deciding to destroy the chastity squad," according to a prominent community member, who said that the "modesty guard" had nothing to do with the violent incidents.

"The chastity squad members are doing the work the police should have done. Instead of thanking us for putting things in order, they are acting against us and trying to destroy the guard," he added.

'Instead of saying thank you, they arrest us' (Photo: Pini Rosen)

Jerusalem Police Spokesman Shmulik Ben Ruby said in response that "following a strenuous investigation conducted over the past weeks, three haredi men suspected of hooliganism, attacks and vandalism were arrested and brought before the court for a remand hearing.

"The court extended their remand, and the police plan to recommend that they be charged with severe violations and belonging to an illegal organization harassing some of the haredi community members whose conduct is not to the liking of the chastity squad thugs."

Murder threats
The indictment filed against Buzaglo unrolls the details of the severe incident.

"On June 1, 2008, at around 10:45 pm, the defendant arrived with six other people at the complainant's home, armed with a bat and tear gas. The defendant and the others shoved the complainant, dropped her to the floor, beat her, slammed her head against the floor and kicked all parts of her body. The defendant or one of the others sat on her head in a bid to prevent her from seeing what was going on and to prevent her from resisting.

"The defendant and the others also tied a piece of cloth to the complainant's mouth and warned her that should she open her eyes they would spray tear gas into them. The defendant or one of the others interrogated the complainant on her relations with men and asked for those men's details. The assailants took two cell phones from the complainant in order to check the names of those who called her.

"At the end of the incident, the defendant or one of the others told the complainant that she must leave her apartment, otherwise 'this will only be the beginning,' and that if she remained there she would be murdered."

Following the incident, the complainant suffered from serious injuries in all parts of her body and was in need of medical care.

According to the indictment, the complainant stated that the threats against her did not cease after the severe incident she described and that had she received continuous threatening phone calls throughout the following week.

A month later, she found a threatening letter in her mailbox and decided to leave her apartment, although her leasing contract would only expire in about a year.

Buzaglo was arrested after the police found his fingerprints in the complainant's apartment, although he denied the accusations and the complainant said she didn't know him and had never seen him before.

Judge Nava Ben Or was convinced that Buzaglo was not ideologically affiliated with the chastity squads, but ruled that he appeared to be "a rented fist".

"A man who is allegedly willing to take part in the cruel beating of a young and helpless woman, 'suspected' of socializing with married men, and all this solely for money, is a dangerous, conscienceless person with no inhibitions. His activity in the framework of such an organization makes his dangerousness seven times worse," the judge added.

The judge explained her decision to leave Buzaglo in custody, saying that the court had a duty to protect the defendant, that there was fear the defendant would attempt to disrupt the investigation and that he was convicted of violent offenses in the past, including blackmail.

Buzaglo's lawyer, Attorney Ariel Atari told Ynet that he would appeal the court's decision.

Anonymous witness said...

The relationship between Elchanan Buzaglo and his Chareidi employers is most likely more extensive than beating up somebody once a year because of their sex life.

If it turns out that the reports regarding the modesty patrol being tied to the Gerrer chassidim, this revelation is even more profound.

There are a lot of chareidim in the money changing business. Many that I have noticed are Gerrer chassidim. I first want to make a disclaimer that not all money changers employ the tactics that I am about to describe when they get a bounced check in the sum of thousands of dollars. However many do.

Many of these guys no exactly where to find a thug when they need one should they feel that they have been double crossed. There are two methods that I am aware of for a vendor to recover lost funds. Neither of them involve litigation. One is to sell the debt to one of these thugs. For example, the bounced check is for $5000 US. The vender then sells the debt for let's say $4500 dollars or ten per cent less than the value of what he was owed. He eats his loss of $500 dollars but he is immediately paid 90 per cent of what he lost from the thug. This thug who has paid $4500 dollars of his own money to the vender, then goes after the debtor like a fly on shit. He of course is not going to send his lawyer after him. He is going to use whatever physical means necessary to get his money back plus the extra $500 dollars.

You might say that this is not a lot of money to be doing this. It adds up if you have an employer giving you consistent business with debts both big and small.

Now the vendor has justified his own actions by saying to himself that he is not responsible for anything that happens to the debtor. He only sold the debt(and took a loss mind you). How this thug gets his money back is of no business of mine. Whatever!

A second way of dealing with a debtor that may be employed is by cash on delivery with one difference. Instead of the vender i.e. client paying for the services rendered, the debtor pays for whatever their fee is on top of the original debt.

Do not think for a second that one can just call the police on these people. That would be a big mistake.

What I just wrote above leads me to another suspicion.That the woman involved in this incident is not the first person to have the shit kicked out of her by the goon squad. Either this woman is very courageous or just plain ignorant of whom she was facing. In any case G-d protects the fools. At least that is what they say. He smiled on her with providing her with a judge with wisdom. Something that has been severely lacking in the Israeli court system when dealing with all sorts of organized crime. The judge is keeping Buzaglo in custody until the court proceedings have been completed. Otherwise she would probably need some sort of witness protection program.

Gerrorists said...

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1219572113348&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Analysis: What can rabbis do?
By MATTHEW WAGNER

A mishmeret tzniut, roughly translated as "modesty squad," is a vigilante body, usually with some form of rabbinic license, that has taken upon itself to enforce normative ultra-Orthodox behavior.

The mishmeret tzniut derives its power from its ability to identify and manipulate the zealotry of the haredi majority.

There are a multitude of such bodies representing different haredi sects that deal with issues from the eradication of MP-4 and DVD sales in strictly haredi neighborhoods to the fight against ultra-Orthodox pop concerts, from the creation of separate seating in the waiting room of the local post office to the strict supervision of women's clothing stores to make sure no tight-fitting or otherwise immodest apparel is being offered to haredi females.

All the crusades chosen by the various modesty squads are no-brainers for the majority of the haredi populace. After all, who is not against the sale of potentially lascivious movies in one's neighborhood? And who is not opposed to the introduction of Western-style pop stars to the wholesome haredi culture?

Rabbinic leadership may or may not buy into the means used by the activists to further their just causes. Even if the rabbinic leaders oppose certain actions taken by the mishmeret hatzniut, they usually cannot publicly attack it for fear of losing their credibility among the public who look to its rabbis to champion haredi zealotry and meticulous adherence to the letter of the law.

In Jerusalem, the most well-known and established enforcer of haredi norms is the Council for the Purity of the Camp (Va'ad Le'ma'an Tohar Hamachane), which was created by Rabbi Yitzhak Meir Safronovitch with the blessing of the fifth Gerer rebbe, Israel Alter, also known as the Beis Yisrael, who passed away in 1977.

It is unclear what connections the council has to the Ger hassidic sect today.

Binyamin Meirovitch, one of the men detained by police due to his alleged connection with the severe beating of a divorced woman, is also connected to the Council for the Purity of the Camp.

Meirovitch owns the Ne'eman printing press that publishes pashkevilim, the black and white notices plastered on the walls and bulletin boards of haredi neighborhoods. These notices, complete with the signatures of prominent rabbis, are the preferred medium for relaying warnings, orders or information from the rabbinic leadership or quasi-rabbinic bodies such as the council to the haredi street.

One of Meirovitch's employees is Elchanan Buzaglo, who was accused by police of, along with six others, beating the divorced woman.

The rumor on the haredi street is that the woman was beaten because her former husband complained that she was acting immodestly.

Despite the brutality of the beating, as described in the police rap sheet, a vocal contingent in the haredi community took to the streets against what they saw as police intervention in internal matters.

As Shmuel Poppenheim, a spokesman for the Edah Haredit put it, "The vast majority of haredim are opposed to the use of violence.

"But when the iniquities are taking place right next door, anybody in their right mind would do what it takes to put an end to the madness."

No formal announcement condemning the violence against the woman was released by the Edah Haredit. However, according to the Chadarei Haredim (haredi rooms) Internet forum, Rabbi Moshe Sternbach, a member of the Edah's leadership, told his students it was permissible to hand over to the police haredi zealots who desecrated God's name with their actions.

Sternbach could not be reached Sunday at his Jerusalem home to verify the report.

Troubled said...

One thing that you should also know is that Melzer is a close disciple of Neuberger, or at least was prior to his arrest. They were often seen walking around town together. That makes Neuberger's behavior even more disturbing. Neuberger is also a Rosh Yeshiva at YU. Some people in the YU world have learned nothing from the Lanner scandal. There are lives at stake here and everyone keeps quiet as usual.

anonymous witness said...

To OUJ, I wrote this peace in the spirit of of the topics that you discussed in todays post "Cui Bono?" I understand that I am making very serious allegations however I have not mentioned any specific names, businesses or Rabbanim. They know who they are any how. I just want to stimulate a debate on an issue that I think need a lot of discussion. The topic that I want to present is not spoken about much openly. I just think that publicizing the issue would be a first in many steps that perhaps will help eradicate the practices in the frum business world which I am going to discuss. If you find this topic worthy I would very much appreciate it if you would post this comment.

This whole debacle with the Jerusalem police going after the modesty patrol because of the incident with that woman in Maalot Dafna got me thinking. Watching that guy Elchanan Buzaglo on TV during his court arraignment hearing was like being struck by lightning. I have never met this individual before but upon seeing him I knew exactly what he was and what he was all about.

There is much media speculation as to the connection between the modesty squad and Gur. This only furthers my own speculation regarding Mr. Bizaglo's relationship with his employers and people from that community in general. I will soon explain what I am talking about.

There are a lot of chareidim in the money changing business. Some of them I have noticed are Gerrer chassidim. Because of the nature of their business, they are very well networked within the Ger yeshiva network for obvious reasons. May be other kollel/yeshiva networks as well. Possibly various chessed organizations as well. The same is true for many other chareidi money changers. I am in no way implying that what I am about to discuss is an issue unique to Gur.

I first want to make a disclaimer that not all money changers employ the tactics that I am about to describe when they get a bounced check in the sum of thousands of dollars. However many do.

Many of these guys know exactly where to find a thug when they need one should they feel that they have been double crossed. There are two methods that I am aware of for a vendor to recover lost funds. Neither of them involve litigation. One is to sell the debt to one of these thugs. For example, the bounced check is for $5000 US. The vender then sells the debt for let's say $4500 dollars or ten per cent less than the value of what he was owed. He eats his loss of $500 dollars but he is immediately paid 90 per cent of what he lost from the thug. This thug who has paid $4500 dollars of his own money to the vender, then goes after the debtor like a fly on shit. He of course is not going to send his lawyer after him. He is going to use whatever physical means necessary to get his money back plus the extra $500 dollars.

You might say that this is not a lot of money to be doing this. It adds up if you have an employer giving you consistent business with debts both big and small.

Now the vendor has justified his own actions by saying to himself that he is not responsible for anything that happens to the debtor. He only sold the debt(and took a loss mind you). "How this thug gets his money back is of no business of mine." Whatever!

A second way of dealing with a debtor that may be employed is by cash on delivery with one difference. Instead of the vender i.e. client paying for the services rendered, the debtor pays for whatever the thug collectors fee is on top of the original debt.

Do not think for a second that one can just call the police on these people to protect oneself from these collectors. That could potentially be a big mistake for obvious reasons.

What I just wrote above leads me to another suspicion.That the woman involved in this incident is not the first person to have the shit kicked out of him/her by this goon squad. Either this woman is very courageous or just plain ignorant of whom she was facing. In any case G-d protects the fools. At least that is what they say. He smiled on her with providing her with a judge with wisdom. Something that has been severely lacking in the Israeli court system when dealing with all sorts of organized crime. The judge is keeping Buzaglo in custody until the court proceedings have been completed. Otherwise she would probably need some sort of witness protection program (which in Israel there currently is not one).

Getting back to the subject of extra judicially beating up debtors, many of you might be thinking that some of them had it coming to them. Granted that many of them are outright thieves. Many of them are not really thieves although they have acted irresponsibly.

Regardless of all of this, the behavior of these money changers is wrong halachicly, legally and morally. For starters you never physically threaten another person or place his/her life in physical danger whether directly or indirectly for any reason whatsoever unless the person is a rodef! Hiding behind the halacha of ayn shlicus gabi avera is bullshit!

Sure these people rationalize that they would go out of business if they turned to litigation. This is probably true. That means that they should probably not be practicing these check cashing, money fronting services. A lot of other money changers do not cash checks for any amount and they stay in business. Granted that they are probably not as successful as you presently are. They have probably lost many customers to you, however this is how most business is conducted by normal honest people (not to mention dishonest ones). Without relying on thugs and physical violence.

It is crazy that I even have to point this out. It just goes to show how far our frum society has sunken. When formulating a business model you might take into account potential delinquency on the part of a client/customer. You do not factor in the use of thugs! Where in the hell did you scumbags go to business school?! Did you finish your degree as an intern money laundering and cooking the books for your yeshiva?!

Now what do the fearless, yirat shomyim and shepeards of our communities have to say about all of this. They make about as much noise on this issue as an asteroid floating through the vacuum of space. One might just say that they are speechless. LOL.

Of course I understand that they are very busy people. There are attractive women to chase around who are not dressed tziusdik. There are restaurants to close down early. This is not to mention all of those irritating concerts that are constantly being promoted. Who has time deal with a family man from their community who has gotten himself into trouble and is in physical danger. These rabbis have their hands full just trying to chase dangerous bohemians out of their neighborhoods. They do not have time to deal with the thugs that some of these business people from their communities bring in endangering some of their constituency. They do not have time to consider the fact that the worst sort of criminal elements are being brought into their neighborhoods where they walk amongst the children while conducting their business. They have no time to consider the fact that these vendors irresponsible money fronting practices contribute to a lot of financial irresponsibility within their community.

Why would they? after all many of these venders do a lot of chessed for their organizations and give a lot of tzaddaka. They are also their main funnel for funds from overseas.

I am not going to keep rambling but I just want to finish off with a dvar torah that I heard in person from a gadol sh'b'Yisroel. I am not mentioning his name because he would not want to be quoted in a public forum.

He was giving his own pshat on the gemora that says that the generation of moshiach will have the face of a dog. He then asked what is the nature of a dog? Which he then answered that a dog does not bite the hand that feeds it. He said that this is refering to today's talmidei chachamim who walk around going assur, assur, assur. Then somebody slips him a check and he says mutar!

The above dvar torah says it all.

Flatbush Fresser said...

Does anyone know why Glatt Zone on Ave J closed? They took over from "Kosher Spot" after the treif meat scandal.

Zalman Silber from Monsey said...

http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008808140428

The Town Board fired a police officer last night who is accused by the town Police Department of sexually abusing a Monsey woman.

The dismissal of Andrew Dale, 34, came a day after an indictment accused him of felony and misdemeanor crimes related to administering gynecological examinations, but was based only on the Police Department's disciplinary charges.

A resolution unanimously approved by the board declared that Dale, a member of the department for 10 years, "is no longer qualified to serve as a Police Officer and is immediately discharged."

The decision was made after board members were provided with a 1,641-page transcript of the six-day hearing, as well as the hearing officer's report.

Hearing Officer John Carey reported finding sufficient evidence to uphold 16 disciplinary charges, including Dale's failure to report the woman's accusations, his lying to the Police Department about the accusations and his participation in the alleged abuse.

Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence said last night that he thought it was significant that Carey found "proof well beyond the substantial-evidence test in determining that Dale committed the crime of sexual abuse."

Police Chief Peter Brower and relatives of Dale's declined to comment as they left last night's meeting.

Dale's dismissal was not recommended by Carey, who suggested a one-year unpaid suspension. The officer's annual salary was about $95,000.

Carey, a former Westchester County judge, reported that he took "into account AD's unblemished record in the RPD, his national service as a US Marine, his current service in the US Army Reserve, and his overall performance as a Community Police Officer."

It seemed to Carey that "more good can be done by sending him back to work," with an admonition to use better judgment in the future.

Dale and Zalman Silber were released without bail Tuesday after separate arraignments before Judge Catherine Bartlett in Rockland County Court in New City.

Silber, 41, had already posted $10,000 bail in Manhattan after he was accused last month of misdemeanor charges of sex abuse and a felony charge of practicing a profession without a license. The charges stemmed from accusations that Silber examined several women while posing as a gynecologist.

In the Rockland indictment, Silber and Dale were accused of 34 charges, including the felony of performing medical examinations without a license between 2005 and 2006. They also were accused of four counts of fourth-degree aggravated sex abuse, a felony, and 24 counts of third-degree sex abuse, a misdemeanor. All the charges related to the alleged contact with the Monsey woman.

They pleaded not guilty, and their attorneys predicted they would prevail at trial.

One of the lawyers, William Aronwald of White Plains, said the woman was "mentally unbalanced" and had ulterior motives for her accusations.

In a footnote of the hearing officer's report, it was stated the woman wrote that she was withdrawing her claims against either Dale or Silber or both.

"I am not in good mental health and approached the DA's office with an unstable mind when I submitted my claim," the woman was said to have written on Dec. 10, 2007.

That was the same day she taped three conversations with Dale for the Police Department, and the day when Dale later met with Silber.

The hearing officer determined that the woman's testimony against Dale at the hearing "was more credible" than the letter.

Carey wrote that Dale implicated himself beyond what was recorded on tape.

While the woman, in the conversations, accused Dale only of sexual abuse, he later gave police details that he could not have known, "except for (his) personal participation," Carey wrote.

Another UOJ Casualty said...

http://news.scotsman.com/latestnews/Jailed-Computer-expert-at-centre.4401339.jp

Published Date: 18 August 2008
By ALLAN MACKIE

THE "librarian" for a worldwide internet child abuse ring was today jailed indefinitely.
Paedophile Philip Thompson, 27, was one of the kingpins behind the internet-based child abuse ring that reached 33 countries, including the UK, the US, Australia and Canada, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Thompson admitted 27 charges today, including
16 counts of making indecent photographs of children, seven of distributing indecent photographs of children and one count of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

Judge Michael Taylor said Thompson posed a very "significant risk" to the public and therefore he would be imposing an indeterminate prison sentence for public protection.

He told him: "You have shown that you are a very dangerous individual indeed. I consider that you pose a very significant risk to the public and you are a dangerous offender."

Thompson was told he would have to serve a minimum jail term of three years and nine months and would be placed on the sex offenders register for life and banned from the internet and any contact with children.

The unemployed loner lived a quiet life with his mother in Gooseport Road, Stockton-on-Tees, using his benefits to collect films and memorabilia.

However, unknown to the outside world, the self-taught computer expert used his skills to moderate an invitation-only website featuring borderline images of children.

The gateway website served two purposes – to show the users had a perverted interest in children and to show their commitment.

Once they had signed up, members would link up – often using instant messaging programmes – to use more secretive online environments.

It was here that thousands of sick images and videos, as well as information about vulnerable children, were exchanged.

Thompson, who told police he was the "librarian" for the site, was caught with a massive archive of nearly 250,000 perverted images on his computer, of which more than 3,000 were of levels four and five – the worst kind of child abuse images.

Thompson was unmasked when child abuse officers from Scotland Yard began investigating the site he ran and their inquiries led to him.

The police have so far identified 360 suspects worldwide, of which 130 were in the UK. To date 50 arrests have been made in Britain, including a police community support officer and a lecturer.

It emerged after sentencing that 15 British children have been saved from the clutches of paedophiles after Thompson was unmasked and his online activities stopped.

The international network was infiltrated by law enforcement officers and dozens of suspects arrested.

The investigation involved the largest deployment yet of undercover officers in the UK for a child protection inquiry.

Detective Sergeant Becky Driscoll, of Cleveland Police, said Thompson thought he was operating "below the radar".

"He was integral. He played a key role. He was trusted by others members of this site, so much so that he stored horrific images of child abuse on their behalf," she said.

"He described the 250,000 child abuse images as his collection. He was prepared to share that with acquaintances he found on his forum.
"This site would have existed without him, but it would not have been operating as effectively."

Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Braithwaite, the force's head of crime, said: "Thompson was a critical piece of this network.

"He was, essentially, the librarian for a myriad of images that were distributed to like-minded individuals both in this country and elsewhere.

"This was an extremely sensitive and highly complex investigation, requiring excellent teamwork between Cleveland Police, the Child Exploitation Online Protection (Ceop) Centre and the Metropolitan Police Service along with other police forces in the UK.

"I hope this result acts as a deterrent and sends out a clear warning that activity such as this will not be tolerated."

Jim Gamble, chief executive of the Ceop, added: "This website, whilst appearing to operate on the margins of legality, was clearly a front for the sinister, sexual abuse of children and an image trading ground for paedophiles.

"There is a simple message for those individuals like Thompson, who think they can go to this website – or indeed any space on the internet – and discuss their sexual interest in children and share images.

"You leave a digital footprint. We will track you down and hold you to account."

Prosecutor Harry Hadfield told the court police raided Thompson's home in February this year and recovered two desktop "tower" computers and a laptop – recovering nearly one million photographs and films.

"Forensic analysis by computer experts established that the defendant had 241,000 indecent photographs of children, being one of the largest seizures of indecent photographs in the UK," he said.

Thompson was the moderator for an online forum used by paedophiles across the world to trade in child pornography, the court heard.

Mr Hadfield told the court: "The defendant's role was to police the website, which gave him the opportunity to transfer these images to his computer.

"The evidence recovered from his computer showed he had amassed a vast collection of indecent photographs of children.

"It appeared the defendant kept some of the most serious images to use as trading chips."

During police interviews, Thompson admitted sharing the pornographic images with other like-minded people across the world and he told police how he had also set up his own two online forums.

The court also heard that the goatee-bearded defendant cooperated fully with police and provided details of other people involved in his network.

"The Crown would say that this collection of indecent photographs and the subsequent police investigation revealed that this defendant has been involved in the distribution of these photographs for the last four or five years," Mr Hadfield said.

Thompson admitted a total of 27 charges today.

These were: 16 counts of making indecent photographs of children; seven counts of distributing indecent photographs of children; two counts of taking indecent photographs of children; one count of possessing child abuse images; and one count of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

Williamsburg said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/20/nyregion/20fall.html

August 20, 2008
Brooklyn Boy, 5, Falls 10 Stories to His Death After Public Housing Elevator Stalls

By CHRISTINE HAUSER

A 5-year-old Brooklyn boy fell 10 stories down an elevator shaft to his death on Tuesday in a public housing complex where residents had complained of recurring problems with the elevators and renovations had been delayed because of federal cutbacks.

The police said the boy, Jacob Neuman, 5, was in an elevator with his 8-year-old brother at 70 Clymer Street in South Williamsburg just before 9:00 a.m. when the elevator became lodged between the 10th and 11th floors. Jacob, a student at a Talmudic academy, was on his way to classes when he tried to escape through the opened elevator door by jumping to the 10th floor, the police said, but lost his footing and fell to the bottom of the shaft.

The boy was taken to Brooklyn Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead at 9:30 a.m., said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office.

Jacob was the youngest of five children, three girls and two boys. The family lives on the 11th floor of the building, which is part of the Taylor-Wythe apartment complex, owned and overseen by the New York City Housing Authority.

The funeral, held nearby at the Yereim Orthodox Chapel at 93 Broadway soon afterward, was attended by several hundred men, dressed in the traditional black garb of the Hasidic community, and by women with head coverings. Jacob’s father, Chaim, delivered a eulogy, saying in Yiddish, “We are parting, but we will never forget you.”

Jacob’s mother and sisters clutched their faces in grief and had to be helped into chairs on the sidewalk near the end of the service.

In interviews at the complex, residents of the 12-story building said there had been repeated problems with the elevators.

“A lot of times they have become stuck,” said Doris Acosta, who lives on the second floor. “Sometimes they don’t close or don’t open,” she said. “Like when we try to close the door it stays open, and sometimes when we are trying to press the elevator button it doesn’t move. It has happened a lot of times.”

Akive Mendelowitz, 56, who has lived on the 11th floor of the building for 21 years, said he had often called 311 for help.

“This morning — it was like I would say 5:30 — I wanted to go down, and the elevator did not stop,” he said in a telephone interview. Instead, he had to walk down a few floors to catch the elevator. “I needed to go to the 10th floor and then 9th floor,” he said.

“And then this happens,” he said.

The building’s elevators were rated “unsatisfactory” in 17 of 21 inspections the housing authority conducted from 2004 through 2007, city records show, but authority officials said most of those involved minor matters like broken light bulbs or oil leaking from the elevator motor. The authority did not find any problems it considered hazardous, said Howard Marder, an authority spokesman.

The building’s two elevators were to have been modernized in 2004, but those projects were twice delayed because of cuts in federal aid, housing authority officials said.

According to City Department of Buildings records, someone complained on Jan. 21 this year that one of the building’s elevators became stuck for about an hour.

A housing authority official said five operational failures were reported in the last six months in the elevator where Jacob fell. According to the buildings department Web site, the last recorded inspection of the elevators at that address was on Oct. 3, 2007.

A housing authority statement said that the circumstances were under review by city agencies.

David Yassky, the city councilman who represents the neighborhood, said in a statement that the housing authority assured him that it was “working to get to the bottom” of Jacob’s death. The Police Department was also investigating.

Mr. Yassky said in a telephone interview that he had not been aware of elevator problems at the building but he was aware of general complaints at the complex, which was completed in 1974. “Public housing and the city housing authority has been chronically underfunded for years, and the result of that neglect is just becoming more and more evident,” he said. “There are elevators that don’t work and doors that are chronically broken. This is what happens when you let buildings fall apart through neglect.”

“This is a tragedy and a very personal thing that happened today,” he said.

Israel Rosenberg, 30, the president of the tenants’ association at the complex, said he had received complaints from residents two weeks ago about the elevator from which Jacob fell. “They’re a danger,” he said. “They’ve been a danger. We complain but nothing is ever done.”

So common is the sound of the emergency alarm at 70 Clymer Street that when Tanya Johnson, a resident, heard it on Tuesday, she assumed that it was just another person stuck. It was not until later while watching the news that she knew it concerned a graver emergency.

“I heard the cries, I heard the hollers,” she said. “I heard him calling his brother’s name. I heard the little boy. He was hysterical. I heard them pushing the button.”

Pessie Gelb, 37, a neighbor, said she saw Jacob’s brother after the accident. “He was saying, ‘I couldn’t grab my brother. I couldn’t grab my brother,’ ” she recalled.

Jacob was a student at the Central United Talmudic Academy. The president of the United Jewish Organization, Rabbi David Niederman, said some of Jacob’s siblings came home from summer camp upstate when they learned of his death.

At the funeral, Rabbi Mendel Teitelbaum wept as he spoke. “This is not the nature of the world,” the rabbi said, “that young children should die before their parents and grandparents.”

The tiny coffin, draped in a black cloth with white trim, was carried down Broadway and placed in a minivan to be taken to a cemetery in New Brunswick, N.J.

Boro Park said...

Dov Hikind has raised the reward to $20,000 for finding the perp who sexually attacked two little girls in Boro Park on two seperate incidents.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2008/08/19/2008-08-19_child_molester_strikes_twice_in_borough_-2.html

Child molester strikes twice in Borough Park, Brooklyn

By Ethan Rouen
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Tuesday, August 19th 2008, 11:16 PM

Police are hunting for a child rapist who grabbed two girls - one just 4 years old - off Brooklyn streets and attacked them, cops said Tuesday.

The first rape occurred July 16 in Borough Park, when the pervert saw the 4-year-old on her stoop, pulled her into his car and drove off. He sexually assaulted the child, then released her nearby, police said.

On Aug. 3, the rapist dragged a 14-year-old girl into his car as she walked in the area of 12th Ave. and 41st St. in Borough Park about 11 p.m. She was also raped and released nearby.

The attacker was described as white, about 20 to 25, with a thin build and short, black spiked hair. He was wearing a black T-shirt and white sneakers.

He drove a dark four-door sedan with tinted windows and a beige cloth interior, police said.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is urged to call (800) 577-TIPS.

Anonymous said...

As a Teaneck resident I think that the key here is to understand Yaakov Neuberger. He comes off as a very nice guy but he can be very dishonest and he is very protective of the people that are close to him. He also does not like to take public positions even on basic issues. For example, people in the community were shocked at his lack of reaction to David Cohen's wild comments when he came to his shul a few years back. Not only that, when people in the shul brought the issue to the attention of the RCA, Neuberger lied to protect cohen and told them it never happened even though there were a room full of witnesses. He then essentially drove one person out of the shul for daring to tell the truth to the RCA. Unfortunately the people with all of the evidence on this don't want to talk to the press so this story will probably never come to light (they are good people but they are too protective of their own interests at the expense of the public's right to know what happened). This sheds light on the type of Rabbi we are dealing with here.

Overlawyered said...

Ariel Atari, the attorney representing the Vaad hatzeniyus thugs, is the same putz representing child molester Chen who ran away to Brazil.

Bungalow Yenta said...

Is Yaakov Neuberger related to the Baltimore Neubergers?

Flatbush Askan said...

I noticed the article on the 5 Towns food pantry.

There is a food pantry on Nostrand Ave that is lo aleinu feeding over 1000 mishpochos in Flatbush.

Archie Bunker said...

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080823/NEWS/808230332/1011

Joe Regenstein, a Syracuse University professor who works with the kosher-food industry, said he was surprised to hear that rabbis stopped work over a lack of pay. Regenstein said he has no inside information about Agriprocessors' operations, but he noted that the plant could not continue producing kosher meat without the rabbis' cooperation. Friction with them is a bad sign for company leaders, he said. "It certainly suggests they have at least a cash-flow problem."

When asked Friday about speculation that plant owners had a cash-flow problem, Lubinsky said he was unsure. "It may very well be the case, but when it comes to finances, they keep the cards extremely close to the vest," he said.

Company Vice President Chaim Abrahams said he has not been at the plant this week because he is on vacation, but he described conditions there lately as "business as usual."

Regenstein said he is skeptical of the company's claims that it is making steady progress in rebuilding its business. "My sense is they're covering up how badly they're bleeding," he said. He added that the incident is another reason why the company should fulfill its promise to hire an outside chief executive officer to take over from Sholom Rubashkin, son of the company's founder.

The rabbis could not be reached for comment. They work for a New York agency run by Rabbi Menachem Weissmandl, who told the Jewish Star newspaper that Wednesday's incident amounted to a conversation between his employees and plant managers. He acknowledged that there have been delays in paying some of the rabbis, but he said that they said such things are commonplace in the industry.

The characterization of the situation as commonplace was disputed by Elie Rosenfeld, a spokesman for Empire Kosher, Agriprocessors' largest competitor in the poultry market. Rosenfeld said the rabbis at his company's Pennsylvania plant are paid through their agencies, but his company makes sure the payrolls are on time. He said he had never heard of rabbis walking off a job.

Food industry consultant Avram Lyons said he also had never heard of rabbis walking off the job in a pay dispute with a meatpacking plant. Lyons is working with the union trying to organize Agriprocessors' workers. He said kosher-plant managers usually work hard to keep the rabbis happy because the rabbis are much harder to replace than line workers. Wednesday's incident shows Agriprocessors' leaders "are in trouble," he said. "When your rabbis don't support you, the plant stops."

However, Lyons said he did not believe the incident indicates the plant is in immediate danger of closing. "They have lots of friends in lots of places who do not want this place to go under," he said. "These people have very deep pockets."

YTT Misnagid said...

Expose Molesters Blog has a picture of Yehuda Nussbaum taking out the garbage.

UOJ should get a picture of Margo when he runs to get the NY Times on the Ocean Pkwy box, thinking that no one sees him.

Big Trouble for Rubashkin said...

http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/1455219.html

U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa

King was able to tout his newly-introduced IDEA (Illegal Deduction Elimination Act) legislation -- which clarifies that wages and benefits paid to illegal immigrants are not deductible for federal income tax purposes -- during discussion surrounding the May raid of the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville.

Is the bill retroactive?

Shea Hecht said...

http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/breaking/110079.html

An animal rights group is calling for a New York state investigation into kapporos in Brooklyn.

For the second year, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has complained about the High Holidays ritual of swinging a chicken over one’s head, a sin transference ceremony.

In a letter sent Monday to the state agriculture department’s Kosher Law Enforcement division, PETA alleges that thousands of dead chickens were thrown away in dumpsters after the ritual last year in one Brooklyn center.

The letter singles out the kapporos center run in Crown Heights by Rabbi Shea Hecht, and asks the state to investigate whether consumer fraud occurred. Jews who bought chickens for the ritual expected the birds “to be processed for meat that would be distributed as tzedakah,” or charity, the letter states.

Last summer’s complaint to the state and city was more wide ranging, alleging a variety of health and safety violations as well as animal cruelty. It spurred a meeting of more than a dozen rabbis in Brooklyn, and they sent out directives to kapporos centers saying they needed full-time rabbinic supervision.

A related letter was submitted to the Kashrus Information Center, an independent association of more than 100 rabbis that monitors kosher affairs in Brooklyn.

Rabbi Moshe Weiner, the Kashrus center’s rabbinic administrator, told JTA that Hecht’s site and others operated by communal organizations are well run.

While there have been problems in the past from “fly-by-night” kapporos centers, Weiner said proactive steps taken by rabbis last year significantly cut down on such problems.

Low Klass Watch said...

Just in from the Jewish Press:

http://www.jewishpress.com/content.cfm?sid=17&contentid=20735

New Square is a paragon of a homogeneous traditional community that maintains high intensity of Torah Judaism.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Moishe Weiner from KIC. After Yudel Shain exposed him for covering up for Gornish, Weiner finally did at least something about the Gornish problem.

Fannie Mae Ralbag said...

Foreclosures are soaring. In 2006, Fannie and Freddie between them acquired 52,967 properties, a figure that leaped 36 percent, to 71,961, in 2007. During the first half of this year, there were 66,420 foreclosures by Fannie and Freddie.

Not only are there more foreclosures, the losses are much larger. In 2005, Fannie lost an average of 7 percent of the unpaid principal when it sold a foreclosed property. So far this year, the figure is 26 percent, and in California it is up to 40 percent. In all of 2006, Fannie foreclosed on 93 California homes. The current rate is almost 1,000 a month.

Here are some additional statistics:

• At the end of Q1, 2.47% of mortgage loans were in foreclosure, equal to 1.3 million homes or 2% of U.S. households
• Nearly three million homeowners were behind on their mortgages at the end of 2007 and 1-2 million are at risk of foreclosure in 2008
• 8.8 million homeowners were underwater on their mortgages (balances equal to or greater than the value of their homes) as of the end of March according to Moody’s Economy.com
• 30% of subprime loans written in 2005 and 2006 are already underwater

Satmar Putz said...

http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080811/NEWS/808110328/-1/NEWS

KIRYAS JOEL — An Albany-based think tank is suing Kiryas Joel's public school district for ignoring a document request that 730 other districts fulfilled.

The Empire Center for New York State Policy claims Kiryas Joel never responded to six letters since March 31 asking for copies of the contracts for its superintendent and teachers union — the same information it sought from every other New York school district.

The center has since posted the contracts it got and other public records — including a database of salaries for all 263,000 state employees — on a Web site (seethroughny.net) that attracted so many viewers when it went online July 31 that it crashed.

Paterson behaves after warning from UOJ said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/08/nyregion/08bills.html

ALBANY — Holding up the specter of a “serious economic crisis,” Gov. David A. Paterson has wielded his veto pen 34 times in an attempt to curb new spending, according to documents released on Thursday.

The governor has sounded an alarm in recent weeks over the state’s fiscal woes — specifically a projected deficit of $26.2 billion over the next three years — and in many of his vetoes made good on his vow to hold the line on spending.

But his aggressive approach has created some tension between him and many Assembly Democrats and labor-backed groups, who have begun accusing him of turning his back on his liberal roots.

Shelly Silver said...

http://seethroughny.net/Payrolls/EmployeeSearch/tabid/69/Default.aspx

I make $79,500 as Assemblyman & another $41,500 as Speaker.

I wouldn't want to jeopardize my $120k salary by getting the Agudah & Catholic power base angry over sex offender background checks. It's not as much money as Ohel CEO David Mandel, ober fort.

Leon Ruchelsman said...

You mean I make more than Shelly Silver? Is it because the bum doesn't go to cops funerals?

Ruchelsman, Leon
Judicial Supreme Court Justices Brooklyn Superior Court Justice, District 2
Annual $136,700

Shmarya said...

RETRACTION 2:35 PM, 8-25-08 –

Comments left by: 1. anon, 2. [no name], 3. Meir, and 4. Troubled; all come from the same IP address. Worse yet, that IP address matches the IP address of "Rinat Member," whose email I published.

This is a classic example of sockpuppeting.

This same IP address has been used in the past on other posts to leave comments critical of the RCA and of Rabbi Dovid Cohen. Aliases used include: 1. JW, 2. BA Member, 3. Disappointed with the RCA, 4. Anon, 5. STOP DAVID COHEN, 6. anon, and , 7. shocked about david cohen.

It is entirely possible the information I posted today about Adam Melzer and Rabbi Neuberger is true. But "Rinat Member" is clearly not trustworthy.

I apologize to all of you – Rabbi Neuberger included – for publishing this email.

Frankel's shul said...

http://www.jhvonline.com/default.asp?sourceid=&smenu=228&twindow=Default&mad=No&sdetail=&wpage=&skeyword=&sidate=&ccat=&ccatm=&restate=&restatus=&reoption=&retype=&repmin=&repmax=&rebed=&rebath=&subname=&pform=&sc=1291&hn=jhvonline&he=.com

We didn't like "prison orange" because of all the UOJ jokes, so Uncle Milty got us a new color.

Anonymous said...

well this is not from thaty ip address shmaya but i do be;lieve we need to stop dovid cohen he is a disgrace to the community

Anonymous said...

Is it true that Lubinsky also served as editor of the Jewish Observer once upon a time?

Anonymous said...

Every police action I see is witnessed by countless gawkers and becomes the talk of the block and community. It also gets reported almost immediately in the media, which does not withhold names unless they are minors. Thus, the shmear occurs immediately. The innocent never have a chance to protect themselves. Yes, we have a system, but it is completely public, and does not have the privacy that an effective investigation needs. So what we now have punishes those who are not convicted (even if they might be), and is less efficient because of the public involvement. This is not okay.

As long as we can remove the alleged perpetrator from risky places, and protect victims or potential victims, I would prefer to see something in place to verify credibility before moving it to the public eye.

Shmarya said...

BREAKING! Obama Blasts Agriprocessors

According to the Des Moines Register, US Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said this in response to a question about Agriprocessors:

"We’ve got to crack down on employers who are taking advantage of undocumented workers,” he said. “When you read about a meatpacking plant hiring 13-year-olds, 14-year-olds – that is some of the most dangerous, difficult work there is. … They have kids in there wielding buzz saws and cleavers? It’s ridiculous. And the only reason they’re hiring these folks is because they want to avoid paying people decent wages and providing them decent benefits.…

“We’re a nation of laws and we’re a nation of immigrants, and I think those two things can go hand in hand."

steve said...

UOJ,

Please remove the Adam Melzer/Neuberger posts on this thread. I am not implying that Melzer is innocent. However, sockpuppeting by using several screen ID's, is unethical and dishonest. Just ask Juda Engelmayer. There was a similar sockpuppet here once posting against Wolmark in Monsey. These sockpuppets are giving Melzer's lawyers ammunition that will be used to clear him. They are doing irreparable damage to his victims and are a liabilty in the war against sexual predators.

Montreal / Boro Park / Israel said...

http://www.leavingthefold.net/ltf/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=44&Itemid=27&lang=en

LEAVING THE FOLD is a film, which tells the story of five young people born and raised within the ultra-Orthodox Jewish world who no longer wish to remain on the inside. Tinged with pain and unexpected humor, the film documents the process by which our five heroes emerged from a strictly controlled society into a baffling secular world of endless choices: What should I wear? What shall I become? Who will I marry? Once everything was decided for them. Now they must decide for themselves. But the answers don’t always come easily.

In Montreal the film tells the stories of two brothers LEVI and HUDI. Both form the principal narrative of the documentary. They have chosen to leave the fold and join the secular world that their father, PINCHUS has categorically rejected. Now in his fifties, Pinchus tries to come to terms with the fact that two of his eight children deny the Hasidic faith he so fervently embraces.

While still deeply attached to their father and to their other siblings, Hudi dreams of a career as a chef while the older Levi plays guitar and studies psychology in university. Both love their father dearly but will not embrace the religious restraints of the sect they were born into.They simply cannot find the answers or spiritual comfort their father has found in the Loubavitch Hasidic movement. With tears in his eyes, Pinchus prays each morning for Levi and Hudi to return.

Autumn is the season to celebrate Sukkot, the Jewish feast of Thanksgiving. As tradition requires Levi and Hudi help Pinchus build the traditional wooden hut or “sukka” with an evergreen roof where the family will share festive meals for 9 days. Seated with their father, the boys talk openly about their alienation from the Hasidic world. With astonishing candor rarely seen on film, Pinchus and his sons try to bridge the enormous gap that separates them

In New York we hear the story of the talented singer-songwriter BASYA SCHECHTER. In the Hassidic world any girl who dares to leave the fold automatically burns her bridges with her family and her community. Which makes her story all the more remarkable. As a child Basya once dreamed the Biblical eagle had landed in her Hasidic stronghold of Boro Park, New York and carried the pious on its back to the Messiah in Jerusalem. Everyone she knew boarded the eagles’ back. Everyone that is, except her. Basya has since left the security of the ultra-Orthodox world to pursue the precarious career of a singer-songwriter, trying to mesh her religious past with her destiny as a performance artist. For her, it was her artistic sensibilities that pushed her to challenge the ultra-Orthodox community where she was raised. It is not permitted for a woman to sing in public. Female artistic expression is frowned upon as both immodest and sexually charged and any woman who challenges this paradigm risks permanent exclusion.

As a gifted singer-songwriter Basya’s haunting musical score adds immeasurably to the power of LEAVING THE FOLD and underlines both her hope and sadness about the role of a woman’s voice in Hasidim.

Finally it is in Jerusalem, the holy city and heart of the Hassidic world where we meet Z and SARA. Two young people with very different tales of why and how they left the fold. At first we meet Z who comes from an illustrious dynasty of Hassidic rabbis with branches in New York, London and Jerusalem. Born and raised in New York until the age of 19, he hardly speaks English. He was a gifted student. At an early age, his teachers chose him to lead his fellow students. Less than a year ago he decided to leave the fold. To everyone’s utter shock, he abandoned his wife and two children in the fervently Hasidic Mea Shearim quarter of Jerusalem to seek a new life in the secular world. He describes his first sexual relationship as a rape, as much for him as for his new bride. He struggles finding himself as lost in his new world as he was in his old world.

But where can these outcasts turn for help? "Z" takes us to a Sabbath meal organized by the Hillel organization, charged with helping others like "Z" who have chosen to leave the fold. At Hillel we come across SARA LOCK in a storage room filled with clothes. When young people leave, it is often with only the clothes on their back. Here they can find enough used clothing to sustain them during their first steps on the “outside”. Sara tells us about how she left the strictest and most militant Hasidic sect of all. Her elder sister had been caught wearing pants in Mea Shearim. The neighbor who had witnessed her transgression beat her up with considerable help from the boys of the local yeshiva, or religious college. In the aftermath, hundreds of her ultra-Orthodox neighbors broke down the door of the family apartment and forced the family to leave the neighborhood. It was then that Sara too decided to leave the fold.

Finding the courage to leave the fold is only the beginning for most of these young people. Those who have decided to take this step become pariahs, often completely cut off from the emotional and financial support of their families. To make matters worse, judged by our secular standards, they have no marketable skills. Many only speak Yiddish – or some Hebrew that is stilted and archaic because it is restricted to use only for prayer.

However not all members of the Hasidic movement have turned a blind eye. There is RABBI SNIR BITTON. Snir is a rarity, a holy man and musician - a Loubavitch Rabbi who stands at the vanguard of spiritual outreach in-and-out of the Jewish community. He works in a Montreal community center preaching the virtues of religious piety, all the while using music, Internet and video games as a means of bridging the gap. His non-judgmental interaction, religious allegories and passionate storytelling interspersed throughout the film, emphasizes that all is not lost for those who have left the Hasidic world – and for those who want to return.

John McCain said...

Figures that Shmarya, a partisan Democrat, gives first dibs to Obama to slam Rubashkin when it should be a bipartisan effort.

Charlie Hynes PR Stunt said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/21/nyregion/21elevator.html

The Brooklyn district attorney’s office said on Wednesday that it would investigate the death of a 5-year-old boy who fell down an elevator shaft in a public housing complex on Tuesday.

Jerry Schmetterer, a spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, said it was too early to say which city agencies, if any, would be investigated. He said the first step would be to obtain safety and elevator inspections records to determine who was responsible. “We have officially begun an investigation through our rackets division to determine if there is any criminality involved or laws were broken,” he said.

A housing authority spokesman, Howard Marder, said on Wednesday that the district attorney’s office had served subpoenas on the authority.

Isidor Farkas said...

http://www.nypost.com/seven/08252008/news/regionalnews/justice_delayed_for_beat_victim_126002.htm

An elderly civil engineer allegedly beaten by a man for taking photos of a Brooklyn construction site is still waiting for his day in court - three years later.

"I'm discouraged and I'm disgusted," said Harold Weinberg, 70, the victim of the 2005 assault. "They're thinking maybe I'll drop dead in the meantime."

The dustup between the Orthodox victim and the Hasidic suspect took place while Weinberg was taking pictures in Borough Park, where neighbors complained that construction was damaging their property.

The accused attacker, construction manager Isidor Farkas, "came after me with fists flailing, scoring direct hit after direct hit," Weinberg said, adding that Farkas also stole his $500 camera.

Police sources said Farkas was caught with the camera, but papers filed by cops show that Weinberg didn't report stolen property - a discrepancy he characterized as a mistake. The Brooklyn DA later added a robbery charge.

Cops also lost the recording of a witness' 911 call, and Farkas' lawyers kept delaying.

Then the judge tossed out the robbery charge, ruling that prosecutors waited too long to add it. The case is on hold.

66th Precinct - "Fort Surrender" said...

http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:UdLss5JDbq4J:www.bhol.co.il/forum/topic.asp%3Ftopic_id%3D1531892+%22isidore+farkas%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us

An elderly civil engineer and orthodox Jew says he was viciously assaulted and robbed of his digital camera by a Hasidic man while taking photos in Borough Park — but alleges cops gave his attacker special treatment by refusing to press robbery charges against him.

"I'm shocked about that. I can't believe that," Harold Weinberg, 70, says of the NYPD's decision to charge Isidore Farkas, 36, with a misdemeanor rather than robbery, a felony.

Weinberg, a diabetic who suffers from hypertension, said he suspects his attacker was given favorable treatment because he's a member of the Hasidic community.

The decision to charge Farkas with misdemeanor assault — and spare him a night in jail — came after 20 Hasids descended on the 66th Precinct station house, Weinberg said.

The 66th Precinct is known throughout the NYPD as "Fort Surrender" after Hasids stormed the station house and injured scores of cops in 1978 to protest the stabbing death of a Hasid.

The NYPD refused to respond to specific inquiries about whether Farkas took Weinberg's camera by force.

"The man was assaulted and an arrest was made. The intent was clearly to prevent him from taking photographs," a police spokesman said.

But a ranking police official familiar with the incident said politics dominated the NYPD's decision in Farkas' case.

"If this happened anywhere else in the city, a robbery arrest would have been made," said the source, who asked not to be named.

The confrontation occurred shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday at 50th Street and 11th Avenue, where Weinberg was taking photographs for a client whose home was damaged by work at a construction site.

Farkas, who identified himself as the owner of the construction site, angrily demanded to know why Weinberg was taking photographs, Weinberg said.

Weinberg tried to walk away, prompting Farkas to go berserk and furiously attack him before swiping his camera, Weinberg charged.

"It's almost unimaginable that a Jewish young man of ultra-Orthodox persuasion should attack another Jew for just taking pictures," Weinberg said.

Weinberg was able to give cops Farkas' license number and an independent witness told a 911 operator that a robbery had taken place, Weinberg and a police source said.

Farkas was collared about 25 minutes after the assault at Fort Hamilton Parkway and 11th Avenue and meekly handed over the $800 camera, Weinberg claimed.

Weinberg was treated at Coney Island Hospital for facial injuries and released.

Farkas could not be reached for comment.

Daniel Maimon Kirschenbaum said...

http://www.cityfile.com/dailyfile/1510

Eating Out

The Lawyer Restaurant Owners Love to Hate

Meet Daniel "Maimon" Kirschenbaum, Esq. He's only 29—he graduated law school in 2005—but it's safe to say that if the James Beard Foundation gave out an award to the biggest thorn in the side of New York-area restaurateurs, he'd rank up there with inspectors from the Department of Health and ungenerous restaurant critics. Kirschenbaum is a partner at a firm called Joseph & Herzfeld and the go-to man for servers and other restaurant employees when they take on their bosses for skimming tips or firing them without cause. Thanks to word of mouth (and well-placed ads on certain websites), Kirshenbaum has been obscenely prolific in the past couple of years. Just a few of his targets: Heartland Brewery, Nobu, Jean Georges, B.B. King, Bouley, BondSt, Balthazar, One Little W 12, Abigail Kirsch, BLT Steak, BLT Prime, BLT Fish, and 40/40.

His latest legal assault was focused on 1OAK, the club controlled by Richie Akiva and Scott Sartiano. (His client claims that the club fired her because management only wanted "white girls" serving the clientele.) So is he an ambulance chaser seeking big payouts from restaurants who will settle quickly to prevent bad press? Or a noble defender of downtrodden New Yorkers who are routinely taken advantage of? You decide!

We'll note, though, that Kirschenbaum doesn't have to deal with the one big drawback to this sort of work. An Orthodox Jew who keeps strictly kosher and lives in Brooklyn, we're guessing that blacklisting him from every trendy restaurant in town won't put him out all that much.

http://www.jhllp.com/lawyer-attorney-1320023.html

The same Joel Cohen that UOJ knows? said...

http://www.hamptons.com/detail.ihtml?id=4599&apid=9275&sid=27&cid=54&hm=1&iv=1&townflag=

Panelist for the night's information session Joel Cohen chose to read several hate
e-mails that have been sent to the synagogue.

British Agudah Fresser said...

http://thejc.com/articles/charities-not-being-open-enough%E2%80%99

From The Jewish Chronicle
Dana Gloger
August 21, 2008

Jewish charities are the worst in the country at being transparent and open about their work, according to a survey by an independent agency.

Intelligent Giving (IG), a not-for-profit organisation which monitors charities, has examined this year's accounts and annual reports of around 500 charities, including 23 focused on Jewish causes. Each is given a percentage score after being judged according to a set of 43 criteria.

Adam Rothwell, director of IG, said: "Many of the Jewish charities have stayed at the bottom again this year, making them among the least transparent in the country. It is very disappointing.

"There are 10 Jewish charities scoring under 40 per cent, meaning they would make up the bottom 10 of all the 500 charities we have profiled this year."

The worst performer was Cosmon (Belz), which works to advance Orthodox Judaism. It scored just 20 per cent, a 30 per cent drop from last year.

Mr Rothwell explained: "It doesn't really take much effort to get over 60 per cent, so these charities are not taking transparency and openness very seriously.

"There's such a dearth of information about them and they are so reticent that it makes it look like they are trying to hide something."

Wall Street said...

http://blogs.jta.org/philanthropy/2008/08/20/467/uja-new-york-lends-helping-hand-to-out-of-work-wall-streeters/

UJA-New York lends helping hand to out of work Wall Streeters

The New York federation is reaching out to those in the financial services industry who suddenly find themselves out of work, and is trying to help them find jobs.

A buddy of mine — who is still well-employed by a major bank — sent me this email from the UJA-NY announcing that the federation has opened a job bank of sorts.

In response to the downturn in New York’s job market, UJA-Federation of New York’s Wall Street and Financial Services Division has initiated Wall Street Job Link, a program run by F.E.G.S. Health and Human Services System to help people in our community directly affected by recent layoffs.

This online resource will enable job applicants to register their career profiles and resumes on an exclusive site geared toward Wall Street and financial-service professionals. Profiles and resumes will be available for viewing by prospective employers who are recruiting to fill open positions within their firms.

If you or someone you know is looking for a job and would like to participate in this program, please visit www.parnossahworkswallstreet.org.

F.E.G.S. Health and Human Services System, a beneficiary agency of UJA-Federation of New York, provides a host of employment services, programs, and resources. For more information, please visit www.fegs.org or contact the F.E.G.S. Resource & Referral Line at 1.212.524.1780.

Good move, says the Fundermentalist. The UJA-NY took in about $40 million from its Wall Street division last year. That is hard to do if your donors aren’t working….

Archie Bunker said...

Did the Des Moines Register leave out the rest of Obama's words so as not to scare away people from voting for him?

http://www.qctimes.com/articles/2008/08/25/news/local/doc48b2d21680c15158885718.txt?sPos=3

On the immigration issue, when asked about the meatpacking plant raid in Postville, Iowa, he said: “We’re a nation of laws and we’re a nation of immigrants.”

Those two things need to come together in a way that makes sense, he said. “Make them learn English” on their way to citizenship, he said.

Bikers for UOJ said...

Ever heard of Rabbi Newman?

http://tricountyjournal.stltoday.com/articles/2008/08/25/news/sj2tn20080825-0827tri-rabbi0.ii1.txt

Biker is on crusade to help abused children

By Kate Miller
Monday, August 25, 2008 5:02 PM CDT

Jay “Rabbi” Newman, 48, of Pacific, has turned his hobby of riding motorcycles into a crusade to help abused children.

He speaks with a Brooklyn, N.Y., accent. While living with his American-born parents, he was a soldier in the Israeli Army. He rides a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, a hobby that turned into a crusade to help abused children. His nickname is "Rabbi."

Newman, 48, doesn't think he's interesting enough to be featured in a newspaper article, but that's maybe because he's lived his story. He was born in 1960 in Brooklyn and lived there until he was 11, which was long enough to impart on him a permanent accent.

Newman just might hold the honor of being the only Pacific resident who has a Brooklyn accent.

While growing up in New York, "I lived the Jewish Orthodox lifestyle," he said. "Just like people here go to Catholic schools, I went to Jewish schools. My father was a rabbi. We were hardcore Orthodox people. We kept kosher, kept the Sabbath."

Just before his 12th birthday, Newman's parents moved the family to Israel. The move was inspired mostly by religion.

In 1983, when he was a member of the Israeli Army, he was two blocks away when the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, was attacked by terrorists, resulting in the deaths of 241 military personnel.

While living in Israel, Newman gained a love of motorcycles and won his first bike in a poker game.

He lived in Israel until he was 24. When he returned to the United States, he was unsure of where he would settle. He tried his hometown of Brooklyn, then Seattle, and then came to St. Louis because his brother lived here.

Newman's motorcycle hobby turned into a crusade to help abused children several years ago when he was a member of the Kirkwood Harley-Davidson Group.

At a HOG meeting, a man spoke about how bikers could help abused children.

"He tugged a string in my heart," Newman said. "I've been hooked ever since."

Newman recently served as the vice president and state board member for the local chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse. The group made up of bikers works with individuals and groups, including the Division of Family Services, to visit children who are coping with all types of abuse. The idea is to help them become survivors by giving them the tools to feel empowered.

"We 'adopt' the child. We ride to that child's house, we tell the child they did nothing wrong. We assure them that if they need us, they can call and someone will be there within an hour," Newman said. "They can call us 24/7, 365 days a year."

Newman has been a member long enough to see some of the children grow up. He remembered a young man whom he met as a child who had been severely abused by his stepfather.

"He was a little frail boy, had nightmares, was afraid to go outside. He was hiding behind his mom and afraid of us," Newman remembered about the day he met the boy. "Today, this boy is a senior in high school, perfect grades, and he's not afraid of anybody."

At age 16, the boy attended a HOG meeting to talk about how the bikers had changed his life.

"He told his story and how BACA saved his life. There wasn't a dry eye in the place," Newman said.

"Sensitive biker" may seem like an oxymoron to some, including those who have seen Newman riding through town in his biker getup.

"When you see him on his motorcycle, with his shirt with the crossbones and such, some would think 'not a nice guy,' but that is not the case," said Toni Sattman, who stops by the Great Pacific Coffee House a few times a week, often with her friend Maxine Birdsong.

"Jay's fantastic. He makes the place because he's fun and personable. He's no tough guy; he's a teddy bear," Sattman said.

Grotts, the coffee house cook, said some of Newman's outward characteristics - the accent, gravelly smoker's voice and sometimes "biker" look - may give off a wrong first impression.

"I thought, when I met him, he would be (difficult to work for), but he's very fun, and he has a good work ethic," she said. "I think he's the best boss I've ever had."

Customers like him, too.

"There are customers who call to see if he's in," Grotts said. "When you say yes, then they say they're coming in."

For more information on BACA, visit www.bacausa.com.

Avi L. Shafran said...

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/34344/three-stooges-collection-vol-3-1940-1942-the/

Here you have a collection of all my greatest op-eds in one place. (Except for last week's masterpiece on Rubashkin that was too late before production).

steve said...

I had posted the following here and on Rabbi Horowitz' blog last February. I wonder if any progress has been made since:


There is no question we must all be held accountable for our inaction and allowing this plague to fester. However, I believe if the rabbonim act in unison and act decisively, 90% of the clergy abuse cases will be eradicated. The problem is that many of them refuse to act due to legal, financial and political considerations. What I mean by political considerations is that the Modern Orthodox leaders, such as Rabbis Blau, Shachter and Dratch, have taken the lead and have been at the forefront of this battle. The so-called right wing rabbis do not feel comfortable aligning themselves with the so-called left. This is a tragedy in itself in that the abused children fall victim to this pettiness. For example, the RCA put out a strong worded edict regarding sexual abuse in yeshivot in 2003. They covered all the bases, including halacha, mistakes of the past and ideas for the future. Why haven't the rabbonim from the Agudah signed on to this edict, or put out a similar edict of their own? Instead, they have been going backward by releasing statements through their spokesman that have showed that they are still in denial. Furthermore, his statements referring to the abused victims' stories as "tawdry tales" and "anectodal evidence" shows a total disregard and insensitivity to their plight. Gentleman, we are not making any headway with them. Their akshanus, along with their attempts to thwart any legislation in Albany that will protect our children in the yeshivos, has hampered and damaged the cause beyond description.
What we need from the Agudah, the Torah Umesorah and the Roshei Yeshivos is a strongly worded edict grounded in halacha. They must unequivocally state that a child molester has a din of "rodef" as per the psak of Rav Elyashiv. Child molestation must be classified as pikuach nefesh which supercedes the laws of mesira, lashon hara, and rchilus. It is not a concidence that the passuk that mentions "Lo Telech Rachil Beamecha", continues with "Lo Taamod Al Dam Reecha". One should absolutely refrain from spreading lashon hara. However, keeping this commandment should never be at the expense of another Jew's blood. The edict must admit the mistakes of the past, similar to the Baltimore mea culpa from last April. They can have their lawyers examine it first to make sure the wording is liability proof. They must include ideas regarding an independent panel made up of psychologists and experts that will hear abuse cases and decide if they have any merit. The yeshivot must agree to become mandatory reporters once this panel has established the validity of the victim's claim. Mandatory background checks, a sex offender registry and fingerprinting of all employees must be instituted at once. All of the above ideas have already been instituted in the public schools. There is no reason that our children should not be afforded the same level of protection as public school children.

The time for all of us and the rabbonim to act is long overdue. Everyone kfi ycholto, according to his means and level of influence, should put in whatever effort he/she can to protect our children and put an end to this scourge once and for all. Let's stop the denials and the underplaying that has become the trademark of the Agudah and their spokesman. Lo Taamod Al Dam Reecha applies to all of us. We ask Hashem on Yom Kippur, "Asseh Lmaan Tinokos Shel Bais Rabban Shlo Chattu", do for the sake of the children that never sinned. Hashem is ready to do for their sake. Are we ready to do for their sake?

Anonymous said...

Steve:

While many of your recent posts seemed to be challenging and attacking me, I was impressed that you wrote coherently and were dedicated to the mission of removing molesters from our midst. There is a Torah ring to what you say, even if you write against much of what I said (which I believe is Torah based). This left me scratching my head trying to figure you out. We have quite similar goals. Awareness with pain about a problem that is leaving too many of our young wounded, and we have a system that protects the victimizers instead of the victims. There is keen awareness that there are halachos that are not consistent with the simple rush to police and such authorities, though we seem to disagree about how and when to utilize them. In this latest post of yours, which you reference as having been posted on rabbihorowitz.com, you spelled out, with eloquence exactly what I have been saying all along. We need a system that can verify the credibility of a claim, and then move it to the next level, which would include halachically approved reporting to authorities. This has been my point all along, and you said it well, long before I began posting this. I commend you for taking that approach, and I appreciate your putting this out for the public eye.

The reason for having such a filtration system is simple. I was just apprised this week of a single mother, who is struggling with her 12 year old son. She has run into the yeshiva office as many as 20-30 times in the past school year with various demands of what she wanted for her son. Perhaps some of these were reasonable, but most were not. With all the rachmonus one should have for her situation, her pattern of threatening that she would report them for child abuse in order to control the hanhala got completely out of hand. When reports need to be made, they should. But handing this off to parents as a weapon, which would jeopardize entire schools for no valid reason is not acceptable. There are other such cases, and I refrain from making names or identities public.

So we agree completely. Except that the system we need to develop is still a phantom, and there will be obvious and predictable resistances along the path of creating it. Such situations are double edge swords, and erring in either direction is perilous. May Hashem grant us the needed syatta dishmaya to do the right thing with as few obstacles as possible.

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

There is no system that is foolproof. If a person files a false police report, there are consequences.

I am, in a way, in agreement with some sort of panel, composed of professionals, to air grievances, but not necessarily as an investigative body.

We need to go outside of our community for help. There are inherent biases that all humans suffer from; especially if they may be somebody we know or whose family and extended family we may know.

The police, while very far from perfect, do not have those biases.

This child-rape crisis is pandemic - going to the police must be option number one!

Anonymous said...

True, no system is fool proof. However, the destructiveness of the police report needs to be restricted to those who deserve it. The kid who gets mad at his rebbe, the parent or parents who have control issues or money disputes, or numerous other peeves cannot have this nuclear weapon at their disposal. These may be exceptions to the rule, but these exceptions are not rare.

The false report issue is true on paper, but in practicality about as close to non-existent as one can get. Firstly, there is automatic immunity granted to any reporter of a safety issue. Secondly, there is no specific mechanism to do this. One would need to open a new case of ‘false reporting”, which would bear all the same mesira questions, perhaps even more serious than the initial allegation-report. In our community, it would not be seen as anything beyond revenge, not righting a wrong.

There are names of individuals who were accused of abuse who were later completely vindicated, with the accusers admitting that the allegations were fabricated. These names are still glowing all over the internet (I’m not sure if they are so listed on UOJ) as if they are criminals and victimizers. If allegations are made, the reporters need to be informed from the outset that everything must stay away from the public until there is credibility, and that they will be held responsible for any damage to the innocent “victim” much as we would expect from the real perp to the real victim. I echo the same comment about domestic violence where false claims are rampant (for various other reasons), and these nearly never result in “ve’hirshiyu es harosho”, convicting the evil.

steve said...

The investiagtive panel is needed only for cases where the victim refuses to go to the police, or when the statute of limitations has expired. For all other cases, going to the police is the ONLY option. The halacha is very clear on this, and I don't want to get into the sources again regarding the din of a rodef. If you trust the Baltimore rabbis and Rav Elyashiv, that should be enough.

Anonymous said...

It's all very old, from August 2008.