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Friday, April 17, 2009

This coming Tuesday - April 21st, 2009 - we can make a difference!

NY State has the most lenient laws against sexual predators for kids. This coming Tuesday April 21st, 2009 - we can make a difference!

Right now, the laws actually protect the predators of our children. The predators walk free to do it again and again, and can't be prosecuted in many cases because the statute of limitations has run out.

This coming Tuesday April 21st, 2009, child advocacy groups from all over New York are coming together to lobby for Assemblywoman's "Markey Child Victims Act" in Albany. The political system will take us seriously if we come out and show our support of the bill. That's how it works. Our strength is in numbers. You can make a real difference in helping the Markey Bill to pass, every person counts.

Am Echad urges you to stand up for our children and come with us to Albany! If you don't care enough to fight for the well-being of your children, who will? The Agudath Israel's cavorting with the Catholic Church to block this bill must be prevented at all costs! If this bill does not pass, the vicious sexual predator(s) that may be in your child's school, will forever be swept under the Agudah's rug!

SurvivorsForJustice.org has graciously arranged for free bus transportation from Manhattan and Brooklyn and will provide you with a glatt kosher lunch, no charge. (What true Jew can say NO to free?) We will be leaving early Tuesday morning and coming back approx 4 pm. We look forward to spending the day with you, meeting assemblymen and high ranking politicians together, and providing an educational experience for you on many important issues.

Please email Mark Appel at MARKMAPPEL@AOL.COM or call him at 212-873-3938 for bus departure locations and information.

We can't sit by as our children are wronged. We must act.

This cause is endorsed by Rabbi Yosef Blau, Rabbi Alan Schwartz, RCA Rabbinical Council of America and other leading rabbis.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

This looks like an opportunity to save lives.

Asher Lipner said...

This is really a chance to save lives. First of all, the "window" aspect of the law, giving victims a one year window to pursue lawsuits from years ago, has been shown to help law enforcement and communities identify child predators. (In California over 300 of them).

Secondly, those who have the zchus to participate in this trip will be giving incredible chizzuk and solidarity to the victims whether they ever choose to prosecute their offenders or sue the institutions that protect them. As the 250 people who showed up for Dov Hikind's rally in Boro Park to daven for and show support for victims have done, anyone who participates in a communal event to show victims we care is undoing untold amounts of pain that the victims have had to suffer for years. While the Yated Neeman's recent editorial expressing remorse for not protecting children and for not expressing support for those who have suffered was a step in the right direction, as with all things, actions speak louder than words. Those who truly care will either attend the lobby day, or at least pick up a telephone or email a state legislator to say "We as Orthodox Jews care about this issue and we side with the victims and not the perpetrators."

Parents ask me all the time what they can do to protect their kids from being molested in our community. Standing up for what is right, just and truthful, is the biggest and best way to promote change.

Lastly, every yeshivah that does not have safety plans, despite what Torah Umesorah has suggested, and does not even do the bare minimum of fingerprinting and background checking all of its employees, let alone allowing known pedophiles to teach in their classrooms, will be put on alert by the Markey legislation passing, that they can no longer view Jewish children's blood as hefker, to quote Rabbi Yankie Horowitz.
This is, again, the least that can be done by parents who care about their children's physical emotional and spiritual safety.


Asher Lipner, Ph.D.
Vice President Jewish Board of Advocacy for Children
lipnera@gmail.com

Fresser said...

I hope the "glatt kosher" is not Rubashkin.

Son of Boog said...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123992516941227309.html

By PETER LATTMAN and CRAIG KARMIN

Steven Rattner, the leader of the Obama administration's auto task force, was one of the executives involved with payments under scrutiny in a probe of an alleged kickback scheme at New York state's pension fund, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Ombudsman said...

I wish there was more advance notice. It's going to be difficult to fit this into my schedule at this point.

With advance planning the buses could have also picked up more participants in NY-NJ.

Ronnie Schreiber spokesman said...

Michigan unemployment hits 12.6%

not to be confused with margo's stomach said...

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/WellnessNews/story?id=7354193&page=1

margo boycotting united airlines said...

Obese Airline Passengers Must Purchase an Additional Seat

United Airlines will start bumping obese passengers from sold-out flights and asking them to buy two tickets or upgrade to business class, the airline announced. United says it received more than 700 complaints last year from passengers who were uncomfortable because the person next to them "infringed on their seat," a spokeswoman for the company said.

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

Chaver Ombudsman,

Think FREE!

Barack Osama sleeper cell said...

http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/nukes+outlawed/1496902/story.html

Speaking in Prague last week, U. S. President Barack Obama pledged the United States to a "world without nuclear weapons." That is an impossible and probably dangerous goal. The right goal is a world safe from the horror of nuclear war. President Obama's condemnation of nuclear weapons themselves may actually increase the threat from the most ominous weapons and the most reckless regimes.

Can President Obama seriously imagine that a U. S. testing moratorium will inspire equal restraint in North Korea and Iran? It's impossible that he can he be that naive. More likely, Obama is chasing a face-saving excuse for allowing Iran to go nuclear and ignoring North Korea altogether.

Here's the deal President Obama may be seeking with Iran:

Iran continues to run its centrifuges until it has all the nuclear material it feels it needs. The material is stockpiled and secured, and all the elements of nuclear bombs are assembled. For all practical purposes, Iran has become a nuclear-weapons state. In return, Iran agrees to refrain from testing its all-but-finished weapons.

In other words: Iran gets the bomb -- the Obama administration gets to pretend that Iran has been stopped. That pretense opens the way to "engagement" with Iran. In the ensuing flurry of diplomacy (it is hoped) Iran is somehow enticed to act like a more normal state and rejoin the community of nations. The Iranian nuclear problem is not solved, but it is massaged to a lower level of urgency.

With North Korea, the new Obama plan may be the same as the old Clinton plan: Pay the North Koreans to halt their nuclear program. Bribes bought a few years of quiet in Korea in the mid-1990s, maybe more bribes can buy more quiet in the years ahead.

Still promoting himself said...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-i-weiss/newsweeks-rabbi-edition_b_188202.html

Steven I. Weiss

Posted April 17, 2009

"The Jewish community has real problems, and always has, and journalism is one of the tools that can be used to fix them"

Check out this sicko with lange payos said...

A rabbi who attended an earlier hearing to support Blue, who wears his hair and beard long, described the man as being “in the path toward orthodoxy.”

http://www.lvrj.com/news/breaking_news/42985217.html

Apr. 14, 2009
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

Father sentenced to 15 years in prison for chaining daughter to bed

By DAVID KIHARA
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

Robert Blue shuffled into a Las Vegas courtroom Tuesday and claimed to be a changed man, both physically and mentally.

Once more than 300 pounds, Blue has lost almost 100 pounds since he was jailed in January on charges stemming from chaining his daughter to a bed to keep her from overeating.

He said his bizarre behavior — keeping his 15-year-old daughter Briana captive in her bedroom and physically abusing his children — stemmed in part from health problems connected to his obesity.

With the weight off and his health improving, Blue said he now understands that corporal punishment is wrong. A rabbi who attended an earlier hearing to support Blue, who wears his hair and beard long, described the man as being “in the path toward orthodoxy.”

“I haven’t found the words to describe the remorse I feel,” Blue told District Judge Valorie Vega.

In February, he pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse and neglect with substantial mental injury. The charge carries a prison sentence of between two to 20 years.

Vega took a hard-line position with Blue and sentenced him to 15 years behind bars. He’ll be eligible for parole in five years.

“This was a very dysfunctional situation,” Vega said.

Blue asked the judge for probation. The Nevada Division of Parole and Probation also recommended Blue be granted probation. Prosecutors asked the judge to sentence him to four to 10 years in prison.

Authorities accused Blue, 53, of shackling his daughter by her right ankle to her bed for two days to keep her from eating. He also kept a refrigerator chained and locked.

Blue was arrested and initially charged with four counts of child abuse and neglect with use of a deadly weapon and one count of false imprisonment.

Blue also has an 8-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son. All the children are wards of the county but their mother now has physical custody of them.

On Tuesday, both daughters and mother Sylvia Blue attended the sentencing hearing. Sylvia Blue was the main breadwinner for the family. Briana Blue wept during the hearing. She had written a letter to the judge requesting leniency for her father.

The family declined to comment after the sentencing.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Lisa Luzaich told Vega that Blue had chained his daughter to the bed because he caught her sneaking vegetables to eat.

“He caught her eating peas and corn. Not Twinkies. Not Ho Hos. Peas and corn,” Luzaich said. “A 300-pound person should not be chaining a child to a bed because of eating habits.”

Blue told police that his eldest daughter fought competitively in martial arts and was beginning to compete in weight power lifting. Blue wanted her to weigh between 140 and 145 pounds to compete, according to a Las Vegas police report. At the time he chained her, she weighed about 165 pounds.

This wasn’t the first time Blue caught the attention of authorities. Clark County Child Protective Services received two prior reports on the family.

In 2001, allegations surfaced that Blue was forcing his children to run unsupervised in the street during the hottest day of the year, the report stated. In 2005, Blue was accused of hitting his children with a stick hard enough to leave bruises.

Both allegations of abuse were unsubstantiated.

Blue admitted during the hearing that he had abused his children but said he had only done it for a few years, not long-term.

He said he suffered from various medical problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, at the time of the incident. He was also taking prescription pain killers and his mother had recently passed away.

All of this changed his behavior, he said.

“Everyone who knows me knows what kind of father I’ve been,” he said. “Everyone who knows me knows that my children have not suffered until these recent few years of tragedy.”

Contact reporter David Kihara at dkihara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039.

Reform "Rabbi" Steven Newman said...

http://www.ktvz.com/Global/story.asp?S=10166506

FBI joins Powell Butte horse abuse/money laundering case

April 10, 2009 08:45 PM EDT

By Nina Mehlhaf, KTVZ.COM

NewsChannel 21 learned Friday the FBI is helping Crook County authorities in a huge horse neglect and money laundering investigation that spans at least three states so far.

Two more Powell Butte ranch hands were arrested Thursday for animal neglect, in the case of 81 malnourished and wounded horses.

On Friday, they, along with the caretakers of the property, all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

"Are you Christopher Kyle Hooks?" asked a Crook County Circuit Court judge. "Yes, I am," Hooks replied via video link from the county jail.

Hooks, 20, of Powell Butte, is one of the four caretakers of the Powell Butte ranch charged with 14 counts of animal neglect. He and a co-worker, 18-year-old Kyle Mann of Prineville. pleaded not guilty, one day after their arrest.

In the same courtroom just an hour earlier, Robert Albring Jr. and his son, Robert Albring III, arrested after two raids on the ranch in recent weeks, pleaded not guilty as well and agreed not to come near the horses.

A court granted the sheriff's office unfettered access to the 77-acre Highway 126 ranch the Albrings live on, in order to take care of the 67 malnourished horses still living there.

Detectives say they are closing in on the head of the operation, Robert Gruntz, who owns the horses and a company called Arlington Farms or Arlington Investments out of Riverside County, Calif.

Sources say his business partner Steven Newman, acts as a rabbi, counseling troubled marriages. Newman gets to know their finances and eventually offers them an investment in the Arlington company, saying they breed and race certified thoroughbred horses.

Detectives with the FBI and Crook County say Gruntz pockets the money, doesn't give a rip about the horses and deposits their hay and vet money into an account that's said to be almost $1 million fat.

"We're pretty sure there's horse owners out there that have no idea what kind of shape or condition these animals are in," said Crook Co. Commander Russ Wright. "They're paying for something they're really not getting."

Vets have checked, and these are true, tattooed thoroughbred racers, with bloodlines that could go as far back as the famous Secretariat, who won the Triple Crown in 1973.

But starving, with lice, and some with seriously infected wounds, they were shipped up from California to Powell Butte and left to die, say police. And with no money coming from their alleged boss, these ranch hands supposedly couldn't feed them adequately.

Detectives say they'll be making personal contact with Gruntz and his associates soon. And they say this money laundering, possible tax evasion scam could reach as far as New York state, where Gruntz allegedly owns more property.

The Powell Butte property is owned by Dr. Richie Stevens out of Park City, Utah and leased or rented by Gruntz. Detectives are also looking into Stevens to see what he knows about the case.

Police believe there are hundreds of investors out there who could be victims, we'll keep you updated.

There is a fund being set up at Wells Fargo Bank so you can make donations to help pay for the horses care.

A 30-ton delivery of hay will be taken to the property this weekend as vets continue the process of checking each one out.

Anyone with information about Gruntz and Arlington Farms is being urged to contact the Crook County Sheriff's Office at (541) 447-6398.

Avi L. Shafran said...

http://jta.org/news/article/2009/04/06/1004278/op-ed-shafran-is-wong-about-madoff2

EDITOR'S NOTE: Rabbi Avi Shafran has apologized for his column and retracted it. In response to his request, it has been removed from JTA's Web site.

Manchester said...

http://www.burytimes.co.uk/news/burynews/4252431.FBI_witness_role_for__Bury_police_inspector/

A BURY police inspector has jetted to New York to give evidence in a high-profile trial — at the request of the FBI.

Inspector Charlotte Cadden, who manages the division’s intelligence unit, took the stand at Brooklyn Federal Court to testify at the trial of Rabbi Israel Weingarten.

The rabbi was found guilty of sexually abusing his daughter over a number of years. He is due to be sentenced tomorrow.

The case achieved widespread publicity in the US because the rabbi represented himself, which meant he was able to cross-examine his daughter during the trial.

Inspector Cadden became involved in the case in 1999 while she was working at Salford CID. She was asked to investigate a report that Rabbi Weingarten was attempting to abduct his daughter from her Manchester school and take her to Belgium. He was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault after the victim told Inspector Cadden that her father had been abusing her for years. However, no prosecution was made at that time as all of the offences took place outside the UK.

Several years later, the victim moved to USA and made a complaint to the FBI that her father had abused her since she was aged nine.

The FBI learned of Inspector Cadden’s previous involvement in the case and in January they contacted her and asked her to travel to New York to give evidence at the trial.

Inspector Cadden said: “The FBI arranged for us to meet the victim after we had given evidence and she said that we had literally saved her life by getting her away from her father which was very emotional to hear.”

Rabbi Jacob Max said...

My modern orthodox shul has taken down the website that has my name & picture all over it. Rabbi Elan Adler is the shul's junior rabbi

http://jewishsurvivors.blogspot.com/2007/05/rabbi-elan-adler-on-sex-crimes-in.html

I also want to make a point to say that an extremely reliable sources told me that Rabbi Elan Adler and his wife Rivkah Lambert Alder are friends with alleged sex offender rabbi Yaakov Menken.

It's interesting to see that when you go to Rabbi Adler's synagogues web page you will find Menken's organization listed (Project Genesis). Adler also has a link to one of rabbi Marc Gafni's long time supporter's -- Rabbi Saul Berman of Edah. It's also interesting to note that Rivkah Adler's organization (CJE) often runs programs associated with Menken.

I'll be honest, I'm sick and tired of the game playing by rabbis of Baltimore -- Jewish Survivor

Anonymous said...
Thank you for posting this. I went to Rabbi Adler for help and was basically shunned away by him. I don't know if he changed or not. Yet I would never suggest any survivors going to him as a support person.

Dumkopf said...

Poor Shafran likely now has to have his columns proofread beforehand by Rabbis Zweibel & Perlow.

Tendler Trinity Of Human Garbage said...

Monsey, NY - A religious Jew who refused to look at pictures he took of a day of debauchery in 2007 with three under-aged Westchester girls to aid in his court defense has been sentenced to 1 to 4 years in state prison.

The Pig was sentenced this morning in state Supreme Court in Manhattan on second-degree rape, one count of second-degree criminal sex act, both felonies, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

One of the girls was 14 and two were 15 at the time of the assaults. He connected with them through myspace.com

UOJ Strikes Again said...

By MICHAEL J. CRUMB, Associated Press Writer Michael J. Crumb, Associated Press Writer – Thu Apr 16, 7:48 pm ET

DES MOINES, Iowa – A mystery is unfolding in the world of college fundraising: During the past few weeks, at least nine universities have received gifts totaling more than $45 million, and the schools had to promise not to try to find out the giver's identity.

One school went so far as to check with the IRS and the Department of Homeland Security just to make sure a $1.5 million gift didn't come from illegal sources.

"In my last 28 years in fundraising ... this is the first time I've dealt with a gift that the institution didn't know who the donor is," said Phillip D. Adams, vice president for university advancement at Norfolk State University, which received $3.5 million.

The gifts ranged from $8 million at Purdue to $1.5 million donated to the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The University of Iowa received $7 million; the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the University of Maryland University College got $6 million each; the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs was given $5.5 million; and Penn State-Harrisburg received $3 million.

It's not clear whether the gifts came from an individual, an organization or a group of people with similar interests. In every case, the donor or donors dealt with the universities through lawyers or other middlemen. Some of the money came in cashier's checks, while other schools received checks from a law firm or another representative.

All the schools had to agree not to investigate the identity of the giver. Some were required to make such a promise in writing.

"Our chancellor was called to a Denver law office and had to sign a confidentiality agreement that she would not try to find out," said Tom Hutton, spokesman at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. "Once the chancellor signed it, she was emphatic that we don't try to find out."

Each was delivered since March 1 and came with the same stipulation: Most of the money must be used for student scholarships, and the remainder can be spent on various costs such as research, equipment, strategic goals and operating support.

"We have no idea who this generous individual is, but we're extremely grateful," said Lynette Marshall, president and chief executive of the University of Iowa foundation. "This is the first time in my 25-year career that something of this magnitude has happened."

Usually when schools receive anonymous donations, the school knows the identity of the benefactor but agrees to keep it secret. Not knowing who is giving the money can raise thorny problems.

William Massey, vice chancellor for alumni and development at UNC-Asheville, said the school contacted the Department of Homeland Security and the IRS to make sure the money was legal before accepting it.

"There may be an ethical problem if you knowingly accept funds from ill-gotten gains," said Colorado Springs' Hutton. University officials "do due diligence and ask the appropriate questions and receive satisfactory answers."

The $6 million donated to the University of Southern Mississippi was the largest single gift ever bestowed to the school.

"It was a remarkable gift particularly during these economic times," said David Wolf, vice president of advancement.

"I think somebody is out there, or potentially a group of people, that has a great respect for the value of a college education and the power that it brings," Wolf said. "Gosh, if it's the same person or the same collective group of people, it's an amazing story."

ExposingZupnik.com said...

Friday, April 17, 2009
Rabbi Zupnik Brings Machlokes to Birkas Hachama & plays "Hatzolah Man"In most communities, Birkas Hachama, which occurs only once in 28 years, is an occasion of achdus, when all of Klal Yisroel gets together with one reason in mind - to praise Hashem.

In Passaic, however, Rabbi Zupnik managed to find a way to publicly bring machlokes to Birkas Hachama, too.

Not content with just reciting the Bracha and perhaps making a speech about how to thank Hashem, Rabbi Zupnik took this once in 28 years occasion to enhance the Passaic Hatzolah machlokes (there are two fighting Hatzolah organizations in Passaic, the newer one run under Rabbi Zupnik's auspices), by bringing both of it's ambulances, and setting them up right in front where no one could avoid seeing the pride of Rabbi Zupnik's machlokes.

Not content to leave it at that, while everyone was reciting Birkas Hachama, Rabbi Zupnik publicly toured the ambulances, and childishly played "Hatzolah man," pretending to drive the ambulance, and trying to talk on the microphone.

Currently 58 years old, only Hashem knows if Rabbi Zupnik will live to perform Birkas Hachama again. Why Rabbi Zupnik would want to ruin this rare mitzvah by tainting it with machlokes and strife, and making people feel uncomfortable, is beyond comprehension. Is nothing sacred to Rabbi Zupnik? Or did he again forget that occasions to praise Hashem are not intended for him to use to boost his own ego?

Click here for the article with photos of Rabbi Menachem Zupnik playing "Hatzolah Man" and imitating Elvis!

*********************************
Rabbinic emotional abuse is just as bad as any other kind of abuse.

ExposingZupnik.blogspot.comExposingZupnik.com
*********************************

Putz Hikind on his 50th kos yayin! said...

http://www.thejewis hweek.com/ viewArticle/ c53_a15459/ Editorial_ _Opinion/ Letter.html

Hikind Responds
by Assemblyman Dov Hikind
(D-Brooklyn) , 48th District

I am writing in response to the article by Hella Winston entitled, “Showdown Over Bills On Sex-Abuse Statute,” which appeared on The Jewish Week Web site.
In it, she wrote, “While Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who has publicly championed the cause of sexual abuse victims since last summer, was a co-sponsor of [Assemblywoman Margaret] Markey’s bill, he was also a co-sponsor of the first [Assemblyman Vito] Lopez bill. In fact, Hikind recently told the Five Towns Jewish Star that he was opposed to the window provision in Markey’s bill and is now a co-sponsor on the revamped Lopez bill. Hikind did not return calls seeking comment.”
This is blatantly untrue. At no time did I tell the Five Towns Jewish Star that I was opposed
to the window provision in Assemblywoman Markey’s bill. I do support the notion of a window provision, but with some type of limitation. I am seeking a compromise between the Markey and Lopez bill, with the intention of yielding a significant change to the sexual abuse statute of limitations law as it currently exists. Ultimately, I will champion the legislation which I think will not only best aid the victims, but which also has a realistic chance of passing in the legislature.
I trust this letter clarifies my stance on this vital issue. It is my hope that this will help prevent the dissemination of any further misinformation on Winston’s part.


Editor’s Note: By his own admission in the above letter, Assemblyman Hikind is opposed to the window provision as it is currently written in Assemblywoman Markey’s bill, which we reported in the article in question. The article never stated that Hikind is opposed to a window provision in general. Hikind expressed his opposition to the window provision in Markey’s bill at a public event last month at Congregation Ohab Zedek on the Upper West Side, which was reported on in the Five Towns Jewish Star.

Anonymous said...

hikind is a joke
he was bullied by satmar about previous misdeeds and will be there willing lapdog

Kol Anash said...

Klal Yisroel has just completed celebrating the Chag Hageulah of Pesach.

It is with great displeasure that we must acknowledge that not all of our children attended sedorim, and enjoyed the great simcha of Pesach. There are too many children who the effects of unspeakable abuse left the path of our forefathers, and Rebbeim. Out of pain and embarrassment they no longer have the feelings of cheirus that Pesach represents.

Tonight at kabbalas Shabbos we say "Those who love Hashem, hate evil". One cannot be an Ohav Hashem, unless the other part of Sinu Rah hatred of evil is being activated through your actions.

Opportunities to display our disgust of evil rarely come into our hands. However, this week Tuesday April 21,2009 we have the perfect opportunity. There will be a rally in Albany in support of tougher legislation against child molestation. We must raise our voices and show our nidachim, the children of our shluchim, and Anash that their children are valued by all of the kohol.

Contact markmappel@aol.com or (212) 873-3938. Drive up with mitzvah tanks this is an opportunity for kiddush Hashem. All Yidden have a choiv gadol to stamp out Rah. It's time to do our part.

Anonymous said...

The Vaad of Queens and Five Towns hit on Rabbi Soloveitchik of Streit's was orchestrated by Rabbi Fasman of Hillcrest.

Rabbi Faskowitz:

Employs Rabbi Eisen of Vaad of Five Towns.

Was Mordy Tendler's defense voice in front of the RCA.

Is Bryks mechutan.

Rabbi Soloveichik:

Is a staunch, outspoken supporter of abuse victims.

Will go to the end of the earth to help the little guy.

Like oil and water, oil rises to the top.

Faskowitz won round one, but Reb Moshe will win in the end.

Bim Bam identity said...

That's right Mr. Sleeper Cell President. Keep releasing top secret CIA memos so al Qaeda gets a free blueprint on how to resist US interrogators.

Most Rabbonim Today are Cowards said...

Streits kashrus is a fiasco. It has been for many years. Nice try with the conspiracy theory but it was Yoel Schoenfeld who orchestrated it, not Faskowitz. And for your info, Bryks was a Queens Vaad member for many years and probably still is. In any case, Vaad mikvaos in Kew Gardens are administered by Bryks.

And how exactly as you claim does Faskowitz employ Rabbi Yossi Eisen

You kvetchers need to get your story straight. Shmarya foolishly accuses the OU of being the stealth force behind it despite that Faskowitz quit the OUs RCA division to protest the expulsion of Tendler.

Anonymous said...

Well, here it we go again. Children need protection, a leash and a muzzle.

The protection of animals has always been very close to my heart. As an animal lover myself, I find it incomprehensible why people would hurt animals. Animal cruelty is a crime, and those who commit this crime are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Often, committing the crime of animal cruelty is a warning sign of other problems, including domestic violence. Children who are cruel to animals may themselves be victims of abuse. Neglected animals may indicate neglected children or elders in the home. If you are concerned that these crimes are going on in your community, contact the District Attorney Action Center at (718) 250-2340.

Additionally, animal cruelty can be a warning sign of further crime. Studies show that children who are allowed to be cruel to animals without intervention may commit other crimes as they get older. Many students who have committed school shootings began by killing animals.

It is important for the community to recognize the warning signs of animal abuse and to report these crimes. If you find an animal that has been abused or neglected, contact the District Attorney Action Center at (718) 250-2340.

A recent case you may be familiar with was that of two teenagers, Angelo Monderoy and Matthew Cooper, who are accused of breaking into an apartment in Crown Heights where they found a cat. They are charged with holding the cat down, pouring lighter fluid on it, and setting the animal on fire. The cat was later found outside crying, with deep wounds and fourth-degree burns, unable to move. Ultimately the animal had to be euthanized.

The defendants face charges of second-degree arson, second-degree burglary and aggravated animal cruelty. If convicted, they could each face up to 25 years in prison.

In Brooklyn, there are many groups dedicated to improving life for abused or abandoned animals. Three local organizations of special note are the Brooklyn Animal Resources Coalition, the Sean Casey Animal Rescue, and Brooklyn Animal Care & Control. These organizations have rescued thousands of animals annually. I am proud to have awarded each of these groups my office's Making a Difference award this month for their efforts on behalf of Brooklyn's needy animals.

Animal cruelty is a crime, and April is Animal Abuse Awareness Month. Please join me in looking out for neglected and abused animals. Report any crime you see, for the protection of animals and of our communities.

Sincerely,
Charles J. Hynes
Kings County District Attorney

Arthur said...

No Cents: Jobless New Yorkers Get Paid Less

The following is an NBC New York article:

Could you live on $430 a week in New York City? Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are finding out the hard way.

Nearly 200,000 New Yorkers have been laid off in the last year. The most they can collect in unemployment benefits is $430 a week – that's more than $100 less than what their fellow jobless in Boston, Pittsburgh or Trenton can accrue, according to the New York Times. Considering the exorbitant cost of living in New York, how can they do it?

The federal unemployment benefits system was intended to make up for about half the income a person made while they were working. Unlike other states, New York's unemployment system doesn't change to account for inflation every year. And many laid-off people find what they get from unemployment barely accounts for one fifth of their previous earnings, reports the Times.

Thousands of laid-off New Yorkers find themselves relying on their parents to help them support their own families as they struggle to keep up with bills and maintain health insurance for their children. Even younger people without families are being forced to make a radical adjustment from the times in which they would dine out a few times a week with friends or take the subway rather than walk 10 blocks to the park.

Yet amid all Albany's bailout plans, none have come to the rescue of unemployed New Yorkers. The state is considering a measure that would increase benefits slowly over the next few years to $625 weekly, but the legislation has stalled in committees. Business lobbyists have successfully thwarted the bill for years because of the increase in the payroll levy that supports the insurance system it would entail, according to the Times.

For many New Yorkers, nothing can come through fast enough. Without a change in the system, the benefits those without jobs receive wouldn't even cover the average monthly rent -- $2,000 -- for a studio apartment in Manhattan, reports the Times.

It´s bad enough to be single and unemployed in such conditions. Imagine a family of five.

LVF said...

To all those that would like to be in albany in support of this bill
(http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A02596)but cannot make it, should at least contact the assemblywoman to thank her for what she is doing,

E-Mail Her:
MarkeyM@ assembly.state.ny.us

Queens Office #
718-651-3185

ALBANY OFFICE #
518-455-4755

If anybody knows of the major players in the assembly who are opposed to this bill please post their name & phone numbers so we can respectfully voice our opinion.

Arthur said...

Sunday Apr 19, 2009
Modesty Blasé: Recession in a failing religious system

Posted by Modesty Blasé


In my real life, I am about to lose my job. Furious networking and frantic emailing have left me little time to write anything other than job applications and embellishments on my resumé (all job offers welcome). However, I have had a lot of time to think about what the recession means for Orthodox women, and how paid employment differentiates the role of women across various segments of the Orthodox community.

In the charedi community, especially in those sections where the men are in full-time learning, women are childbearing and bringing home the proverbial bacon. They generally have relatively low-paid jobs such as teachers, secretaries, beauty therapists or shop assistants that provide the basic infrastructure for a community to function. Rarely are they in business (unless it's sheitels [wigs] or housecoats) and even the recent Israeli initiatives to provide computer training and jobs found that many women were willing to take lower pay for working in an all-female work environment with flexible hours.

Men in full time learning, teaching in yeshivot or managing religious communal organizations have already started to feel the impact of the increasing numbers of American and European businessmen who can no longer afford to support these institutions across the Jewish world. Even in a good economic climate, most of these men have very few skills that would enable them to get a decent paying job outside the community. By minimizing the value of a secular education, their rabbis have failed to enable these men to provide adequately for their families and have perpetuated their dependency on the tzedakah [charity] of their neighbours (or in England, on the munificence of the welfare state).

The better-educated and savvy women in the charedi community are going to manage this recession by taking second jobs or piecemeal work, while the single working women in the charedi community with no husband or children to support are going to be the most financially secure. Is it too optimistic to think that this economic crisis will force rabbis and educators to re-evaluate the sort of life skills and training they are giving their young boys?

In the modern Orthodox community, there isn't a minyan where a man hasn't lost his job - bankers, lawyers, computer specialists and accountants have had their role as family provider snatched from under their tallis [prayer shawl], leaving many of them feeling emasculated and depressed. For women, the implications of the recession are still evolving - while a few women complained that their husbands had cancelled this year's Pesach holiday to a five-star resort at the Dead Sea, most are being much more careful about what goes in the their shopping trolley. Mothers are distraught as they start cutting back on extra-curricular activities for their children - ju-jitsu, folk guitar and tap dancing are under threat, and in a community that heavily guards the phone number of a good Polish cleaner, a few have taken to cleaning their own bathrooms and ironing their own husband's shirts.

Many of these women are highly-educated professionals who can afford to be full time homemakers while others are underemployed in mildly interesting jobs for a couple of days a week with their earnings reserved for little treats. After relying on their husbands for years, are these women willing to work full-time to support their families? More significantly, after so many years out of the work force, do they have the requisite skills and confidence to find the increasingly scarce jobs that are out there? When things get tough, what sort of role-modelling will these couples provide for their children? Will young girls finally realise that they need to train for careers with serious financial rewards so that they can support themselves in the future?

There is of course the other group of single, divorced or married women who are already working full time, often as the sole breadwinners in their family or as part of couple where two middling incomes are needed to create one almost decent Jewish salary that will enable them to live in the Jewish area, eat overpriced kosher food and send their kids to summer camp. For these women, it's business as usual, juggling work and home, with the sceptre of redundancy hanging over their heads, even though fortunately, many are in teaching, nursing, local council and other public sector jobs where there is greater job security.

Rabbis in every community are tackling the economic crisis according to their community's need - it might be facilitating introductions to potential employers, setting up a discrete emergency fund, calling for simpler simchas or providing some spiritual sustenance during these challenging times. There is much talk of lowering expectations, especially amongst children, and recognising this crisis as a corrective for previous greed and excess (which is extremely annoying as those struggling the most are not those who created nor benefited from this excess or greed).

In what might appear to be unrelated, there is also increasing concern about the number of young people who are going 'off the derech,' and rejecting the Orthodoxy of their parents. Some are motivated by the poverty of their own families and want to escape the inevitable consequences of a poor education and limited contact with the secular world. It strikes me that the fallout from the religious system is less about the big theological questions and more about overcoming deprivation. As long as desire, and not doubt, continues to fuel religious disquiet, the recession will only exacerbate the feelings of hopelessness and cynicism in a failing religious system. And if anyone tries to tell me that the recession is due to the immodest dress of women... well, I may just have to throw my sheitel to the wind.

Anonymous said...

On Wednesday parents should declare themselves free of the exorbitant tuition these so call roshay yeshiva are charging. They quote what the public schools pay per kid. Compare yeshiva education to that in Mississippi and not in New York. Next deduct 25% for the special ed kids and services that are being paid for by the Department of Education.
PARENTS AND those asked to donate--keep your money! They must have UBS accounts or ten family members on the payroll. One of my clients showed me a letter from a very prominent mainstream yeshiva that was a response it appeared to a din torah--We bought all this stuff but the company we bought it from should have known that we had no intention to pay. This was written by the executive director. I will try to obtain a copy of it. Funniest and saddest thing I read. Could have been written by that guy who admired Madoff.

steve said...

FROM RABBI HOROWITZ:

http://www.rabbihorowitz.com/PYes/ArticleDetails.cfm?Book_ID=1164&ThisGroup_ID=262&Type=Article&SID=2

What Kanoim and Extremists Have Wrought

Normal Children and Dangerous Kanoim

Read this report on Arutz Sheva titled Dangerous Youth in Bnei Brak and weep.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/130931

Weep for these kids who have been misled to believe that anything less than full day learning is shameful.

Weep for their parents who did not have the courage to buck community pressure and do what was right for their “average” sons years ago.

And weep for our charedi tzibur that gave the green light for many years now to kanoim and extremists who have quashed all efforts in Bnei Brak and many other communities to create alternate programs and recreational activities for healthy, normal, mainstream children who so desperately are in need of them.

Several years ago, I had the Ze’chus to be in the presence of Maran HoRav Ahron Leib Shteinman shlit”a, when he spoke at the Torah Umesorah Convention. Outside were dozens of kanoim, fiercely protesting his support of Nachal Charedi, (here are two columns that I wrote a while back about Nachal Charedi – Nachal Charedi #1 and Nachal Charedi #2), a wonderful program created for charedi boys who are not full-time learners.

Make no mistake about it. The ruined lives of these children, the tears of their parents, and the havoc these kids wreak on our kehilos are all on their hands.

My friends; Arutz Sheva got everything right but the title. The kids aren’t dangerous, they were just normal children driven to the streets by the dangerous kanoim who are destroying every facet of our kehilos.

Anonymous said...

The so-called kanoyim have also thrown garbage at Rav Elyashev, bashmutzed Rav Gifter, threatened Rav Wolpin and used coded language to say we should not listen to Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz since he has the pgam of having lived in a frierdika dor. And then there were the Hungarian behaymos who didn't like the teshuva in Igros Moishe about artificial insemination who called R' Moishe Feinstein at all hours of the night to scream nivul peh at him.

The Maggid Speaks said...

http://nyblueprint.com/articles/view.aspx?id=499

In London, Elon meets a mohel, or one who performs the circumcisions. He proudly shows her a glass jar of foreskins he’s kept.

Bnei Brak said...

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/130931

Dangerous Jewish Youth in Bnei Brak

by IsraelNN Staff

Bnei Brak vandals slashed tires on nearly 30 cars, torched a synagogue and burned a woodwork shop between Friday and Saturday night. The Bnei Brak residents agreed to talk with Israel National News TV on condition that their identities be concealed.

Click here to view this shocking video.

“Some of the local kids who were probably kicked out of their homes gathered here and decided to spend the night in the synagogue," one person said. "They tore down the Torah ark covering to sleep under it, and they took all the prayer shawls in the synagogue to use as sheets. A fire broke out when they burnt prayer books, and the whole wall was set aflame. This is pure vandalism.”

One yeshiva student spoke of his personal experience about how dangerous Bnei Brak can be late at night. “Two punks came over, and they were holding a glass bottle. They shattered it on my neck. With what was left after the bottle was broken, they tried to stab me. I was rushed bleeding to the hospital where pieces of glass were extracted and I was told that it almost reached my main artery. Two weeks later my uncle who is a great rabbi here walked through the streets, and two punks came over and started pulling his beard and hitting him."

Jews sometimes suffer assaults and harassment by Arabs or groups of immigrants defining themselves as neo-Nazis in other Israeli cities, but Bnei Brak is dealing with a homegrown menace. "They come from good families who live here in the area, they leave the way of their families and they allow themselves anything," one person said.

"They have no day or night, they have no boundaries and we don’t see the police doing anything. When we call the police and complain about the harassment, we notice they don’t come at all or they come with the siren and blazing lights and that’s enough for them to run away and come back the next time.”

'What Has Created Such Acts of Terror?'
Forensic psychosocial investigator Dr. Simone Gordon told Israel National News that the recent outbreak of violence in Bnei Brak raises some especially disturbing questions.

"To the extent that shuls have been vandalized and rabbis victimized, to what extent is this an re-enactment of trauma and a need to feel empowered?," she said. "To what extent is this due to drugs? To what extent is this a message to the community that 'we feel rejected by you, and are now going to reject and terrorize you?'"

Gordon, who leads workshops on the issue and commutes between New York and Jerusalem to consult on legal cases, commented that the choice of the youths to defile their "spiritual home" was a symbolic acting out of their anger and agression towards their parents and their cultural heritage.

"One can only ask 'what has created such acts of terror,' -- what is the traumatic re-enactment here and how is it being addressed?" she said.

Bring up all the shmootz at Margo's trial said...

http://www.caller.com/news/2009/apr/16/woody-allen-says-american-apparel-harassing-him/

NEW YORK — Actor-director Woody Allen has accused a clothing company of trying to harass and intimidate him with a “scorched earth” approach to defending itself against a $10 million lawsuit.

In papers filed Wednesday by his lawyers, the 73-year-old Allen said American Apparel Inc. went too far in requesting information about his family life, personal finances and career.

Allen sued the company last year for using his image on the company’s billboards in Hollywood and New York and on a Web site. Allen, who does not endorse products in the United States, said he had not authorized the displays, which the Los Angeles-based company said were up for a week.

The new court papers said American Apparel has “adopted a `scorched earth’ approach,” issuing broad document requests and subpoenas to many people close to him, including his sister.

Allen’s lawyers said the company was seeking to “tarnish Mr. Allen’s reputation a second time” and called it a “despicable effort to intimate” him.

American Apparel lawyer Stuart Slotnick said the company plans to make Allen’s relationships to actress Mia Farrow and her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, whom Allen married, the focus of a trial scheduled to begin in federal court in Manhattan on May 18.

“Woody Allen expects $10 million for use of his image on billboards that were up and down in less than one week,” Slotnick said. “I think Woody Allen overestimates the value of his image.”

He said the company’s belief was that “after the various sex scandals that Woody Allen has been associated with, corporate America’s desire to have Woody Allen endorse their product is not what he may believe it is.”

One billboard featured a frame from “Annie Hall,” a film that won Allen a best-director Oscar. The image showed Allen dressed as a Hasidic Jew with a long beard and black hat and Yiddish text. The words “American Apparel” also were on the billboard.

Allen’s lawsuit said the billboard falsely implied he sponsored, endorsed or was associated with American Apparel.

Slotnick said it was not a cheap shot to bring up Allen’s sex life in a lawsuit over the billboard and Internet ads.

“It’s certainly relevant in assessing the value of an endorsement,” he said.

Farrow starred in several of Allen’s movies during a relationship with the director that ended in 1992, when she discovered he was having an affair with her oldest adopted daughter, Previn, then 22. Allen married Previn in 1997.

During a bitter custody fight, Farrow accused Allen of sexually abusing their adopted daughter Dylan, 7. Allen was exonerated of the abuse charges, but Farrow won sole custody.

American Apparel is known for its provocative ads of scantily dressed models in tight-fitting and sometimes see-through garments.

Allen testified at a December deposition that he considered the company’s advertising to be “sleazy” and “infantile.”

The newly filed court papers revealed new excerpts from Allen, including why he might appeal to some advertisers.

“I’ve always been, from the start of my career, a special taste,” he said. “There have always been people that have loved me and there have always been people that didn’t know what I was about and couldn’t see anything in me.”

Allen also said ads shown to him by American apparel, including his rabbi ad, “have a sleazy quality to them” and were “not classy.”

He said if he were to do a commercial, he would have to be paid a lot and “it would have to be a very clever, kind of witty or intellectual-style” commercial. He said being asked to do an American Apparel ad would be like being asked to do a deodorant or cigarette commercial.

“There are reasons that you say no despite the large sum of money offered because of the product involved, and this very possibly would fall under that category,” he said.

Lawyers for American Apparel have complained that Allen has refused to turn over much of the information they have demanded to prepare for trial.

Among their demands were documents concerning any endorsement requests that were withdrawn after the sex scandal with Farrow and Previn became public.

The documents defined sex scandal as “your relationship with Soon-Yi Previn including the discovery ... (of) nude pictures you took of Soon-Yi Previn.”

The lawyers also requested documents concerning Allen’s public image and reputation, including his contention during his deposition that he was a “special kind of entity” or a “special taste.”

Allen’s attorneys said the request for documents related to the sex scandal and custody battle were “vexatious, oppressive, harassing” and irrelevant.

Slotnick said he couldn’t discuss whether there were any settlement talks under way, but he hinted the company may be open to avoiding a trial, saying it had apologized for using Allen’s image.

Picture of Rabbi Mad-Bad Max said...

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/baltimore_county/bal-md.co.rabbi15apr15,0,4322263.story

District judge finds Max, 85, guilty of fondling funeral home employee's breasts; lawyer plans Circuit Court appeal

By Nick Madigan | nick.madigan@baltsun.com

April 15, 2009

An 85-year-old rabbi well-known in the Baltimore area's Jewish community has been found guilty of sexually molesting a woman.

Rabbi Jacob Aaron Max, who turned 85 Tuesday, is rabbi emeritus and founder of Pikesville's Liberty Jewish Center, also known as the Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah Hebrew Congregation. He had pleaded not guilty in Baltimore County District Court to the two counts on which he was convicted, a fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault.

The rabbi fondled the 44-year-old woman's breasts on two occasions minutes apart and murmured that he was "being bad" and was a "bad rabbi" for doing so, according to court documents. At the time of the Dec. 4 incident, the woman worked in the Sol Levinson & Bros. Funeral Home in Reisterstown, and Max performed funerals there.

Judge Nancy Purpura, who supervised Monday's bench trial, sentenced Max to a one-year prison term, which she then suspended, and one year of unsupervised probation.

The rabbi's lawyer, David B. Irwin, said Tuesday that he would appeal the conviction to the Baltimore County Circuit Court and that there would be "a different result" in a jury trial. He said he would show that the woman was "very friendly" with the rabbi and sometimes "threw her arms around him."

"We consider her the aggressor," said Irwin, who predicted that the woman would file a civil lawsuit against the rabbi and the funeral home. "We believe her motive is monetary."

A police account of the incident said the woman was "physically shaking and crying uncontrollably" as she described to a police officer what had happened. She said she was in the funeral home's kitchen preparing a refreshment when Max approached her from behind "and proceeded to press his body up against the victim's body," pinning her against the counter, the investigator's report said.

The rabbi then "grabbed" the woman's hips and, a moment later, placed his hands outside her brassiere, the report said. She "immediately protested" and Max stepped away. The woman told the officer that she was "in complete shock because her relationship with the defendant has been strictly professional."

Less than a minute later, she said, Max returned to the kitchen and repeated the behavior. The woman yelled "No!" and pushed his hands away, she said. Max then left for the day.

Several days after the incident, a police investigator interviewed several of the woman's colleagues, one of whom said Max sometimes gave massages to the woman. Several of the employees described the woman as upset and crying on the day of the incident, although none said they had seen what occurred.

Max was rabbi of the Montefiore congregation for 50 years before retiring seven years ago, said Robert Meyerson, president of the congregation, which comprises about 250 families. Max's conviction - even the fact that he had been accused of a crime - took Meyerson "completely by surprise."

"We haven't been in touch that much," Meyerson said, "and we didn't know a thing about this case until Monday night," when he read about it on the Web site of the Baltimore Jewish Times. "It was shocking, out of the blue. We were all speechless, dismayed. All we can do is let the appeal take its course."

The Sveedish Chef (Borscht Borscht Borscht) said...

http://vodpod.com/watch/1428923-sweden-in-grip-of-islam

Boruch said...

Is there a gap in my limited understanding? In order to have a modicum of self esteem you have to feel that you are successful at something. I've vacillated over the past months over the presumed blatant ignorance of the Yiddishe velt and the Rabbonim and the all too real absence of self-preservation by trying to get away with much for doing little. I feel that I got it wrong, some days. I feel that instead of looking at the whole as a bunch of brain washed lemmings; I should view them as among the lost and drowning.
As I read through the comments on this and other blogs, the undercurrent of anger and angst is barely concealed. But who should be the focus of this anger? That where I go back and forth. Is it really the culture that Hashem created that's to blame or the excesses that we added on that's to blame. Who empowered whom? We are too enamored with the kuntz and we don't spend any time with the plain pshat. We have volumes on pilpul and yet the simple question and answer of a gemorrah sugya eludes many. Artscroll, for it's advantages, is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination. I can read the gemorrah, but I can't learn it. My friend, the priest, can quote Chazal and I'm thankful that he hasn't figured out nistar yet. I was taught, no exhorted, to break my head on gemorrah. To learn not only the translation but the questions. To ask the questions, to understand the questions is learning. But beyond learing the questions is the doing. Hashem wants us to ask what should we do and how should we do it. Not to stand like golems waiting for the other guy. This is Yam Suf, we are in the sea and we are drowning. Rabbi Horowitz writes about kanoim - who Pincus? There are no kanoim today. These are thugs, directionless thugs who have absconded with the basics of religion and turned it into a closed private club. Religion is a speakeasy. Hashem is a bootlegger. Ask these kanoim to explain the sugya of Yaiesh shelo midaas - ask for the kasha. They don't know. We have gone backwards to live an prat of an avodah zarah existence that occurred in the times of sun worship and human sacrifice. We just don't outright kill anybody on a concrete slab. We let them bleed slowly on a concrete street. Rabbonim can only enact a rule if the majority of people will follow it (Bava Basra 60b). What's the question? The question is, for some, why is this a question? It's a simple statement limiting authority enactments to what the populace can reasonably handle. If you think so, you are among whom I'm talking about.
The problem is us. We have taken our religion for granted and our practice to fawning over a gemorrah quoter(a form of yeshivshe blogging) who can tell you what Rava said but not what he means or what it matters in a context. A nation of Kohanim was not meant to convey a people steeped in servitude with no other purpose. Kohanim are servants of Hashem and study to serve Him in His way. We don't learn for the sake of learning but to do Hashem's will. Once we've abandoned the laasos, we lose. There will be the arguments that we should learn and be learning lishma. Poppycock. Learning lishma is to learn to do and carry out the ratzon of Hashem.
So I still go back and forth. The businesses, the multi-million dollar businesses that are run by high-school dropouts who claim yichus or a connection to Europe or to Israel. Who make big dinners and honor money while crying that if you leave yeshiva you are a bum and then send you 15 donor letters a year because a bum hot gelt. I go back to what I said when I was first invited to a yeshiva dinner, show me the invitation that the Yeshiva Radin sent out for their dinner and I'll go. They send erlicher shluchim who understood the kashes. They accepted that not every bochur was fit to sit and learn. They didn't fantasize with a bochur because of the family's ability to shik gelt. We have created this system and we are afraid to change it. We are the problem. We can no longer wait for the other guy as the other guy is now us. Maybe this financial crisis will go on long enough for people to examine their priorities and reconnect with Hashem. I hope so. I pray so. Hashem is are only hope.

Thought For Yom HaShoah said...

EVERY JEW PURSUED BECAUSE THEY ARE A JEW AND THEREFORE CANNOT PROTECT THEMSELVES ARE KEDOSHIM. WE MUST SUPPORT THEM. WE MUST RESPECT THEM. WE MUST ADVOCATE FOR THEM.

GO TOMORROW TO ALBANY.

SUPPORT THE KEDOSHIM OF NOWADAYS!!

BIRKAS HACHAMA IS ONCE IN 28 YEARS, THIS IS A CHANCE OF A LIFETIME.

GO! GO! GO! GO!


The Holiest Generation
By Isaac Steven Herschkopf

I could not have been more than 4 or 5 when I asked her. It seemed to me, at the time, to be an innocent, straightforward question: “Mommy, when do I get my number?”

I was, of course, upset when she burst into tears and ran out of the kitchen, but I was also confused. This was Washington Heights in the 1950s. It was an enclave of survivors. Every adult I knew had a number. Even my teenage sister had one in blue ink tattooed on her forearm.

They were as ubiquitous on the benches of Riverside Drive as they were on the footpaths of Fort Tryon Park. If you saw an adult with some sort of hat on his head, he invariably also had a number on his arm. In the summer, when the community traveled en masse to Catskill bungalow colonies, or to Rockaway beaches, the numbers came too.
I presumed it was a ceremonious part of becoming bar mitzvah, or perhaps graduation from Breuer’s or Soloveichik, our local yeshivas. No one appeared to be embarrassed by their number. ARG! I never saw anyone try to cover it up when they went swimming. It seemed to be a matter of fact part of life.

When, as children, we would ask our parents why there was a “Mother’s Day” and a “Father’s Day,” but no “Children’s Day,” the automatic response was “Every day is ‘Children’s Day’!” In Washington Heights, in the ’50s, every day was Yom HaShoah.

Ironically enough, at the same time, no day was Yom HaShoah. The commemoration, as it exists today, was not around then. Breuer’s and Soloveichik consisted almost exclusively of children of survivors, yet neither school had any assembly, or recognition of any type, of the Shoah.

The very word Shoah didn’t exist. The word Holocaust did, but it was never invoked. When on rare occasion our parents would make reference to the events that led them to leave Europe to come to America, they would label it “the War.”

They spoke nostalgically of life “before the War”; they never spoke of what happened during “the War.” They spoke reverently of their parents and siblings who were “lost in the War”; they never spoke of their spouses or children who perished. After all, they had new spouses and new children who didn’t need to be reminded that they were replacements.

I was already bar mitzvah when I first realized that my parents had been previously married and had prior children. Years later I was shocked to discover that my sister with whom I was raised was not my father’s daughter.

When I finally came to understand that not every adult was a survivor, and people would ask me what survivors were really like, I never knew what to answer. There was Mr. Silverberg, our seatmate in shul, as jovial as Santa Claus, who always had a good word for everyone. On the other hand, there was Mr. Grauer, our neighbor whose face was indelibly etched in a frown and was always threatening to hit his wife or his children. In retrospect, as a psychiatrist, I could understand both, but who truly defined what it meant to be a survivor? Did anyone, or anything?
I learned the answer from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein.

This gadol hador, the greatest sage of his generation, was so renowned he was referred to simply as “Rav Moshe.” The closest I came to this legend was at Yeshiva University High School, where my rebbe was his son-in-law, Rabbi Moshe Tendler. Rabbi Tendler, and every other rabbi, would speak of Rav Moshe in awe-stricken tones usually reserved for biblical forefathers.

One summer I was spending a week with my aunt and uncle in upstate Ellenville. Uncle David and Aunt Saba, survivors themselves, as the doctor and nurse in charge of the concentration camp infirmary, had managed to save the lives of innumerable inmates, including my mother and sister. After “the War” they had set up a medical practice in this small Catskill village, where, I discovered, to my amazement, they had one celebrity patient - Rav Moshe.
My aunt mentioned casually that Rav Moshe had an appointment the next day. Would I like to meet him? Would I? It was like asking me, would I like to meet God.

I couldn’t sleep that night. I agonized over what I should wear. Should I approach him? What should I say? Should I mention that his son-in-law was my rebbe? Should I speak to him in English, or my rudimentary Yiddish?

I was seated in the waiting room, in the best clothing I had with me, an hour before his appointment. It seemed like an eternity, but eventually he arrived, accompanied by an assistant at each side. He didn’t notice me.

I was frozen. I had intended to rise deferentially when he entered, but I didn’t. I had prepared a few sentences that I had repeatedly memorized, but I sensed that my heart was beating too quickly for me to speak calmly.

My aunt had heard the chime when he entered and came out of the office to greet him: “Rabbi Feinstein, did you meet my nephew Ikey? Can you believe a shaygitz [unobservant] like me has a yeshiva bochur [student] in the family?”
Rav Moshe finally looked at me. I was mortified. My aunt was addressing him irreverently. She was joking with him. She had called me Ikey, not Yitzchok, or even Isaac.

Then it got even worse. She walked over to him. Surely she knew not to shake his hand. She didn’t. She kissed him affectionately on the cheek as she did many of her favorite patients. She then told him my uncle would see him in a minute and returned to the office.

Rav Moshe and his attendants turned and looked at me, I thought accusingly. I wanted to die. In a panic, I walked over to him and started to apologize profusely: “Rabbi Feinstein, I apologize. My aunt, she isn’t frum [religious]. She doesn’t understand…”

He immediately placed his fingers on my lips to stop me from talking. He then softly spoke two sentences in Yiddish that I will remember to my dying day: “She has numbers on her arms. She is holier than me.”

Rav Moshe had understood what I had not. Our holiest generation was defined by the numbers on their arms.

Morons said...

http://www.free-press-release-center.info/pr00000000000000039225_vaad-harabonim-of-queens-cited-for-hashgacha-behavior.html

These guys trying to defend Soloveitchik & Streits cite that he is involved with Leib Tropper's gerus movement as if that's a GOOD thing.

Shmarya Groupie said...

http://www.kansascity.com/255/story/1148245.html

Is Shmarya in Albany or did he head to Philly instead?

Ezra Merkin said...

http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/merkin-warned-madoff-early-s/

Documents released by a judge on Friday related to New York University’s lawsuit against financier J. Ezra Merkin show that Merkin was warned as far back as 1992 that Bernard L. Madoff might not be what he appeared.

The documents were obtained in response to a motion filed by FOX Business Network.

In a deposition taken in February, financial advisor Victor Teicher stated that he told Merkin in the early 1990s that he felt Madoff’s investment firm didn’t “smell right.”

Teicher is a convicted felon who was employed by Merkin on and off during the period Merkin is accused of funneling money to Madoff without his clients’ knowledge.

According to Teicher’s deposition, on Dec. 12, a day after Madoff was arrested for operating possibly the largest investment fraud in history, Teicher sent Merkin an e-mail stating: “The Madoff news is hilarious; hope you negotiate out of this mess as well as possible; I’m yours to help in any way I can; unfortunately, you’ve paid a big price for a lesson on the cost of being greedy.”

And: “I guess you did such a good job in fooling a lot of people that you ultimately fooled yourself.”

NYU sued Merkin in December, claiming it lost $24 million in Madoff’s fraud.

Merkin’s lawyer, Andrew J. Levander, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Also included in the documents are quarterly reports sent by Merkin to NYU’s Endowment Fund, which purport to outline Merkin’s investment strategy for the millions of dollars NYU had invested with Merkin.

Specifically, Merkin wrote to NYU explaining his investment decisions each quarter.

However, in NYU’s lawsuit, as well as fraud charges filed earlier this month by the New York State Attorney General’s office, Merkin is accused of simply turning his investors’ money over to Madoff. In addition, the allegations against Merkin charge that he repeatedly turned a blind eye to potential red flags that Madoff was operating a Ponzi scheme.

In some of the NYU quarterly reports, Merkin touted his transparency and warned that “hypothetical” money managers could simply report returns without explaining how they got them.

That’s exactly what Madoff admitted to when he pleaded guilty on March 12 to 11 felony counts. Madoff faces a maximum of 150 in jail when he is sentenced on June 16.

If the suits against Merkin are found to have merit, than many of the statements contained in the documents released Friday are nothing if not ironic.

“Our business is all about controlling the downside, which occasionally requires us to forego money-making opportunities,” he wrote in a report dated April 18, 2000.

Merkin is accused in the fraud case of collecting $470 million in management and incentive fees from Madoff in return for funneling $2.4 billion to Madoff from various investors.

In the same report, noting that huge financial incentives often lead money managers to take big risks, he wrote:
"Tempering this tendency, we would hope, is a sense of fiduciary responsibility. Failing that, the prospect of a public hanging tends to concentrate the mind wonderfully.”

Merkin is an influential figure, especially in New York, where he was prominent both on Wall Street and in social and charitable circles. While he and Madoff were still riding high, Merkin sat on the boards of such New York institutions as Carnegie Hall, Yeshiva University and the Fifth Avenue Synagogue.

Leopold Margulies said...

Wrong! I am the most famous ferd!

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/20/world/europe/20hungary.html

April 20, 2009
Hungary’s Spirits Are Back Up, on a Horse
By NICHOLAS KULISH
BUDAPEST — A racehorse bought for a pittance has turned into a national hero in crisis-stricken Hungary.

The thoroughbred known as Overdose pounded down the stretch here at Kincsem Park on Sunday to extend his record to 12 wins in 12 races, his jockey clad in the red, white and green of the Hungarian flag.

And for an afternoon at least, the crowd of more than 20,000 in the grandstand and lining the rail, along with all the Hungarians watching at home, could forget about the resignation of the prime minister and their currency’s nosedive.

As times have gotten tougher here, the 4-year-old Overdose has become the Hungarian Seabiscuit, a symbol of hope for Americans during the Great Depression. He appears to remind Hungarians of themselves: undervalued and underestimated.

Overdose has been called the Wunderpferd, or Miracle Horse

“Failure is the most often heard expression in Hungary today — failure, mistake, pessimism. When even a horse is able to make a miracle from nowhere, it’s a sign of hope that we can get out from the desperate situation we are now in,” Mr. Orban said.

“If I were a politician, I would do the same, because Overdose is one of the most famous persons in Hungary,” said Mr. Horvath, “even though he is a horse.”

Malach HaMovies said...

I spoke to someone over yom tov who knows the ins and outs of Torah Temimah.

He told me that marglius investeded 10 million dollars of the Rebbi's pension fund with Madoff (or someone connected with Madoff). He of course lost all of the money. As of now it hasn't been replaced.

Also, he knew of 3 shidduchim that were cancelled because the boys went to TT and everyone knows that Margo has to be Mesadar Kedushim for all TT boys.

Obviously, the fathers of the girls were not to thrilled with that.