Sunday, August 29, 2010

Jewish Felons: The Problem of Criminality in Observant Communities!

The UOJ Archives - August 2006

By Joel Cohen

Sunlight is the best disinfectant. — Justice Louis D. Brandeis

As a prosecutor and, more recently, a white-collar defense attorney in New York, I have witnessed a disturbing rise in crime among Orthodox and Hasidic Jews. When I broach the subject with Jewish friends, they say that writing about this subject will be “a disgrace to the name of God,” viewing the writing on the issue as the disgrace and ignoring the underlying conduct. They see Jews, particularly observant Jews, as a community that outsiders focus on in search of scandal and feel that exposing the problem will add fuel to the fires of anti-Semitism. I feel that this reasoning is wrongheaded: To ignore crime within our ranks does us a great disservice, both because it weakens us as a community and because tolerating it suggests to the outside world that Judaism does not promote a righteous moral compass.

A Growing Problem

There is no shortage of high-profile Jewish crime. Take the infamous New Square scandal, in which four Hassidim were convicted for defrauding the government of $11 million by setting up a fictitious yeshiva to receive federal student aid money. Or the case in Williamsburg, New York, in which the rabbi of a Jewish day school [Hertz Frankel of Satmar] stole 6 million dollars from the Board of Education over several years by falsely identifying more than eighty individuals as school employees.

The problem in the observant community, however, is not merely occasional, nor does it often make headlines. Daily, in metropolises around the country, yarmulka-wearing criminal defendants appear before the bar of justice. In the early 1970s, a particularly imaginative criminal defense lawyer in New York City successfully sued the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to provide kosher food for one or two of his incarcerated clients. The sad truth is that these days, kosher food has become as commonplace in many penal institutions as it is on airlines.

Today, every day in the minimum-security camp at the Otisville Federal Correctional Institution in Rockland County, New York, there are sizeable minyanim, three times daily. A full-time rabbi attends to the congregation’s spiritual and religious needs. Daily religious classes are offered. Shabbat and holiday meals are provided. There are so many observant inmates—inmates who were ostensibly observant at the time of their arrest, not those who “found God” after they broke the law, thereby increasing the numbers—that such provisions are now available at a number of other federal penal institutions. Anyone practicing in the justice system of a large urban metropolis with a significant Jewish population—New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, for example—has seen a similar trend.

These observant defendants are not typically charged with street crime or narcotics trafficking. The most common charge is fraud: against businessmen and run-of-the-mill citizens alike, most frequently involving victims outside of the Jewish community; against the government; against insurance carriers; against banking institutions; health care fraud; money laundering; and stock swindling.

Perhaps most disturbing is a new breed of fraud involving observant community leaders, sometimes rabbis themselves, and intended to benefit the community itself, such as fraud against government spending programs for education and health care. The perpetrators in these cases don’t typically profit personally, but the government and the intended recipients of these government programs are no less defrauded of funds designated for a particular use. And more often than not, the community, including its lay and religious leaders, stands up for the perpetrators by defending, or at least excusing, their behavior. For example, following the convictions of four Hassidim in the New Square scandal, Hassidic leaders defended President Clinton’s pardon of these individuals on the grounds that the stolen funds were funneled back into their community rather than into their own pockets.

The Key Question

Why is fraud so common in the Orthodox and Hasidic communities? Perhaps Judaism itself concentrates too heavily on technical observances designed to honor the Kingdom of God and not enough on a code of conduct honoring and respecting each other. Maybe the religion, as taught, isn’t sufficiently concerned with ethical precepts particularly with regard to faceless government bodies or individuals outside the fold. Even more disturbing, perhaps criminal, or merely unethical, behavior is simply not inconsistent with religious observance.

Whatever the reason, the ultimate question is simple: Do the religious obligations of Orthodox and Hasidic communities require their members to behave ethically in their everyday behavior, including in their dealings with everyone of every faith? Several responses to this key question will invariably invoke talmudic niceties, such as, “What do you mean by ethical behavior?” Responses of this nature highlight a root problem: talmudic exercises that can be used to rationalize misbehavior. Yet, these rationalizations find little support in the teachings of the Torah itself. Indeed, the Torah contains an explicit injunction against maintaining two weights, one large and one small—the biblical equivalent of two sets of books—declaring it an “abomination to God” to act with such weights corruptly (Deut. 25:13-16). How did we stray so far from such a clear anti-fraud philosophy of the Torah to the present-day efforts by some to defend fraudulent behavior with hyper-technical talmudic logic?

Consider this example: Money laundering did not violate American law until 20 years ago. Nor did it violate any specific biblical law, or post-biblical law, ever. But it now violates American law and is a very serious offense. Some, however, argue that even a serious violation of American law, such as money laundering, that is not also criminalized by the Torah does not require the observant community’s condemnation (e.g., “Our Higher Authority doesn’t itself forbid it”). Without question, a whole category of secular laws criminalizes conduct not proscribed by the Torah. And, in many instances, the proscribed conduct would not violate the morality of the Jewish religion or, for that matter, the state. Indeed, many are so-called victimless crimes.

It may even be that particular criminal statutes are discriminatory in their enforcement or affirmatively harm certain segments of society. This is not true, it is worth noting, of money laundering, insider trading, or criminal tax laws, which may be onerous in the extreme and sometimes unfair in their application, but not discriminatory, e.g., they were not enacted to “get” Jews.

There are certainly times when we are justified in disobeying the law. To invoke the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, there may be times when “if there is nothing worth dying for, there is nothing worth living for.” Some laws imposed by a secular government are so inappropriate—indeed, perhaps, although rarely, anti-Semitic—that the good citizen’s duty is to take the consequences and civilly disobey them in protest. Such laws are rare in post-World War II America. But engaging in civil disobedience to protest the repugnant law is not the same as simply breaking the law for monetary gain. If a law-abiding Jew disobeys a law to protest its unfairness, fully recognizing the consequences of his protest, one can argue that he remains an observant Jew.

Still, civil disobedience aside, if a statute exists on the books, there is a halachic consequence to violating it, however victimless or onerous it may be. This is true, however, even if the law is seen as designed to protect the financially entrenched against the outsider, and thus is itself immoral. Some observant communities have argued, for example, that the education finance regimes do not fairly address the financial needs of Jewish parochial schools, thus requiring extralegal machinations to level the playing field. “Extralegal,” here, though, really means illegal.

Jewish law, handed down through the generations through Maimonides, pronounces that “the law of the land is the law.” In other words, an act criminalized by a secular government is also prohibited by the Torah simply by virtue of existing under the secular law of the society in which we live. If we truly believe in that fundamental concept—for observant Jewry it should be as binding as a law appearing verbatim in written Scripture—it hardly matters that the particular law is not ethically based, does not violate a specific precept of the Torah, or may even be of questionable social value. If the Jewish or observant Jewish community believes that the law was enacted largely because that community does not have an adequate voice in government, it should get out the vote—not defy the law.

Finally, some may suggest that certain Jewish groups who emigrated from Eastern Europe were victimized there by anti-Semitic regimes, which makes their disrespect for secular rule of law understandable. This argument raises a bizarre affirmative action defense that seeks immunity from the laws of the United States for wrongs that the United States had nothing to do with. Regardless, the previously victimized community should take no solace in such an explanation, as there is simply no comparison between Poland in 1939 and America in 2004.

The Community’s Response

It is astonishing, sometimes, how the observant and Hasidic communities react to criminal charges by a superficially observant defendant. Often, those communities assume that anti-Semitism is the driving force behind an unfounded prosecution or that the defendant is being prosecuted (or persecuted) more severely because he is Jewish. Even after a guilty verdict or plea (which should remove any lingering doubt about guilt, as well as any claim of a frame-up), his community will frequently write supportive letters to a sentencing judge suggesting that this is simply aberrant behavior for “an otherwise observant Jew.” And that may be true—sometimes. For some, psychological or compelling financial reasons may induce one-time criminal episodes, contrary to how the individuals conduct otherwise exemplary lives.

But what about the habitual offender who leads an otherwise pious life? He is a regular attendant at minyan; he is meticulous in his kashrut observance; he joyfully sanctifies the Sabbath; he gives charity generously. He also, because it is simply the right thing to do, treats his employees well and is a dedicated and respected leader of the community. Nevertheless, he engages in fraudulent business practices, over and over—but he only cheats the government, non-observers, or non-Jews. Should the religious community that he comes from still stand behind this individual as an observant Jew or “an otherwise observant Jew”?

To be sure, this man deserves the emotional support of his family, friends, and even his community when he is in trouble with the law. We are a people proud of the traditions of forgiveness and repentance. Clearly, the members of his religious community, if they have something favorable to say to a judge about him, should come forward and not abandon him when he has fallen on hard times for his waywardness—especially if he demonstrates true acceptance of responsibility and contrition.

But his community also deserves something in these cases. It deserves the outspoken and unequivocal condemnation of the conduct as being contrary to religious observance. And for this condemnation to have any real impact on that community, it must come from lay and religious leaders within the community itself, who must acknowledge that religious observance is flatly incompatible with fraudulent behavior. Only with the open denouncement of wrongdoing from within the particular observant community can the community hope to demonstrate and protect the Torah’s commitment to honesty in one’s interpersonal dealings as being at least equal to, if not greater than, its commitment to technical observance of mitzvot. Indeed, frequently, the community and its rabbis stand behind the seemingly flexible rule that Jews may not testify against other Jews in a secular court, notwithstanding the seriousness of the offense—hardly a position calculated to encourage the denouncement of wrongdoing or scandal.

Thus, advocating leniency for an observant felon precisely because of his so-called piety as an “observant Jew” harms both the religion and the observant community by suggesting that religion allows for a divergence between piety and morality. Indeed, if this same yarmulka-wearing man were a completely honest businessman whose aberrant conduct was, instead, a weakness for shrimp, would the observant community refer to this man as an observant Jew or an otherwise observant Jew? Surely not! Is kashrut a more fundamental observance in Judaism than basic honesty?

Presiding over a case involving a Hasidic Jew who had pleaded guilty to burning down unoccupied buildings for insurance, Federal Judge I. Leo Glasser turned to the large number of Hasidim who had come to court in support of their fellow Hasid and said:

Some persons might characterize [your presence here] as being a chilul hashem [a disgrace to the name of God].… Sometimes one wonders whether … more emphasis is placed on form and not enough on substance….[T]he words that you recite three times a day and the code and the laws that you study should be thought of in terms of what those words mean and what they are intended to move us to do in terms of the kind of life we lead.

For a secular judge to have used the term chilul hashem in an American court suggests that he is speaking to the defendant as both judge and fellow Jew. His are words that we should all heed.

No matter how we try to justify it—whether as victimless crime, the result of past persecution, something that only affects “outsiders” while helping the Jewish community, a just response to unjust policy, or irrelevant missteps by the otherwise pious—criminal behavior simply cannot be condoned in observant Jewish communities. It undermines the foundations of what we believe, as well as damaging us in the eyes of the outside world. The disgrace of Jewish fraud is not only a disgrace against God, but also a disgrace to ourselves and each other. The Torah and Jewish teaching will give us guidance on how to live ethically, even in our complicated modern society, if we only listen to its truths. At day’s end, the burden lies with all of us. In the words of Edmund Burke, “the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men [and women] to do nothing.”

Joel Cohen, a former prosecutor, practices white-collar criminal defense law at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP in New York. He is the author of Moses: A Memoir.


Spotlight on the Queens Vaad said...

Another example of someone behaving badly after timtum halev of eating all the years from phony VHQ kashrus standards?

Moskowitz is a big macher from Rav Arieli's shul in KGH.


SpongeTech execs Michael Metter and Steve Moskowitz are still pleading not guilty to securities fraud charges alleging a massive pump-and-dump scheme. But there's no questioning the trail of shady activity.

Blogger Roddy Boyd has dug up some sketchy charges from the bankruptcy papers of SpongeTech subsidiary Dicon.

A credit card issued to Dicon Technologies posted charges of $610 and $606 at a Swiss escort service (zoynas), Boyd says. On the same nights as these charges, other charges were posted at a luxury Kosher restaurant in Zurich.


At least the restaurant in Zurich was under a good hashgocho, Rav Breisch.

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


Watch Report: China: Rumors of the Central Bank Chief's Defection
Monday, August 30, 2010 9:48 AM

a_unorthodoxjew@yahoo.comView on Mobile Phone |

China: Rumors of the Central Bank Chief's Defection
August 30, 2010

Rumors have circulated in China that People’s Bank of China (PBC) Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan may have left the country. The rumors appear to have started following reports on Aug. 28 which cited Ming Pao, a Hong Kong-based news agency, saying that because of an approximately $430 billion loss on U.S. Treasury bonds, the Chinese government may punish some individuals within PBC, including Zhou.

Although Ming Pao on Aug. 30 published a report on its website indicating that the prior report was fabricated by a mainland news site that had attributed the false information to Ming Pao, rumors of Zhou’s defection have spread around China intensively, and Zhou’s name has been blocked from Internet search engines in China.

STRATFOR has received no confirmation of the rumor, and reports by state-run Chinese media appeared to send strong indications that Zhou is in no trouble at the moment. However, the release of this rumor and its dispersion throughout the public is significant, particularly as the Communist Party of China (CPC) is preparing for a leadership transition in 2012.

Chinese state-run media and official government websites have run several high-profile reports about Zhou, which should be seen as a move to refute the rumors. The PBC website published two articles on its homepage reporting on Zhou’s meeting with visiting Japanese Financial Services Minister Shozaburo Jimi during the third China-Japan high-level economic dialogue as well as a meeting with an Italian delegation. Xinhua news agency reported that Zhou told the PBC Party Committee Enlargement Meeting on Aug. 30 it should “continue to implement justice, and strengthen legislative work in financial system.” Prior to this news, Zhou appeared at the 2nd annual conference of the heads of the Chinese, Japanese and Korean central banks held on Aug. 3, and his most recent public appearance was Aug. 10 for China’s Financial System Anti-corruption Construction Exhibition.

Zhou is known to have lofty political ambitions and is believed to be a close ally to former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, as well as a core figure for Jiang’s “Shanghai Gang.” There has been no shortage of rumors about Zhou’s possible dismissal in the past five years, as he is believed to be associated with several high-level financial scandals. For example, Zhou was rumored to be under “shuanggui,” a form of house arrest administered by the CPC, during the massive crackdown of Shanghai Party Secretary Chen Liangyu in 2006, which was perceived in the country as a crackdown of the Shanghai Gang and part of Hu’s effort to consolidate power ahead of the 2007 power transition. There was also a rumor that he might have been detained following the investigation and arrest of Wang Yi, the vice governor of the China Development Bank, along with several other officials in the financial circle. Currently, several financial scandals are still under investigation, and it is likely that Zhou, as PBC governor and one of the most powerful economic players in the country, could be associated with some cases. Therefore, whether or not the rumor is true at this time, the leaking of this news is very likely to be associated with a power struggle within the Communist Party’s economic hierarchy.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OU Eyepopper said...

Which posek today is matir cigar smoking? And doesn't this send the wrong message?

This is the OU restaurant at Herzog.


It's not likely that there is any kosher producer of Wagyu cow species beef so it is probably a fake like Kobe.


Herzog Wine Cellars, Where Cigar Smoking is Strictly Kosher

Monday, August 30, 2010

By Alejandro Benes

The restaurant at the winery, Tierra Sur, also kosher, is on many of the area's lists of best restaurants.

Wagyu rib eye with a Herzog Alexander Valley Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; and a decadent dessert of figs (who checked the figs for bugs?) poached in zinfandel and chocolate pecan frozen custard with a warm chocolate brandy sauce and cacao beans. All this before the group of 20 step onto the newly-furnished patio to taste Macallan 18 (since when does the OU allow Sherry wine finish Macallan?) and Highland Park 18 Scotch with cigars from Perdomo.

Phillip Herzog began making wine in Slovakia more than a century ago. Back in the day, Herzog made both kosher and non-kosher wines. His product was so appreciated by Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef that he gave Phillip the title of "Baron."

(Since when is it permitted in halacha to derive benefit from non-kosher wine?)

New Jersey said...


Larry Berman, 56, of Edison, a licensed dentist employed by New Jersey Mobile Dentist P.A. of Colts Neck, pleaded guilty to an accusation charging him with third-degree conspiracy to commit Medicaid fraud before Superior Court Judge Francis J. Vernoia in Monmouth County.

Five other dentists associated with New Jersey Mobile Dentist have previously pleaded guilty in this investigation:

Joshua Prensky of Fair Lawn;

Marc Wertheim of Moonachie;

Shea Fishman said...


Hurricane Earl passed through the northern Caribbean early on Tuesday after strengthening to Category Four status and veered onto a path toward the East Coast of the United States.

State Senator Kevin Parker said...

My bad history doesn't stop porkbarreling Chassidishe from supporting me - especially that I am pro-molester!


State Sen. Kevin Parker blew the shofar with Jewish leaders in Boro Park last week.

Since his arrest in 2009 for allegedly jumping shutterbug William Lopez, Parker has declined interviews with reporters, even after his assault trial was pushed back until October

Although he never reported it to police, Sharpe claimed Parker attacked him during a previous campaign. He even hit Parker with a $500,000 civil lawsuit for injuries he sustained from the assault and received a default judgment in his favor when Parker failed to respond to the charges.

Sharpe accepted our invitation to debate, saying that he wanted to ask Parker why he voted against a 2007 bill that would require psychiatric evaluation and supervision for convicted sex offenders. Parker also voted against making the death penalty a punishment for cop killers, Sharpe said.

Woodmere said...


Now they can't hide.

Not Alan Fein, whose Bronx tenants live with urine-soaked hallways, crackhead squatters and filth so severe that one tenant was attacked by a rat in her toilet.

And not any of the 153 landlords whose buildings are so disgusting - or so unsafe - they've earned a place of shame on a new slumlord watch list from city Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. The site launches Monday.

"We want these landlords to feel like they're being watched," de Blasio said. "We need to shine a light on these folks to shame them into action."

Fein, who lives in a house with a picket fence on a golf course in Woodmere, L.I., owns or has ties to three buildings on the city's worst-10 list, but denied responsibility.

"I don't manage those buildings," he said, insisting he has only a "small interest" in the properties.

De Blasio's new website - www.pubadvocate.nyc.gov/landlord-watchlist - will let tenants look up a building owner to see if he or she is on the list. They can plug in an address, type in a street or sort to see the worst slumlords in the city. They can also sort by borough or see a map of slumlord buildings in their neighborhood.

OU Eyepopper said...


Unbelievable! Conservative "poskim" are saying now that the gezera of stam yeinam is "racist" and should be abolished so that kosher wine should not be used beshitah for kiddush.

Will the Hazon & Chovavei Torah crowd that pal around with Dokter Rabbiner Seth Mandel follow suit? They like to be at the "cutting edge" of "social justice".

Dr. Charlotte Schwab said...


Pertaining to molesters in the Reform & Conservative clergy.


In addition to the most recent Weekly article, Schwab also was featured in the Bangor Daily News in 2002, when she released her “Sex, Lies, and Rabbis: Breaking a Sacred Trust.”

Her book “is the first book of its kind to detail the problem of rabbinical sexual abuse in Judaism,” her website states.

Wall Street Journal said...



If you think it's offensive for a Muslim group to exploit the 9/11 atrocity, you're an anti-Muslim bigot and un-American to boot. It is a claim so bizarre, so twisted, so utterly at odds with common sense that it's hard to believe anyone would assert it except as some sort of dark joke. Yet for the past few weeks, it has been put forward, apparently in all seriousness, by those who fancy themselves America's best and brightest, from the mayor of New York all the way down to Peter Beinart.

What accounts for this madness? Charles Krauthammer notes a pattern:

Promiscuous charges of bigotry are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.

-- Resistance to the vast expansion of government power, intrusiveness and debt, as represented by the Tea Party movement? Why, racist resentment toward a black president.

-- Disgust and alarm with the federal government's unwillingness to curb illegal immigration, as crystallized in the Arizona law? Nativism.

-- Opposition to the most radical redefinition of marriage in human history, as expressed in Proposition 8 in California? Homophobia.

-- Opposition to a 15-story Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero? Islamophobia.

Now we know why the country has become "ungovernable," last year's excuse for the Democrats' failure of governance: Who can possibly govern a nation of racist, nativist, homophobic Islamophobes?

"Note what connects these issues. In every one, liberals have lost the argument in the court of public opinion. What's a liberal to do? Pull out the bigotry charge, the trump that preempts debate and gives no credit to the seriousness and substance of the contrary argument."

Elitists of the left invoke a kind of Marxism Lite to explain away opinions and values that run counter to their own. Thus Barack Obama's notorious remark to the effect that economic deprivation embitters the proles, so that they cling to guns and religion.

The liberal elites cannot comprehend common sense, and, incredibly, they think that's a virtue.

Anonymous said...

shameonlakewoodboe.blogspot.com the hot headed idiots have screwed over the special needs kids to save fifty cents over the next ten years...

Marie Antoinette imitates UOJ said...

Let them eat dreck


CONCORD, N.H. ― A federal judge has ruled that inmates have no First Amendment rights to grow a beard, rejecting the claim of an orthodox Jew who claimed prison policy banning facial hair longer than a quarter-inch violated his constitutional rights.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Steven McAuliffe ruled against Albert Kuperman, saying prison officials' concerns about hygiene and security trump inmates' free expression and religious rights.

McAuliffe acknowledged that Kuperman's religion "requires men to refrain from trimming their beards." But, he ruled, prison officials have valid reasons for requiring that beards be kept to a maximum length of a quarter-inch.

"That length allows correctional officers to identify inmates easily, prevents inmates from hiding contraband and weapons in beards and minimizes the risk that an escaped inmate could quickly change his appearance after an escape".

"A grooming policy that allowed full beards, on the other hand, would strain prison resources and/or relations between inmates and staff by requiring the issuance of multiple identification cards and by requiring more frequent inmate searches," the judge said.

Kuperman also argued the prison policy violated his equal protection rights because inmates in high-security housing often have beards exceeding the quarter-inch length. The court dismissed this claim, noting that the high-security inmates are not allowed to have razors and are shaved by prison barbers every week or two.

Kuperman, 25, lost a court challenge last year over kosher diets. He claimed his constitutional rights were violated when he was removed from a kosher diet plan after twice being caught eating non-kosher foods. Corrections spokesman Jim Lyons said prison policy has since been changed to permit an inmate three lapses before being threatened with removal from diets related to religion.

Kuperman is serving 3½ to 7 years behind bars for sexually molesting a minor in 2002. He is eligible for parole in January.

Meshichist watch said...

This is the website of Pardes restaurant opening in a month on Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn. The hashgocho will most likely be OK or CHK.

Here is what the owner writes in response to a question:


Yitzchok Moully: what happened to the beautiful bright chassidic color?

Pardes Restaurant: the hashgacha said the red & yellow theme freak out the misnagdim, they also nixed the 20ft tall crown I was going to put in front of the restaurant instead of a sign. and dont even ask what they said about my BurgerYechi HaMelech name concept.......

Anonymous said...


nmb has another case where a 19 y/o fondled a 7 y/o girl

this took place in the young isreal
police reports were filed even after the rabbis told the family not to

Anonymous said...


Marc Schneier vos halt zich an Orthodox rabbi along with the Reform & Conservative keep having bogus feel-good meetings with Arab imams. It's the same mental illness that leads Liberals to defend the Mosque at Ground Zero.

Here is one imam involved in those "goodwill" meetings who is now on trial as a terrorist money man.

St Louis said...

Remind us again what was "anti-Semitic" in the Rubashkin case?

Glasser is facing 30 years for a single bank fraud charge.


A St. Louis real estate company owner has been indicted on a federal bank fraud charge for allegedly helping to bilk a bank out of more than $100,000 the U.S. Attorney's office said Tuesday.
Samuel Glasser, 65, owner of Samuel & Company LLC, and Matthew Burghoff, owner of Mambo Development LLC, used false and inflated bills to defraud Montgomery Bank, federal prosecutors said.

Suffering In Silence said...


Suffering in Silence: A News 12 special report

(08/31/10) KIRYAS JOEL - Shlomo Weiss grew up in Kiryas Joel, a rural Orthodox-Jewish town, and says that he was sexually abused starting at the age of 7, adding that the abuse was regularly covered up by others in the close-knit community.
Now 36 years old and living in Brooklyn, Weiss says that in a horrifying twist, his abuser was the one man who should've been protecting him -- his father.

It would be nine long years before Weiss would seek help, revealing his secret to his school teachers and to the head rabbi at the Nitra Yeshiva in Mount Kisco, where he was studying.

Instead of calling police, however, Weiss says he was sent to study in Europe and then pressured into an arranged marriage at the age of 19. Meanwhile, Weiss' father remained free, working as a school bus driver.

Weiss recently visited the Westchester campus of his yeshiva to demand answers. His former teacher admitted to remembering his story, but said their community is resistant to outside involvement when handling sex abuse cases.

"For them, it's easier not to acknowledge a problem exists," Weiss says.

Advocates say Weiss' story is much more common than people might think.

"I don't think there's any community on Earth that has this percentage of people victimized," says Ben Hirsch, of Survivors for Justice.

Hirsch's Manhattan-based group is dedicated to helping ultra-Orthodox Jewish victims of sexual abuse. Hirsch believes there are thousands of them, yet their cases seldom end up in court because a rabbi's permission is needed to call police.

Over the past 30 years, there has been only one Hassidic man from Kiryas Joel who was convicted of a sex crime. Most pedophiles, however, are simply expelled out of the community, Hirsch says.

However, Ari Felberman, the public relations director for Kiryas Joel, denies all allegations of covering up sexual abuse cases.

Following his interview with News 12, Weiss confronted his father about the alleged abuse, to which Joseph Weiss responded with silence and stormed away. Still, Shlomo Weiss says the experience has left him a changed man. He hopes it will encourage other victims to speak up.

Anonymous said...


Vos zogt UOJ? said...


Rabbi Y. Dov Krakowski

My Rebbe Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita had once come out very strongly against some sort of business scheme. His campaign against the scheme was so effective that it spurred the originators to call him. He received an unannounced conference call from them in which they told him that he had robbed them of their parnassa. Rabbi Belsky replied that he was very troubled if he had indeed deprived anyone of parnassa, and that if so he was willing to do something to help them. They then explained that his ban on their “investment” has caused them tremendous loss, and that if he would be able to retract it this would certainly help them. Rabbi Belsky replied that not only was he willing to retract his ban, but would even provide an endorsement to their “investment” – on one condition. Rabbi Belsky continued to explain that the previous Erev Shabbos he had entered the kitchen to find his wife baking Challos. He was, however, astonished to see that his wife was baking the most miniscule Challos he had ever seen. He asked her why she was making such small Challos, as he couldn’t understand the reason for such a radical departure from the usual. His wife replied that these were the very same Challos that she baked every week; she explained that in the dough there is yeast and that the yeast makes the Challos grow to be big. Rabbi Belsky told the men on the phone that if they could explain to him what the yeast was in their “business”, he would then be more than happy to write a letter of endorsement. There was silence on the other end of the line, and then the men thanked Rabbi Belsky for his time.

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

Please call Hatzalah --- I'm laughing so hard that I'm having trouble breathing.

Zug Belsky er darf nemin antibiotics far der yeast infection in zine kup.

WikiPutz said...

Filed at 7:37 a.m. ET

STOCKHOLM (AP) -- A senior Swedish prosecutor reopened a rape investigation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Wednesday

Director of Public Prosecution Marianne Ny decided to reopen the case Wednesday, saying new information had come in on Tuesday.

Ny also decided that another complaint against Assange should be investigated on suspicion of ''sexual coercion and sexual molestation.'' That overruled a previous decision to only investigate the case as ''molestation,'' which is not a sex offense under Swedish law.

Boog gets results said...


NEW YORK — Republican candidate for governor Carl Paladino said he would transform some New York prisons into dormitories for welfare recipients, where they could work in state-sponsored jobs, get employment training and take lessons in "personal hygiene."

Yudi Kolko said...

''molestation,'' which is not a sex offense under Swedish law.

Hmmm. I have to speak to Margo about opening a YTT branch in Stockholm.

Colmo the Homo said...

Nearly 90,000 raped in lockup, study finds

By Associated Press | August 27, 2010

WASHINGTON — The government reported yesterday that 4.4 percent of inmates in prison and 3.1 percent of inmates in jail report being victimized sexually by an inmate or staff member.

Those percentages translate to the sexual victimization of 88,500 inmates behind bars nationwide in the previous 12 months, according to a study by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2008-09.

Anonymous said...

It is doubtful that Kehilla of LA (Rabbi Teichman?) is endorsing a cheaper competitor like Chaim Feinstein claims. The Western Jewish Association doesn't appear to exist.


On his list of hashgochos he actually attacks Rabbi Teichman as "questionable" but doesn't seem to have a problem with the Vaad Hakashrus of Delaware which is not orthodox


What we are offering cannot be passed up. If you are already under any Rabbinical supervision we will dramatically lower your supervision costs . By presenting your past payment history we will only charge you a fraction of what you are presently paying, as long as you continue to maintain the same Kosher rules and regulations set forth by your present Kosher agency. Our goals are to provide the finest affordable and reasonably priced Kosher supervision. We will continue to periodically check your plants, probably with the very same trained examiners who check them presently.

Please contact me via email at info@univeresalkosher.com .

I am looking forward to helping you with your marketing needs and saving you money.


Chaim Feinstein

Rabbinical Administrator


Discount Supervision

There is an alternative to overpaying and Universal Kosher is it!

Endorsed by Chabad communities and the Kahilla** of Los Angeles

Member of Western States Association of Jewish Congregations

Member of the Beth-Din* of Los Angeles

Bim Bam identity said...

Carl Paladino says Obama isn't a practicing Christian in his heart because "he worships himself" — a Newsweek survey asks people whether they believe that Obama "sympathizes with the goals of Islamic fundamentalists who want to impose Islamic law around the world." The results were startling. A majority of Republicans thought it was probably or definitely true. 42 percent of Democrats were certain enough to say it's "definitely not true," with 37 percent saying it "probably" isn't true. That is, a majority of Democrats are actually unsure as to whether the man they elected to uphold the Constitution might kind of prefer Sharia. That is just baffling.

The world's smallest violin said...

The putz is crying that he's a victims now?


WASHINGTON — A defiant Richard S. Fuld Jr., the former chief executive of Lehman Brothers, plans to tell the federal commission appointed to investigate the causes of the financial crisis that the stricken investment bank could have survived, on the eve of its historic bankruptcy, had the federal government stepped in to help.

“Lehman was forced into bankruptcy not because it neglected to act responsibly or seek solutions to the crisis, but because of a decision, based on flawed information, not to provide Lehman with the support given to each of its competitors and other nonfinancial firms in the ensuing days,” Mr. Fuld wrote in testimony prepared for the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

Dr. Bungalow Vantz Neuhoff said...


Buyers in secondhand stores are concerned about bedbugs coming along with the clothing or furniture.

Lost his mind said...


Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo should not investigate the financing of the proposed Islamic community center near ground zero, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said on Tuesday, reiterating his support for the project.

Mr. Bloomberg made his remarks about the controversial development project in response to questions about a Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday that found voters in New York State - more than 70 percent of them - wanting Mr. Cuomo to investigate the project’s financing.

Sticking to what he said were the larger principles at stake, Mayor Bloomberg played down recent reports that the project’s main developer, Sharif el-Gamal, has a history of misdemeanors, including disorderly conduct, drunken driving and hiring a prostitute.

kashrus insider said...


R' Yudel Shain is missing the entire background on the Dole lettuce story.

AKO sent out a bulletin drafted or inspired by R' Yosef Eisen that said you can use Dole with KAJ. Star K blew a gasket at being excluded and started bombarding everyone to put tremendous pressure on the 5 Towns Vaad. Anyone who has dealt with Star K knows it can be a very unpleasant experience. When up against a wall, R' Yosef Eisen probably figured that the worst of the infestation season has passed so maybe he can include them before he gets beaten to a pulp. I highly doubt that any Star K Dole is used in 5 Towns restaurants.

In general it can be very informative to speak to some former Star K mashgichim who will not eat the very food they were hired to certify.

Bim Bam identity said...


If you are a Jewish organization that does not agree with Obama's Israel policy: look out--the IRS may be after you.

Moetzes Resign! said...

Some of this is nonsense like Rep. Jow Wilson spending $4 on a gift for US soldiers in Afghanistan but Rep. G.K. Butterfield - who himself is a member of the House Ethics Committee - was pocketing leftover money.


Congressional investigators are questioning a half-dozen lawmakers for possibly misspending government funds meant to pay for overseas travel, according to people familiar with the matter.

Shmarya groupie said...

I never thought I'd say it, but some Black people are obviously stupid idiots!


They are African-Americans and Orthodox Jews, a rare cross-cultural hybrid

Wall Street Journal said...


The vagrancy problem in New York must be getting really bad if we're reading reports like this one, from WNYW-TV, when a Democrat is in the White House:

"The homeless population living on New York City streets has gone up 50 percent in the past year, according to city statistics reported by the HellsKitchenLife.com blog.

The New York City Department of Homeless Services conducts a yearly survey of the streets of the city to count the number of homeless who are not in shelters. The HOPE survey was conducted in January 2010.

The number of homeless in the borough of Manhattan was up 47 percent in the past year, according to the count. The 2010 count had 1,145 people living in the streets. That is up 368 from 2009."

This study is consistent with the anecdotal evidence we observe every time we go for a walk in our city. And what's Mayor Michael Bloomberg's priority? Getting a mosque built two blocks from the site of an Islamic terrorist atrocity and aggressively insulting Americans who find the idea objectionable.

Wall Street Journal said...


Dear Patients: Vote to Repeal ObamaCare

Don't believe Democrats who promise to fix the bill once they're re-elected.

Leib Shmukler said...

Boog gets results...
HoRav Boog won't be getting any results on November 2 because letters already going around BP/Flatbush with "daas "torah"" order to vote only for Rabbi Andrew Ben Mario "Homo" Cuomo. Son of the intimate friend of "the greatest lay leader of ALL generations Rabbi Moshe"(Morris)Sherer will make sure that SOL is not extended, neither CVA will see the light of day.So will the moral polution of all the terrible kinds as well but that's different story

Anonymous said...

"Reb Dov Kahan", Google search. He is involved in a court appearance for theft of contracts and plans for Arlington Avenue by Avi Chopp the construction of BM of Arlington. Reb Dov is the head of Mayshorim Bais Din in Lakewood.