Sunday, July 08, 2012

"Don't Judge Judaism By The Jews!"

The UOJ Archives - 4/28/2008


Which street-corner, soapbox preacher did you hear this ignorant blather from? Berel Wein, Yissocher Frand, Noah Weinberg, Mattisyahu Salomon, Paysach Krohn? Did they stand there playing the accordion with a monkey and a tin cup - when they told you this garbage? Did you ever hear it from an honest Jew - who does not make a living off this nonsense? A person with integrity and depth? A person who truly understands - that is exactly how you are suppose to judge Judaism?

How else do you judge anything - if not by what the results are! It either works - or it does not! And if it does not - you need to fix it by throwing out the idiots that are responsible for the deranged state of Orthodox Judaism --- calling themselves Jewish leaders!


The "virus" of fraud, deceit and outlandish corruption that has so infected the world at large, has crept in -- and malignantly spread to every facet of the Jewish world . It is a virus that can't be cured by traditional doses of tefillah, tehillim, tzeddaka or learning more Torah.

Torah Temimah --- the "school" (not a yeshiva) that permitted and sanctioned Kolko's behavior, has began a fund-raising campaign --- claiming their broke! Any idiot that gives a dime to these menuvalim should be ridiculed publicly! Any parent that sends their child back to this concentration camp called Torah Temimah, where child-rape is no big deal, should be stoned! It's time for the community to shout out in no uncertain terms - WE'VE HAD IT - THIS SCHOOL CAN NOT BE PERMITTED TO REMAIN OPEN!

Welcome home to all the idiots from the hotels - rabbis - shysters in residence - free-loaders - included,--- who probably ate their way to illness! Welcome back to the real world - where you must deal with the ugliness that you stare in the face! Is this the Yiddishkeit you want to pass along to the next generations? We're now auctioning off brachas from the chevrah Alzheimers? Is that believable how low we've sunk?

For three years now I've been "screaming" at the top of my lungs --- we're sick --- we're in serious trouble! --- WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE? Ate some sushi in Arizona? Did you book next year already? Z'man Cheiruteinu??? We've never been more enslaved to our desires and indifference since "Chet Ha'Egel Hazahav! Who are we? ----- What do we stand for?----- What meaning do our lives have? When children and morality are sacrificed in the name of daat Torah -- IT'S THE END OF CIVILIZATION!

How else are we to judge Judaism --- by the Catholics? Of course - you judge Judaism by the Jews, their actions and their "leaders" --- and it's rotten to the core, at it's core....and you put on ten pounds over Pesach eating yourselves sick! Pathetic!


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Anonymous said...

You gotta cut back on that shmurah matza. It ain't helping your mood one bit.

Anonymous said...

There is a valid point about corruption among community leaders, organizations, etc. However, there is also “Mi Ke’amcho Yisroel”, a community with boundless chesed. It is not of importance to present any lists of chesed here. Everyone is aware of many forms of it. Selfless people looking to help anyone in need.

The diatribe above is simply without balance, but not lacking validity. We need to be aware of our problems, but the pessimism and cynicism will not help much.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what R' Yissocher Frand did to get lumped together with that group of magidim. As far as I know there have never been any complaints against him about anything. I have met him and found him to be sincere. He makes a living from his gift of speech? So what?

Would you rather he take from the dole like so many others? Agav, the handful of droshos I heard from him were not propaganda.

Anonymous said...


I am very upset at the Kolko deal. Kolko is spinning this that he has won!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back uoj, you were greatly missed.

Anonymous said...

Until we go over the head of Charlie Hynes, Kolko DID win.

Paul Mendlowitz said...


I missed you and all the wonderful supportive chevrah as well.

I had a wonderful, meaningful chag with my family, time to get back to important business!

I hope everyone had a meaningful, reflective and restful chag!

Paul Mendlowitz said...

Kolko is a very sick pervert...let him spin all he wants, the truth is now public and he should go to hell.

Anonymous said...

but the truth is NOT public. He pleaded to abandonment which is a JOKE

Anonymous said...

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Warren Buffett, the world's richest person, said on Monday the U.S. economy is in a recession that will be more severe than most people expect.

Buffett made his comments on CNBC television after his Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) (BRKb.N) agreed to invest $6.5 billion in the takeover of chewing gum maker Wm Wrigley Jr Co (WWY.N) by Mars Inc in a $23 billion transaction.

"This is not a field of specialty for me, but my general feeling is that the recession will be longer and deeper than most people think," Buffett said. "This will not be short and shallow.

"I think consumers are feeling gas and food prices," he added, "and not feeling they've got a lot of money for other things."

He was not immediately available for further comment. Known for his frugality, the 77-year-old Buffett has lived in the same 10-room Omaha, Nebraska, house for a half-century, despite being worth an estimated $62 billion.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Commerce Department is expected to say how fast the economy grew in the first quarter. Economists on average have projected that gross domestic product grew at an annualized 0.2 percent rate in the quarter.

Two quarters of declining GDP is a traditional indicator of recession. That last happened in 2001. Economists expect the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday to cut a key lending rate for a seventh time beginning last September.

Berkshire is a $197 billion conglomerate best known for its insurance holdings, such as auto insurer Geico Corp, but it owns more than 70 businesses.

Many of those businesses are tied to the housing market, including Acme Brick Co, insulation maker Johns Manville, and the real estate brokerage HomeServices of America Inc.

Others depend on consumers to spend more on discretionary items, such as Ben Bridge Jeweler and Borsheims Fine Jewelry.

"In the retail businesses ... if anything, they've gotten a little worse," Buffett said. "Of course, things connected with housing, whether it's in brick or whether it's in carpet, those businesses have shown no uptick at all. Jewelry had a bad Christmas ... and it stayed that way."

Buffett sees no respite from the housing slump.

"I think this is going to be fairly long and fairly deep, but who knows," he said.

In March, Forbes magazine pegged Buffett's net worth at $62 billion, ahead of Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim's $60 billion and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) Chairman Bill Gates's $58 billion. Gates is a friend of Buffett and a Berkshire director.

Anonymous said...

Why Raabi Frand? Do you have something specific?

Paul Mendlowitz said...

Any rabbi that did not come out publicly about the sex abuse scandals in our yeshivas and the rabbis that cover it up, including the gangsters at Ner Israel - are fair game. You talk about tznius and not about child rape? You talk about talking during davening and NOT child rape by rabbis?

Anonymous said...

i agree with you most of the time and i fully agree that the corruption the fakes the holier than thou crowd has got to go
but please explain why you have to sink so low to humiliate our holy sages the pillars of klal yisroel?
this is not tolerable

Zev Stern said...

Not a doubt in my mind - if those abused children had been Italian, the Mafia would be on the case faster than you could say Gut Shabbes. The lives of the perp - kiddie diddler Yudi Kolko, and his protector and enabler - Moron Rasha Ha-yeshiva Lipa Margulies - would not be worth a plugged nickel. Can I blame any victims or parents of victims if they pursued their own street justice against their oppressors? NO! I'd be sorely tempted as a father to pitch in with my own strong left arm. Torah Temimah must not be allowed to remain open until Lippy Boy and his motley crew go. Demonstrating, leafletting, make sure that the public knows what a den of corruption that "school" is. Any parent who has a child in Torah Teme'ah should remove him and place him in the local public school, since they will probably be blacklisted by the other yeshivot, except my alma mater,Yeshivah of Flatbush. In public school any teacher who did what Kolko allegedly did is given the boot - faster than you could say Gut Shabbes. Bonus - In public school your child, if he is taking biology, will be given a textbook that is whole and intact, not one with whole chapters torn out as per the psak of the Great Goon Moshe Feinstein (yup - see Igrot Moshe Yoreh Dei'ah 3:73 - and please check the reference yourself because I did not believe this until I saw it myself). Time to blow the whistle - no, make that a big shofar - on the rotten-to-the-core Orthodox establishment.

Anonymous said...

I agree with UOJ (although not the way he says it). The rabbis are talking about the wrong things. The most powerful person in the world, the U.S. President, gives a State of the Union address, and conducts press conferences. There is meat and potatoes in these speeches, on education, the economy, foreign affairs. Our rabbis talk about the parsha, when Kolko has been sexually abusing small children within the four walls of Torah Temimah. Even the Pope has apologized for his Church's scandal, and met with victims. They're better than we are.

Anonymous said...



Mondro-Pervo molested quite a number of Italian kids and the gumbares never broke his knee-caps, or put a dead horses head on his pillow, or made him sleep with the fises, or laid him next down next to Jimmy Hoffa in the Giants end-zone in the Meadowlands.

He currently lives a nice comfortable life in Jerusalem protected by the Ichud Molestas Gur.

How do you explain this??

Anonymous said...

UOJ...You really should trust ordinary Jews to do what they think is in their interest. Historically ordinary Jews have always been smarter than their rabbis. A sizeable number left Europe though the rabbis told them to stay. Many have deserted Orthodoxy when they thought it became corrupt and a system that primarily benefitted the keli kodesh . If today Orthodox Jews don't follow your lead maybe they understand their self interest better than you. Why should they trust a moralist like you more than one of the many rabbis you depreciate. Most Orthodox keep their cards close to their vest and are suspicious of all the gedolim includim blogger gedolim.

Paul Mendlowitz said...

I write the way I see it. Nobody is forced to do anything. If I was instrumental in getting a few people to think - dayenu!

Anonymous said...

We cannot let DA Hynes get away with this. He needs to know there can be pressure put on him from both sides. He is up for re-election next year. Make sure to donate to his opponents. Even if we can't push him out of office, make him sweat his re-election.

Anonymous said...

but it is not you must continue to protect the pure innocent kids
avi shafran and aguda must be stopped
the BS and drivel that comes from lakewood and aguda leads me to believe that the gedolim must be doing more drugs then the kids

NOTE in bnie brak rav landau made a ruling that any drug dealer and molester has the din of a rodef and needs to be brought to justice

lets applaud this stand

Anonymous said...

We cannot let DA Hynes get away with this. He needs to know there can be pressure put on him from both sides. He is up for re-election next year. Make sure to donate to his opponents. Even if we can't push him out of office, make him sweat his re-election.


"Challengers target Hynes -Rivals say DeVecchio loss could make D.A. vulnerable"

By Thomas Tracy

After the Lindley DeVecchio debacle, people are mulling over a possible run against Kings County DA Charles Hynes.
The political bloody nose Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes received last month after a headline-grabbing mob mole case imploded around him has a few of his former challengers wondering if they have a shot against him in 2009.

At least one or two of the three men who ran against Hynes in the 2005 Democratic primary maybe preparing themselves for a second run against the D.A. now that some critics say that his position is vulnerable.

The Irish scrapper, however, doesn’t seem to be worrying about the loss of the Lindley DeVecchio case’s future ramifications, telling the New York Daily News recently that he’s not too worried about his re-election prospects.


“I think [the loss] is a blemish on his office,” said Canarsie State Senator John Sampson, who came in second in the four way race for the 2005 Democratic primary for DA. “It’s his office and he is responsible for what happens in the case. He knew the good and the bad about the witness and he should have known that she had been giving conflicting statements to people about this case.”

All charges were dropped against DeVecchio on October 31 after it was discovered that Linda Schiro – their star witness — may have been lying on the stand.

Schiro, the longtime girlfriend of Gregory “the Grim Reaper” Scarpa, testified to both the grand jury and in court that she witnessed DeVecchio pass information to the mobster about people who later ended up murdered.

But, just as the prosecutors case against DeVecchio was about to wrap up, it was discovered that Schiro’s statements in court were inconsistent with a 1997 interview with two journalists planning to write a book about the Mafia.

In those taped interviews, Schiro was heard saying that DeVecchio was not involved in the murders he was being charged with.

“He should have known how detailed this witnesses testimony would be,” said Sampson who said that on the same week that DeVecchio was set free, his law firm won an attempted murder case against the DA’s office. He would not, however, identify his client. “You really had to wonder why the feds opted not to prosecute DeVecchio because they had the evidence and the same information.”

Despite his criticisms against Hynes, Sampson wouldn’t say if he was planning a run against Hynes in 2009.

“My first concern is 2008 and helping the State Senate get a Democratic majority,” he said. “Two-thousand and nine will take care of itself. But I promise you if I make a decision to run, experience will not be an issue.”

Sources said that high powered attorney and former Hynes challenger Arnold Kriss is also mulling over a run against Hynes.

Word about Hynes’ predicted vulnerabilities in 2009 were sparked last month when a Crain’s Insider report said that Democratic leaders were primping Judge Gus Reichbach for a run against him. Reichbach presided over the DeVecchione case.

Assemblymember and Kings County Democratic boss Vito Lopez was reportedly promoting Reichbach, who he has close ties with, according to the report.

But political insiders refuted the rumor, claiming that the esteemed judge wouldn’t want the job.

“It [the Crain’s report] was a silly story, it was nonsense,” said a source with close ties to Hynes. “Why would a this judge want to give up being a judge to become a young DA?”

The source went on to say that Hynes has “no problems” with Vito Lopez, so there would be no reason why the Democratic boss would be shopping for a challenger.

Without a doubt, Hynes will be running for his sixth term, Hynes supporters said.

Hynes made his intentions clear in a recent interview with the Daily News, when he claimed that he was “not going to satisfy critics who want him to resign or vow he won’t run for re-election.”

“As long as I can convince 51 percent of the electorate to vote for me, I’ll be here as long as I want and I’ll run on my record,” he said.

Anonymous said...

Lakewood Talmid said...
I'm not sure what R' Yissocher Frand did to get lumped together with that group of magidim. As far as I know there have never been any complaints against him about anything. I have met him and found him to be sincere. He makes a living from his gift of speech? So what?

Would you rather he take from the dole like so many others? Agav, the handful of droshos I heard from him were not propaganda.
I guess u are ok with all the other Rabbis mentioned by uoj.
Is Rabbi Frand the only non political Rabbi? please explain why u only have issues as to why frand was mentioned? As far as i see it Rabbi wein is actually one of the most straight shooters and knows jewish history better then any mainstream Rav or Rabbi world wide. I have nothing against Frand but why choose him?

Anonymous said...

Welcome back and hope this summer goes a bit easier for you.
I just want to mention to you that over yom tov i noticed in one of the papers that torah umesorah will be having non other then Rabbi Shlechter there at thier annual weekend convention along with others who frankly do not belong there especially since he was behind the isac hirsch case all the way, and is actually very upset that issacs \father signed the papers to have him released from the hell hole. what kind of mesorah are they showing us by have these no goodnik rabbis there? we must make sure in every way shape or form that shlechter is uninvited. I was told that a big shot of torah umesorah lives currently in lakewood .Not sure of his name yet

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, we had a president named Richard Nixon. He misbehaved while in office, and spent far too long denying his responsibility and guilt. Once the evidence became overwhelming, circumstances forced him to resign from office rather than to continue on in disgrace. With all of his maalos and his position as the leader of the greatest country in the world, he left in defeat, bested by his own yetzer horoh. That phenomenon, admitting guilt and accepting responsibility, does not exist in our community.

Our leadership is employed for life. Once a member of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah, always a member. No controversy, screw-up, or crisis will remove someone from such a position. Being one of the presiding gedolim of any major organization is a lifetime position. There is no expectation that any pressure will have any bearing on the placement of the seats at the dais, and the designated aliyah at the convention Shabbos is all but certain. There will be the stand-up ceremonies when entering the room, and the expected speeches will not be shaken by any of the above challenges. There should be no reason to suspect that R’ Schechter will be accorded any honors less than previous years, and his role in the Hersh saga and the controversies that this revived for public exposure will have no effect. The positions of other gedolim, and even his isolation in the position he took will be erased from anyone’s memory, or will be banned from taking any space at Torah Umesorah. The “kavod haTorah” line will be exercised well and often. One can safely bet that presentations that would touch on the topic will be modified so as to avoid creating bizyonos. Hersh will become taboo.

There is a halacha that the gemora prescribes. “If you see a talmid chochom that commits a sin by day, do not think negatively of him, for he has certainly done teshuvah by night.” The trouble is, this refers to a single sinful act. What is said of the repeat offender, that maintains his position despite the evidence to the contrary and the admonitions of all other gedolim? There should be the expectation that this year’s convention will be much the same as previous years, and the Hersh story will have no bearing on it.

Anonymous said...

admonitions of all other gedolim? There should be the expectation that this year’s convention will be much the same as previous years, and the Hersh story will have no bearing on it.

7:56 PM, April 28, 2008
there will be if more people know the true story . can u imagine have a convention but only 10 percent of the expected guests show up? well that is what uoj is hopefully working on. Torah umesora , chaim berlin, Rabbi Shlechter will go down in history as Toras Fraud and Not mesora .

Zev Stern said...

"Our leadership. . . .the Mo'etzet Gedolei Torah" . . .Not mine. It's only the Mo'etzet of Agudat Yisrael. I never signed on to Agudat Yisrael so it's not my Mo'etzet and I'm not bound by anything it says or does. Our task now is to expose the corruption of Aguda, both here and in Israel, and its Mo'etzet from every soapbox we can stand on.

Anonymous said...

Abraham Twerski's "Getting up when you're down" (p. 143-144) gives a case description of an 18-year-old yeshiva student experiencing doubts about the Torah being min ha shamayim. The boy didn't want to have these thoughts, was really bothered by them, and had difficulty concentrating. First he was given the advice to learn more mussar.
When this didn't work, he was referred to Rabbi Avrohom Twerski, diagnosed with OCD, and given meds for it.

Paul Mendlowitz said...

Audit finds sex offenders at California child care facilities---
Alarmed L.A. county officials say they will do their own checks after audit finds 49 sex offenders appeared to have lived at the same address as the centers.

By Andrew Blankstein, Richard Winton and Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
April 18, 2008

Los Angeles County officials said Thursday that they would begin their own checks of child-care facilities and foster homes after a state audit found 49 instances in which convicted sex offenders appeared to have lived at the same address as such facilities.

The audit found that although child-care operators and employees must submit to criminal background checks, no such requirement currently applies to people who live in the same house or apartment where the facilities are located.

Auditors cross-referenced the addresses of 8,000 sex offenders on parole from the California Department of Justice against 75,000 locations of licensed foster- and child-care facilities. At least 30 matches were made in Southern California: 25 in Los Angeles, four in San Diego County, and one in San Bernardino County.

There is no evidence so far that the offenders harmed children at the facilities.

After further investigation, state Department of Social Services officials moved to temporarily suspend the licenses of at least eight facilities in Los Angeles County -- including five in the city of Los Angeles and one each in Compton, Lancaster and Pomona -- and one in Rialto in San Bernardino County.

In those cases, authorities discovered offenders with criminal convictions that ranged from rape and sexual battery to lewd acts on a child, and oral copulation with a minor under the age of 14, according to documents released Thursday detailing the state's revocation proceedings.

In the Compton case, investigators allege that Jerome Tillman, who was convicted of four counts of rape in 1977, lived in a foster family home on Maie Avenue. (The foster parents could not be reached for comment.)

Officials with the county Department of Children and Family Services said Thursday that they had removed two children from a Los Angeles home after being informed Wednesday of the audit's results.

Director Patricia S. Ploehn said county officials "were in a state of shock" about the audit and were already discussing ways that L.A. County could check all child-care facilities to make sure no sex offenders were living there.

State officials have spent the last few days examining the child-care facilities cited in the audit. In 24 of the cases, officials said they found that the facility in question was not currently operating. But it was unclear whether the homes had at some point served children while offenders lived there.

Director John Wagner of the Department of Social Services expressed concern about the audit's findings. But he said his agency did not have the legal right to access criminal data gathered by Department of Justice that could flag potential conflicts between facilities and sex offenders.

There is already a push in Sacramento to change the rules.

Assembly members Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco), who originally called for the audit, and Anthony Adams (R-Hesperia) said they would introduce legislation that would make it illegal for sex offenders to live in child-care facilities or foster homes.

They also vowed to make changes that would require the state Department of Justice to better communicate with the Department of Social Services concerning sex offenders.

"Government has absolutely failed in this regard," Adams said Thursday at a news conference in Sacramento detailing the audit's findings. "The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing."

State laws already require certain sex offenders to register their addresses and other information with law enforcement agencies, and prohibit them from living near areas where children congregate, such as parks and schools.

Ma said she believes a further examination of licensees would produce far more cases.

"I wonder out of 75,000 licenses from social services how many have really undergone due diligence to ensure there are no concerns about child safety," she said.

L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said he plans to introduce a motion Tuesday for the creation of a countywide system that would flag sex offenders if they tried to settle down at any location that provided child care. Local officials would conduct such checks on a regular basis, he said.

There is evidence that some of the information cited in the audit was not current.

Morris Family Day Care on Carl Street in Pacoima was listed in state documents as the address of a convicted sex offender. But the offender's father said his son hadn't lived at the house for nine years. The offender's parents started the day care in 1986 and shut it down about five years ago, he said.

The state audit also dealt with another controversial issue: Large groups of sex offenders living at one location.

Auditors found that although the law prohibits sex offenders on parole from living with each other in a "residential facility" or single family residence, 2,038 sex offenders on parole were listed as living in 332 hotels or apartment buildings, including several in which two or more shared the same room. The law does not address hotels and apartments.

In Los Angeles County, 78 hotels or apartment buildings were home to 620 sex offenders on parole.

Paul Mendlowitz said...

I find this one very interesting!

When we abuse animals, we debase ourselves

By Barbara Cook Spencer - CSM

Brookline, Mass. - Moving a cow by chaining it to a tractor and dragging it by its leg says a lot about how we perceive and value animals. When the Humane Society video that showed this and other brutal slaughterhouse treatment made the rounds on the Internet a few weeks ago, it caused public shock and led to a federal investigation. But there's a deeper lesson that all of us – whether or not we eat meat – need to take to heart: we degrade ourselves when we degrade animals.

Much as bullies demoralize themselves when they dominate or ride roughshod over those who are meek, vulnerable, or defenseless, it should be obvious that human beings are the ones demoralized by the commission of inhumane acts.

Over the years, many have been caught up in the debate over what is, or is not, man's obligation to animals. But the debate is transcended by the growing realization that neither our civilization nor our planet will survive unless human beings grow richer in moral qualities like mercy, kindness, compassion, and temperance.

Yet in order to establish a platform for speaking out against cruel and painful laboratory experiments and slaughtering techniques, animal rights advocates are often asked to prove that animals have a moral sense and can feel physical and emotional pain.

But even if animals could be proved amoral and immune to pain, human beings would have no basis for even careless treatment of them. Most of us were taught as children to take good care of inanimate objects, even though they feel no pain and have no moral sense. We are taught to treat fine books with virtual reverence. We are taught that it is actually a crime to vandalize buildings, cars, and other inanimate objects.

But even setting aside the degradation brought upon the humans who commit acts of cruelty, research has consistently revealed evidence of the morality and sentience of the nonhuman world. By now documentaries abound in which we can see earth's creatures disciplining members of their own species for "crimes" within their communities. Conversely we've also seen them care for each other, as well as for members of other species, in the most intelligent, unselfish, courageous, and tender ways.

This evidence of morality in nonhumans tells us that mankind and "creature-kind" are inextricably woven together, not separate "worlds" attempting coexistence.

We may not be linked by trunks and tusks, wings and beaks, but I have yet to think of a single quality associated with the best in mankind that is not expressed by animals and often – as with loyalty, sincerity, wisdom, and forgiveness – more perfectly.

Our differences appear to lie more in the complexity with which we express our commonly held qualities. In fact, the caring, thoughtful observation of animals has taught, and can continue to teach, vital lessons about what we ourselves are and what we can accomplish.

We learn from an elephant, for example, that power and gentleness are not incompatible. We learn from any gazelle the naturalness of grace. Our dear canine or feline friends teach us that happiness doesn't come from outside ourselves – from the act of acquisition – but is something we bring to the simplest object or experience. From birds, we've learned the concept of flight. And from any animal we can learn that we don't outgrow childlikeness when we enter maturity, because childlikeness is a quality of thought, not a condition of age.

In fact, when we abuse childlike qualities in animals – when we take advantage of trust, sweetness, simplicity, or innocence, for example – we are well on our way to the abuse of children. For decades researchers, child and animal protection professionals, and educators have been pointing to the correlation between the treatment of animals and the treatment of children.

But it's perhaps the almost inexplicably deep love that we're able to share with creatures that explains what a magnificent symphony we can be. Symphonies aren't composed of inferior and superior tones and passages. Their beauty is in the unity of the simple and complex, the obvious and subtle, the audacious and demure. What matters in music is that each tone or passage be allowed to contribute its full value, however meek that value.

In the same way, our moral obligation toward animals isn't a question of what a superior being owes an inferior one. Unselfish affection takes the simple and complex, the bold and the meek in creation, accords each creature its full value, and blends all into a single symphony. Treating animals with the utmost dignity and respect is really the "Golden Rule" of conduct toward all species.

• Barbara Cook Spencer is a writer who lives in Brookline, Mass.

Anonymous said...

Man Held Daughter Captive for 24 Years; Had Seven Children with Her

AMSTETTEN, Austria (AP) -- A man has confessed to imprisoning his daughter for 24 years in windowless cell with a soundproofed door and fathering seven children with her, police said Monday.

SEE: Photos of the Secret Cell

The man, now 73, also told investigators that he tossed the body of one of the children in an incinerator when the infant died shortly after birth, said Franz Polzer, head of the Lower Austrian Bureau of Criminal Affairs.

``We are being confronted with an unfathomable crime,'' Interior Minister Guenther Platter said.

The daughter, who is now 42, had been missing since 1984 and was found by police in the town of Amstetten on Saturday evening after police received a tip.

Police on Monday released several photos showing parts of the cramped basement cell, with a small bathroom and a narrow passageway leading to a tiny bedroom. Investigators said an electronic keyless-entry system apparently kept the daughter from escaping from the cell, which was constructed of solid reinforced concrete.

The suspect, identified as Josef F., was expected to appear in court later in the day.

``He admitted that he locked his daughter, who was 18 at the time, in the cellar, that he repeatedly had sex with her, and that he is the father of her seven children,'' Polzer told The Associated Press.

Austrians - still scandalized by a 2006 case involving a young woman who was kidnapped and imprisoned in a basement cell outside Vienna for more than eight years - expressed disbelief at the latest case.

``The entire nation must ask itself just what is fundamentally going wrong,'' the newspaper Der Standard said Monday in a commentary.

Guenter Pramreiter, who owns a bakery just down the street, told The Associated Press that the suspect and his wife would regularly buy bread and rolls, though never in large quantities.

``They appeared normal, just like any other family,'' Pramreiter said. ``I'm totally shocked, this was next door. It's terrible.''

Anonymous said...







Paul Mendlowitz said...

Child rape by rabbis and others in the Jewish community, is now front and center of every conversation in the Jewish community and elsewhere. I'll let the very capable Jeff Herman take it from here.

The full story has yet to be told!

Anonymous said...

Homes facing foreclosure more than doubled in 1Q from 2007

Tuesday April 29, 6:18 am ET

By Alex Veiga, AP Business Writer
Number of US homes facing foreclosure jumps 112 percent in first quarter from 2007

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The number of U.S. homes heading toward foreclosure more than doubled in the first quarter from a year earlier, as weakening property values and tighter lending left many homeowners powerless to prevent homes from being auctioned to the highest bidder, a research firm said Monday.

Among the hardest hit states were Nevada, Florida and, in particular, California, where Stockton led the nation with a foreclosure rate that was 6.6 times the national average, Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac Inc. said.

Nationwide, 649,917 homes received at least one foreclosure-related filing in the first three months of the year, up 112 percent from 306,722 during the same period last year, RealtyTrac said.

The latest tally also represents an increase of 23 percent from the fourth quarter of last year.

RealtyTrac monitors default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions.

All told, one in every 194 households received a foreclosure filing during the quarter. Foreclosure filings increased in all but four states.

The most recent quarter marked the seventh consecutive quarter of rising foreclosure activity, RealtyTrac noted.

"What would normally alleviate the foreclosure situation in a normal market is people starting to buy properties again," said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac's vice president of marketing.

However, the unavailability of loans for people without perfect credit and a significant down payment is slowing the process, he said.

"It's a cycle that's going to be difficult to break, and we're certainly not at the breaking point just yet," Sharga added.

The surge in foreclosure filings also suggests that much-touted campaigns by lawmakers and the mortgage lending industry aimed at helping at-risk homeowners aren't paying off.

Hope Now, a Bush administration-organized mortgage industry group, said nearly 503,000 homeowners had received mortgage aid in the first quarter. Most of the aid was temporary, however.

Pennsylvania was a notable standout in the latest foreclosure data. The number of homes in the state to receive a foreclosure-related filing plunged 24.4 percent from a year earlier.

Sharga credited the decline to the state's foreclosure relief measures, noting that cities such as Philadelphia put in place a moratorium on all foreclosure auctions for April and implemented other measures aimed at helping slow foreclosures.

Nearly 157,000 properties were repossessed by lenders nationwide during the quarter, according to RealtyTrac.

The flood of foreclosed properties on the market has contributed to falling or stagnating home values, yet lenders have yet to implement heavy discounts on repossessed homes, Sharga said.

Nevada posted the worst foreclosure rate in the nation, with one in every 54 households receiving a foreclosure-related notice, nearly four times the national rate.

The number of properties with a filing increased 137 percent over the same quarter last year but only rose 3 percent from the fourth quarter.

California had the most properties facing foreclosure at 169,831, an increase of 213 percent from a year earlier. It also posted the second-highest foreclosure rate in the country, with one in every 78 households receiving a foreclosure-related notice.

California metro areas accounted for six of the 10 U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest foreclosure rates in the first quarter, RealtyTrac said.

Many of the areas -- including Stockton, Riverside-San Bernardino, Fresno, Sacramento and Bakersfield -- are located in inland areas of the state where many first-time buyers overextend themselves financially to buy properties that have plunged in value since the market peak.

"California still hasn't hit bottom," Sharga said. "We have a lot of California homes that are in early stages of default that may not be salvageable because either there's no market or financing available, or both."

Arizona had the third-highest foreclosure rate, with one in every 95 households reporting a foreclosure filing in the quarter. A total of 27,404 homes reported at least one filing, up nearly 245 percent from a year ago and up 45 percent from the last quarter of 2007.

Florida had 87,893 homes reporting at least one foreclosure filing, a 178 percent jump from the first quarter of last year and a 17 percent hike from the fourth quarter last year. That translates into a foreclosure rate of one in every 97 households.

The other states among the top 10 with the highest foreclosure rates were Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

RealtyTrac Inc.: http://www.realtytrac.com

Anonymous said...

You damage the cause by approving Neandertahl's personal insults against Reb Moshe a"h.

His foolishness allows every enemy point to that one comment and 'prove' that what you write about Lipa and others is also not worth discussing.

Anonymous said...

All of the personalities besides R' Yissocher Frand have had complaints aimed at them which may or may not be valid.

If Anon is wondering about R' Berel Wein, there have been complaints about his hashkofos and his yeshiva is currently co-headed by his son and a character who UOJ believes is a pervert / molester.

Anonymous said...


A pervert molested three young children in bathrooms at two Brooklyn parks before he was nabbed by a civilian patrol, police said Friday.

Michael Martin, 61, first struck about 2:30 p.m. Thursday in Gravesend Park in the Borough Park neighborhood after following an 8-year-old girl and her 4-year-old brother into the restroom.

As the girl lifted her brother onto the toilet, Martin said, "Don't do that. The seat's dirty," a police source said.

Martin, who gives his address as a senior citizens' home in Stamford, Conn., then sexually assaulted the boy and rubbed a sex toy on his sister, sources said.

The children screamed, and Martin took off, heading to another park less than a mile away.

Martin found his next victim two hours later in the Digilio Playground in Parkville, cops said.

He again followed an 8-year-old girl into a bathroom, where he asked her to touch a sex toy, police said.

The girl screamed, and the Shomrim civilian patrol grabbed Martin and held him until police arrived.

"This playground is packed with kids," said Jorge Torres, 22, who was at the Digilio park Friday with his 7-month-old daughter. "What was he even doing around here? He should go to jail for the rest of his life. How could he do this to our children?"

Michael Catusco, 40, a transit cop, said he and his 10-year-old daughter had been at Gravesend Park on Thursday. "It was so crowded you couldn't tell what was going on," he said. "You see a lot of kids unattended. Children watching children. Anything can happen anytime."

Martin, who was convicted of robbery in New York in 1987, was charged with committing a criminal sexual act, two counts of sexual abuse and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He was awaiting arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court last night.

None of the children suffered any physical injuries, but all were taken to area hospitals for evaluation.


Anonymous said...

Some people have been questioning the practical consequences, if any, of Kolko's plea to two counts of the misdemeanor of endangering the welfare of a child. They are saying the system did not work, or is corrupt, and point to the Jewish Week article on this subject.

Notwithstanding the lack of a plea to a sex charge felony, and also the absence of any incarceration, nevertheless, the guilty plea to two counts of misdemeanor child endangerment is serious, and does have legal consequences.

Criminal background checks by private and public employers, whether compelled by law or not, are now common. Kolko, who is only about 60, will have great difficulty securing any decent job that does such checking, or even just simply asks the job applicant, "Have you ever been convicted of a crime?" He must answer, Yes, because a misdemanor is a crime, and if he lies, and the employer checks, he will not get the job, based on obvious untrustworthiness.

If he tells the truth, and/or the employer does the background check, and discovers the convictions, they will naturally ask, What's this all about? He will be forced to explain his indictment for child sex abuse. The employer can also copy the indictment from the court file, and read the details. Or, they can just Google his name, and read the many newspaper accounts about the indictment and guilty plea.

I'll concede the plea was not a total win. He deserved lengthy incarceration, and a felony conviction. But it is a partial win - which is a win. The truth has emerged, and he has pled guilty to two counts of a very serious misdemeanor, based on an indictment of child sex abuse. His lawyer's statement to the media, that his client's plea of guilty can mean that he left some kids alone in a playground, is dishonest, to say the least - because of the indictment. The charges of endangering the welfare of a child were based on the factual predicate of sex abuse - not on abandoning some kids in a playground for a few minutes.

By contrast, the oylam goylam (masses are asses) who say he is innocent, and his guilty plea to two misdemeanor counts mean nothing, should look to the rabbinic system of justice in this case. That "rabbinic system" - an oxymoron - had Kolko in its grasp in the 1980s, after there were multiple complaints about him and....let him go. There was no testimony, and no trial.

If there truly was a working rabbinic system of justice in our community, Kolko would have been found guilty, and he never would have sexually molested a seven year old boy within the four walls of Yeshiva Torah Temimah in 2005 - that was one of the factual predicates of Kolko's indictment for multiple felonies and misdemeanors, including endangering the welfare of a child.

Hashem should give a speedy and perfect refuah shleima to the 7 year old child, and all the child victims, and their parents.


Anonymous said...


Picture of Michael Martin

Anonymous said...

Chaim Berlin uses a different type of detergent that smells more geshmack.


Saturday, April 26th 2008, 11:45 AM

TOKYO - At least four people killed themselves Friday by inhaling fumes from a detergent mixed with other chemicals amid a wave of similar suicides that has reportedly claimed about 50 lives this month in Japan.

Authorities are alarmed by the sudden rise in such incidents - an average of two a day were reported in April - because the chemicals are easy to get and the fumes could spread to affect bystanders or rescuers.

A 47-year-old man killed himself Friday in a Tokyo luxury hotel, said Fire Department official Toshiyuki Miyake.

Officials said emergency workers also found a 29-year-old man dead in his Tokyo apartment; a man in his 50s at a public gymnasium in northern Tokyo; and a man in his 30s in an apartment in nearby Yokohama. All died after inhaling hydrogen sulfide gas, produced by mixing detergent and a bath lotion.

Hydrogen sulfide has an odor similar to rotting eggs.

Anonymous said...

Martin can either be a Jewish or non-Jewish name. Someone at the center of a huge OU scandal is named Martin. The OU continues to cover up & lie regarding that episode.

Paul Mendlowitz said...

Lawyer's analysis above, is the way I perceive the plea-bargain. When you factor in D.A. Hynes' record or actually a horrible record in pursuing sex crimes in the Jewish community - I see this as a semi-sweet result.

The battle is far from over - the civil suits will extract a horrible price for the crimes of Kolko/Margulies, whatever the dollar amounts may be.

In addition there are scores of victims of Kolko/Margulies that have not spoken yet, that are pondering if they should come forward or not.

If one (new) child under the age of 18 comes forward to the D.A.with credible allegations against Kolko - Kolko will be re-arrested...and it's doubtful that he would be able to get away with a plea-bargain.

This case has caught the attention of the Attorney General of the U.S., and reliable rumor has it that he's totally dissatisfied with D.A. Hynes' handling of the Kolko criminal matter.

So...it took three years to get here; and the last shot has yet to be fired! Gedult!

Anonymous said...


Lost: One Huge, Inflatable Pig

Zuma Press

Roger Waters lost his pig, and would like him back, please.

The big pig is a stage prop that's two-stories high, inflatable and was last seen floating away during the former Pink Floyd mainman’s performance at Coachella on Sunday.

Released during the song "Pigs," the pork dirigible, according to AP and NME, was scrawled with anti-war graffiti ("Don't be led to the slaughter")

Anonymous said...

Kolko is a free man who remains a danger to children.

Kolko is very wealthy and is no youngster so the lawyer's pirush doesn't pertain much to him.

Kolko doesn't need to go job hunting. Even if he did, there is still no lack of morons who hand over their sons to be "tutored" by him.

Anonymous said...

Melbourne, Australia - Whistleblowers Come Forward To Report Former Principal
Melbourne, Australia - Fifteen people from the Orthodox Jewish community have come forward indicating they want to give testimony about allegations of inappropriate behaviour by a trusted official.

The whistleblowers have all identified themselves to an inquiry set up by the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV), as community pressure mounts for swift action.

Four of the interviews have been scheduled during and immediately after Pesach.

Phone calls “have been coming in fast” since the rabbinical body announced the inquiry into allegations of abuse, RCV president Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant said.

The allegations surfaced after Adass Israel Girls School principal Malka Leifer lost her job and fled to Israel within 24 hours of being investigated by the Adass school board.

Rabbi Kluwgant said it was significant that as many as 15 people had come forward, as they are all either alleged victims or people wanting to speak up on behalf of alleged victims known to them.

He acknowledged that the RCV was facing an outpouring of anger and demands for quick action against any alleged perpetrator.

Rabbi Kluwgant said that if the inquiry believed crimes had been committed, the relevant information would be passed on to police.

But he would not be drawn on the identity of any individual or on the extent of the allegations

Anonymous said...

A man who fled New York 11 years ago when he was accused of cheating federal programs out of millions of dollars has been arrested in London today.
U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia says Avrum Friesel is charged in a scheme involving the Hasidic village of New Square.

Four co-defendants were convicted in 1999 and their sentences were shortened by President Bill Clinton.
An investigation into whether there was a deal to get New Square's votes for Hillary Rodham Clinton in her 2000 Senate race resulted in no charges.

Friesel appeared before a London judge and has a May 7 bail hearing

Anonymous said...

Lakewood Talmid said...
All of the personalities besides R' Yissocher Frand have had complaints aimed at them which may or may not be valid.

If Anon is wondering about R' Berel Wein, there have been complaints about his hashkofos and his yeshiva is currently co-headed by his son and a character who UOJ believes is a pervert / molester.

3:01 PM, April 29, 2008
if you have belief in uoj regarding rabbi wein and his son running his yeshiva then have belief that Frand is also guilty for not speak out regarding all those molestation cases and child predators running around baltimore jewish areas.

Anonymous said...

One thing we can all agree on is that the Jewish world will never be the same again post-Kolko (for the better), your children will be safer because of ONE person, R' UOJ. Who else dares to make that claim?

Anonymous said...

>f Anon is wondering about R' Berel Wein, there have been complaints about his hashkofos and his yeshiva<

Back in my doe-eyed days, I ran into Rabbi Wein, who, btw, fancies himself a historian of sorts, and told him that I enjoy(ed) listening to his lectures. In response, he basically just sneered at me with a certain level of sarcasm. Coming as it did at a low point of my life, it really hurt.

Leah Gayle said...

Just curious, but are you still planning to publish the article I wrote for you? There is some relevant discussion at SephardiLady's Orthonomics Blog.

Paul Mendlowitz said...


Please resend it to: a_unorthodoxjew@yahoo.com

It was a wonderful piece; I can't seem to find it. I believe when you originally sent it, all kinds of stuff was breaking loose.

Paul Mendlowitz said...

Berel Wein is a notorious plagiarist - it's impossible to know what's his or what he steals! He's excellent in camouflaging other's writings as his.

Anonymous said...


The last known case of a girl from Kiryas Yoeli being violated was 20 years ago at the hands of a Yerushalmi bochur learning in Lakewood. R' Malkiel had to throw him out when the father threatened to go to the newspapers with the story. He had been willing to let the bum marry her but the bochur refused.

Anonymous said...

How does anon equate Berel Wein, whose son may be running the yeshiva with a pedophile to Rabbi Frand just because he doesn't shout from the rooftops about misdeeds in the same city he lives in.

I thought this site was read by Gemara heads and 2+2 still equals 4?

Anonymous said...

Contrary to popular rumor, I was not one of the shleppers who picked up the Yerushalmi putz to heave him out of BMG in Lakewood, but I did threaten to smother him to death with my langa reckel!

Anonymous said...

Reuven Minsker said...
Does anyone know of an alleged molester in Yeshiva of Spring Valley?
11:28 PM, July 01, 2006

Do you have any info on this case or who Minsker is?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Reuven Minsker the nickname of R' Reuven Grozovsky zl?

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the outcome was 20 years with the Monroe girl. She was pregnant after all. R' Dovid Cohen is the posek of convenience in these cases, ruling that the baby is a "rodef" against the mental health of young unmarried mothers. I wonder if any chassidishe poskim go that route?

Anonymous said...

I don't know about molesters in Yeshiva of Spring Valley but you've got money laundering and accomplices for Finkel's treif chickens.

Anonymous said...

Uh huh, so a baby is killing it's mother by virtue of the fact that she got deflowered 2 years earlier than a kollel veib, but Dovid Cohen wouldn't let Eli Greenwald stop Kolko & Margo.

Zev Stern said...

Anon - As for my "personal insults" against Moshe Feinstein, what I wrote is based on incontrovertible fact. When I read a comment on another blog to the effect that R. Moshe ruled that one should tear out the pages, I gave R. Moshe the benefit of the doubt because I still had respect for him. I challenged the writer to cite chapter and verse. He did. I don't have the Igrot Moshe at home, nor do I have easy access to a Judaica library, so I ordered Igrot Moshe from Davka Corp. as a CD-ROM. I checked the reference, cited in my original comment here, and lo and behold it was there. Not some oral account from someone who supposedly heard it at a shi'ur and that can't be confirmed because R. Moshe is dead. It's there, in writing. It pained me to read it and it still pains me to think about it, but I might be better off having lost respect for him after his death than when he was alive. He wrote his psak in 1969. By then he had been in this country long enough to know that here in America we treasure our books, Jewish and secular. We do not tear pages out of books because we object to their content. That is the act of a vandal, a goon! If he wanted to do that, or encourage others to, he should have gone back to whatever stinking European hellhole he came from. God forbid he should have encouraged all the Jews in Europe to leave when they could still have gotten out with their backs straight - for that you need a Jabotinsky.
Perhaps I write with such passion because I taught in Torah Teme'ah in the 1980s, very briefly. My students came up to me one by one and showed me that two chapters had been torn out of their texts. Never mind that they were responsible for the content of those chapters on the Regents! I blamed the General Studies principal, name withheld to protect the guilty. Little did I know that he was only an errand boy, a little goon acting on orders from the Great Goon. Thank God I am in America and the authority of these people extends only to those who choose to accept it - not to me!

Paul Mendlowitz said...

On the other hand R' Moshe ztvk"l was very progressive on artificial insemination, where the Satmar storm troopers were out for his blood.

I too found it difficult to understand his reasoning on the eliminating of any scientific data, rather than him opining that is something "we" do not believe in.

His son in-law is a biologist and believes in "some form" of evolution.

Go figger!

Anonymous said...

What kind of pages did R' Moishe say to tear out?

Neanandershort, you still owe respect to R' Moishe. Maybe YTT altered your thought process.

Anonymous said...

Rav Aron Kotler agreed with the reasoning that it is sometimes better to burn the whole book than miss something when ripping out pages. There is a basis to this in maseches Gittin.

How dare you small people criticize these giants. NeanderSHORT is aptly named and sounding much like a NeanderTHAL if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

"His son in-law is a biologist"

And you really think Tendler was R' Moishe's first choice if it was up to him?

Paul Mendlowitz said...

Tendler was not his choice, first second or third, and was heartbroken, but did trust his judgement on certain issues.

Anonymous said...

Hey Neandershort, after you switched from YTT to Touro (yeah I figured out who you are), did Bernie Lander make you tear out the pages too? Or was Touro too busy with probes into grants by the NYC Office of Special Investigation?

Anonymous said...

The poll confirms that 35% of the Tendlers would marry their sisters.

Zev Stern said...

It figures that R. Ahron's grandson Aryeh Malkiel is on the Slifkin ban and the Big Event concert ban. Giants? I once also thought that those schmegeggies were giants. Then, thanks to the blogosphere, the electronic Samizdat that gives us information that the powers that be would prefer we not have, the blinders came off and I now see that the emperors have no clothes.

Anonymous said...

For close to seven years we the frum children of Chicago have been on the streets after what we went through. We despise all that is preached in Telz or in the Kollel. It’s all talk, the actions affect us not the talk. Tairah, Tairah, Tairah shove it somewhere the rabbis honor, protect and kissup to the molesters. That’s what Jews are about. It’s only because of Rabbi Finkel or as you our parents call Motty that Chicago hasn’t had a Bryks style suicide from a Telz/Agudah family.

We know how you’ll answer the poll above YES, because even though rabbi’s father fed so many Jews Puerto Rican chickens, and he went through hell in life YOU DRUNKEN RABBIS still want to hurt him. You are so happy that one of your own is marrying a FINKEL just to hurt rabbi. We HATE YIDDISHKEIT BECAUSE YOU HATE HIM. WE HATE YIDDISHKEIT BECAUSE TO EAT A STINKING PIECE OF CHICKEN AT A WEDDING, YOU ARE SLAPPING OUR RABBI IN THE FACE.



Without Rabbi Finkel we can’t go on, his chizzuk shows our life is worth living. He taught us that because our parents are truly frum, but we were affected by a rasha who our parents say is a tzaddik we are mixed up about what being Jewish is about. Therefore we are a tum a pure innocent confused child. He said our tefillos are special to Hashem because Hashem listens to the pursued ones. He helps us focus on what we could be not just what we went through.

We remember Rabbi Plotnick telling us about all the students who died from being mean until Lag Bomer. Now one of your own has the nerve to intentionally hurt our rabbi on Lag bomer.


Thank you Mr. R. for helping us formulate our many emotions into a normal letter.

Anonymous said...

To Neandershort - What is your problem? When I was in grade school they were still teaching the theory of "natural adaptation" long after it was rejected by the scientific community. In other words they were teaching junk science because they did not have anything to fill in the gaps.

The only thing that Darwin wrote that still sticks with the scientific community is his postulation that evolution took place. As regards to the mechanism that Darwin proposed namely "natural selection"was debunked by the scientific community ages ago.

This is not to say that the scientific community has rejected evolution, rather it is still grappling with finding a plausible demonstratible mechanism.

Similarly you have Freud who is the father of an entire medical/clinical science. The entire medical community has just about rejected everything that Freud said about anything. This also includes the mechanism that he described how a conversion disorder works. It has since been disproven by modern brain scanning.The only thing that Psychologists and Psychiatrists agree with Freud on is that we have a sub-conscience.

The only person to reshape the scientific community in modern times with demonstratible results was Einstein.

In the 70's the Scientists were peddling the theory of an approaching ice age. Now the effects of pollution visa-vi global warming is being rammed down every bodies throats even though this is controversial within the scientific community. It is also important to remember that six or seven hundred years ago it was believed scientifically that all of the celestial bodies revolved around the earth. Scientific postulations are not to be regarded as forward thinking of any sort until they can be proven empirically. Otherwise this is like excepting at face value that the earth is flat just because it seems that way and all of the who's who says so.

Again, I would not want my children who are in grade school wasting time learning about Freud's theories or Darwin's theory of adaptation. They have to much piled up to learn in between secular and religious studies to learn about quaint theories.

Anonymous said...

"I too found it difficult to understand his reasoning on the eliminating of any scientific data, rather than him opining that is something "we" do not believe in.

His son in-law is a biologist and believes in "some form" of evolution.

Go figger!"
To OUJ, what scientific data are you referring to? In 1969 the only data that the scientific community had was some multi-million year old broad named Lucy and a few so called intermediaries with a postulation that we can connect the dots? This is a far cry from the demonstratable theory of E=MC squared.

To be fair to you though, in the field of geophysics and astrophysics there are also theories and postulations that the rabbis would not object to being taught. Why is a theory of evolution so offensive?

We live in a post modern world where secular people do not take science as seriously to answer all of their questions including the meaning of life. At the time of Rav Moshe's ruling this was not the case. We were also dealing with a situation where prayer in schools was being categorically banned and evolution through natural adaptation was being taught as a given fact in such a manner as to render the belief in a deity as mere voodoo. It was also politically incorrect at the time to question such theories.

I could give Rav Moshe a pass on that one.

Anonymous said...

Berel Wein is a notorious plagiarist - it's impossible to know what's his or what he steals! He's excellent in camouflaging other's writings as his.

This raises the philosophical question as to what is plagiarism. If it's impossible to know which stories are original, and which have been borrowed (even Willie Shakespeare borrowed plots), I'd say that Wein was creating a new and original work.

Anonymous said...

To Paskuniak - I am not familiar with Rav Dovid Kohen or his psak. However I think that he gets is precedent from Rav Eliezer Waldenburg who held that abortion is permissible in the first trimester.

He sights the gemmora that says that the pregnancy at that time is considered stam waters. The examples that he discussed however were in extreme cases such as a Tysach's baby, rape etc... He does not give a blanket heter though for all unwed mothers. Some say that he got his precident from the late 19th century posek Rav Yakov Emden who held that abortion is permissible for adulterous pregnancies where it might cause the mother distress. Was Rav Embden speaking about distress that might cause pikuach nefesh I do not know.
The prospect of having an abortion in those days with the lousy post medical care in itself was questionable whether it was pikuach nefesh not to have one.

Rav Waldenburg though poskened explicitly even in cases where the mother is not in danger. He had the disagreement with just about every other major contemporary of his on this issue. However it is easy to see how such a psak could tern into a Frankenstein halachik snowball, with every pulpit rabbi paskening as he sees fit on this very sensitive issue.

I would say though that any rav who paskens this way to help young ladies save face, should also tank into account the post abortion distress and spiritual damage that these young women may incur. There might also may be cases where young women are strong armed against their will by these rabbis to have an abortion at the request of the parents to avoid social scandal.

What may seem like a convenient heter can also be the ultimate baseball bat against women and our unborn. Did I also mention Chillul Hashem.

Anonymous said...


Builder flees & 40 Hasidic families face eviction in Brooklyn swindle


Sunday, April 27th 2008, 4:00 AM

'Where can we go?' asks Jakov Osdoba. He and wife, Miriam - along with their seven kids - are facing eviction from 770 Lefferts Ave. (below)

More than 40 Brooklyn families face eviction and foreclosure on condos they bought from a developer who pulled off a massive swindle and then fled the country.

The families, all Hasidim from Crown Heights, paid developer Eliyahu Ezagui - one of their own - for the apartments before they were built at two sites: 770 Lefferts Ave. and 613 East New York Ave.

"We trusted him, we thought we knew him, he told us he had the blessing of the grand rabbi. We had contracts, so we gave him the money," said Jeff Minsky, who lives at 613 with his wife and six children.

Ezagui, 47, did not give the buyers deeds when construction was completed in what is the single biggest local case of subprime mortgage fraud on record.

Instead, Ezagui deeded 64 apartments to himself, his father, his mother, his wife and two business associates.

The Ezagui group then used the deeds to take out more than $15 million in owner-occupied mortgages from 15 lenders, including Ameriquest Mortgage Co. (Roland Arnault), Olympia Funding (Leib & Shmeckel Pinter?) and Chase.

Mortgage payments have not been made and the real apartment owners have received foreclosure notices.

"I had every intention of transferring the deeds to the investors, but the project didn't work out," said Ezagui, now living in Jerusalem with his wife, Reina, and four children.

In a telephone interview, Ezagui said he obtained the mortgages, including 13 in his mother's name, to pay off more than $3.3million in loans he took out to finance construction of the two buildings.

When he couldn't sell all theapartments immediately, he said, he took out more loans and mortgages to continue financing the project.

"I hurt my parents, my family and I destroyed everything," said Ezagui. "I was stuck and it hurts and I feel sorry for those people."

Ezagui said he was a trusted man in the close-knit Crown Heights community. Apartment buyers interviewed agreed and said because of that trust, they had no lawyers when they signed their purchase agreements.

"We were stupid. We should have had lawyers. We know that now, but we believed him," Minsky said.

Ezagui portrayed himself as a devout man and played on the religious sensitivities of the apartment purchasers, all members of the Lubavitcher Hasidim.

For example, the late Lubavitcher leader, Grand Rebbe Menachem Schneerson, is thought by many followers to be the Messiah. Ezagui named his building's corporation Chaisom Inc. Chaisom, which means "live here," is also Mosiach - Hebrew for Messiah - spelled backward.

And the addresses he chose, 770 and 613, have religious significance: 770 Eastern Parkway is Lubavitcher world headquarters; 613 is the number of laws God gave Moses.

Over the years, the apartment buyers learned Ezagui had a life outside Crown Heights. He owned a house in Miami, where his wife and children lived, and was chief executive of 12 corporations, records show.

"He was living the Hollywood life down there when he wasn't here - big car, fancy clothes, the works," Minsky said.

Apartment owners began moving into the buildings in 2000. The foreclosure notices started to show up in 2007.

Jakov Osdoba, a teacher and rabbi who lives at 770 Lefferts with his wife and seven children, said he paid Ezagui $100,000 about 10 years ago "because he said he would help me so I could have a home and raise a family."

"Then we moved in and when I asked Ezagui for the deed, he was evasive. He said, 'Give me time, I have to work things out,'" Osdoba said.

On Jan. 18, Osdoba received a foreclosure letter stating that Ezagui's mother, Freha, had defaulted on a $277,824 mortgage taken on his apartment.

"I was shocked. I never met Freha Ezagui," Osdoba said. "I haven't told my children what's going on. I don't have the money to pay this mortgage. Where can we go?"

Schneur Hertzel, married with five children, paid $100,000 for his three-bedroom condo at 770 Lefferts. Somehow Freha Ezagui obtained a $370,000 mortgage on the premises.

"No appraiser ever came here, nobody rang the bell," said Hertzel, a teacher.

As word of the pending foreclosures heated up in the community last summer, Ezagui abruptly left for Israel.

"I'm bankrupt," said Ezagui. "I would come back [to the U.S] if I could straighten this out."

David Frankel, Ezagui's lawyer and a vice president of Chaisom, denied all liability for himself. He said he was at the mortgage closings, but claimed he did not draw up the original purchase contracts.

Ezagui said Frankel did draw up the contracts, knew of the multiple mortgages and handled the closings.

Last year, more than 20 apartment owners hired lawyer Robert Tolchin to fight foreclosure and press claims against the lenders and the Ezaguis.

"Ezagui was running a Ponzi scheme," Tolchin said. "The real apartment owners are left holding the bag."

As was true nationally, the swirl of easy mortgage cash found in the Ezagui case occurred with little government oversight.

Fourteen months ago, lawyer Marshall Schiff detailed the scheme in a three-page letter to Kenneth DeMario, head of the state attorney general's Real Estate Financing Bureau. Schiff asked the state to intervene.

There was no investigation. According to Tolchin, DeMario said his bureau had no investigators to do the work.

Last week, a spokesman for the state attorney general told the Daily News that prosecutors are looking into the matter.

"Adding it all up, the banks, brokers, the lack of regulation, and trusting buyers - it was the perfect storm for a swindle," Tolchin said.


katchkela Apr 27, 2008 11:56:39 PM Report Offensive Post
One of Ezagui's business associates (and possibly relative too) is still operating in Brooklyn and has yet to face the music for this land swindle. Mayer Orgel, a real estate mogul, who bought (under the name Eva Orgel) at least 14 of 60 lots at 770 Lefferts Ave., Brooklyn. For more info. see Brooklyn's Block # 1429, Lots 1201-1260 on NYC's online CIty Registery (ACRIS) at http://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/jump/acris.shtml Also, see related case of widower who bought 2 condos at above address without recievin deeds. Docket Number: 0024415/2003 'Eilenberg v. Ezagui' 2007 NY Slip Op 32188(U) in Supreme Court, Kings County

Bubbafats Apr 28, 2008 12:47:28 PM Report Offensive Post
Ever heard of the Toussie Brothers from Manhattan Beach? Same scum of the earth.

Garry konsward Apr 30, 2008 2:08:18 AM Report Offensive Post
1. It would be interesting to know who is the judge in this case? How does he react to the evictions? How does he allow 40 families to be evicted? 2. What about the banks? They were the accomplice to the crook. Why don't we hear more details about that side of the story? How could banks go ahead and give mortgages when people are living there? 3. Why doesn't the author write how the lawyers of the closings were able to pull off such a scam? The emphasis of the comments should be on the wrong that the banks did.

Anonymous said...

How could Ezagui have the blessing of the late Rebbe, who died in 1994, many years before the project began?

Perhaps Ezagui claimed to have done what so many Chabadniks do every day – randomly open a volume of the Rebbe's collected letters, the Igros, and scan the open pages for an 'answer' to their question. He may also have placed a note asking for a blessing randomly inside a volume of these letters and then opened the book to see if there was an 'answer' from the Rebbe there.

Whatever Ezagui did, lots of Chabad hasidim believed him, and believed he had a bracha from the deceased Rebbe to build these buildings.

I don't for a second think this affair will stop Chabad hasidim from doing these foolish things, and I don't believe it will cause hasidim to lose their faith in their departed messiah.

Chabad hasidim don't hold the Rebbe responsible for Joe Gutnick's shenanigans and for much else done in the Rebbe's name, even when the Rebbe was alive and well.

It allegedly worked this way:

A struggling publicly traded U.S. company with few shares outstanding issues millions of new shares to acquire a foreign company with little operating history and no reported profits. The U.S. company's shares rise as press releases promote the acquired company's technological prowess. If the technology companies succeed, all will make money. But even if the shares subsequently fall to $2 or $3, company insiders could reap millions because of the huge blocks of cheap shares they own.

Also part of the schemes are large amounts of stock purchased by religious charities, including Chabad and Aish HaTorah, used to artificially bid up the stock price. In some cases, the stock may be 'gifted' to the charity by an insider who 'buys it' in the charity's name. Then, when the time is right, the insiders – and the charities – dump their stock. Soon after, the shares drop dramatically in value, leaving many non-inside investors with huge losses.

Among those company insiders are alleged to be these people:

David Bodner and Murray Huberfeld of Broad Capital, a New York City investment firm. Both have histories of investment fraud, and each has a conviction for possessing a false ID' with the intent to defraud. They went on to get in trouble with Charles Kushner. Download norcrown_trust_federal_reserve_board_agreement_bodner_huberfeld_kushner.pdf
Their wives, Naomi Bodner and Laura Huberfeld.
David Rubner, the former head of Israel's ECI Telecom.
Rabbi Irwin Katsof and Aish HaTorah's Jerusalem Development Fund.
Herman Jacobs, Satmar hasid and owner of Allou Healthcare. He later pleaded guilty to corporate fraud in an unrelated scheme.
Rabbi Sholom Duchman the head of Colel Chabad, Chabad's major social service organization in Israel (although it is based in Brooklyn). Colel Chabad was started by the first Chabad rebbe, Schneur Zalman of Liady.
Rabbi Joseph Gutnick, the late Chabad-Lubavitcher Rebbe's 'special emissary' to Israel and the head of what may be the biggest affinity scheme of them all – Gutnick's mines.
The late Lubavitcher Rebbe himself:
…Lubavitcher organizations such as Colel Chabad and Chabad of the Marina, meanwhile, have turned up as significant traders in Gutnick stocks, say Australian securities regulators. Indeed, according to trading records obtained by these regulators, Colel Chabad one year traded upwards of $8 million in shares of Gutnick promoted stocks, while Chabad of the Marina traded about $4 million in Gutnick shares. The Australian authorities wonder if that trading was intended to push up the price of Gutnick shares in a classic stock scam, where outsiders are lured into a stock at rising prices, allowing those in the know to cash out before the price collapses.

Rabbi Shalom Duchman, the leader of Colel Chabad, did not respond to Barron's questions about his organization's stock trading.

Rabbi Shmulik Napartstek [sic], who heads Chabad of the Marina, in Marina Del Rey, California, [he was fired years later by Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin for other reasons] told Barron's that his organization has held "one or two" Gutnick stocks. "We got them donated to us. They set up an account for us," Napartstek explains. "We don't really trade it. We're just waiting for the right time that we're going to be told to sell it."

And who will tell them when to sell? "Hopefully, Mr. Gutnick will tell us," Napartstek said. And was Gutnick the original donor? "I can't really give you all of the information," said the rabbi, "because I don't know if he wants the world to know."

After that interview, Barron's learned from Australian authorities about the extent of the stock trading being done by Chabad of the Marina. We called Rabbi Napartstek back several times for further comment. He did not return our calls.…

And, of course, who helped artificially inflate Gutnick stock value the most? The late Rebbe, who publicly promised Gutnick would find diamonds.

Here's what Aish HaTorah has to say about Bodner and Huberfeld:

When it comes to cultivating religious charities, and drawing them into stock deals involving tiny companies, Murray A. Huberfeld and David B. Bodner seem to be without peer. "Mssrs. Huberfeld and Bodner are among the top philanthropists in the Jewish world," says Rabbi Irwin G. Katsof, executive vice president of the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah in New York City. "There are organizations waiting in line to see them."

And there's more:

Another firm that has repeatedly involved Jewish charities in its penny-stock dealings is Patterson Travis, a New York-based outfit run by Judah Wernick. In most cases, Wernick's stocks ran up in price and then collapsed. Indeed, in 1999, federal prosecutors charged Wernick with stock manipulation in connection with one of these stocks, ML Direct, a marketing firm whose shares showed just such a rise and fall. The trial is scheduled for November. Wernick has denied any wrongdoing. Letters to the court from Wernick's lawyers indicate that he has tried to strike a deal with prosecutors.

Among the dozen or so stock deals underwritten by Wernick was a fledgling alternative energy company called SCNV Acquisition -- a firm that was backed and controlled by Gutnick. This 1998 deal, which collapsed in price almost immediately, has been the only U.S. offering to date [2000] of a Gutnick-controlled company. Most of his other stocks were issued in Australia and then traded in the U.S. in the form of ADRs.

Among the investors in other Wernick deals was a Lubavitch seminary called Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim, which paid $145,000 for 45% of a preferred stock offering by Medjet, a fledgling medicalequipment company. Yeshiva Tomchei also made $208,000 in bridge loans to another company Wernick was promoting, a rickety chain of pancake houses called Royal Canadian Foods. Then there is Mosdos Chinuch, a Brooklyn religious organization that bought the second-largest portion of a preferred-stock offering from Red Hot Concepts -- a Wernick stock at the heart of a manipulation case that New Jersey regulators brought against another broker. Mosdos Chinuch also paid $30,000 for 9% of the Medjet preferred offering mentioned above.

All the above quotes come from a series of investigative reports done by Bill Alpert of Barron's. Even though Barron's is a US paper, Rabbi Joseph Gutnick sued Barron's for libel in Austrailia under a bizarre (and very old) law that is perhaps the most draconian restraint on free speech and the Fourth Estate in the free world.

Gutnick did not dispute the meat of Barron's reports or the allegations of affinity fraud. What did the "Rebbe's emissary" sue over? This:

Gutnick interpreted one brief section as accusing him of money-laundering or tax avoidance in Victoria, even though we didn't intend to make such allegations. Indeed, we stated in the article that Gutnick hadn't been charged with or convicted of any crime. His lawsuit never challenged or even mentioned the remainder of the article, including the portions about the securities transactions involving U.S.-based charities.

The 53 nations of the British Commonwealth have libel laws that, by U.S. standards, are archaic and onerous. In a defamation suit in those lands, the publisher is considered guilty until proven innocent and the evidence that it can present is severely circumscribed.

Victoria, however, goes a step farther. Its laws retain a pernicious 19th-century twist: The plaintiff can select an inference that he contends arises from a small passage in the story and sue on that, even if the writer didn't intend to make any such inference. The publisher cannot defend the story on the ground that whatever the reporter did intend to say was true, or that every other criticism of the plaintiff in the story was true, or that the passage meant something else and that was true.

In the end, Barron's settled. It did not admit guilt. It paid Rabbi Joseph Gutnick a $150,000 – a fraction of Gutnick's actual court costs.

So why is this alleged affinity fraud a big deal?

It matters because investors not on the inside lost bundles of money. Many of those investors were little people. (See the comments on this CrownHeights.info post for examples. Also archived below as a pdf file.)

It has been alleged that the Rebbe knew about Chabad leader Schnejur Zalman "Jimmy" Gurary's fraud for years and that the Rebbe benefited from that fraud – including through the special cardiac intensive care unit that was set up in 770 in 1978 after the Rebbe's massive heart attack was paid for out of that stolen money. It is also alleged that many of the dollars the Rebbe gave out over the years came from that stolen money, as well.

Rabbi Noach Weinberg, the Rosh Yeshiva of Aish HaTorah (who is ill, I hear, and could use a prayer or some psalm-saying, if you can) may very well have used money made in one of these affinity schemes to fund the Third Way, a short lived Israeli political party whose creation I'm told was secretly funded by Rabbi Weinberg in 1994.

And, of course, Joe Gutnick spent millions of dollars to influence an Israeli election, perhaps with the very money that allegedly came through affinity fraud.

Anonymous said...


The Brooklyn district attorney will seat an investigative grand jury to probe the beating of an unarmed black man by two Jewish men in Crown Heights, the Daily News has learned.

The victim - a 20-year-old college student and the son of a cop - has met with prosecutor Charles Hynes about the April14 attack in a neighborhood with a long history of racial tension.

"He's an excellent young man, and I met with him personally to assure him that I would do everything in my power to bring to justice those who humiliated him," Hynes said Wednesday.

Daily News columnist Errol Louis revealed details of the troubling attack in Wednesday's editions, citing fears of unrest if arrests are not made soon.

Police sources say their investigation has been slowed by the refusal of neighborhood Hasidic residents to cooperate with authorities.

"Right now, the Hasidic community is taking a page from the rappers' 'don't snitch' campaign," said a police source. The investigative grand jury can subpoena witnesses and compel them to testify.

Andrew Charles, a sophomore at Kingsbridge Community College, was walking along Albany Ave. when a white attacker on a bicycle sprayed him with Mace, police sources said.

A GMC Envoy then pulled up, with a second man emerging from the vehicle to smash Charles in the back and arm with a nightstick, police said. An adviser to the Charles family said both the attackers were wearing yarmulkes.

Charles was treated at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center and released.

Hynes' grand jury move was hailed by the Charles family.

"When he spoke to them Monday, he pretty much said he was going to do everything in his power," said family adviser Taharka Robinson of Hynes. "He's following through now, and I really have to commend him for that."

Police said the SUV, with its front plate missing, was later recovered - and they identified Menachem Ezagui, a member of a local Hasidic anti-crime patrol, as its suspected driver.

Ezagui arrived at the 71st Precinct stationhouse last week with a lawyer, but refused to answer questions or cooperate with the investigation, police sources said.

The victim could not identify the driver in a lineup, and he was released while the investigation continued, the sources said.

Police also went to the alleged driver's apartment on Eastern Parkway and broke down the door when the people inside refused to let them enter, sources said.

The suspected driver's brother, Aron Ezagui, was arrested, although the charges were dismissed. The family has since filed a complaint with the police Civilian Complaint Review Board about the incident, sources said

Anonymous said...

Here's an open letter from the Jewish Leadership Council about the beating of the young man and the incident at the Ezagui family home:

Friday, April 25, 2008
20 Nissan 5768, Sixth day of Passover – The Festival of Freedom

The Honorable Charles J. Hynes,
Kings County District Attorney
350 Jay St. Brooklyn, New York, 11201

Over the last months, members of the JLC have repeatedly met in your office, concerned that the armed muggings and bigoted harassment against the Orthodox Jewish community continue unchecked. This is in sharp contrast to the attention to justice you’ve shown to the recent allegations against an Orthodox Jew by an African American.

The past year has been a year of nightmares for our community: On July 8th, Mr. Moshe Kozlovsky was mercilessly beaten with pipes and bottles in the neighborhood. On August 22nd, Yechiel Rappaport was attacked by 4 members of the African American community resulting in the loss of 5 teeth. 16-year-old Mendel Chesney was attacked on Yom Kippur and beaten to within an inch of his life, putting him into a coma. A community blog documented 34 instances of assault by black teens on the men, women and children of Jewish Crown Heights—in one case, against a 73-year-old grandmother!

This week you announced a Grand Jury investigation into allegations against members of our community. If this is a new level of commitment towards prosecuting criminals, Jewish or black, we support your efforts 100%. If, however, your office has scurried to react because the alleged victim is the son of a police officer and the alleged assailant is an Orthodox Jew, we take issue with not having equal protection under the law.

As for the actual charge against boys in our community: The police department’s handling of the issue was outrageous if not illegal. Officers of the 71st Pct. used a fictitious hostage charge to break into the Ezagui family home at 2 AM. When 20-year-old Aaron Ezagui—not the alleged attacker—asked if the officers had a warrant, he was arrested on trumped-up OGA charges, put into solitary confinement, chained to a wall—effecting a sleep-deprivation tactic—and forced to urinate while standing in his cell like an animal!

This was a detestable miscarriage of justice and a blatant abuse of the democratic legal system. If you were looking for justice, the violation of Aaron Ezagui’s civil rights and the police misconduct would be under investigation.

As members of the Orthodox Jewish community, we do not condone violence and we do not support attacks like those alleged by Mr. Andrew Charles. We do however point to the violence against Orthodox Jews in which you have thus far refused to show the same level of commitment, and we firmly appeal to you to treat our plight with the same concern for justice.

After a decade or more of calm, our community once again lives in fear. The murder of Mr. Efraim Klein in 2006, one day before he was to celebrate his son’s wedding, remains unsolved. This week’s assault during the Passover holiday in Rochester Park on a member of the Orthodox Jewish community has not resulted in any arrests though the perpetrator was immediately identified.

It has been a tough struggle to have our fear brought to the attention of the highest-ranking officers in the NYPD and city government—but it has happened, and we will do all we can to ensure we are never again painted as the unprovoked aggressors in a long history of victimhood in which we sat idly by.

We will tell our story and we will see true and unbiased justice served.

In the name of the Jewish Leadership Council,

Barry Sugar.

Anonymous said...


Choose Search
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Search by Balkany

Breaking News:

Rabbi Balkany vs. The Village Voice.

Summary Judgment motion from Voice succeeds March 19, 2008.

"ORDERED that defendants’ motion for summary judgement is granted and the complaint is dismissed with prejudice as against defendants Village Voice Media, Inc., Tom Robbins and
Alexznder Zakharov."

Materials filed March 25, 2008, New York County Clerk's Office.

Excerpts from Order only posted below:

Judge Shirley Werner Kornreich
Part 54
Index Number : 112604/2004
Sequence Number : 003



Regarding thc Zakharov Statements, Robbins avers that he did not simply rely on The Daily News’ reporting. He claims that he obtained a copy Zakharov’s October 30, 2003 hearing transcript in federal court before Judge Allen Hellerstein. At the hearing, Zakharov detailed the specifics of his involvement in the bribery schcme. The transcript quotes Zakharov as stating that from January to August 2001, he along with Vadim Kaplun (Sam Kaplun’s son) collected money from federal inmates for the purpose of moving them from one federal facility to another. He claimed he then gave the money to Sam Kaplun, who would give it to a rabbi for the purpose of conveying the money to officials inside the federal government. Zakharov did not identify the rabbi, but he described him as being associated with a Jewish school in the Borough Park area of Brooklyn. Judge Hellerstein then asked Assistant United States Attorney Evan Barr if the government knew who the rabbi was. Mr. Barr stated that the government did know the identity of the rabbi. Robbins next avers he was independently able to verily Rabbi Balkany as the rabbi named in the prison bribcry scheme by tracking down Zakharov in Florida and interviewing him on or about February 24, 2004. During the interview, Zakharov told him that Rabbi Balkany was the rabbi referred to at his hearing bcfore Judge Hellerstein and that the money he gave to Sam Kaplun was supposed to go to Rabbi Balkany and then onto federal officials. According to Robbins, this interview served to independently corroborate what was originally reported in the Daily News from its “law enforcement sources”.
Robbins also avers that he obtained the transcript of Sam Kaplun’s appearance before Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gornstein on November 24, 2003. This transcript details Kaplun’s guilty plea to conspiracy to bribe a public official and outlines how he collected money and passed it on to a rabbi in an effort to secure the transfer of inmates from one federal prison to another. Robbins interviewed Rabbi Balkany for the story and included the rabbi’s denial of the
allegations and his statement that Zakharov and Kaplun both implicated him in order to receive leniency from prosecutors. Finally, in support of this motion, Robbins submits the allocution transcripts of Sam Kaplun and Zakharov, both of which took place after the Second Voice Article was published. During their allocutions, both Kaplun and Zakharov identify Rabbi Balkany as the rabbi who solicited bribes in connection with the requests to have prisoners transferred. In fact, during Zakharov’s allocution, Judge Hellerstein stated that Rabbi Balkany was the "major culprit” in the plan and expressed his disappointment that the government did not charge him.


Rabbi Balkany submits his deposition testimony, in which he stated that he never charged families fees for the processing of the daycare voucher applications. He testified that he charged institutions lees in order to “hire lobbyists” and that before charging any fee, he asked Commissioner Scoppetta for permission. He further testified that he kept no records regarding the fees. He simply dealt with each institution on an ad hoc basis. In addition, Rabbi Balkany
stated that the DOI never formally charged him with distributing any vouchers improperly. Moreover, Rabbi Balkany testitied that he did help Leona Helmsley while she was in prison by providing her with traditional Rosh Hashanah meals and helping her get released from prison temporarily to visit her son’s grave the day before Yom Kippur. In reference to Antar, Rabbi Balkany stated that he never helped Antar directly and that he only met Antar once in a kitchen during the tour of a prison. Rabbi Balkany claimed that he actually helped Antar’s cousin, who was in prison around the same time. When asked whether providing Antar with kosher food and assistance on religious holidays reflected poorly on him, Rabbi Balkany stated it did not.
Regarding the Congressman and Appeals Brief Statements made by Davis, Rabbi Balkany admitted that he helped Davis attend his son’s Bar Mitzvah. He contended that he never spoke to any congressman and detailed the process by which he attained Davis’ release. See
EBT of Rabbi Milton Balkany pp. 426-427; 445-449. Rabbi Balkany denied arranging for Davis’ appeals brief to be read by a federal judge. However, he stated that he did meet with the Maryland U.S. Attorney, and that he may have received some paperwork from Davis prior to the meeting. However, he further stated that he was not sure he read the paperwork, and, did not state whether or not he brought these papers with him to his meeting with the Maryland U.S. Attorney.
Regarding the Zakharov Statements and the prison bribery scandal, Rabbi Balkany testied that he never met with Zakharov, but did meet with Sam Kaplun and helped his son Vadim get transferred to another federal prison. He denied that he met with or spoke to Vadim, stating he merely spoke with Rabbi Laskin who helped arrange for Vadim to receive prayer books, food, etc. Following this assistance, Sam Kaplun made a $5,000 donation to Rabbi Balkany’s yeshiva. Rabbi Balkany claimed he provided Kaplun with a receipt and thank you letter. Finally, Rabbi Balkany testified that he did not ask for the donation from Kaplun in return for helping his son.
In addition, Rabbi Balkany testified that he helped Davis. He averred that he did not speak to a congressman, rather, he spoke to several government officials including the Maryland U.S. Attorney, head of the Bureau of Prisons, Attorney General Janet Reno, and finally, White House counsel Abner Mikva.

Anonymous said...


Litigation Release No. 20231 / August 8, 2007
Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Release No. 2665 / August 8, 2007
SEC v. Gershon Tannenbaum and Jay M. Vermonty, Civ. Action No. 1:99-CV-06050 (E.D.N.Y.) (ARR) (JMA).
Court Enters Final Judgments Against Gershon Tannenbaum and Jay Vermonty For Securities Fraud Imposing Civil Penalties and Disgorgement
On July 25, 2007, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered final judgments against Gershon Tannenbaum ("Tannenbaum") and Jay M. Vermonty ("Vermonty") for securities fraud, imposing civil penalties totaling $200,000 and disgorgement in excess of $155,000. The Commission alleged in its action that Tannenbaum and Vermonty were part of a fraudulent scheme from 1995 through 1997 to falsify and inflate the financial condition of Power Phone Inc. and its successor TMC Agroworld Corporation. The Commission alleged in its action that Tannenbaum and Vermonty fraudulently promoted Power Phone and TMC Agroworld stock.

The Commission's complaint alleged that Power Phone's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1995 improperly included two assets that Power Phone did not own: (i) artwork with a purported value of $2 million; and (ii) a commercial grade application software program also with a purported value of $2 million. Collectively, these assets accounted for 95% of Power Phone's total assets. The Commission's complaint alleged that Tannenbaum and Vermonty actively and fraudulently touted the stock of Power Phone and TMC Agroworld to the investing public and then sold their stock in those entities at artificially inflated prices.

Under the terms of the final judgments, Tannenbaum and Vermonty were each permanently enjoined from further violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5. The court also ordered Tannenbaum to pay disgorgement in the amount of $95,026, plus prejudgment interest, and $100,000 in civil penalties. The court ordered Vermonty to pay disgorgement in the amount of $63,880, plus prejudgment interest, and $100,000 in civil penalties. The court also ordered both Tannenbaum and Vermonty to provide a verified, sworn accounting.

For additional information regarding this action, see Litigation Release No. 1173 (Sept. 28, 1999) (describing the initial filing). Also see In the Matter of Michael, Adest & Blumenkrantz, P.C., et al., Admin. Proc. File No. 3-9873 (Apr. 14, 1999); In the Matter of Joseph Salamon, Admin. Proc. File No. 3-10095 (Nov. 10, 1999); In the Matter of Isaac Hager, Admin. Proc. File No. 3-10317 (Feb. 7, 2001).

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum:

Sheldon v. B'nai Israel of Linden Heights
31 A.D.3d 650, 819 N.Y.S.2d 284 NY,2006.
Jul 18, 2006

31 A.D.3d 650, 819 N.Y.S.2d 284, 2006 N.Y. Slip Op. 05797

Briefs and Other Related Documents

**1 In the Matter of David Sheldon, Respondent
B'nai Israel of Linden Heights, Appellant.
Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York
July 18, 2006
CITE TITLE AS: Matter of Sheldon v B'nai Israel of Linden Hgts.
In a proceeding pursuant to CPLR 5231 (f) to recover accrued installments under an income execution, B'nai Israel of Linden Heights appeals from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Kings County (Saitta, J.), dated July 29, 2005, which granted the petition and awarded the petitioner the principal sum of $3,538.55.
Ordered that the judgment is affirmed, with costs.
On November 8, 2002 the petitioner David Sheldon was awarded judgment against Gershon Tannenbaum (hereinafter the judgment debtor) in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas in the sum of $422,643.95 following a trial on the merits. The judgment was subsequently docketed in the Kings County Clerk's office.
The judgment debtor is employed as rabbi and spiritual leader of the appellant, B'nai Israel of Linden Heights, a synagogue in Brooklyn, and receives a annual salary of $16,000, paid in semi-monthly installments. On or about January 30, 2003 an income execution against the judgment debtor's salary was issued and delivered to the New York City Sheriff, County of Kings pursuant to CPLR 5231 (b). Upon the judgment debtor's failure to pay the required installments, the income execution was served on the appellant, as the judgment debtor's employer, pursuant to CPLR 5231 (e). Following the appellant's failure to tender any payments pursuant to the income execution, **2 the petitioner commenced this proceeding to recover accrued installments. The Supreme Court granted the petition. We affirm. *651
The judgment debtor's annual salary of $16,000 constitutes "money from any source" upon which an income execution may be issued pursuant to CPLR 5231 (b). Contrary to the appellant's contention, the only exemptions from application of the judgment debtor's salary to the satisfaction of the underlying money judgment are those set forth in CPLR 5205 (d) and 5231 (b). As the income execution in this case complied with the provisions of CPLR article 52, the Supreme Court properly granted the petition.
The parties' remaining contentions are without merit. Crane, J.P., Spolzino, Fisher and Lunn, JJ., concur.

Copr. (c) 2008, Secretary of State, State of New York.
Matter of Sheldon v B'nai Israel of Linden Hgts.

Briefs and Other Related Documents

• 2006 WL 3358830 (Appellate Brief) Brief for Petitioner-Respondent (Apr. 21, 2006)
• 2006 WL 3358829 (Appellate Brief) Brief for Respondent-Appellant (Mar. 1, 2006)

Anonymous said...


Plaintiff, REPORT AND
99 CV 6050 (ARR) (JMA)

Defendants also argue that they were prejudiced by the Kansas forum. However, “[t]hey offer no evidence that they were . . . subjected to the kind of procedural prejudice - inability ‘to engage in full scale discovery or call witnesses’

Defendants’ claim that “a full dress Hasidic Rabbi and his second seater, a Puerto Rican” did not
obtain a fair trial because plaintiff was “an all American mid-westerner” is baseless. (Defs.’ Aff.5.) Likewise, there is no evidence whatsoever that “constant clashing between the judge and Rabbi Tannenbaum” occurred or had any negative effect on the defendants’ ability to litigate their case.

According to the SEC, Steinberg now resides in Israel

Anonymous said...

Hynes has a bevy of excuses for this, none of which stand up to scrutiny.

What kept Mondrowitz safe was politics – the bloc voting of American haredim combined the dirty coalition tactics of Agudath Israel, the sometime independent political party, sometime faction of the United Torah Judaism party in Israel.

Agudath Israel is controlled by the Gerrer Rebbe (pictured at right), and it is no secret Ger has shielded Mondrowitz for decades.

But how would this have any serious impact on Brooklyn? Why would the whims of an Israeli political boss carry any weight with the Brooklyn D.A.?

There may be a one acronym answer to this question: C.O.J.O.

C.O.J.O., the Council of Jewish Organizations of Borough Park, was formed in the mid-1970s as an umbrella organization for Borough Park's Orthodox Jewish organizations. In 1988, the New York Times covered it as an extremely powerful organization. It was so for one reason only – the ability of its constituent groups to deliver the bloc votes of their followers. These groups were, in the estimation of an unnamed longtime Brooklyn political operative quoted by the Times, "the last deliverable bloc in the city," "[Chicago's notorious] Mayor Daley would be proud of them."

Who controlled much of C.O.J.O. then?

Rabbi Elimelech Naiman, a Gerrer hasid.

Rabbi Naiman was later convicted of bribing Dov Hikind, who himself was bizarrely acquitted of bribe-taking charges.

(The jury believed Hikind accepted what he thought were "innocent gifts" from C.O.J.O., including yeshiva tuition for his child. There is no record to my knowledge of C.O.J.O. giving similar gifts to others.)

Hikind later got a huge chunk of cash from the state to pay for his legal bills, even though it seems he was not legally entitled to this payment.

C.O.J.O. collapsed as a result of this scandal and was replaced by the Borough Park Jewish Community Council 2 1/2 years later, in mid-1999.

But from the mid-1970s through 1996, C.O.J.O. ran Borough Park. (How did C.O.J.O. run BP? Like this http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940CEED9133CF931A35751C1A960958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=print.)

Mondrowitz fled Brooklyn for Israel in late 1984. Then-D.A. Elizabeth Holtzman tried to have him extradited. But when Holtzman left office in early 1989, the newly-elected D.A., Charles Hynes, stopped pursuing extradition.

Hynes took office when C.O.J.O.'s political influence was at its height.

Did Rabbi Elimelech Naiman use his influence to protect Mondrowitz?

It is likely that he did.

Rabbi Naiman would not be the only Brooklyn rabbi to go to bat for Mondrowitz. Indeed, one powerful rabbi, Herbert Bomzer, a member of Hynes's so-called Jewish Council, told the Forward in 2006 that he did not support Mondrowitz's extradition:

When asked if he would now support extradition proceedings, Bomzer, president of the rabbinical board of Flatbush, said: "If he has managed to get to Israel and is protected by the law there — then leave it alone."
Others certainly echoed Rabbi Bomzer's position.

Perhaps Mondrowitz's upcoming extradition will shine some much needed light on the men who sheltered him from justice.

Anonymous said...


Man strips in protest of bread sale during Passover

Young man dressed as yeshiva student undresses at non-kosher supermarket chain, remaining only with sock covering his private parts. 'The shame is not mine,' he tells Ynet

Avi Cohen

A 27-year-old man, claiming to be a yeshiva student, decided to launch an unusual protest against a court ruling allowing stores and restaurants to sell leavened food during the holiday of Passover.

The man, dressed as a haredi, arrived Monday afternoon at a store belonging to the non-kosher Tiv Taam supermarket chain in the city of Bat Yam, just south of Tel Aviv. Upon his arrival, he undressed and remained with only a sock covering his private parts.

The man explained that he could not be prosecuted for an indecent act in public, because according to the court's interpretation of the leavened food law, a supermarket is not considered a public place. He even wrote on his stomach, "This isn't public???"

The store employees alerted the police, who dressed the man, arrested him and took him to the police station. In his investigation, the suspect claimed that he was a yeshiva student studying in different yeshivot in Bat Yam.

He told the police that in light of the court ruling, he did not violate any law. The police were unconvinced by the young man's interpretation of the ruling, and are expected to ask the Rishon Lezion Magistrates' Court to send him to a mental observation.

'I left sock on because I'm religious'
"I don’t know if they plan to prosecute me, but I plan to demand it. They opened an unjustified criminal record, and I plan to fight for my innocence," the young man, Arieh Yerushalmi, told Ynet on Monday night.

He explained his decision to strip despite his religious values, saying that "this is why I left the sock on, that's what I didn’t care. Sometimes one has to shout – the shame was not mine, but the other people's."

The writing on the stomach: 'This isn't public???'

Yerushalmi said that he entered the Tiv Taam store in Bat Yam's industrial zone at 2:20 pm. He noticed a group of minors and waited for them to leave. After they left, he said, he called the police and reported that there was a nude person in the store. He then walked over to the bread counter and took all his clothes off, apart from a sock covering his private parts.

Following his arrest and investigation, Yerushalmi was put under house arrest. He claimed that he was released because the establishment was not interested in a "media party" at the courtroom.

Yerushalmi told Ynet that after he undressed, there were several girls who laughed, while the store manager and guard demanded that he leave the premises. When the police arrived, he got dressed and went out.

Why did you do it during the holiday of all days?

"I wanted to do it a week ago, but I was lazy for different reasons. Now, during the mid-holidays, I'm free."

And how did you friends and family react?

"I got home half an hour ago and am not answering phone calls. I guess they don’t see things like I do."

What is considered a public place?
Several weeks ago, a Jerusalem Municipal Court judge decreed that the indictments against four restaurant owners charged with selling bread and leavened goods on Passover be scrapped.

In her verdict, Justice Tamar Bar Asher-Tzabann ruled that, by law, a store or restaurant is not deemed a public place because, unlike an open market, it is a closed off arena that cannot be seen by passersby. She said that leavened goods may be sold inside stores and restaurants, as long as they are not put on display outside or at the shop window.

About two weeks later, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz published a legal brief endorsing the court ruling. Mazuz noted that the State Prosecutor's Office did not intend to appeal the controversial ruling, as it fell in line with the State's stance.

He stressed that this stance in no way constituted a change in policy, on the contrary: "This has been the State's consistent policy over the years."

Anonymous said...


GILBOA, N.Y. -- When Dave Lewis bought his hilltop hideout 11 years ago, he planned to spend his time there in peace and quite.

He said, "I had it going good. I had it, past tense...no longer."

Since 2006 when the Oorah Catskill Retreat bought the camp that had been there for 50 years, Lewis has faced loudspeakers blasting and stadium lights shining right into his kitchen window at all hours of the day and night.

"I've taken pictures of myself in various places in the yard at two o'clock in the morning. It's like day light," he said.

Residents filing lawsuit against camp
A group of Gilboa residents is suing a summer camp that they say isn't being a good neighbor. They claim the Oorah Catskill Retreat is trying to push them out of their homes -- and there's nothing the village or county can do. Our Mark Repasky explains.

Joe Kraus said, "It is a nightmare. There are 97 of those high intensity lights."

Across the street, Barbra and Joseph Kraus are having the same problem. So are Dennis and Delores Byrnes who live almost a mile away.

Kraus said, "You know when the noise is because it's so loud the siding on the house vibrates."

The owners of Oorah are no strangers to complaints. Last June, the county Health Department shut it down for two days, and in July immigration authorities arrested 31 undocumented workers.

Mrs. Kraus said, "The value of our property has been destroyed."

Lewis and his neighbors have tried going to the camp but that hasn't worked. They've tried going to the Village of Gilboa and Schoharie County, but there's not much they can do there either because there's no ordinance on the books. Now, they're filing a $10 million class action lawsuit to see if that gets any results.

Mr. Kraus said, "Gilboa still functions like it's in the 17th century. We have no laws that protect the people from anything."

Mrs. Byrnes said, "The town lawyer had said if there was zoning in the town this wouldn't have been allowed."

Lewis said the camp is trying to force him out. But he's not packing up yet. This is the place where he planned to retire, even if it that means leaving during the best months of the year.

He said, "I'm just going to disappear for that six weeks. I have plenty of family that I can go visit."

We left several messages for the owners of Oorah. None of them were returned.

Paul Mendlowitz said...

"Evolution"...and "survival of the fittest" is fact, not theory.

Which leads to an "old world", much older than 5768 years. (an awful lot can evolve in billions of years versus a few thousand)

( At least) Two major problems for the literalists:

1- Is every story in the Torah allegory?

2- At what point did evolution kick in - pre - Adam or post Adam.

Therefore the hair-raising questions that even R' Moshe probably chose to tear out of the biology books,rather than address it; because, in fact, we have no good answers that will satisfy the inquiring and intelligent mind, other than "emunah", which just does not cut it to the intellectual elite among us.

Anonymous said...

They say R' Yaakov Kaminetzky zl was very much against the theory of evolution. There was a mayseh on an airplane where R' Yaakov, his son and a pro-fressor were seated together. He told the academic the reason he could not understand R' Nosson Kaminetzky's kibud av was because he believes he shtams from monkeys.

Paul Mendlowitz said...


Let's discount the "monkey" theory. Why not assume the Ribbono Shel Olam had the ability to create man any way "He" chooses? "Adam y'sodo m'afar v'sofo l'afar"...so if we come from earth (dust).... perhaps we can include any form of "dust" or God-made material?

It's a davar pashut to me and any thinking baal emunah.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mintz, what kind of a Putz hires Palestinian Arabs to work at a frum camp in the Catskills?


Immigration issue hits close to home

And recent events in Schoharie and Delaware counties show it’s not only areas of the country near the border with Mexico that have had opinions and emotions run high on both sides.

Earlier this month, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, along with local and state police, arrested 31 suspected illegal immigrants said to be employed by subcontractors at a summer camp in Gilboa owned by Oorah Inc., a Jewish nonprofit educational organization.

Twenty-six of the men lived at the Belvedere Inn in Stamford, while the other five lived at the campsite. They all had stayed at the camp earlier in the summer, according to camp officials.

Eliyohu Mintz, a director of Oorah, said the organization was not aware any of the workers were in the country illegally. They came from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and the Palestinian territories.

Meanwhile, Stamford Mayor Anne Slatin said the owner of the Belvedere Hotel also most likely didn’t know the men’s legal status.

"It’s not illegal to rent rooms to a foreign traveler," she said.

There might seem to be a lot of blame to go around in this situation, but the responsibility for finding legal workers ultimately rests with the subcontractors hired by the camp.

However, we also wish the camp owners had expanded their horizons and looked for local residents to do the construction work. That could have provided some much-needed jobs and built goodwill with the community, besides avoiding any legal problems.

Goodwill apparently has been in short supply, as neighbors have been complaining about the camp’s addition of nighttime lighting, according to Gilboa town Supervisor Anthony VanGlad.

Some neighbors in Stamford said they were surprised by the raid, but others likely were not.

As the country continues to wrestle with the best way to improve our border security while treating people humanely, it’s important that Americans not rush to judgment about the people in their communities.

It’s simply unfair to assume that anyone with brown skin or a Spanish surname is in the country illegally _ or that those who are deserve to be mistreated or exploited because of it.

The best way to handle situations like this one is for residents to report any legitimate suspicions and let the authorities deal with them accordingly.

ICE spokesman Michael Gilhooly said the assistance of the local and state authorities was instrumental in cracking this case.

We want people to obey the law and come to America legally if they want to work here.

Anonymous said...

Abuse of faith

By Sheryl McCarthy

The sect dispute in Texas is one of many such cases in which church leaders allegedly use their religious authority to prey on followers.

It has been a bad month for religious groups and sex.

The Texas compound of a polygamous Mormon sect was raided on the suspicion that teenage girls were being forced to marry and bear children. Texas child welfare officials now say 31 of the 53 girls ages 14-17 who were living on the ranch are pregnant or are already mothers. They say there was a pattern of underage girls forced into "spiritual marriages" with much older men. And when the grown women from that compound were interviewed on TV, their cowed demeanor and inability to answer the simplest questions intelligibly made me wonder what was going on there to rob them of any sense of personal will or motivation.

(Illustration by Suzy Parker, USA TODAY)

In Virginia, meanwhile, Baptist minister James Bevel, one of the leading pastors in the civil rights movement, was convicted of sexually molesting his own daughter over many years. The Rev. Bevel admitted to being a sex addict and to fathering 16 children by several women. According to the testimony at his trial, he justified having sexual relations with many women in the name of teaching them the "science of marriage."

*******And in Brooklyn, N.Y., Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, a Yeshiva teacher who was charged with sexually molesting young students and an adult former student, was allowed to plead guilty to the charge of child endangerment.*******

Exploitation of followers

It makes me angry when I hear about religious groups that, under the guise of practicing religion, allow clergy or group leaders to sexually exploit their followers, most often women and children. The Catholic Church deserves the infamy it has received for turning a blind eye for so long to the sexual abuses committed by its priests, a fact acknowledged by the pope on his recent U.S. visit. But hardly a week goes by that the news doesn't reveal incidents of other religious groups whose clergy and lay leaders have exploited the power and authority of religion for sexual purposes.

I grew up Baptist. Since childhood, I have been regaled with accounts of ministers from our denomination and others who have had affairs with female members of their congregations, have used religious conferences to scout out sexual partners, and have fathered children by the church women whose spiritual lives they were supposed to be guiding.

While Protestant congregations tend to be predominantly female, according to a 2008 Pew survey, even now an old-fashioned patriarchy often prevails that assigns most of the leadership roles to men, keeps women from pastoring anything other than the smallest churches and treats pastors like royalty. Surrounded by so many adoring fans, the temptation to abuse their power is great.

"It's just what happens when people who are in positions of authority misuse their power," says the Rev. Marie Fortune, founder of the Seattle-based Faith Trust Institute, which has been addressing issues of sexual abuse by clergy since it was founded in 1977. She says she has heard sexual abuse complaints from Christian denominations across the board, as well as from Jews, Muslims and Buddhists.

In her article "When Wolves Wear Shepherds' Clothing: Helping Women Survive Clergy Sexual Abuse," Diana Garland, dean of the School of Social Work at Baylor University, describes the abuse of women by male religious leaders as "a tidal wave now swamping the Protestant church."

"We say it's never an affair if it's a relationship with someone who has social and spiritual power over another. It cannot be consensual, even if both persons are adults," she says.

Grooming process

Garland says the abuse typically involves a grooming process whereby the religious leader makes the woman feel special, points out her spiritual gifts, might engage with her in a joint religious mission, and "co-opts religious and spiritual language into an agenda designed to meet his own needs."

I recently spoke with a woman who recounted being groomed by her minister in this way. She described him as a charismatic man whose attention brought about a spiritual awakening in her and which culminated in a brief sexual relationship. She was ashamed when she learned he was working other women in the church simultaneously. I can just imagine Joseph Smith Jr., the founder of Mormonism, translating his personal sexual desires into a mandate from God that all Mormon men take plural wives. And I can just hear Rev. Bevel expounding on his duty to teach the science of marriage as he sexually abused his daughter.

I can think of no worse scam, no greater betrayal of one's religious beliefs, than to have the spiritual leaders to whom you have looked for guidance use the so-called teachings of the church to sexually exploit you.

Garland and Duke University sociology professor Mark Chaves are conducting a survey to determine the prevalence of clergy sexual abuse of adults, with the goal of helping congregations devise policies to prevent such abuse and to deal with it when it occurs. One way to prevent such abuse is to stop giving religious leaders so much power over us. We have to stop treating them as if they were God.

Sheryl McCarthy is Distinguished Lecturer in Journalism at Queens College of the City University of New York and a member of the board of contributors of USA Today.

Anonymous said...

I am against Palestinian Arabs in the Catskills of any kind (except for Leopold Arafat in Silver Lake)

Anonymous said...


Ads in The Jewish Press indicate that Rabbi Bryks is currently working as a mortgage broker for a company he runs out of his home called REB International LLC

Anonymous said...

I'm against grooming of any kind!

Anonymous said...


Company Profile: Reb International Llc

Year Started:2000

Location Type:Single Location

SIC #Code:6163

Est. Annual Sales:$600,000

Est. Employees:8

Est. Employees at Location:8

Contact Name:Ephraim Bryks

Contact Title:President

Data above provided by D&B.

Zev Stern said...

I don't know what Bartley Kulp was smoking. Natural selection remains the best explanation for most of the evolution of life on this planest I suggest you visit the American Museum of Natural History for a small sampling of the mountains of scientific evidnce that undergird the theory of evolution.

Lakewood Talmid - I heard the same story, but about R. Moshe Feinstein. Even if true, it isn't relevant to the question of whether evolution in fact occurred. It did. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

I live just around the corner from my brother in law Paysach Krohn.


Rabbi Ephraim B. Bryks
Title: Mortgage Broker
Company: Reb International, LLC
84-33 116th Street Richmond Hill,
NY 11418
Tel: (718) 849-4140
Fax: 718-849-4193
Email: reb95@juno.com

Anonymous said...

We'll take advertisements from any low klass low life.

Anonymous said...


WARNING: Malka Leifer is currently living in Emmanuel, Israel

Background History
by Vicki Polin - Executive Director, The Awareness Center, Inc.

The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter
April 25, 2008

Please forward this to anyone you know who may come in contact with Malka Leifer. The goal is to prevent one more person from becoming a victim of a sex crime. Click here: download poster to pass out to members of the Emmanuel community

Malka Leifer was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. In 2000, Malka Leifer was hired by Adass Israel Girls School. In 2003 she was promoted and made principal. Her employment terminated and left Melbourne within 24 hours of being investigated by the school board. There were allegations made that Adass Israel school purchased the ticket for Leifer to return to Israel. Norman Rosenbaum, the schools spokesperson, the rumors are not true. Another source stated that she “borrowed” $ 24,000 the day before she left from some of the girls and teachers at the school.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the Jewish Fress, a judge in Israel has ruled that the daughter of Naomi Klass Mao-er cannot be released on bail. Since she allowed the Breslover monsters to torture her children, the judge fears she remains a danger to them.

Anonymous said...


A recent case in Brooklyn of a rabbi who was credibly accused of sexually abusing two boys, but who was permitted to plead merely to "child endangerment," illustrates the problem: Because child endangerment is not a "sex crime," the perpetrator could not be added to a sex offender registry. In addition, the weaker charges led to probation rather than jail time.

When prosecutions in child abuse cases are watered down in this way, as they are far too often, the standard vicious cycle of child abuse continue: The predator avoids serious punishment, returns to ordinary life, and starts grooming the next victim, who is more than likely within the predator's own family or circle of friends.

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Urinates In Aisle, Diverts Brooklyn Flight

Associated Press-name changed to slam the asshole.

-- FBI investigators said Lipa Margulies was the unruly passenger who caused a United Airlines flight to be diverted to Ocean Parkway instead of Lakewood.

Authorities said he lit a cigarette, argued with a flight attendant, then urinated and made a kaka in the plane's aisle.

Margulies was taken off flight 1502 over the weekend and questioned by police, a spokeswoman said.

The man was "acting extremely inappropriately," the airlines said. "When you want to run a safe airline, we don't tolerate that type of activity on our aircraft."

Flight attendants noticed that Margulies appeared drunk not long after the plane left Miami. Margulies later lit a cigarette, started singing "oi es iz gut tzu zine a Yid", and allegedly began to argue with a flight attendant who asked him to put it out, she said. He said something about being so happy because he fleeced some old people out of their life savings.

He obeyed, but when the flight attendant walked away, he allegedly stood up, urinated, and took a crap on the person in row 5E.

People familiar with the alter kaker/pisher, say he can't help himself, he has been urinating and shitting on people all his life.

Anonymous said...

Saturday, November 26, 2005
Naked Man Dies In Jump From Boro Park Office Building

A UOJ Exclusive In Conjunction With The Washington Post

A naked man darted from a car into a Boro Park office building at lunchtime yesterday and then jumped to his death from the top floor, officials said.

The man double-parked in the 4800 block of 13th Av. about noon, bolted from his still-running gray 1980 Chevrolet, dashed past a crowd on the street and ran into the lobby of an office building, witnesses said.

Police were still trying to identify the man yesterday and to determine why he jumped. Witnesses also were trying to sort out what happened. The man had no apparent connection to the building, according to people who work there.

"He didn't even have shoes on," said Zalman Teitelbaum , who was working as a temporary security guard at the building until the Satmar mess gets straightened out. Sitting behind the security desk, Teitelbaum first saw the man from the waist up and thought "maybe he was a rather strange jogger. But then I stood up and saw the rest of him, and realized he was very Jewish."

The man told Teitelbaum that he was "desperate and broke," asked him for 50 cents to make a phone call and then spoke incoherently, mumbling something about not being able to support his son in-law in kollel, Teitelbaum said.

Then the man ran to an elevator. Minutes later, he emerged from a stairwell on the top floor. The fire alarm had been set off, presumably by the man, and the office doors on that floor were open as people began to file out, witnesses said.

The man pushed his way into one of the offices, where he said "excuse me" several times while charging toward a window, witnesses said. He smashed the glass and jumped through the window, falling onto a parapet between two buildings. Some local workers and shoppers saw him fall.

Boro Park firefighters and emergency medical service personnel arrived at the scene, and police quickly cordoned off the block. Women with baby carriages were visibly upset that they could not continue shopping. One woman with a hat on top of her wig lamented, "he could have waited until the stores closed."

Workers in the top floor office said they had not seen the man before and did not believe that he had ties to the offices there. They didn't hear anything he said other than "excuse me, I need money to support my son in-law in the Lakewood kollel" a witness said.

Before it became apparent what was taking place, the city's parking enforcers reacted to the abandoned car, which had badly torn seats, New Jersey plates and no sign of clothing inside other than a beat up Borsalino and a jacket with a shatnes label. They slapped a flyer on the windshield inviting people to attend a parlor meeting for the Lakewood Yeshiva.

The police met with "all" the various Bobover Rebbes and was told that the man had seven married daughters and was acting strange as of late. Recently the man was seen in shul naked except for a towel on his shoulder, screaming why they moved the mikve.

These acts of desperation have become rather common in the Orthodox Jewish community, since fathers with daughters are expected to support their sons in-law whether they have the ability or not.

Many social workers in the community have noticed a dangerous increase in mental disorders particularly by men over fifty.

We interviewed eight young men who were in the local pizza parlor, all of them noticably obese. We asked them about their reaction to the increase in mental and emotional disorders in men over fifty, particularly by the men with daughters.

We had similar reactions by all eight young men. One fellow said it was "not my fault that the poor shmuck doesn't know how to make enough money to support thirty people. Summer camps, expensive houses, cars, jewelry, Pesach in Cancun, and tuitions are a father in -law's obligation, even if he has to work three jobs, or steal from his employer". They're just a bunch of whining lazy bastards".

Another young fellow said" I am sick and tired of hearing these bullshit stories from fathers in-law. If they produce the kids, they MUST support them, period, no excuses. This fellow who was not more than twenty years old, was wearing a gold Rolex. I complimented him on his watch; he turned angry and said" he told the shadchan that I would get two Rolexes, one for daily use and one for Yom-Tov, and the SOB finked out on me; what a piece of shit father in-law I wound up with. If I would have known that, I never would have married his meeskite (extremely ugly) daughter." He said he had to leave, and drove off in a brand new Cadillac Escalade.

The reaction by the others were similar, ranging from anger to dismay about the lack of appreciation and gratefulness to God exhibited by their fathers in-law. They all felt that they could have married anyone in the world, and if their father in-law ever decided to stop giving them "serious" money they would return their daughters to them in a heartbeat, blackmail the family in order for him to give a Get, and get a father in-law who really understands what a catch they are.

Particularly interesting was how they all agreed that they never intended to ever get a job, regardless of how many fathers in-law jumped off buildings. They saw it as a dirty trick and didn't believe the guy was really dead." I find it very interesting that these shameless fathers in-law would go to any lengths to avoid their obligations to us", said the fellow who was the most obese, weighing about three hundred pounds and was not more than five foot three inches tall.

Calls to the rabbis of the Lakewood Kollel were answered by a taped recorded message.
"If you are attempting to join our prestigous institution,the only requirement is that you must be proficient in filling out lengthy government aid forms. These forms are available in all languages and can be filled out at any Lexus dealer in Boro Park or Flatbush; or available on the internet by the shgatzim uremasim (low-lifes) who have internet access.

Anonymous said...

Sunday, November 20, 2005
The Lawsuit Against Satmar That You Have Not Heard About

A UOJ exclusive

A Williamsburg man who had a panic attack when he found he was glued to a toilet seat in a Satmar restroom, has sued the two Rebbes for negligence, saying the Rebbes were too busy fighting to help him get his tuchis off the toilet.

Retired shamash and old Rebbes' left handed ass wiper, Moshe Chaim Penislover, 67, said on Thursday he was stuck in the stall with his pants down for about 20 minutes and that being only two years after the "incident" where the Rebbe shit on his head, he was suffering from post-traumatic stress, which has triggered diabetes and heart complications.

"I have these nightmares every night where I am locked in this dark room, with no windows, no doors, no fresh air, no route for escape and the Rebbe pissing all over me. I wake up in these cold sweats, feeling like drek, and soaked to the bone" the Shamash said.

Spokesmen for Satmar could not immediately be reached for comment, they were all in jail.

The Shamash said in a lawsuit filed last week in Villiamsboog, Brooklyn, near Hevesh Strit, that he thought he was having a heart attack when he realized his tuchis, one ball, and legs, were stuck to the toilet seat in the Satmar restroom that doubles up as a boxing ring, drug money laundry, and a shul.

He explained his plight to a Satmar gangster who came into the restroom but other mamzerim thought it was a hoax so he had to wait until someone else came in, to again summon help.They went back to eating herring and onions, the lawsuit complains.

The ex-Shamash is claiming unspecified damages for help with medical and psychiatric bills, for humiliation and for the diabetes he said he has developed as a result of the stress.

The Mohel, Yitzchok Fisher, was called to examine him and see if his "yatzmach" was effected by all this trauma. Fisher gave him the usual quick suck (actually not that quick), and assurred the cheering crowd that the "yatzmach" was an oldy but a goody.

"Satmar not only ignored my plight, they refused to help a Jewish asshole in distress," he said. The Shamash said he suspected the glue had been placed there as a prank by the two Rebbes seen earlier masturbating in the restroom, and now out on bail.As is well known, Rebbes are forbidden to work for a living, and have much free time "in" their hands. (pun intended)

UOJ has attempted to interview the Shamash, but was told he was locked in the New Square restroom with Hillary Clinton seeking to have his ass pardoned.

Anonymous said...


Here is Oorah's 2006 990 as a pdf download

Even removing the massive amount of cash on hand (more than $7 million dollars), Oorah spent just over 50% of it's expenditures on programs. The rest, about 49%, went to fundraisinf expenses and the like.

If the calculation is done with the cash reserves counted, Oorah's expenditure for programs drops dramatically, down to about 30%.

It is worthwhile noting that Oorah had a $3 million surplus at the beginning of 2006 (i.e., money raised in 2005 or earlier but not spent or assets). It added $4.3 million dollars in value to that surplus in 2006, for a total surplus of $7,336,955.

Anonymous said...

The kolko plea was based on the inherent problem of young child witnesses and the fear of an aquittal on that basis. Criminal convictions have to be beyond a reasonable doubt and without an adult witness its a problem. I don't believe it had to do with pressure from community sources.

Kolko was and is as guilty as sin. Making it stand up in court is another story. But as UOJ says this was round one. Another victim steps forward and he has to be rearrested. We know there are other victims out there. Its a question of overcoming our community's fear. There are the civil cases which are moving forward.

If the Kolko people call this a victory they are both delusional and depraved. Kolko is a monster who has destroyed untold lives. Both him and his sick defenders will have to answer for their conduct.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else notice the employment ads in the Yated Neeman this week? Oorah is looking for help on its web site. Unfortunately, you have to be female -- EEOC be damned.

Anonymous said...

"Kolko is a monster who has destroyed untold lives. Both him and his sick defenders will have to answer for their conduct."

Sorry, I'm so busy answering "meshugoyim" that I don't even have time to finish the teshuva on why it's "mutter" to drink milk from treif cows.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I buy the Jewish Press and I see an expensive, glossy, 5 or 6 page color insert from the likes of Oorah, I don't give a dime. I know what printing costs.

Anonymous said...

Someone who claims to be an accountant at a top 5 firm is slugging it out with Shmarya in the comments. He says he is aware of an instance where Shmarya is the "Chair" at a Jewish organization, yet when they asked the tzebissenne piece of furniture to cough up $13 and change for some supplies, Shmarya cheaped out and refused.

Someone else points out it's interesting that Shmarya is screaming about Oorah's chilul Hashem in making noise at the camp. The critic says Shmarya was pretty loud when he was at Camp Gan Yisroel of Lubavitch.

Anonymous said...

It is sad and at the same time amazing that someone like Neanderthal thinks that he has the right to insult any talmid chochom with whom he disagrees.

Harder to fathom is the (in)actions of UOJ. For all the yelling about fixing Judaism I don't see who's Judaism he is trying to save.

There are plenty of things Reb Moshe a"h wrote that I do not understand. The little humility I have causes me to face the fact that my not understanding how he arrived at any particular psak halachah does not mean he was wrong. At worst, it means I disagree. More likely, it means I have not spent my life dedicated to torah as he did and therefore have a more limited understanding.

Pnai hador kipnai hakelev..........

Anonymous said...

I ask this in all sincerety: Is there anyone who's opinion you, Mr. Neanderthal, feel you must accept as correct? Meaning, is there any talmid chochom you can point to and say that if he said something with which you strongly disagreed, no matter how strongly, you would say to yourself that 'reb ploni is smarter than I am and knows more torah than I do and therefore I will accept his words as the truth even though I do not understand how he reached that conclusion'?

Paul Mendlowitz said...

I have a daily balancing act. The blogosphere has given a voice to all; the believers, the non-believers, the cynical, the hurt, the weak, the unrepresented, victims - in one way or another - who never had the ability to express themselves publicly.

I have stated many times - I do not necessarily agree with the comments or the commenters, but I respect their right - more - I offer them a chance to let it all hang out.

To many - this has been a healing!

Anonymous said...

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...
I have a daily balancing act. The blogosphere has given a voice to all; the believers, the non-believers, the cynical, the hurt, the weak, the unrepresented, victims - in one way or another - who never had the ability to express themselves publicly.

I have stated many times - I do not necessarily agree with the comments or the commenters, but I respect their right - more - I offer them a chance to let it all hang out.

To many - this has been a healing!

1:41 PM, April 30, 2008
Post a Comment

while I strongly agree that a podium from which the victims of Kolko and Margo can speak out without shame and without being silenced by those who should be helping can be an important part of the healing process, I fail to see what healing process can possibly involve smearing the name of Reb Moshe a"h.

Regardless of any anyone's agreement or disagreement with any particular psak halachah in the igros moshe, how can anyone lack even the slightest measure of mentchlichkeit needed to disagree with Reb Moshe a"h respectfully?

Absolutly incomprehensable.

Anonymous said...


I assume UOJ is referring to my favorite song "Sexual Healing" by my favorite singer Marvin Gaye.

Anonymous said...


Ooh, now let's get down tonight
Baby Ich bin heiss vee an oven
I need some fressin'
And baby, I can't hold it much veiter
It's getting shtarker and shtarker
And when I get that feeling
I vant Sexual Healing
Sexual Healing, oh baby
Makes me feel so fein
Helps to relieve my mind
Sexual Healing baby, is git for me
Sexual Healing is something that's git for me
Whenever blue tear drops are falling
And my emotional stability is leaving me
There is something I can do
I frask across da face some Kolko victim baby, and I know you'll be there to relieve me
The geshmakeit fin achzurius will free me
If you don't know the things you're dealing
I can tell you, shayfella, that it's Sexual Healing
Get up, Get up, Get up, Get up, let's make money tonight
Vake up, Vake up, Vake up, Vake up, 'cos vit UOJ vee have to fight
Baby I got sick this morning
A sea vas storming inside of me
Baby I think I'm capsizing
The food I fressed is rising and rising
And when I get that feeling
I vant Sexual Healing
Sexual Healing is git for me
Makes me feel so fein, it's such a rush
Helps to relieve the mind, and it's git for us
Sexual Healing, baby, is git for me
Sexual Healing is something that's git for me
And it's git for me and it's git to me
My baby ohhh

Paul Mendlowitz said...


DA Struggles To Explain Kolko Plea Deal

Contradictions riddle Hynes’ account of how yeshiva teacher skirted child sexual abuse charges.

Anonymous said...

Jewish Week reports that Kolko told the DA he is in poor health & advanced age. He stole that line from me.

Paul Mendlowitz said...

Punctuated equilibrium (evolution) and Gould's theories, are perhaps somehow more palatable than the strict Darwinists' views.

Wikepedia...in part:

"Stephen Jay Gould developed with Niles Eldredge the theory of punctuated equilibrium, in which evolutionary change occurs relatively rapidly, as compared to longer periods of evolutionary stability.[12] According to Gould, punctuated equilibrium revised a key pillar "in the central logic of Darwinian theory."[3] Some evolutionary biologists have argued that while punctuated equilibrium was "of great interest to biology,"[13] it merely modified neo-Darwinism in a manner that was fully compatible with what had been known before. [14] Others however emphasized its theoretical novelty, and argued that evolutionary stasis had been "unexpected by most evolutionary biologists"[15] and "had a major impact on paleontology and evolutionary biology."[16] Some critics of the theory referred to punctuated equilibrium as "evolution by jerks," a play on words Gould himself joked about.

In addition to his work on punctuated equilibrium, Gould made contributions to evolutionary developmental biology, and championed biological constraints as well as other non-selectionist forces in evolution. With Richard Lewontin he wrote an influential 1979 paper entitled "The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm,"[17] which introduced the architectural term "spandrel" into evolutionary biology. A spandrel is the space that exists between arches, as seen particularly in gothic churches. When visiting Venice, Gould noted that the spandrels of the San Marco cathedral, while quite beautiful, were not a space that was planned by the architect, but rather coincidentally resulted from what the architects deliberately designed—the arches. Gould and Lewontin thus defined "spandrels" in evolutionary biology to mean a feature of an organism that arises as a necessary side consequence of other features, but which is not built directly, piece by piece, due to being favored by natural selection. Examples include the "masculinized genitalia in female hyenas, exaptive use of an umbilicus as a brooding chamber by snails, the shoulder hump of the giant Irish deer, and several key features of human mentality."[18] Thus, just as Candide's Dr. Pangloss famously said "all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds," evolutionary biologists had been viewing all biological traits as things that had been naturally selected for specifically. Gould and Lewontin argued that some traits were coincidental "spandrels." The relative frequency of spandrels, so defined, versus adaptive features in nature, remains a controversial topic in evolutionary biology.[19]

Most of Gould's empirical research was on land snails. His early work was on the Bermudian genus Poecilozonites, while his later work concentrated on the West Indian genus Cerion. According to Gould "Cerion is the land snail of maximal diversity in form throughout the entire world. There's 600 described species of this single genus. In fact, they're not really species, they all interbreed, but the names exist to express a real phenomenon which is this incredible morphological diversity. Some are shaped like golf balls, some are shaped like pencils.…Now my main subject is the evolution of form, and the problem of how it is that you can get this diversity amid so little genetic difference, so far as we can tell, is a very interesting one. And if we could solve this we'd learn something general about the evolution of form."[20]

Gould stated in an interview with Larry King that he believed animals had not only emotions, but also dreams.

Gould is also one of the most highly cited scientists in the field of evolutionary theory. His 1979 "spandrels" paper has been cited more than 1,600 times. In Palaeobiology—the flagship journal of his own speciality—only Charles Darwin and G.G. Simpson have been cited more often.[21] Gould was also a considerably respected historian of science. Historian Ronald Numbers has been quoted as saying: "I can't say much about Gould's strengths as a scientist, but for a long time I've regarded him as the second most influential historian of science (next to Thomas Kuhn)."[22]

Shortly before his death, Gould published a long treatise recapitulating his version of modern evolutionary theory: The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (2002).

[edit] As a public figure
Gould became widely known through his popular science essays in Natural History magazine and his best-selling books on evolution. Many of his essays were reprinted in collected volumes, such as Ever Since Darwin and The Panda's Thumb, while his popular treatises included books such as The Mismeasure of Man, Wonderful Life and Full House.

Gould was a passionate advocate of evolutionary theory and wrote prolifically on the subject, trying to communicate his understanding of contemporary evolutionary biology to a wide audience. A recurring theme in his writings is the history and development of evolutionary, and pre-evolutionary, thought. He was also an enthusiastic baseball fan and made frequent references to the sport in his essays.[23]

Although a proud Darwinist, his emphasis was less gradualist and reductionist than most neo-Darwinists. He also opposed many aspects of sociobiology and its intellectual descendant evolutionary psychology. He devoted considerable time to fighting against creationism (and the related constructs Creation science and Intelligent Design). Most notably, Gould provided expert testimony against the equal-time creationism law in McLean v. Arkansas. Gould later developed the term "Non-Overlapping Magisteria" (NOMA) to describe how, in his view, science and religion could not comment on each other's realm. Gould went on to develop this idea in some detail, particularly in the books Rocks of Ages (1999) and The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Magister's Pox (2003). In a 1982 essay for Natural History Gould wrote

“ Our failure to discern a universal good does not record any lack of insight or ingenuity, but merely demonstrates that nature contains no moral messages framed in human terms. Morality is a subject for philosophers, theologians, students of the humanities, indeed for all thinking people. The answers will not be read passively from nature; they do not, and cannot, arise from the data of science. The factual state of the world does not teach us how we, with our powers for good and evil, should alter or preserve it in the most ethical manner."[24]

Anonymous said...


TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) - Senate lawmakers in Florida have voted to ban the fake bull testicles that dangle from the trailer hitches of many trucks and cars throughout the state.

Republican Sen. Cary Baker, a gun shop owner from Eustis, Florida, called the adornments offensive and proposed the ban. Motorists would be fined $60 for displaying the novelty items, which are known by brand names like "Truck Nutz" and resemble the south end of a bull moving north.

Anonymous said...

They do nothing while Kolko keeps doing his thing on little boys.


Penis theft panic hits city..
Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:06pm EDT
By Joe Bavier

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft.

Reports of so-called penis snatching are not uncommon in West Africa, where belief in traditional religions and witchcraft remains widespread, and where ritual killings to obtain blood or body parts still occur.

Rumors of penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo's sprawling capital of some 8 million inhabitants. They quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings.

Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure.

"You just have to be accused of that, and people come after you. We've had a number of attempted lynchings. ... You see them covered in marks after being beaten," Kinshasa's police chief, Jean-Dieudonne Oleko, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Police arrested the accused sorcerers and their victims in an effort to avoid the sort of bloodshed seen in Ghana a decade ago, when 12 suspected penis snatchers were beaten to death by angry mobs. The 27 men have since been released.

"I'm tempted to say it's one huge joke," Oleko said.

"But when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it's become tiny or that they've become impotent. To that I tell them, 'How do you know if you haven't gone home and tried it'," he said.

Some Kinshasa residents accuse a separatist sect from nearby Bas-Congo province of being behind the witchcraft in revenge for a recent government crackdown on its members.

"It's real. Just yesterday here, there was a man who was a victim. We saw. What was left was tiny," said 29-year-old Alain Kalala, who sells phone credits near a Kinshasa police station.

Anonymous said...

Leon Black, billionaire investor and founding partner of hedge fund Apollo Advisors, said the banking system has been "broken" since last summer and has fostered a credit crisis "the likes of which I've never seen in the 30 years I've been in the business."

Anonymous said...

As U.S. gasoline prices hit records on almost a daily basis, an increasing number of motorists are following a radical driving technique designed to eke out every last mile from a tank of fuel.

Known as 'hypermiling,' the method can double gas mileage, even in gas-guzzling vehicles that would normally get less than 20 mpg.

Promoted on a growing number of Web sites, hypermiling includes pumping up tires to the maximum rating on their sidewalls, which may be higher than levels recommended in car manuals; using engine oil of a low viscosity, and the controversial practice of drafting behind other vehicles on the highway to reduce aerodynamic drag -- a very dangerous practice begun a few years ago by truck drivers.

Anonymous said...

Neandershort said...

I don't know what Bartley Kulp was smoking. Natural selection remains the best explanation for most of the evolution of life on this planet I suggest you visit the American Museum of Natural History for a small sampling of the mountains of scientific evidence that undergird the theory of evolution.

I have been smoking Canadian Northern Light which is not classified as a hallucinogenic. It has been perfected by scientists from the prestigious Canadian Universities who probably understand more about this subject (evolution) than we do.

Now that I have answered your first question, I will try to answer your second one. It is a fact that plants and animals develop over time to adapt to their surroundings. This is otherwise known as "Local Adaptation".

However it has never been demonstrated using the theory of natural adaptation on how one species can in fact evolve into another species.

Darwin's theory of of evolution used a mechanism of Natural Adaptation through the concept of "Survival of the fittest". This theory (The survival of the fittest) has been rejected by virtually the entire scientific community. Including ardent evolutionists.

This theory breaks down when considering a few things. Number one not all acquired mutations are necessarily beneficial. Let us assume that Homo Sapiens are descended from Cro-Magnon. You have to take into account that scientists beleive that Cro-magnon was actually much more intellegent than we are. Some even say that they might have even been telepaths. Are we to believe that the dummer offspring had an advantage over the smarter ones enabling them to survive? Number two most scientist beleive that the time frame necessary for us to slowly evolve from protazoa to complex mammals would way overshoot the billion or so years that it is believed that the first micro- organisms appeared in the oceans.

This has led to other theories such as the one that OUJ has posted such as "Punctuated Equallibrium". However in my opinion Steven Jay Gould has a lot of proving to do. His theory is still a postulation.

Again, this still does not explain how one species evolves into another. Even to me all of the observations and experiments today involving moquitoes (they seem to adapt real quick to climate change and many have become pesticide resistant does not mean anything to me. They have not ceased being mosquitoes. Again, all of this is an example of local adaptation.

Again when the scientists finally prove something I would welcome it into any text book.

Anonymous said...

The United States spends 16 percent of its national income on health care, more than any other country in the world. In return, we get lower life expectancy than most other Western countries, uneven care, and enormous anxiety about how to pay for it.

Anonymous said...


May 1, 2008
Federal Contracting Chief Is Forced Out
WASHINGTON — Lurita A. Doan has been forced out as head of the General Services Administration, the federal agency that oversees billions of dollars in contracts and manages thousands of government-owned buildings.

In a stormy two-year tenure as the agency’s administrator, Ms. Doan has been accused of improperly mixing government business with politics and of trying to steer government contracts to her friends. Democrats in Congress said she violated the Hatch Act, which makes it illegal for government employees to take action that could influence an election.

Anonymous said...


April 30, 2008
Heparin Contamination May Have Been Deliberate, F.D.A. Says
WASHINGTON — Federal drug regulators believe that a contaminant detected in a crucial blood thinner that has caused 81 deaths was added deliberately, something the Food and Drug Administration has only hinted at previously.

“F.D.A.’s working hypothesis is that this was intentional contamination, but this is not yet proven,” Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s drug center, told the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in written testimony given Tuesday.

A third of the material in some batches of the thinner heparin were contaminants, “and it does strain one’s credulity to suggest that might have been done accidentally,” Dr. Woodcock said.

Dr. Woodcock’s statement on Tuesday was part of growing chorus that has labeled the heparin contamination as perhaps the most brazen poisoning episode since 1982, when seven people in the Chicago area died after taking Tylenol that had been laced with cyanide.

The Tylenol case led to substantial changes in product packaging, and the heparin contamination has led both Democratic and Republican committee members to call for major changes in the way the F.D.A. functions and is financed.

Tuesday’s hearing was also the first in which family members of those who died were asked to testify.

LeRoy Hubley of Toledo, Ohio, described how both his 65-year-old wife and his 47-year-old son died within a few weeks of each other. Both suffered from a genetic kidney disease that required constant dialysis, for which heparin is routinely used.

“As Christmas music softly played in the background, we each said our goodbyes,” Mr. Hubley said, breaking down in tears. “Then my wife and love of 48 years drifted away.”

He did not know for weeks after their deaths that his wife, Bonnie, and son, Randy, had been given contaminated heparin.

“Now I am left to deal not only with the pain of losing my wife and son, but anger that an unsafe drug was permitted to be sold in this country,” he said.

The F.D.A. has identified Changzhou SPL, a Chinese subsidiary of Scientific Protein Laboratories, as the source of the contaminated heparin. A Congressional investigator said the contaminant, oversulfated chondroitin sulfate, cost $9 a pound compared with $900 a pound for heparin.

Chinese officials have disputed the F.D.A. contention that the contaminant caused death and injury, and they have insisted on the right to inspect American drug plants if the F.D.A. insists on inspecting Chinese ones.

David Nelson, a Congressional investigator, told the House panel that had the F.D.A. inspected the Chinese plant, the contamination could have been averted.

F.D.A. officials have admitted that they mistakenly failed to conduct an inspection of the Changzhou SPL plant but said that an inspection would not have been able to uncover the contamination.

The agency finally conducted an inspection of the facility in February and found so many problems that the F.D.A. blocked the plant from exporting to the United States. Mr. Nelson was even more critical of Baxter International, which bought heparin ingredients from Changzhou SPL from 2004 through 2008 but did not inspect the facility until September 2007.

The company sent one person who spent one day in the plant, Mr. Nelson said. Five months later, the F.D.A. discovered myriad problems, he said.

“It really is impossible for a plant to have fallen that far out of compliance in five months,” Mr. Nelson said.

Under withering questioning, Dr. Woodcock said that the F.D.A. would need another $225 million annually to inspect every foreign drug plant every other year, the frequency most say is needed. The agency will spend $11 million this year on foreign drug inspections.

There is a growing bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill that the F.D.A. needs a rapid increase in its budget to ensure the safety of the nation’s drugs, medical devices and food.

The Bush Administration has proposed increasing the agency’s budget next year by only 3 percent to $1.8 billion, not enough to cover even its expected cost increases.

Anonymous said...

But Jaus said that thanks to TV shows like “CSI,” “Many people expect to see corroborating evidence such as medical evidence, fingerprints. DNA. We just had the word of these children.”

Great. So now Hynes is blaming his incompetence on CSI creator Anthony Zuiker. Sure, it's all CSI's fault. Next he will be blaming Hannah Montana. This fool with his mouthpieces, Jaus and Schmuck Schmeterrer, will make up any excuse and blame anybody and everybody to cover up his fraud. A better question for Hynes: who was it that greased your palms this time, Agudah, YTT, Bomzer or Ben Barber, or was it all of the above? My guess is all of the above and then some. Pidyon Shvuyim funds can go a long way.

Anonymous said...


“ Our failure to discern a universal good does not record any lack of insight or ingenuity, but merely demonstrates that nature contains no moral messages framed in human terms. Morality is a subject for philosophers, theologians, students of the humanities, indeed for all thinking people. The answers will not be read passively from nature; they do not, and cannot, arise from the data of science. The factual state of the world does not teach us how we, with our powers for good and evil, should alter or preserve it in the most ethical manner."[24]

About the universe being very old is something that I would never debate. If you just look up at the stars, you will view history that is millions and billions of years past.

Whether or not evolution took place is still in my opinion in need of further proof. Gould's theory is just one of many. The only thing that is an established fact about Natural Adaptation is when it comes to Local Adaptation with minor changes. Still nobody has demonstrated how a simple organism can evolve into a complex one. Nor how an animal can evolve into a completely different species. The simplest scientific definition of this would be where where the two cannot reproduce because of pre/postzygotic barriers. As far as my knowledge it has not been domonstrated if this threshold can be crossed in gradual stages. In otherwords if a tiger gave birth to offspring with some sort of altered zygotes, what would be the chances that that offspring would be fertile. Also what would be the chances of avoiding a miscarriage.
Even if scientists achieved this through I.V.F. with special hormones protecting the pregnancy, would this likely occur in nature?
If evolution will conclusively be proven in the future this will have no high stakes for me, just as I am sure that it does not for you. It does not change our obligations as Jews in this world and it would not be a refutation on the torah. We simply do not understand the full meaning of Adam being created from the dust of the ground.

However I just want to comment on the section of the essay by Professor Steven Jay Gould. He comes to his conclusions from the point of view of being a rationalist.

I on the other hand might see things differently as a person of faith. From the viewpoint of faith I cannot except this line of reasoning. It was Avraham Avinu who taught us faith and he did so through observing nature. Not that I personally have figured out the moral meaning of the existence of black holes, but because of my faith I believe that one could and may be some have already. Again from a torah standpoint I do not have any problems with his theories. However his philosophy I would think should be problematic for any frum Jew.

Paul Mendlowitz said...


Your point is well taken.

I quoted Gould - for his semi-admission that science does not (yet) explain everything. Yes, he comes from a Rationalist point of view, grew up in Queens as a secular Jew, yet he leaves room for the possibility of something bigger than us that has yet to be explained by science.

The true Skeptics (atheists/agnostics), like Dawkins, Schermer, Hitchens, Harris, ...even Dennett, have no room for a god - and ridicule the notion and ridicule Gould.

So the debate will continue, probably forever; there is room in my mind to identify with some of Gould's views and respect the fact that he was a true genius ala the likes of Einstein and Newton.

I respect and am in awe of genius; and read everything I can get my hands on - even though much of it is contradictory to traditional Jewish views.

I believe that one who reads and chooses, because of choice, is the highest form of intellect of man, and what our Creator would expect from us.

Ignorance that breeds faith out of indoctrination, is no better than Pavlov's dog.

Anonymous said...


In the 12 months ended in February, the S.& P./Case-Shiller home price index, which measures the value of single-family homes in 10 major metropolitan regions, fell 13.6 percent, the biggest decline since records began in 1987.

The slump in home prices was more severe than at the deepest point of the recession of the 1990s, which was the last time values fell so far so quickly.

David M. Blitzer, who oversees the index, said the prices would most likely keep falling. “There is no sign of a bottom in the numbers,” he said in a statement.

Anonymous said...

Shmarya suspects that Ezagui was able to pull off that huge mortgage fraud with no lawyers present because the buyers were using money they were illegally hiding from the IRS.

Anonymous said...


April 30, 2008
The Road to a Jumbo Mortgage Was Supposed to Get Easier
In early February, Congress gave beleaguered mortgage borrowers a rare cause for celebration. As part of the economic stimulus package, it passed rules intended to make it easier and less expensive for people to take out hefty loans in the nation’s costliest housing markets.

Economists and legislators said that helping tens of thousands of borrowers take out billions of dollars in new loans could stanch the bleeding in the housing market, spur spending and reduce the pain of a likely recession.

Instead, the effort to make it easier to get jumbo mortgages — loans over $417,000 — has yielded frustration and disillusionment.

Since the rules took effect April 1, many prospective borrowers and their mortgage brokers say the new loans are either not available or the rates are far higher than they expected. Relief, they say, has been replaced by grief.

For a jumbo loan that is not conforming, the rate could be as low as 7.35 percent for someone with excellent credit, Mr. Lemus said, but the rate for someone with average credit could be as high as 9 percent. “It’s getting harder by the day,” Mr. Lemus said.

Because the rates have not fallen as Mr. Lemus and his customers had hoped, he has not processed a single loan under the new rules.

Some prospective borrowers, like Nathan Menaged, 29, are skeptical that things will change. Mr. Menaged, a marketing consultant, owes about $574,000 on his Brooklyn home. He makes monthly payments of $4,000.

“I thought I had some good possibilities for getting into something more comfortable,” Mr. Menaged said of the new rules, which he has been tracking with great hope since January. But the interest rates on them remain prohibitively high. If rates had fallen as he expected, he hoped to lower his monthly payments by $1,000 — money he wanted to pay for his daughter’s tuition.

“It’s frustrating and it could become desperate if I don’t find an alternative in the near future,” he said.

Anonymous said...


You go in skinny and after a week with the Chazerim in Arizona or the Putzes in Cancun, you wind up looking like this slob who is Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration.

Anonymous said...


You'd think a six-year streak of corruption convictions by
federal prosecutors would be a powerful deterrent to New Jersey officials who consider abusing their power for personal gain.

But the Garden State outpaced its neighbors in federal corruption arrests last year, and the state's top prosecutor expects just as many officials collared this year.

Since 2002, 128 public employees in New Jersey have been convicted on federal corruption charges. About a third of those were elected officials, including state lawmakers, mayors and town council members.

Those numbers back up New Jersey's reputation as a corruption hotbed, fueled by TV shows like "The Sopranos." Experts say the state's labyrinth of local boards,
commissions and councils has created fiefdoms where fraud and abuse flourish.

Even high-profile corruption cases like this month's conviction of former Newark Mayor Sharpe James won't end the culture of corruption rooted in many levels of New Jersey government, according to U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie.

"In parts of the state, there have been decades and decades of corruption through generations of public leaders," Christie told The Associated Press. "I don't think you're ever going to end it."

Since taking office as the state's top federal prosecutor in 2002, Christie hasn't lost a corruption case. But he said putting corrupt politicians behind bars is only part of the solution — to make a measurable dent in the political culture, citizens must hold their elected officials accountable.

"What we've been able to do over the past six and a half years is shine a really bright light on the problem," he said.

Making his task tougher is the shape of New Jersey government itself. Political experts say political power is scattered among the state's 21 counties, 566
municipalities and 616 school districts, giving corruption more pockets in which to hide.

"There's an inordinate number of boards, commissions and regulatory authorities," said Peter Woolley, a political scientist at Fairleigh Dickinson University. "The sheer complexity of New Jersey's municipal government makes for an atmosphere where it's much more difficult to identify corruption."

In 2007, corruption arrests in New Jersey's single federal district outpaced New York's four combined districts and Pennsylvania's three. Compared to 44 federal corruption charges in New Jersey last year, federal prosecutors charged 23 public
officials in Pennsylvania and 36 in New York.

U.S. attorney's offices in Delaware, Maryland and Connecticut each reported a dozen or fewer public employees facing corruption charges last year.

Jay Stewart, executive director of the Better Government Association, a Chicago-based public watchdog organization, said three states, New Jersey, Illinois, and Louisiana, stand out as the nation's corruption capitals.

"It's always the same trifecta," Stewart said. "It's become part of the political culture — part of the flavor of the state."

New Jersey's federal corruption arrests in 2007 included:

• Six former mayors, including James, who was convicted of steering cut-rate city land to a one-time mistress.

• Assemblymen Alfred Steele and Mims Hackett, Jr., charged with trading public influence for bribes. Steele pleaded guilty in October. Hackett has pleaded not guilty.

• State Sen. Wayne Bryant, charged with steering millions to a medical school in exchange for a no-work job worth tens of thousands of dollars every year. He has pleaded not guilty.

• Five Pleasantville school board members convicted of steering public contracts in return for bribes.

Of New Jersey's 150 public employees facing federal corruption charges since 2002, 49 held elected office, including 18 mayors, 15 councilmen and six state lawmakers. All but 20 defendants pending trial were convicted by plea or by jury. Two officials charged in 2005 died before they were tried, according to an AP analysis of U.S. attorney arrest announcements.

The corruption cases ranged from Motor Vehicle Commission employees selling fraudulent licenses to politicians peddling their influence for kickbacks.

Anonymous said...

this weeks mishpacha in english is really fit for the toilet after some cholent. includes responsum from yisroel belsky and heinnemann on how we shoud deal with issues facing Judaism today!

Anonymous said...


For regulators, the challenge is proving that short sellers tried to profit by spreading false information.

The complaint filed last week by the S.E.C. provides a rare glimpse into the Wall Street rumor machine. The commission said Paul S. Berliner, a trader for the New York trading firm Schottenfeld Group, used instant messages to spread rumors that the Blackstone Group was considering lowering its price for Alliance Data Systems, which it had agreed to acquire for about $6.4 billion last year.

“Hearing the board is now meeting on a revised proposal,” Mr. Berliner wrote shortly after 1 p.m. on Nov. 29. “Blackstone is negotiating a lower price.”

Mr. Berliner then began selling short 10,000 shares of Alliance Data, the S.E.C. said. As the stock fell, he turned a profit of $25,000 within 10 minutes on his short positions.

Anonymous said...

NP: Sexual Healing remix by Marvin Gaye & Margo.

Anonymous said...


The Austrian children locked in a cellar with their mother since birth have been through an experience that is hard to imagine.

But experts say the psychological damage they have suffered could be less severe than you may think.

The two boys - aged 18 and five - and their 42-year-old mother Elisabeth Fritzl are said to be receiving medical and psychological treatment. The 19-year-old girl, Kerstin, is in a coma in hospital for reasons that are unclear.

Professor Jay Belsky, an expert in the field of child development and family studies at Birkbeck College, University of London, says the fact that the children were with their mother - a source of security - and with each other, could have mitigated the amount of trauma they suffered.

"Potentially, the children could have led tolerably rich social lives - there were four people there, at least three of them for a long period of time. This isn't a story about a child being locked in a closet all by himself," he told the BBC News website.

Anonymous said...


Thursday, May 1, 2008; Page A17

Alice S. Fisher, chief of the Justice Department's criminal division, said yesterday that she will leave government service at the end of the month after nearly three years overseeing major public corruption and corporate fraud cases.

Her departure leaves the Justice Department even more short-staffed.

Fisher's signature initiatives include a crackdown on corporate bribes and a new strategy to attack international organized crime. She developed a reputation as a tough-minded leader who marshaled resources and helped reenergize units that prosecute white-collar malfeasance and public-integrity offenses.

Anonymous said...

DA Struggles To Explain Kolko Plea Deal

Contradictions riddle Hynes’ account of how yeshiva teacher skirted child sexual abuse charges.

Hynes told The Jewish Week Tuesday that he never applied to the court for permission to use a camera for one of the children. He called back shortly afterward to say he’d misspoken.

by Hella Winston and Larry Cohler-Esses

It’s the case they can’t keep straight.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes’ shifting explanations of a widely criticized plea deal earlier this month for alleged child sex molester Rabbi Yehuda Kolko took several dizzying turns this week.

Contrary to earlier statements from Hynes’ office, Sex Bureau Chief Rhonnie Jaus disclosed Tuesday that parents from two families whose children Rabbi Kolko allegedly molested had been willing to let their children testify. Hynes’ spokespersons had earlier said otherwise.

But Jaus stressed that in the end, both families had signed affidavits agreeing to the deal after Rabbi Kolko had offered to plead guilty to a non-sex-related misdemeanor and receive a sentence of three years’ probation.

“These were very small children,” said Jaus. “Both parents were trying to be

good parents.

[But] nobody was rushing in to have their child in a courtroom. We felt the plea was in the best interest of the case.”

Jaus said that both families had consented to the agreement “verbally and in writing,” and that at one family’s insistence, she had spoken with their attorneys in a related civil case as well. Hynes said that without their consent, he would not have allowed Rabbi Kolko to plead his charges radically downward.

But in a letter to Jaus obtained by The Jewish Week, one father indicated he had been pressured into signing his consent statement.

The letter, dated one day after the father signed the affidavit, said, “I understand what the district attorney wants from me and I will sign the letter,” referring to the consent affidavit.

But the father added, “I feel justice was not served because I see the damage Kolko caused to our son.” The Jewish Week is withholding the name of the family because of the alleged victim’s age.

This father emphasized, “My son was ready to go to trial and we feel he would have done an excellent job and I am sorry to hear that [the case against] Joel Kolko will not proceed further.”

“That’s a letter just telling the judge about how one kid suffered,” said Jaus. She voiced distress that The Jewish Week had obtained the letter from court case files, saying, “I’m not sure how you got those files. They’re not supposed to be publicly available.”

Looking For A Way Out?

In an interview, the father, asked if he had felt pressured to “sign or else” made a motion of his fingers across his neck.

“I believe they were looking for angles out,” he said.

The father added that the prosecutors had led him to believe they had plans to pursue Rabbi Kolko by some other routes, with heavier penalties for him down the road. Alternatively, he said, he thought they hoped to use Rabbi Kolko to prosecute the administrators of the school he taught at, Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Flatbush, on charges of knowingly allowing him to molest children.

“If there’s no deal involved, and this is what they gave him, shame on them!” he said.

The new disclosures are the latest in a series of often contradictory explanations Hynes’ office has offered over the last two weeks for the Kolko plea deal, which has attracted censure both in Brooklyn’s Orthodox community and from legal experts. A series of previous actions perceived by some as lenient towards prominent Orthodox institutions or individuals accused of wrongdoing have led to criticism — dismissed by Hynes — of his close relationship with the community’s leadership.

Rabbi Kolko, 62, a teacher at Torah Temimah for about four decades, faced felony charges of touching two first-graders in their sexual areas and of forcing an adult former student to touch him during a visit to the school. Under the plea agreement, Rabbi Kolko, made no admission of sexual wrongdoing. He will not have to register as a sex offender and pleaded guilty only to a misdemeanor.

Outside the case, others — many of them now beyond the legal statute of limitations — have given accounts of being molested by Rabbi Kolko as long as nearly four decades ago. Five former students have filed a civil suit against Torah Temimah, alleging school administrators knew about Rabbi Kolko’s molestation of themselves and other students over many years but sought to conceal it and intimidate students who spoke out.

A Hynes spokesperson said right after the plea deal was reached that Hynes had agreed to it because the families of the two children alleging the rabbi had molested them would not let their sons testify. Hynes has since offered a series of revised accounts. In the first revision, soon after, Hynes said through a spokesman that one of the families had, in fact, agreed to let their son testify, but only via closed-circuit TV, and the other not at all.

Since then, Hynes or his aides have put out further, often inconsistent, accounts:

- Last week, via a spokesman, Hynes acknowledged he had applied for judicial permission for one of the alleged child victims to testify via closed circuit TV — but had withdrawn this motion before the judge could rule on it. Spokesman Jerry Schmetterer said his boss did so because “the bureau chief of the sex crimes unit did not have confidence the approval would be obtained and therefore made the decision to settle on the reduced charges.”

- In an interview Tuesday, Hynes said that “the victim’s family wanted the case resolved the way it was” — and denied that he had ever applied to the court for permission to use a camera for one of the children.

- He called back shortly afterward and said he had misspoken — that, in fact, he had applied to the court for CCTV testimony but withdrew the motion because such judicial permission “has never been granted in the history of the world.” Hynes emphasized that families for both of the alleged child victims had signed affidavits consenting to the plea deal.

- Jaus, the Sex Crimes bureau chief, told The Jewish Week Tuesday that the same father willing to allow his son to testify in open court for the original sexual molestation charges was “adamant” that he did not want Rabbi Kolko to be sentenced to prison. Yet the trial at which he was willing to testify, if it had taken place and led to a conviction, would almost certainly have meant a jail sentence for Rabbi Kolko.

Avoiding A Court Appearance

Nevertheless, Jaus appeared to offer the most coherent account of what happened. One family, she said, was prepared to let their 10-year-old son testify against Rabbi Kolko only via CCTV, under a law that allows minors in sexual abuse trials who are judged “vulnerable” by the court to do so in a quiet, separate room, out of the presence of prosecutors, defense attorneys, the accused molester and courtroom onlookers. The provision is intended to minimize “mental or emotional harm” to such children from the testifying experience.

The court scheduled a hearing on Jaus’ motion for March 31. But she withdrew her motion before this could take place because Rabbi Kolko’s attorney offered to plead guilty to the reduced charges.

In deciding to accept the offer, Jaus said, the wish of one family not to see Rabbi Kolko do prison time was a factor, along with the rabbi’s advanced age, poor health and lack of a prior record.

Another factor, she said, was deep uncertainty over whether the judge would grant her motion to allow testimony via CCTV for the other child, as his family required.

“It’s an extraordinary step to have it granted,” she said. “In my experience, we have not had it granted in my bureau. I think it was used once before I came.”

This was a revelation to the boy’s father, who stated vehemently that prosecutor Marc Fliedner told him in a late March phone call that the court had, in fact, approved the CCTV motion. “He said, ‘We got it,’” the father insisted. “He said, ‘Great news; the judge granted it.’”

Jaus stressed that only a hearing had been granted for late March. A message left for Fliedner was not returned.

The State Division of Criminal Justice Services, which provides media equipment for such cases, reports that courts statewide have employed their cameras 17 times since 1998 for children judged vulnerable. Legal scholars say judges are often reluctant to grant this motion out of concern that it undermines the constitutional right of a defendant to confront his accuser.

Still, case law has found this alternative acceptable when judged necessary. And if any case might be seen to meet the bar, it could well be this one.

As Dr. Simcha Y. Cohen, a psychologist and rabbi counseling the alleged victim, noted in an affidavit in support of the motion, “Within the Orthodox community ... confrontation or challenge of rabbinic leaders is strongly discouraged. This dynamic comes more intensely into play when the rabbinical leader is a teacher in a yeshiva setting, and the member who is being required to communicate such confrontations is a child.”

Jaus nevertheless defended her decision to abandon this effort once Rabbi Kolko’s lawyer put the plea bargain opportunity before her.

“I thought it was an opportunity for the children to be spared having to testify in court,” she said. “Getting approval for CCTV was iffy.” And even if it came, she said, “The case rested solely on the two kids. There was no other corroborating evidence. It’s their words standing alone.”

Professor Marci Hamilton of Yeshiva University, an expert in child abuse cases, voiced dismay at this assessment. “If you have just one child, you have a tough case,” she said. “But if you have two, you have corroboration.

“This has all the earmarks of the usual prosecutors’ deference to religious groups,” she said. “I think it’s hard to explain.”

But Jaus said that thanks to TV shows like “CSI,” “Many people expect to see corroborating evidence such as medical evidence, fingerprints. DNA. We just had the word of these children.”

Asked about the possibility her deal could now allow Rabbi Kolko, in the absence of a sex charge conviction, to go back to working with children, she replied, “He’s now pleaded guilty to two counts of endangering the welfare of a child; two counts with two separate children. I’d imagine most schools would not want someone who’s been convicted of something like that.”

Anonymous said...

JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is a suspect in several alleged corruption affairs, will face police questioning on Friday, his office said. It was not known which of the cases was to be covered.

In a statement Thursday, Olmert's office said that he "made time in his busy schedule" for one hour of interrogation on Friday, according to a police request, and he intends to "cooperate fully" with the police.

Olmert is a suspect in shady real estate deals and questionable political appointments. He has been questioned several times in the past by police but he has never been charged.

In November, police recommended closing one of the cases, which involved allegations that he tried to steer a government bank sale in the direction of supporters.

In October, Israel's attorney general ordered a criminal investigation into suspicions that Olmert acted improperly while he was trade minister.

If Olmert is indicted, he would have to resign, but a decision about formal charges is months away.

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Israel Belsky has stated on Pesach at Torah Vodaath that he was very pleased that Yudi Kolko was vindicated. I thought Kolko pleaded guilty. Am I confused or is Belsky nuts?

Zev Stern said...

The little humility I have causes me to face the fact that my not understanding how he arrived at any particular psak halachah does not mean he was wrong.
The little courage you have does not impel you to use your name (mine is on my blog) or even an alias to distinguish yourself from all the other distinguished anonymi on the blogosphere.

I never said R. Moshe was wrong on the halakha. He might have been right halakhically, and what he ordered might have been acceptable in the benighted stinkholes of Eastern Europe, but not here. Just as not every food that is kosher is healthy to eat, not every action that is halakhically permissible should be done or can be done. Here in America we do not tear pages out of books. It’s a non-starter, a deal breaker, an instant disqualifier. If a posek counsels such a course, then we Americans cannot accept his authority (see here). In any event, a true gaon is not afraid of intellectual challenge. He tackles difficulties head on. He does not deal with contrary opinion, much less contrary evidence, by pretending it does not exist. And does anybody think that students can be fooled so easily? Eventually (in my students’ case, in two minutes) they will discover that they have been done dirty, abused, lied to, by people they trusted. And then the consequences will be a lot more severe than loss of confidence in authority figures.

I ask this in all sincerety: Is there anyone who's opinion you, Mr. Neanderthal, feel you must accept as correct? Meaning, is there any talmid chochom you can point to and say that if he said something with which you strongly disagreed, no matter how strongly, you would say to yourself that 'reb ploni is smarter than I am and knows more torah than I do and therefore I will accept his words as the truth even though I do not understand how he reached that conclusion'?

The closest would be Rav Kook, father and son. But I know enough about them to know that they were men of extraordinary honesty, integrity and courage. They would not have dealt with intellectual challenge by closing their eyes or, much worse, attempting to close the eyes of their talmidim. While they certainly had misgivings about modernity, their response was not to retreat intellectually to the ghetto. They would rather have us engage the world and make it better.

If evolution will conclusively be proven in the future this will have no high stakes for me, just as I am sure that it does not for you. It does not change our obligations as Jews in this world and it would not be a refutation on the torah. We simply do not understand the full meaning of Adam being created from the dust of the ground.

This sounds like Shimshon Rafael Hirsch, writing in the 19th century when evolution was not nearly as established as it is now. For something without high stakes for you, you sure do go out on a limb. It looks like the kind of cut-and-paste job from the works of Christian creationists (never published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, of course) that Avigdor Miller was (in)famous for. Macroevolution (what you call “global adaptation”) is a logical extension of microevolution (“local adaptation”). It’s all about genetic change. We are now able to sequence DNA; the more closely related two species are by the “traditional” criteria of morphology and protein structure, the more their DNA matches up. Except for a few oddballs with a religious axe to grind and no published work on the topic, the entire scientific community accepts evolution; it is as robust a scientific theory as atomic theory or relativity.

Anonymous said...

I heard the same kind of crap from a Belsky supporter who is otherwise a very intelligent & accomplished guy. The guy keeps laughing at UOJ like some dork who is the only one laughing at his own non-funny jokes.

Anonymous said...

Highland Park man had pleaded guilty to recording after prosecutors dropped 2 charges

By Andrew L. Wang | Tribune reporter
6:20 PM CDT, April 30, 2008

Prosecutors had charged Salome Zequeida, 50, with 15 counts each of unauthorized videotaping of a victim under 18 and possession of child pornography.
Zequeida was arrested just over a year ago after contractors working at the synagogue discovered the camera. Police also found two videotapes with images of children using the restroom.

He told authorities he had been filming for about three weeks starting March 20, 2007. Upset parents said at the time that the restroom was primarily used by students, ages 2 to 6, of the Highland Park Montessori School, which uses the synagogue's space.


Synagogue janitor found not guilty of child porn in restroom videotaping

Tribune staff report

10:24 PM CDT, April 30, 2008

A Highland Park man accused of setting up a video camera in a local synagogue bathroom last spring and secretly filming children using a toilet was found not guilty of 14 child-porn charges Wednesday.

Prosecutors had charged Salome Zequeida, 50, with 15 counts each of unauthorized videotaping of a victim under 18 and possession of child pornography.

In a hearing on Monday prosecutors dropped a taping charge and a pornography charge, and Zequeida pleaded guilty to the 14 remaining taping counts. The two sides met again Wednesday afternoon before Lake County Circuit Judge John Phillips.

Zequeida was arrested just over a year ago after contractors working at Congregation Solel, 1301 Clavey Rd., discovered the camera.

Anonymous said...


That first night, three years ago, eight people showed up at Masbia to eat. Today, the kitchen serves 160 meals, five nights a week. Poverty has been steadily growing. Rents and the price of Kosher food are climbing. And most families pay enormous fees to send their kids to yeshiva.

Not a week goes by when Alexander Rapaport, who co-founded Masbia with Mordechai Mandelbaum, doesn't see a member of his community searching through the garbage bins. The problems in Borough Park are part of a larger Brooklyn phenomena. The number of Brooklynites who experienced difficulty affording needed food increased by 75% between 2003 and 2006.

About 84% of the households receiving food stamps used them up within three weeks and had to turn to soup kitchens or food pantries for the last part of the month, according to recent studies.

And during the last year, 52% of Brooklyn`s emergency food providers have run out of food at one time or another. And all of the agencies are appealing for help.

Walking into the soup kitchen on any given night, no one would guess the hardships involved with keeping a soup kitchen of this kind running. And thanks to the charitable support of many community members, Masbia has not only managed to stay above the fray, but offers services of the highest quality-- lavish meals in the most comfortable and respectful setting. While others go on holiday, Masbia never takes a vacation. They are open come rain or shine, including the holidays.

Masbia was founded by few individuals who believed that the rich in the community would jump to support an organization like this, and that's exactly what happened, said Rapaport. "Donors pushed us to be open on the holidays, they brought the money forward to make us open on the holidays," Rapaport said. "We want to be open 24/7 we just need the money to be able to do it."

And anyone who has had the pleasure of being at Masbia over the holidays, knows they are served only the best. On these nights the cost of meals drastically jumps. Whereas regular daily meals cost roughly $6 per person, the holiday equivalent would cost $80 in any New York restaurant.

"Those who come for a hot meal will be getting the best of the best," said Rapaport. "Because there is often shame in coming to a soup kitchen, it should at least be worth it and we want people to feel very good coming here. But more than that our donors want us to go all the way-they don't want to sponsor a skimpy soup, they want to sponsor the best."

Increasing demand, and the success of the Masbia model has recently led Rapaport to decide to expand. He is in the process of opening a second venue in the Williamsburg neighborhood.

Part of Masbia's success is a result of Rapaport's enterprising spirit. Always on the prowl for new ideas, Rapaport has found new and creative ways to get the community involved. At the heart of this is the belief that spreading the word of this one-of-a-kind organization is the key to public support. Rapaport uses every opportunity he gets to inform people through the media of the growing poverty among orthodox Jews. Just this past winter Masbia was featured in articles in the New York Daily News three times, on the Reuters News Bill-Boards in Times-Square, News 12 TV, the Jewish Week and the Jerusalem Post and local Jewish media including Hamodia and Der Yid. Recently Rapaport outdid himself with a video-live actors and all- that documents a new trend in the community intimately connected to the soup kitchen.

Today, much of Masbia's funding comes from an unlikely source. Unlikely, that is, by modern standards. These days, brides and grooms on the verge of getting married make sure to pay a visit to Masbia before they tie the knot. The founders have found a way to resurrect an "old world" ritual and at the same time ensure that supply at Masbia never stops.

Today, most of their $500 thousand annual budget comes from newlyweds and their parents, who thank God by sponsoring a meal at the soup kitchen in the days before the wedding celebration.

"The most appropriate thing to do before my wedding was to pay for a hot meal," said Mr. Neuman, a Borough Park resident, less than a week after he got married. "This is the way to give gratitude to God and let the poor join in my simcha."

To sponsor an entire night costs $960, which comes out to roughly $6 per meal.

The tradition dates back to the "old world" where the custom was to sponsor a "poor man's meal" in the days before the wedding. The Talmud and Midrash relate stories where giving to the poor at the time of the wedding saved the couple from potential harm. What evolved from that was a tradition of giving to the less fortunate as part of the pre-wedding ritual.

"When Europe was still a bustling Jewish center, everyone made a poor man's wedding for poor people to have good meal," said Neuman.

In America that tradition largely faded. But Masbia has found a way to bring it back in style.

"If tomorrow will be the day I rejoice the most, at least let others less fortunate rejoice with me," said Neuman, who came to Masbia dressed in his wedding garb. "On my wedding I spend time with my family and friends, but at Masbia I am with klal Israel."

During Passover Masbia was closed in the past, but this year "Bikur Cholim" of Boro Park and MASBIA Soup Kitchen jointly served hundreds of Hot Kosher for Passover meals on 10th Ave next to MMC to the families of the sick and to the needy of Boro Park. Twice a day the store front was open for guest. Yom-Tov meals included Matzah, eggs, fish, soup, chicken, Kugels, top quality fruits & vegetables, nuts, cookies, water bottles, seltzer and grape juice, Seder Platters and more. All of the kashrus directories were available for those needing medication. People from all walks of life, rich and poor, singles and mothers with children, Elderly with their spouses, or others with family in the hospital, all were able to get a warm Pesach meal at the "Bikur- Cholim annex". Partitions were available for who wanted to lead their own Seudah.


Alexander Rapaport, 718-972-4446, Masbia@gmail.com

Anonymous said...


Kolko shouldn't get discouraged just because he's gay.

Anonymous said...

In response to this: I ask this in all sincerety: Is there anyone who's opinion you, Mr. Neanderthal, feel you must accept as correct? Meaning, is there any talmid chochom you can point to and say that if he said something with which you strongly disagreed, no matter how strongly, you would say to yourself that 'reb ploni is smarter than I am and knows more torah than I do and therefore I will accept his words as the truth even though I do not understand how he reached that conclusion'?

Neanderthal wrote this:
The closest would be Rav Kook, father and son. But I know enough about them to know that they were men of extraordinary honesty, integrity and courage. They would not have dealt with intellectual challenge by closing their eyes or, much worse, attempting to close the eyes of their talmidim. While they certainly had misgivings about modernity, their response was not to retreat intellectually to the ghetto. They would rather have us engage the world and make it better.

Neither Rav kook, father or son, would have been caught dead using the word "GOON" regarding Reb Moshe a"h nor would either have said you are permitted to do so.

Do us both a favor: Face the fact that you do not recognize any halachic authority as binding upon you, meaning you consider yourself the final authority on all matters halachic and spiritual. One would then be forced to assume you do not accept the authority of the RaMBa"M in hilchos shabbos because he elsewhere fails to meet your humanist standards, as when he codified hilchos avodim. For that matter the entire SHa"S (the set of seforim gathering dust on your shelf, not the political party) should be of no concern to you as it discusses a ketanah bas shalosh shonim being ra'oiy lebi'ah and rules that a yovom is bo'el afilo al korchah. How awful!

What could such brutes know about halachah that you are not qualified to pasken for yourself?

Strange. You complain about and disparage talmidai chachomim for undeservedly (to your mind) claiming to be the final arbitars of halachah yet you claim that very role for yourself!

How self-destructivly pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Neandershort said...
The little humility I have causes me to face the fact that my not understanding how he arrived at any particular psak halachah does not mean he was wrong.
The little courage you have does not impel you to use your name (mine is on my blog) or even an alias to distinguish yourself from all the other distinguished anonymi on the blogosphere.

I never said R. Moshe was wrong on the halakha. He might have been right halakhically, and what he ordered might have been acceptable in the benighted stinkholes of Eastern Europe, but not here. Just as not every food that is kosher is healthy to eat, not every action that is halakhically permissible should be done or can be done. Here in America we do not tear pages out of books. It’s a non-starter, a deal breaker, an instant disqualifier. If a posek counsels such a course, then we Americans cannot accept his authority (see here). In any event, a true gaon is not afraid of intellectual challenge. He tackles difficulties head on. He does not deal with contrary opinion, much less contrary evidence, by pretending it does not exist. And does anybody think that students can be fooled so easily? Eventually (in my students’ case, in two minutes) they will discover that they have been done dirty, abused, lied to, by people they trusted. And then the consequences will be a lot more severe than loss of confidence in authority figures.


I took the time to read the rant you linked to your comments.

1) My central point was and is that, as Reb Moshe a"h himself would have been the first to say, any learned person is free to argue with Reb Moshe a"h. What no sane person would think they are entitled to do is refer as you did to Reb Moshe a"h as a "GOON".

2) As a 3rd generation American who has been zocheh to see the fifth generation I obviously cannot argue that there was no Torah in America prior to the last wave of European's landing on these shores post WWII. However, I can also not help laughing at the claim that Torah in America was doing well in the first half of the 20th century. The simple truth is that the vast majority of Jews did not survive as Torah-loyal Jews, unless you consider voting for Democatic Party liberals and welcoming the non-Jewish spouses of your offspring to be essential components of Torah-loyal Judaism.

The brave and heroic few who were trying to build Torah in America were not supported by the masses. YTV was an oasis in a vast desert. The classes of musmochim in YU until the thirties were exclusivly European bochrim. The earliest American-born musmochim were graduated in the early thirties and even then they were by far a minority. The majority of American Jews did not want thier children growing up to be b'nai torah. R'SFM a"h had to fight and beg parents to put thier kids into yeshiva even though he was footing the bill, not them. Rav Teitz was considered a radical nut by most Americans because he insisted that all Jewish children deserved a Jewish education.

Come to think of it, what right did these few men have to dictate to klal yisroel what G-d wanted??? I may consider them heros but if Reb Moshe a"h was a "GOON" for keeping kefirah out of yeshivos (for the record, lets be clear: Reb Moshe a"h didn't call up yeshivos and demand they tear out the parts of textbooks to which he objected. THEY ASKED HIM.) what does that make the the few brave souls who dared to dream of authentic Jewish education in America? HOW DARE THEY CO-ERCE PARENTS INTO TEACHING JUDAISM TO JEWISH CHILDREN?

Anonymous said...


From the desk of Baruch Shine
Date: May 1st 2008 To: The International Association of Professional Shatnez Testers
From: Baruch Shine RE: Shocking Facts

The problem with Lee Avenue Shaatnez Labs extends far beyond an individual shaatnez checker.

A little over a year ago I bought suits for my son's Bar Mitzvah for my family at The Right Place on 18th Avenue. Although I generally always go only to Rabbi Nussbaum on 47th street in Boro Park for my shaatnez checking, I feared I would not have time to go to him with the time constraints of the Bar Mitzvah preparations. I therefore had the store do the shaatnez checking. I paid the store $3 extra per suit for this service, and when I picked up my suits they each had a shaatnez-free label sewn in from Lee Avenue Shaatnez labs.

In the end, I found I did have time before the Bar Mitzvah to go to Rabbi Nussbaum, and I had him "re-check" them. When he examined them, he found that the seams had NEVER been opened on all of the suits; the entire jacket linings had the factory seams intact. (He did open the seams and check the suits, and found them all shaatnez free.) When I asked him how Lee Avenue could do this, he posited that it may be that Lee Avenue checks a certain amount of suits randomly in a run, and is somech on this to certify the rest of the suits in the run shaatnez free.

I called the store to inquire why I was charged extra for Shaatnez checking when none was done. They told me they just offer the service, but Lee Avenue is responsible for the checking.

I called Lee Avenue Labs and explained the situation, and inquired why I was charged extra for Shaatnez checking when none was done. He asked me in a rude tone, "There was no Shaatnez in the suit, was there?” I confirmed this, but said I paid for the specific suits to be checked, not just his assurance. He responded even more rudely this time and said, "You pay us to guarantee there is no shaatnez in the suit. HOW WE CHECK IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!”

I am sure that if you contact Rabbi Nussbaum he will probably recall this and confirm the facts as I presented them.

I think it only fair that consumers be made aware of the standard of individual shaatnez labs. If those standards are acceptable to the consumer, then fine. I believe that the standard consumer believes they are paying for the suit to be individually checked, and not just an assurance based on whatever kulos.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via E-mail: mark.shine@siemens.com.

Thank you,
Baruch Shine

Anonymous said...

May 2, 2008

High Rabbinic Court: Annul conversions


In an unprecedented decision, the High Rabbinical Court of Israel has called to invalidate all conversions performed since 1999 by Rabbi Haim Drukman, the head of the Conversion Authority.

The decision was made after the court rejected an appeal of a ruling by Ashdod's Regional Rabbinical Court rendering a woman's conversion invalid.

In a 50-page decision, a panel of three high court judges ruled that all conversions conducted since 1999 by Rabbi Drukman - who heads the Conversion Authority - and another rabbi, must be declared invalid.

They also ruled that it was permitted to retroactively cancel the conversion of someone who does not observe the Sabbath.

Finally, the high court ruled the Jewish status of the woman questionable and ordered that she and her children must be added to the list of me'ukvei nissu'in (people who cannot marry under Jewish law). Out of extra caution, her husband was also added to the list of illegal marriages despite his being a Jew by birth.

The story began in the course of divorce proceedings between the woman, who was converted by Rabbi Drukman's court 15 years ago, and her Jewish-born husband. After issuing her a get (Jewish divorce document), one of the judges at the Ashdod Regional Rabbinical Court inquired about her conversion and her Jewish observance.

On the basis of the ensuing discussion, the judge ruled the woman's conversion invalid, and in consequence, that her children, who were born after her conversion, are not Jewish.

As the decision was made after the court had already granted the woman a get in accordance with Jewish law, the court proceeded to write a document stating that the get was unnecessary, since the woman's marriage was also invalid under Jewish law.

The verdict put in question the Jewish status of thousands of converts, and could require them to convert a second time.

Rabbi Drukman said the ruling was "cruel" and added that it was made without counseling Chief Spehardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar.

Anonymous said...


May 2 (Bloomberg) -- A month after the Federal Reserve rescued Bear Stearns Cos. from bankruptcy, Chairman Ben S. Bernanke got an S.O.S. from Congress.

There is ``a potential crisis in the student-loan market'' requiring ``similar bold action,'' Chairman Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and six other Democrats wrote Bernanke.

Student loans are just the start. Former Fed officials and other Fed-watchers say that Bernanke's actions in saving Bear Stearns will expose the central bank to continuing pressure to use its $889 billion balance sheet to prop up companies or entire industries deemed important by politicians.

``It is appalling where we are right now,'' former St. Louis Fed President William Poole, who retired in March, said in an interview. The Fed has introduced ``a backstop for the entire financial system.''

Critics argue that the result will be to foster greater risk-taking among investors emboldened by the belief that the government will bail them out of bad decisions.

The Fed's loans to Bear Stearns were ``a rogue operation,'' said Anna Schwartz, who co-wrote ``A Monetary History of the United States'' with the late Nobel laureate Milton Friedman.

`No Business'

``To me, it is an open and shut case,'' she said in an interview from her office in New York. ``The Fed had no business intervening there.''

There are already indications that investors perceive the safety net to be widening as a result of the actions by Bernanke, 54, and New York Fed President Timothy Geithner. The Bear Stearns bailout and an emergency facility to loan directly to government bond dealers triggered a decline in measures of credit risk for investment banks and for Fannie Mae, the Washington-based, government-chartered company that is the nation's largest source of funds for home mortgages.

Anonymous said...


Postville men charged with 27 fishing violations

9:47 AM CDT, May 2, 2008

Three men have been arrested and charged with 27 fishing violations after using beer cans to catch trout from a northeastern Iowa creek.

Authorities say an off-duty Fayette County deputy noticed suspicious fishing activity at Glovers Creek trout stream earlier this week. He called the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

DNR officials accuse the three men of illegally tying fishing lines to empty beer cans, then dragging the cans with the catch to shore. Authorities seized the trout, illegal fishing lines, rods and reels, beer and a van with Wisconsin license plates.

Authorities say the men were not U.S. citizens and that Immigration officials were notified.

Officials say the men had been living in Postville.

Anonymous said...


The name on the federal indictment in Wichita is "John Doe."

But the Orthodox Jewish community where he lived for at least the past three years knew him as Nathaniel James Levi. Netan, for short.

His real name: Ted Riley Floyd, 29. He's charged with putting false information on a passport application while he lived in Wichita. He is now in the Sedgwick County Jail.

The news of Floyd assuming the identity of a dead man, however, has caused an uproar in the Hasidic community of Lakewood, N.J., where he lived with his wife and four children. The story quickly spread through the Yiddish press to similar communities throughout Brooklyn and other parts of New York state.

So far, no one has been able to answer the question of how Floyd assumed the identity of Levi, who was killed after being hit by a train.

Yiddish news agency Vos Iz Neias ("What's News") called it "the biggest expose to hit the bastion of Torah Judaism in years."

"In all my life, I have never heard anything like this," said Rabbi Nissim Wernick of Hebrew Congregation in Wichita, who also knew Floyd as Netan Levi when he belonged to that synagogue.

Wernick has visited Floyd in jail since he returned to Wichita three weeks ago to face the charge.

During that time, Orthodox communities, especially in Lakewood, have rumbled with concerns and rumors that Floyd violated their religious doctrines.

Gossip spread, according to reports, that Floyd was a spy sent by the government, or a radical Christian group, to infiltrate their community and disrupt their traditional lifestyle.

"I can assure you that's not true," Wernick said Friday afternoon, before Passover started at sundown. "He seems very faithful and knowledgeable about Judaism."

But becoming Orthodox may be why Floyd assumed the fake identity.

"That's why he left here, because he wanted to live a more faithful Jewish life," Wernick said Friday.

Floyd is so faithful to Jewish dietary tradition that he didn't eat for four days while jail officials in Wichita arranged for him to receive a kosher diet.

"The people at the jail have been very helpful getting this worked out," Wernick said.

Wernick said he helped get Floyd the basics he needed to celebrate Passover, although the jail couldn't allow a prayer shawl or yarmulke.

But questions about Floyd's faith were so strong on the East Coast that Vos Iz Neias tracked down former Wichita rabbi Pichas Aloof.

Aloof, now living in Texas, appeared on the Zev Brenner talk show, broadcast from New York, to provide details of Floyd's conversion in Wichita from 2000 to 2002.

During the radio interview, Aloof said he'd suggested Floyd go to Israel to go through the conversion ritual. Wernick said that may be why Floyd applied for the passport.

Steve Gradert, Floyd's public defender, said a change of plea hearing has been set for April 28 before U.S. District Judge Monti Belot.

According to court records, Floyd had warrants on misdemeanor theft charges in Reno and Barton counties. But Gradert said that's not why Floyd disappeared into a Hasidic community.

"He did not leave for legal reasons," Gradert said.

"Those charges were so minor, he may have not even have known about those warrants when he left."

Anonymous said...


A nasty rivalry between two of Israel's most famous cantors has led to a sex-and-the-synagogue scandal.

Cops are investigating the alleged dirty tricks of one cantor to entrap the other into falling for a tawdry hotel hookup.

Cantor Israel Rand of the Great Synagogue of Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv is accused of plotting an unholy scheme to topple his one-time mentor, Cantor Naftali Herstik of the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem.

In a complaint filed against Rand, Herstik charges his former student hired a sexy female private investigator to seduce him into a hotel romp so that he could get compromising photos.

Herstik said he agreed to meet the woman, who posed as a music student, but he bolted from her Tel Aviv hotel room when he spotted the hidden cameras.

"If indeed it was Rand, it brings into question why he would be allowed among civilized Jews," said Rabbi David Fuld, president of the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem's board.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed the allegations against Rand were being probed and prosecutors were mulling an indictment. Rand refused to comment when contacted by The Associated Press.

In a police statement, Rand claimed his feud with Herstik began three years ago when the older cantor disrespected him at synagogue in the Hamptons.

"The man has been persecuting and defaming me for years. He has been making up stories about me. In the last two or three years he has harassed me," Rand said in the statement, which was obtained by Israel's Haaretz newspaper.


Anonymous said...


Wheel Of Misfortune
Religious Right Leaders Are Praying That The Jack Abramoff Casino-Lobbying Scandal Won’t Make Them Big-Time Losers

by Rob Boston

Anonymous said...

The whole issue of the Pesach Fressers hotels was never publicly aired until UOJ got into it. Now all the nuchshleppers, rabbonim, journalists and everyone is talking about it like they came up with it. Kol hakovod.

Anonymous said...


WICHITA — A man who took the identity of a dead Navy veteran after converting to Judaism has pleaded guilty to using a false name to apply for a U.S. passport and will be sentenced to a year and a day in jail.

Ted Riley Floyd, 28, admitted in court Monday that he had gone by the name Nathaniel James Levi for six years. He moved in 2002 to the Orthodox Jewish community of Lakewood, N.J., where he lived with his wife and children.

He used the false name and Social Security number in March 2002 when he applied for a passport in Wichita.

The news of Floyd’s identity shocked the large Lithuanian community in Lakewood.

Rabbi Nissim Wernick of the Hebrew Congregation in Wichita has said Floyd changed his name apparently so he could travel to Israel as part of his conversion.

Born Daniel Lashawn Floyd in 1979, Floyd’s maternal grandparents adopted him in 1984 and changed his name to Ted Riley Floyd.

He underwent conversion to Judaism between 2000 and 2002 before moving to New Jersey.

His lawyer and a Wichita rabbi who has visited Floyd in the Sedgwick County jail believe Floyd assumed the Levi name in a misguided attempt to be accepted into the strict Orthodox Jewish lifestyle.

Defense attorney Steve Gradert asked the judge Monday to release Floyd from jail so his client could better communicate with his family and deal with marital problems caused by his arrest.

Judge Monti Belot denied the request but said he would expedite sentencing.

If he earns credit for good behavior in prison, Floyd could be out in 10 months.

Anonymous said...


The United States Army has begun a broad review of procedures used to supply security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq with foreign arms, prompted by an allegation of fraud and questions about the competence of the main private supplier of ammunition to Afghanistan.

The company, AEY Inc. of Miami Beach, was suspended last month after Army investigators accused it of shipping aged Chinese rifle cartridges and claiming they were Hungarian.

The Army decided to review its contracting procedures as several arms-industry officials said that long before the suspension, it was clear the Army had erred by not recognizing risk factors in AEY’s history and activities, and by being lured by a very low bid.

Problems with the contract, they said, were evident again early this year when AEY’s president was seen shopping for foreign munitions, including shoulder-fired rockets, at an American gun show. The money he was offering, the officials said, was too little to buy quality ammunition.

Lt. Gen. William E. Mortensen, deputy commanding general of the Army Materiel Command, and Jeffrey P. Parsons, executive director of the Army Contracting Command, said last week that based on questions about AEY’s performance and initial inquiries into the contract’s history, the Army had undertaken an extensive review of its arms-contracting standards and procedures and planned to overhaul several.

The contract has drawn the attention of three Congressional committees, which are expected to hold hearings in the next few weeks.

General Mortensen and Mr. Parsons said the Army was examining how it ordered foreign munitions and supervised their quality, packaging and shipment. It also plans to review how it vets Pentagon-sponsored deals in the often murky world of foreign arms procurement.

“We are taking a look at what we have done under this contract,” General Mortensen said. “We recognize that we need to make changes.”

AEY, a tiny company operating from an unmarked office, is led by Efraim E. Diveroli, 22, who has limited business and munitions experience. His father, Michael, incorporated the company in 1999. In 2004, AEY listed Efraim Diveroli as an officer.

In January 2007, the company was awarded a contract, potentially worth $298 million, that made it the primary munitions supplier for Afghan security forces in the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The company’s activities have provided a window into the world of foreign arms dealing, as well as the shortfalls in oversight of dealers doing business for the United States.

The contract also points to strains in the military’s procurement practices, which were detailed in the report of an independent panel last October. Known as the Gansler Commission, the panel sharply criticized the Army for failing to train enough experienced contracting officers, deploy them quickly and ensure that they properly manage billions of dollars in contracts to supply troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A new element of the Army’s review — the question of how to vet the ties between the Pentagon’s contractors and other businesses — is being conducted with the Department of Defense, General Mortensen said.

Under American law, American dealers must disclose every entity involved in an arms shipment overseas, including brokering, transportation and repackaging companies. The State Department checks subcontractors and partners against a watch list of entities suspected of involvement in illegal arms deals.

But the law exempts federal agencies and contractors working for them. Arms-trade researchers have complained that many contractors supplying the wars, including AEY, have worked with suspicious companies abroad, and that the Pentagon has not screened their activities.

General Mortensen acknowledged that the Army had not reviewed AEY’s relationships and said the question of vetting was now being reviewed. “If there is a seam in our process, then clearly we need to take a look at it,” he said.

An examination of AEY’s activities by The New York Times, first reported last month, found that the company had shipped to Afghanistan tens of millions of decades-old Chinese cartridges that had been repackaged in flimsy cardboard.

The purchases included classes of ammunition that NATO and the State Department have determined to be outdated and obsolete, and have spent millions of dollars to have destroyed.

The ammunition had not been tested for reliability under well-established military standards, the Army and the export agency that sold most of it said.

Mr. Diveroli was under a felony charge of possession of a forged driver’s license when the contract was awarded. He later conducted business with a shell company in Cyprus and two international arms dealers on the federal watch list. He was also recorded in a phone conversation that suggested corruption in arms purchases in Albania.

Federal prosecutors have been presenting evidence of AEY’s activities to a grand jury in Miami, according to a witness and three lawyers associated with the case. Investigators searched AEY’s offices last year.

AEY declined to answer several questions about its business. But Hy Shapiro, Mr. Diveroli’s lawyer, said the company had received many Army contracts before the Afghan contract and had performed well.

“AEY delivered on those contracts,” he said by telephone. “AEY continued to bid on contracts, and that’s why it was given serious consideration on the Afghanistan contract.”

Although public attention has focused on AEY, the Army has also begun examining government contracting practices.

Much of the equipment used by Iraqi and Afghan forces is of Soviet design. The arms have been purchased by various military commands and other agencies, including the State Department.

Unlike the strict rules for NATO arms, standards for foreign purchases varied from contract to contract, and often were vague and less restrictive. Several officials in the arms industry said the lax standards and contracting officers’ limited understanding of munitions all but ensured that the Army would end up with questionable goods.

AEY shipped about 125 million rounds of ammunition to Afghanistan, the Army said. Documents from Albania show that most were Chinese rounds from Albanian depots and were made as long ago as 1960.

There has been no public evidence that AEY bought munitions directly from China.

Independent arms-trafficking researchers and several AEY competitors said the Army, after learning that Mr. Diveroli had planned to buy from Albania, should have known it risked getting substandard goods.

Albania’s arms-export agency has been involved in scandals in the past, and Albanian stockpiles have a reputation for being old and poorly stored, said the owner of another arms-supply company, who asked to speak anonymously because he said the Pentagon might reject future bids if he criticized the military publicly.

Arms researchers agreed that AEY’s activities should have been a warning. “It is quite strange to us that the U.S. government would allow Albanian ammunition, because all of us know that the Albanian ammunition is not very good,” said Peter Danssaert, an analyst at the International Peace Information Service in Belgium, an independent research institute.

Several arms-industry officials said the problems were obvious. AEY was a new company with a young and inexperienced staff. Part of its business model, the officials said, was to make extremely low bids on contracts and then seek help from competitors to supply the munitions.

Private arms dealers said the practice caused predictable problems. “They low-bid these prices so low that there was no high-quality source for it,” said Sanford Brygidier, managing director of Aztec International, of Ocala, Fla.

Mr. Brygidier, who said he has been in the arms business for 36 years, added that Mr. Diveroli would tell potential suppliers that they had to accept his prices because he had the contract and there would be no other buyers. “He wanted this, he wanted that, he had immediate cash,” Mr. Brygidier said. “I told him, basically, that this wasn’t kindergarten and that we were not in the education business. I told him not to call me anymore.”

Mr. Shapiro, Mr. Diveroli’s lawyer, declined to answer questions about whether AEY had sought munitions from companies it had underbid. He did not dispute that its prices were generally low.

“It seems to me that Mr. Diveroli’s prices would have had to have been lower than his competitors’ for the Army to have awarded him the Afghanistan contract,” Mr. Shapiro said.

The low-price assumptions, the industry officials said, appeared to be what had led Mr. Diveroli to Albania, where the government sold its munitions for as little as 2.2 cents a round, a price that strongly suggested their age and poor condition.

Ed Grasso, president of Sellier & Bellot USA, which has provided new Czech ammunition to Afghanistan, said new rifle cartridges of the types AEY bought typically cost 20 cents to 30 cents a round.

By early this year, Mr. Diveroli seemed to be desperately searching for munitions, three dealers said. He turned up in Las Vegas in February at the SHOT show, which calls itself the world’s largest firearms exhibition.

He went booth to booth, seeking suppliers to fill the Army’s orders, including those for shoulder-fired rockets, they said. “He was looking to buy RPG-7 rounds, and let me tell you, he wanted to pay $30 for these things,” one dealer said. “You can’t get that item for that price, not if you’re buying quality.”

A round for an RPG-7, the dealer said, typically costs $60 to $85.

He added, “He would just come in and give us a list of stuff that he was trying to shop, and at prices no one would touch.”

The Army set no date for finishing its review or recommending changes. The work proceeds under pressure from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee is examining whether Mr. Diveroli wrongly declared AEY to be a disadvantaged, minority-owned small business to get preferential treatment in the bid-selection process.

Mr. Diveroli did identify AEY as a disadvantaged small business in an online form submitted to the Army for other contracts, General Mortensen and Mr. Parsons said. But they added that he also wrote that his company had not been certified as such by the federal Small Business Administration, and that AEY had received no preferential treatment.

Anonymous said...

More "proof" that Kolko is innocent. Even Lakewood Floyd got more prison time than him.

Anonymous said...


Three ultra-Orthodox Israeli youths will be spending the Pesach holiday in a dank Tokyo jail cell, after they were detained over a week ago by Japanese authorities at Narita International Airport, who discovered significant amounts of the popular drug Ecstasy concealed in artifacts in the boys’ suitcases.

The youngsters were allegedly duped by an Israeli-based criminal gang into transporting the illegal drugs, after being promised airplane tickets, hotel accommodations and some cash in return for bringing "gold and antiques" from Amsterdam to Japan.

It’s important to note that the boys were recruited and managed by a haredi member of the gang who easily exploited these unsuspecting youngsters for a global criminal operation. The youngsters, who told their friends about the all-expenses-paid international trek, flew from Israel to Amsterdam and then on to Tokyo, where they were supposed to hand over the suitcases to a third party at the airport.

As we went to press, high ranking representatives from Israel’s Litvishe and chassidic rabbinical communities, including Jewish Press columnist Menachem Porush and his son, Knesset Member Rabbi Meir Porush, were meeting with senior Japanese government officials in Tel Aviv to find a diplomatic way out of this crisis. Japan has one of the world’s toughest anti-drug policies.

Renowned Israeli attorney Mordechai Tzivin, who has been retained as the youngsters’ legal representative, raced to Japan last week to consult with Japanese police officials, as well as Israeli authorities, in order to ascertain the seriousness of the charges that have been filed.

Tzivin told The Jewish Press, "It’s going to be a real struggle because Japan has a very tough policy against drug usage in general. However, the three youngsters are being treated fairly and in a very humane manner. What’s important is to make the Japanese authorities understand the scope of what happened, with these boys innocently being misled by a criminal gang. I am hoping that the rabbinical representatives from the haredi communities in Israel and the USA, as well as influential Jewish people in the EU, will convince the Japanese authorities in Tokyo to expel these youngsters back to Israel in the near future."

Since their arrest, Tzivin has worked feverishly to contact many prominent rabbis and organizational leaders within the Israeli and American haredi communities, both in order to secure the boys’ release, as well as alerting them to the real danger of criminal infiltration.

"While the phenomenon of using unsuspecting yeshiva boys for illicit operations is not new, this case, which has many ominous ramifications has prompted some of the haredi world’s most prominent rabbanim to urge their communities to cooperate with the local police," Tzivin revealed. "Rabbi Mendel Shafran, a respected dayan in Rav Y. L. Landau’s Bnei Brak beis din has paskened that even a religious Jew, who is found recruiting innocent youngsters for the purpose of committing a criminal act is tarred with a din rodef and should be reported immediately to the police. This is a very important development that the haredi community must now take seriously."

Tzivin also added that Israeli criminal gangs are openly operating on American soil and are always looking to recruit innocent-looking youngsters. He urged parents to be vigilant, as Israeli police authorities are in close contact with the NYPD regarding the ongoing activities of these gangs.

Anonymous said...


Police investigating a series of frauds on the London Underground said this week that they had arrested a man.

A 58-year-old from Hackney has been charged with three sample counts of fraud by false representation at Finsbury Park Tube station in November 2007 and at King’s Cross Tube station in March and April 2008.

Israel Aharonovitz, of Seven Sisters Road, Hackney, is due to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court in Horseferry Road today.

The Jewish community has been the target of a number of frauds. In 2005, police smashed a postal fraud ring aimed at Orthodox families.

More recently, the JC has received numerous complaints over several months that a man using various identities has been confronting people at rail stations.

In these cases, victims were engaged in conversation, told a hard-luck story about a sick mother or child, and asked to give sterling currency in exchange for Israeli shekels to buy medicines.

Anonymous said...


Must daven urgently for Naftali ben Gila, one of the students wounded in the Mercaz HaRav shootings whose condition is drastically worsening

Anonymous said...

Did Man Evolve from Monkeys? [Q&A from Rav Aviner's radio show]

First of all, no one claims that man came directly from monkeys. Some say that man and monkeys have a shared ancestor, and this shared ancestor split into human beings and monkeys. There is actually a midrash in the Gemara in Sanhedrin (109a) that a part of the generation which built the Tower of Babel was transformed into monkeys. Our Rabbis teach with this midrash that people must be extremely careful, since the opposite can occur: people can turn into wild animals. People have a soul which was created in the image of G-d, but they are capable of turning into wild animals. We do not need to explain what it means for a man to turn into a wild animal, we have seen it on our flesh during our entire Exile, especially during the Holocaust. In the Land of Israel, there are also non-Jewish murderers who look like people on the outside, but are wild animals on the inside. Therefore, people are capable of returning to wild animals through their actions. This is what our Rabbis mean when they say that part of humanity turned into monkeys.

Regarding the essential question of whether Hashem created man directly from the earth or whether Hashem created man in a slow process from the earth in stages, we do not know factually, since we were not there. It is possible to explain the verses of the Torah either way. When the Torah says that Hashem took earth to make man, it is possible to explain that he created man in an instant and it is possible to explain that He created man in a long, long process. After all, we have found skeletons of creatures which are intermediates between man and monkey. We have found them in many places. We have also found drawing on walls in France from thirty thousand years ago. It is possible that these creatures were not like man, but had some intellect and knew how to draw. The simple meaning of the Torah is that Hashem created man directly from the earth, but it is possible to explain the beginning verses of the Book of Bereshit not according to their simple meaning, but as deep secrets.

Maran (our revered teacher) Rav Kook was asked this exact question in one of his letters (vol. 1 #91): They have found geographic layers, and these layers are found all around the earth and they can date the layers. They saw that in each layer there are the same skeletal fossils. This means that there were creatures in certain periods and then they became extinct and other creatures appeared. These are facts, not theory. Theory claims – and it needs to be proven – that the creatures evolved from one creature to the next. Obviously, a person who is an atheist says that the creatures evolved and a person who believes says that Hashem caused the evolution, just as a person who is an atheist says that a baby develops, and we say that Hashem caused him to develop. Maran Ha-Rav Kook was asked his view of this issue and responded that it is written in a midrash that our Rabbis said that Hashem created worlds and destroyed them before creating our current world (Bereshit Rabbah 3:7, 9:2 and Kohelet Rabbah 3:11). He explains that these finds in natural are the remnants of the destroyed worlds. The worlds were destroyed, but certain remnants remain.

In sum: We are involved with Torah; we are not involved with science. We love science, we respect science and we respect scientists. There is even a blessing upon seeing a great scientist: Blessed is Hashem…who gave of His wisdom to flesh and blood (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 224:7). The Torah, however, is not a science book. Whether man was created directly from the ground or from a long process is not the subject of the Torah. Our subject is how man needs to act. Our subject is not if man came from an animal, our subject is how not to be an animal. Science comes to describe the world. The Torah does not come to describe what is, but what should be. The Torah does not come to describe if we have a shared ancestor with the monkey, but to describe how not to be a wild animal and not to be a monkey, and how to have a pure soul and to be a holy and righteous person.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...
R' Yudel, even people who support you are puzzled why you don't hold of Haggada / the Volover's son.

The shtempel of the son even says it is "bepikuach" the Volover himself.

Yudel Shain said...
Remember the "MACHMIRIM" Hand Shmurah Matzos that was baked 2 years ago in Rumania (I think).

It was under Pesach Hashgocha of Reb Boruch & his Father the Volover Rav.

BTY Last years Machrim (also under Both Hashfgochas) was actually only a re-pack from previous year's matzos.

The original matzos [yes I spoke to Reb Boruch himself...]

The Volover never visited the Matzo bakery.

There were a total of 1-2 Mashgichim (that was also the total of frum people in the bakery operation. 1 of them was the Shieber (a kipah Sirugah'nik).

The women Rollers etc were not even Jewish, not sure about the Reddlers etc.

The 2 frum workers were in a foreign country for months on end, a whole day with the crew of Women etc.

The year prior there was a problem with the 13 sifters {wheat kernels landed up in the matzos R"L.

There was a lot more in the conversation....but there is no need to continue.

He was lacking in the basics...

Oh! I forgot 1 small item, The Mashgiach [per Eretz Yisroel info] had a problem with his foot so he couldn't go the first 2 weeks.

Anonymous said...
"The Mashgiach [per Eretz Yisroel info] had a problem with his foot so he couldn't go the first 2 weeks."

He must have the same podiatrist as one of Gornish's mashgichim who didn't show up for 3 weeks. Rabbi Gornish didn't even know about it and it was for a caterer whom Gornish mandated a mashgiach temidi because he was choshesh the owner wasn't really shomer Shabbos.

Oh, I also forgot one small item! The official Gornish "policy" is that he only takes Shomer Shabbos baalim yet this caterer is not the only establishment in contradiction of that "rule"!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I thought I saw some weird things in the matzos in Arizona. What do wheat kernels look like exactly?

Anonymous said...

"2 frum workers were in a foreign country for months on end, a whole day with the crew of Women"

R' Yoeylish Satmar ztl was goyzer that shoychtim for Alle can only go away for short times because of tayveh.

Anonymous said...

Machmirim Matzos in Rumania should be nominated for best company to work for. How do we sign up?

Anonymous said...


Shekel-scam conman back on the trains
By Leon Symons
The shekel scammer has struck again. At least seven more people have fallen prey to the man whose patter has separated Jewish travellers from their money.

However, British Transport Police hinted this week that they were stepping up their efforts to track down the man, who has wormed his way into the confidence of Jewish London Underground passengers.

He spins them a sob story about a sick relative, either a mother or child, and tells them that he has to fly back to Israel that day and needs to change shekels for pounds. He has used several names and has given false contact information.

BTP acting Detective Chief Inspector Jason Bunyard said: “We have reviewed closed circuit television from trains and stations and spoken to witnesses who have given us some very detailed information, which is assisting our investigation.”

One of two victims, who wished to remain anonymous said: “He asked me about train times, then told me he was from Jerusalem and that I looked Israeli, which isn’t true, although I do have slight Jewish ancestry and therefore got completely taken in by him and felt obliged to help.”

The second person to fall victim this week was a student, who handed over £60 to the man. Last week, the JC was told that the man had prised cash from five more people.

There is a history of tricksters who have targeted the Jewish community.

Last year, an 85-year-old Jewish man in Mill Hill was conned out of cash twice by a man who said he had lost his keys and needed to go to the Midlands.

In 2005, Barnet police smashed a £5 million postal fraud ring which extracted money mainly from the Orthodox community in Golders Green.

And in 2004, Israeli former taxi driver Moshe Zfaty was jailed for three years and four months at Harrow Crown Court for eight burglary and deception charges after he used religious garb and language to trick Jews in Hendon and Golders Green. He was told he would be deported at the end of his sentence.

In 2003 South Harrow police investigated three separate reports of a man with an Orthodox appearance trying to scam money from people in Stanmore. The bearded man, who wore a kippah and black coat, was claiming he had arrived from the US with his family, and was short of money for his wife’s doctor’s bill.

How the con works

- The man approaches a traveller on the Tube — often on the Northern or Central lines

- He sometimes speaks in Hebrew

- He almost always approaches people who appear to be religiously observant

- As soon as he has engaged people in conversation, he asks them if they are Israeli or Jewish

- He soon tells the traveller that he has either a sick mother or a sick child for whom he needs to buy medicines. He often carries a bag containing empty tablet boxes

- He asks for sterling in exchange for shekels, promising to repay the person in shekels. He never has the shekels, but sometimes promises a money order, which he never makes good on. So far, kind-hearted Londoners have given hundreds of pounds to the conman

Anonymous said...


Wesley Snipes could wind up with an Otisville ZIP code for the next three years, depending on the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

A federal judge in Florida last week sentenced the star of "White Men Can't Jump" and "Blade" to three years in prison for tax evasion. The judge, William T. Hodges, recommended that the Bureau of Prisons allow Snipes to do his time at a prison closest to his home in Alpine, N.J. That's 48 miles from the federal prison in Otisville, as the crow flies. The closest federal prison in New Jersey is at Fort Dix, way down toward Philly and 75 miles south of Casa Snipes.

If he does wind up in Otisville, Snipes could cross paths with Chris Colombo of Blooming Grove, whose famous late father, Joe Colombo, ran the Colombo Mafia family back in the day. Chris Colombo is due to surrender to the feds June 9, to begin serving a year and a day for a gambling conviction.

Anonymous said...


One of two remaining fugitives accused in an $11.6 million swindle from federal subsidy programs was arrested yesterday in London.

Avrum David Friesel, the son of New Square's mayor, was wanted from a 1997 indictment that accused him and six others of fraudulently obtaining federal funds for a variety of bogus educational and housing purposes.

Part of the scheme used Rockland Community College to funnel an estimated $5.1 million for several thousand students in a Judaic studies program that did not meet funding guidelines.

Friesel was arrested by London's Metropolitan Police Service at the request of the U.S. Attorney's Office. Details of his arrest and when he could be extradited to the United States were unavailable yesterday.

"It's a complex matter," U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Herbert Hadad said yesterday. "They've arrested him, and that's step one."

A London judge ordered Friesel to be jailed pending a May 7 bail hearing.

Friesel was one of three suspects who fled before a 1999 trial that led to the convictions of four others: Kalman Stern, David Goldstein, Jacob Elbaum and Benjamin Berger.

Their sentences, which ranged up to 70 months in prison, were commuted by President Clinton to between 24 and 30 months.

Another defendant, Chaim Berger, died of cancer in a North Carolina prison hospital in 2004 before completing a six-year sentence. He was 79 and was the father of defendant Benjamin Berger.

Chaim Berger had fled to Israel to avoid trial and was arrested there in 1998. He was returned to the United States in 2001. He pleaded guilty to masterminding a scheme that had lasted 20 years.

All the defendants were under a court order to make restitution. Each was to forfeit 10 percent of his gross monthly income.

The U.S. Attorney's Office was unable yesterday to provide details on the amount of restitution that had been paid.

Still at large is Nathan Adler, also known as Abraham Godlewsky. His whereabouts are unknown.

Friesel, now 55, is a former New Square village clerk. His father, Mates Friesel, has been the village's only mayor since the community was formed in 1961 by Skver Hasidic Jews from Brooklyn.

A message left for Mates Friesel at Village Hall was not returned yesterday, and a person answering the telephone at the Friesel home hung up without speaking to a reporter.

The 64-count indictment against Avrum David Friesel includes participating in a conspiracy that created phony entities purportedly eligible for federal assistance. It's charged that those entities submitted fraudulent documentation making New Square residents and others eligible for housing, education and small-business aid to which they were not entitled.

The conspiracy, which ran for two decades, was concealed by the use of false names and bank accounts and fraudulent income tax returns, according to prosecutors.

Among the programs defrauded were federal and state tuition assistance grants, a Small Business Administration program to aid small, minority-owned companies, the Section 8 rental subsidy program and an insurance benefit program run by the Social Security Administration.

In the case of the education grants, more than 3,000 students from New Square and Brooklyn enrolled in a Judaic studies program at Rockland Community College using independent-study mentors.

The students, however, were ineligible for the assistance because they took only religious courses. The U.S. Education Department estimated that $5.1 million was wrongly paid directly to students who the college had approved for aid.

The ensuing scandal rocked the college's administration and led to a local legislative uproar that called for strict oversight of the college and its finances.

Anonymous said...


NEW SQUARE - Federal agents used old-fashioned police work to track down fugitive Avrum David Friesel in London.

Information from sources refueled an 11-year search for the one-time New Square village clerk.

The U.S. Marshals Service helped London's Metropolitan Police set up a surveillance operation. On Tuesday, after a few weeks of watching and waiting, Metropolitan police stopped Friesel as he walked along a London street.

"Originally, he identified himself as someone else," Marshals Service spokesman William Dundon said yesterday. "That really didn't matter once his prints matched."

Friesel, a son of New Square's first and only mayor, fled the United States 11 years ago on the heels of a federal indictment charging him, five other village leaders and another man with stealing millions of dollars in federal education and other programs.

"Information came our way about some possible English ties," Dundon said. "We liked a few addresses where we thought he might be living. We contacted the London Metro police and they set up surveillance."

The Marshals Service sent the Metropolitan Police a dossier on Friesel, with photos, background history and fingerprints.

His arrest reopened a wound for New Square residents, many of whom had said more than a decade ago that they believed the seven men had used the money for the community's betterment.

Federal prosecutors and agents charged in an indictment and trial that the men had benefited personally through a series of scams that covered four decades.

Friesel's arrest was the talk of the close-knit village yesterday after religious services.

"He's a nice person and a good man," drywall contractor Mery Braun, 35, said outside a strip of stores on Jefferson Avenue.

Like others in New Square, who didn't want to give their names, Braun said he didn't believe Friesel had committed any crimes. Braun said he moved to New Square two years ago.

"I know he moved to London because his wife came from London," Braun said.

Several other New Square residents said they didn't know Friesel or his father, Mates, who has been the village's only mayor since it incorporated in 1961.

One village resident suggested that those with "white beards" - referring to older, more learned men -would know the Friesels and the investigation into the community during the 1990s.

A store owner said people had been talking about Friesel. He complimented the Friesel family, as he loaded his cold cabinet with drinks.

The case raised accusations of anti-Semitism when charges were filed. At one point in court before the trial, prosecutors said residents surrounded an investigator's car and warned potential targets via cell phone calls. Some residents called the government's tactics reminiscent of the Nazis, noting the village was home to many Holocaust survivors.

The government charged that Friesel and Chaim Berger led the conspiracy. Berger led a group of Skverer Hasidim to Ramapo in 1954 with orders from Grand Rebbe Jacob Joseph Twersky to establish a community on vacant land off Route 45, where the village is today.

Twersky led his followers from Old Square near Chernobyl through the Holocaust to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, after World War II.

Friesel was one of three suspects who fled before a 1999 trial that led to the convictions of Kalman Stern, David Goldstein, Jacob Elbaum and Benjamin Berger, Chaim Berger's son.

Their sentences, which ranged up to 70 months in prison, were commuted by President Clinton in 2001 to between 24 and 30 months.

Village resident Avrum Berger, 17, said he supported Friesel.

"He did nothing wrong," Berger said. "People are talking about this. Most people don't know what happened. They say, 'They caught him.' "

Anonymous said...


Saturday, April 26th 2008, 4:00 AM

Six mistresses at midtown S&M club Rebecca's Hidden Chamber agreed to supplement their $220 spankings with sex, according to court documents.

Angela Torregoza, 28; Elizabeth Brown, 27; Marilyn Kross, 34; Ashley Davitt, 24; Olivia Black, 39, and Heather Cousins, 19, were all charged with prostitution Thursday after cops hauled them out of the W. 31st St. dungeon.

The club was no secret to tenants in the small, dumpy building where johns ranging from Hasidic Jews to businessmen in limos came and went at all hours.

"In New York, you try to mind your own business, but you can only mind your own business so much," said Steve Cooper, 63, who lives and works in the building. "The UPS guy laughs with me when he delivers six giant boxes of adult diapers."

Anonymous said...


LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- A 500 pound man was being arraigned outside in his truck by a judge in Long Island, Thursday, because he was too heavy to get inside the courthouse.

Anonymous said...

I have smicha from the yeshiva on West 31st.

Anonymous said...

"Priests come here, Mormon bishops, a rabbi"


A major Hollywood movie is in production concerning the life of one of the most controversial figures in Nevada history. Joe Conforte was the first man to operate a licensed brothel in the state. The Mustang Ranch made him a multi-millionaire, but his ownership also drove him into exile.

He's been living in South America for the past 17 years and remains a wanted man here in the States. Conforte insists that while he is still wanted by the FBI, he is not a fugitive. Not technically anyway.

If he were to return, he'd be arrested immediately.

That's because federal authorities think Conforte secretly bought his own brothel out of an IRS bankruptcy, then funneled piles of money to himself while he was living on the run. And when we say living on the run, it's a relative term.

You could pick a worse place to hide out than Rio de Janeiro, a sprawling, cosmopolitan, hedonistic, oceanside paradise, known for skimpy attire and sizzling nightlife.

Over the years, other journalists have traveled to Rio to find Joe Conforte. Although he is wanted in the U.S., he stays in touch with friends back home and can be contacted with their help.

We were given an envelope with his address but were told to open it only after we got to Brazil. He lives in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in all of Rio.

The views from Conforte's two-story penthouse atop a beachfront condo tower are spectacular, the ocean on one side and jungle-covered mountains on the other. It's a vantage point made possible by long ago transactions in the dark cribs of Nevada brothels.

Conforte greeted us in silk pajamas, then introduced his newest female companion, an 18-year-old Brazilian who, for the time being, lives with the former bordello kingpin.

Later, Conforte's 12-year-old daughter Annabella joined her dad. Conforte admits that fathering children with Brazilian women was one way he's been able to dodge FBI efforts to haul him back to the states.

"Yes, I more or less thought that would be a good idea. But even all that wouldn't have made any difference if the Supreme Court ruled the other way," he said.

A decision by the Supreme Court of Brazil a few years ago put an end to U.S. extradition efforts once and for all. Without us asking, Conforte volunteered that he did not have to bribe the high court to get the ruling, "Because you can't bribe nine judges."

But he admits he's spent a lifetime buying off politicians and lawmen, "I've never met one that, at the right time, won't take money. Not one."

Everywhere we went in Rio, he stuffed money into outstretched hands. It's pretty much how he operated in Nevada for decades.

He started running small brothels in northern Nevada in the late 50's, years before they were legal. It took a lot of cash to stay in business long enough to get the first brothel license and to see the Mustang Ranch grow into a sex-fueled money machine.

At his peak, Conforte was the godfather of Storey County, a national celebrity and political power broker.

"At that time, just about every politician in Nevada was friendly to me. That's the only way I can describe it," he said.

He also handed out a lot of freebies to his friends in government. Conforte declines to name names on the record but says he had customers from many walks of life: cops, commissioners, legislators, two U.S. Senators and a lot more.

"Right this minute, there's a justice of the Supreme Court, of the U.S., not Nevada, that came to the Mustang Ranch. Priests come here, Mormon bishops, a rabbi," he said.

Despite having so many friends in high places, Conforte spent much of his life fighting the government. He served time for bribery and ran a casino while behind bars.

He left for Brazil the first time back in 1980, after the IRS said he owed millions in back taxes. He was talked into returning by federal agents so he could testify against his longtime friend, Federal Judge Harry Claiborne. He left for good in 1990, long before another federal indictment for tax and bankruptcy fraud.

Since he left before being charged, Conforte insists he is not technically a fugitive.

"Legally, there is no way they can get me anymore," he said.

In 2004, Conforte offered Nevada's U.S. Attorney $500,000 to settle his case and allow his return. The offer was rejected. He says he's no longer interested.

These days, his passions including playing cards a few times a week with pals at the Rio Bridge Club, or dining out with his female entourage.

During the years when the FBI was hot on his trail throughout Latin America, he got occasional questions about his background.

"Everybody at the racetrack knows this American comes and leaves good tips. They asked me, ‘Are you this guy?' and I said, ‘Yeah.' They said, ‘Okay, but while you're here don't open any whorehouses.'" he said.

Brothels are not legal in Brazil but are tolerated, Conforte says, adding that he has nothing to do with the business in that country.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know anything about Gombo who has a bakery in the Catskills and in Brooklyn?

Who gives him hashgocho?

Anonymous said...

I sniff in Vegas.

Anonymous said...

hi uoj,
i was wondering if anything is in the works of preventing Shlechter from coming to the tora umesora convention? let us know if you need help-please.

Anonymous said...

To Neandershort;

I could not help but thinking about a couple of comments that you posted in your last diatribe.

One is what you commented on Americans excepting authority and tearing pages in order to amend a textbook.

I would like to point out to you that 100 years ago Shabbos observance was a non-starter for most American Jewry because of employment needs. The Ritbaz found out the hard way in a meat freezer, what Americans will do to you if you try to impose authority regarding kashrus. In your first post you mentioned that what worked in mid-evil Europe does not belong in America.

The Europe that Rav Moshe came from was a communist paradise where torah and mitzva observance was banned. Also your favorite subject, evolution was the theme class of the day.

Also I do not know how you can compare evolution to atomic theory or the theory of relativity.

E=MC squared is a fact. Just ask any Japanese person about it. Also millions of homes are not powered everyday from a theory.

The theory of relativity is a fact. Otherwise interplanetary (space probes) travel would be impossible to negotiate.

It is also hard to comprehend why you think that the theory of evolution is so robust. There are many conflicting theories on how it might have been possible.Each with its strength and weaknesses. The only belief that is widely excepted by scientists is that evolution occurred. Again I repeat this is a belief like spontaneous generation. Another thing that at one point was widely held by scientists. Until a few months ago, it was widely believed by scientists that amino acids and proteins which are the building blocks of organic life here on earth, were photosynthesized in the oceans. Now based on new evidence it is widely believed that our amino acids came from outer space in the from meteors that impacted here.

Beliefs come and go, it is the Torah that stays the same.

Anonymous said...

from VIN:

Brooklyn, NY - Private Teacher Accused Of Molesting Brothers
Published on: 05-05-08 at 07:58 AM
פורסם: ל' ניסן תשס"ח
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Brooklyn, NY - A man who was helping two teenagers with their religious studies has been accused of molesting the boys.

Yona W., 29, was arrested on charges of abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
Yona is a paid employee at a synagogue and was working at a place that offered religious studies.

The victims, 13- and 14-year-old brothers, said Yona touched them on more than one occasion during their study sessions.
Police released limited information due to the nature of the charges. They said Yona was arrested in front of his home in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn.

Anonymous said...

(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) is likely to renegotiate its deal to buy Countrywide Financial Corp (CFC.N) down to the $0 to $2 level or completely WALK AWAY from it, said Friedman, Billings, Ramsey, which downgraded Countrywide to "underperform" from "market perform."

Countrywide's loan portfolio has deteriorated so rapidly that it currently has negative equity and the proposed takeover of the company will be a drag on Bank of America's earnings due to the elevated credit expenses at Countrywide, analyst Paul Miller wrote in a note to clients.

He cut his target on Countrywide's stock to $2 from $7.

Bank of America, which said in January it would buy Countrywide for $4 billion, said in a filing last week there was no assurance that any of the mortgage lender's outstanding debt would be redeemed, assumed or guaranteed.

"Bank of America announced that it might not guarantee Countrywide's debt, which is most likely the first step in renegotiating the entire deal," Miller said.

If mark-downs on Countrywide's loan portfolio are less than $22 billion, then Bank of America can likely offset the adjustments with fair value debt adjustments and the difference between tangible equity and its purchase price of Countrywide, he estimated.

"We estimate that if fair-value adjustments to the loan portfolio could exceed approximately $22 billion, this would increase the odds of Bank of America renegotiating the transaction or walking away," Miller said.

The analyst said Bank of America's announced purchase price allows for some adjustments to loan values as it is below Countrywide's first-quarter GAAP tangible equity of $11 billion.

Miller, however, added that given the rapid credit deterioration and weak secondary market demand, markdowns on Countrywide's loans could easily exceed Bank of America's estimates when the company performed due diligence and the cushion was built into the deal.

He expects markdowns on Countrywide's $95 billion loan portfolio -- which includes $28 billion of option adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), $14 billion of home equity line of credits (HELOCs), $20 billion of fixed rate second lien mortgages, and $19 billion of Hybrid ARMs -- to be material.

"We believe Countrywide has significant credit risk on its balance sheet, not only in its loan portfolio, but in its subprime and HELOC securities and residuals, its representations and warranties on loans sold, and in loans held outside of banking operations," Miller said.

On Friday, Standard & Poor's cut the credit rating of Countrywide to junk status on concerns that Bank of America may not support as much as $24 billion of the mortgage lender's debt once it completes its proposed takeover.

Countrywide, in a February regulatory filing, had said a loss of its investment grade rating would result in the acceleration of some secured debt obligations and hurt its ability to manage and hedge its inventory of loans.

In addition to increasing Countrywide's financing costs and potentially hurting its ability to attract and retain bank deposits, up to $4.2 billion of its custodial deposits could be transferred to another bank if it were cut below investment grade, the company had said.

Countrywide shares were trading down more than 8 percent at $5.49 before the bell, after closing at $5.98 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. Bank of America shares closed at $39.79 Friday.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Bartley Kulp: Getting into a debate with neanderthal regarding Reb moshe a"h is degrading to Reb Moshe a"h.

I too was sickened by this ahm ha'aretz attacking Reb Moshe a"h but defending anything Reb Moshe a"h did, said, or wrote gives the appearance that any sane person thinks there is a need to defend reb Moshe a"h.

Anonymous said...


You are correct and sound very level headed. Neander has an agenda or perhaps I should say a religon that he is blinded by and that ois the religon of science which in his mind is always correct. He will lie to prove his point by calling evolution a fact when it is only a theory as you stated.

He would rather believe in the religon of science then in the religon of our forefathers.

I appreciate your position because you do not denigrate science and its contributions, but rather point out some realities that need to be mentioned. "Religous" zombies like Neander will not acknowledge these realities because they blindly follow science even when logic tells them that science is not a proven fact. It is interesting that Neander is guilty of exactly what he says the religous jew is guilty of.

UOJ to some degree is too enamored of science calling the THEORY of EVOLUTION a FACT. Pretty scary! But, at least, UOJ admits that there are major issues with MACRO EVOLUTION and puts forward some alternate theories on the matter.

This is the danger of becoming so upset with the religon of our forefathers declaring that it is irrational and replacing it with a RATIONAL religon of SCIENCE that these people cling to with the SAME IRRATIONAL BELIEF that they accuse the believer of being guilty of.

THat is why I appreciate BArtley's point of view - one that states that TOrah is paramount, but deals with science in its own right, but not as a CULTISH BELIEF SYSTEM that can not be questioned.

Anonymous said...


Case of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

Paul Mendlowitz said...

Gould articulated his point of view very well with his doctrine - (NOMA) - look it up.

There is no contradiction between science and Torah - and if and when there is ( and it can't be reconciled) - or becomes a contradiction - the TORAH prevails!

Now, is that so difficult to comprehend?

Anonymous said...


Indeed, even as sex has become more openly a part of American popular culture, Orthodox leaders have increasingly emphasized a culture of modesty.

“Increased media exposure does force the issue a little bit more in the Orthodox community,” said Bat Sheva Marcus, clinical director of the Medical Center for Female Sexuality, which has offices in Manhattan and Purchase, N.Y. “But because of the tone the media takes, which is crass and nonrespectful, which the Orthodox community would say is nonholy, it’s discounted.”

Ms. Marcus is a medical sexologist and observant Jew, and finds that many of her Orthodox Jewish patients are unfamiliar with even the basics of sexual health.

She told the story of a young Hasidic woman who had been married two years without becoming pregnant. After seeing a fertility specialist, the woman was referred to Ms. Marcus, who discovered that the patient and her husband had no idea that they had never consummated their marriage.

“I have variations on that all the time,” Ms. Marcus said. “There’s a complete lack of information about their bodies below their navels.”

There are also pockets, like the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where there are many older singles, said David Pelcovitz, professor of education and psychology at Yeshiva University, who spoke at a two-session forum in January at a synagogue there, Congregation Ohab Zedek, that drew some 200 people.

“We heard some of the frustrations and challenges of the Modern Orthodox single community, in terms of their sexuality,” Professor Pelcovitz said. “People were really happy that it was being addressed. They’re single for longer periods of time, and sexual human beings, yet living under ethical guidelines that don’t allow them to engage it.”

“I don’t know that it would have taken place a few years ago,” he said of the forum. “Now, the community was willing to have it.”

Anonymous said...


Years ago, a long probe began when the State Comptroller's Office turned up peculiarities in an RCC program. Federal investigators took over; they found that not only was the RCC Judaic Studies program being used to gain tuition grants for fake students, but that millions of dollars were being siphoned from federal anti-poverty programs. Seven men, including Friesel, a former village clerk and son of the founding and current New Square mayor, were hit with a 64-count indictment that included various charges of conspiracy to defraud the government, embezzlement, money laundering, making false statements, and wire and mail fraud.

The scandal caused considerable harm at RCC. First the state Comptroller's Office turned up $11.7 million in tuition subsidies improperly obtained for more than 3,000 "students" enrolled in RCC's Judaic Studies program from 1982 until 1993. The probe grew from there. Leadership at the college was thrown into a tizzy. The Rockland County Legislature clamped down tight on the Board of Trustees, a move designed to increase oversight but ended up smacking of micromanagement and political interference. The college president was driven out, and a string of leaders came and went as the campus tried to regain its good name. The amount of money involved certainly added to the tarnish. The college eventually repaid $5.2 million in taxpayer dollars as a settlement, leaving the two-year school on the verge of financial ruin. Cuts hurt programs and morale for years. The taint of the Judaic Studies scandal was so painful, it was only in the last two years that the college catalog has contained any type of classes focusing on Jewish religion or culture - quite an omission in a county that is one-third Jewish.

Focus on New Square
So the Friesel arrest focuses fresh attention on New Square. Although prosecutors said that most villagers, some of whom were listed as "students" in the RCC program, had no idea their identities were being appropriated, the wider community has long shouldered blame. New Square's leadership hasn't always helped matters. In fact, the village at one point called upon its public relations firm to point fingers at college administrators for any "alleged" educational deficiencies, and then later to accuse U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White of executing a "vendetta" against the community.

Then there was the Clinton angle. During her first run for Senate, Hillary Clinton and other elected officials made a call on Grand Rabbi David Twersky at his home in New Square. That is not unusual in Rockland politics. In November 2000, the First Lady took New Square, 1,400 to 12 votes, over Rick Lazio, her Republican foe. Such bloc voting had been going on for decades, but this was the first time anyone outside Rockland cared to notice. Matters were complicated further when the rabbi met privately with the Clintons at the White House in December 2000. Then on his last day in office, Jan. 20, 2001, President Clinton reduced the federal prison sentences of what became known as the "New Square Four."

CuttheBS wrote:

The end of the Journal News Editorial takes the typical P.C. stance that the whole New Square community should not be held responsible for the acts of a few. THE ACTS OF A FEW !? The journal News should check its own back issues ! Don't you guys recal how when the investigation started and Federal Officers attempted to issue supeoneas to suspects in New Square , that community followed the investigators from house to house calling the suspects telling them to not answer the door? Or how when a female Federal Officer attempted to serve a papers she was chased from the area while leaving in her car by females from that community in their cars? I challenge the Journal News to name ONE member of that community who co-operated with the investigation, and I mean prior to being caught and making a deal ! The incidents I mention all were reported in YOUR PAPER ! White collar crime in the Hasidic community is epidemic ! Why do you think they were the ones most against finger printing to check for welfare fraud ! And before anyone calls me anti-semitic I challenge you to disprove one point made by me. They were all reported by this paper when they occured.

And Jewish politicians like Sam Coleman should check Their hypocrisy at the door. Sam demanded the persons found guilty be released to be home to be with their families for the Jewish holidays after serving mere monhts for the theft of TENS OF MILLIONS from us ! And we all know how Bill and Hillary obliged. Sams the same guy who would demand punishment for some guy who'd steal $100.00 dollars from the till of some store.

Anonymous said...

Menacem Daum is the creator and voice on that documentary of the sexist womanizer and rapist Shlomo the Hippey Carlebach. And Daum is a cardcarrying member of the Ger community in boro park on 18th ave

Anonymous said...

We were the ones who caught Belsky red handed on camera at Musicon.


Animal rights activists reveal their own (kosher) identity

By Marissa Brostoff, The Forward

When AgriProcessors, America's largest kosher slaughterhouse, was caught on tape conducting what a federal agency later called "acts of inhumane slaughter," officials at the plant knew they had been infiltrated by undercover investigators. What the company didn't know was that two of those infiltrators were a married couple who keep kosher themselves.

Meet Hannah and Philip Schein, undercover investigators for the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Now, for the first time, they are going public with their identities.

Since 2002, the Scheins have taken on about 20 undercover cases, as well as others they have conducted publicly. The targets of their stings have run the gamut from an egg farm managed by Trappist monks, to a Canadian bear-baiting operation that has supplied fur to the British Royal Guards, to songstress Beyoncé Knowles, once an enthusiastic wearer of fur.

But thanks to their background and their knowledge of the laws of kashrut, Hannah, 33, and Philip, 43, have come to specialize in investigating kosher slaughterhouses. Indeed, PETA had not investigated kosher operations until the Scheins came on board; since then, the group has been involved in about eight such cases. Philip in particular has been credited with becoming an expert on kosher slaughter.

"If it weren't for Philip and his interest and pursuit of this issue, I'm not sure that we would have been able to do those investigations," said Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA's vice president of cruelty investigations. "They were Philip's brainchild."

The Scheins' - and PETA's - first investigation of a kosher slaughterhouse took place in 2004, when the organization obtained footage of cows walking around with their throats cut at AgriProcessors' plant in Postville, Iowa. Hannah had trained the investigators who went undercover for the exposé, and Philip analyzed the video footage that PETA subsequently received.

Under pressure from rabbis as well as animal rights groups and government agencies, the company promised to change its slaughtering procedures, though AgriProcessors has been the subject of several more of the Scheins' investigations.

An AgriProcessors representative declined to comment for this article. But Norman Schlaff, the owner of the Musicon Farm in Gosha, N.Y., was willing to discuss his experience with the Scheins, who paid an undercover visit to his kosher deer slaughterhouse last year.

Schlaff said that two young people who appeared to be a Modern Orthodox couple toured the farm and, like many of his visitors who wish to ensure that their meat is kosher, took videos and photographs of the slaughtering process.

"The next day, PETA called and said, 'Go on the Internet,'" Schlaff said.

He found a page on the group's Web site that accused slaughterers at the farm of sitting on the deer to hold them down while their throats are slit, an allegation that Schlaff denies. "It was really very disturbing," Schlaff said of the unwelcome attention he received after the PETA article. "I got thousands of e-mails, including some death threats from people saying, 'We're going to do to you what you do to the deer.'"

The Scheins maintain that they want only for kosher slaughter to live up to what they consider its original purpose: to minimize the suffering of the animals. Orthodox Jewish standards of kashrut have "gotten so focused on the letter of the law that they've lost sight of the fact that [kashrut] is about reducing suffering," Hannah said.

But according to Rabbi Menachem Genack, head of the Orthodox Union's kashrut division, liberal Jews such as the Scheins are using the term "kosher" as a "generic phrase" to denote practices they consider morally acceptable, thus missing the "fundamental issue" of kashrut: obedience to Jewish law.

Hannah and Philip are currently working (openly) on a project to reform what they say are animal abuses committed in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in the course of observing the pre-Yom Kippur absolution ritual known as kapparot.

The kapparot crackdown may cause a stir in such Orthodox enclaves as Brooklyn's Boro Park, but it probably will not get as much attention on celebrity gossip blogs as Hannah's encounter last year with Beyoncé. After PETA won a dinner with the singer in an auction, Hannah and a second PETA employee, armed with a hidden camera, sat down with her and accused the star of being complicit in the abuse of animals by using fur in her wardrobe and in her clothing line, House of Dereon.

"I can't tell you how quickly they escorted us out of there,? Hannah said. She added that Beyonce has not been seen in fur since.

Though a glimpse at the Scheins' career makes them sound like Erin Brockovich-style crusaders, their partnership started out far more innocuously. Hannah and Philip met at a 1998 orientation for new professionals in the Jewish campus organization Hillel. They married a year later in New Jersey, right after Hillel's 1999 conference ended.

In 2002, Hannah took a job in PETA's investigations department, and the Scheins moved from upstate New York, where both had been working on graduate degrees, to a town near Norfolk, Virginia, where PETA is headquartered. Shortly thereafter, Philip, a longtime vegan and animal rights advocate, joined Hannah at the organization.

The Scheins have decided to go public as part of a publicity bid for PETA. Despite the sensitive nature of their undercover work, they say they are not worried about the media attention.

Their confidence in their ability to carry on undercover investigations - and to have carried out so many in the first place appears to be rooted in the techniques they use when they go undercover, which they will not divulge.

"We're still active investigators, so we don't really share our methods," Hannah said.

But she added, "Everything we do is legal."

Anonymous said...

Who is this Yona guy arrested in Flatbush for molesting 2 brothers at bar mitzva lessons.

Anonymous said...

I molested two kids. Big deal Kolko molested hundreds.

Anonymous said...


by Adam Dickter
Assistant Managing Editor

Likening a chasidic patrol group to the violent Crips and Bloods street gangs, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes has taken the rare step of ordering a grand jury to investigate the April 14 beating of an African-American man in Crown Heights, an incident in which he says members of the patrol group may be involved.

“There is an identifiable group that knows what happened to that kid and they are stonewalling it,” said Hynes of the investigation into the attack on Andrew Charles, 20, who said he was sprayed with mace and struck by two individuals described by witnesses as chasidic men. “I’m just not going to allow that.”

The Bloods and Crips are violent urban street gangs that originated in South Central Los Angeles in the late 1960s and early ‘70s.

Hynes drew a distinction between the Shmira group, whose members he described as “renegades,” and the “established” and “respectable” Shomrim Patrol, which works in coordination with the police, and whose members Hynes said he has honored at community events.

Shmira director Yossie Stern responded that it was “reckless for politicians or community leaders to name names and point fingers at people or organizations, blaming them for an incident that allegedly happened on the streets of Crown Heights without having the facts.”

Anonymous said...


Instead of tents, today's "wanderers" celebrated in luxury at four Valley resorts: The Arizona Biltmore, JW Marriott Desert Ridge, the Millennium Resort Scottsdale McCormick Ranch and the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

They dined on modern-day manna in the form of bagels (made from potato starch), made-to-order omelets, Belgian waffles, chocolate soufflÇs, pancakes, pizzas, pastries and sushi (made with quinoa instead of rice).

About 300 people attended the Vaad's first Passover program about 13 years ago, Rebibo said, and since then it has grown significantly. Past programs were held in Valley resorts, but after the program outgrew those facilities, the Vaad moved to the Biltmore. This year's ninth annual V.I.P. Passover program at the Biltmore had nearly 1,200 people. The Vaad also supervised the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, which was hosted by Presidential Kosher Holidays and had about 700 guests.

The JW Marriott Desert Ridge program hosted by Lasko Tours had 750 guests, according to a company representative; this is the fourth year it was held in Phoenix and was supervised by the Orthodox Rabbinical Board (ORB) of Florida.

New this year was the Paradise Kosher Tours program at the Millennium Resort Scottsdale McCormick Ranch, which had 460 guests, according to a spokesman, and was supervised by the Organized Kashrus Laboratories (OK).

And there was plenty of food. Breakfast alone offered omelet, pancake, matzah brei and Belgian waffle stations, fresh fruit, a variety of cheeses and lox, bagels and cream cheese, and pastries.

In addition to the elaborate meals, most served buffet-style with the exception of Shabbat and Yom Tov meals, there was also a tearoom, which was open most of the day. The tearoom, with an "Alice in Wonderland" theme, colorfully presented chocolates, slushies, fresh coffee, freshly glazed nuts, pastries, candy, candy and more candy. Sushi chefs prepared their creations at a sushi bar in the corner.

The grill on the lawn, open for lunch and dinner, served hamburgers and hot dogs - on buns made from potato starch - and french fries.

For those guests heading out on day trips, a room offered the fixings so they could prepare their own to-go boxes.

Daytime camp activities for the younger crowd include pony rides, a petting zoo and day trips to the Stuffington Bear Factory and Makutu's Island (day trips cost extra), while older children go bowling and rock-climbing.

During chol ha'moed (the intermediary days), guests can also choose from a number of day trips, at an extra cost, to local museums and even a day trip to Sedona or the Grand Canyon.

Adults have a wide range of other programming, too. Featured speakers at the Biltmore included Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center; Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the center; Richard Joel, president of Yeshiva University; Sir Martin Gilbert, a historian who is Winston Churchill's official biographer; and Marvin Silbermintz, a "Tonight Show" writer and comedian from Los Angeles.

This was Silbermintz's third stay at the Biltmore for Passover. During chol ha'moed, he flew to Cancun to perform at another Passover resort there. He's spent time at numerous Passover programs since 1991, including those in Los Angeles, Hawaii, San Diego, Calif., Palm Springs, Calif., and Park City, Utah. "This program is really the best," he said of the Biltmore, commenting on the extensive food options and the "incredible service." He especially enjoys the coffee choices - he conducted a taste test between the resort's cappuccino and latte one morning during breakfast - and the "beef on a stick" served daily on the grill set up on the resort's main lawn.

Another guest was Steven Spielberg, who attended the program with his (non-Jewish wife and) family.

Many who come to the Biltmore used to go to Miami, Rebibo said, and they've told him that they wanted to try something new. The first-class resorts and the weather don't hurt, either, as well as the tourist offerings.

One problem that occurred this year with the influx of visitors happened at the airport, according to Rebibo. The Vaad received several calls from people whose flights were rerouted or bumped. "They had a lot of problems getting in and out of town," he said.

At least the modern-day Israelites didn't have to wait 40 years to get to their destination.

Anonymous said...


After his 11 p.m. Sunday arrest Yona Weinberg, 29, of 1551-A East 17th St., Brooklyn, was charged with sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a minor, the police said.

Anonymous said...


See this picture. There is a mikva on site called Mei Mordechai, donated by the Goldgrab family. Which shul is that?

Anonymous said...

Someone writing on the ABC News reader comments says Yona Weinberg is a practicing Social Worker at the Interborough clinic and Jewish Board of Family and Children Services.

Anonymous said...



Brooklyn Man Accused Of Molesting Brothers

POSTED: 6:52 am EDT May 5, 2008
UPDATED: 8:23 am EDT May 5, 2008

NEW YORK -- A Brooklyn man who was helping two teenagers with their religious studies has been accused of molesting the boys.

Yona Weinberg, 29, was arrested at around 9 p.m. Sunday night on charges of sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

Weinberg is a paid employee at a synagogue and was working at a place that offered religious studies, police said.

The victims, 13- and 14-year-old brothers, said Weinberg touched their private parts on more than one occasion during their study sessions, police said.

Police released limited information due to the nature of the charges. They said Weinberg was arrested in front of his home.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

BOSTON (MarketWatch) -- Countrywide Financial Corp. now finds itself in a situation similar to the one faced by many of its customers: The mortgage giant owes more money than its financial house is worth, which could ice a pending merger with Bank of America Corp.

Like a strapped homeowner hit by falling housing prices, Calabasas, Calif.-based Countrywide (CFC:Countrywide Financial Corp
CFC 5.08, -0.90, -15.0%) has been caught in the negative equity trap as it has more debt outstanding than assets backing it.

As a result, Bank of America (may back away from or renegotiate its $4 billion deal to acquire Countrywide, a Wall Street analyst said Monday.

"Countrywide's loan portfolio has deteriorated so rapidly that Countrywide currently has negative equity, and the acquisition will be a drag on Bank of America's earnings as it works through the elevated credit expenses at Countrywide," wrote Friedman Billings Ramsey analysts led by Paul Miller.

In a research note, they cut their price target on Countrywide shares to $2 from $7, and lowered the company's rating to underperform from market perform.

Shares of Countrywide were off nearly 13% at last check, changing hands at $5.22.

"Given continued deterioration in Countrywide's loan book and weak pricing for non-agency loans in the secondary market, Bank of America could face $20 billion to $30 billion of loan write-downs when it closes the Countrywide transaction," FBR said.

The analysts predicted that Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America will likely renegotiate the deal to $2 a share or less, and force the owners of Countrywide bonds to swallow the rest of the potential charges. All the same, they'd like to see a more drastic step taken.

"Bank of America should completely walk away from the Countrywide deal, as Countrywide's loan portfolio will prove a drag on earnings and could force Bank of America to raise additional capital," Miller wrote.

'First step'

Last week, Bank of America in a regulatory filing said it might not back Countrywide's debt.
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Friday it lowered ratings on Countrywide due to the disclosure from Bank of America that there was no assurance that any of Countrywide's debt would be "redeemed, assumed or guaranteed" after their pending merger, according to the ratings agency.

FBR called Bank of America's filing "most likely the first step in renegotiating the entire deal."
Countrywide in January agreed to be acquired by Bank of America, which at the time said it expected the deal to close in the third quarter.

Late last month, Countrywide reported it swung to a first-quarter loss of nearly $900 million. The company also said it would increase its residential loan-loss provision to $1.5 billion as it struggles to get a handle on rising delinquencies and plummeting home values. See full story.

"Countrywide's credit quality continued to deteriorate in the first quarter," FBR said in Monday's investor note. There exists "significant credit risk" in Countrywide's loan portfolio, which could see big mark-downs if the acquisition closes.

"If fair-value marks sufficiently exceed Bank of America's projections at the time of its due diligence, we believe the deal price for the purchase of Countrywide could be renegotiated lower, or Bank of America could (and should) decide to walk away," the analysts wrote.

They estimated Bank of America could digest $22 billion worth of mark-downs in the Countrywide loan portfolio, adding: "If the loan portfolio marks exceed $22 billion, Bank of America becomes increasingly likely to renegotiate transaction terms."

John Spence is a reporter for MarketWatch in Boston.

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