Friday, October 10, 2008

Mr. President! Suspend Trading On U.S. Stock Exchanges Until Further Notice!

Consider a moratorium, and or a cap on withdrawals from all American financial institutions!




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

I'm concerned that the FDIC will move to take over more banks this weekend after the markets close - or over the long weekend.

Chazzan said...

Notice how the steep decline in the market on Yom Kippur happened around the time that shuls on the East Coast got out. It's no coincidence. A non-jewish equity analyst friend of mine told me that they had conference calls that were waiting for shuls to get out.

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

Lesson From a Crisis: When Trust Vanishes, Worry

By DAVID LEONHARDT - The New York Times

Published: September 30, 2008

In 1929, Meyer Mishkin owned a shop in New York that sold silk shirts to workingmen. When the stock market crashed that October, he turned to his son, then a student at City College, and offered a version of this sentiment: It serves those rich scoundrels right.

A week ago, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., left, and Ben S. Bernanke, the Fed chairman, testified in the House.

A year later, as Wall Street’s problems were starting to spill into the broader economy, Mr. Mishkin’s store went out of business. He no longer had enough customers. His son had to go to work to support the family, and Mr. Mishkin never held a steady job again.

Frederic Mishkin — Meyer’s grandson and, until he stepped down a month ago, an ally of Ben Bernanke’s on the Federal Reserve Board — told me this story the other day, and its moral is obvious enough.

Many people in Washington fear that the country is starting to spiral into a terrible downturn. And to their horror, they see the public, and many members of Congress, turning into modern-day Meyer Mishkins, more interested in punishing Wall Street than saving the economy.

All of which may be true. But there is good reason for the public’s skepticism. The experts and policy makers who so desperately want to take action have failed to tell a compelling story about why they’re so afraid.
It’s not enough to say that markets could freeze up, loans could become impossible to get and the economy could slide into its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

For now, the crisis has had little effect on most Americans, beyond their 401(k) statements. So to them, the specter of a depression can sound alarmist, and the $700 billion bill that Congress voted down this week can seem like a bailout for rich scoundrels.

Mr. Bernanke and his fellow worriers need to connect the dots. They need to use their bully pulpits to teach a little lesson on the economics of a credit crisis — how A can lead to B, B to C and C to Depression.

Let’s give it a shot, then.

Moetzes Resign! said...


Pope John Paul II is also on the track for sainthood but many would also claim that he also failed to speak or act on the countless cases of sexual abuse perpetrated by some Churches' ministers, thereby needlessly prolonging the victims' suffering.

How often are we reminded that evil can prosper where good men do or say nothing?


Radical Measures May Be In The Wings

Friday October 10, 2008

As the financial crisis threatens to spiral out of control, it’s more likely Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will take extraordinary steps through the extensive authority granted to him under emergency rescue legislation, say analysts.

With the legislation’s main mechanism—an auction system to purchase bad mortgage-based securities—still weeks away from implementation, Paulson may have to inject capital into any number of financial institutions—even non-depository ones like investment banks, insurers and hedge funds.

“I don't wish to spread alarm on the line people but the big issue confronting the market is I'm afraid the health and sustainability of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS - News) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: gs)," Hugh Hendry, Partner and CIO at Eclectica, told CNBC.

"It is unimaginable that they can be allowed to go, I suspect that they will be nationalized at some point today or over the weekend," he add.

UOJ Gets Results said...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. regulators took over two small banks on Friday, in Michigan and Illinois, bringing the tally of bank failures to 15 so far this year.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said it had seized Main Street Bank of Northville, Michigan, and Meridian Bank of Eldred, Illinois.

Main Street Bank had total assets of $98 million and total deposits of $86 million as of October 7, the FDIC said, while Meridian Bank had $39.2 million in total assets and $36.9 million in total deposits as of September 25.

The FDIC said it had found acquirers for the deposits of both failed banks.

(Reporting by Karey Wutkowski; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

Hanky Panky Paulson said...

By Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Friday that the Bush administration will move ahead with a plan to buy stock in financial institutions.

Paulson said the program to purchase stock in financial institutions will be open to a broad array of institutions.

The administration received the authority to make direct purchases of stock in banks in the $700 billion measure Congress passed last week to rescue the nation's financial system.

It would mark the first time the government has taken equity ownership in banks in this manner since a similar program was employed during the Great Depression.

Another Rubashkin lender said...

GE takes hit as consumers default on debt

By Francesco Guerrera and Justin Baer in New York

Published: October 10 2008 18:42 | Last updated: October 10 2008 18:42

General Electric on Friday painted a bleak picture of US consumers’ financial health, saying that rising defaults on credit cards and other loans would force it to set aside up to $1bn to cover losses this year.

Tokyo Sushi Fresser said...

Japanese insurer Yamato Life collapses

By Michiyo Nakamoto in Tokyo

Published: October 10 2008 06:56 | Last updated: October 10 2008 10:20

Yamato Life Insurance on Friday filed for bankruptcy with Y269.5bn ($2.7bn) in liabilities, becoming the first direct financial sector casualty in Japan of the US subprime mortgage crisis.

The Japanese life insurer said it was unable to close its books for half-year reporting after a sharp and rapid fall in the value of its equity holdings led debts to exceed assets by Y11.5bn.

Kolko headed to Lake Compounce to celebrate said...


October 11, 2008

Gay Marriage Is Ruled Legal in Connecticut

Rubashkin Fresser said...


Man charged with stealing meat from supermarket

Anonymous said...

does anyone remember the station Mondrowitz aired his show on and what his slogan was that he signed off with?

Anonymous said...

As a past victim and an activist in support of efforts to bring molesters to justice, I can tell you from actual experience in this field that the ultra-orthodox communities have hundreds of molesters within the community. We have in the past encouraged such behavior through failing to prosecute any of these perverts and are now dealing with second and THIRD generation victims who have turned to abuse themselves! Now we are stuck with having to make a decision of outing molesters or protecting these poor souls who were taught early on during childhood to peddle this sick trade. "You reap what you sow". It's a passuk in tehillim sung prior to Bircas Hamozon".

Bear in mind that a recent study of cases in Israel indicates the greatest prevelance of such activity in Eretz Yisroel is in Bnei Brak!

Anonymous said...


NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - A former Niagara Falls judge who got tossed off the bench has a new job.

Former City Court Judge Robert Restaino is Niagara County's new Medicaid fraud specialist.

The State Commission on Judicial Conduct removed him from the bench last year after he jailed 46 people in his courtroom because of a ringing cellphone.

Ronn Torossian working for Aish Hatorah now said...

Torossian is a putz, but CAIR are a bunch of terrorists that sound like Belsky when he complains that UOJ is playing dirty.


A nonprofit group that has shipped out 28-million copies of a controversial film on radical Islam refuses to reveal the source of its funding, but numerous ties connect it to a well-known Jewish education group that vehemently denies any involvement with the film.

The backing for Obsession: Radical Islam's War with the West and the intent of its distributor, the Clarion Fund, has been the subject of speculation since the DVDs were distributed beginning Sept. 14.

Clarion Fund, which was incorporated in 2006, distributed Obsession in 14 states, including the key presidential battlegrounds of Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The DVDs were distributed by mail and as an advertising supplement in 58 Sunday newspapers, including the St. Petersburg Times.

"We don't have to say who its directors are or give financial information until Nov. 6, 2008," said Clarion spokesperson Gregory Ross.

Not good enough, says the Council on American Islamic Relations, which filed a complaint Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission.

"American voters deserve to know whether they are targets of a multimillion-dollar campaign funded and directed by a foreign group seeking to whip up anti-Muslim hysteria as a way to influence the outcome of our presidential election," Nihad Awad, executive director of CAIR, said in a statement.

There are a number of connections between the Clarion Fund and a well-known organization called Aish HaTorah, an international charity founded in Israel in the 1970s.

Ronn Torossian, spokesman for Aish HaTorah, said that his group would in "no way be involved with Clarion Fund or Obsession because Aish HaTorah is a charity and must remain apolitical."

Ross, the Clarion spokesman, was listed as an Aish HaTorah international fundraiser on a federal election donation form in June 2007.

Elke Bronstein is the name written on the mail permit for the bulk mailing of Obsession DVDs in mid September from Freeport, N.Y. Reached on her cell phone, Bronstein said she worked for Clarion, but would not provide more information.

The receptionist at Aish HaTorah in New York said Bronstein worked for Aish Discovery, which produces high-tech programs and films for Aish HaTorah. Torossian said Bronstein could easily have separate jobs.

"What? You're going to find four, five or six people who work for Clarion and Aish and claim a worldwide conspiracy? I don't think so," he said.

Clarion's address, according to Manhattan directory assistance, is the same address as Aish HaTorah International, a fundraising arm of Aish HaTorah. The Clarion Fund and Aish HaTorah International are also connected to a group called HonestReporting, which produced Obsession. Honest­Reporting's 2006 tax return uses the same address.

"It's news to me," Torossian said.

Two of the three Clarion Fund directors at the time of its incorporation in November 2006 appeared as Aish employees on Aish Web sites at the same time. The third appeared on the Aish executive committee. Torossian said the overlap meant nothing.

Aish HaTorah's main purpose is to "broaden the knowledge of individuals to their Jewish heritage." Barbara Walters, Steven Spielberg and Bill Clinton have praised the charity.

A June 15, 2001, article in the Jerusalem Post said that Aish HaTorah provided $150,000 in "seed money" to create an organization called Media Watch International that took over HonestReporting, the group that made Obsession four years later.

"This is true," said Torossian, "but that association ended" before Obsession was made.

The Aish Web site offers information on Jewish heritage and religious issues, as well as links to numerous videos on Mideast politics. One of the links is to Obsession.

"Aish also tells about a woman meeting Paul McCartney. Does that mean we're connected to him?" Torossian asked.

Washington tax attorney Marc Owens, who was IRS director of the Exempt Organizations Division for 10 years, says that if IRS investigates and finds a link between the film and Aish, it will ask: Was the film designed or distributed to have an impact on the election? Is this film an inflammatory hate message instead of a charitable, educational message?

"If the answer is 'yes' to either question," said Owens, "the involved charities could lose their tax-exempt status."

Despite a disclaimer by the filmmakers that Obsession does not represent all Muslims, the 2005 film has been criticized for unfairly portraying the religion as violent.

In the film, men in traditional Middle Eastern dress burn an American flag. The planes fly into the twin towers. Peaceful scenes of Muslims at market and prayer are interspersed with violent scenes and commentators critical of Islam.

Clarion disputes there is any political motivation for distributing the film now. However, about a week ago, a Clarion Web site linked the film to the presidential candidates.

"McCain's policies seek to confront radical Islamic extremism and terrorism and roll it back while Obama's, although intending to do the same, could make it worse," said the site. This statement was later removed.

"We are not telling people who to vote for," Ross, the Clarion spokesman, said in an Associated Press story. "We're just saying no matter who gets in office, the American people should know radical Islam is a real threat to America."

It is not clear who paid for the extensive mailing of the DVD from Freeport, N.Y. The permit number belongs to Clarion Fund, but Clarion Fund had no money in its bulk-mail account, according to postal administrators.

"The bulk mailing of this was made possible by a third party, other than Clarion," said U.S. Postal Inspector Debbie Waller. "We're looking into it."

Contact Meg Laughlin at mlaughlin@sptimes.com.

Ambac and MBIA fraud said...


The city of San Francisco sued five municipal bond insurance companies in Superior Court today, accusing them of costing the city tens of millions of dollars through fraud and concealment of their role in insuring high-risk subprime mortgage packages.

The five bond insurers are based in New York state and sell insurance to California cities, including San Francisco, and other public entities for bonds for projects such as roads, schools and libraries.

The San Francisco Superior Court lawsuit is based on charges of fraud, deceit, breach of contract, negligence and violation of state antitrust law.

It accuses the companies of two schemes that allegedly caused the city to pay "tens of millions in premiums to the defendant insurers during the past few years for bond insurance that is essentially worthless."

The first scheme, the lawsuit contends, was a dual rating system that gave public entities lower credit ratings than private corporations, thus forcing them to buy more bond insurance, even though corporations are five times more likely to default on bonds.

The second alleged scheme was to insure hundreds of billions of dollars worth of financial packages containing subprime mortgage loans without informing the municipalities of the extent of their exposure in that high-risk market.

The failure of the subprime mortgage market then made the city's municipal bond insurance "worthless or worse," the lawsuit alleges.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said, "These defendants manipulated demand for insurance we never needed, based on creditworthiness they never had, to cover bets they never should have made."

Herrera said, "Now that the scheme has been revealed, taxpayers are left holding the bag."

The lawsuit seeks unspecified financial compensation for the economic harm allegedly suffered by the city.

The defendants in the lawsuit are Ambac Financial Group Inc., XL Capital Assurance Inc., Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. and CIFG Assurance North America Inc., all based in New York City; and MBIA Inc., based in Armonk, N.Y.

Pintele Yid said...

I asked in Yom Kippur davening that Hashem should inspire an army of UOJs to stop molesters.

Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund warned on Saturday that debt-ridden banks were pushing the global financial system to the brink of meltdown and rich nations had so far failed to restore confidence.

Williamsburg said...


For the following interview with Lizzie Bougatsos, lead singer of the New York experimental music fixture Gang Gang Dance, just imagine one of those laughter markers at the end of each answer.

Here she is reminiscing on the New York music scene, the global appeal of her band's new album, and getting hit on by Hasidic dudes in vans.

So were you born in New York?
Yea, I’m a Long Island Lady.

And when did you move to the city?
Well, I was kinda coming in all the time. But I guess in 1997 I got my first apartment in Williamsburg. It was very, very different then.

How was it different?
It was very barren then, there were no shops, and it was scary. There were all Hasidic men driving around in vans late at night, trying to pick me up. It was horrible! I looked kind of arty then, a lot of people think I look arty now, but I really looked arty then. I looked like a Beastie Boys backup dancer. Like I had a bowl haircut, and I was dressed in a lot of fluorescents, like very new-wave.

Moishe Lefkowitz said...


MONSEY - Organizers of a religious ceremony involving chickens face up to $10,000 in fines for failing to properly clean up after the ritual, the Rockland County Health Department said yesterday.

The group running the kapparot ceremony was cited for two violations of the Rockland sanitary code each of the five days that thousands of chickens were kept on the grounds of the former Monsey Jewish Center, said Thomas Micelli, the department's director of environmental health.

Inspectors found there was a large amount of offensive material - including chicken feces, feathers and blood - on the site each of the five days, resulting in five violations, Micelli said. Five additional violations were issued for creating a public health nuisance.

The county got a court order Wednesday - the last day the ritual was performed - ordering organizer Moshe Lefkowitz and property owner Congregation Birchos Yosef to stop the ceremony.

Chickens were still on the property Thursday, but had been removed by yesterday afternoon.

Most of the trash had been cleaned up, but a strong odor remained. A pile of crates and sacks containing chicken feed also were on the property.

Lefkowitz has promised officials that the crates and any remaining signs of the ritual would be removed by early next week.

He could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The kapparot ceremony, in which a chicken is held over a person's head and moved in a circle three times before the bird is slaughtered, is for many an integral and deeply moving part of the introspection that takes place in the days before Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

The ceremony was first mentioned in Jewish writings as early as 800 A.D.

But as early as the 1400s, Jewish authorities opposed the ceremony, maintaining it was a pagan rite that had mistakenly made its way into Jewish custom.

Some chickens were slaughtered at the Monsey location, Micelli said. Inspectors reported seeing hundreds of dead chickens there, he said.

There is nothing in the Rockland sanitary code that prohibits keeping or slaughtering chickens anywhere in the county.

The county notified the state Department of Environmental Conservation after finding blood and fecal matter being washed into drains when the fowl were slaughtered Wednesday.

It is not clear if the DEC visited the site or issued any violations.

Lefkowitz was fined $3,000 in January by the Rockland Health Department for leaving the site of last year's kapparot ceremony strewn with blood, feces, feathers and other garbage that attracted flies and maggots and caused potential for disease.

He is due to make the final payment on that fine this week.

A hearing on the most recent charges has been tentatively scheduled for Oct. 21 at the Department of Health, but likely will be rescheduled.

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

The government wants to become shareholders in banks. These clowns will be alienating serious investors who would never invest in anything that the US government has an ownership interest.

Is this the best that these G-7 imbeciles can come up with?

Rumor has it that AIG's next junket is planned for Thanksgiving with the Agudah convention. Kolko will be singing "Leebe ub'sar lee" after Shafran makes the Hamotzi on the Turkey.

Chaim Dovid Zweibel said...

"after Shafran makes the Hamotzi on the Turkey"

To reduce the level of ridicule from UOJ, the new improved Agudah will offer a little less food at the convention so that our fressers don't look like a bunch of "Butterballs".

Skverrer Putz said...


Yet, how dead is that dead end?

That's a question some residents raised this week to The Watcher.

Occasional traffic - trucks, some cars - has been seen emerging from the woods and onto Addison Boyce Drive.

Joel Epstein, the town's code enforcement officer, said he was unaware that vehicles had been traveling beyond the dead end. No one has complained to him about it.

The Watcher found that two steel cables, which had blocked traffic from entering the woods, were knocked down.

Just beyond the ruptured blockade was a barrel full of soda bottles and a pile of broken asphalt. Assorted trash littered the woods.

While no vehicles were seen entering or leaving the property, there were tire tracks that veered into the woods on a bumpy trail filled in some spots with crushed stone.

They led to a clearing and parking lot next to a New Square yeshiva.

"It's been used for about two years now," Anthony Arroyo, an area resident, said of the woodland road. "It's an illegal road. At least I think it's illegal. Can anyone just do that?"

Well, yes and no.

The property at the Clarkstown border with New Square is the site of the Ahavas Chaverim Gemilas Chesed yeshiva, which according to a Clarkstown map also owns about 3 acres connecting to the dead end of Addison Boyce Drive.

Municipalities cannot prevent a landowner from accessing a road that borders his or her property, but that doesn't mean the landowner doesn't have some responsibility.

Clarkstown Senior Deputy Town Attorney Harold MacCartney said yesterday that a connection to Addison Boyce Drive, a town street, required a road-opening permit from the Highway Department.

There was no application for such a permit in the files of the highway superintendent.

No one was at the yeshiva yesterday to respond to an inquiry from The Watcher.

Ezra Merkin said...


DETROIT (AP) - General Motors and chief Chrysler stakeholder Cerberus are said to be holding preliminary talks about some sort of merger.

That's according to a person familiar with the discussions.

Industry analysts say in order to pull it off, GM would have to get desperately needed cash. Both automakers are struggling to survive amid slumping sales, the slowing global economy and the unprecedented credit crunch.

A tie-up between the automotive giants would solidify GM's position as the global sales leader. One authority on mergers and acquisitions says if the numbers work, a lean, merged automaker would be in a strong position to make money once the market recovers and people start buying cars again.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Cerberus might trade Chrysler for GM's 49% stake in GMAC Financial Services. Cerberus already owns 51% of GM's former financial arm.

Yisroel Meir Briksman said...


A young, bearded man in the garb of a Lithuanian yeshiva student looks straight into the camera in a photograph hanging on a wall in the busy center of the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood of Geula, and in the ultra-Orthodox section of Brooklyn. Smiling, Israel Meir Briksman does not fit the image of a wanted man. Yet the text that goes with the picture, so unusual on the Orthodox street, states that an arrest warrant has been issued against Briksman by the High Rabbinic Court and he is to be shunned by the community, because that is what should be done to a man who does not grant his wife a get, a religious divorce.

The denouncing of a man for refusing to grant a get can be a major deterrent in ultra-Orthodox society, but so far the religious courts have been loathe to apply it.

However about a month ago, Briksman's picture was released on the Web site of the rabbinic court, alongside photographs of other men who have refused to give their wives divorces.

What is common to Briksman and the other men is that they have disappeared. The purpose of publishing their picture is to obtain the public's assistance in finding them, as well as to warn others from taking a similar step.

In Briksman's case, religious court judges Hagai Izirer and Avraham Sherman, who are not considered particularly strict when it comes to enforcing a get, ordered that Briksman be so treated. The verdict, handed down in July and published in ultra-Orthodox newspapers and on wall posters in Israel and abroad about three weeks ago, stated that he should not be allowed to attend prayers on the High Holy Days.

There is nothing unusual in the verdict. What is unusual is its publication and the attempt to enforce it. It is intended to prevent the husband from receiving any economic assistance or other asstance until he "fulfills the verdict and gives a get to his wife," the verdict states.

After the verdict was released, the relatives and friends of D., the wife who has been refused a divorce, staged a protest in front of the synagogue in Jerusalem's Katamon neighborhood where the husband's father is the rabbi. "We didn't shout. It was a quiet and painful protest," the wife said.

D., 30, an administrator in an ultra-Orthodox college, has been aguna, or "chained" - as a woman whose husband refuses to grant her a divorce is called - for a year. Until now she prefered to keep a low profile, but now that her husband's picture has been published, she says there is no point.

About three and a half years ago, after eight bitter years of marriage and two children, D. turned to the rabbinic court and asked for a divorce. The struggle between the Briksmans in the court revolved mainly around custody of the couple's son. At first the court ordered joint custody, but because the father lives in Jerusalem and the mother in Bnei Brak, the child was constantly moved back and forth between two homes and two schools. The court then decided to give custody of the child to the father. But a year later the boy was found to be neglected emotionally and physically, and was returned to the mother.

Israel Briksman then disappeared. "He said that if he didn't get his son, he would never give me a get," D. said.

Since the pictures of the men were published, one has already come out of hiding and given his wife a divorce. But D., who believes her husband is in the United States, says, "I don't think salvation will come from this publication in the U.S. It's a big country and there are enough communities where he can hide, and the main thing is that his family supports him."

Gerrorists? said...


Youths hurled rocks at Magen David Adom stations and ambulances in Acre and Haifa over Yom Kippur to protest their operating vehicles on the holiday.

In Acre, youths hurled stones at the local MDA station, damaging windows. Last night, riots around the station continued, leading MDA director general Eli Been to instruct staff in the city to perform their work in helmets and bulletproof vests.

Been urged rioters to allow paramedics to complete their work unimpeded so they could save lives.

He also pleaded with police to deal with the protesters: "These events are unacceptable, and I call on law enforcement authorities to handle rioters with an iron fist."

On Tuesday night, a 76-year-old Haifa man suffering from a serious illness became the target of stone-throwers while being transported to the city's Rambam Medical Center for treatment.

As Reuven Sadnai approached the hospital, "a barrage of stones was hurled at us. Some 50 yeshiva students standing on the bridge above the road pelted us with stones," he said.

"It was Kristallnacht in Haifa, and I want you to quote me. This was planned, and not just an act of mischief," Sadnai said.

MDA staff handled 1,786 cases of illness, injuries and childbirth over the Yom Kippur holiday. Sources at the organization say it treated dozens of people who fainted during the holiday fast, and dozens of children injured in cycling accidents.

Some 120 pregnant women who went into labor were also transported for medical care, and a Ramat Hasharon woman gave birth at home with the assistance of MDA staff.

Bnei Brak said...


Ultra-Orthodox residents of Bnei Brak found sneaking into Bar-Ilan University, exploiting Student Union computer lab to view pornographic material

Omer Ori Published: 09.22.08, 07:31 / Israel Jewish Scene

Last Tuesday, Rachel (pseudonym), a religious student at the Bar-Ilan University who lives on campus, was hit with a bout of insomnia, so she got out of bed and went to the Student Union center where she could use the internet on the student-accessible computers.

She entered the big room and could not believe her eyes. Ultra-Orthodox men, whose connection with the academia was completely happenstance, were sitting at the computers and surfing the Web.

“I was in shock,” she recalled. “I passed them and they just continued surfing pornographic sites as if they were watching the news. These are not people that I know; they are too old to be students and anyone can enter the university and this center, so they simply took advantage of the situation,” she said.

Many haredim take advantage of the room in order to surf the net; a pastime they can’t experience at home, usually because it is not permitted by rabbis.

Apparently they arrive at the university during the wee hours of the night, enjoying the quiet and lack of supervision, and use the internet at their own volition.

“Everyone talks about it here,” said a yarmulke-wearing student. “A bunch of haredim from Bnei Brak come here, even married men who arrive after their wives and children have gone to sleep, and use the internet."

A university employee confirmed the rumors. “It’s true that this happens quite often and they tried catching these people but they aren’t always successful,” he said. “It is difficult to control what goes on there and we can’t just close the computer center used by the students.”

It is relatively easy to enter the university late at night. A Yedioth Ahronoth Ramat Gan reporter wandered into the area on Monday night and assessed the phenomenon, coming across a number of ultra-Orthodox men who sat and surfed freely on the library’s computers. Some of them were indeed on porn sites.

The university said in response that “in the past it was brought to the university’s attention that strangers who are not students arrive on campus, enter the Student Union offices and use the computers without permission.

“In coordination with the union, we reached a decision to decrease the amount of hours the offices are open and we were indeed successful in significantly reducing the phenomenon. The university administration is planning on assessing additional steps in completely eliminating the entrance of strangers.”

Bradley Silver said...


A man has been charged this week on suspicion of conning money out of people going to synagogue.

Police confirmed Bradley Silver, 40, of Gainsborough Road, Finchley, was charged yesterday with fraud by false representation.

A letter was sent to members of Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue, in Croxdale Road, last week, warning of a con man approaching people who claimed to be working for Elstree Studios and asking for loans.

It is also thought he targeted members of Edgware Synagogue.

In the letter Anthony Arnold, chairman of the Borehamwood synagogue said: “The purpose of this message is to put you on your guard and while we would not want to suggest you do not offer hospitality to visitors please take extra care in your dealings and with your possessions.”

Washington DC Jewish Week said...


"It's a highly cathartic process," Rona Fields, a District-based clinical psychologist, said of the act of bestowing forgiveness, known in Hebrew as granting mechilah, or pardon.

Fields, for example, who attends Conservative Tifereth Israel Congregation in the District, once asked her daughter to forgive her as Yom Kippur approached. Her transgression: Not believing her daughter when she said she had been the target of "predatory sexual advances" by a former colleague of Fields'.

"I didn't listen to her," said Fields, 74, a District resident. "She kept trying to tell me about it, but I was so insensitive to what she was trying to tell me. I tried to rationalize it because I couldn't believe this person could behave that way. But the truth came out later." Her daughter, Fields said, eventually forgave her, "but not fully. I think she still carries that with her."

Fields' own father once pleaded for mechilah under somewhat similar circumstances, she said. As a teenager, she recounted, she had been molested by a relative by marriage who happened to be seeking a big loan from her father.

Her father, Fields said, believed the perpetrator when he pre-emptively professed his innocence, maintaining that Fields was "loose" and should be watched closely.

"My father was very angry at me for that," she said. "I cried, and I told him what had happened, but he didn't believe me."

Her father, Fields continued, asked her for forgiveness during the High Holidays some 20 years later when he realized what had actually transpired. Did she grant his request? "Of course I did," she said. "I cried horribly at the time and so did my father."

Rabbi Marc Schneier said...

Don't bug me that my shul president is a fraudster. I'm too busy running around to kiss the rear ends of high profile African-Americans.


The Westhampton Beach home of Asian art dealer Michael Weisbrod, which originally went on the market last year for $9 million, is now being handled as a bankruptcy sale by Keen Consultants in Melville.

The estate is owned by Weisbrod's Beach Lane Estate Corp., which paid $995,000 for the property in 2000, according to public records. Matthew Bordwin, managing director of Keen Consultants, says the asking price is now $6 million. Bordwin says that, although a deadline for offers has been set for Nov. 4, an "acceptable offer" could be brought before the bankruptcy court now.

Weisbrod pleaded guilty to tax fraud in 2007 after admitting he failed to collect sales taxes and did not file corporate taxes for his Manhattan gallery, Weisbrod Chinese Art Ltd. He was ordered to pay $1.12 million to the city and state. Weisbrod is the founding president of The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach.

The 9,000-square-foot home was built in 1895 and underwent extensive renovations from 2000 to 2006. Architect Jay Sears worked on the home's design. The house has eight bedrooms and 7 1/2 baths.

UOJ Mischief? said...


Obama listed as 'Osama' on ballots in N.Y.

Saturday, October 11, 2008 3:10 AM

Agudah Fresser denied farting said...


Unusual smell forces JetBlue plane back to JFK

St. John's University in Queens said...

"$15,000 - needed to secure his immediate freedom was collected by his fellow priests at St. John's."


A St. John's University chaplain was charged Friday with transmitting an obscene Webcam image of himself to someone he thought was a 13-year-old boy, police sources said.

The Rev. Charles Plock, 63, picked the wrong "teen" to e-mail his homemade masturbation movies, authorities said. The recipient was actually Detective Mark Michieli of the Adams County, Colo., sheriff's office, who pretended he was a youth in an online sting operation.

Cops traced Plock's e-mail to St. John's, the Catholic university in Queens, where he is a chaplain and youth minister.

When NYPD investigators showed up at the cleric's on-campus apartment in Murray Hall yesterday, Plock argued that he sent his X-rated videos only to consenting adults, a law enforcement source said.

"His face is clear in the video. It looks like he filmed it in his bathroom at St. John's, and he sent it to someone he thought was a teenager," the source said.

Cops got a search warrant and seized Plock's computers.

Plock, who appeared at Queens Criminal Court for his arraignment Friday night in a baby blue shirt and blue carpenter pants, kept his hands deep in his pockets and his head down. Neither he nor his lawyer answered a reporter's questions.

Plock was released on $150,000 bond on the condition he check into St. John Vianney Center, a residential psychiatric facility for the clergy in Downington, Pa.

The required 10% cash - $15,000 - needed to secure his immediate freedom was collected by his fellow priests at St. John's.

Plock ignored about a dozen people who shouted, "A 13-year-old?" "Shame on you" and "Pedophile" as he left court. His next hearing is set for Nov. 11.

Earlier Friday, outside Hollis Hall at St. John's where Plock has an office, freshman Kevin Winters, 18, declared, "Father Charlie? No way! He was a pretty all right guy."

Other students agreed Plock was a hip priest, always willing to talk and share the Marlboro Light cigarettes he kept in his pockets.

"He was such a nice guy. He was way too cool to be a priest," said freshman Taylor Jackson, 18.

A St. John's spokeswoman confirmed a staff member was in police custody, but declined to provide details about Plock's tenure or arrest.

Police sources said there was no indication Plock had behaved inappropriately toward St. John's students.

Plock was ordained in St. John's founding order, the Vincentians, in May 1973.

Besides his work at St. John's, Plock is a board member at Covenant House, a nonprofit organization that shelters runaway teens.

A spokesman for Covenant House said, "We will take any and all steps necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of our kids."

The nonprofit organization was rocked in the 1990s when its founder, the Rev. Bruce Ritter, resigned amid allegation that he had sexual relationships with young men at the shelter. He was never charged with a crime.

In his writings, Plock has been an advocate for immigrants and the downtrodden. He was often chosen to preside at activists' funerals, including that of Maria Hernandez, a Brooklyn mother of three gunned down in 1989, possibly by the drug dealers she battled.

"Wow, so he's going to hell now?" said St. John's freshman Vito Sapienza, 18. "Wait till my mom hears about this. She's going to think twice about sending me to a Catholic school."

China again said...


Beware - the Kai'nes S'chach coming in from China was found to be infested with little bugs that may fall into your food!! The Eidah publicized this information in Eretz Yisroel and advised against using this S'chach.
If you take the Kainis Scach & bang it on the floor, you'll see the insects.

Phil Jacobs said...


Are You Really Sorry?
A rabbi friend called me the other day to wish me a Happy New Year.
He then told me that he thought that I was being too critical of the Orthodox rabbis.
“They did sign that document,” he said, referring to the April 11, 2007 condemnation of child molestation.
I told him that since April 11, 2007, little or nothing has changed.
There are still children facing the dangers of life-changing acts of molestation. The use of drugs and alcohol seems to be on the rise, and the connection between molestation survivors and the need to abuse drugs is becoming more and more linked.
And here they are on the threshold of a new year, just saying words out of a Makzor. They are Millie Vanillie in black hats, just lip-synching their prayers, nothing more.
Why is that a rabbi can still live at our area yeshiva even though the college “leadership” knows that he is a concern? And they even know who his victims were. Happy New Year.
And why is that a young woman in Israel continues to speak publicly and urgently about the abuses of her father back here in Baltimore. Yet to discount her, they call her “crazy?” Who is crazy, the molester or the survivor?
Two women I know molested by a rabbi in this town are too afraid to use their names. This rabbi hires legal counsel for protection. Happy New Year.
Last year, we finally had a case come to trial involving a child molester. And all that Israel Shapiro could do to stay out of jail was to resort to an Alford plea. He was given five years of supervised probation. An Alford plea allows the defendant to circumvent a guilty plea, but accept the consequences of a guilty verdict. Happy New Year.
There’s an emerging group of women in town referred to as “buttoned down and shut tight.” They are frum women who dress modestly, were educated in girls’ only schools, but were molested. Some can’t even date men they are so frightened. Some resort to eating disorders to deal with their pain. Look around you, they’re here. Happy New Year.
At a conference recently in Brooklyn, two issues stuck in my head. One, hearing a state legislator, a frum man, call molestation within the frum community an “epidemic.” The other was hearing a formerly frum young man talk about how molestation is now a “rite of passage” in some yeshivas.
You know what I think?
And people here in this community are concerned about the shidduchim of the relatives of these men, the innocent family members who aren’t at fault.
They then turn the accusers into the reasons for their misery, not the perpetrators. They turn the reporters of this information into ones at risk. Rabbi Ben Zion Twersky was named to head an anti- molestation task force in Brooklyn. Soon people wouldn’t acknowledge his existence. His children felt their future shidduchim threatened.
So here’s the idea.
Why don’t these family members buy billboard signs or advertisements apologizing for the acts of their relatives? Wouldn’t it make for an even greater shidduch possibility if one knew that your family was publicly and absolutely sorry for their family member’s transgressions. Wouldn’t it take a sheer act of uncommon bravery to do such a thing?
Is there anyone brave enough in Baltimore’s Orthodox community who could stand up and apologize for all of this.
What about you Vaad Ha Rabbanim? Is the word “brave” in your lexicon of chumrahs?
I think not.
But I do know that on Thursday late afternoon when that Book of Life is getting ready to be sealed, you better be sorry.
And you better be genuine about your sorrow.
If not, even the brave won’t be able to help you.
So, yeah, I’m critical of the rabbis.
But next time don’t produce a letter if you don’t mean anything by it, or if it’s the work of the younger rabbis in town, not the real consensus.
Better yet, why doesn’t the Vaad rent a billboard apologizing and seeking forgiveness? Place it on Reisterstown Road in Pikesville so that we can all take a look.
That would beat a meaningless letter any day.

Agudah Fressers threaten Phil Jacobs said...


They Know That We Know

Rabbi Doctor Benzion Twerski stepped down from a New York task force that would investigate molestation within the Jewish community, according to the New York JewishWeek.

They got to him.

One of the bright lights in Orthodox America has been quieted. It was if a fragile candle flame wasn’t just blown out, but it was doused with a filled bucket of water.

Here we are in the month of Elul leading into the holiest of days, and yet these people, these “leaders” have once again forgotten that they are not the ultimate judge. That one day they will have to account for their actions.

Rabbi Twerski, I am honored to be in your company. Here are just a few reasons why.

• A frum woman publicly accosted me at 7-Mile Market, questioning in a loud, intrusive voice why an area rabbi would want to have any association with me or with the Jewish Times.
• An Agudath Israel spokesman sent me emails attacking me and accusing me of writing stories on molestation because in his words I was trying to win the “Gary Rosenblatt Prize.”
• A man who I had learned with for many years, spoke to me in an inappropriate, hurtful way. He told me that I owed an explanation to him and others for writing the name of Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro, a deceased man who allegedly molested hundreds of times. I wrote him a letter of total respect thanking him for our learning, but putting an end to it. I haven’t heard a word from him since.
• Rabbi Heinemann wrote a letter that was posted on his building’s bulletin board, questioning the word “Jewish” in the name of this publication. He then urged his congregants not to allow our publication into their homes. He did this without the courage of a phone call or a meeting.
• I was told by a young rabbi in our community that based on how the older rabbis were behaving, I was doing more harm than good. He further said that many of the rabbis who signed the so-called April 11, 2007 letter from the Vaad addressing molestation, were now sorry they had signed the letter. The signatures were seen I was told as a validation of the Jewish Times’ stories.
• We used to have a mincha minyan here at the Jewish Times, but one of its participants, again a person with the title “rabbi” emailed folks and asked them not to support the minyan. Can you imagine, he would keep a person from saying Kaddish with a minyan?.
• The number of emails and anonymous blog responses urging my early death, the necessity of me to leave town, that my family should be cursed, that I should burn in hell.
• Even worse, the people who used to speak to me, who now don’t. I can’t even get them to say Good Shabbos. They say Good Shabbos to the floor or to the wall, but not to me. You know what it’s like to have people look not at you, but through you?

These are all people who wear black hats and sheitels and pray and keep kosher and call themselves observant.

Avi L. Shafran said...

An Agudath Israel spokesman sent me emails attacking me and accusing me of writing stories on molestation because in his words I was trying to win the “Gary Rosenblatt Prize.”


Is Phil revealing the contents of PRIVATE emails?


Biala Chassidim said...

Charedi rape claim is denied

BY Dana Gloger
Jewish Chronical - October 10, 2008

A Charedi man has pleaded not guilty to raping a 12-year-old boy in a synagogue lavatory.

Moshe Reichman, 24, from Golders Green, North-West London, appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday and will face trial in January 2009, accused of four offences.

He has been charged with raping a child under the age of 13, sexual activity with a child, and two charges of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. The charges all relate to one incident alleged to have taken place between 2004 and 2005. Mr Reichman denies all four charges. The victim cannot be named because of his age.

Mr Reichman's barrister, Gary Grant, persuaded Judge David Radford to change his bail conditions which prohibited him from entering any synagogue. Judge Radford agreed that he can now attend the Biala Synagogue in Clapton as long as he is with one of eight chaperones, all rabbis and members of the Charedi community.

Aish Hatorah said...


Dana Gloger
October 10, 2008
A man facing extradition to the United States on terrorism charges has spoken of his nightmare at being linked to attacks on coalition troops in Iraq.

Farshid Gillardian, 39, from Hendon, North-West London, is accused by US authorities of being part of a network that allegedly supplied components used to make roadside bombs which have killed soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Prosecutors claim that the network illegally transported more than 30,000 electronic components - allegedly identical to those found in the bombs - from the US to Iran, thereby breaching export rules.

The indictment accuses the network, also said to include people in Iran, Dubai, Malaysia and Germany, of taking part for financial gain.

But Mr Gillardian, a married father-of-one who attends Finchley United Synagogue, strongly denies the allegations.

He said he first knew of the accusations last month when three plain-clothes policemen arrived at his mother's house in Golders Green.

"My mother called me and I immediately went round," Mr Gillardian said. "If I had something to hide, then surely I wouldn't have. The officers told me there was a warrant for my arrest from the US authorities, who wanted me to be extradited on terrorism charges.

"I was completely shocked. I am a law-abiding person and just a normal, boring bloke. I fled Iran with my family when I was 10 because of the regime there and how inhospitable it was for Jewish people to live there.

"So it is insulting, illogical and bizarre to think that I would do anything to benefit the Iranian government or anything against America. Which Jew would do something like that?"

Mr Gillardian, who attended Carmel College and has previously been involved in Aish Ha'Torah, a Jewish outreach organisation, was remanded for two weeks and was released on bail last Friday.

"It is all completely terrifying. The past two weeks have been a nightmare. My family and I can't eat or sleep. This whole situation is terrible."

He said that he owns a company which buys and sells electrical components. Among his international clients, he has one in Iran. But, he insisted, the electronic chips he sold were for use in computers or household electrical goods.

"This is like a shop-owner selling someone a knife for use in the kitchen and that knife then being used to stab someone. Does that make the shop-keeper guilty?" he said. He added that he was winding down his company as "it is making very little money".

He added: "I conducted the whole business from my mother's home, where I lived until I got married in May last year because I could not afford to move out. If it was for terrorist purposes, surely I wouldn't have done it from my family home and from my mobile phone which is on a contract registered to my address?"

His wife, Nicola, 33, a former JFS pupil, said the allegations are "preposterous", adding: "What they are claiming he was involved in is completely against his nature. We are very pro-America.

"We are just ordinary people and now we are faced with this terrifying situation. We are not wealthy so we are very concerned about how we are going to fight this."

She added: "Our daughter is just eight weeks old and this is the time when we should have been enjoying being a family. Instead, we are dealing with this."

She said the past two weeks was "like something you would see in a film".

Mr Gillardian will face a hearing later this year, where magistrates will decide if he will be extradited.

All Roads lead to Pinter said...

The case with Gillardian in England sounds like the case with that South African dude arrested on charges that he supplied nuclear parts to al Qaeda / Pakistan. Pinter's mechutan Herzl Kranz vouched for the South African and asked the judge to release him to house arrest in his Silver Springs, Maryland, home.

It's incredible how some greedy heimisher pigs will do anything for money.

R' Henoch Paulson said...

I knew I would impress UOJ with my choice of restructuring agents. Check out the 3rd name here:


Kashkari, an Indian-American who was born in Ohio, is one more example of how Paulson has drawn on former executives at Goldman to staff the Treasury. Paulson also leans heavily on former Goldman Sachs executives Dan Jester, a financial institutions banker, and Steve Shafran, who focused on corporate restructuring while at Goldman.

Shelly Silver Fleecing Taxpayers for Personal Gain! said...

How convenient that Silver happens to head the State Ethics Committee that are supposed to police these excesses.


New Policy Is Sought in Albany After Report on Silver's Travel

By JACOB GERSHMAN, Staff Reporter of the Sun | September 30, 2008

Government watchdog groups are calling on the state Legislature to tighten a transportation policy that allows lawmakers to commute to Albany by plane, bank frequent flier miles, and send the bill to taxpayers.

The demand for stricter standards follows a report in yesterday's New York Sun that the Democratic speaker of the Assembly, Sheldon Silver, frequently takes indirect flights to Albany with layovers in Washington, D.C., racking up large expenses without saving any time.

"The current policy is too vague and should be tightened to ensure that the cost incurred is the most affordable. The state should have a far clearer and possibly more restrictive policy on the use of air travel," the executive director of the nonpartisan Citizens Union, Richard Dadey, said.

"It seems that the frequent use of air travel is questionable. If time is of the essence, it seems other modes of transportation would be appropriate," Mr. Dadey said, referring to Mr. Silver's roundabout travel arrangements. "'Why doesn't he drive?' is a legitimate question when both time and cost seem to be more than driving," he said.

The Sun reported yesterday that Mr. Silver, who represents a district in Lower Manhattan, regularly commutes to Albany by air, often by taking indirect flights on a commercial airline from La Guardia Airport. To get to Albany, the speaker frequently flies first on a shuttle to Washington and then boards another plane en route to the state capital.

Mr. Silver's travel arrangements are puzzling because he does not appear to be saving any time. It takes about three and a half hours for him to fly to Albany — not including the time it takes to drive back and forth from airports and pass through security. That's about an hour longer than it takes to drive to the Statehouse in regular traffic conditions, and a half hour longer than using Amtrak.

Mr. Silver's transportation choice is also not saving any money for the taxpayer. The state comptroller's records show that Mr. Silver pays in the range of $500 to $760 for his round-trip airfare, more than four times the price of traveling on Amtrak. The state reimburses him for the price of the tickets.

The Assembly's own employee guidelines, which are set by the speaker, discourage lawmakers from flying, saying that air travel should be used "only when it is clearly in the Assembly's best interest." The Legislature's ethics body does not monitor the use of frequent flier miles.

The speaker often flies first class because he is an elite member of a US Airways frequent flier program, which rewards him with extra points each time he adds a segment to his journey. Mr. Silver's office said the speaker has not redeemed any of his miles for personal use, but did not say whether he would redeem them in the future.

"The big unanswered issue is who is supposed to set the objective standards," the legislative director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, Blair Horner, said. Mr. Horner said Mr. Silver should at least use his frequent flier miles to defray the costs of his governmental flights.

"The benefits should be plowed back into future flights to benefit taxpayers. They are the ones paying for the flights," Mr. Horner said.

Aides to the speaker said Mr. Silver does not like using Amtrak because he does not want to be bothered by lobbyists during his commute and prefers the relative anonymity that comes with flying. They also say the state would pay extra if he were driven to Albany in a chauffeured state vehicle.

The Legislative Ethics Commission, which enforces the state's public officers law for members of the Legislature and their staffs, has not handed down any policy governing the usage of frequent flier miles.


Mr. Silver's connection in Washington earns him about 1,000 miles a round trip.

State records show that Mr. Silver is a "chairman's preferred" member of US Airways' frequent flier program, called "Dividend Miles." One way to qualify for the status is to earn 100,000 miles within a calendar year.

Gullible Gershon Tannenbaum said...


Gershon Tannenbaum, the convicted felon and plagiarist at the Jewish Press rehashes some nonsense here again without quoting the source.

He falls for the story put out by Indian Jews themselves that they arrived in India after churban bayis thanks to a "ship wreck".

The real story which they obviously don't like to talk about is that some Syrian & Iraqi Jews living in India owned slaves who became Yidden when they were meshachrer them.

Zweibel hobnobbing with his Catholic pals said...


Educators and religious leaders from around the region resolved to mobilize in support of faith-based schools that have proven they can help at-risk students.

The depletion of faith-based schools in the New York region is a crisis that threatens to rob inner-city children of an important educational alternative, according to members of the New York City Roundtable on Inner-City Children and Faith-Based Schools, which met in Manhattan on Tuesday, Sept. 23.

Attendees on Tuesday included Edward Cardinal Egan, archbishop of New York, and Rabbi David Zwiebel, executive vice president for government affairs for Agudath Israel of America, and Archbishop Demetrios, the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. The meeting also drew state legislators and representatives of the federal government.

Maybe UOJ knows said...

Is this one of the fire hydrants that the other Belsky peed on?


State Sen. Carl Kruger was interviewed by Channel 11 News recently regarding the saga of Simon Belsky, the Sheepshead Bay retiree who’s been fighting a parking ticket since 2006.
“Fighting for what’s right is a commendable quality,” Kruger said. “Mr. Belsky feels he has been unjustly attacked by the system, but he refuses to be beaten.”

Belsky received the ticket while parked on Avenue U near East 29th Street.

While the summons claims that he was parked by a fire hydrant, Belsky says there was no fire hydrant where he parked his car. The summons also has the wrong address, said Kruger.