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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rav Hershel Schachter Shlita - Rosh Kollel R' Yitzchok Elchonon Kollel Elyon Will Address The Gathering Via Videotape!

Click On Image To Enlarge!

97 comments:

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

I was just informed that YEDEI ESAV banned the above gathering with a vicious "Kol Koreh" coming out of Shafran's office at 42 Broadway! Did anyone see Marvin Schick lately?

Anonymous said...

I WAS ALSO TOLD THAT THE KOLEL IN NORTH MIAMI BEACH WILL BE GIVING A COURSE ON DINA DIMALCHUSA DINA AND THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PEOPLE NOT TO LIE ON THEIR TAXES

UNFORTUNATELY THE ROSH KOLEL CANT GIVE THAT CLASS

GUESS WHY

Arthur said...

Another piece of "wisdom" from the "enlightened" Muslim world.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/Page/VideoPlayer&cid=1194419829128&videoId=1237114848963

boog said...

Good line up for Sunday. Agudah is MIA.

Where is "Right Hook" Schorr? No Lipa concerts scheduled for Sunday.

Shafran is a disgrace.

Spare us Schick. What he writes is incomprehensible and a waste of paper/ink.

Get the tabloids there and the TV stations.

Arthur said...

And if you think the Muslims are "brilliant" look at this.

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=7081471

steve said...

It looks like Rabbi Schachter will not be able to attend. The latest flier from the JBAC does not include his name.

Anonymous said...

lets see the kol koreh

Avi L. Shafran said...

Whoever wants a copy of the kol koreh email me at:

shafran@agudathisrael.org

steve said...

Another kashrus scandal where the Rav Hamachshil tries to downplay what happened. This happened last night at a shawarma joint in Boro Park. VIN spoke to him and this is his account:

Rabbi Babad explained that the store owner’s brother-in-law from Israel came in to the restaurant last night. The brother-in-law had only been in America for two weeks.


At some point, someone—who critically has yet to be identified—instructed a recently-hired non-Jewish employee to go to the KRM Kollel store around the corner to purchase Meal Mart franks. “Who told the goy to go is under question,” said Rabbi Babad, pointing out that “the goy is not allowed to go—they can only buy [meat] from the supplier.”


According to Rabbi Babad, the worker went to the non-Jewish grocery across the street, where he purchased four packs of non-kosher hot dogs.


Rabbi Babad insisted that “No one was trying to fool anybody.”


Timeline


Here is what happened next at Shawarma King last night, according to Rabbi Babad:


1. One customer ordered franks, collected his order and sat down to eat

2. A second customer ordered franks

3. In the second customer’s presence, the non-Jewish worker opened one pack of non-kosher franks and placed four franks on the grill

4. The brother-in-law of the owner, overseeing the restaurant at the time, noticed that the franks appeared unusual

5. The franks were then discovered to be non-kosher


“Besides last night, there has been no problem whatsoever” at Shawarma King with regards to kashrus, said Rabbi Babad. How would he know? “There was definitely a breach. The only question is how many people ate” the non-kosher franks.


“The second person not, the first, maybe. There might have been one person in the middle, we’re looking into it,” said Rabbi Babad.


In other words, the only question is whether any non-kosher franks are unaccounted for.


Rabbi Babad added that the restaurant is under 24-hour video surveillance and that the Beis Din is waiting for the technician’s arrival so that footage can be examined to determine the precise sequence of events and the parties involved.


“The etzem fact that the goy opened it in front of a customer is proof” that nothing furtive was being done, Rabbi Babad told VIN.


As of 10:10 a.m. this morning, the restaurant’s mashgiach was in a meeting regarding the situation. The restaurant is currently closed.



Matzav.com (those that screamed "blood libel" when the Rubashkin scandal was exposed)says that this story should never have been told, that it should have been swept under the carpet. What's the big deal if a few customers ate treife hot dogs? What's the big deal if the restaurant under "hashgocho" had no mashgiach on site? What's the big deal if the owner sends out his goy worker to purchase meat on his own and doesn't even check to see what he bought? As in the Rubashkin and Le Marais debacles, what we don't know will not hurt us! They even quote Rabbi Belsky who once had a shayla about aluminum pots (they're comparing aluminum pots wit treife franks)and he did not publicize the issue until he got a psak from R' Moshe Feinstein. Unfortunately, this is laissez faire attitude towards kashrus will only get worse. Evidently no lessons were learned from Finkel, Rubashkin and Le Marais. We keep paying for non-existent "supervisions" of totally untrustworthy food establishments. Of course the Rav Hamachshil in this case will be totally exonerated, as was the case in the Monsey scandal, as was the case in Rubashkin, etc. After all, he was only following the same protocol that has been established.

steve said...

The NY State Assembly Codes Committee approved the Markey bill by an 11-9 vote. Now the bill heads to the full Assembly and Senate for a vote. Thanks to everyone for calling and e-mailing the Codes Committee members. Let's not let up until the Child Victims Act becomes law.

Arthur said...

Relevant nostalgia

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28I0JK0byLU

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

http://www.rabbihorowitz.com/PYes/ArticleDetails.cfm?Book_ID=1158&ThisGroup_ID=262&Type=Article&SID=47#Com_7888

64. Blaming the Victim 3/18/09 - 3:57 AM
Yakov Horowitz; Monsey NY - rabbihorwitz@rabbihorowitz.com

To shpole zaide and chaya -- #40 and 61:
As you may know, I have done quite a bit of work with abuse victims. The mindset of your posts is exactly how some people respond to rape and wife beating --

1) she was dressed in a way that provoked him to rape her

2) he is really a nice guy who only does this a tiny percent of the time

3) he beat her cause she got him so angry that he lost it.

I am not chas vshalom suggesting that you 2 are like that --only that you have been cnditioned to think this way.

"Miriam Shear started up with the kaniom by sitting in the front of the bus -- that's why they beat her"

sounds familiar????

I have privately said for years now -- this is the first time I am writing this in public -- that a high percentage of these violent criminals are child molestors, wife beaters and worse. This has nothing to do with religion. Nothing. They have an unhealthy obsession with women.

Mark my words. When the dust settles, you will be shocked to see how high the percentage is. I suspect each and every one of these thugs of the worst averos.

I welcome your thoughts.

Yakov

Most Rabbonim Today are Cowards said...

Don't forget the following about Babad and his Tartikov hashgocho.

- Babad himself was caught red-handed years ago allowing something unacceptable. The only one with enough spine to complain about it is Yudel Shain.

- After the Vaad of Flatbush threw out Negev on Ave J (an account with them for 45 years) because of kashrus violations by owner George Gross of the 5 Towns, Babad came running to scoop up the fee paying dog even though he was notified of the circumstances by Rabbi Mayer Goldberg. Because of this the Vaad then announced that any Babad certified foods are no longer allowed in Vaad establishments. The KIC then jumped in to smooth things over and twisted the arms of Babad (and Gornish) to sign a pledge that they will stop running to grab every place thrown out by other hashgochos.

- Babad is a huge letdown. The yeshivishe crowd expected a much higher standard from him over the rest of the Chassidish lineup because he learned in Brisk by R' Berel.

Most Rabbonim Today are Cowards said...

Last but not least

Babad had to have known about all the kashrus violations, hazardous and life threatening health violations and thievery at Ahava that he CONTINUES to certify.

Where's the outrage at YTT, Agudah and Margo? said...

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/03/18/us/AP-Child-Killer-Pastor.html

Filed at 9:23 a.m. ET

CHICHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- Angry residents of a small central New Hampshire town are demanding that authorities remove a convicted child killer from their community.

More than 200 residents of Chichester packed a town selectmen's meeting Tuesday, most of them calling for Raymond Guay's removal during about two hours of emotional testimony. Many parents said their children can't sleep and are afraid to play outside.

''I do not feel safe enough to walk to the mailbox, to allow my children to walk to the mailbox,'' resident Darlene Phelps said.

Guay pleaded guilty to murdering a 12-year-old Nashua boy in 1973. Police found the boy's body clad in just socks and undershorts, and glasses and a watch.

After 35 years behind bars, Guay was released in September and ordered to serve his parole in New Hampshire. Guay's release followed a failed attempt by state officials to keep him incarcerated as a dangerous sexual predator under federal law.

Guay went instead to a halfway house in Connecticut, but was returned to New Hampshire last week, where Concord residents loudly protested plans to put him there.

The Rev. David Pinckney, pastor of River of Grace Church in Concord, took Guay into his Chichester home this weekend after meeting him through a prison chaplain.

Pinckney did not attend the meeting or return calls but wrote in an open letter published Monday that Guay poses no threat and never leaves the house without adult supervision.

Authorities are advising Guay not to comment. He did not attend the meeting Tuesday.

Pinckney's wife and four of his children, ages 13 to 18, live in the house. His oldest son is away at college, and Guay has to leave in two months to make room for his return.

Pinckney has reported hearing gunshots outside his house, and one neighbor threatened to burn it down.

The selectmen voted 3-0 Tuesday to ask state and federal officials to boot Guay.

Federal parole officer Thomas Tarr said he can't legally remove Guay from Pinckney's home if he meets his probation requirements.

Tarr said two rooming houses in Concord rejected Guay last week after ''inflammatory'' media reports. He had to stay in a Concord hotel at a cost of $100 a day on the federal dime. Tarr would not disclose the hotel.

He told residents Tuesday that Guay has voluntarily agreed to wear a monitoring bracelet, but several parents said they doubted the bracelet would make their children any safer.

Tarr conceded that while Pinckney and Guay have agreed to a 60-day time limit, authorities could not enforce that agreement. But Tarr said his office has begun scouting two or three new locations for Guay outside Chichester. He did not elaborate.

Moetzes Resign! said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/18/nyregion/18judge.html?pagewanted=print

March 18, 2009

Parking Judge to Be Reassigned After Conflict-of-Interest Allegation

By RALPH BLUMENTHAL and JO CRAVEN McGINTY

Leopold Margulies said...

This website is not good for my blood pressure. It would be even worse if I wasn't fressing davka the chicken from Applegrad's mechutan Finkel, kashered with the "low sodium salt".

Belsky must be stewing said...

http://jta.org/news/article/2009/03/17/1003779/ou-not-opposed-to-statute-of-limitations-expansion-in-ny

By Eric Fingerhut · March 17, 2009

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Orthodox Union is not opposed to a New York State bill that would expand the statute of limitations on sexual abuse claims.

In a statement, the group said it "generally supports the expansion of the statute of limitations to enable victims of sexual abuse to pursue legal claims" and is "not opposed to this legislation."

The Catholic Church, which could be subject to a wave of lawsuits due to the change, is opposed to the Legislature's bill.

With recent reports of alleged sexual abuse by rabbis in some New York Orthodox communities, the legislation could have ramifications in the Jewish world as well. The New York Times reported last week that some Chasidic and Sephardic leaders in Brooklyn have been lobbying against the bill. Agudath Israel of America, a fervently Orthodox group, says it is still studying the issue.

The legislation would allow anyone claiming they were sexually abused as children a one-year exemption from the statute of limitations from the date of the bill's enactment -- meaning they could file a civil suit no matter when the alleged abuse occurred. After that one year, the statute of limitations for civil suits would be extended to 10 years after an alleged victim turns 18 from five years.

UOJ gets results said...

By WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM
Published: March 18, 2009
The accountant who provided auditing services to Bernard L. Madoff’s investment advisory business for more than a decade, operating out of a tiny storefront office in Rockland County, was charged on Wednesday with securities and investment adviser fraud in connection with Mr. Madoff’s vast Ponzi scheme.

The accountant, David G. Friehling, who became Mr. Madoff’s primary auditor in the early 1990s when his father-in-law retired and he took over the then-two man firm of Friehling & Horowitz, surrendered to federal authorities and prosecutors on Wednesday morning, according to a person briefed on the matter.

The charges are the first filed publicly since the 70-year-old Mr. Madoff pleaded guilty to fraud on Thursday and was remanded to a federal jail to await what is expected to be the equivalent of a life sentence. People briefed on the matter say they expect more cases to follow as prosecutors and F.B.I. agents focus on Mr. Madoff’s family members and employees despite his claim that he carried out the fraud completely alone.

Mr. Friehling’s arrest comes days after his 80-year-old father-in-law and former partner, Jeremy Horowitz, who had been suffering from cancer, died in Florida, on the same morning Mr. Madoff pleaded guilty in United States District Court in Lower Manhattan, the same courthouse where Mr. Frielhling will appear to be arraigned later Wednesday.

Mr. Horowitz had in recent days been interviewed by federal investigators who have been piecing together information about Mr. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, the person briefed on the matter said.

Mr. Friehling, 49, was charged in a six-count criminal complaint that accused him of one count each of securities and investment adviser fraud and four of making filing false filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission between the early 1990s and the present.

Mr. Friehling is a board member and past president of the Rockland County chapter of the New York Society of Certified Public Accountants, according to the group’s Web site. He also serves on the board of the JCC Rockland, a Jewish community center, according to that group’s tax filing.

Irwin Horowitz imitates Aron Twerski said...

Neither Mr. Friehling, who has been a focus of federal investigators since soon after Mr. Madoff’s arrest on Dec. 11, nor Mr. Horowitz, nor any of his family members have spoken publicly about what roles either of the men may have played in Mr. Madoff’s business or his crimes since the financier admitted a $50 billion Ponzi scheme to the F.B.I.

But someone who identified themselves as Mr. Horowitz’ son, Irwin, posted a poem about his father on the day of his death on a Web site called Newwest.com. The poem called Mr. Horowitz “a decent, honorable man,” provided some insight into his final weeks and months, and described how Mr. Madoff’s fraud affected his family.

“The irony that Bernard Madoff pled guilty to 11 counts of fraud, perjury and money laundering on this day is beyond measure,” Irwin Horowitz wrote. “My father’s passing has become part of this great American tragedy. He served as Mr. Madoff’s auditor for over three decades, before handing it off to my brother-in-law. He never suspected the crime that was happening.”

He added: “These last three months, since the Madoff scheme became public, have been a living nightmare for my entire family. This has been especially true for my father, who had spent his entire life building up both a reputation for honesty and integrity as well as an investment nest egg that would provide for my parent’s retirement. This reputation has suffered mightily simply from the association with Mr. Madoff.”

Agudah Fresser said...

Federal Labor Department figures show the restaurant industry has cut more than 100,000 jobs nationally since September;

According to the New York State Department of Labor, the New York City restaurant business lost more than 10,000 jobs between October 2008 and January 2009.

The economy is obviously a factor, but some in the business say they’re also seeing the results of a decade of exuberant, possibly unsustainable expansion of boychs at the Agudah Fresser Convention.

Rabbi Doniel Geltzhaler said...

Reb Lipa ess gezunt. Ich hut genummen gelt fun Finkel's shver un gepaskened az er ken betzoolen tarfus far nuch a halbe yoor. Gelt iz zayer vichtig far mir.

Reb Yanky use caution with these meshugaim.

Ho Ho Holder said...

The San Francisco Chronicle looks like it will stagger on thanks to union concessions, but is there a role for Big government?

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, worried about the fate of The Chronicle and other financially struggling Left Wing newspapers, urged the Justice Department Monday to consider giving Bay Area papers more leeway to merge or consolidate business operations to stay afloat.

"In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, released by Pelosi's office late Monday, the San Francisco Democrat asked the department to weigh the public benefit of saving The Chronicle and other papers from closure against the agency's antitrust mission to guard against anti-competitive behavior."

Hypocrite said...

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/01/22/obama-suprises-white-house-press-corps-visit-briefing-room/

Irritated Obama 'Stares Down' Reporter During Press Corps Visit

When a reporter tried to quiz President Obama on Thursday about a lobbyist chosen for a top Defense Department job, the president quickly became agitated.

According to reports, when the Politico's Jonathan Martin asked the president about his nominee for deputy secretary of defense, William Lynn, Obama refused to answer, saying he was not there to take questions.

"I came down here to visit. I didn't come down here -- this is what happens. I can't end up visiting you guys and shaking hands if I am going to grilled every time I come down here," the president said.

Pressed further by the Politico reporter about his Pentagon nominee, Obama turned more serious, putting his hand on the reporter's shoulder and staring him in the eye.

"All right, come on," he said, with obvious irritation in his voice. "We will be having a press conference, at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys -- that's all I was trying to do," Politico.com reported.

The situation came to a close when a cameraman in the room interrupted, declaring: "I'd like to say it one more time: 'Mr. President.'"

The nominee in question, William Lynn, is a former lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon, a pick Obama made in contradiction to his much-heralded anti-lobbying rules.

Obama was willing to field lighter questions, though.

Canvasser of Boog said...

Shmarya will be elated when the Black population figure will be grossly overstated to win them political chazirei from our tax dollars.

ACORN to Play Role in 2010 Census

The U.S. Census Bureau is working with several national organizations to recruit 1.4 million workers to produce the country's 2010 census, including one with a history of voter fraud charges: ACORN.

Cristina Corbin
FOXNews.com

The bureau is currently employing help from more than 250 national partners, including TARGET and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), to assist in the hiring effort.

But ACORN's partnership with the 2010 Census is worrisome to lawmakers who say past allegations of fraud should raise concerns about the organization.

"It's a concern, especially when you look at all the different charges of voter fraud. And it's not just the lawmakers' concern. It should be the concern of every citizen in the country," Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland, R-Ga., vice ranking member of the subcommittee for the U.S. Census, told FOXNews.com. "We want an enumeration. We don't want to have any false numbers."

Sounds like some Agudah rabbonim said...

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE52E06H20090316?sp=true

For centuries in China, the only men from outside the imperial family who were allowed into the Forbidden City's private quarters were castrated ones. They effectively swapped their reproductive organs for a hope of exclusive access to the emperor that made some into rich and influential politicians.

You can bet Rubashkin's lawyers will milk this said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/18/us/18juries.html?em=&pagewanted=print

March 18, 2009

As Jurors Turn to Web, Mistrials Are Popping Up

By JOHN SCHWARTZ

Rabbi Horowitz takes a swipe at Margo said...

By YAKOV HOROWITZ

On Sunday, Elhanan Buzaglo was sentenced to four years imprisonment for the vicious beating of a woman nine months ago in Jerusalem's Ma'alot Dafna neighborhood. Buzaglo, a member of a haredi mishmar hazniyut, a self-appointed modesty squad, pleaded guilty as part of a plea bargain struck with the State Attorney's Office.

Buzaglo, who broke into the 31-year-old divorcé's apartment along with four other men, was convicted of receiving $2,000 from the mishmar hazniyut for his role in the attack, which was intended to intimidate her into leaving the predominantly haredi neighborhood. Judge Noam Solberg wrote in his decision that "the punishment must reflect the abhorrence of his acts... and deter him and others like him."

Even though the Jerusalem District Court described the assailants as an "armed militia," Buzaglo, 29, was the only defendant to be convicted in this barbaric attack. According to newspaper reports last October, a series of flaws in the investigation, including a problem with the recording device, enabled Buzaglo's dispatchers - the modesty patrol members - to evade indictments.

From my vantage point, it is unfortunate that all those who participated in the vicious beating of a defenseless woman are not facing long prison sentences. But it is a great step forward and hopefully will mark a turning point in the attitude of law enforcement officials to these thugs.

AS AN EDUCATOR and a proud member of the haredi community, I appeal to all haredi Knesset members to display moxie and genuine leadership by calling a joint press conference where they repudiate all forms of violence and vow to bring to justice all those who perpetrate these types of attacks from this day forward. They should bring all law enforcement resources to bear to bring law and order to the streets of Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Bnei Brak and other areas where these people operate. If elected officials cannot commit themselves to protecting innocent women from vicious beatings, they should all resign and be replaced by people who will.

There is no question in my mind that the vast, overwhelming majority of haredi Jews worldwide feel as I do: disgraced and shamed when these events occur, and frustrated that there seems to be little that we can do to remove this stain from our shirts. Many members of our community are reluctant to speak out publicly, fearing that doing so will cause a hillul Hashem, a desecration of God's name. However, I propose that remaining silent in the face of violent and lawless acts perpetrated by individuals purporting to represent Torah values is the greatest hillul Hashem of all.

The time has come for us to speak out, telling our children and students in unequivocal terms, "These people are criminals and sinners - and do not represent us!" Our publications should begin reporting these incidents in the news sections of our papers, condemn them in our editorials and call upon the police to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law.

We should stop using politically correct terms like "misguided youths" to describe cowards who beat women for sitting in the "wrong" sections of buses and physically assault peaceful citizens who do not dress according to their standards - observant or otherwise. "Misguided youth" implies that they engaged in a prank like a water fight or that they went overboard in pursuit on a noble goal. There is nothing noble about these acts - or the terrorist mentality that glorifies them.

THE VIOLENT MEMBERS of these self-appointed modesty patrols are, in fact, a modern-day version of the Sadducee sect - having long ago veered off the path of our Torah and formed their own cult. They kneel to the idol of intolerance and bring the blood and bruised bodies of their victims on the altar of hatred. They only lack the intellectual honestly to declare themselves a new, nonreligious movement divorced of any rabbinic teaching and tradition.

But violence corrupts not only the souls of the perpetrators, but also those of the silent majority of decent people who sit by and allow it to take place. And in this 24-hour news cycle and worldwide digital communication, like it or not, admit it or not, these thugs have replaced our venerable sages as ambassadors of our haredi community to the world at large (a Google search of the words haredi and violence generates 26,200 hits). To our great shame, we have allowed these evil people to represent us before the world media instead of our noble sages from whom we receive inspiration and guidance. The Hafetz Haim and Rabbi Aryeh Levine of blessed memory have been replaced by Yasser Arafat (aka Lipa Margulies) and Hassan Nasrallah. Burning garbage cans and hurled stones have supplanted Torah learning and acts of kindness.

We must clearly and unequivocally condemn the violence each time it happens in the strongest language. Halachic rulings ought to be issued that those who commit violence against innocent people are rodfim (individuals who present a real and present danger to others), and one is obligated by our Torah to defend the victim and report the criminals to the police.

I am posting this column on my Web site (www.rabbihorowitz.com) and I respectfully call upon haredim worldwide to post a comment at the bottom with your name and the city where you live supporting the sentiments expressed here.

If enough Torah-observant individuals stand up, distance ourselves from these criminals and demand action from our elected officials, we might affect changes which will restore honor to God's name and end these acts of terror that plague us.

The writer is the dean of a yeshiva in the New York area and has authored books on parenting and Torah thoughts. He recently received the 2008 Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education.

Mark Meyer Appel said...

“The Agudath Israel should have written a bill four years ago, five years ago, to protect our kids,” Appel told The Jewish Week. “They are protecting their schools.

The people on the board of directors of the Agudath Israel of America have a conflict of interest because they also run schools. ... Sexual predators are sick people.

Those that protect sexual predators are worse than sick people. ... It is because of them that the sexual crimes are committed.”

UOJ agents headed from Albany to Washington said...

A hilarious scene just took place at the Congressional hearings on AIG.

A bunch of protesters got up at the back of the chamber with signs that said "Geithner, Resign!".

Representative Paul Kanjorski, Democrat of Pennsylvania, was furious that they were making choyzek of the Obama Administration, so he yelled at them to put the signs down and sent Capitol Hill police over to them.

Briskers rock the house! said...

Check out comment #97 on Rabbi Horowitz's blog:

http://www.rabbihorowitz.com/PYes/ArticleDetails.cfm?Book_ID=1158&ThisGroup_ID=262

A mol gelernt in Brisk - Long Island, NY

Rabbi Horowitz, yasher koyech and please do not stop here. We know there are forces trying to silence you.

The Yerushalmi menuvolim are only laymen. There are many other gangsters posing as our rabbonim and manhigim who do kol dovor ra in the name of Yiddishkeit r"l.

Among other cases, a sociopath with a white beard and long levush in Brooklyn has fostered the sexual abuse of young boys for decades by the rebbeim in his "yeshiva" that is still considered popular by the shallow masses. Despite the decisive rulings by the gedolei Eretz Yisroel that child abusers must be stopped at all cost, the empty reklach posing as the gedolei America are guilty of what you aptly describe as the greatest chilul Hashem of all - the cover up. You were mechaven to Rav Carlebach ztl, the last Rov of Hamburg, who said that covering up chilul Hashem leads to even greater chilul Hashem when the cover up is exposed.

R' Chaim (Soloveitchik) ztl said the duty of a rov is to help those who have tzoress. Not only has one of our "leading" organizations done zero to help abuse victims but their spokesman insults them and rubs salt into their wounds every time he opens his foolish mouth on the subject or shall I say to deny the subject. I know that yenner tipesh is reading this website and I will have him know that a large segment of the oylam he purports to represent, including many rabbonim are disgusted with him and his superiors. R' Chaim ztl would also not join this very same organization doros ago, predicting that they would come to this. This gadol beyisroel of times past had a more elegant way of saying the lunatics would be running the asylum.

It is time to work with the real gedolim to stop this machlah. Not the manufactured gedolim by virtue of cronyism and photo ops as R' Berel ztl would say.

Vehamayven yoven.

Gil Student said...

"the only men from outside the imperial family who were allowed into the Forbidden City's private quarters were castrated ones. They effectively swapped their reproductive organs for a hope of exclusive access that made some rich and influential"

What about if someone never grew a pair to begin with?

rabbihorowitz.com said...

Yossi Ginzberg - New York City

Thanks, Rabbi Horowitz- It's a brave and necessary thing to disavow the crazies, the apologists, and the abusers among us.

It's a sad comment that hundreds wrote in to the heimishe news website about an alleged treif hotdog incident, and so many fewer to support something this important.

Why do we have a rabbinate that can join together quickly to ban one Lipa, yet takes years to even make a comment about the other Lipa, the protector of abusers? Why will "they" not disavow those who abuse others, the Jewish Taliban, like this article does?

Why are the gedolim there for thrips and cocapods, Indian hair and goyish music, and not there for child abuse, sexual abuse, agunos, chilul Hashem and fraud amongst the "frum" world and even amongst the rabbonim themselves?

Why don't they realize that they are driving away more people than the kiruv programs bring in with this behavior?

Stay brave, Rabbi. Don't let the small-minded ones deter you.

UOJ gets results said...

http://www.intrade.com/

Timothy F. Geithner has taken a lot of fire in his short tenure as Treasury secretary. Now some individuals are gambling that his time in the Obama administration won’t last much longer.

On Intrade, users are betting on a futures contract that pays out if Mr. Geithner is out of his job by June 30. Right now, the futures contract shows a low probability of that happening — it’s currently at 15 percent, or $1.50. Still, that’s up from previous levels, according to the prediction market’s Web site.

Calls for Mr. Geithner’s resignation have grown louder after the flap over $165 million in bonus payments at the American International Group, the insurance giant bailed out by the government. (Clusterstock’s Henry Blodget, for one, has been arguing for this for weeks.)

At Wednesday’s hearing on Capitol Hill to talk about the A.I.G. bailout and its problems, Mr. Geithner took some heat, in absentia, from more than one lawmaker.

Isn’t it puzzling, asks Mr. Garrett, a Republican congressman from New Jersey, that an official like Mr. Geithner, the Obama administration’s new treasury secretary, expressed surprise about these contracts and executive compensation packages last week, given that he’s completely familiar with Wall Street (and with A.I.G. for that matter) and its business-as-usual practice of mega-bonuses.

yenner tipish said...

UOJ make up your mind, is Rabbi Perlow a horses ass or dog dung or both?

Israel Belsky SHLITA said...

There are only so many Briskers living in Long Island. I'll find out who this UOJ wannabe is and send him a hazmono!

Avi L. Shafran said...

I must be missing something. Bungalow Putz Neuhoff just called me all frantic that I'm being ripped to pieces again here and on Rabbi Horowitz's blog. I read every comment and don't see my name mentioned.

I've got my dunce cap off and scratching my head in bewilderment.

Harry Maryles said...

Avi Shafran is one of my favorite people.

Marvin Schick said...

I suspected all along that it must have been Arabs who hired that Sefardi Buzaglo to beat up the woman. Heimishe Yidden simply don't act that way. Lehoraaya, Buzaglo was the only one charged with the crime. No surprise since the "statistics" that I alone understand don't allow for any other conclusion. Case closed.

Ombudsman said...

UOJ and readers are invited to shed some light on this as I'm confused.

How does R' Yankel Horowitz get away with this on an Agudath Israel of America website, speaking as one of their officers?

Is this some sick joke from Zweibel, kind of like the old "good cop, bad cop" routine? Or are their forces trying to get the good rabbi booted from the organization?

Ombudsman said...

And agav UOJ, you may want to carefully word your support of UTJ. While it is commendable that any group of Jews is tackling the abuse problem, UTJ is not exactly a stalwart representative of Torah umitzvos. They are mostly a bunch of Conservative "rabbis" who had to break with JTS only because accepting faygelach was too much for them. The remainder are some fringe modern orthodox (for lack of a better term) who think that YU is something akin to Satmar. And many among both components are outspoken kofrim.

steve said...

Ombudsman,

Speaking for myself, I would much rather align myself with JTS in fighting against child molesters, than align myself with the Catholic Church (like Niederman and the Sephardic Frauds)in protecting molesters.

I was attacked 10 times in Jerusalem said...

Nancy Cuevas Guzman - currently, Valencia Spain - genesischapter32@yahoo.com

Dear Rabbi Horowitz,
Thank you for this article and for your efforts. I personally experienced the violence that you speak of by Charaedim and had to flee Jerusalem! More painful than the violence was the fact that other Jews blamed me! I was told that I was hurting others by speaking out and thereby causing people to not believe in the Torah. I was also made to feel embarrassment because I complained about this violence. I was told that I should not embarrass others, even my tormentors! Two rabbis called me "emotional", which also implies that "something is wrong with me". I came to Israel with all my heart and soul, with much zeal and love for Torah....and this is what I got??? I have been so deeply traumatized by the shunning of religious Jews who I thought would protect me. Israel should have been the best experience of my life, not the most painful. I still have nightmares from it, but I have only been gone for 7 weeks.

I continue to receive threats, just recently even, because I decided to tell my story for I knew there must be others who experienced this. Just as I suspected, women have contacted me with similar stories. Our biggest problem is just the same old thing that the prophets have said over and over. We do not practice Justice. THERE IS NO JUSTICE!!! Apparantly we never learn this lesson although it is cited hundreds of times in Tanach. Example: Micah says, "Hear you leaders of Jacob, rulers in the House of Israel...Is it not your duty to know what is right?...you who abhor what is just and pervert all that is right who build up Zion with bloodshed and Jerusalem with wickedness!" We should all know by now that Hashem doesn't care for sacrifices. He just wants us to have Justice and Kindness and Walk in His Ways. Isn't that simple and beautiful? I hope someday we will finally get our act together, but we need you and others to continue to speak out. This is how we educate others and bring about change. Thank you, Rabbi, for really doing your job well. Bravo!

Nancy Cuevas Guzman Valencia, Spain

Anonymous said...

Sex-Abuse Statute Bill Clears Hurdle
Hella Winston, NY Jewish Week

A bill in the New York State legislature to extend the criminal and civil statutes of limitations on child sexual abuse, and to open a one-year window for victims to file civil suits regardless of when the alleged abuse took place, appears to be splitting the Orthodox community. And it is revealing what may be a growing gap between some of the established communal organizations and the people they claim to represent.

The bill, which was sponsored by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Queens), cleared its first hurdle on Tuesday when it was approved 11-8 by the Assembly Codes Committee. It will now be scheduled for a vote on the Assembly floor.

A rival bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn), was defeated by the committee. The Lopez bill, which was supported by the Catholic Church, extended the statutes of limitations by fewer years and, significantly, did not contain the one-year window provision. The Markey bill has a Senate sponsor, Sen. Thomas Duane (D-Manhattan).

The Markey bill is controversial primarily for the one-year window, which would enable those presently barred from making claims against their abusers — and the institutions that harbored them — to file suits. Given the spate of recent allegations of long-term cover-ups of abuse in the Orthodox world, this legislation could have a significant impact on these communities and their institutions.

While Agudath Israel, an umbrella group representing the haredi community, has not yet taken a public position on the bill, it has been reported that United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, a communal social services organization headed by Rabbi David Niederman, was backing the Lopez bill. Calls to Niederman’s office by The Jewish Week were not returned.

In contrast, on Monday the Orthodox Union, a centrist Orthodox umbrella group, issued a statement in “[general support of] the expansion of the statute of limitations to enable victims of sexual abuse to pursue legal claims.” The statement added that “we are not opposed to this legislation [the Markey bill].”

Meanwhile, several grassroots groups have been mobilizing in support of the Markey bill.

Survivors for Justice, an organization founded by survivors of child sexual abuse in the Orthodox community, sent a bus of supporters to Albany last week and followed up that trip with a letter-writing campaign to members of the Codes Committee.

In its letter to lawmakers, the group wrote that “The problem of sexual abuse has gone unchecked in the Orthodox Jewish community for decades and has now reached epidemic proportions as schools within the community and their administrators, as well as the communal institutions and the rabbis who supervise and guide these schools, continue the cover-up. ... Please understand that some of the very same people guilty of horrific cover-ups are now claiming to represent the community in opposition to the bill. Organizations such as Agudath Israel of America and United Jewish Organizations (UJO) have both been identified as having employed and/or protected known pedophiles for decades. They now misrepresent the wishes of the Orthodox Jewish community as their sole interest is in shielding the culpable institutions whose criminal acts are now being exposed.”

According to a spokesman for Survivors for Justice, the mention of Agudath Israel in the letter refers to the “decades-long employment of Yehuda Kolko,” an alleged pedophile twice convicted of endangering the welfare of a child, in Camp Agudah, a division of Agudath Israel, where several members of the group allege he molested campers. As for UJO, one of the Survivors for Justice’s founding members, Joel Engelman, has claimed that UJO’s head, Rabbi David Niederman, has worked behind the scenes on behalf of United Talmudical Academy, a Satmar yeshiva in Williamsburg, to prevent the firing of a teacher Engelman alleges molested him at the school when he was 8 years old. Niederman has denied the charge to the Jewish Week.

Uri L’Tzedek, an organization whose mission, according to founder and co-director Shmuly Yanklowitz, is “to bring education and activism and inspiration to the Orthodox Jewish community to live by more just practices and to create a more just society,” organized a letter-writing campaign and telethon to legislators, and sent out e-mails to its listerv of several thousand people urging them to voice their support for Markey’s bill.

Reached Monday, an aide in the office of Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, who chairs the Assembly Codes Committee, confirmed that the office had been flooded with calls in support of the Markey bill.

Yanklowitz believes that “current Orthodox organizations that are taking a stand against the bill [represent] a failure of moral leadership [and are disregarding the long-term impact on] innocent victims of child abuse merely to save their own money and reputations.”

Levi Goldenberg, a co-founder of an organization called the Committee for Safeguarding Orthodox Children, also traveled to Albany last week and sent a letter to lawmakers on behalf of his group in support of Markey’s bill.
“Some executives in power of some private institutions such as schools, synagogues, mikvehs ... have done everything in their power to keep these stories quiet, out of fear of financial damage,” the letter reads. “[And] by doing so they have simply turned their eye on the holiness and spirituality of the human soul and the godly will of sympathy and justice in the most unorthodox Torah and halachic ... manner.”

Goldenberg, who is from Williamsburg, claims his group represents “the silent voice of the younger generation of the Orthodox community. There is an awakening in the community.” He claims he is hoping to “educate, give information to our crowd [so that they will be] more aware. [They should make the connection that] the ones who are against this bill are exactly the ones who are educating are children.”
Mark Meyer Appel, a self-described community activist and founder of a group called Am Echad, urged support of the bill on the Zev Brenner radio show last Saturday night and also organized a small group to distribute fliers about it on 13th Avenue in Borough Park and in Williamsburg on Monday.

“[The Agudath Israel] should have written a bill four years ago, five years ago, to protect our kids,” Appel told The Jewish Week. “They are protecting their schools. The people on the board of directors of the Agudath Israel of America have a conflict of interest because they also run schools. ... Sexual predators are sick people. Those that protect sexual predators are worse than sick people. ... [It is] because of them that the sexual crimes are committ

Syrian Haramie (Putz) said...

Hey Steve, how dare you criticize Sephardic Federation head David Greenfield. Don't you know his mother is the yenta shadchan from Boro Park?

Tsk tsk, no respect.

Gumshoe said...

Does UOJ have any information that the SYs have molestation scandals that they are teaming up with Satmar to cover up? Talk about strange bedfellows.

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

Does UOJ have any information that the SYs have molestation scandals

*

Sort of tells you that the SYs are not immune to mental illness or evil - nor is any particular group, religion, race or creed!

The Jewish Star said...

Seeking second shot at predator clergy

Bid to restart clock on civil penalties passes NY Assembly


By Michael Orbach

Issue of March 20, 2009 / 24 Adar 5769 It was Pearl Engelman’s first trip to Albany.The Satmar woman, hair covered with a blonde sheitel, dressed in accordance with the strictest laws of Jewish modesty, was aboard a chartered bus filled with survivors of sexual abuse and Brooklyn community activists.

They were on their way to Albany to lobby for passage of the Child Victim’s Act, a bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Queens) that would extend the criminal statute of limitations for child sexual abuse from the victim’s 18th birthday to the 23rd, and the statute of limitations for civil damages from a victim’s 23rd birthday to the 28th.

More importantly, the legislation would open a yearlong window to file civil lawsuits in cases where the statute of limitations has already expired.Pearl distributed nuts and dried fruit left over from mishloach manot. As the bus reached the RFK Triborough Bridge she passed around photos of her son, Joel, who sat a number of rows behind her watching a video iPod.The first photo showed Joel in front of a cake on his 18th birthday.

He wore a long black coat and black velvet hat, surrounded by brothers-in- law and sisters also in Chassidic garb.

The second image was a grainy black and white snapshot. It was taken on Joel’s 19th birthday, Pearl explained. His once curly peyos (side locks) were gone, his hair was long; he resembled a heavy metal musician.“He has the face of an angel,” Pearl said, running her finger over the edges of the photograph “We didn’t know anything.”Joel Engelman is currently suing Rabbi Avrohom Reichman, a teacher at the United Talmudic Academy, for sexually abusing him over a two-month period beginning when Joel was eight.

The lawsuit also accuses United Talmudic Academy of reinstating Reichman as soon as Joel turned 23 and the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse ran out. Joel’s attorney is Elliot Pasik of Long Beach.

The Albany trip was organized by Survivors for Justice, an organization that helps Jewish victims of sexual abuse work with police and civil authorities. Joel is a founding member. So far the group has brought mainstream attention to the issue of sexual abuse inside the orthodox community, including a confrontation between Engelman and his accused molester that aired on Channel 11 News.

Standing with her son who looms a head taller than her and dresses all in black, Pearl cuts a striking figure. She declined to be photographed but invited a reporter to her house for Shabbat. As an orthodox woman, Pearl represents a rare type of reluctant activist.“I’m fighting for my son’s life,” she explained.Pearl spent her day in a whirlwind of meetings with legislators attempting to drum up support for the perennial bill.

It has passed the Assembly three times but failed each time to be brought to the Senate, largely due to former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno and the influence of the Catholic Church, which would be liable for back damages in a large number of cases.The bill passed the Assembly on Tuesday and was awaiting possible consideration in the State Senate.

Marci Hamilton, a Cardozo Law School professor and author of “Justice Denied: What America Must Do To Protect Its Children,” believed the bill had a strong chance of succeeding.“We all remain cautiously optimistic,” she explained by phone two days after the trip. “I think we’re at a tipping point for survivors for sexual abuse.”Supporters stress that most victims do not come forward until they reach adulthood. For that reason, they say, current statutes make it nearly impossible to file criminal charges or bring civil suits.

Hamilton credited a cross-denominationa l lobbying effort by Catholic and Jewish survivors of sexual abuse to push the bill forward. Representatives of both groups met in Albany to lobby for the bill.“The story’s the same, it’s an abuse of authority,” explained Jim Shovah, whose son was raped by the family’s preacher.

“I didn’t know I was turning my son over to a lion.”Speaking to The Jewish Star, Assemblywoman Markey, the bill’s sponsor, was open to the challenges her legislation will face.“My fear is with my own church they’re using finance as a reason for not doing my legislation. The real reason is they don’t want members of my church to know how extensive it [sexual abuse] is,” she explained.In November, Dennis Paust, the spokesperson for the New York Catholic Conference told The Jewish Star that his group opposes the bill since it unfairly targets non-profits and private institutions.

The bill is “about bankrupting the Church,” he said, and the Child Victim Act is simply “a trial lawyer bill to enrich trial lawyers.”Another opponent is Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn) , who sponsored a competing bill that would only extend the statute of limitations by five years and would not provide a new window for civil claims by abuse survivors. In a heated exchange with members of Survivors for Justice, Lopez defended his position by noting that the bill only extends the window for victims of private institutions and not public schools.“That’s discriminatory,” Lopez said.When it was pointed out that Lopez voted for the measure three times in the past, when it passed the Assembly, he explained that on the last three occasions he “had not read it.

”Rabbi David Niederman, Executive Director of the United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg, said that they were supporting Lopez’s bill.“This year-long window will make it impossible for innocent people to defend themselves and it will serve as a deterrent for qualified professionals to pursue a teaching career in private institutions,” Niederman said.

[In the end, Lopez's amended bill never made it out of committee and the Markey version, with the one year window provision, is what will go to the Senate for consideration. ]

However, support for or against the bill in the Jewish community is not uniform. “The Jewish community is not nearly as centralized. Even a large number of the rabbis would not mean the Jewish community is opposed or in favor,” Hamilton noted.

Rabbi David Zwiebel, Agudath Israel’s Executive Vice President, said that they have not yet taken a position on the issue.“It’s a subject of conversation at the highest levels of our rabbinical leadership,” Rabbi Zwiebel told The Jewish Star.“There are likely to be real-life cases that are resuscitated as a result of the passage of such a bill. And that is part of the consideration,” he elaborated. “You can’t ignore the real world potential of a bill like this in evaluating whether it is the correct thing for our community to embrace. On the other hand, you can’t ignore the real impact on victims of abuse.”After a wearying day, the bus left Albany at 4:30 p.m. and arrived back in Williamsburg close to 8:00.

Midway through the ride, the bus erupted in cheers when it was announced that Israel Weingarten, who was accused of sexually abusing his daughters, had been found guilty. Pearl asked her son to take out a sweet noodle kugel from the brown bag and give it out to the rest of the riders.“It’s not up to us to accomplish,” she said, echoing a passage in the Talmud. “It’s for us to do.

”This online story reflects developments that took place after the press deadline of the March 20, 2009 issue of The Jewish Star.

Cut the Crap already, Zweibel said...

Rabbi David Zwiebel, Agudath Israel’s Executive Vice President, said that they have not yet taken a position on the issue.“It’s a subject of conversation at the highest levels of our rabbinical leadership,” Rabbi Zwiebel told The Jewish Star.“There are likely to be real-life cases that are resuscitated as a result of the passage of such a bill. And that is part of the consideration,” he elaborated. “You can’t ignore the real world potential of a bill like this in evaluating whether it is the correct thing for our community to embrace. On the other hand, you can’t ignore the real impact on victims of abuse.”

///////////////////////////

Be moydeh al haemess for once & admit you're scared of UOJ and the legions of frum people who have gotten his wake up call. Der far, you know you can't get away with the same old stonewalling but have to come up with a creative strategy.

If I had to take one guess ... said...

Some REAL gedolim are saying to do the right thing but the yokels down at 42 Broadway are trying to weasel out of it because of the can of worms that will be opened and expose all the evils they have done.

A little bit of advice, boys: the fallout from Marge Markey's bill in oylam hazeh is going to be a lot easier to handle that what's waiting for you in oylam haboh.

The Censor is alive and well said...

I politely protested against a reader at Rabbi Horowitz's blog for using a quote from R' Noach Weinberg to criticize people. I didn't feel it was proper considering that his nephew wanted for questioning over molestation, skipped the country and has been hanging out for years at his uncle's yeshiva.

The Agudah sucks immediately started pressing the button to flag an offensive post and it was deleted by the administrator in about 10 minutes.

Huh? said...

Well, the Weinberg post was deleted but now it's back again somehow. Let's see if stays up.

Sorry for the unnecessary drama.

steve said...

Hey Steve, how dare you criticize Sephardic Federation head David Greenfield

What's ironic is that Greenfield is not even Sephardic. I bet that 90% of the Sephardic community doesn't even know who the hell he is. He's a self-appointed fraud cut from the same cloth as David Niederman and Leib Tropper.

Anonymous said...

UOJ, can you please start covering the Weingarten drama that is playing out in ihr hakodesh Monsey. Rabbis Moshe Green, SS Schoor (right hook Avrum's older brother, and mechutan of Grand Rabbi Of Gur), Geldt-Tzeiler and Chaim Flohr have openly supported Weingarten and ruled it mesira to try to imprison the dog. They are raising thousands for his appeal of the guilty on all counts verdict handed down last week. They are also terrorizing those askanim who are defending the victims and terrorizing other victims of his from his years as rosh yeshiva and the parents of the babies who the Weingarten kids babysat atc.
They have organized a counter suit against the mother and playing with the children's minds. The big money is on the side of Weingarten and maybe you can get the pressure ratcheted up on these rabbis. Or perhaps a phone call to educate them would suffice.
The feds are confident they can put him away for 50 years but these guys are working on overdrive to have the last laugh.

boog said...

Hey Zwiebel;

Have Rachmonus on your Louimasized ASS and get off The Fence.

Time for you and The Agudah to do the Yashrus-digeh thing and put your support on the side of the Molestees.

Support and advocate for the Marky Bill.

The Censor is Alive and well said...

Yes, the post on Matis Weinberg was removed and this time for good. The blog administrator wrote "removed by community".

Why does Rabbi Horowitz allow criticism of Mondrowitz but not Matis Weinberg?

Anonymous said...

UOJ,
Who's the jackass with the pained expression in the left hand column? Looks like he's constipated! Is that Jacob Perlow?

Please caption your pictures so that those of us who are privileged to NOT live in the cesspool of Brooklyn know who these are photos of.

Abner Louima said...

Boog,

Comparing my tuchess to Chaim Dovid Zweibel is an insult!

Apologize!

steve said...

Weingarten is a bona fide card carrying member of Yedei Esav. He certainly qualifies for pidyon shvuyim funds. Look at the length of his beard. Payos makes you a platinum member.

Malach HaMovies said...

From Wikipedia -

The Volozhin yeshiva closed in 1892. The proximate reason for the closure was the Russian government's demand for the introduction of certain secular studies. Rabbi Berlin refused to comply and allowed the government to close the yeshiva. [1

If the Volozhin yeshiva closed because of the demand of secular studies by the russian goverment then Al Achas Kama V'Kama the yeshivas today that allowed molester rabbis to roam free should be shut down !!! UOJ compared them rightfully to a Ir Hanidachas (a city that must be destroyed and burned down) !!!

Judaism survived when Volozhin closed down. It will continue to survive when these yeshivas are shut down and their "Vantzen" molesters and enablers are thrown into jail.

KAJ Secretary said...

Rav Shimon Schwab zt"l was asked about freeing criminals from jail, is this called pidyon shevuyim or not?

He said "I don't understand how anyone can see criminals in jail as being in the category of shivuyim. It wasn't like they didnt put themselves there. They chose to break the law and now they are paying the price.

It is nothing less than a chillul HaShem to have Jews agitating to free obvious criminals, like they don't deserve punishment. People will say "see these Jews are lawbreakers and don't respect the law of the land." We have enough trouble already.

My view is that we should help them, see to their needs, make sure they have what they need in prison. But not try to get them out."

Observant Jew said...

Here are the lead stories on the front page of today's NY Times:

U.S. to Aid Auto Industry With $5 Billion for Suppliers

By BILL VLASIC 12:54 PM ET
The Obama administration announced a fund to guarantee payments to parts suppliers for products shipped to automakers.

Fed’s Move Still Shaking Up Markets

By JACK HEALY 12:25 PM ET
The Fed’s decision to inject $1 trillion into the economy pushed the price of government bonds higher and dragged down the value of the dollar.

Obama & the Democrats are printing so much money that Kudlow is talking today about runaway inflation and making bonfires with greenback.

Why do you think gold is up $75 an ounce in a few hours?

When Germany tried Obama style economics in the 1930s it led to anti-Semitism because everyone likes a convenient scapegoat.

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

...And the dollar took a huge hit yesterday just after the Fed's announcement to pump $1.2 Trillion dollars into an "unknown" amount of failing entities. We don't even know who they are and where the money is going.

Geithner knew about the $165 million in AIG bonuses 3 days before they were embezzled out of AIG.

Chris Dodd wrote the language stipulating for the bonuses to be handed out at the same time he authorized $85 Billion in Bailout money to AIG. (After he said he had nothing to do with it)

The US government is becoming one big Agudah Convention - 365 days a year - where everyone lies about everything and pats each other on the back for the great job they're doing.

We're doomed if this keeps up!

Joe Putz said...

"The US government is becoming one big Agudah Convention"

It won't be long until White House spokesman Robert Gibbs criticizes UOJ at a press conference like he's doing to all the CNBC personalities.

And Harry Reid will get James Carville to launch a redux of Tuvya's Blog.

UOJ gets results said...

House Passes Heavy Tax on Bonuses for Rescued Firms

By DAVID STOUT 14 minutes ago

Spurred by anger over A.I.G. bonuses, the House voted 328 to 93 to levy a 90 percent tax on any company accepting more than $5 billion in bailout money.

Boog gets results said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/nyregion/19paterson.html

March 19, 2009

On Tour of New York, Paterson Gets an Earful

By JEREMY W. PETERS

Gov. David A. Paterson came to Niagara Falls eager to explain his budget plan.

But a social studies teacher, Ric Marasco, had something else on his mind: the state’s purchase of a $200 toaster for the governor’s mansion.

“A good way to lead is by example,” Mr. Marasco, 58, said scoldingly at a town meeting. “You’re not demonstrating how you’re feeling our pain — if at all you’re feeling our pain.”

Such is the political reality facing the governor these days, when a home appliance can touch off an angry public tongue-lashing.

Mr. Paterson embarked on a statewide tour of town hall meetings late last year, viewing it as a chance to sell his budget to voters and showcase his trademark wit and approachable demeanor. But with his poll numbers low and the economic outlook worsening day by day, the meetings lately have at times erupted into displays of distress over his leadership and the direction of the state.

Radio ads broadcast before the meetings urge people to attend and voice their views about Mr. Paterson’s proposed budget cuts. He is greeted by protesters, sometimes by the dozens, who pass out instructions telling the crowd to stand up and chant at certain points in his remarks. Mr. Paterson, who is flanked by two state troopers on each end of the stage, has been heckled and jeered to the point where he has had to ask the audience to settle down.

No one from the governor’s office screens the questions, and the lack of vetting, which has created some concern inside the administration, has led to some unexpected moments.

At the Niagara Falls meeting, Mr. Paterson was confronted by a retiree who asked why lawmakers could not sacrifice, given that people like her were having to get by with less. Mr. Paterson then agreed to cut his $179,000 salary by 10 percent.

Arthur said...

Noch ah ganiv and another chilul Hashem.

http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/investigative/090318_Brooklyn_Bill_Collector

steve said...

PINTER GETS EIGHT YEARS IN THE SLAMMER:

Brooklyn, NY - A former executive at a New York mortgage lender was sentenced to more than eight years in prison on Thursday after pleading guilty to defrauding Fannie Mae (FNM.N) in a $44 million home refinancing scheme.


Leib Pinter, 64, was also ordered to pay more than $43 million in restitution. Prosecutors say that Pinter's scheme left Fannie Mae holding about that amount in unpaid principal of refinanced mortgage loans through his scheme.


The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge Sandra Townes in Brooklyn, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York said in a statement.


A lawyer for Pinter was not immediately available for comment.


Pinter, a former executive of Brooklyn mortgage lender Olympia Mortgage Corp, pleaded guilty in September 2008 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.


His firm originated and serviced home loans owned by Fannie Mae. Prosecutors said in court papers when the case was filed last year that when Olympia refinanced a Fannie Mae loan, Fannie typically wired the money to an Olympia bank account.


Olympia was then required to pay off the underlying mortgage loan by sending the outstanding balance to Fannie. But instead, prosecutors said, Pinter misappropriated the proceeds to pay his company's operating expenses and to enrich himself.


Another former Olympia executive, Barry Goldstein, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bank fraud in January, according to court records.


Prosecutors said Goldstein committed fraud in connection with Olympia's sale of a portfolio of mortgage loans to Credit Suisse Group AG affiliate Credit Suisse First Boston using falsified loan histories. Goldstein is awaiting sentencing.

boog said...

UOJ;

We're already doomed. 2010 Congressional Elections can't come soon enough.

boog said...

Abner;

You're right.

You were sodomized and had no control.

Zwiebel's is self-inflicted in the name of D-ASS Toiyrah.

rabbihorowitz.com comments said...

Thank you Rabbi Horowitz for your well written plea to stop Jewish criminal behavior.
In situations of criminal activity where the spouse and children BENEFITTED from the crime, they should SUFFER because of the crime as well.

The lesson we show our kids is "Nu, do the crime and we'll bail you out with pidyon shevuyim. We'll support your family while you cool your heals. It's nisht azoi geferlach". Pidyon shevuyim is only in extenuating circumstances, certainly not to premeditated violent criminal activity or threats.

By having misplaced pity we encourage criminality to continue. Hamerachem Al Ha'Achzorim Sofo Le'Achzer Al Harachmonim. Plus, what message is being sent to the rest of the world?

steve said...

Maybe the Yedei Esav committee can petition to get Pinter salami and cheese sandwiches. They'll make sure it's Rubashkin salami with Ahava/Morning Select cheese.

Where was the OU mashgiach? said...

Sleeping or playing on the computer like at the Winnipeg fish company?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/19/AR2009031903204.html

By Lyndsey Layton
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 20, 2009; Page A02

Nestlé USA, considering whether to buy ingredients from Peanut Corporation of America, twice sent its own inspectors to check out the company. Both times, they rejected the company after finding sanitary problems at its facilities in Georgia and Texas, noting rat droppings, live beetles, dead insects and the potential for microbial contamination.

It proved to be a good call.

Today, Peanut Corporation of America stands accused by federal investigators of knowingly selling peanut products contaminated with salmonella bacteria, which triggered a criminal investigation, the largest food recall in American history and an outbreak of illness that has sickened at least 691 people and killed nine since September.

Much like Rubashkin-OU-Pesach Lerner said...

http://www.ajc.com/services/content/printedition/2009/03/20/peanut0320.html

Peanut case reveals inspector-company ties

By Bob Keefe, Craig Schneider

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Friday, March 20, 2009

Washington —- As federal legislators prepared to revamp the nation’s food-safety system, they examined the cozy relationship between food inspectors and the companies they inspect —- exemplified by the company linked to the salmonella outbreak —- at a congressional hearing Thursday.

Legislators expressed outrage when it was revealed inspectors that were hired and paid by Peanut Corp. of America notified the company in advance when they were coming, told them to prepare for inspections and then gave its plants glowing reviews.

Hypocrite and Phony said...

http://features.csmonitor.com/politics/2009/03/19/president-obama-makes-a-special-olympics-joke-staffer-apologizes/

President Obama makes a Special Olympics joke - staffer apologizes

By Jimmy Orr | 03.19.09

President Obama told Jay Leno that he recently bowled a 129 at the White House bowling alley.

“Very good,” Leno said sarcastically.

“It was like Special Olympics or something,” Obama replied.

Realizing the potential magnitude of the mistake, the White House addressed the president’s remark to reporters aboard Air Force One.

“The President made an offhand remark making fun of his own bowling that was in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics,” Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton told reporters. “He thinks that the Special Olympics are a wonderful program that gives an opportunity to shine to people with disabilities from around the world.”

UOJ gets results said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/20/nyregion/20siege.html?pagewanted=print

March 20, 2009

Scorn Trails A.I.G. Executives, Even in Their Driveways

By JAMES BARRON and RUSS BUETTNER

The A.I.G. executive who was nicknamed “Jackpot Jimmy” by a New York tabloid walked up the driveway toward his bay-windowed house in Fairfield, Conn., on Thursday afternoon. "How do I feel?” said the executive, James Haas, repeating the question he had just been asked. “I feel horrible. This has been a complete invasion of privacy."

Mr. Haas walked on, his pink shirt a burst of color on a slate-gray afternoon. The words came haltingly. "You have to understand,” he said, “there are kids involved, there have been death threats. ..." His voice trailed off.

He ended the conversation with a request: “Leave my neighbors alone.”

Too late. Jean Wieson, who has lived down the block for 24 years, had stopped her car in front of Mr. Haas’s house before he arrived home. She was angry about the millions of dollars in bonuses paid to its executives, the credit-default swaps that brought American International Group to its knees, the $170 billion the federal government has spent to prop it up. "It makes me absolutely sick," she said. "It’s despicable. It’s disgusting what these people have done. They should be forced to give every cent back."

Those bonuses in years past helped make A.I.G. executives into prominent local citizens. They own big houses like Mr. Haas’s, with its three chimneys and its views of Southport Harbor and Long Island Sound in the distance. Some are well-known contributors to arts groups and private schools in Connecticut communities not far from the office park in Wilton that is the workplace of many of the employees in A.I.G.’s Financial Products division, which is at the center of the storm over bonus payments.

Now these executives are toxic, and those communities are rattled and divided. Private security guards have been stationed outside their houses, and sometimes the local police drive by. A.I.G. employees at the company’s office tower in Lower Manhattan were told to avoid leaving the building while a demonstration was going on outside. The memo also advised them to avoid displaying company-issued ID cards when they left the office and to abandon tote bags or other items with the A.I.G. logo.

One A.I.G. executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared the consequences of identifying himself, said many workers felt demonized and betrayed.

A.I.G. employees are not the only ones seeking protection: An executive at Merrill Lynch, where bonuses have also come under fire, said that some employees had asked whether the firm would cover the cost of private security for them.

Scott Silvestri, a spokesman for Bank of America, which bought Merrill in December, would not respond to that claim, but said in a statement, “The safety and security of our associates is paramount, and we will always take the appropriate steps.”

And there may be more protests. The Connecticut Working Families party, which has support from organized labor, is planning a bus tour of A.I.G. executives’ homes on Saturday, with a stop at the company’s Wilton office.

The New York attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, said on Thursday that A.I.G. had handed over a list with the names of the bonus recipients. But he did not release the list. “We are aware of the security concerns of A.I.G. employees,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement, “and we will be sensitive to those issues by doing a risk assessment before releasing any individual’s name.”

It was unclear exactly what measures the officials at A.I.G. have taken in the name of protecting the company’s executives.

But several security companies in New York credited the financial crisis with a noticeable increase in some areas of their business, from protecting executives to dispatching bomb-sniffing dogs to check for trouble. “There is certainly anger among people about the economy and fear among corporate executives themselves,” said Patrick Timlin, the president of Michael Stapleton Associates, which provides bomb-dog teams.

Others in A.I.G.’s neighborhood were clearly angry. Tamara King, an immigration specialist at a health care company whose office is adjacent to the A.I.G. quarters, said she feels disgust each time she walks past it.

"You don’t want to associate with them because it’s not a reflection on the state, it’s not a reflection on us," she said. But she added, “You have so many people out of a job, and these people think they can take the money and run."

The largest single bonus check, for $6.4 million, went to Douglas L. Poling, an executive vice president for energy and infrastructure investments. Mark Herr, an A.I.G. spokesman, said Mr. Poling had told him he was returning the bonus “because he thought it was the correct thing to do.”

Boog gets results said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/20/nyregion/20dodd.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion&pagewanted=print

March 20, 2009

Connecticut Senator Draws Voters’ Ire for His Bonus Role

By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ and THOMAS KAPLAN

Clarence Randolph, a 50-year-old dump truck driver from New Haven, has been out of work for two months.

He is not happy that financial firms bailed out by the government are paying bonuses to their executives. And he does not understand why one of his senators, Christopher Dodd, allowed it to happen.

“Why would he do it?” he said as he was about to enter the New Haven Free Public Library to search online for jobs. “Why are they going to take taxpayers’ money — my money — and give all these people bonuses? I think that’s terrible.”

Across Connecticut, anger is erupting against Mr. Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, whose stature in Washington once reflected the state’s beneficial ties with the financial industry. Now, he finds himself a symbol of the political establishment’s coziness with tainted corporations and a target of populist wrath over their excesses.

On Thursday, the senator sought to defuse the furor over the latest revelation, holding a conference call with reporters to explain how legislation meant to limit executive compensation was changed at the last minute. That change exempted bonuses protected by contracts, like those at American International Group, a big campaign contributor to Mr. Dodd that received billions in federal bailout money.

Mr. Dodd said that his staff revised the bill at the urging of Treasury officials, who he said were concerned that the compensation limits, which he had written in the original legislation, went too far and might invite lawsuits.

While he knew the language was being rewritten, the senator said he had no idea the revision would allow for the bonuses at A.I.G.

“Had I known at the time that there were any A.I.G. bonuses involved — that this was somehow going to assist in that matter — I would have rejected it completely,” he said.

On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner came to Mr. Dodd’s defense, saying in an interview with CNN that his staff had raised concerns about whether the legislation limiting executive compensation “was vulnerable to legal challenge.”

The fierce reaction back in his home state, however, underscores the peril the usually politically invulnerable senator faces.

In dozens of interviews, residents said they were appalled by Mr. Dodd’s ties to financial firms and believed that he had damaged himself as he prepares to run for re-election next year.

Even some who have been steadfast supporters worry that after 28 years in the Senate, Mr. Dodd, 64, has been seduced by the power of Washington and grown distant from his constituents in this heavily Democratic state, which has been hit hard by the economic downturn.

This week’s uproar was triggered largely by Mr. Dodd himself, when he provided conflicting answers about the provision that allowed the bonuses at A.I.G. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the company’s employees, political action committees and subsidiaries have made campaign contributions of nearly $300,000 to Mr. Dodd since 1989.

Initially, Mr. Dodd said he did not know how the loophole got into the legislation that sought to crack down on executive compensation. But then in an interview Wednesday with CNN, he acknowledged that his staff helped write the revisions after receiving a request from the Treasury Department.

Newspaper headlines that greeted morning commuters throughout Connecticut on Thursday underscored Mr. Dodd’s problems. “Dodd’s Flip-Flop,” declared The Hartford Courant. “Dodd Takes Bonus Blame,” announced The Advocate of Stamford. “Dodd Admits Bonuses Role,” trumpeted The Norwich Bulletin.

The firestorm has encouraged Republicans, who see an opportunity to pick up a Senate seat in next year’s election. Last week, Quinnipiac University released a poll showing Mr. Dodd trailing former Representative Rob Simmons, who has jumped into the race, railing against the senator’s ties to the financial industry.

“He is certainly out of touch with Connecticut,” Mr. Simmons said in an interview.

The problem for Mr. Dodd is that the A.I.G. affair is just the latest episode in which he has been accused of being too chummy with powerful corporate executives.

Last year, he was criticized for receiving preferential treatment from Countrywide Financial Corporation after it was disclosed that the mortgage lender assigned him to a V.I.P. program in 2003 when he refinanced mortgages on his homes in Connecticut and Washington.

Mr. Dodd insisted he had done nothing wrong, saying that he did not get favorable pricing from the lender. But the issue was politically explosive, given that Countrywide and its executives had been criticized for contributing to the national housing crisis with aggressive subprime lending.

A short-lived presidential run, during which he moved his family to Iowa, did not help either, leaving some in Connecticut feeling that he abandoned the state for a quixotic adventure.

“To be very honest with you, I thought he was nuts,” said Mary Spaulding, 79, a retired nurse from Waterford, who said she had always supported the senator, but would not do so again.

“I think in Connecticut, a lot of people are very frustrated with him,” she said.

The backlash is a remarkable development for a senator once known for championing populist initiatives like the 1993 Family Leave Act. Elected to the Senate in 1980, Mr. Dodd is the longest-serving senator in the state’s history and has won all his re-elections by sizable margins.

That sentiment was echoed by Jasmine Coleman, 21, of New Britain, whose mother’s house went through foreclosure last year. Ms. Coleman, a Democrat, expressed dismay over Mr. Dodd’s connection with A.I.G.

“I can’t believe he actually approved of that,” she said, as she shopped in Meriden with her two small sons. “For them to get bailed out, it’s just not fair. I’m from New Britain, and every street has at least three houses going through foreclosures. People are poor. Unemployment is a problem. It’s hard to find a job, a good paying job.”

Ho Ho Holder is a Sleeper Cell Too? said...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123741378746277081.html

WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Eric Holder said some detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, may end up being released in the U.S. as the Obama administration works with foreign allies to resettle some of the prisoners.

Moshe Katzav said...

By Ofra Edelman and Tomer Zarchin, Haaretz Correspondents

Former president Moshe Katsav was indicted Thursday for rape and indecent assault against a female aide and sexually harassing two other aides.

The indictment, which was announced by Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, centers on rape and other sex offenses committed against a female aide who served as the former president's bureau chief during his tenure as tourism minister. It also includes charges of sexual harassment against two female workers at the President's Residence, and of indecent assault against one of them. The former president is also charged of obstruction of justice.

The indictment charges Katsav with two counts of raping an aide who worked at the Tourism Ministry from March 1998 to January 1999, when Katsav was tourism minister. One rape allegedly took place in the minister's office in Tel Aviv, and the other at a Jerusalem hotel. Katsav is also be charged with forcible indecent assault against the aide and abusing his status as her employer.

Katsav is also charged with lesser offenses against two employees of the President's Residence, one of whom he allegedly hugged repeatedly against her will, and another who he allegedly hugged and kissed on the neck against her will. Mazuz has not decided exactly what Katsav will be charged with in these clauses, but a draft indictment dating from May 2007 accused him of indecent assault and sexual harassment against both women.

In one woman's case, Katsav will also be charged with obstruction of justice, because when the investigation began, Katsav asked her for details of her police interrogation and even tried to influence her deposition.

According to the indictment, Katsav abused his status and authority as minister and president, and made sexual advances toward certain staff members whom he found attractive. "The defendant complimented those workers, questioned them intimate questions about their private lives and initiated physical contact with them, even without their consent," the charges say.

In April 1998, according to the charges, Katsav told his aide in the Tourism Ministry that he had forgotten something in his Tel Aviv office and asked her to accompany him. In the bureau he sat next to her and touched her breast. He tried to pull down her pants, but she resisted and pulled them back on. He then knocked her down, pulled her pants off forcibly and raped her.

In June 1998 Katsav asked her to meet him in Jerusalem's Plaza Hotel, where he asked her to come to his room as he "was still getting organized." On entering the room, she sat on the edge of the bed. Katsav, not fully dressed, pushed her back, undressed her and raped her, the indictment says.

Tel Aviv District Court Deputy President Dvora Berliner told Katsav's attorneys to respond to the indictment within seven days.

Katsav's media advisor, Amnon Shomron, said Thursday after emerging from a meeting with Agudath Israel that there was no evidence for the rape and indecent assault charges. "This is an indictment with no evidential basis," said Shomron.

Asst. DA said...

Brooklyn, NY - A Borough Park man was slapped with a 135-count indictment Thursday after a teen neighbor charged he had endured years of sexual abuse.

The man was indicted in Brooklyn Supreme Court for sex acts and sex abuse, and similar charges, a spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said.

The victim, now 18, confided to a neighborhood Yeshiva principal about the abuse, said law enforcement sources.

The principal encouraged the victim to speak to his parents about the illegal meetings inside various motel rooms and apartments. The man was 20 when he started taking his younger neighbor out.

"Open lines of communication between communities and law enforcement are essential to fighting crime, and we are pleased that this victim came forward," said Hynes spokesman Jerry Schmetterer.

Authorities are hoping the case will prompt more help from the usually tight-lipped leaders of Brooklyn's Hasidic sects about sexual abuse in their communities.

"The principal did the right thing and didn't try to cover anything up," said one law enforcement source.

In one notorious case, Borough Park rabbi Yehuda Kolko was accused of molesting his students at Yeshiva Torah Temimah. Some victims said the school purposely kept the abuse quiet and hit the yeshiva with multimillion-dollar lawsuits.

"The whole issue is that yeshivas were covering these up," said Orthodox Jewish community child abuse advocate Mark Appel of Am Echad. "Because of the publicity, schools are getting frightened. They don't want to get sued."

Since October, at least five men living in Brooklyn's Hasidic enclaves have been charged with sexually abusing children ranging in age from 7 to 15.

"It is remarkable progress," Appel said.

Investigators said they are seeing more families willing to cooperate and think more abusers will end up behind bars.

"People are starting to realize, teachers and the rabbis, that the only way to stop this is to go to the authorities," said another police source.

"It takes a lot for a teenage boy to stand before a grand jury," the source said. "The system is accommodating to the victim. The district attorney's office and the police department are trying to make it as comfortable as possible."

Hank Morris said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/20/nyregion/20morris.html?pagewanted=print

March 20, 2009

Hevesi Aides Indicted in Kickback Scheme

By DANNY HAKIM

ALBANY — Two top advisers to Alan G. Hevesi, the former state comptroller, were charged Thursday in a 123-count grand jury indictment that said they had turned New York’s $122 billion pension fund into a criminal enterprise. The scheme netted them and other Hevesi associates tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks from firms investing the fund’s money, the indictment said.

Hank Morris, who was once Mr. Hevesi’s chief political adviser and a nationally known Democratic consultant, was charged with myriad counts — including bribery, grand larceny, money laundering and fraud — in a case brought by the state attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo. Mr. Morris collected more than $15 million in fees from investment companies during Mr. Hevesi’s tenure as comptroller, from 2003 to 2006, according to court papers.

David Loglisci, who was the top investment officer of the pension fund, was charged with multiple counts related to official misconduct, falsifying records and fraud. The two men pleaded not guilty at their arraignment in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, and were released pending the posting of bail, which was set at $1 million for Mr. Morris and $350,000 for Mr. Loglisci.

The indictment said that at least two other people participated in the criminal conspiracy, but it did not name them.

While Mr. Hevesi was not charged, the investigation is continuing and Mr. Cuomo did not rule out future action against the former comptroller, who resigned in 2006 after pleading guilty to a felony related to his use of state workers to drive his ailing wife. Mr. Cuomo said that Mr. Hevesi had benefited from the scheme because Mr. Morris encouraged investment firms to pour millions of dollars in contributions into Mr. Hevesi’s campaign fund.

“This is the first of several cases and developments that will be announced on this matter,” Mr. Cuomo said. “The indictment charges crimes that go beyond the grossest manifestations of pay to play.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission, which conducted a parallel investigation, charged Mr. Morris and Mr. Loglisci with violating several federal securities laws and is seeking to recoup the proceeds from their scheme. P. David Soares, the Albany County district attorney, also took part in the inquiry, which started in his office.

The two former advisers are accused of directing half of the $10 billion that the pension fund invested in so-called alternative investments, like hedge funds and private equity firms, to companies that used Mr. Morris or his associates as paid intermediaries. Firms that were not willing to pay were often turned down, according to the indictment.

To conceal his conduct, the indictment said, Mr. Morris laundered payments through a half-dozen limited liability companies he had created, and through Searle & Company, a Connecticut investment firm that he worked for while he was advising the comptroller.

The firms that paid fees to companies affiliated with Mr. Morris included some of Wall Street’s best known: the Carlyle Group, Pequot Capital and HM Capital, formerly known as Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, the indictment said.

Mr. Morris is also accused of rewarding Mr. Loglisci and another unnamed top official in the comptroller’s office for their help. Mr. Morris invested $100,000 in an independent film, “Chooch,” produced by Mr. Loglisci’s brother, and investment firms doing business with the fund also invested in the movie, according to the indictment.

“You couldn’t make this up,” Mr. Cuomo said. His office said it had frozen $11 million worth of Mr. Morris’s assets.

Mr. Morris, 55, largely dropped out of political consulting in recent years as he came under the cloud of the investigation. If convicted of the most serious charge, enterprise corruption, he and Mr. Loglisci, 38, each face up to 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison.

The New York comptroller has unusual sway over the pension fund, since he serves as its sole trustee; many other states have opted to have their funds overseen by boards. The current comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli, has defended the sole trusteeship, while Mr. Cuomo continued to express concerns about it on Thursday.

Mr. Morris, who grew up in Westbury, on Long Island, is a political operative known for his intense and aggressive style. He directed Charles E. Schumer’s successful 1998 campaign to unseat Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato — he made sure everyone knew that Mr. D’Amato had used an expletive to refer to Mr. Schumer — and even pushed his own mother, Rita, a retired professor, to run for Congress in 1992. She lost. He also advised Senator Dianne Feinstein’s failed 1990 campaign for California governor.

But he was closest to Mr. Hevesi. The two men met in the 1970s, when Mr. Hevesi was a fledgling assemblyman from Queens and Mr. Morris was on the staff of the Assembly speaker, Stanley Steingut. Mr. Morris helped shape Mr. Hevesi’s rise to become comptroller of New York City and then state comptroller, and managed his unsuccessful run for mayor in 2001.

According to the indictment, after Mr. Hevesi was elected comptroller in 2002, Mr. Morris ousted the chief investment officer of the pension fund and installed Mr. Loglisci in the job.

He then held wide sway over investment decisions made by the pension fund. He even held meetings with Mr. Loglisci and other officials from the comptroller’s office at the offices of his political consulting firm, Morris & Carrick.

Lakewood Talmid said...

"Katsav's media advisor, Amnon Shomron, said Thursday after emerging from a meeting with Agudath Israel that there was no evidence for the rape and indecent assault charges."

The insertion of Agudah may have been a joke but an even sicker joke is Katzav's choice of advisor.

It was Amnon who raped Tamar.

Alfonse D'Amato said...

It was poshut that UOJ would take down Hank Morris.

He was the guy who made a big shtink against me when I called Chuckie Schumer a PUTZ.

Schumer IS a PUTZ!

Get a Life, Loser said...

Shmarya is being his usual tzebissenna self and attacking R' Yaakov Horowitz for his letter.

Shmarya claims that RYH is lying to cover up for the Gerrer Rebbe. The Gerrer Rebbe may be guilty of protecting Mondrowitz, but it's highly unlikely as Shmarya claims, while offering no evidence, that the Gerrer Rebbe is somehow issuing personal orders to these thugs to carry out their violent attacks against women.

Sickening said...

There are pathetic guys in Pinter's shul who were always mechanef him just because he's rich. So lemaaysah, he's a lowlife and the money is stolen from others? Af al pee kain.

And this is not stam chaneefah, they are real tuchess leckers.

Long Island Yenta said...

Hank Morris is an alter bochur living on the Upper West Side who also counts the medinah of Israel among his clients. I think his parents go to the Conservative temple in Roslyn Heights. His father is a retired executive of ABC TV. The Morrises are mechutonim with the Eichenholtz family of North Woodmere.

Tuchess Lecker from Rav Brodsky's shul said...

But I thought Pinter is gantz choshuv.

He "sacrificed" himself "for Toyreh" in the 1970s.

He sent his sons to YTT and Brrrrisk.

He's published by Artscroll.

He's good friends with Leib Tropper.

He got the ball rolling against Slifkin.

He owns Camp Horim under someone else's name.

He only does shidduchim with rabbonim or big names.

He walks around Flatbush (at least until the latest indictment) like he's hot stuff.

Haaretz said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1072409.html


When Anat moved in, the house committee noticed that in addition to the crib and the toys for the baby, the movers hauled new televisions, a number of sofas and more than 10 mattresses into the apartment. One neighbor kept seeing Banana - a magazine that provides information about escort services and prostitutes - on the stairs, and could not understand who was distributing pornographic material in his building. All the neighbors noticed that the elevator (to which only a few have a key), was working nonstop during the evening and at night, taking people to the top floor and back down. Men aged 40-50, many of them religiously observant, knocked on my door during the evening by mistake; they then continued upstairs and were ushered in to the top-floor apartment. This went on for a week.

Margo said the same thing about Kolko said...

Obama says would not accept Geithner resignation

Reuters

Obama fends off Geithner doubters

BBC News

Wait until Boog finds out! said...

Charles B. Rangel once tried to woo A.I.G. to donate $10 million to a school to be named in his honor.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/21/nyregion/21rangel.html

March 21, 2009

For Rangel, a Complicated Relationship With A.I.G.

By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI

As Congress moved this week to levy a 90 percent tax on the $165 million in bonuses paid to executives of the American International Group, one of the more conspicuous expressions of outrage came from Representative Charles B. Rangel.

As public anger over the bonuses surged, Mr. Rangel on Wednesday introduced a bill that would seize most of the bonuses paid to A.I.G., which received billions in taxpayer bailout funds.

“Dreams have been shattered and homes have been lost because a small group of executives were motivated by greed rather than preserving a system that America and the world depend upon,” said Mr. Rangel, a Harlem Democrat and chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

After the measure passed the House overwhelmingly the next day, Mr. Rangel congratulated his colleagues on their bold action, saying that A.I.G. executives “have gotten away with murder in what they’ve done to our communities.”

But Mr. Rangel’s indignation was a reversal of his position earlier in the week, when he opposed heavily taxing the bonuses and warned his colleagues to restrain themselves from allowing the public outcry to warp their judgment.

What is more, the congressman’s relationship with A.I.G. is a complicated one; as recently as last year, he was trying to woo the company to donate $10 million to a school to be named in his honor. And while A.I.G. officials mulled the request, Mr. Rangel supported a provision in a tax bill that saved the company millions of dollars.

For decades, Mr. Rangel has been a close friend of Maurice R. Greenberg, the chief executive of A.I.G. until 2005, and until recently one of the company’s biggest shareholders. Mr. Greenberg has sponsored fund-raisers on Mr. Rangel’s behalf, and in 2007, a foundation controlled by Mr. Greenberg gave $5 million to the school, the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York.

City College records show that the effort by Mr. Rangel and college officials to persuade A.I.G. to donate to the school went on for two years. In a 2007 e-mail message obtained by The New York Times, City College’s director of development, Rachelle Butler, wrote that Mr. Rangel suggested in early 2006 that fund-raisers concentrate on A.I.G. for a contribution. Two years later — on April 21, 2008 — Mr. Rangel attended a meeting at A.I.G. to ask the company to support the school, without specifically discussing a donation.

A month later, as A.I.G. was still considering a financial contribution, the top executive who had attended the fund-raising meeting wrote a letter to Mr. Rangel, urging him to support a provision of a tax bill that would save A.I.G. millions of dollars a year.

Mr. Rangel dropped his opposition to the tax measure, which eventually became law. But he has said that City College’s request for the $10 million, and the letter from A.I.G., played no part in his decision. A colleague in the New York delegation, Representative Joseph Crowley, said that he was responsible for persuading Mr. Rangel to support the tax change. A.I.G. has never donated to the Rangel Center.

But with Mr. Rangel’s personal finances and fund-raising for City College now the subject of an ethics investigation, some Republicans questioned whether Mr. Rangel’s public protestations about the bonuses were designed to eclipse his connections to the company over the years.

Representative John Carter, a Republican of Texas, described Mr. Rangel, who had received $110,000 in campaign donations from A.I.G, as one of several Democrats who had “exchanged legislative favors” with the company.

Mr. Rangel declined to be interviewed for this article

Anonymous said...

Credit Unions With $57 Billion in Assets Seized; 3 Banks Fail

By Margaret Chadbourn and Ari Levy

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Two corporate credit unions, with combined assets of $57 billion, were seized by the National Credit Union Administration yesterday to stabilize a system used by 90 million customers amid a worldwide financial crisis. Three U.S. banks failed, bringing this year’s total to 20.

U.S. Central Corporate Federal Credit Union, in Lenexa, Kansas, and Western Corporate Federal Credit Union in San Dimas, California, were put into conservatorship, the regulator said in a statement.

Also yesterday, banks in Kansas, Colorado and Georgia were seized as foreclosures surged amid a recession and the highest unemployment in a quarter century. The banks with $1.1 billion in total assets and $853 million in deposits were shut by regulators, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was named receiver, according to e-mailed statements from the FDIC.

Yonasan Tendler laundered more money for Kolko than previously revealed too? said...

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- American International Group Inc., whose compensation policies before and after its U.S. bailout are being investigated, turned over information on its executive bonuses to Connecticut’s attorney general, who said the insurer paid out $218 million.

That amount is more than the $165 million in bonuses previously disclosed by the New York-based company.

“These contracts rip the rug from under AIG’s excuses -- revealing no basis under Connecticut law for these mega taxpayer-funded bonuses,” Blumenthal said. “AIG’s own documents reveal that it turned an emergency bailout into a meritless handout, paying windfalls to employees as reward for financial failure.”

Blumenthal said he asked AIG’s lawyers to explain the difference in total bonus amounts.

“We don’t know why the numbers are different,” Blumenthal said today in an interview. “That’s what we are asking the company to explain.”

The documents Connecticut received showed that 418 people received bonuses, from $1,000 to $6.4 million, he said. At least 73 people made $1 million or more, and there were seven people who made $4 million or more, Blumenthal said.

“Taxpayers feel misled and manipulated,” Blumenthal said yesterday in his statement. “UOJ told us we must fight, with every legal remedy available, to recapture every cent of these scarce taxpayer resources."

Anonymous said...

Interesting History of Yeshiva Torah Voddath, RSFM and the Malochim !!! Is this pretty accurate or is there some missing pieces.



Ben Zion Weberman (1896-1968): Life and Legacy of an Orthodox Jewish Attorney in New York City During the Interwar Period and Beyond

By Moshe Rapaport



The life and legacy of Ben Zion (Benjamin) Weberman may be of interest to historians, given the previously accepted notion that American Jewish Orthodoxy began with the postwar influx of Chassidic Jews from East Europe.[1] Subsequent scholarship has shown that Orthodoxy did have a significant presence in New York City, and to a lesser extent elsewhere in the U.S., even if restricted geographically and small numerically.[2] Less commonly have the diverse ideological currents within American Orthodoxy prior to World War II been subject to examination.[3]

Ben Zion Weberman, an Orthodox Jewish attorney, was born in the Lower East Side, New York, in 1896. His parents were Hungarian immigrants, among the late 19th century wave of Jewish migration from Russia and East Europe. This was a period when assimilation was taken for granted: men cut off their beards and sidelocks "on the boat"; wives removed their traditionally mandated hair coverings--in the common knowledge that Orthodox Judaism was not possible in America.

Ben Zion spent his entire life flouting popular conventions and presumptions. He was a man of power and charisma, an uncompromising Torah observer , a visionary, and an individualist. He was an activist in the Williamsburg branch of Young Israel and a founder of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas and Bais Yaacov Seminary for Girls. He left each of these institutions (Young Israel in the 1920s; the other institutions in the 30s) following heated disputes over religious principles and practice

Ben Zion's views and critiques rankled the New York Orthodox Jewish community, itself in an emergent stage prior to the second World War. Opposition from within the Orthodox community led to social ostracism, decline of his law practice, and according to one account,[4] death threats. Many of the ideas advocated by Ben Zion became widely accepted following the postwar influx from East Europe and the post-1960 Orthodox shift to the "right",[5] but he never regained the socially prominent position he had held in the 1920s and early 30s.

This brief biographical sketch provides a lens illuminating the vital, diverse, and highly opinionated Orthodox Jewish community of New York City, active well before the start of the second World War. The institutions Ben Zion founded flourished and provided a foundation for the proliferation of yeshivas and Orthodoxy in recent decades. Ben Zion's sons Meir and Judah, adherents of Rabbi Chaim Abraham Dov Levine, known as the Malach ("Angel"), were among the founders of the first Chassidic group in North America.[6]



Ben Zion's father, Moshe Weberman, who immigrated from Hungary, was an ordained practitioner of ritual circumcision and animal slaughter, and was proprietor of a kosher deli on the Lower East Side. Neighbors who knew him recall Moshe's generosity, firm convictions, and unblemished reputation among the Jewish community. When performing a circumcision for a poor family, he refused the conventional remuneration, instead leaving money of his own under the pillow.[7] His food was accepted as kosher among the most exacting patrons.

Ben Zion was privately tutored. Following the completion of his high school diploma, he studied at City College, NYU, and Fordham Law School. At Fordham, he was allowed to make up exams scheduled for Jewish holidays. His father, Moshe Weberman, was opposed to any form of higher secular education, fearing a negative influence on religious observances, and he did not support Ben Zion's law studies. To show his objection to his son's law studies, Moshe Weberman did not speak to his son for three months.[8]

In 1917, while in law school, Ben Zion became involved in the establishment of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas,[9] located in Williamsburg.[10] The yeshiva was founded by Ben Zion's brother-in-law, Binyomin Wilhelm (b. 1886).[11] Several yeshivas had already existed in the Lower East Side; this, however, was the first yeshiva in Brooklyn. Moshe Weberman (Wilhelm's father-in-law) opposed to the effort, which was to incorporate secular studies. "A yeshiva should be all holy," he averred.[12] The founding of the yeshiva was successful, however, opening with a festive procession on South Third Street.[13]

Ben Zion married Yittel (Julia) Horowitz in 1920[14]. He moved to Williamsburg, joining his brother-in-law Binyomin Wilhelm. Ben Zion continued working on the executive committee of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, becoming, for a time, the director of secular education. Up until the late 1930s, when Ben Zion moved away from Williamsburg (to the Bronx and later to Crown Heights), he devoted most of his time and energy to the yeshiva. He also became involved with the Young Israel of America, and during the early 1920s, was President of Young Israel's Williamsburg branch.

Ben Zion graduated from law school in 1921 and opened a practice on the Lower East Side, first with a partner (a Mr. Goldstein) and later on his own. His law practice included family, business, and immigration law. His clientele were members of the Jewish community in the Lower East Side, Williamsburg, and the Torah Vodaas yeshiva community. His court cases, to the extent preserved in city and state judicial archives, are a potentially informative source on the Orthodox Jewish community in New York City during the interwar period and beyond.

In 1922, with Ben Zion's support, Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz (b. 1886) became principal of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, succeeding several others. A recent immigrant from East Europe,[15] Mendlowitz had studied with three of the leading rabbis of Hungary, by whom he was ordained.[16] Mendlowitz was a theological eclectic, with interests in mainstream Talmudic study, along with Chassidus, Jewish philosophy, and Hebrew grammar. His view on secular education was liberal, influenced by the views of Samson Rafael Hirsh, German Rabbi and proponent of "Torah and the Way of the Land."[17]

Opposition to Mendlowitz surfaced, due in part to his beard and sidelocks, but opposition quieted when his knowledge and pedagogic ability became evident.[18] By 1925, the first group of students had graduated eighth grade. Mendlowitz prevailed upon the students to continue for another year, while attending evening classes at a neighborhood high school. In 1927, the need for a full fledged high school became evident. A building was purchased and a mesivta[19] was founded, combining Torah and secular high school studies.[20]



During the 1920s, a major Jewish luminary arrived in New York, Rabbi Chaim Avraham Ber Hacohen Levine (d. 1938, in his eighties). An immigrant from Ilya, White Russia, Levine was known as the Malach.[21] Levine's son, Rafael Zalman, had arrived several years prior[22], over objections by his father.[23] The Malach followed, troubled by concerns over what he viewed as spiritual derailing by his son. The Malach established himself as Rabbi of a synagogue in the Bronx.

In White Russia, the Malach had been a follower of the Zemach Zedek,[24] and the appointed tutor for the latter's grandson, Yosef Yitzchok (later to become sixth Lubavicher Rabbi, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn). However, the Malach left this duty, reportedly because of dissatisfaction over his pupil's interest in secular works. In the aftermath of this parting, the Malach was distanced from the main branch of Chabad.[25]

The Malach attracted a small following in the Bronx, coming to him from the Lower East Side, Williamsburg, and more distant locations, seeking learning and spiritual advice. Rabbi Mendlowitz of Torah Vodaas encouraged groups of his yeshiva students to visit the Malach, along with other European Jewish luminaries who visited or came to reside in New York City.[26] Ben Zion's son Meir recalls the Malach as a person with enormous charisma, as a master who transformed the lives of his followers entirely. Meir recounts,

Grandfather R. Moshe came home from Woodridge, from Kantrowitz's hotel, he told my father, "I"ve found someone who must be seen." That was the Malach. Everyone began going to him. Especially we young boys. We began changing our way of life. I recall one time as a small boy, I said to my father, "Tell the rabbi to bless me." He took me between his holy knees, placed his hands on my head, and blessed me."... Our outlook on life changed drastically, but imperceptibly. I wouldn't say day after day; I'd month after month. After a period of six months I'd look back and wouldn't recognize myself. The truth of the matter is that we used to go once a week until Mendlowitz stopped the thing, every Tuesday.

Rabbi Levine taught us how to pray, how to pour forth the heart to the Holy One. His conversations led us to understand that the purpose of the world was only. . .By praying properly, by performing the laws the way they should, we would reach our eventual goal... He did tell us which books to learn: Likutei Torah, Derekh Mizvoseha. ..I asked him once why to some he tells one way, with others differently. He told us, "In a stable, every horse has its own training." He told me one time, "I can tell by your appearance if you have studied today or not."

My father told me he felt he was a ha"ara (ray) of Mashiach Zidkenu (Messiah).

The people at that time used to accuse Rabbi Levine of farkishefen (ensorcelling) the young men. And they were right, but not in the sense they meant it. We changed totally. There was substance there. It was like food and drink. You can have someone explain a difficult Maimonides, help me out with that, but that doesn't mean he's my Rabbi.We had decided at the time as a group that we would cleave to Rabbi Levine, that we would accept no other person as a Rabbi. That's what we decided. The closest example I can give you is Ben Kalba Savua, who went in hungry as a dog, and came out satiated. His way of service was totally different from people we knew at the time. One time, during a weekday, he stood shmone esrei (the standing prayer) for two hours.

The followers of the Malach were not numerous (less than a hundred, including several converts); the movement, however, is of historical significance, being the very first known instance of a Chassidic movement developing on American soil. The followers, their children, and grandchildren still gather on Sabbaths and Jewish holidays at the Nesivos Olum Synagogue in Brooklyn (also known as the Malachim Shul), currently led by Ben Zion's son Meir.



By the 1930s a rift had developed between the Malach and Rabbi Mendlowitz. A group of Torah Vodaas students, including Ben Zion's sons Meir and Judah (encouraged by their father, and then in their early teens), had been strongly influenced by the Malach. They began to change their dress, growing long sidelocks, and wearing their talis katan (ritual fringed garment) on top of their shirts, and displaying the tsitsis (fringes) outside of their garments. This was normal and expected practice among many Orthodox Jews in East Europe and Russia, but not at that period in New York.[27]

Mendlowitz was concerned that the Old World dress would alienate the majority of students and school supporters. He had been hoping to create a New World version of Orthodoxy which blended Torah and worldly ways, in accordance with the teaching of Rabbi Hirsh of Germany. Encouraged by the Malach, who now saw Mendlowitz as having dangerous, heretical views, a group of Torah Vodaas students began to openly defy their principal. Faced with a potential rebellion, Mendlowitz began seeking external support.

Mendlowitz drafted letters of inquiry to the greatest of the European Rabbis, dealing with the variety of topics under dispute between his New World Orthodoxy and the Malach's followers' attempt to reinstitute Old World Orthodoxy. This included such questions as whether, in a non-Jewish environment, the talis katan and tsitsis should be worn openly or "modestly"; if secular studies are appropriately taught within a yeshiva; and if students could be punished for adopting religious practices that were "excessive", and "arrogant".[28]

In 1936, having received support for his views from at least some of the respondents, Rabbi Mendlowitz decided to have a group of students expelled from the yeshiva, including Ben Zion's two sons, Meir and Judah.[29] Family members recall an epic confrontation between Mendlowitz and Ben Zion. Ben Zion had confronted Mendlowitz, asking him how he could oppose the boys way of dress when he wore sidelocks and beard himself. Pinchas Aaron, who was five years old at the time, tells the story as follows:

We had a two story apartment. We three little ones were supposed to be sleeping, but there was a lot of noise coming from downstairs. So I sneaked down the staircase and peeked into the living room. I saw Shraga Feivel Mendelovich standing up and my father and him yelling at each other. I saw Shraga Feivel Mendelovich getting ahold of his beard, [saying] "Here, you can have my beard!". The impression is very clear in my mind.

For Ben Zion, one of the founders of the yeshiva, the expulsion of his children was a painful blow, personally and socially. His neighbors began to alienate him. His close relatives encouraged his wife to divorce him, and his daughter to leave her father. His clients deserted him and his legal practice foundered. There were reportedly death threats. For a time, he thought of taking up another occupation, or migrating to Palestine, but the Malach dissuaded him from doing so.

In 1940, Ben Zion moved to the Bronx, along with his family, hoping to rebuild his business and community life. His sons, then well into their teens, dormed at the Malachim yeshiva in Williamsburg, attempting to hold their own against Torah Vodaas and its supporters.



While Ben Zion held the Malach in high regard,[30] and supported his sons in their acceptance of the Malach as their rabbi, Ben Zion remained an Orthodox independent in the tradition of his father, Moshe Weberman. He dressed in a short, double-breasted jacket and "derby". He did not wear long sidelocks; he shaved his beard, and wore a small goatee. He immersed himself in the Talmud, rising at 2 AM prior to his law practice. He did not study Chabad.

From an early period, Ben Zion grappled with difficult philosophical and theological questions. Who are we?; What is our aim in life?, What is religion?, and What is the purpose of prayer?, were topics covered in his weekly column "From a Father" in the Light of Israel.[31] He reasoned that human values and morals would be meaningless unless life has a purpose; that is to serve the will of God. This in turn, could only be known through the study of Torah. In an undated letter to his father, Ben Zion wrote,

After much thought on this world, I have become convinced of the insignificance of matters here. I realize that what most people consider important and worthwhile has very little value. The truth and greatness of the spiritual world has become clear to me. I now understand our sages statement that in the future, the righteous will sit with the crowns on their heads, enjoying the glow of the Presence.[32]

Ben Zion did not hesitate to criticize Jewish individuals and organizations, members and rabbis alike, when he considered them to be mistaken--in either ideology or morals, and was often at odds with other members of the Orthodox Jewish community in New York. He often pointed to the Biblical example of Pinchas, who took the lives of adulterers by his own hand, encouraging his progeny to be zealots in God's service. The fiercest rhetoric was reserved for Zionism. Because of his objections to Zionism, Ben Zion never visited Israel.

President of the Williamsburg branch of Young Israel in 1925, he left the organization because of their refusal to abandon mixed dancing (between men and women, which he viewed as counter to the Torah). He left Bais Yaacov school for girls, which he founded, because of the introduction of Torah studies, which he considered as not being in accordance with Orthodox tradition (limiting Torah study to males only). He opposed secular studies other than reading, writing, and arithmetic, which he deemed necessary and unobjectionable. Questioned about his own secular education, Ben Zion responded:

I'm like Yisro (Jethro). Yisro says "Now I know. . ." The Talmud explains, "He tried out all the idol worship in the world and now he knows what's right"

Ben Zion was instrumental in helping the Satmar Rabbi immigrate to the U.S., as a refugee from Nazi Europe. For a time, they maintained good relations, but a disagreement soon ensued. The Satmar Rabbi agreed to give a talk at Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, at he invitation of Rabbi Mendlowitz. Ben Zion considered Mendlowitz to be a maskil (a follower of the Enlightenment),[33] and castigated the Satmar Rabbi for accepting the invitation. A loud argument reportedly ensued in the rabbi's office,[34] and Ben Zion was asked to leave.

He criticized Rabbi Moshe Feinstein[35] because of what Ben Zion considered to be liberal rulings on such issues as artificial insemination, divorce, or details of Sabbath law. To most of their contemporaries, Ben Zion and Rabbi Feinstein alike were both zealous Orthodox Jews; most would have labeled them both as "ultraorthodox". It was often puzzling to neighbors and relatives that such passions could be unleashed over relatively minor disagreements. Ben Zion's nephew aptly described this befuddlement:

You know there are so many facets, so many opinions of what Judaism is, how we should behave. . .now let's say there are a million attitudes, if your attitude is number one million and another attitude is number ten, then your attitudes are far, far apart. But Moshe Feinstein's opinion was not so far, far apart from your grandfather's opinion. That was a million, the other was nine hundred thousand. They weren't so far apart. . . So why such extreme attitudes?[36]

For all his criticisms and disputes, Ben Zion was charismatic and highly affectionate to those who knew him.

He was in a sense very rough with people, but the way he was rough with them they appreciated it. They never felt offended. Because at the same time he was rough and demanding he was also friendly and affectionate and so many people always said, "Oh, I was his best friend." He made people feel as if he was their best friend. He never made an enemy because of his roughness. [H]is manners were so appealing, and his affection so expressed, that whatever he said in criticism was accepted. They took it from him.[37]



Events were overtaken by World War II. Politics within the New York Orthodox Jewish community cooled, attentions diverted by the rise of Nazi power and the calamitous destruction of the Jewish community in Europe. Diverse factions began to work together in the attempt to rescue Jews and accomodate a growing flow of refugees. At the same time, the refugee influx, which included many of the great rabbis and yeshiva heads of Europe, along with masses of their adherents, reinvigorated Orthodoxy in the U.S.

The deaths of the Malach (1938) and Mendlowitz (1948) passed with little notice, except by their close adherents. Following the war, there was a noticeable ideological shift away from the accomodationist, Hirshian views; and toward an exclusionist Orthodoxy derivative and characteristic of East Europe. Chassidic dynasties and Lithuanian yeshivas were transplanted to the U.S., and began to undergo a period of vigorous growth, particularly in New York, but even in locales as distant as Lakewood, Cleveland, and Los Angeles.

Ben Zion moved yet again in 1950, this time to Crown Heights, following his daughter and son-in-law. By this time, Chassidic rabbis had become well established throughout Brooklyn, and Torah Vodaas was no longer the only, or even the most important yeshiva. The masses of new Jewish immigrants knew nothing of the expulsion of the boys from Torah Vodaas, and Ben Zion was able to gradually rebuild neighborly and family relations. He rebuilt his law practice, but he never became rich. Much of his law fees were given away as charity, or as loans that were never repaid.

Ben Zion kept up his iconoclastic ways well into his later years, deeply critical of Zionism, even after some form of the movement had been embraced the Orthodox Jewish community (as in the case of the Agudah, which backfaced from its earlier position opposing Zionism). He championed the right of the Malachim yeshiva, headed by his son Meir, to engage in purely religious education, and to exclude secular education altogether. The battle was waged up to the State Supreme Court level. [38] The case was lost (1952), but the yeshiva has not compromised its stance.

Ben Zion lived long enough to see the vindication and widespread acceptance of many of the ideas he had espoused a half century prior. Black hats, hair covering by women, arranged marriages, abandonment of mixed dancing, the adoption of various humras (strict observances), advanced Torah study, rejection of higher education, religious separatism, and opposition to Zionism had now become increasingly common among Orthodox Jews.[39]

Ben Zion maintained his Talmud shiurim (study courses), his nigunim (songs),[40] and his law practice until age 72, when he passed away. I was 16 years old at the time. Over the years, I had spent Shabbosim (Sabbaths) and often afternoons at his second floor apartment on Empire Boulevard; I accompanied him on the rounds of Crown Heights shtieblach (small synagogues), and we had grown close. I recall episodes of piercing mussar (lecture), fiery arguments, and heated tempers; for neither of us would back down easily. Yet he made me feel I was a prince, the most brilliant of students, his favored grandchild.



Finally, a brief note on this project and its sources. The idea came to me in November, 1999, while visiting my family in Monsey, New York. My sister had obtained a tape of my grandfather, recorded at a Sheva Brachos (post-wedding celebration). This was a moving experience, as I had not heard his voice since he passed away. I began looking for people who knew my grandfather during the twenties and thirties. In addition, I made research trips to the major Jewish library and archive collections in New York City.

Fortunately, there were several individuals still knowledgeable about events which had transpired a half century ago. Meir, head of the Malachim, head of a kollel (advanced learning center) and respected leader of the Williamsburg Chassidic community, gave generously and freely of his time and memories. Judah lives in Monsey, but declined to be interviewed, concerned that my motives might not be "in the name of Heaven".

Also, in Judah's view a purely historical study of my grandfather's life might interpret events incorrectly, and had no value. Information referenced to Judah in this article was obtained second hand, and from conversations recorded in the past. Meir and Judah, the two siblings to have actually known the Malach in their teens, had different views on their teacher's contemporary relevance. For Meir, the teachings remain an exemplary guide to correct avoda (service); Judah feels the Malach served mainly as a bridge to postwar Orthodoxy.

Mirelle was concerned about reawakening painful personal memories and old controversies. She declined to be interviewed, but was supportive of my initiative.[41] Pinchas Aharon, rabbi and community leader in Miami Beach, visited New York City during the time I was there. Youngest of the siblings, he willingly shared what he remembered of his father. Nochum Dicker, Ben Zion's nephew, currently living in Flatbush, took me out to a kosher diner and agreed to be interviewed. At several times during the conversation, the memories caused him to break down in tears.

Nsanel Quinn is currently 90, still in good health, hearing, clear mind, and has detailed and personal memories of the period under discussion, and intimate knowledge of the persons involved. Amazingly, he still spends a full day teaching classes at Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, now relocated to Boro Park. He generously gave me two hours of his time at his office in Torah Vodaas. He too became overwhelmed with emotion, and remembers the departure of Meir and Judah with sadness. "Nobody won," he said over and over.

I would have liked to interview Shmuel Mendlowitz, Rosh Yeshiva of Bais Shraga, Monsey, but my family raised strong objections to this. Fortunately, much of the Mendlowitz biographical information has already been collected and published. Rafael Zalman Levine passed away some ten years ago in Albany; he is survived by his daughter Rhoda. Richard Sugarman[42] and Zvi Boss[43] have recorded conversations with Rafael Zalman. Some of this information was shared with me, but the bulk of it remains zealously guarded.

I acknowledge the help of all of the above informants, as well as numerous others in Monsey, Boro Park, and Williamsburg who welcomed me warmly and with hospitality after my prolonged absence. Because of space considerations, much of the information provided by informants could not be incorporated into this article. Future publications can deal with other aspects of Ben Zion's life and times. For help with archival material, secondary sources, and other suggestions, I thank Zalman Alpert,[44] Jeff Gurock,[45] and Deborah Dash Moore.[46]







[1]Nathan Glazer, American Judaism, Chicago and London, 1937; rev. ed. 1972.

[2] Jenna Weissman Joeslit, New York's Jewish Jews: the Orthodox community in the interwar years. Indiana University Press, 1990

[3] Jeffrey S. Gurock, American Jewish Orthodoxy in historical perspective, Ktav Publishing House, 1996. Older overviews include David Singer, Voices of Orthodoxy. Commentary 58:1, 1974, 54-60; and Jacob Katz, Orthodoxy in historical perspective. Studies in Contemporary Jewry, 1986, 3-17.



[4] Judah Weberman



[5] Among other sources, see Orthodoxy: triumphalism on the right, in The fragmenting world of organized Judaism, 115-136; and Haym Soloveitchik, Rupture and reconstruction: the transformation of contemporary Orthodoxy. Tradition 28(4), 64-132.



[6] Brief sketches of the Malachim are provided by G. Sobel, The M'lochim, MA Thesis, New School for Social Research, 1952; and Mintz, Hasidic peoples, 1995.



[7] Ben Zion Weberman



[8] Meir Weberman



[9] M. Samsonowitz. The founding of Torah Vodaas--Rab Binyomin Wilhelm, Torah pioneer in the early twentieth century. Yated Ne'eman 12 Aug. 1999, 34-40. See also A. Sorsky, Shlucha d'rachmana; and Das Yidischer Vort, Tishrei, 1982, 35-37. A handwritten diary in Yiddish by Binyomin Wilhelm circulates among his descendents, portions of which are apparently highly sensitive, but has not yet been translated or published.



[10] Studies of Prewar Jewish Williamsburg are lacking. For subsequent depictions, see Gershon Kranzler, The Jewish community of Williamsburg, PhD dissertation, Columbia University.



[11] Binyomin Wilhelm had recently moved to Williamsburg, and needed a yeshiva for the education of his children



[12] Samsonwitz, 36



[13] See photo in Samsonowitz, 37



[14] Their children included Meir (b. 1921), Judah (b. 1923), Mirelle (b. 1927), Moshe (b. 1929), and Pinchas Aaron (b. 1931).



[15] Having left in order to avoid the military draft



[16] Respective authors of the Arugat Habosem, Beer Shmuel, and Shevet Sofer



[17] That is to say, the integration of Torah, secular studies, and professional work.



[18] Samsonowitz, 39



[19] So-named to differentiate it from the elementary level yeshiva



[20] Samsonowitz, 39-40



[21] An epithet granted to saintly people in White Russia. According to one account, he supported himself in White Russia with a small shop, and averted his eyes downward any time a woman entered the store. See Likutim shonim hanogea bezmanenu misefer Ozer Igros Kodesh, Nizuzei Or, 2(1), 1998, 30-31, footnote 3.



[22] To escape the draft, as with Mendlowitz and Wilhelm



[23] At the time, America was perceived as (religiously) a land of "darkness" by Orthodox communities in Europe and Russia



[24] Third Lubavicher Rabbi, and leader of the Chabad Chassidic school.



[25] Quinn maintains that he was "thrown out" of Lubavich; other accounts suggest he left voluntarily



[26] He had previously taken groups to study with Rabbi Israel Jacobson, but grew concerned over his growing influence over the students. Israel Jacobson, Zikaron Livnei Yisrael, 192.



[27] According to Jacobson (193), another dispute reportedly revolved around the propriety of using Talmudic texts printed by non-religious Jews



[28] Aharon Sorsky, 1993. Shlucha d'rachmana, 172-189, discusses this correspondence in some detail, including facsimiles of several responsa. Some of these letters have also been published in various responsa compendia, such as Joshua Boimel, Emek Halacha, Jerusalem, 1976, 272-275.



[29] Meir Weberman says they were expelled by Nsanel Quinn, and that Nsnanel later apologized to Meir. When I questioned Nesanel Quinn, however, he said they had left voluntarily, and had never been expelled.



[30] The feeling was mutual. "I never met a man whose views are closer to mine", the Malach is reported to have said; Ben Zion was moreover one of the few people trusted by the Malach to witness marriage contracts



[31] Ner Tomid Publishing Company, Broadway, NY, V. 1, 1923



[32] Dated Wednesday of the Parsha R'eh, Rockaway, NY



[33] Meir Weberman

[34] Judah Weberman

[35] A Lithuanian Rabbi considered to be the greatest of contemporary poskim (religious judges)



[36] Nochum Dicker



[37] Pinchas Aaron Weberman



[38] Auster v. Weberman, Supreme Court of NY, September 27, 1950



[39] See footnote 3, above.



[40] He led prayers on high holy days, first at Anshei Ungaren in the Lower East Side; later at various shtieblach in Brooklyn. Nochum Dicker had served in his choir.



[41] Hoping I would thus be drawn closer to Jewish practice.



[42] Department of Religion, University of Vermont



[43] Monroe, NY



[44] Yeshiva University



[45] Yeshiva University



[46] Vassar College

Malach HaMovies said...

I know for a fact that Binyamin Wilhelm was on the side of RSFM. And he did not speak to his brother-inlaw Ben-Zion Weberman for years. And it's possible that they did not speak with each other for the rest of their lives. But i'm not sure about that.

boog said...

Geithner is not the real problem, he and the other totally Peter Principle incompetent cabinet members are just a front for the advancement of The Manchurian Candidates Agenda to destroy the USA from within.

If Geither gets dumped, he will be replaced with another bozo to do the Bim-Bams bidding.

Have you noticed the rage and demonstrations orchestrated by this Administration against AIG and the pittance bonuses they paid out. Yes, a pittance when compared to the obscene bailouts and earmarks passed by Congress.

Think it can't become directed against us? Madeoff, Weingarten, Pinter and this increasingly lousy economy can shift the rage against us as throughout History we have always been the first and most convenient scapegoat. This is how it started in Nazi Germany.

The Bim-Bam Identity (totally lost without his Teleprompter). Special Olympics, Indeed!

Who is really behind him pushing all the buttons?

boog said...

Charlie ( I got the "Ways" to Tax your "Means) Rangel the Tax Cheat is now blowing hard against AIG, biting the very hand that fed him sizeable campaign contributions and an offer to spend 10 mil to build him "The Rangel Center" at City College.

Charlie; you are one shtick feckless piece of sh-t.

boog said...

From The Al Sharpton "Special Olympics" Dept.

Under which rock you be hidin' now, Bro?

Your Bim-Bam man dissed "Special Olympics" people. The Black Population does have special needs children and adults, so where the hell are you and your demonstrators? Where is the demand for a stronger apology similar to your demand from Rupert Murdoch and the NY Post over Sean Delonas' Chimp parody of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

We know the answer, you tax evading tinaf.