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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rabbi Hershel Schechter's Orthodox Jew!



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1388060/Ivanka-Trump-pregnant-pin-poses-bunny-outfit.html

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

How do you know Shechter was on the beis din?

ORA Watch said...

WARNING TO ALL MARRIED JEWISH MEN: One phone call to Herschel Schachter's feminist ORA organization by your wife could result in the destruction of your family, G-d forbid!

All the conversion scandals, including Tropper, absolutely pale in comparison to the evil being committed by Schachter's ORA ( the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot ).

The ORA feminist mafia led by Herschel Schachter from YU, under the phony guise of rescuing "agunot" (very few of them actually are), has been waging all out war against numerous innocent Jewish men caught up in horrible divorce wars. Many of these men are being jailed, robbed of their children and assets, and destroyed in the feminist non-Jewish courts while their evil moser wives are coached on the sidelines by ORA's cronies. ORA's goons work in the shadows using vicious tactics against Jewish men such as trying to get them fired from their jobs, get them evicted from their apartments, publicize phony seruvim against them, harass the men's families, and destroy their reputations.

ORA's feminist war against Jewish men may be even more destructive to the Jewish community than the molestation problem. Many Jewish families are being destroyed, and numerous pasul gittin and mamzerim are resulting. UOJ, please focus your spotlight on ORA and Schachter more intensely. See http://rabbischachter.blogspot.com/

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

How do you know Shechter was on the beis din?

*

Ask him and get back to me.

Anonymous said...

More proof that Ivanka Trump has no respect for Judaism or the Jewish people. Ivanka has been pulling these shenanigans for years. The Kushner's should be ashamed for allowing their gentile daughter-in-law to disrespect Judaism.
Jared Kushner hasn't been an observant Jew for a long time so he doesn't care what his gentile anti-semitic wife does. This is disgusting!

Anonymous said...

Another scandalous picture emerged today of Ivanka Trump. Bazaar magazine released a photo of Ivanka Trump in a very tight black, backless mini dress with a slit on the side. In addition Ivanka's wearing fishnet stockings and Playboy bunny ears. Oh, and she's also sporting a baby bump. Keep it classy, Ivanka.
Ivanka has been making a mockery of Judaism for years now and hardly anyone cares. Enough is enough! Revoke her phony "conversion" now.
Everyone should write to Haskel Lookstein and the RCA and ask them how long this travesty will be allowed to go on.

Anonymous said...

Realize, UOJ, that Schachters famous, or notorious, ORA pre-nup agreements are being fought by the right wing, not the left. Their premises are wrong; it is muttar to have a mutual agreement for the husband to dish out daily in cases where a get is needed and not given. And, I know of cases where he hasn't required it.
Take that, ORA guy.

and , you haven't answered the question. How do you know Schachter was on the BD? I have just seen proof that Lookstien was there.

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

Options:

1 - Call Schechter

2 - Call the RCA

3 - Take my word for it

4 - Assume I'm making it up

5 - Call the Novominsker - ask him if he gets involved in Manhattan matters.

Tropper's shiksa said...

Tal-mood for love: Sex-tape rabbi tries to 'share' hottie
By REUVEN BLAU and MELISSA KLEIN

Posted: 3:35 AM, December 20, 2009

Eww, that's not kosher!

A prominent Orthodox rabbi has been caught on tape discussing his apparent love affair with a shiksa he was converting to Judaism -- whom he allegedly also pushed to have sex with his friends.

Rabbi Leib Tropper of Rockland County is heard encouraging pretty, blond Shannon Orand of Houston to participate in phone sex and actual sex with men the rabbi knows, including one he calls "the Satmar guy."

Tropper, who calls the woman "darling" and "cutie pie," talks about his own love affair with her at one point, saying: "I want to squeeze you."

He also fantasized about rape. "I could role-play a rape with you but I couldn't actually rape you -- you know what I'm saying, darling -- does that make sense?" he asks.

The scandal has rocked the Orthodox community from Rockland to Israel, and transcripts of the sex tapes are circulating on Jewish blogs, with the audio posted on YouTube.

The rabbi talks about paying Orand money for a lawyer and a stipend of $1,300 for the month of November. He also mentions putting in writing an agreement between the two.

"Why would you want to document that kind of agreement on an e-mail?" an upset Orand asks.

Orand, who identifies herself on the tape, apparently recorded the phone conversations. "It was only supposed to go to a few leading rabbis," Orand, 32, told The Post.

She refused to comment further, and later released a statement saying, "While an individual 'rabbi' acted in an inappropriate manner, my desire to become a bona fide Jew is undeterred."

Orand reportedly told a Jewish blog, failedmessiah.com, that Tropper would tell her: "If you fulfill my needs, I'll fulfill yours -- and you need a conversion."

The blog reported that Orand's conversion was to have been finalized last week, but was canceled at the last minute by a religious court.

Tropper declined to comment, but a source close to him said the rabbi feels like he's a victim and was used by Orand.

He resigned effective Dec. 12 from Eternal Jewish Family, a Monsey-based organization that primarily works to convert gentiles in interfaith marriages to Judaism.

The 59-year-old rabbi is the founder of Eternal Jewish Family and sought to create strict universal guidelines for conversion, which are handled differently by various Jewish sects.

rblau@nypost.com

Shannon Orand is now a Jew said...

Shannon Orand is now a Jew
by Ben Atlas on 01.7.2010.11:03am

Shannon Orand, the object of Leib Tropper abuse, is converted in Israel. Jewish Israel reports: “Jewish Israel would like to wish a heartfelt Mazal Tov to JI member Shannon Orand upon her conversion to Judaism which she received in Israel earlier this week. Welcome to the Jewish people, Rachel (Shannon’s Hebrew name)! Shannon withstood an extremely challenging test over these past few weeks, as news of Leib Tropper’s compromising behavior hit the press and blogosphere. Shannon is a valued member of Jewish Israel.

Beit Din: Rabbi Rafi Ostroff, Chief Rabbi Dov Lior of Hevron, Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu of Safed
She actively participates in our interactive forums and talkbacks, and provides us with invaluable information. We were in touch with her and very much aware of the disturbing circumstances involving Leib Tropper. We offered Shannon our hopes and prayers for a quick, proper, and decent resolution to this episode. We opted not to publish any information until this incident came to a positive and fruitful conclusion, and indeed it has.”

Shannon “provides us with invaluable information”, no kidding… Make sure to read the interview there, it’s fascinating. Shannon is an enviable position, most people start Judaism with the best intentions, only to discover that it’s a corrupt, materialistic crock and Shannon is hopefully going backwards, to the forgotten paradise.

Still unanswered questions:

who are the “trusted rabbis” who leaked her tapes?
who are Leib Tropper’s Johns?
what’s the going rate for an endorsement by a godel?
will there be an apology from Tropper and the dissolution of the EJF racket?
will there be an end to the spiritual deceit at Kol Yaakov in Monsey?
Further reading:
Who sold [gave] the tapes to Guma?
Rabbi Reuven Feinstein will not take a stand on Leib Tropper to the Tune of $3m
The Education of Rabbi Leib Tropper

Leib Tropper Victim Converts to Judaism said...

Written by Avi Meir
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 19:00
Shannon Orand, the woman who was taken advantage of by Leib Tropper, the former head of the Eternal Jewish Family, has successfully converted to Judaism in Eretz Yisroel as reported by Jewish Israel.

Members of the Beit Din were the highly respected Chief Rabbi Dov Lior of Hevron, Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu of Safed, and third Rav. Rav Eliyahu is the son of Rav Mordechai Eliyahu. Another highly respected Rav officiated over the conversion.

Shannon withstood an extremely challenging test over these past few weeks, as news of Leib Tropper's compromising behavior hit the press and blogosphere. Shannon is a valued member of Jewish Israel. She actively participates in their interactive forums and talkbacks, and provides them with invaluable information. Jewish Israel was in touch with her and very much aware of the disturbing circumstances involving Leib Tropper.

[Note: one of the rabbis handling Shannon's conversion asked that she no longer refer to Leib Tropper as "Rabbi"]

JI: How are you feeling? You're a Jew now.

Shannon : Relieved after such a long process. I feel like I came out of Egypt. Many potential converts undergo severe testing, and I've certainly had my share.

JI: Were the rabbis involved with your conversion fully aware of the episode that transpired over the past few weeks?

Shannon: They were fully aware of the situation, are in possession of tapes, heard evidence, thoroughly questioned me, and required me to submit a written statement.

JI: Is there something you would like the online public to know that was not exposed in the press reports? Is there a statement that you would like to make?

Shannon: I think it needs to be understood that the information which went public was intended for trusted rabbinic authorities only. It should never have been leaked. The worst thing for me is the chilul Hashem that was created by all of this and the pain it has caused the Jewish community. I'm sick over the media's treatment of this episode and the aspects they chose to focus on.

The outstanding questions are, how did I allow this situation to happen? Why didn't I put a stop to it and just go elsewhere?

But the press reports virtually ignored the fact that I have been immersed in an ongoing legal battle involving my children and my ex-husband who sexually molested my daughter, pleaded guilty, and is a registered sex offender. Leib Tropper was taking care of the tremendous legal expenses I was incurring - which put me in a terribly difficult situation. I don't think the press or blog reports conveyed the desperate and powerless situation I found myself in.

JI: In addition to the humiliation and pain caused by the Tropper scandal what are the other emotional costs you have incurred?

A major concern I have is, how will the people in my community react? They are confused, and because I have been silent thus far, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered. I want the opportunity to clear my name, and to be accepted by the community as a Jew.

JI: And you still insist on being a Jew after all of this?

Shannon: Yes. I came from an idolatrous Christian background and worshipped a man instead of G-d. And now I have a relationship with G-d that no man can take away from me. I began studying counter-missionary literature when I was part of the church. I realized that the Christian bible had been severely altered, and that's how I became interested in Judaism.

Hardened Cynic said...

Maybe they just couldn't tell donald no - between the money and seeing Ivanka in the mikvah :)

Far Rockaway said...

http://decisions.courts.state.ny.us/10jd/nassau/decisions/index/index_new/mahon/2004oct/007841-04.pdf

If only Yankel Bender held that Kolko & Margo were a fraction as bad as this.

Anonymous said...

When a lady converts and goes to the mikvah, do the men watch? Anybody know?

Anonymous said...

Unless you are Leib Tropper or some other pervert, rabbonim are maykil on chatzitza by giyores to let her be tovel with a bathrobe on.

Lakewood said...

TOMS RIVER — A judge ruled Tuesday that admissions a former yeshiva teacher made to a social worker about sexual abuse allegations against him can be used at his upcoming trial.

Defense attorney Michael E. Wilbert argued to Superior Court Judge Francis R. Hodgson that statements his client, Yosef Kolko, made to a social worker should be considered privileged and not disclosed in court.
But Hodgson ruled that Kolko, 37, of Lakewood waived his privilege when he signed a form allowing information from his sessions with the social worker to be disclosed to the Beis Din in Lakewood, a rabbinical council considering the molestation charges against Kolko.
After making the ruling, Hodgson set April 2, 2012 as a tentative trial date for Kolko.

Kolko, a former teacher at the Yeshiva Orchos Chaim in Lakewood and a onetime counseler at Yachad, a summer camp at the Yeshiva Bais Hatorah School in Lakewood, is accused of sexually abusing a boy he met at the summer camp.

The alleged abuse occurred between September 2007 and February 2009, when the boy was between 11 and 12 years old.

Kolko was charged in an indictment last year with aggravated sexual assault, attempted aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and child endangerment.

When the victim’s father first brought the allegations to the Beis Din, the religious council engaged the services of Brooklyn social worker Gavriel Fagen to interview Kolko to determine the legitimacy of the charges, Hodgson said.

Kolko, during the interviews with Fagen, was advised that information would be reported to the Beis Din, and Kolko signed forms allowing that, Hodgson said.
“I think that it is not a small factor to be considered that (the Beis Din) is a parallel justice system ... within a closed community,’’ Hodgson said.

“I’m satisfied that during the course of the sessions, given that it was to be shared with other individuals, that the defendant sufficiently waived privilege,’’ the judge said.

Assistant Ocean County Prosecutor Laura Pierro had sought to have a report by Fagen containing Kolko’s admissions presented at trial.
Hodgson said Pierro may call Fagen as a witness to testify about his report.

At a hearing in March, Fagen testified that Kolko opened up to him about the molestation allegations. “There were a lot of specifics,’’ Fagen said then.
A conference in the case is scheduled for July 25.

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/201105180410/NJNEWS/305180020

Rabbi Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg said...

http://decisions.courts.state.ny.us/10jd/nassau/decisions/index/index_new/demaro/2001dec/014030-99.pdf

Meet my nephew Yaakov Weiner.

itchiemayer said...

It looks like Weiner was cleared, as confirmed by the attached document. I have read the detailed accounts of this incident and I find it difficult to believe that this child could make up such a story. Nonetheless, Weiner was cleared.

freelakewood said...

the couldron of lakewood is set to erupt once again

RCA Expels Mordecai Tendler Shechter next said...

Orthodox Group Expels N.Y. Rabbi, Cites Misconduct
By Rukhl Schaechter
March 25, 2005
The largest union of Orthodox rabbis has expelled one of its members from the organization following an investigation into several women’s allegations of sexual harassment.

In a March 18 statement, the Rabbinical Council of America said that Rabbi Mordecai Tendler “has refused to cooperate with the [organization] in its investigation, and has refused to appear at a hearing.” RCA also stated that Tendler, the scion of a prominent rabbinic family, had “engaged in conduct inappropriate for an Orthodox rabbi.”

“Therefore,” the statement declared, “Rabbi Mordecai Tendler has been expelled from the RCA.”

The action took effect immediately, according to the RCA employee who shared the statement with the Forward.

According to several sources familiar with the proceedings, including two alleged victims, Tendler was accused of propositioning women while serving in his role as either rabbinic counselor or religious arbiter.

The RCA’s decision was praised by one alleged victim, Batye Seigel, a 54-year-old clinical aesthetician, who said that Tendler propositioned her 12 years ago while adjudicating her divorce and a rent dispute in private rabbinical court proceedings.

“I’m glad that there’s a little justice in this world,” Seigel said. “I think that people should get what they deserve — both good and bad.”

One Monsey woman who has been urging alleged victims to come forward throughout the investigation, said that she has been intimidated and harassed by people identifying themselves as Tendler’s supporters. The woman, who asked not to be identified, said that she has been careful to guard her anonymity, but Sunday evening one of the rabbi’s backers posted her photograph and personal information on a Web site, along with a statement arguing that her anonymity did not need to be protected because she had run around “defaming” Tendler.

At this point, Seigel said, the key aim should be to remove Tendler from positions of power.

“People need to recognize that there’s a reason he was [expelled from the RCA], that there was an investigation of him by an agency outside the Orthodox community, so it really was objective,” Seigel said. “People need to acknowledge that. Now, he needs to be taken out of a position of power so that he can no longer victimize anyone.”

On Monday evening, a group of members of Kehillat New Hempstead met with Tendler to inform him that they were leaving the congregation, according to a source in Monsey. The group consisted of rabbis and administrators from Yeshiva University; the Frisch School, an Orthodox high school in Paramus, N.J., and Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy, an Orthodox elementary school known as SAR.

On Tuesday, Yeshiva University e-mailed a statement to the Forward saying that the school’s rabbinical seminary accepts the RCA’s jurisdiction on this matter, and therefore Mordecai Tendler’s seminar will no longer be offered.

According to sources familiar with the situation, in June the RCA hired the Dallas-based sexual abuse investigation agency Praesidium, Inc., to investigate the women’s complaints.

The firm boasts of having investigated more than 400 cases of abuse, including some involving the pedophile scandal that rocked the Catholic Church.

This past summer, Praesidium conducted telephone interviews with alleged victims and other witnesses concerning alleged incidents spanning the last 12 years. The agency was building on an earlier case file compiled in late 2003 by an RCA vice president, Rabbi Mark Dratch.

The RCA was roundly criticized for giving Tendler and the attorney who was advising him, Arnold Kriss, a copy of an internal report on the sexual harassment allegations, which included the names of his accusers. Several alleged victims said that when they cooperated with the investigation they never gave permission for their names to be shared.

Tendler advised sex with him so life will open up and men will come to her he was close to God as anyone could get sex with him would be her only hope said...

N.Y. Law
Daniel Wise

08-24-2007

The woman, Adina Marmelstein, asserts in Marmelstein v. Kehillat New Hempstead, 117629/05, that, as a result of the counseling, she and Orthodox Rabbi Mordecai Tendler had sexual relations for five years ending in 2005 after the rabbi had abused her emotionally and physically.

Lenore Kramer of Kramer & Dunleavy in Manhattan, who represents Marmelstein, said she will take the case to the Court of Appeals as a matter of right since there were two dissenting votes.

In her lawsuit, according to the majority opinion written by Justice Joseph P. Sullivan, Marmelstein averred that Tendler had advised her to have sex with him so that her "life will open up and men will come to her." She also claimed the rabbi had told her "he was as close to God as anyone could get" and having sex with him would be "her only hope."

Justice John W. Sweeny Jr. concluded that, notwithstanding the statutory prohibition against actions for seduction, Marmelstein had made allegations sufficient to make out a claim of breach of fiduciary duty. Justice Milton L. Williams was the second dissenter.

Marmelstein's allegations, taken as true, Sweeny stated, describe a fiduciary relationship: Marmelstein consulted Tendler because he had held himself out as counselor with expertise in women's issues, and he abused the confidence she had placed in him "by inducing plaintiff to enter into a sexual relationship to satisfy his own desires."

Similarly, the claim for the intentional infliction of emotional distress was not "merely a seduction case," Sweeny wrote, but a claim that Tendler had "clearly exploited the vulnerability of the plaintiff to attain his own ends."

Anonymous said...

Hershel Schechter, Haskell Lookstein and a Chassidishe Rav from Monsey sat on Ivanka's Beis Din L'Giyur.

Anonymous said...

HS must have some kind of explanation... Anyone know what it is?

itchiemayer said...

I think Weiner is R' Scheinberg's Grandson.

5 Towns said...

Rabbi Yankel Bender's kid is running an "organization" which is basically a one man show where he has deluded himself into thinking that he is saving the world. It doesn't help that Larry Gordon's 5 Towns Jewish Times paper has made Bender's kid his latest propaganda project now that everyone is suffering from Save-Rubashkin fatigue. While he may be providing some funds to people in need, if you need serious help in other areas, don't waste your time. My friend just got the shaft when he went to him for a dvar pikuach nefesh. Some rabbonim were just as useless. It's a shame that the only ones who helped were Lubavitch and freyer / goyish politicians when he couldn't count on his own people.

YUGUY said...

HS must have some kind of explanation... Anyone know what it is?

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

UOJ gets results said...

http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/facebook-to-combat-child-porn-using-microsofts-technology/?hp

Facebook’s New Way to Combat Child Pornography

Leopold Margulies said...

Sheker vechuzuv!

WASHINGTON — In the first comprehensive state report on the 2010 coal mine disaster in West Virginia, an independent team of investigators put the blame squarely on the owner of the mine, Massey Energy, concluding that it had “made life difficult” for miners who tried to address safety and built “a culture in which wrongdoing became acceptable.”

The report, issued Thursday by an independent team appointed by the former West Virginia governor, Joe Manchin, and led by the former federal mine safety chief Davitt McAteer, echoed preliminary findings by federal officials that the blast could have been prevented if Massey had observed minimal safety standards.

Ivanka's Tatty said...

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/judge-allows-florida-case-against-trump-to-proceed/?hp

Ok, so Ivanka acted a little frum in front of the beis din. Since when did a little misrepresenting hurt anyone?

Anonymous said...

Trump is having the last laugh. The Donald pulled another one of his phony run for public office publicity stunts and gets to keep the millions in campaign contributions.

Shmarya gets results said...

May 18, 2011

Bias Case May Pose a Problem for Bidder

By RICHARD SANDOMIR

In 2000, the federal agency charged with monitoring workplace discrimination ended its investigation of Eagle Global Logistics, a Texas freight company.

Its findings were troubling and lengthy:

Eagle, run by former college pitcher Jim Crane, failed to promote blacks, Hispanics & women into managerial positions, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found. Eagle had also maintained a hostile workplace, paid blacks, Hispanics & women less than male & white counterparts, and shredded important documents, the agency said.

Crane told managers not to hire blacks because “once you hire blacks, you can never fire them.” Crane did not permit Eagle to advertise job openings because he did not want to build up files of applications by qualified minority job-seekers.

Crane aggressively fought the E.E.O.C. in a lawsuit brought by former employees. But Crane, without admitting wrongdoing, eventually settled the charges for $8.5 million.

Today, Crane stands poised to buy the Houston Astros, one of Major League Baseball’s 30 franchises.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People issued a statement describing what it called Crane’s “dismal record in the area of discrimination,” and saying that he should be closely monitored.

Anonymous said...

Rabbis are human and can make a mistake in Geirus.

I am much more concerned about how we allow to Jewish Schools who are responsible for teaching Torah in New Jersey to our children to bear the Kushner name.

Jared's father is a felon.

The crime he committed against his own sister is unspeakable. Yet we allow our precious children to study torah an institution that is named after people who do not act like Jews. What message do we send to our kids.

That it is OK to Marry a Shiksa, it is OK to Bribe public officials it is OK to Abuse your own sister.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who are not familiar with the illustrious Kushner Family see link below.

http://jewishwhistleblower.blogspot.com/2005/05/rabbi-scot-berman-paid-mouthpiece-for.html

Is Ivanka Trump Good for the Jews said...

forward.com Is Ivanka Trump Good for the Jews?
Opinion
By Sylvia Barack Fishman
October 28, 2009, 'In 1926, when writer Ellin Mackay, heiress to the Comstock Lode mining fortune, fell in love with famed Jewish songwriter Irving Berlin, her Catholic father raged that they would marry “over my dead body.” When the couple eloped, he disinherited his daughter. After their civil ceremony, Ellin Berlin was dropped from the social registry — although her sister, who dated a Nazi and wore a diamond swastika, remained a member in good standing.

How times have changed.

On October 25, The New York Times announced the marriage of Jared Kushner, whose family name graces a New Jersey Orthodox Jewish day school, to Ivanka Trump, glamorous daughter of business tycoon and ubiquitous public personality Donald Trump. This unlikely union seemed so unremarkable that it didn’t even merit the “Vows” spotlight the Times frequently reserves for couples from divergent or unique backgrounds. Instead, the Times announcement straightforwardly noted: “Rabbi Haskel Lookstein is to officiate,” leaving it for those who read between the lines to understand that Ivanka had undergone a traditional religious conversion to Judaism prior to the Orthodox nuptials.

In part, the relative nonchalance that greeted this high-profile pairing reflects a sea-change over the last century in attitudes toward Jews in America: Marrying a Jew — even becoming a Jew, as Ivanka has done — no longer means removing oneself from high society. On the contrary, becoming a Jew may mean joining one of contemporary American society’s most enticing cultural streams.

Today, many non-Jews are familiar with and attracted to Jewish humor, food, music, literature, art and films, and also to Jewish social ideals and religious rituals. One thinks of “faux mitzvahs” in which pubescent non-Jewish boys and girls celebrate their coming of age, of non-Jewish weddings at which glasses are reportedly broken and cries of “mazel tov” are heard, and also of the participation of Christian friends in Jewish Sabbath and holiday meals.

Non-Jews now enjoy Passover Seders held in churches, and also at the homes of Jewish friends. An article in The Wall Street Journal by a reporter from its Boston bureau, for example, described a “Cambridge-style Passover Seder, BYOP, Bring Your Own Place Setting,” where only three of the 13 participants were Jewish. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd recently reported that she had tried for years to get invited to her late colleague William Safire’s annual Seder.'

Is Ivanka Trump Good for the Jews said...

forward.com 'The transformation of attitudes toward Jews and Judaism, however, is part of a larger shift in how Americans relate to ethnic and religious difference in general. An important juncture in those changes occurred during the late 1960s, when political and social trends transformed the landscape, and ethnic distinctiveness became something to celebrate, rather than to melt away. The growing acceptance of difference eventually evolved into a multicultural ethos that supports the juxtaposition of diverse backgrounds within individual lives and households.

To be sure, alongside the many opportunities it affords Jews, this evolving American reality also presents considerable challenges for the Jewish community. Many wonder how we can preserve a sense of Jewish peoplehood when traditional boundaries that had long defined ethnic Jewishness are becoming permeable and blurry.

Older American Jews — whether they are secular or religiously observant, communally affiliated or disconnected — often articulate a keen consciousness of Jewish peoplehood, highlighted by a clearly constructed “us” and “them.” That dichotomy, however, is increasingly difficult to maintain.

But there is another view of what constitutes ethnic identity. This view emphasizes ethnicity’s distinctive content — including language, values, behavior and culture — rather than the porous and shifting boundaries between ethnic groups. This tends to be how younger American Jews understand identity. In a marked change from the past, they embrace the particulars of Jewish culture but reject the “us and them” worldview of their elders. Jews in their 20s say they feel a strong attachment to Jewish ethnicity but tend to see Jewish music, food, books, comedy and cultural performance, family styles and religious rituals as their primary ethnic expressions. Unsurprisingly, this latter view of ethnicity tends to be more hospitable to Jews-by-choice.

Converts, of course, are not a monolithic group. They include activist, accommodating and ambivalent Jews — not unlike those born into the ethnicity. But in my 2006 study “Choosing Jewish: Conversations About Conversion” (American Jewish Committee), I discovered that those Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist converts who are Jewishly active and involved identify not only with Judaism as a religion (as previous researchers had insisted) but also with Jewish peoplehood, with ethnic Jewishness. The process of learning and experience that serious converts undergo positions them perfectly to embrace not just Judaism as a religion, but also the cultural content that is nowadays often considered to define Jews as a distinctive people.

For many converts, Judaizing is a process that does not end with the formal conversion. They begin by asking important questions: What does it mean to be Jewish? What kind of Jew will I be? Some are hungry for and pursue intensification of their Jewishness throughout their adult years. The effectiveness of this Jewish enculturation is underscored by the fact that, as a group, converts into Judaism are in most ways statistically indistinguishable from born Jews in the strength and extensiveness of their Jewish connections.

Today in America, identifying with Jewishness is voluntary for Jews-by-descent as well as Jews-by-choice. The spiritual journeys of Jewishly passionate converts, supported by ongoing education, expressed through an embrace of a shared culture and a commitment to a redefined concept of peoplehood, may provide models for Jews of all backgrounds. Just as Jews-by-choice like Ivanka Trump have confronted Jewish existential questions, Jews of all shades must struggle with the meanings that can bind them to each other and to Jewish destiny.

Sylvia Barack Fishman is chair of the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University and co-director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. She is the author, most recently, of “The Way Into the Varieties of Jewishness” (Jewish Lights, 2007).'

Ivanka Trumps Big Fat Jewish Wedding said...

jewishjournal.com 'October 26, 2009 | 'Ivanka Trump’s ‘Big Fat Jewish Wedding’
by Danielle Berrin After converting for her storybook wedding, billionaire heiress Ivanka Trump, 27, married New York Observer publisher Jared Kushner, 28, in an Orthodox ceremony at Trump National Golf Course in New Jersey.

The couple was married by prominent New York rabbi, Haskel Lookstein, who also coached Trump through her yearlong conversion.

Things weren’t always smooth sailing for the couple of moguls, though. According to a profile of Kushner in New York Magazine:

Dating Ivanka was fraught with family peril. Though she is converting to Judaism, studying with Rabbi Haskel Lookstein at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on East 85th Street, it has not always been easy. Jared’s mother, in particular, has struggled with their relationship. Last summer, Seryl told Jared to cool it. They broke up for a time but soon got back together.

Ivanka told me she and Jared plan to marry, but they aren’t officially engaged. “I am studying,” she said of her conversion, “and it’s been an amazing and fulfilling experience for me ... One of the jokes I first started making when Jared and I first started dating is, I’m a New Yorker, I’m in real estate. I’m as close to Jewish, with an ‘i-s-h’ naturally as anyone can start off.”

According to the New York Post, the 500 guests at the wedding included Andrew Cuomo, Barbara Walters, Anna Wintour, Rudy Giuliani, Joel Klein and Sheldon Silver, as well as Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and ex-New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey. From Hollywood, Russell Crowe, Natalie Portman and actress Emmy Rossum attended.

The Huffington Post notes that Barbara Walters discussed the “absolutely gorgeous but not ‘glitzy’ wedding” (yeah right) on The View earlier today and gave the audience a peak at the invitation, which was in English on one side and Hebrew on the other.

Next up, the couple announces the birth of Moses.'

Rabbinical Council of America’s RCA new conversion standards said...

RCA rabbis.org 'The RCA's GPS Conversion System: Proof Positive of its Importance and Value. Jan 19, 2010 -- By Rabbi Moshe Kletenik and Rabbi Barry Freundel

January 11th 2009

Recent allegations of impropriety on the part of the founder and head of the Eternal Jewish Family (EJF), an organization involved with potential converts to Judaism, has again focused the attention of the Jewish community on the conversion process. Rather than dwell on the failures of other organizations, the Rabbinical Council of America prefers to use this opportunity to highlight those aspects of the RCA's GPS (Geirus Policies and Standards conversion system established in February 2008, that prevent the kinds of problems associated with EJF and other conversion programs, in the Orthodox community. We would also like to discuss some of the positive aspects of the GPS structure that serve the community beyond any concerns about inappropriate activities.

GPS was established to aid potential converts to Judaism, while at the same time diminishing thorny questions of personal status. For years, conversion had been performed in ad hoc fashion by local rabbis, but without detailed mutually agreed upon standards and procedures. While the vast majority of conversions were handled appropriately, some were not. As a result, in recent years even those who had fulfilled the halachic requirements were finding their conversions unfairly questioned and scrutinized - not just in Israel but in many Orthodox communities to which they or their children had moved. It is significant that because of such inconsistencies, in the early 1990's the RCA established regional conversion courts that were not organized into a formal network. That action alone, however, did not sufficiently address the problems.

To help solve this growing crisis, therefore, the RCA, in partnership with the Beth Din of America, took the next step and established the GPS network based on the following principles.

Courts and Judges
Qualifying regional courts are established, or if they already exist, are included. To ensure equal treatment, the courts follow transparent and published rules and procedures, fully disclosed to every candidate.

These procedures were formulated by the RCA, without being imposed by any outside rabbinate. Indeed in almost every respect the standards of GPS are consistent with the voluntary conversion guidelines adopted by the RCA in 1989, even as they allow for greater flexibility.

The courts function under the direction and leadership of local rabbis from across the Orthodox ideological spectrum. The judges are approved by GPS leadership. They do not have to be members of the RCA, but to avoid confusion a rabbi who serves as a GPS judge cannot do "outside" conversions. The courts meet candidates several times during the process to monitor progress and suggest additional areas of study.

GPS is a not-for-profit system. There are incidental expenses such as tutoring, mikveh, mohel, and operating costs. None of the judges profit financially from their many hours of dedicated service.

Sponsoring Rabbis
To ensure that each convert is shepherded through the process in a personalized fashion, each candidate is introduced to the court by a sponsoring rabbi. Because he is not a judge on that case, that rabbi avoids the conflict of being an advocate who is also an objective judge. The sponsoring rabbi mentors and guides the candidate, working with the Bet Din. To be a sponsoring rabbi one does not have to be a member of the RCA.'

UOJ gets results said...

NEW YORK (AP) Prosecutor: Grand jury has indicted former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in sex abuse case.

Rabbinical Council of America’s RCA new conversion standards said...

RCA rabbis.org 'Administration of GPS
GPS has a centralized office at the RCA, reporting to a committee representing the various regional courts. Complaints are handled jointly by the GPS administrator and the GPS committee, in consultation with the Bet Din.

A GPS website facilitates information sharing, education, and communications among the courts, candidates, and others. A confidential database of all GPS converts is maintained, ensuring that future questions will be appropriately answered.

Non-GPS Conversions
While the RCA encourages its members to use GPS, it recognizes that some may choose not to, in their role as the local rabbinic authority. Such rabbis recognize that other rabbis are similarly free to not recognize conversions from outside GPS in their jurisdiction.

Conclusion
In less than two years approximately 300 GPS fully accepted conversions have taken place, under the supervision of scores of approved judges across North America, with hundreds more candidates in process. For a new system, GPS is working astonishingly well. There are, of course, improvements to be made in some areas, and the RCA is committed to a constant review of all aspects of the program.

We believe that GPS will continue to help establish the credentials of those who choose, of their own free will, to join the Jewish people, while avoiding problems that sometimes occur, as sadly becomes evident from time to time.

GPS does not presume to claim, as others have, that its conversions will be "universally recognized," insofar as we believe that there can be no such thing before the arrival of mashiach. Yet we do believe that our system goes a long way toward establishing widely accepted outcomes, given that GPS conversions have been accepted across the ideological spectrum of Orthodoxy.

Aside from all of the benefits to the converts themselves, GPS thus contributes to precious Jewish unity and cooperation, among rabbis, laymen, and their communities.

Rabbi Moshe Kletenik is the President of the Rabbinical Council of America
Rabbi Barry Freundel is the Chairman of the GPS Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America.'

RCA and Israeli Chief Rabbinate Conversion Agreement said...

RCA rabbis.org 'RCA and Israeli Chief Rabbinate Announce Historic Conversion Agreement Apr 27, 2007 -- The Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), the largest Orthodox rabbinic group in the world, will hold a press conference at its forthcoming Annual Convention, to be held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, at 36 Battery Place, Manhattan, on Monday April 30th, 2007, at 2.30pm, at which time it will officially announce a formal agreement entered into by the RCA (together with its associated Beth Din – the Beth Din of America,) and the Chief Rabbinate of the State of Israel, that will formalize in detail mutual recognition of Orthodox conversions to Judaism.

The agreement is the product of a year long process. It involves the automatic recognition in Israel of conversions performed by any one of the participating Batei Din (rabbinical courts) which will be part of the soon to-be-established network of Regional Batei Din for Geirus (Conversion.) All participating Batei Din will work closely with the Beth Din of America, and its director Rabbi Yonah Reiss, in implementing the agreement. Some of the Batei Din are of long-standing duration, while others will be established in the months and years ahead, but all of them will follow the strict standards, policies, and procedures, that have been agreed upon. These will include standardized procedures at every step of the conversion process, as well as standardized requirements, documentation, qualifications for batei din dayyanim (judges), conversion of minors, and resulting certificates of conversion. A central office will maintain comprehensive database information to ensure proper registration and sharing of information among participating batei din and the Chief Rabbinate in Israel and others around the world, in the present and for future generations.

An inaugural conference of first stage participating batei din was held several months ago in Chicago. At each stage of implementation process others will be added.

Rabbi Barry Freundel, Chairman of the joint Geirut Policies and Standards (GPS) Committee issued the following statement: “This historic and long-overdue agreement is a major milestone – not just for future converts to Judaism and their descendants, but for the entire Jewish people, in North America, Israel, and around the world. By thus standardizing conversion procedures and standards, many individuals, families, rabbis and Jewish communities will be able to avoid many of the problems heretofore experienced. The RCA is proud to have worked with the Israel Chief Rabbinate in bringing about a truly beneficial agreement, now and for the future.”

And Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Sefardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, who is also the President of the State of Israel’s Rabbinical Courts, said “I am most pleased by this agreement between the Chief Rabbinate, its rabbinical courts, and the Rabbinical Council of America, one which I fully anticipate will be a model for Jewish communities all over the world.” '

Most Govt and IDF Conversions are Fake said...

shemayisrael.com '2 Teves 5771 - December 9, 2010 NEWS
Study Reveals Most Govt. and IDF Conversions are Fake

By Yechiel Sever

Newly uncovered information is again raising concerns regarding giyur arrangements, both government-sponsored and in the IDF. A comprehensive, long-term study of the Conversion Institutes, at locations around the country, shows that most of the so-called converts never had any intention of undertaking Torah observance. Many even reported playing a part for appearance sake and living a dual existence until obtaining their conversion certificate.

The results of the study were published in Megilat Gerut, a book recently released ostensibly to help the conversion programs by presenting the real facts, showing that the declared purpose of the system is to ease the demands on prospective converts. The book includes extensive interviews, conducted by a woman who has taught at the Conversion Institutes for 20 years, with female conversion candidates from around the country who underwent government-sponsored conversion. The in-depth investigation reveals that only a small percentage of these converts described themselves as observant, while the vast majority admitted they never intended to keep mitzvas and were "part of a system that has a whole lot of hypocrisy, and the pretenses continued at the home of the host family and in the beit din...the moment you leave the beit din you resume your normal life."

Other women recounted living two separate lives. "Most of the people who come out of the Conversion Institutes are not religious; everyone is acting."

The revelations add further credence to the failure of the special conversion courts, where most conversion candidates never planned to keep Torah and mitzvas — a situation that is even more acute in the IDF conversion apparatus.

According to Vaad HaRabbonim Haolami LeInyonei Giyur, founded by the late Rav Chaim Kreiswirth zt"l, a lot of confusion now surrounds the government conversion system following various brow-raising announcements by certain "rabbis."

Vaad HaRabbonim Haolami also noted that on 20 Sivan 5770, Atty. Shimon Ulman, the Chief Rabbinate's legal adviser, issued clear instructions regarding an individual who registers for marriage after receiving a religious conversion certificate. "The rabbi serving as marriage registrar is authorized, if a serious doubt arises regarding the validity of the conversion, to refer the matter for clarification to the regional rabbinical court, with a special bench whose dayonim are to be determined by the president of the Supreme Rabbinical Court. The marriage registrar will [then] act in accordance with the final ruling given by the rabbinical court following the clarification."

In light of these instructions, it remains unclear how the Chief Rabbinate recently appointed four marriage registrars to take in all of the converts both from the IDF conversion program and the special conversion courts, after prominent city rabbis voiced serious doubts regarding the validity of their "conversions." According to the halachic and legal procedure, the regional rabbinical courts must decide the matter and determine their final status.

"The appointments of the new marriage registrars, who are a part of the defective conversion system, bypass an unambiguous halacha articulated by the leading poskim in 5744 [1984], that it is strictly forbidden to accept a convert without conducting an inquiry, [otherwise the conversion is liable] to bring non-Jews into Kerem Beis Yisroel," said a spokesman for Vaad HaRabbonim. "A convert who did not earnestly undertake Torah and mitzvas at the time of the conversion is a non-Jew in every respect. The Chief Rabbinate must stand firm at the watch and reach the proper conclusions based on the deplorable figures in the conversion system, and only set up a limited conversion system made up of a established, highly regarded botei din." '

UOJ gets results said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/20/nyregion/trumps-for-profit-school-said-to-be-under-investigation.html?hp

The New York attorney general’s office is investigating whether a for-profit school founded by Donald J. Trump, which charges students up to $35,000 a course, has engaged in illegal business practices, according to people briefed on the inquiry.

The investigation was prompted by around a dozen complaints about the Trump school, which the attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, has found to be “credible” and “serious,”

Hardened Cynic said...

It should be public knowledge that Stanley Z. Levitt, a convicted pedophile originally from Boston, is currently living in Baltimore, and davening at the shul of Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer. His occupation is unknown.

Anonymous said...

http://freelakewood.blogspot.com/2011/05/our-sad-state-of-affairs.html

Anonymous said...

Eliyahu Bucay, youth director at Safra synagogue took my son to his car to give him gifts and toys, bought him expensive books and has been calling our home and calling our relatives at work nearly every day to ask them to bring my son back to his classes, etc.

On one occasion Bucay took my son to his car which was parked behind some bushes and showed him a plastic bag containing men's underwear.

My son is learning with a different rabbi now.

Bucay was a student of Rabbi Schmeltzer.

Baltimore Agudah Fresser said...

Rabbi Hopfer is the chief dayan of the Baltimore beis din and an independent hashgocho whose only certification is on a deli that is jointly certified with Star K. He was criticized this morning on Rabbi Yudel Shain's blog for allowing a child molester to work at the deli.

http://yudelstake.blogspot.com/2011/05/to-go-to-bais-din-first.html

The molester being referred to is Yisroel Shapiro son of molester Ephraim Shapiro.

Hopfer has also allegedly covered up for other molesters whose cases were brought before the beis din.

Shalom Tendler said...

http://triblocal.com/orland-park/2011/05/19/man-wearing-womens-underwear-breaks-into-home/

Man wearing women’s underwear breaks into home

Hardened Cynic said...

Its a win-win. Shapiro gets to touch raw meat and fulfill his dirty fantasies. Just make sure no kids start working at the deli there.

Anonymous said...

UOJ should e-mail this and other photos of the very un-tznius Ivanka Trump to Haskel Lookstein and Hershel Schechter and get their reactions.
The e-mails should also include links to articles of Ivanka eating in and promoting treif restaurants and violating the Sabbath.
Let's see how these con men try to wiggle their way out this scandal.

Tendler mindset said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/20/business/20fund.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

At I.M.F., Men on Prowl and Women on Guard

Political analyst said...

Barack Hussein Osama & Hillary Clinton pulled a fast one today by jumping out to say Israel should give up territory from 1967. They were in a hurry to do this before Netanyahu addressed Congress at the invitation of the pro-Israel Republican party who realize surrendering land will make Israel indefensible.

Bibi was yelling at Hillary in a phone call just before the speech but the Democrats refused to back down.

The Democrats are also so far refusing to lobby Britain, France & Germany to join the US veto of Palestinian statehood at the UN General Assembly this coming September as a way of punishing Bibi for being a "right wing" ally of Republicans.

Remember who your "friends" are in the next election including the others in the party of Osama & Hillary who help them throw Israel under the bus.

Shmuckie Chuckie Schumer, Anthony Weenie and Gary Ackerman.

Haskel the Rascal said...

Someone looking for me? Ivanka also sometimes hangs out in my shul. Our left wing shul is cool with her and her "observance"

"Intern" by the way is the euphism we use for female rabbi. Gila is the daughter of RCA President Rabbi Kletenik who has breached the RCA's own policy when he calls for protecting molesters.

http://www.ckj.org/docs/SynagogueDirectoryMagnet.pdf

Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, Senior Rabbi
212-774-5650
rhl@ckj.org

Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Associate Rabbi
212-774-5630
rms@ckj.org

Rabbi Elie Weinstock, Associate Rabbi & Director of Education & Outreach
212-774-5636
ravelie@ckj.org

Rabbi Alexander Kaye, Assistant Rabbi
212-774-5652
rak@ckj.org

Gilah Kletenik, Congregational Intern
212-774-5660
gilah@ckj.org

Dina Farhi, Assistant to Rabbi Lookstein
212-774-5648
dina@ckj.org

YU - Torah Madua? said...

This is incredibly arrogant even by the standards of Rabbi Dr. Moses Tendler. Not only does he attack the YU roshei yeshiva & misrepresent the shver R' Moishe but "he was almost never wrong"???!!!

http://www.jstandard.com/content/item/moishe_tendler_to_address_brain-stem_death/18530

The Jewish Standard spoke with Rabbi Tendler on the topic of Jewish law and brain-stem death.

J.S.: Your father-in-law, the renowned rabbinic authority Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, as well as the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, had come out in support of brain-stem death as a criterion for death. What led to this change of heart by the RCA?

M.T.: The Chief Rabbinate of Israel supported brain stem death as the only irrefutable indication of death. This was followed until 2 years ago, when under pressure of [Rabbi J. David] Bleich and [Rabbi Mordechai] Willig in the RCA, they tried to reverse it. They didn’t have the slightest idea of what brain-stem death means. There were attempts to obfuscate Rabbi Feinstein’s position. Rabbi Willig said that polio patients who were paralyzed & can’t breathe were brain-stem dead according to Rabbi Feinstein. He published that kind of nonsense. How could they make such errors? These are issues that touch upon intellectual integrity. The 100-page document is not a p’sak.

J.S.: The document suggests that although they do not subscribe to the notion that brain stem death is death, they believe that it is permissible to get an organ from a non-Jew who is brain-stem dead.

M.T.: That’s a blood libel. It encourages anti-Semitic reactions — “I am a non-Jew. Do you mean you can take my organs even though I'm still alive?”

J.S.: The rabbis who oppose these principles are colleagues of yours at Yeshiva University. Those are strong criticisms of your colleagues. Is that a problem for you?

M.T.: They are colleagues who are ignorant or biased & say things without careful investigation. I’ve been criticized for using strong words. When dealing with pikuakh nefesh, there's nothing wrong with strong words if you think it will accomplish saving life.

J.S.: Are there any disadvantages to being Rabbi Moshe Feinstein’s son-in-law?

M.T.: They expect me to defend all his responsa. I only agreed to marry his daughter, but not to defend all his responsa, although he had a wonderful track record and was almost never wrong. He did his homework.

Anonymous said...

can someone please explain why no one is going after schmeltczer for his groping activities ans what is safras shul doing about this problem

can someone ask the father to ask the police to invistigate

maybe thats why schmeltzer ran to yeshiva gedola in montreal

Connecticut said...

http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/rabbi_will_be_re-tried/id_36299

This rabbi is the brother of the Agudah's Mordy Avigdor.

Anonymous said...

http://www.communitym.com/article.asp?article_id=101575

the voice of Hacham Shlomo Amar, Sephardic Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel, could be heard, apparently speaking on behalf of the cause. When contacted, Rabbi Amar’s office revealed that the sound clip in question was actually recorded three years earlier for a different appeal, and that the Rabbi had never in fact been asked to speak for Hodaya’s charity campaign. There is even evidence suggesting that the haskamot (letters of support) from rabbis on the organization’s website were either forged or not presented honestly.

Six months ago, as the full-blown investigation progressed, the organization sensed that significant details of the fraud were being uncovered. Realizing the potential fallout, the organization re-approached Hodaya’s family and offered 70,000 NIS (approximately $20,000) to settle the matter. In desperate need of the money, her father accepted and, as part of the settlement, agreed not to pursue the matter in the courts.

Anonymous said...

Another criminal that the rabbonim of Baltimore are tolerating.

Convicted child molester Stanley Levitt who once learned in Philly has now moved to Baltimore too & is davening by Rav Hopfer.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/04/fbi_informant_solomon_dweks_se.html

Solomon Dwek — the central figure in the biggest federal corruption sting in New Jersey history — is unlikely to hear his fate anytime soon.

Dwek was due to be sentenced on Monday. But today, U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares, who has repeatedly agreed to a series of postponements, once again put off his sentencing date — this time until March 5, 2012.

Nobody directly connected with the case expected the long-scheduled hearing next week to actually go forward. Dwek, who pleaded guilty in October 2009 to a $50 million bank fraud, continues to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and remains free on bail. His sentencing has already been delayed three times in the past three years.

Dwek’s attorney, Michael Himmel, said he did not request the adjournment, but was not surprised by the new delay.

"I didn’t ask for that date," he said. "But when someone cooperates in a criminal case, judges like to sentence them last. This is probably the judge’s best guess at a more realistic date — and it may well be adjourned again."

No one will say where Dwek spends his days, but he continues to draw a $12,500-a-month stipend being paid out of his bankrupt real estate empire in return for his services to the federal trustee overseeing the sell-off of his properties.

A judge in the case last month also approved the payment of limited expenses — including the cost of $100-an-hour bodyguard.

Anonymous said...

Eliyahu Bucay, youth director of Safra still stalking my son. Called to ask if he could take my son bowling for L'ag B'Omer.

I don't think I have anything substantial enough to take to the Miami-Dade county police.

He never touched my son, only bought him numerous expensive gifts, took him to his car and showed him a bag of dirty underwear (what was that all about??)and has been calling the house.

My son has not been in his classes for months, but he still does not stop calling for him.

UOJ gets results said...

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-kabbalah-investigation-20110506,0,6476645.story

By Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
May 6, 2011

The Kabbalah Centre, the Los Angeles-based spiritual organization that mingles ancient Jewish mysticism with the glamour of its celebrity devotees, is the focus of a federal tax evasion investigation probing, among other things, the finances of two charities connected to Madonna, the center's most famous adherent.

Sources familiar with the investigation said the criminal division of the IRS is looking into whether nonprofit funds were used for the personal enrichment of the Berg family, which has controlled the Kabbalah Centre for more than four decades, a period in which it expanded from one school of a little-known strain of Judaism to a global brand with A-list followers like Ashton Kutcher and Gwyneth Paltrow and assets that may top $260 million.

Anonymous said...

Dear UOJ, I think you are being much to hard on Rav Schechter in the matter of the fraudulent conversion by Lookstein of Ivanka Trump.

The Rav trusted Lookstein, I'm sure he will not trust him again.

Looksteen is the culprit here and so are all the "Rabbis" who have had a long history of being bought off by the Kushners.


Dozens of rabbis wrote letters coming to the defense of Jared's convicted felon of a father. My understanding is that all got paid for their "noble" efforts

Rabbi Scot Berman who was the founding principal of one of the Kushner schools had no problem defending the school position and that of his boss as an employee of one of the Kushner Foundations while it was public knowledge that he was guilty of fraud, bribery and tampering with a witness in the case against him.

Is it any wonder that Jared Kushner educated in a school funded by treif money, led by a Rabbi Scot Berman who became the Kushner paid mouthpiece to defend his louse of a Father would want to Marry a Trump Shikse???

The eppele falt nisht veit foon dem boim.


My understanding is that Rabbi Berman has resurfaced in Toronto to become the Headmaster of a Bnei Akiva school. Lets hope his Talmidim marry jewish girls.

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

Chaver:

The burden of each member of bais din is that each dayan has an individual responsibilty to independently be convinced that the applicant for gerus will gladly, willingly and without any ulterior motive, accept the 613 mitzvos. Talk is cheap, especially from the house of Trump and Kushner.

New York Magazine knew that Trump and Kushner were living together, but Schechter did not?

It's high time that every rabbi accepts responsibilty to everything they put their name to.

What Hershel Schechter did is unforgivable - and time and circumstances will prove him to be a fool!

So what else can't I trust him about? Is his judgment so warped that he let Trump slide?

Please!

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Scot Berman says Charles Kushner built a school that everyone marvels at?????

See below.

http://www.educationupdate.com/archives/2001/sept01/pages/spot_kushner.html


Really???

Send your young potential talmidei chachomin there so they can emulate the schools main benefactor's son Jared and marry a rich shikse. No worries you can always easily find Lookstein to do the phony conversion. You can even bring the shikse to the Beis din in a Buunny suit.

Anonymous said...

Dear Reb UOJ,

I agree Rav Schechter made an error in judgement. And I bet if you called him up he would tell you the same.

But I can tell you based upon my experiences with a few Gedolim of our time that I have been very close to, (one of whom gave me Semicha) is that they have a certain Temimus even in this corrupt world that causes them to have a certain naivety.


The New York Magazine is not likely read by The Rav and one could not expect him to give it more credibility than Looksteen ( although maybe one should going forward).


I'm sure this is a wake up call for Rabbanim everywhere. Trust only the Almighty and yourself. It used to not be that way and Rav Schechter got caught. He is no fool and he is among the precious few Rabbonim we have left that are trustworthy and can back it up with Torah knowledge.


Cut him some slack. Its looksteen who is the bad guy here.

Northern NJ said...

One of the rebbeim in the Kushner yeshiva in Livingston NJ is the rabbi of a non-orthodox synagogue. A rosh yeshiva from NY found out about it and complained to the Kushner yeshiva. I am going to look into whether anything was done about this by the Kushner people.

Anonymous said...

Dear Reb UOJ


Part of the problem is the attached document that puts trust in the sponsoring Rabbi.ie looksteen

see clause 4 c

http://www.rabbis.org/documents/Comprehensive%20and%20Final%20Geirus%20Policies%20and%20Standards%20Protocol.pdf


When I was involved in Gittin and Geirus in Montreal many years ago the potential Ger had to meet each dayan and had an oral Farher. It was not done because the Rabbonim did not trust the Rabbi who was responsible for teaching the Ger it was done because they felt it was their responsiblity. It seems from the document that i have linked you with that this practice has been dispensed with.

Note also paragraph 5 a i seems to go against what Rav Moshe said in Igros Moshe.

It will be interesting to see if a review will be done on this conversion and proclaim Ivanka and her yet unborn child to be Gentiles

The RCA says that when marriage is involved one has to assess whether if the future jewish spouse would disappear would the ger still want to be a jew.

It says nothing about whether such future jewish (from birth) spouse intends on keeping torah and mitzvos. Looksteen must have attested to the beis din that Jared was a member of his shul for many years and led an orthodox life.

I'm sure looksteen not only didn't share in the Payola nor did he disclose it to Rav Schechter.

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

http://www.ask.com/wiki/New_York_(magazine)

With 400,000 paid subscribers, and a readership of over 2 million people (doctors offices, waiting rooms..etc.)- NOBODY TOLD SCHECHTER THAT SHE AND KUSHNER WERE LIVING TOGETHER FOR THE 2 YEARS LOOKSTEIN WAS SPENDING TIME WITH HER? SHE WAS SUPPOSE TO DISCLOSE WHAT HER LIVING ARRANGEMENTS ARE! SCHECHTER DIDN'T ASK HER YOU MEAN TO TELL ME?

THIS IS SCANDALOUS! IT BECAME A BLOODY HEFKER VELT! AND SCHECHTER WAS SUPPOSE TO BE ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS!!!

Anonymous said...

I suppose Rav Shechter made a huge, bloody mistake.

I suppose Gedolim are human after all.

I suppose people make decisions that they regret.

Holy Brother UOJ, you are right about this, I suppose.

I also suppose that the difference between real Gedolim and pretenders is how they react AFTER they make mistakes. So many times, we have seen coverups and sickening excuses. But this time, my bet is on Rav Shechter to own up to his mistake, and THAT can't be said about most people.

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

Then let him issue a public statement that he made a huge mistake, disgraced Judaism, and that the RCA will conduct an investigation by independent trustworthy Orthodox rabbis as to how this perversion happened.

Anything less, puts him in the same category as the hoodlums at the Agudath Israel!

Toronto said...

Yes, Rabbi Scott Berman is headmaster of Toronto's Bnei Akiva schools, the high schools Yeshivat Or Chaim and Ulpanat Orot for girls.

Just another weak leader of a weak institution.

Or Chaim was totally hefker for years. When it got to the point of kids leaving boom boxes in the hallways to blast rock music, most of the student body left. Anyone serious about learning went to Ner Israel. The rest went to co-ed or public school. There were left about 35-40 students.

A previous headmaster was accused of being a womanizer although his chief accuser is a controversial person himself who the rosh yeshiva of Philadelphia reportedly tried to excommunicate.

In the 1970s when Ner Israel was also completely hefker and full of mechalalei Shabbat and other bums they would get together at night with Ulpanat girls to have sex.

Anonymous said...

OU at Ohr Sameach in Monsey in a previous year:

Sunday May 10, 8-10pm – “Nikkur and Other Meat Issues,” by Rav Yisroel Belsky, Rabbi Nosson Goldberg, and Reb Shimon Mendlowitz. A free “HOW TO be Menaker” DVD will be distributed.

(What's pshat that a Mendlowitz is teaming up with Belsky?)

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

(What's pshat that a Mendlowitz is teaming up with Belsky?)

*

Every large family has their black sheep:-). Shimon's a tzaddik, he should keep in contact with his smart cousins!

Anonymous said...

Scot Berman is much worse than just a week leader. he is mean spireted and verbally abuses the students at Ohr Chaim.

He expels students without cause ( as long as their parents don't sit on the board of the school).

Anyone know why he left the Kushner school to become a director of Papa Kushners Foundation that so proudly used donation funds to ask Rabbis to write nice charachter witness letters so that the felon can get reduced charges.

How can anyone let this guy into a chinuch position.

Its like having Ivanka give taharas Mishpacha classes.

Anonymous said...

I went to Ohr Chaim in '79. How long ago was the womanizing headmaster?

Anonymous said...

Yes a rabbi who passed through Or Chaim Toronto at one point has been accused of being a major womanizer. He happens to be very ugly but I guess that never stopped Mordechai Tendler. His chief accuser was almost put in cherem by Philly's Rabbi Elya Svei for not listening to a din Torah. The accuser ran to Rav Moshe Feinstein & Rav Nosson Wachtfogel and enlisted their help to fend off Rav Svei after he agreed to listen to the psak. The one bringing the din Torah was a talmid of Rav Svei and a big weirdo who probably fabricated some charges but that did not subtract from the fact that he was owed money.

Anonymous said...

Or Chaim Toronto - Faywood Ave

The alleged womanizer was there in the 1980s.

There was also one of the rebbeyim from Israel who was in charge of screening the videos that the out of town boys would watch in the dorm. He would watch movie after movie full of sex scenes that he then decided were inappropriate for viewing. What an idiot!

Toronto said...

(Who in his right mind would give a stripper money for safe keeping?)

Three high school bochurim were thrown out of Ner Yisroel in Toronto for going downtown to find a hooker. They weren't matzliach because the smart shiksa told them give me the money and I will meet you somewhere. The idiots waited all night until they realized she wasn't coming back. When they were caught by the dorm counselor sneaking back at 6 am he managed to pry out of one guy where they were. They showed up on time for shacharis but were immediately thrown out of the beis medrash and made to wait in the rosh yeshiva's office. The rosh was an old European Jew who learned in Germany before the war. He just glared at them for an hour without saying a word. He finally asked "WHY??!!!". When the loose lipped one said "all I wanted was a rub down" the rosh lurched over and smashed his head against the concrete wall. He then immediately threw them both out of his office and out of yeshiva for good.

One guy is the son of a big rov. Another went off the derech but still came to shul every shabbos where he would tell people he has STDs.