Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Missing Yemenite Children

The UOJ Archives - November 2005

The Missing Yemenite Children
Words of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Shneerson - The Lubavitcher Rebbe.

by Yechiel A. Mann,
Eshhar, Israel.

As expected, different people reacted to this issue of stolen Jewish infants in the Land of Israel. One such reaction came from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menechem Mendel Shneerson, in his book, "Hitvaaduyot", written around 1987-88.

To quote from his writings:
"On the matter of the kidnapping of children from their parents in order to educate them not in the way of the Torah.

"It is well known what happened thirty to forty years ago during the Aliyah [immigration] of children from Yemen and Teheran [Teheran, the capital of Iran. It seems that he, too, was unaware of the many different communities from which the children were stolen] to the Holy Land.

"Small children, who came with their parents to the Holy Land, were suddenly taken away from their parents, who were given strange and unfounded reasons for this, such as the need for medical treatment, and that their children were in bad shape. These explanations continued, until the parents were told that their children had died . . . . And all this for the simple reason that they (the authorities) did not want them to be educated by their parents, who kept Torah and Mitzvot (commandments), but wanted to educate them as they wished, in a way totally devoid of any connection with their Jewish heritage! For this purpose - children were stolen from their parents!!"

What Rabbi Shneerson wrote then was based on the fact that when many religious Jewish men and women immigrated to Israel, there were people in authority that thought that religion was not what the country needed in its first days. Certain actions were taken by these authorities, such as shaving the beards of new immigrants and cutting off their side curls. Not to mention all the Torah Scrolls, Holy Books, and many other possessions taken from the Jewish immigrants back then. Although this explanation is accepted by some, others do not accept this as a possible reason for the kidnapping of children, since so many of these children were sold abroad for profit.

Rabbi Schneerson continues:
"And who was at the time one of those in charge - a Jew who puts on Tefilin (phylacteries) [Another Religious Jewish custom] and prays three times a day, and who in his private life, observes Torah and Mitzvot.

And nevertheless, not only did he not prevent this from happening, he cooperated, and was even amongst those who were in charge of the people who committed this terrible crime!"

Here, Rabbi Shneerson was referring to Rabbi Dr. Issachar Dov Bernard Bergman. When people started an outcry, as to how this could possibly have happened, for it is an act that is the complete opposite of all that is just and right, and the complete opposite of humane behavior, they were told: 'We saved them from death and gave them a new life, therefore it is as though these children belong to us . . . .'

"And not only did they behave with the children as a man would behave with his "Canaanite servant" [In other words, a slave] who "belonged" to him, but even worse. They treated the children as an object that was their own private posession, that could, if they so wished, be burnt - where in this matter, the burning was of the children's soul and not of their body, Heaven forbid. [What Rabbi Shneerson says here conflicts with reports of children that know they have been sold in this fashion, when they were children. In these reports, most of the people report that they were raised with love and care, as if they were the real children of their adopting parents].

"During that period, hundreds of small children disappeared without a trace, and until this very day, the parents do not know what was the fate of their children, and where they are today."

Rabbi Shneerson mentions hundreds of children, although the number of such occurrences is now known to be in the thousands.

"Today, after thirty to forty years, it is still possible to trace these children, for the same offices that dealt with the children then have exact lists that contain the names of all the children, where they were sent to, etc. The trouble is that noone wants to give out the lists of the names of the children!"

As for the lists of the children's names, not everyone accepts the idea that there are lists of the names of the original families of the children, as so many of them were said to be stolen without the kidnappers even caring who the original parents were. Why should they? It is also commonly believed that, considering all the forged and "confused" documents, there are no real documents. Also, there are those who believe that real documents did exist until Ami Chovav, the investigator mentioned in Part Six, "took care" of the records, as Chovav worked in the national archives, following his investigation. He was quoted in "Haaretz" as saying:

"After the Shalgi committee, all the material was in a mess. The committee finished its job, but none of the documents were catalogued in order, in the archives. The main archive manager asked me to organize all the material, of both investigation committees, in order for the archives. So I sat in the archives, and organized the material, until the order was given to hand the material over to the current (Cohen) committee".

Of course, there are also those who believe that the documents do exist, some say in a certain safe, in Jerusalem. An article in the "Makor Rishon" newspaper, written by Journalist Pini Ben-Or, describes these suspicions.

To quote the article:
"In these days, when in many countries in the world adoption of children occurs, and adoption certificates are issued, there was no way found in Israel to try and help find children that have disappeared. Even the adopted people themselves are faced with many difficulties in finding their biological parents. Today, the belief is getting stronger that thousands of children disappeared, and were stolen from their parents in the first years of the existence of the State of Israel. 'Makor Rishon', which is following the stolen children issue, has checked on the other possibility. The best kept secret in the country - the safe of Mr. George Klein.

"George Klein is the manager of the archives, belonging to the Ministry of Interior, where appear the records of all the people that are removed from the population records: People who have died, been adopted, left the country, and so on.

"From one investigation protocol of George Klein, from the 16th of September, 1997, it is seen that, in his archives, there is a safe where all the adoption records, ever since the British Mandate in Israel, are kept.

"In his questioning in front of the committee for investigating the disappearance of these children, George Klein said that only he has access to the safe, which is located in a safety room. He received the adoption orders, as well as the original personal file of the adopted child, from the bureau of the Ministry of Interior. The material is placed in the safe, and the child receives a new birth certificate, where the names of the adopting parents are found.

According to Klein, he writes the original I.D. number of the child, in the adoption book.

"After writing the details, Klein has the information updated. The original birth certificate, along with the adoption certificate, are placed in an envelope, that is filed in the safe, in the safety room.

Anyone looking in the adoption book only sees the new details of the adopted person, but adding up the new details and what is written in the envelopes that contain the old details - will reveal who the adopted person is.

"The biggest secret is in the hands and safe of George Klein. Maybe there, an answer to the issue of the missing children can be found."

Since that article was written, it has been rumored that the safe has been moved, although not everyone believes that. Again, it is commonly believed that records of which children went where do not even exist. Although, it is possible that details of a certain number of the missing children can be found there.

To return to the writings of Rabbi Shneerson:
"And the even greater trouble is - that noone gets up to speak of it!

"Lately, a few people have woken up and begun to ask for the lists of the children but unfortunately, this was but 'the sound of the tune of defeat', and nothing came of it.

"And not only this, but as always, there are those who immediately make a 'mockery' out of everything, and they made a mockery out of this request too! . . . . And we know that one should not talk with scoffers, and even not sit in their company, as king David said at the beginning of the Book of Psalms - 'Happy is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the wicked . . . . Nor sat in the seat of the scornful.' (Psalms 1:1) Our sages have already told us that a 'Cult of Scoffers' is one of the four cults that 'do not receive the Divine Presence'.

"However, this claim also has no place in the discussion. For, although it might be very hard work, nevertheless, in no situation is one allowed to despair of a Jew, and noone can take the responsibility to say that, as far as so and so is concerned, nothing can be done to bring him closer to Torah and Judaism."

Here again, it is evident that Rabbi Shneerson believed that these children were stolen to keep them away from Judaism, and Torah.

"And, in any case, as long as not everything possible is being done to correct the situation - it is as though the crime is continuously being committed! Obviously in this matter, doing Teshuvah (repentance) will not help - for Teshuvah is between man and his Master - and so above all, what must be done is to correct the injustice and the crime that was committed against both the children and their parents!

"After all this, if anyone thinks that they (the authorities), regret their past deeds, and certainly will not repeat them, God forbid, 'Trouble shall not rise up the second time' (as said in Nachum, 1:9), they are making a bitter mistake.

"Not only do they not show any remorse, and are not even trying to return the situation to its rightful state, but on the contrary - until this very day, they are repeating what they did (to the children stolen back then) with the children of Teheran [Iranian Jewish immigrants], and in a more acute way, and no one is standing up to be heard, and let the world know. And especially those who are meant to represent, so to speak, the demands of the Charedi (ultra-Orthodox) Judaism - even they are sitting quietly and doing nothing at all!

"It is the holy obligation of anyone who has it in his powers to do whatever they can to prevent and to stop the stealing of children that is currently happening, and in addition, to try and correct what was done in the past.

"And those who cannot do anything, as far as this matter is concerned, should increase their activities in the field of education.

In other words, try and ensure that all Jewish children receive a Jewish education that is in the spirit of the Torah, and no effort should be spared (just as no effort is spared by those opposing the matter), for one is talking about Pikuach Nefashot (the saving of endangered lives)!

"To what can this be compared? To a man who sees a house burning - he surely will not spare any effort to try and save the people who are in the house. Not only that, but even if he is unsure if there is anyone in the house, he will knock on the blinds and the windows, etc., to check if there is anyone in the house, who can be saved. And the moral of the example is an endangered spiritual life.

"Remember: 'And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death' (Exodus, 21:16).

And his death, according to the Halachah [Jewish law, as set by the Rabbis . . . although there are many laws in Halachah, such as this, that are not enforced in these days], is by strangulation."

This is what the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menacham Mendel Shneerson, has written about the issue of the stolen children. Apparently, Rabbi Shneerson, as well, knew what went on. According to him and others, such things are still happening, although, as many say, on a much smaller scale.


Fresser real estate agent said...


Why is the newspaper article making this that a "liberated woman" like Amy Neustein ignored hilchos yerusha to take the house from her older bechor brother? The court case shows that she was a co-owner of the house with her father and it was therefore not yarshened by the brother.

Yudi Kolko said...

Good thing I moved to Lakewood!


Police in City Start to Photograph Irises of People They Arrest

Anonymous said...

Anyone else notice in today's NYP that Bernie Lander was being paid 4.2 million a year -- 5x more than even the presidents of Yale, Harvard, Columbia, etc?

What gives???

Anonymous said...

Schmelczer from Miami resigned and is moving to Montreal.

RBS...Rabbis Boosting Sex offenders said...


Very worthwhile link!


Touro Putz said...

There were people who resigned from the Touro board because in their words they couldn't put up with various shenanigans & improprieties.

Son of Boog said...


The public ethics trial of Representative Charles B. Rangel, Democrat of New York, on 13 charges of unethical behavior took a stunning turn Monday morning when Mr. Rangel walked out of the hearing 40 minutes after it began, complaining that it would be unfair to continue the process because he could no longer afford a lawyer.

But the hearing continued without him.

Aguda Convention Canceled said...

More than 900 pigs found dead on Pennsylvania farm

Tue Nov 16, 7:35 am ET

WARFORDSBURG, Pa. – Police are investigating the deaths of more than 900 pigs inside a barn at an abandoned southcentral Pennsylvania farm.

State Police Lt. Gregory Bacher says authorities are examining the deaths of 925 pigs found Nov. 8 in a warehouse-style barn in Warfordsburg.

Bacher tells The Philadelphia Inquirer that necropsies are being conducted on some of the carcasses after they were found in various states of decay. He says he's never seen an apparent act of cruelty like this in his career.

Authorities say the farm's owner left the property in August. The animals appear to have been dead for several months.

Warfordsburg is about 75 miles southwest of Harrisburg, near the Maryland border.

UOJ gets results said...

Thailand extradited Viktor Bout, an accused Russian arms trafficker, to the United States on Tuesday, drawing Russia’s anger after the government here abandoned the diplomatic balancing act it had conducted for more than two years between Washington and Moscow.

American officials accuse Mr. Bout of running an arms trafficking network that encompassed Africa, Afghanistan and South America. He faces charges in a 2008 indictment of selling arms to a terrorist group and conspiring to kill American citizens.

Avremel Schorr Habor said...

ALBANY — Gov. David A. Paterson is poised to sign off on a casino development project in the Catskills, opening the door to the state’s first full-fledged casino in close proximity to New York City.


I have to speak to the Novominsker & Asher "Taliban" Friedman about this. We will need to move all the summer camps & bungalow colonies to the Poconos no matter how much money we are mafsid them. This could be even worse than Lipa Schmeltzer!

Moetzes Resign said...

WASHINGTON--A House ethics panel found senior Democratic lawmaker Charles Rangel guilty of 11 of the 13 counts of House ethics violations lodged against him. The New York congressman wasn't in the hearing room when the announcement was made.

Both versions of the story are correct said...


The police say a man dressed in a United Parcel Service uniform tried and failed to rob two people at gunpoint in Harlem in a span of 20 minutes last month. They released photos of him Tuesday.

The would-be robber stored his handgun in a United Parcel Service utility pouch, the police said. But the company said that the man was an impostor and that they had no one in the area at the time.

“None of our folks fit the person in the photo,” a U.P.S. spokesman, Dan McMackin, said in an e-mail message.

Mr. McMackin declined to comment further on the investigation, citing company policy. But he gave some tips for customers who might want to verify the identity of a delivery person.

“If any customer has concerns about someone making a delivery, U.P.S. drivers all carry company-issued identification,” Mr. McMackin wrote. They also carry hand-held devices to obtain signatures, wear complete uniforms and arrive in branded company vehicles, he added.


UOJ identified a man dressed in a rosh yeshiva uniform who tried and suceeded to rob several people of tuition payments at YTT.

The former bus driver with a thick Hungarian accent never got semicha from Torah Vodaas and now wears a langa reckel, UOJ said.

“None of our musmachim fit the person in the photo,” a YTV spokesman, Rav Sekula, said.

Rav Sekula gave some tips for parents who might want to verify the identity of a rosh yeshiva.

“If any parent has concerns about a rosh yeshiva, you can check if they know anything in learning,” Rav Sekula said. They also carry Gemaras, and not Agudah member cards as their sole mode of identification, he added.

Anonymous said...

Developer Klein goes quietly into NY night. (real estate developer George Klein forced to sell properties in New York City)

Article from:Crain's New York

Brooklyn unknown became star in '80s, now losing properties

In 1980, George Klein entered the Manhattan real estate market with a bang, coming from nowhere to build the first speculative office building since the previous recession.

Now, with the real estate market again cycling out of recession, the first office tower in years is being developed by his arch rivals, the Durst family, on land he previously controlled in Times Square.

This development marks the end of an era for Mr. Klein. His privately held development company, Park Tower Realty Corp., has quietly lost control of many of its properties. He has been squeezed out of two of his four main Manhattan buildings, at 499 Park Ave. and 33 Maiden Lane, and has been searching for cash to help retain a third at 535 Madison Ave. The mortgage on his fourth property - Park Tower, at 65 E. 55th St. - doesn't come due for some time.

George Klein said...


Anonymous said...


The owner of the landmark Lipstick Building in Manhattan — also known as ground zero for the $65 billion Ponzi scheme of Bernard L. Madoff — filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on Monday.

According to the court documents, the building’s owner, Metropolitan 885 Third Avenue Leasehold, defaulted on a $210 million mortgage held by the Royal Bank of Canada. The company was not able to maintain a minimum balance of $2.3 million in the loan’s debt service fund, which triggered a default notice in April, according to court documents. After several notifications, the Royal Bank of Canada filed a lawsuit against the firm, calling for a sale of the well-known property to pay off the loan.

In the affidavit, one of the company’s managing members, Jacob Abikzer, cited the company’s lack of liquidity on the weak commercial real estate market.

“The recent violent downturn in the building and real estate markets have had a significant impact on the debtor’s operations.” Mr. Abikzer said in the affidavit. “Vacancy rates have increased, making it more challenging to service the debt on the property. Renewal lease rates have also been lower than anticipated.”

UOJ field intelligence report said...

Does any of this match what UOJ is hearing?

According to my sources, George (Gedaliah) Weinberger has taken control of the Agudah. He is more powerful than the Moetzes Chaim Berlin faction & Zweibel combined. They hate his guts that he is calling all the shots & would love to get rid of him. George has been cutting headcount and getting rid of money losing divisions like Invei Hagefen. George even tried to hijack Torah Umesorah while he was at it but was beaten back by Chaim Berlin.

Speaking of Schorr & Tali-Ban Friedman, they have lost all their credibility as the Moetzes feel they were duped into trouncing Lipa Schmeltzer through lies. Schorr has lost many mispalelim and moved into a new space which is much smaller.

Fresser real estate agent said...

Get a life. That article on George Klein was in Crain's NY almost 15 years ago. Since then he has been busy in Greenpoint, Brooklyn & Western Queens and has become the director of the UN development corp.

Anonymous said...

Kings Civil Supreme
Index Number: 008566/2001
Case Type: Other Torts Negligence

Kings Civil Supreme
Index Number: 040630/2001
Case Type: Other Torts Negligence

Settled During Trial $450,000

Kings Civil Supreme
Index Number: 042647/2003
Case Type: Other Torts Negligence

Kings Civil Supreme
Index Number: 014579/2003
Case Type: Foreclosure
Track: Complex

Kings Civil Supreme
Index Number: 016322/2003
Case Type: Foreclosure
Track: Complex

Kings Civil Supreme
Index Number: 013752/2005
Case Type: Foreclosure

Mendel Schechter said...


As secretary of Chaim Berlin, I sold this property last year on West 56th St in Manhattan for half a million bucks.

How else do you think Chaim Berlin can afford to sue dozens of people on behalf of Michael Hersh?

Zev Brenner said...


Arthur will probably want to look into why I sued Rabbi Yossi Katzman & Tomchei Temimim in Crown Hts and won a default judgement of $103,000.

Anonymous said...

Kings County Civil Court
Index Number: CV-029061-97/KI

Kings County Civil Court
Index Number: CV-033148-97/KI

Kings County Civil Court
Index Number: CV-037123-98/KI

Anonymous said...

New York Civil Supreme
Index Number: 132514/1994
Case Type: Article 75 (Arbitration)

Justice Name: GAMMERMAN, IRA

Attorney/Firm For Plaintiff:

Anonymous said...

That can't be the famous Rav Gershon Weinreb who had a big falling out & later made up with Rav Hutner. Which Gershon Weinreb is that who scored half a million smackeroos from Chaim Berlin?

Anonymous said...

Is this the Agudah's Chaim Dovid Zwiebel?

New York County Civil Court
Index Number: CV-001463-10/NY
Case Name: 231/249 WEST 39 STREET ASSOCIATES
Case Type: Civil
Classification: General
Filing Date: 01/12/2010

New York Civil Supreme
Index Number: 011134/1988
Case Type: Other Special Proceedings

Anonymous said...

Kings County Civil Court
Index Number: RE-111835-97/KI

Kings County Civil Court
Index Number: RE-208313-98/KI
Case Name: CON ED

Kings County Civil Court
Index Number: RE-108892-01/KI

Free lunch for Shmarya and his favorite people said...


Inmates collect illegal unemployment benefits

Shmarya groupie said...

David Simon’s recent and highly public remarks critical of the funding priorities of Baltimore’s Associated Jewish Charities did not go down well with that Federation or its parent group, The Jewish Federations of North America, which gave the TV writer and creator a platform at its recent General Assembly in New Orleans.

Appearing just after a major speech by Vice President Joe Biden at the opening plenary Nov. 7, Simon, best known for his graphic depictions of crime and poverty in prime-time network shows like “Homicide,” “The Wire” and “Treme,” made a plea for more Jewish philanthropic dollars to go toward poor blacks in major urban areas suffering from what he called “a Holocaust in slow motion” of neglect.

Sruly Singer said...

Translated from German article in Der Spiegel

A lack of transparency, dubious real estate deals and now massive fraud -- the Jewish Claims Conference is no stranger to negative headlines.

In 2007, for instance, long-standing JCC president Rabbi Israel Singer was forced to resign amid allegations that he had used his position as the secretary-general of the World Jewish Congress to embezzle funds.

Dieter Wiefelspütz, a Social Democrat (SPD) in the German parliament who deals with compensation issues, complains about the organization's lack of transparency. Once, during a visit to New York, he wanted to have a look at the records of the JCC. "I noticed how put off they were that someone wanted information," says Wiefelspütz.

The same system was used after communist East Germany was dissolved and authorities began the process of returning hundreds of properties in eastern Germany that had belonged to Jews before the Holocaust. In order to avoid years of legal wrangling with potential heirs, the German government set a deadline: All real estate that no one had claimed by the end of 1992 was automatically transferred to the ownership of the Claims Conference. According to the JCC, roughly €1.5 billion flowed into the organization's coffers from the sale of these buildings and properties.

But the auctions weren't always kosher. The JCC's long-standing real estate broker, Michael Siegmund, took a side job in 1998 as a member of the supervisory board of Germany's largest property auction house, Deutsche Grundstucksauktionen AG. The auction house earned money from the sale of nearly every piece of real estate that was transferred to the Claims Conference. It wasn't until 2007 that the organization severed its ties with Siegmund. Even today, the internal inquiry is treated like a state secret.

Irate heirs were not the only ones to complain. Other organizations representing victims accused the JCC of amassing enormous reserves and not transferring the proceeds of the sales exclusively to needy Holocaust survivors. People were particularly outraged in Israel, where a large number of victims live. At the time, former Israeli Minister of Pensioner Affairs Rafi Eitan called the representatives of the JCC "a gang".

Sruly Singer said...

part 2

And now a swindle involving tens of millions of dollars has emerged. It is, it must be said, to the JCC's credit that they uncovered the scandal themselves -- a staff member noticed two unusual entries. Once the fraud had been revealed, the organization quickly realized that there was "a systemic problem," says Schneider, which was "elaborate" and "complex," and involved a total of 5,600 fraudulent applications. SPIEGEL was able to view a number of these papers and the corresponding original documents.

Critics have long accused Berlin of not subjecting the JCC to sufficiently stringent controls. "The Germans feel guilty about the past, so they don't dare open their mouths," says Martin Stern, an Israeli who has made a name for himself with claims on Jewish insurance policies. The latest fraud affair has not only caused material damage, but also severely tarnished the credibility of the Claims Conference, says German parliamentarian Wiefelspütz.

The business practices of the Claims Conference have surprised Berlin on a number of past occasions. As early as 1997, the Federal Audit Office noticed warning signs associated with the so-called Hardship Fund. The Finance Ministry was also informed of irregularities connected with the second special fund back in 2006.

Rafi Golb said...