Cooperation and Mutual Respect in Ocean County – Letter to Editor



I am a 25 year resident of the Jersey Shore and a 3 year resident of

our Jersey Shore town.


I have been watching closely the issues surrounding the

growth of Lakewood and the expansion of the Orthodox

community into our Jersey Shore town.

I have heard they are all ready in the southern

part of our Jersey Shore town and are buying up businesses.

I have also heard that they had bought up

a lot of land in our town years ago.

I have seen what has happened in Jackson and it

is so disheartening. Jackson has not been respectful

of their growth and now has federal lawsuits pending against it.


Has your group been aware of the future growth of

the Orthodox community into our town and what to

anticipate as far as funding to our public schools,

land use laws, and RLUIPA ? I welcome the

Orthodox community, but I want

to see responsible development, environmental

sustainability and preservation of the beautiful

rural character of our town. I do not want us to be

slapped with lawsuits like Jackson. I certainly do not

want our town to look like Lakewood either.


I would like to see us work with the Orthodox community

and not see it  divide our community like it has in Jackson.


Again, I hope I have not come across as disrespectful to

the Orthodox community, but I want to see our town

welcome them yet balance it with responsible

development and not have political tensions and

conflict which has also happened in Rockland

and Orange County, NY.


Haredim, Not Ultra-Orthodox, A Linguistic Change and “Otherness”

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 2014.

Valid Point, Ultra-Orthodox May be Derogatory. Thanks for the Clarification – But Which Jew is the “Other”?

Dear Reader:

We have been using the term Ultra-Orthodox since this blog’s inception, primarily because Hared, Haredi or plural Haredim are Hebrew words; and because knowing the difference between those who view themselves as “Hasidim” and those who do not is simply too hard to define. We have not intentionally been trying to offend, demean or place any group into the category of an “other”. When we have referred to radical – we have used the term “radical” or “fundamentalist”. 

However, the point of the opinion below, posted in the NY Times is very valid and we thank Avi Shafran for pointing out something many of us did not know. We also apologize for the offense.

As to his comments about the “bloc” however, we beg to disagree. The Haredi community tends to vote as a bloc, at least in Rockland County, New York, Lakewood, New Jersey, London, England, throughout Israel, and in other areas where there are a large population of Haredim living together. The numbers speak to that point. We therefore believe that to take offense to the term “bloc” is hyper-sensitive. A voting bloc is a function of mathematics and nothing more.  That said, we are not Haredim so far be it for us to judge; and we will do our best to respect the sensitivity.

There is one thing we would like to point out to Mr. Shafran, for whom we have the utmost respect. The Haredim have chosen to live together in highly exclusionary communities. For the most part in areas like New Square, New York, and Kiryas Joel (n/k/a Palm Tree, New York) outsiders are wholly and entirely unwelcome into those communities. The people who have chosen to make a modern-day Shtetl out of a community cannot then complain about the lens from which the “outsiders” – everyone else –  view them, namely as others. That is not anti-Semitic. It is a function of feeling like a bean in a bag of rice.  Moreover, many of us feel an non-Haredi subtle “otehrness.”

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Abuse Victim Manny Waks – AUS $800K in Damages from David Cyprys

Abuse victim Manny Waks wins $800,000 in damages from paedophile David Cyprys

Waks, now an advocate for Jewish abuse victims, was one of a number of children Cyprys abused at Melbourne’s Chabad Yeshivah centre


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Platinum Partners – Can the Charges Stick? If not, We are All Doomed…


Dear Readers:

We cannot overstate the importance of the verdict in the Platinum Partners’ case. The complexities involved in the scams perpetrated on investors, as well as the historical practice of the Defendants can also not be overstated. We followed Platinum for years. There was more than enough evidence to obtain a conviction. Those convictions should stand.

But then, there’s a master orator and talented attorney… Jose Baez.

Jose Baez, whose talent as a show-man, a skilled craftsman and an artist within a legal defense career, can only be admired by those of us who don’t have that type of skill. In a creative and theatrical cinematic courtroom performance, Baez likened the Platinum Partners scheme to a “run on the bank” of the It’s a Wonderful Life variety. He made a direct analogy between George Bailey and the Defendants, trying to place them in the same heroic conundrum of Bailey. What a way to ruin a great Jimmy Stewart movie. 

The major problem with that analogy is that George Bailey did not defraud people out of money. To the contrary, he was prepared to go to jail if the envelope of money was not found. He was prepared to be accountable to the bank’s clients.  The Platinum Partners’ funds did not misplace the money in an envelope. There were no absent-minded employees. Platinum Partners’ assets were intentionally, carefully, and craftily transferred to the benefit of the same partners in other funds. Platinum’s Partners could not meet redemptions because the entire movement of assets by the fund was one scheme after another, a series of  misrepresentations and untruths told to investors. There is no correlation. If anything, the closest comparison to any character from It’s a Wonderful Life is one that makes an analogy between Mark Nordlicht and Mr. Potter, the story’s antagonist who refused to lend Bailey money and wanted to close the bank and destroy the Bailey family.

Unlike the It’s a Wonderful Life story, Platinum Partners were not protagonists, kind decent people who made a terrible and hapless error. To turn Mark Nordlicht into George Bailey is like turning  John and Timothy Rigas into the Bailey Brothers or, Anna Gristina into a virgin. Just not happening… 

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Weinstein Trial -The Public Tentacles of a High Priced Defense Team – and Is a “Transactional Encounter” a Choice?

When the Most Powerful Man in Hollywood Tells you Sex is the Currency, is There Really any Choice?

Dear Readers:

Seven men and five women are in the process of deliberating on the charges against Harvey Weinstein. It is alleged by the defense that “regret” has been “renamed as rape” by the accusers (view here). We wholly disagree. As a point of full disclosure, this is the opinion of a random blogger who has had no contact with anyone in the case. It should be viewed as nothing more.

The below article from the NY Times and the follow-up additional reading are hard to wrap one’s head around. There should not be a world where sex is currency. The professional lives of women should not be judged on sexual prowess. In Weinstein’s world, he was the power-broker, the gatekeeper, the Don. This was far greater than a job interview and the allegations against Harvey Wenstein should be viewed in the context of the world in which he behaved. Sexual favors should not have been an available currency for him nor should they be for any employer in any profession.  

Moreover, if women believe that the “sex-as-currency” defense is how high-priced defenses are allowed to play out in court, how many will keep quiet to avoid the ridicule going forward?   

Harvey Weistein was brilliant in his professional life, the creator of a phenomenon, particularly for those of us who love movies, cherish the escape and can readily relish in a day of one movie after another. That talent and vision cannot be taken away or taken lightly. With great power comes great responsibility. He had young actresses’ dreams in his hands. He should have treated them with care, treaded lightly. The problem with this entire case is that he was flippant with dreams and willing to exploit the vulnerable; and his defense is trying to decriminalize that and make it “okay.” In our opinion that is a mischaracterization and unacceptable.

The price many women had to pay to be a part of Weinstein’s incredible art was far too high, not a choice between “yes” and “no” a choice between acting a giving up the dream. Did those women really have a choice if they wanted to act? 

Harvey Weinstein knows the sex was not consensual even if it was not forcible; and for some it was forced.  The underlying structure of the word “choice” in his world is laden with the notion of duress, and laced with Weinstein’s status as the visionary. We hope the jury can see his actions for what they were, pressure to perform sexually if an actress ever wanted a place in Hollywood. That is not consensual sex.

In the interest of full disclosure, the prosecution team has had nothing to do with the publication of this opinion, an alternate plea to the jury, to give the victims justice.

Dear Jurors,

Harvey Weinstein was Hollywood. He was the embodiment of what it meant to become an actress. He was the authority of what was good or bad. He had the power to decide who could live or who could die (figuratively speaking) in the field of acting. Getting past the Weinstein gatekeeper was not a choice. And if that “transaction” was the price of stardom, it was not consensual but manipulated, almost like drugging a date who decided to take a drink but did not realize that drink was laced with MDMA.     

Aspiring actresses live and breathe their professions. It is a different thing for a female attorney, securities trader or CPA. We have transcripts, writings, reports that we can submit to prove our worthiness, our talent. We have bar exams to pass. Series exams to overcome. We are not screen-tested. Our success or failure is mathematically quantifiable. We choose to take the bar exam or the Series 7 exam but we can do it with our clothes on. And the examiners do not have the power to have us blacklisted if we fail, if it takes a few times to pass or if we do not score well. There is an objective measure of our talent and then success is generally ours to own. That is a choice.

The film industry is a wholly different animal. Everything is subjective. In Weinstein’s case, his opinion mattered.  It did not only matter to him. He had the power to make or break an aspiring actress, the power to blacklist, the power to create and destroy. That is not a mere choice of “Yes” or “No”. And, according to at least one victim, he used that power to excess.

Unlike other professions, acting is as much a craft as it is an artistic endeavor.  But to master that craft, the artist must give of herself, must be vulnerable, must be open to some form of exploitation, whether it’s looks, or shape or figure or voice. That’s a wholly different reality in professional terms. But sexual exploitation should not have been an option, a part of the equation. Weinstein created an environment where the rules of the game were different, unacceptable, manipulative; and they were his rules.

Weinstein’s attorneys are using the argument that sex as a currency was a choice, that this is the difference between immoral and criminal behavior. It was not. Being cordial to one’s attacker does not diminish the attack. It speaks to the strength of the victim not the weakness of the narrative.

How could sex have been a choice when Weinstein largely determined how an aspiring actress was viewed by all of Hollywood? He was the immortal in a world of mere mortals. Sexual favors for an aspiring actress was not a choice if he could kill the career of someone who defied him.

Harvey Weinstein was so much the visionary that the lens from which he viewed people, aspiring actresses, was often the standard measure from which others viewed those same actresses; and he knew it. He manipulated reality and preyed on the dreamers. He laced the proverbial drinks.

One can only imagine what it took for some of Weinstein’s alleged victims to succumb to Weinstein’s demands so as to be viewed through his eyes. But was that trade really consensual if not making the trade had the power to destroy the dream?

For the women who claimed to have been forcibly raped, one can only imagine what it took to get past Weinstein’s efforts to chill speech in order to speak out and tell their stories. This was not a trade – sexual favors in exchange for a chance at stardom. Sex was not a chosen currency it was manipulated as a dream-catcher. 

Aspiring actresses, for whom film is/was the lifelong dream, had no choices if they wanted to make it into the profession. They had to drink. Sex with Harvey Weinstein was not a choice.

The bar exam is a choice. Sex is victimization.  Harvey Weinstein was not a bar-examiner. He, in this blogger’s opinion, was a predator.

This is just the opinion of a blogger.  

Weinstein’s Lawyer Wrote an Article Addressing Jurors. The Judge Is Unhappy.

The film producer’s lawyer urged jurors to do “what they know is right,’’ prompting the prosecution to complain of jury tampering.

Over the weekend, just days before jurors in the Harvey Weinstein case were set to begin deliberations, his lead defense lawyer, Donna Rotunno, wrote an opinion piece imploring them “to do what they know is right.”

The article in Newsweek magazine infuriated the Manhattan district attorney’s office, and on Tuesday the lead prosecutor, Joan Illuzzi, called Ms. Rotunno’s behavior “inappropriate,” and tantamount to jury tampering.

The judge ordered the defense team not to speak to the news media until after a verdict is reached.

“Defense team you are ordered to refrain from communicating with the press until there is a verdict in the case,” Justice James M. Burke told Mr. Weinstein’s lawyers. “I would caution you about the tentacles of your public relations juggernaut.”

The jurors were not in the courtroom at the time. As in many high-profile cases, jurors have been reminded every day by the judge not to follow any news media coverage of the case.

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A lawyer for Harvey Weinstein told jurors on Thursday that he was the victim of an “overzealous prosecution” and that prosecutors were acting like moviemakers, inventing an alternative world in which women are not responsible for their own behavior.

During a five-hour closing argument, the lawyer, Donna Rotunno, argued that Mr. Weinstein’s accusers had chosen to engage in consensual and often transactional relationships with him to advance their own careers.

A Guilty Pleasure, Taking a Break and the Importance of Art and Movement


Sometimes we Just Need a Guilty Pleasure…

To those of you who read the information and opinions posted on these pages on a non-Kosher or hidden telephone, there’s a whole world you are missing.

This blogger decided to post something that is absolutely spectacular to watch. It is artistic and puts into movement some of the many things that we, as humans, are at a loss to express in words.

This is the purest expression of beauty free from insult, hyperbole, opinion or human flaws.


The Anti-Semitism Mantra and the Victimized, Who Really are the Victims?


Who is Really Creating the Narrative?

Weaponizing the anti-Semitism “Mantra”

For those readers who do not know the definition, a “Mantra” is a slogan that is repeated over and over again for the purposes of concentration or meditation. It is, in other words, a form of mind-control. Some might say it can be a form of brainwashing. At it’s purest, a Mantra can be powerful tool for self-awareness, calm, a sense of peace. But, like all else, the pendulum swings both ways. Yin has its Yang.

Anti-Semitism as a Mantra, when used in weaponized form by those who would prefer to  distract attention from their behavior, shields any and all scrutiny. Criticism of the behavior gets viewed through the lens of a hater and not simply an investigator. As such the group, however irrelevant to the narrative, gets to act with impunity. The constant repetitive use of the term anti-Semitism is tragic insofar as it diminishes the value of the events and circumstances in historical context that led to the very word’s development in Judeo-Christian lexicon, the slaughter of millions of Jews.

While there have been other mass slaughters of people in human history, there does not appear to be a similar term for those who hate or show hostility against a group of people. The events of September 11, 2001, rightfully or wrongfully, led to a fear of and hostility towards overtly religious Muslims; but there is no similar word that describes that “group-hate” mentality. While anti-Semite might apply, it has not developed to describe the hatred towards Muslims.

African Americans and People of Color (trying to be sensitive with word use here) were enslaved, tortured, bought and sold as chattel and yet actions against them did not lead to a single defined term. Those who hate people of color are simply bigots or racists. Those who hate Asians don’t get a special adjective to describe them, nor do those who hate… well, you get the general gist. Haters of any particular group for whatever reason are defined under a single umbrella – bigot or racist.

Anti-Semitism was uniquely created as a term by history. It is now being uniquely weaponized as a mantra by behavior. That is a frightening and tragic reality. 

We have stated before and will repeat our sentiments here that the insidious distrust and tensions pervading New York and New Jersey are not foundationally about anti-Semitism. They are about over-development, unequal treatment under the law, corruption, judicial impropriety and a whole host of other indignities being perpetrated upon a myriad of different communities, including Jews. That the perpetrators are in large part ultra-Orthodox Jews is a function of the crime statistics and not a function of the community viewing that group harshly.

At least it did not begin that way.

Anyone who wants to turn the scrutiny of the behavior of: developers, landlords, tenants, not-for-profits, LLC’s, school board members, community members, community leaders and the list goes on, into a discussion of hate is allowing crimes to be committed with impunity. The financial crimes are at epidemic levels in New York and New Jersey, and they are going unchecked; because by shining light we are allegedly declaring war on religious Jews, on all Jews. This is the greatest con in history. It is an outright gaming of our very lexicon to allow a community’s members to act with impunity.  As such we are complicit in fostering the use of the anti-Semitism Mantra as a weapon; and it is being used against each and every one of us. This is a very dangerous precedent. 

It is high time that law enforcement, the judiciary, government officials and even Facebook open your eyes to the improprieties that are being committed. It is a moral imperative for ultra-Orthodox, Orthodox, Conservative and Reformed and otherwise unaffiliated Jewish leaders to take a stand against the blanket use of a the anti-Semitism mantra as a weapon. By participating in the repetition of the term you assist in the perpetration of crimes against entire groups of people.

Inevitably this will lead to real, unadulterated hatred. It is just a matter of time. People are getting hurt. Communities are being plundered. This is not victim blaming unless you sit and contemplate who are the real victims in the equation.

Look outside the box that would otherwise group the perpetrators because it is wholly irrelevant that so many are visibly religious Jews. Don’t let them convince you of a different reality. Had they been visibly religious Muslims or FLDS, or any other visibly religious group, there would not be a special word, to be used to create smoke and mirrors. Anti-Semitism is not the problem. 

But, a warning for the weary, tread that fine line of scrutiny and criticism carefully and be mindful. It is a treacherous road to travel. There are many innocent and visibly religious Jews who are being harmed both by the crime epidemic and by the repetition of the mantra. And they are worse off than everyone else.

Charming… CEO Sentenced in Scheme to Defraud Elderly Victims

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Former CEO Sentenced In Scheme To Defraud Elderly Victims In The Sale Of Worthless Stock

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that KEITH ORLEAN was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 32 months in prison for participating in a scheme to use false statements to promote and sell stock in his company. ORLEAN pled guilty on September 26, 2019, to one count of securities fraud and one count of securities fraud conspiracy before U.S. District Judge Vernon S. Broderick, who also imposed today’s sentence.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Keith Orlean and his co-conspirators obtained more than $2 million by taking advantage of innocent investors – many of them elderly – through blatant lies.  As this prosecution and today’s sentence reflect, this kind of predatory fraud will not be tolerated.”

According to the allegations contained in the Complaint, the Indictment, and statements made in related court filings and proceedings:

For several years, ORLEAN and his codefendants operated a fraudulent scheme in which a salesman named “Mike Palmer” would call elderly persons on the phone and offer them what he claimed was a time-sensitive opportunity to buy stock in certain companies.  In fact, there was no “Mike Palmer,” and the salesman was actually Vladimir Ziskind or Kevin Weinzoff, co-conspirators of the defendant who were taking turns using the fake alias.  The purported time-sensitive investment opportunity was also fabricated by the defendants, as the company in which they solicited investments were actually companies under their control.  In one intercepted phone call conversation, Ziskind described to KEITH ORLEAN his strategy for a successful investor sales pitch as:  “You ram it down their fucking throat.”  In another intercepted call between Ziskind and ORLEAN, upon learning that a particular victim investor died, Ziskind remarked:  “I knew I should have pulled the last $10,000 out of him.”

The most recent version of the defendants’ phony sales pitch included false representations about an impending initial public offering, or “IPO,” for their company, Digital Donations Technologies, Inc.  For example, in April 2018, one of the defendants assured a victim investor that “our company is doing great,” that the company had an offer for an IPO valued at approximately $300 million, and that defendant KEITH ORLEAN was considering a private sale of the company for more than $1.5 billion. In truth, however, the defendants knew that the company had little or no actual commercial value and that no such IPO or sale was taking place.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) estimates that since April 2014, the defendants have convinced more than approximately 57 persons, many of whom were elderly, to purchase stock in companies controlled by one or more of the defendants based on false representations. During the period of the conspiracy, the defendants successfully solicited more than $2 million in stock purchases from victims.

*                *                *

In addition to a prison term, ORLEAN, 62, of Hauppauge, New York, was sentenced to three years of supervised release, ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,080,771, and ordered to pay a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $883,700.

Vladimir Ziskind and Kevin Weinzoff, who each previously pled guilty to his participation in the scheme, await sentencing.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding work of the FBI.

The prosecution of this case is being overseen by the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Boone and Andrew Thomas are in charge of the case.

Jim Margolin, Nicholas Biase (212) 637-2600
Press Release Number:
Updated February 12, 2020

Rockland Seven Plead Guilty to “E-Rate” Fraud in Rockland County Schools

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Seven Defendants Plead Guilty To Defrauding Federal Program That Provided Technology Funding For Rockland County Schools

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the guilty pleas of all seven defendants previously charged with defrauding the federal “E-Rate” program, designed to provide information technology to underprivileged schools, in connection with private religious schools in Rockland County, New York.  PERETZ KLEIN, SUSAN KLEIN, SIMON GOLDBRENER, MOSHE SCHWARTZ, BEN KLEIN, SHOLEM STEINBERG, and ARON MELBER, each pled guilty in White Plains federal court to one count of conspiring against the United States.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Each of these defendants has now admitted his or her role in a massive scheme that stole millions of dollars from the E-Rate program.  That money should have been spent to help educate underprivileged children.  Instead, it went to line the defendants’ pockets.  Now they will answer for their crimes.”

According to the allegations made in the Indictment and the Informations to which the defendants pled guilty, as well as the defendants’ admissions in court:

The E-Rate program distributes funds to schools and libraries mostly serving economically disadvantaged children, so that those institutions can afford needed telecommunication services, internet access, and related equipment.  Over 30,000 applications from schools and libraries seeking funds to serve economically disadvantaged children were received each year during the relevant time period; every year, requests for E-Rate funds have exceeded funds available.  In order to obtain those funds, educational institutions certify that they are purchasing equipment and services from a private vendor; if approved, the program defrays the cost by up to 90%.  The educational institution is supposed to enter into an open bidding process in order to select a vendor, and the educational institution and vendor submit a series of certifications that they comply with a number of requirements of the E-Rate program.  A school applying for E-Rate funds may employ a consultant, but that consultant must be independent of the vendors competing to sell E-Rate funded equipment and services.

The schools at issue in this case never received millions of dollars’ worth of these items and services for which the defendants billed the E-Rate program.  In other cases, the schools and the defendants requested hundreds of thousands of dollars of sophisticated technology that served no real purpose for the student population.  For example, from 2009 through 2015, one day care center that served toddlers from the ages of 2 through 4 requested over $700,000 – nearly $500,000 of which was ultimately funded – for equipment and services – including video conferencing and distance learning, a “media master system,” sophisticated telecommunications systems supporting at least 23 lines, and high-speed internet – from companies controlled by certain defendants.  In still other instances, the schools received equipment and services that fulfilled the functions for which the schools had requested E-Rate funds (such as providing the school with internet access), but the schools and the defendants materially overbilled the E-Rate program for the items provided, in order to enrich themselves at the expense of the underprivileged children the program was designed to serve.

The defendants also perverted the fair and open bidding process required by the E‑Rate program.  Defendants who held themselves out as independent consultants working for the schools in truth worked for and were paid by other defendants who controlled vendor companies.  These defendants presented the schools with forms to sign or certify,


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Madoff on the Outside, Compassionate Release – Was he Compassionate?

From the files of Larry Noodles, see here.


Ten years ago Bernie Madoff got locked up in medium security Federal prison in Butner, North Carolina. Madoff joined fellow Jewish criminal Jonathan Pollard in a facility with about 750 other inmates. Butner is less violent than most medium facilities. The Feds put a lot of child molesters and sexual deviants in Butner. Pedophiles are targets for attack in prison. If you put them all in one place they can protect each other. This results in less violence, and less work for correctional officers.

Pollard was released from Butner five years ago. Before Pollard was released he spent a few years with Madoff. A number of former inmates at Butner were interviewed and said that Pollard and Madoff didn’t get along very well and almost came to blows. Other former inmates have said that they got along great. You can’t always trust the truth and veracity of criminals.

Yesterday Madoff filed a motion to be released under the compassionate release law. Madoff is dying from renal failure. Madoff wants to get out of Butner and spend his last days on earth with his wife. Madoff’s two sons died, one of cancer and the other of suicide. Madoff needs a new kidney. Nobody is lining up to donate a kidney to Madoff. Madoff has refused to be put on dialysis at Butner. Medical care at Federal prisons is about as advanced as medical care provided in the North Pole. The CO’s, or the inmates, would probably figure out a way to kill Madoff with the dialysis machine, just for the fun of it. The Feds still haven’t figured out how Jeffrey Epstein died.

Madoff’s doctors have said that his life expectancy is about 18 months. Madoff wants to die on the outside with his wife by his side. Madoff argued in his motion that a “friend” has agreed to take him in if he is released. Madoff refused to disclose the name of the friend, out of concerns for this friend’s “privacy.” Did Jonathan Pollard agreed to take in Madoff? Why would Madoff not request that he be released to his wife? Or, is the “friend” referring to Madoff’s wife?

A former inmate at Butner told a reporter that Madoff bragged about robbing money from little old bubbes, causing Pollard to rebuke Madoff. According to this inmate Rabbi Pollard told Madoff he would have to answer to G-d for his sins. Madoff allegedly laughed at Pollard. Bubbe maisa or fact? When I report on inmate activities in Otisville I make sure to verify my information with at least two independent inmate sources who don’t know each other. You can’t trust the word of an inmate.

The Feds at the Bureau of Prisons have opposed Madoff’s early release motion. The Feds think that his crime is far too serious to allow Madoff to benefit from the compassionate release law. The compassionate release law should be reserved for more upstanding criminals, like Worldcom executive inmate Bernie Ebbers. Madoff argued in his motion that Bernard Ebbers was just released by New York Federal Judge Valerie Caproni under the compassionate release law, over the objection of Federal prosecutors. Ebbers argued to Judge Caproni that he is 78 years old, he just lost 50 pounds in six months, he suffers from incontinence and dementia and fell down four times which required multiple hospitalizations. The Feds argued that Ebbers was faking his medical conditions in order to get out of jail early. The Feds even got the prison psychologist to eavesdrop on Ebbers prison phone calls with his daughter. The prison shrink said that Ebbers did not sound demented when he spoke with his daughter. I would suggest that Bernie Madoff fake incontinence in order to get the Feds to kick him out of Butner.

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Was Rise Up’s Private Page Removed by FB or Hacked? Rise Up’s Website

rise up ocean county

Dear Readers:

We are not sure that Facebook unceremoniously removed the private group of Rise Up Ocean Count, but as of this afternoon it was gone. So, we would direct you to their website:

Again, while we did not endorse many of the comments on the Facebook page, we admired much of the investigative work that was being done on behalf of the disenfranchised in Ocean County. 

We are also firm believers in free speech. We believe that it should not be chilled, neither by lawsuit nor by removal unless there is a risk of violence or a threat of life and limb. We do not like hate speech. We don’t tolerate it here, beyond some measure of allowing people to vent. 

Once you go down the silence path, it is a very, very slippery slope that ends somewhere on the cliff of Americans being denied other constitutional rights, due process, for instance. We are also all too aware that money buys almost anything and everyone seems to have a price. We don’t.

Or, Americans who are sick being carted off in boxes.  See Video of Chinese response to Caronavirus here.

We are also of the firm belief that anti-Semitism is a really easy and apparently thorough mantra to sling around when you want to be able to hide criminal endeavors. Scary stuff…. The industriousness of it all is somewhat shocking.  But its use as a mantel on which to hang one’s hat also diminishes the value of the history that gave meaning to that term. 

To the 18k + followers of Rise Up Ocean County, we are hereby advising that we will accept stories dealing with fraud and criminal endeavors after independently verifying the research. We will not publish anything based solely on articles in print. We will also try and direct our readers. 

Code Enforcement in the State of New York and Outrageous Violations [video]


Nod to FB – Clarkstown What They Don’t Want You to Know.

Rabbi Schwarz, Chairman Rockland County Illegal Housing Task Force, Addressed A Public Hearing On January 23, 2020 In Albany On Illegal Housing In Rockland County.

He spoke about greed, corruption, yeshivas, hatred, machetes, infection of adjacent municipalities, the ‘second floor’, Attorney General James, the Yiddish term for ‘bullshit’, the judiciary, handcuffs and political hacks.

It was a tour de force!

On the same day that Supervisor Specht and Democratic Chairwoman, Mona Montal, were holding the Five Supervisors Meeting on “Confronting Hatred” in Rockland County, Rabbi Schwartz was in Albany describing how they were not confronting greed and corruption in their own Town of Ramapo.

In the last election there were signs that read “What Happens In Ramapo Will Not Stay In Ramapo”. Those were condemned as anti-Semitic and as contributing to a rise of hatred in Rockland County. However, watch now as Rabbi Schwartz spells out what is NOT staying in Ramapo and why anger and resentment, NOT hatred, are rising in Rockland County.

Some quotes:

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Couple Sues in Quebec, Canada to Compel Province to Ensure Children are Educated

From The Monte Scoop

Couple in Quebec Sue to Obtain for Others, What They Themselves Were Denied, an Education!

‘They aren’t seeking money. They want a declaratory judgment which, if they win, would force the province to take steps to ensure children who attend private religious schools are taught the provincial curriculum.

Yohanen Lowen, who first launched the legal action, alleges that, when he finished school at 18, he could barely add or subtract, couldn’t read and write in English or French and was left unequipped to find work outside his community.”

Hasidic couple’s lawsuit against Quebec could change what’s taught at religious schools

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NAACP v. East Ramapo, Remove Religion from the Mix, Still Segregation Problem, New Jersey’s Englewood Example


The Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Tenafly Example – No Right to Segregated Education.

The East Ramapo battle playing out in the courts is, writ small a discrimination case against a board in its nominating practices. The NAACP is claiming that the Board of Education has rigged the system so private school parents have a disproportionately large number of seats on the public school board. Writ large, however, the battle is ultimately one of segregation, allowing a community of white children to obtain significant funding and school budgeting allotments to the detriment of a largely minority public school system. This has played out before. 

The battle of what happens when you remove white children from a largely minority, people of color and Hispanic/Latino school system has played out in many districts, in many fora. The closest comparison between Rockland County, New York is one to a battle that played out for years, from the early 1980’s to the mid 1990’s just down the Palisades Interstate Parkway in Englewood Cliffs,  New Jersey.

The fact that the white children of Rockland County, New York are ultra-Orthodox is largely irrelevant. The issue is segregation. Is the State of New York prepared to allow a community to be segregated, if not foster that segregation; and is it willing to disenfranchise a public school system of largely minority children to do so? In New Jersey, the Commissioner of Education and the Courts were not:

One need look no further than the United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Topeka, [347 U.S. 483, 74 S. Ct. 686, 98 L. Ed. 873 (1954)] to support the ALJ’s reliance upon evidence dealing not only with “material loss,” i.e., reduction in course offering, effect on curriculum, loss of teaching staff, but also an assessment of impact on the psychosocial dimension of education referred to in this case as “symbolic loss.” Notwithstanding the fact that DMHS is not all minority, it is, as previously stated, substantially imbalanced racially; thus, the following passage from the U.S. Supreme Court in Brown has no less bearing in this matter than if DMHS were all minority. It states: Segregation … in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law; for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation with the sanction of law, therefore, has a tendency to [retard] the educational and mental development of negro children and to *445 deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a racial[ly] integrated school system. …. [T]he Commissioner rejects the Cliffs Board’s arguments that attempt to justify severance because DMHS was an inferior educational facility at the time the petition was filed and should not, therefore, be held harmless from that. It is clear from the record that this case has been heavily immersed in an effort to cast DMHS as an inferior school, not worthy of its students. It is equally clear that the record does not support this position.
As to the Tenafly tuition policy, the Commissioner agreed with the ALJ that while it did not violate the law, it is “clearly contrary to public policy … and cannot be allowed to stand”:
Although the policy is, on its face, not discriminatory and although it was not adopted for improper motives, this does not mean that it should be allowed to stand insofar as the Cliffs and Englewood Boards are concerned, for the record has made it abundantly clear that the effect of the policy has been exactly what the ALJ denounces, namely, to exacerbate racial imbalance at DMHS by skimming off and luring students who are eligible to attend DMHS. Thus, in that sense it is “repugnant” and a “beggar-thy-neighbor” policy as it affects DMHS.

To provide a very oversimplified background, for years, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, a largely white and affluent district without its own high school had a sending-receiving relationship with Englewood, New Jersey’s Dwight Morrow High School. Englewood was far more heterogeneous a community with a large majority of the students from families of color, Hispanic/Latino and other ethnic groups. Within a contractual setting, Englewood would receive public school children from the Cliffs with a percentage of the tax money sent to cover the costs per children. Cliffs’ children of high school age who chose to remain in the public school system were bused to Englewood after 8th grade. 

At the time, Alpine, New Jersey’s children were being sent by similar sending/receiving agreement to Tenafly, New Jersey a more homogeneous community with socio-economic ties that had a greater resemblance to Englewood Cliffs’, also mostly white and Asian community. During the early 80’s parents in Englewood Cliffs began, with greater frequency to leave the district before high school, to remove kids to parochial schools or to send them to either Elizabeth Morrow or Dwight Englewood, both private schools. At the time, busing was not provided to private schools; but rather it was arranged within the tuition paid. Busing was, however, provided to public school children who attended Dwight Morrow as part of the public school sending/receiving relationship.

In and around the early 80’s Englewood Cliffs began negotiating a contractual sending/receiving relationship with Tenafly, New Jersey, with the thought that the Cliffs would sever its relationship with Englewood. As a backdrop, Tenafly also began accepting students on a tuition-paid basis to give the Englewood Cliffs’ parents different options.

Englewood fought back, filing a series of actions with the New Jersey Commisioner of Education. All of the actions were based in pertinent part on the resulting reduction in white students, segregation and the detriment to the children of Englewood. To put it simply, Englewood claimed that even though the numbers of Cliffs children who were remaining in public school after the 8th grade were dwindling,  the loss of services to the children of Englewood, the reduction in classes which were at that time very diverse and team sport enrollment outweighed the benefit of the small population wanting only to be more homogeneous. In addition, and particularly relevant, they argued that no one had the “right to segregate” which was effectively what the Cliffs’ parents were doing when sending their kids to Tenafly by tuition. 

The Commissioner stated:

In Booker, the Supreme Court said that “children must learn to respect and live with one another in multi-racial and multi-cultural communities and the earlier they do so the better.” 45 N.J. at 170, 212 *480 A.2d 1. It also declared that the Commissioner has a duty to ensure that such learning occurs in schools that are not de facto segregated and that he must not only eliminate schools that are “entirely or almost entirely Negro,” 45 N.J. at 178, 212 A.2d 1, but must also achieve “the greatest dispersal consistent with sound educational values and procedures.” Id. at 180, 212 A.2d 1. By focusing on Booker’s “multi-racial and multi-cultural” reference instead of the principle of “greatest dispersal”, it seems to us that the State Board recast the expansive holding of Booker as the far more limited holding that achieving some minimal racial and cultural diversity will suffice. In so doing, the State Board eviscerated Booker’s explicit ban on school segregation. If it had taken no further action, we would likely have intervened on this issue, at least to the extent of requiring an explanation of what educational values and procedures the State Board viewed as counter-balancing the need for greatest dispersal. Because of the later developments, it is unnecessary for us to do so.

Even within that backdrop, the State of New Jersey’s Commissioner of Education still dismantled the idea of changing the relationship between Englewood and Englewood Cliffs on the grounds it would only serve to segregate the children and would ultimately come at a high price to Englewood’s children.   

In the early 1990’s the issue again came to light when Englewood decided to close some elementary schools and move 8th grade to the high school. With the Englewood Cliffs Elementary School ending in 8th grade, this created a mismatch. And yet, the Commissioner of Education and the courts were still not moved; and the issue of regionalizing high schools was raised, also not moving the Commissioner.

Cliffs complains that, even if the State Board properly denied its petition for severance, it exceeded its authority in enjoining Tenafly and other non-party school districts from accepting Cliffs’ students on a tuition basis. With respect to Tenafly, Cliffs claims that the State Board’s injunction violated Tenafly’s statutory right to exercise discretion as to which interdistrict students it accepts. It also argues that enjoining the THS tuition program will in no way increase the white student population at DMHS. Cliffs also asserts that the State Board’s injunction denies due process to any school district not joined as a party.
The Commissioner has broad constitutional and legislative powers concerning public education. N.J.S.A. 18A:4-10; Piscataway Tp. Bd. of Educ. v. Burke, supra, 158 N.J. Super. at 441, 386 A.2d 439. These powers must be interpreted sufficiently expansively to correspond with his “high responsibilities” in the education field. Jenkins, supra, 58 N.J. at 504, *474 279 A.2d 619. N.J.S.A. 18A:4-16 concomitantly confers on the State Board all necessary powers “requisite to the performance of its duties.” Clearly, under appropriate circumstances, injunctive relief is a power available to the State Board. Bd. of Educ. of Asbury Park v. Bds. of Educ. of Shore Regional High School District, 1971 S.L.D. 221, aff’d, 1971 S.L.D. 228 (1971). Indeed, Cliffs concedes this theoretical power, arguing instead that the injunction was improvidently granted in this case because an injunction, the so-called “strong arm of equity,” is an extraordinary remedy not justified by the facts. Van Name v. Federal Deposit Ins. Corp., 130 N.J. Eq. 433, 442-43, 23 A.2d 261 (Ch. 1941), aff’d, 132 N.J. Eq. 302, 28 A.2d 210 (E. & A. 1942). We disagree.
Here, we have affirmed the State Board’s determination that the Tenafly tuition policy had a serious negative impact on the racial balance at DMHS. As Tenafly’s non-indigenous population increased, the situation at DMHS worsened. Tenafly not only “lured” and “enticed” Cliffs’ students by its “beggar-thy-neighbor” policy, and in doing so syphoned off a disproportionate number of high achievers, but also attracted white and Asian Englewood students. Given those findings, the effectuation of the State’s constitutional policy in favor of racial balance as a function of the quality of education not only authorized but compelled an injunction against Tenafly. See In re Solid Waste Util. Customer Lists, 106 N.J. 508, 516, 524 A.2d 386 (1987). As to the other school districts (none of which has complained), the State Board’s directive was a necessary adjunct to the injunction against Tenafly. Without the directive, the State Board could not ensure total compliance with the educational goals it sought to achieve. Most importantly, the injunction was a critical element of the State Board’s attempt to remedy the problem at DMHS by using the least intrusive means. Given the history of this case, a laissez faire attitude, without an injunction, would have doomed these means to failure.
*475 VIII
While a sending-receiving relationship is essentially an education services-for-tuition exchange made between two districts, that arrangement does not alter the structural integrity of either district. Regionalization, on the other hand, involves the formation of an entirely new school district governed by a separate board of education. See Jenkins, supra, 58 N.J. at 504-05, 508, 279 A.2d 619. Regional districts can be formed for all purposes or for limited purposes. N.J.S.A. 18A:13-2. Among the “limited purposes” is the organization of a regional district to operate a high school or high schools only. Englewood has petitioned for the creation of a regional high school district including it, Cliffs and Tenafly. The effect of such a regional district here would be to transfer control over DMHS and THS to a regional school board.
The authority for cross-district regionalization arises out of Jenkins where the Supreme Court expanded on the Booker principle of intra-district regionalization:
It is true that Booker dealt with a community which was wholly contained within a single district fixed by municipal lines whereas here the community involves two districts. …. As the Supreme Court pointed out in Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, [575] 84 S. Ct. 1362, [1388] 12 L. Ed. 2d 506, 535 (1964), political subdivisions of the state whether they be “counties, cities or whatever” are not “sovereign entities” and may readily be bridged when necessary to vindicate federal constitutional rights and policies. See Gomillion v. Lightfoot, 364 U.S. 339, 347, 81 S. Ct. 125, 5 L. Ed. 2d 110, 116 (1960); United States v. State of Texas, 321 F. Supp. 1043, 1050-1058 (E.D.Texas 1970); cf. Jackman, et al. v. Bodine, et al., 55 N.J. 371 [262 A.2d 389] (1970). It seems clear to us that, similarly, governmental subdivisions of the state may readily be bridged when necessary to vindicate state constitutional rights and policies. This does not entail any general departure from the historic home rule principles and practices in our State in the field of education or elsewhere; but it does entail suitable measures of power in our State authorities for fulfillment of the educational and racial policies embodied in our State Constitution and in its implementing legislation. Surely if those policies and the views firmly expressed by this Court in Booker (45 N.J. 161 [212 A.2d 1]) and now reaffirmed are to be at all meaningful, the State Commissioner must have power to cross district lines to avoid “segregation in fact” (Booker, 45 N.J. at 168 [212 A.2d 1]), at least where, as here, there *476 are no impracticalities and the concern is not with multiple communities but with a single community without visible or factually significant internal boundary separations. [Jenkins, 58 N.J. at 500-01, 279 A.2d 619].

The relevant case Englewood Cliffs v. Englewood, 257 N.J. Super 413 (1992) can be found here.

A report on the the NAACP v. East Ramapo Central School Distrrict, 18-3481 (2d Cir. 2019) can be found here.

A News brief one NAACP v. East Ramapo can be found here.

The GOP Bowing to Pressures of Agudath Yisroel and Major Fundraisers – Not About Religion, About Over-Development

This is a Land Use Issue. It Always Has Been. Any Other Characterization is a Strategic Misrepresentation.

Dear Readers:

This blogger has been accused of being a liberal, a self-hating Jew and an anti-Semite. If I am to be judged by those who choose to bully and use the judicial system as a constant weapon, shove the mantra of anti-Semitism down everyone’s throats and toss integrity to the wind, then I will take whatever insults someone wants to sling my way.

A more recent accusation was that I am an idealist too. Yeah… true enough. It would be nice if money was not the currency of darkness, if honest opinions and speech was not chilled by hundreds of thousands of dollars; and if truth and transparency were the goals for which we all strive.

But that is just not happening. It was a lofty goal when this blog was started.

Four years later, the insults sometimes feel more like compliments when the judgments come from those whose moral compass sits far askew from my own.

This piece is focused on over development and the misapplication of laws, the manipulation of a system by those who want to use anti-Semitism to justify any mode of behavior and the resulting tragedy for everyone.

Zoning in Jackson Township, New Jersey should never have invited the chorus of the “anti-Semitism” choir. It should not have attracted big money donors and Agudath Yisroel who want to chalk everything up to anti-Semitism to allow their own to act with impunity. Codes and laws should be enforced equally across the board. The laws passed were intended to foster responsible development and maintain a quality of life within a specific landscape, not to chase out religion. That ultra-Orthodox Jews were and continue to be the most affected by those laws is a function of sheer numbers and statistics, not a generalized hatred.

I have said repeatedly that the Holocaust should not have given us a sharper spear to toss when things don’t go our way. Using it as such demoralizes everyone who perished during the Holocaust, and only increases an “us versus them mentality” which ultimately intensifies hostility. It is a dangerous game to play. And so it begins.   

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Free Speech at Zuckerberg’s Convenience, Not Free at All – the Hypocrisy and the NJ Politburo [RUOC]

Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a podium at Georgetown University

Facebook’s Hypocrisy and the Chilling of the Free Speech of Eighteen Thousand Followers – an Opinion

Dear Readers, 

The following is a small portion of a text of commentary addressing comments made by Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg during his soiree with Congress. It speaks to the limits of his abilities to, on the one hand, promote free speech and on the other hand continue to run a company without pandering to powerful forces that want speech censored. Conversely, it questions the legitimacy of Zuckerberg’s claims to support free speech when Facebook’s add’s algorithms filter what a viewer sees to guide the direction of speech. We will not address the converse point here.

This blogger wholeheartedly maintains that there is a vast difference between censoring sites that assist terrorist organizations with recruitment (inciting violence or acting toward the commission of a crime) and censoring sites that shine light on the disenfranchisement of an entire community (even if it does, ultimately target a specific group because that’s the lay of the land). 

It is one thing to live in a country where speech is not expected to be free so when free speech is permitted, it is a surprise to everyone [China/Russia, for example]. It is a whole other thing to live in a country where the principles of the First Amendment’s freedoms of speech and press which are well tested in the courts, have settled on a summary that speech should always be free unless it incites violence, is used in the commission of a crime or is defamatory. That last one remains free, however, but can be subject to redress and is carved out by the need to defend one’s statements.

This past week under pressure from New Jersey’s Governor and Attorney General, Facebook removed a group – Rise Up Ocean County. The site was supported by 18K followers, mostly from New Jersey and New York. It was reviled in large part by the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community because the goal of the site crossed paths with ultra-Orthodox Jews by virtue of the Ocean County, New Jersey landscape.

In the end the voices of 18K people were not free at all. And, all of the work and research that went into that site, investigatory material that should have been viewed by law enforcement as a means to enforce laws, was chilled. The people on that site were not terrorists looking to recruit. They were not inciting violence. Their speech should have been protected and Zuckerberg should have used that as a cause célèbre for his alleged support of free speech.

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Yeshiva Pirchei Shoshanim Summons OU to Beit Din and OU Refuses

Prichei v. OU

Hat Tip to the tipster.

We are posting this due to the underlying allegations of fraud and potentially other corporate violations.

While we do not agree with the assertions regarding the Beit Din (namely that the use of civil courts is prohibited and in violation of Jewish tenets), there are rabbis who believe wholeheartedly in this method of dealing one Jew to another and we will not criticize or judge.

The aggrieved parties are entitled to recourse for what has happened here, something we hope to assist in achieving.

Please forward any additional information you  may have to our attention. We have copies of the Beit Din information in Hebrew and have attached below the associated temporary restraining order from the Beit Din in English.

Please read the letter to the community from Mabbi Nissim Makor of Pirchei Shoshanim.

We are interested in anything else you can provide.


Ezer Mishpat TRO to the OU_1

We have an Announcement!!!!


Dear Rabbi             please be infromed,

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The NJ Gov. and AG Should Have Been Investigating Claims of RUOC, Claiming Anti-Semitism is a Ruse

If the AG and Governor of the State of New Jersey Can Restrict Speech and Press at Whim, When Can They Restrict Due Process? When Can They Deny Appropriate Redress? Where Does the Truth Get Blurred?

Dear Readers:

Question – 

Could Facebook be held to have facilitated the commission of a crime if leaving the page (Rise Up Ocean County) standing, would have prevented it?

The Attorney General Gurbir Grewal in New Jersey along with the Governor Phil Murphy likely never read the articles or opened any investigations into claims made by Rise Up Ocean County, which investigations had nothing to do with anti-Semitism. Those claims included but were not limited to: basement businesses in private homes not zoned for commercial use, bank fraud, zoning law violations, irresponsible land use and a litany of others.

That the comments on the page were occasionally hateful and vitriolic is a shame and a challenge for any page moderator; but not grounds to remove the page. The State of New Jersey has court rulings that preclude the infringement on any speech that does not incite violence.

The Supreme Court just affirmed that when it comes to the First Amendment, hate speech is not an exception. The ruling was over a federal trademark law that banned people from registering offensive names; the court sided unanimously an Asian-American rock band named the Slants, whose band name was deemed racially disparaging. But many argue hate speech is not the same as free speech — it incites violence and does not warrant constitutional protection. Should hateful speech be protected? 

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Lawsuit Claims Anti-Semitism and Does not Acknowledge Over-development and Irresponsible Zoning

‘Significant anti-Semitic hostility’ blamed for Jackson housing project denial, lawsuit says


JACKSON – The developer who proposed building 459 units of housing on South Hope Chapel Road has sued the township and its Planning Board, claiming the plan was rejected because of a “rising tide of anti-Semitism in the township.”

“The board denied the application, bowing to severe anti-Semitic pressure from local residents and fears that Orthodox Jews may purchase homes and reside in the development,” the lawsuit states, “and due to the inclusion in the development of a house of worship that may be used as a synagogue by Orthodox Jews.”

Dr. Rich Roberts speaks: Meet Dr. Rich Roberts, the GOP mega-donor using his clout to fight ‘bigotry against Orthodox Jews’ in Jackson

‘Atrocious actions’: Breaking down the letter from Dr. Rich Roberts to Jackson mayor

Gregory P. McGuckin, who served as Planning Board attorney when the Jackson Trails application was discussed, said Tuesday he had not yet seen the lawsuit.

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Facebook Cedes to Censorship, Will Rockland County Websites be Next? RUOC

Facebook And Censorship – Who Will Be Next?

Political Pressure On Facebook Closes Down ‘Rise Up Ocean County’. Will Rockland County Be Next?


Dear Readers:

We direct our readers to follow Rise Up Ocean County on their website: 

While we do not endorse all of their stories or some of the rhetoric and while we generally do not endorse the comments of many who spoke out on RUOC’s Facebook page, some of which treaded a fine line between general animosity and outright anti-Hasidism, and even crossed that line into anti-Semitism, we cannot stand by the trampling of the First Amendment. The removal of the page is a gut-check and makes one wonder how much hatred that move generated. 

Facebook is a public company with public shareholders and should be held to the standards set forth by the Supreme Court, namely that a complete prior restraint of speech (and that of 18K people no less) is unconstitutional. By removing the page, they have indeed chopped out the tongues of 18K followers. 

It is disappointing that the speech of 18K people has been tossed to the wind by Facebook when the stories on those pages were helping to right some wrongs within a community, something AG Grewar should have pursued.

It is more than a little bit distressing that Facebook can now direct our thoughts, remove our individual liberties and be controlled by political pandering.

There are numerous Facebook pages that are outright racist in one form or another but do not shed light on the daily disenfranchisement of a community and therefore do not garner enough attention for FB to take down.

Why did the Governor of New Jersey and the Attorney General prefer removing the site by labeling it anti-Semitic rather than investigating the stories covered on those pages? It is really very chilling.

And what does this say about this country?

Facebook and the First Amendment Out the Window – Rise Up Ocean County

Facebook shuts down Rise Up Ocean County Page

Facebook has shut down the controversial page Rise Up Ocean County, one the the page administrators confirmed.

The page which has a history of opposing development in Ocean County and of ridiculing the Orthodox Jewish community has been condemned as anti-Semitic by the Ocean County Board of Freeholders, Governor Phil Murphy Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and U.S. Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Elan S. Carr.

Murphy and Grewal released the following joint statement:

“We just learned that Facebook has decided to take down the public page on the company’s social network called ‘Rise Up Ocean County.’ Facebook’s action comes ten months after the Director of our Division on Civil Rights, Rachel Wainer Apter, first sent a letter to Facebook expressing concerns about racist and anti-Semitic statements on the page. Since then, we’ve consistently and repeatedly made clear our view that the page appeared to violate Facebook’s terms of service, and we appreciate that Facebook has now decided that this kind of hateful rhetoric has no place on its platform.

“There remains much that should be done to stop the spread of hate on the Internet. The Murphy Administration will continue to call out hate whenever and wherever we see it, we will persist in demanding meaningful reforms to address the proliferation of hate online, and we will continue working to make New Jersey a safe and inclusive place for all of our residents.”


The administrator of the page said the facebook’s decision shut down the page is being appealed, but that he does not expect it will be reversed. He issued the following statement on the group’s webpage:

The Heavy Hand of Censorship Has Fallen

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Irresponsible Zoning and the Path to a Never-ending Stream of Lawsuits… Not Raging Anti-Semites!

The Zoning Boards Ruled Against Jackson Trails, New Jersey, an Irresponsible Project. Denied. More Courts Will Rule. This is Not About Anti-Semitism. This is About Irresponsible Zoning.

Jackson Trails, a project applied for in Jackson Township, New Jersey, was not viewed as an exclusive Orthodox Community, until it was. But in that context, it should not be allowed. Since when can we demand segregated communities in the United States? Since when is fighting segregation labeled as racism? Until it is. The people of Jackson Township want to live together in harmony in a township that is responsibly zoned. They want their wildlife. They want their trees. They want their piece of suburbia. They do not want New York City, Newark, or any other Urban area thrust upon them.

And the diverse group of people in Jackson Township, New Jersey should be able to fight against an unwanted outcome without being deemed to be a group of raging anti-Semites. That label is being used as a sword and in that use, is raising hostility immeasurably.

But, anti-Semitism as a sword is going to Federal Court on the grounds of discrimination. The fight boils down to whether an irresponsible project should be allowed to be built, to the exclusion of the wants of an entire community, on the basis that by not allowing it, we are violating the rights of Orthodox Jews. But what right should they really have? Should any group have the right to build a segregated community – and then use as the argument against inclusiveness – anti-Semitism. That’s an endless and absurd loop that creates a very, very slippery slope. 

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Irresponsible Development, Re-Segregation, CUPON, Skewed Zoning – Who is Funding Rockland’s Politicians?

Exclusionary and Skewed Zoning or Anti-Semitism? And, Why are Tensions Heightened? – Take 2

CUPON Mahwah (Citizens United to Preserve Our Neighborhoods) Addressed The Village of Airmont’s Elected Officials On Monday, February 3rd, 2020.

Taking Bread And Tracking Ghosts In Airmont.

The Irish-Catholics Have Owned Pearl River For Long Enough – It’s Time For Them To Move.

[Post updated 9:30 a.m.]

Hillside Avenue is the latest victim of Rockland County’s long list of bad behavior and irresponsible development projects.

In the video below Heather Federico and others followed up on their request for action at the Village of Airmont’s Board Meeting in December 2019. They is what they learned. But first a question for the Deputy Mayor: Did you pay your taxes? If not don’t ask us to pay ours!

CUPON Mahwah’s member Heather Federico begins with a simple question …..

“Have you done anything since the last meeting?”

Nothing has been done by Airmont’s elected officials about the situation in Hillside Avenue including the zombie house and headless chickens.

“This board has a chance to do something – you have done nothing”.

“Chicken heads left on people’s driveways”.

“I got the Ramapo police reports – here’s the chicken picture.”

“Not allowed by who? … you have had a whole month! …. I am told every report is “unfounded”, “unfounded”. I have stacks of them.”

“Do you understand? .. You have had lots of time .. I’m looking at a bunch of blank faces”.

“Have you filed reports?”

“We were on NBC News! We are up for an Emmy!”

“Did any of you attend the Five Towns Supervisors Meeting on Combating Hatred?”

Nope …. If they had they might have found out that what is happening in Hillside Avenue has nothing do with hatred from the goyim.

“One thing you need to do is to enforce your codes”.

Does the board know that there are things moving in the cemetery at night and they aren’t ghosts?

How does government work? Is there a process?

More blank stares ….

“Honestly? We don’t know”.

“I suggest you talk to Supervisor Specht or send an email to the Village Clerk”.

Why is one board colleague smiling? …. Let’s gently inquire.

If you are an accused anti-Semite in Airmont you will be asked to take down your American Flag. This American tells his local government what he will and will not do about the flag.

“I’m the outcast. Garbage is thrown in my yard. Why should I have to move?”

“I am told that the rules to not apply to me. It’s time for ME to leave. I am told WE are going to be like Kiryas Joel”.

“Rockland County is at the point where it should be separated in half. The laws should apply to all.”

“I should never be told to take down my American Flag. That is where hate comes from”.

“The Irish Catholics in Pearl River have been told they have ‘owned’ Pearl River long enough and it’s time for them too to move”.

A Ramapo Code Enforcement Officer can’t do his job because he would be fired?

“The Ramapo Building Department gave me the number to call. The officer told me he knows what is going on. ‘There’s a business there and they have threatened me’, he said. ‘They said if I don’t stop harassing them I will lose my job’.”

So who runs the Town of Ramapo?

Who is paying to pull the puppet strings?

Who is being paid off?

They call it “taking bread” in Ramapo.

Where is the Rockland County News Media?

Where is Rockland County’s District Attorney?

Where is the State Government?

Where are the Feds?

Where is the outrage?


Blatant anti-Semitism or Skewed Enforcement of Zoning Laws – Airmont, NY [video]

Clarkstown – What They Don’t Want You To Know

What Is Going On Along Hillside Avenue?

Zombie Houses, Headless Chickens, And Mikvahs!

CUPON Mahwah (Citizens United to Preserve Our Neighborhoods) To Address The Village of Airmont’s Elected Officials On This Situation At 7:00 pm On Monday, February 3rd, 251 Cherry Lane, Airmont NY 10901.

Picture this: a peaceful, wooded stretch of land that offers respite from suburbia; a mixed community that lives there in harmony; good neighbors who lend a hand when needed while raising their families; extensive woodlands that supports wild animals; clear streams crisscrossing the area draining into a wetland that supports a host of creatures.

Into this picture comes some who begin to harass the long-term residents, hoping to get them to move out. Illegal blockbusting tactics mean residents are bombarded with unsolicited offers to buy their properties. Unidentified strangers park and turn around in residents’ driveways; one reverses into a parked car; one knocks over a mailbox and drives away; a headless chicken appears in the driveway of a resident who makes it clear to those who make the “offers” he intends to stay put.

OK, it’s not a horse’s head in someone’s bed and maybe the chicken just lost its head on a stroll about the neighborhood, but the message appears to be clear. The chickens want you to leave. This situation should make a local government, were it not ‘chicken’, to take immediate corrective action, right? Aren’t there laws to stop this sort of thing?

Yes, there are—but when the laws are ignored and the local politicians lack the will to enforce them, the situation continues to deteriorate and eventually you end up with Zombie houses to destroy your property values.

This is a story of a municipality that has a contract with its citizens to protect their properties and their happiness by enforcing the laws that civil society has instituted. But it has chickened out on the terms of that civil contract.

Is this happening in your neighborhood? It’s happening right now on your doorstep! Soon you too can have a zombie house in your neighborhood if you accept the mantra that your anger and resentment is really just blatant anti-Semitism and that instead of protecting your rights you need to attend seminars to control your hatred and have your children re-educated about the need to accept zombieism.

Hillside Avenue is the latest victim of Rockland County’s long list of irresponsible development projects. In the video below Heather Federico of Mahwah CUPON discusses the actions of owners and developers and indicates that there has been little resistance from the county government in Rockland County, the Town of Ramapo or the Village of Airmont. Indeed true to form the town of Ramapo refuses to turn over documentation about its own perfidy while its $400,000 compensated police chief continues to lose control over policing in a huge swath of Rockland County.

In the video we see that on December 16, 2019 CUPON addressed the Airmont Board of Trustees to ask why no action has been taken to address the numerous violations of village code and complaints made to the police about properties owned by two developers that are named by CUPON Mahwah. It appears that prima facia evidence has been obtained many laws are being flouted.

Here are a few headlines:

2, Hillside Ave, Village of Airmont
The structure at this address has had no Certificate of Occupancy since 2017. The load-bearing walls are at risk of collapse. Yet it is being used on a regular basis as a house of gathering and a weekend retreat. There is no permanent resident at the address but someone is operating a farm there which includes 2 horses, several goats and chickens — all illegal without a permanent resident. Last summer, a carnival was set up under cover of night presumably to avoid drawing the attention of local authorities.

28 and 32 Hillside Ave, Village of Airmont
This was a beautiful farmhouse; the developers allegedly converted it illegally into a 3-4 story dwelling. In 2017, work stopped and the building now stands as a giant unfinished ‘box’ — in essence it is now an abandoned zombie house.

There is trash and debris around the property. This situation has been reported to the village and the health department several times, but no action has been taken.

A circular driveway was allegedly illegally installed for which the developer was issued a $64,000 ticket which was then dismissed on a technicality. The village of Airmont has not re-issued the ticket. The driveway is still there, being used improperly by school buses and construction traffic.

44 Hillside Ave, Village of Airmont
19 acres have been notably 100 percent tax-exempt for over 20 years; the village has not pursued the taxes that should be payable on this large plot of land.

77, 79 and 85 Hillside Ave, Town of Ramapo
At this location a very large development is proposed namely a mikvah (ritual bath) with 60 parking spaces, a caretaker’s home, a large structure to hold several baths and 53 showerheads. Clear-cutting of old-growth trees has begun.

98 and 100 Hillside Ave and 99 Oratam Rd, Village of Airmont:
Another very large development is proposed: a special needs school for 100 students, with at least 60 parking spaces and a large driveway to pick up and drop off students.
This location remains 100 percent tax-exempt after an application in 2013 for a school that never materialized.

In summary, Hillside Ave is in a residential neighborhood of one-acre plots with no commercial buildings. These large, commercial projects will completely alter the character of the neighborhood and negatively affect the health and safety of local residents. Hillside Ave is an RR-50 zoning with no other commercial businesses on the block. It has no water line, no sidewalks and has a one car bridge with a 3-ton weight limit and at capacity for the traffic it can handle.

On Monday evening, February 3, 2020 CUPON Mahwah will once again raise these issues to the Village of Airmont’s elected officials. The meeting will be held at 251 Cherry Lane, Airmont, NY 10901

To see the article on FB in its original format, click here.


Can Allegedly Demonizing Yeshivas co-Exist with Defending Against Violence?

Comments to Rabbi Avi Shafran’s Opinion in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

by LM

Below we have republished a portion of an opinion that appeared in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, written by Rabbi Avi Shafran of Agudath Israel. We would like to thank the person who sent this our way, though we are certain he would not agree with our conclusions. Thankfully, there is a mutual respect for differing opinions. We thank him for that also.

There are a few points that should be made about Shafran’s opinion in JTA. The first is we believe you can criticize over-development and the draining of the public school system for the benefit of private yeshivas (and parochial schools) and still defend against anti-Semitism and resentment. The two are not mutually exclusive. While he refers to the links as “indirect” he spends an inordinate amount of time criticizing efforts to uphold educational standards, presumably albeit indirectly linking criticism to hate.

We take the position that only when these uncomfortable subjects are aired can the differences in perception (that often create resentment) be either resolved or peacefully tabled. One can agree to disagree so long as both sides can be vocal and respectful.  

Second, Safran’s comments about the criticism of the substandard Yeshiva education in many (but not all) Hasidic yeshivas is, in our belief misguided.  Contrary to Shafran’s opinion, a fair indictment of a school system that public money is also partially funding does not detract from defending the religious beliefs that the children who graduate from those yeshivas share. It is simply a criticism of the leadership and the political governmental system that allows the education of these kids to be neglected. If public money is being used to fund these yeshivas, even a single dollar of public tax funds, then they should comply to certain state mandates. To do otherwise is an unfair requirement on all taxpayers; and that does not even address the future tax burdens that stem from inadequate education.

If Shafran’s comments are to be taken to their extreme, then perhaps this country should allow schools for white supremacists, schools for radical Muslims, schools for the Church of Latter Day Saints, Scientologists, and an endless list, all without any oversight guaranteeing that the children have some level of conformity to basic subjects when they graduate. According to Shafran, if applied equally to all faiths, any criticism of any non-conforming schools, whatever the religious belief, is contrary to a peaceful co-existence. That is absurd. Demanding certain standards be met is not indicting an entire religious belief system. Rather, it is holding an educational system to a conforming standard. The United States is based upon a system of equality and laws should be upheld equally. For the yeshiva system in New York, equality has gone out the window.  


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The Rockland County, NY 5-Town’s Supervisor’s Meeting – [Video], Over-development, not Blanket anti-Semitism

Dear Readers:

Many of you have been reading incessantly about a rise in anti-Semitism, insensitive and/or hateful rhetoric, language, violence, etc. This issue has become a hot-bed topic in Rockland County, New York following the stabbings that occurred at a Rabbi’s home/shul on the 7th night of Chanukah.

Yesterday, January 23, 2020, the Supervisors of the 5 towns that comprise Rockland County, New York held a Supervisor’s meeting intended to be the first step in addressing the problems within Rockland County. The Supervisors addressed the attendees and then the attendees were broken out into about 15 groups, each marshaled by a moderator who then had 3 minutes to provide the findings to the entire audience. 

This blogger moderated groups 12, 13, 14 and 15 because they were short moderators.

We were asked to answer 2 questions (simplified here): 

  1. What are the 3 most prevalent problems within the County?

  2. What are some possible solutions?

Notably, anti-Semitism was not listed as the most eminent threat or significant problem in a majority of the groups. Rather, overdevelopment and unequal enforcement of zoning/land-use laws were deemed to be an overriding problem nearly uniformly throughout each group. That speaks volumes.

The most salient points expressed as problems were:

  1. Over-development (by far the first and most significant point)

  2. Unequal treatment within the many communities in all aspects of life: development, housing, education, services, governmental assistance, law enforcement and the enforcement of building and zoning codes

  3. Political corruption

  4. Discriminatory housing practices and segregation

  5. Education and ever increasing taxes

  6. Social Media and the lack of sensitivity, both from the English-speaking non-religious sites and those geared towards the religious community

A synthesis of the possible solutions is:

  1. Equal application of zoning and housing codes

  2. Equal treatment under the law

  3. Transparency by political and law enforcement officials

  4. A tempered approach to social media, greater sensitivity and a better use of language. Most groups did not think that government intervention in censorship was appropriate, rather they suggested that we need to better temper ourselves.

LostMessiah’s blogger can be seen from about 15:18 to 19:54 on the video.

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A Parenting Course – the Indoctrination of Religious Jewish Children to Hate

From the archives of Frum Watch on Facebook click here.

Dear Reader:

We are posting these disturbing videos because we believe that they mirror, in subtle and astounding  ways, the same hatred taught by radical white supremacists (like the KKK), the difference being the targets. This rabbi is targeting everyone who does not dress, observe and believe as he does and he is basing it in Jewish scripture, albeit we believe a flawed interpretation. Similarly, the KKK has used these same reasoning methods from the New Testament against Blacks, Jews, the LGBTQ community and the list goes on. Children in families of White Supremacists are dogmatically taught to hate. There is no difference here.

Simply because this comes from the mouth of a visibly Jewish rabbinical scholar does not make it any less bigoted, fear mongering and hateful. In our view, this speech is no less venomous than it would have been were he to have been cloaked in a white cape and hat.

This is the anti-non-Jewish and anti-secular Jewish view of the world from someone who was brought in to teach a parenting course. We view this as a tragedy. If Jewish children (any children) are being taught that those less observant, those less Torah-scholared, those who dress differently, are less Jewish and frankly less human (as translated) than we are creating the same hatred as the Ku Klux Klan and are no less responsible for the consequences or those unintended consequences that result. If this means acts of anti-Semitism, it means seeing a response to these views angrily expressed.

With the words of this rabbi available for the world to hear, is it any wonder why we, all Jews, are becoming more and more reviled?

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Is this a Voice of Peace and Co-Existence or a Battle Cry? If a Battle Cry, is the Accompanying Hostility anti-Semitism?

Doctor Rich Roberts, famed Lakewood GOP Philanthropist (he donates GOBS of money to the GOP to purchase influence) and now chief antagonist of the Jackson Township government was recently interviewed on the radio. His comments and strategy are quite telling.

During the interview he talks about formulating a strategy, how ultimately “we’re gonna win” because eventually there will be enough orthodox Jewish families to form a “voting bloc” to force their will on local government.

“It’s impossible to fight our strong economic forces and strong demographic forces”.

Does this sound like a man that is leading a community interested in finding a mutually beneficial path forward or a man that is hellbent on forcing the will of the orthodox Jewish community on their new neighbors?

You decide.

See the Links to the FB site and the blogsite below:


Aron Wieder, James Foley and the Rockland County Legislators, To the Dems – Time to Grow a Pair…


Aaron Wieder – The Political ShowmanUsing His Platform as a Means to Divide Not Bridge Gap, This is Not Living Together – it is Inciting Hatred!

We call upon the media, Jewish groups – the Jewish Federation of Rockland, the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, the JCC Federation, the Federation of Rabbis and others to stop supporting this firebrand voice for hatred, to speak out against it, to be vocal and active on behalf of all Jews.

Aron Wieder is indulging in rabble-rousing and muckracking. He is antagonistic and aggressive and vicious.

He is not a representative for Jews unless he is trying to create a community based and founded in a deep and underlying hatred. He creates a justification. Someone needs to curb his behavior and state in no uncertain  terms that he does not represent the best Rockland County has to offer for everyone. The community, both Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and non-religious can live together peacefully; but not if this man is the face of Judaism, and the very worst it has to offer.

In our previous article we note the alliance created by an anti-Zionist and very radical Jewish community, which is far more rational than Wieder and his brand of deep-seeded racist hatred. Again, we call upon rational minds to stand up and say, “ENOUGH.” We call upon Rockland County’s Dems to set aside party lines and to think rationally. Aron Wieder has the power to single-handedly leave Rockland and the greater Jewish community in ruins, not because anti-Semitism exists or existed but because he epitomizes hatred and divisiveness.

Get your heads out of the sand.


From: “Clarkstown What They Don’t Want You to Know

Rockland County Legislature

James Foley, who was elected into office on a platform promising to confront the Ramapo political leadership, will be in attendance at his first legislative meeting on Tuesday, January 21st at 7:00pm.

Legislator Aron Wieder has now twice used the floor of the County Legislature to attack Legislator Foley while simultaneously claiming to want to mend fences and work together. We expect further childish antics from Legislator Wieder at this evening’s meeting and we therefore encourage residents to come out in force to show Legislator Wieder he needs to respect the will of Rockland’s voters who elected his nemesis into office.

If Legislator Wieder truly wants to put his past behind and begin working toward resolving the very real issues we face, we suggest that he drop the antics and begin a cooperative and productive discussion on development, code enforcement, and respecting the rights of others.

But we won’t hold our breath waiting for that to happen. This video of a recent Public Safety Committee meeting shows firsthand the public stunts that lead us to feel this way.

After all, Wieder has proven to be nothing more than a showman time and time again…..

“Aron Wieder Be Ashamed, Don’t Speak in Our Name” – Strange Political Bedfellows


The Strange Bedfellows of Politics and Aron Wieder’s Divisiveness, Antagonistic and Racist Behavior

Aron Wieder, a Legislator in Rockland County, New York, has a reputation among many in Rockland County for his highly politicized, venomous and divisive approach to ultra-Orthodox Jews living together with the rest of Rockland County. He comes across as racist and bigoted, self-interested and man of us are wondering what really is his “end-game.”

As the above video shows, there are many within his own community who believe that he is harming the perception of the community as the face of the ultra-Orthodox. If every ultra-Orthodox Jew is to be viewed through his lens, hatred should come as no surprise. Call that hatred what  you will, anti-Semitism is the wrong word, particularly for those of us who do not believe that our Judaism is exemplified by his behavior.

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Rockland County, Nearing a Breaking Point – Perhaps over-development is the problem [video]


A Tale of Two Rocklands

Note to readers:

The video is quite long, as is the write-up by its creators: “Clarkstown What They Don’t Want You to Know” a FB page.

CWTDWYTK has more recently been the subject of attempts by the New York political machine, including Attorney General Tish James to stymie criticism that could be viewed as anti-Semitic, without so much as a review of the subject matter of the posts.

As always, admittedly, the comments can vicious but the administrators on the page have done their best to limit anything that could be viewed as hate-speech.

Given the uptick in violence against Jewish communities, particularly those who have made themselves both excluded and visible, it might be time for us to look at the socio-economic, political and cultural makeup of the people within Rockland County to see where steps can be taken to bridge gaps. It is not anti-Semitism that has guided an uptick in violence, at least not in Rockland County. Rather than invoking an all-too-used familiar mantra of anti-Semitism, it might be time to put on our big-boy pants and start analyzing problems and coming up with solutions. Enforcing zoning laws might be a start.

Anti-Semitism as a cause celebre for allowing behavior that would otherwise be deemed wholly unacceptable has taken on a life of its own.

The video was initially posted in 2 parts on the FB site. We are reposting the write-ups about the video and invite you to see the page by clicking here.

Please note this is being posted with permissions. 

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Israel, a Haven for Sexual Abusers – a Skewed Legal Process and Malka Leifer

Malka Leifer, former Melbourne principal and accused child abuser, granted further delays in extradition process

The alleged victims of an Israeli teacher accused of sexually abusing girls at a Melbourne school said they were distressed and angry about further delays to her extradition case.

The Jerusalem District Court has granted lawyers for the former principal of the Adass Israel girls school, Malka Leifer, time to cross-examine members of a psychiatric panel that found the 54-year-old had been faking mental illness to avoid extradition.

The panel is meant to be the final assessment of Ms Leifer’s mental fitness after more than 30 previous examinations, many of which found her mentally competent to face trial.



Israel’s State Attorney’s Office had seized on its findings to press for a speedier resolution to the extradition hearing, so Ms Leifer could be sent to Australia to face 74 sexual abuse charges.

“The psychiatric panel’s findings lead to the inevitable conclusion that over the past five years, the court and the mental health system have fallen victim to a fraud perpetrated by Leifer and her supporters,” it said in a press release before the court hearing.

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Holding Yeshivas Accountable to Educating Children, Maimonides, Israel and the US

yeshiva students  (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH 90)

Dear Readers:

While this post is largely the same as the article (and additional reading) posted yesterday, it cannot be understated that educational neglect in Yeshivas is a far-reaching problem. While Jews can boast a long list of Nobel Laureates, none came from a Hasidic and educationally deprived background where the children are not taught the simplest of lessons. Not all Yeshivas ascribe to system of teaching. The ones that do must be legislated out of that freedom. Children within those yeshivas don’t learn the basics and certainly do not learn advanced sciences, mathematics or civics and in the US, they cannot speak English – the language of the country. In Israel, at the very least the leg up on Hebrew comes from the religious texts. But that does not open the jail cell of illiteracy when it comes to English, Arabic and other languages taught in Israel.

In the US, the State of New York in particular, if a parent home-schools a child for whatever the parent’s reasons, and that child does not meet basic academic standards, the family can be (and IS) held to account for neglecting his or her children. Parents are charged criminally. These cases are rampant in the Courts in Rockland County and elsewhere.

New York is rife with lists of parents who have been successfully brought up on charges by school districts for improperly (or simply not) educating their children. And yet, Yeshiva children in the same or similar circumstances as that family of home-schooled children, are somehow NOT held to account for the lack of some of the most fundamental basic knowledge. Many of  these children are grossly under-prepared for living in the world with others, and while that may be by design, it is most certainly unacceptable. To state that they survive “on the goodwill of others” is technically compelling a child to a parasitic lifestyle [for lack of a more accurate description], an unfair fate.

There will come a time when New York, now on its way to an ultra-Orthodox majority (anticipated to take about 20-25 years) when famed hospitals will not have enough doctors to staff them because so much of the population will be functionally illiterate. To the Israeli narrative, there will come a time when Israel will be simply unable to defend its borders. Despite significant growth in children born to the ultra-Orthodox community, there is a dramatic decline in the numbers of children enlisting in the army service, mandatory preparation to protect the Israel’s borders. The numbers indicate a disproportionate section of Israeli conscription age children who are not enlisting; and Israel has not (for political reasons) compelled its ultra-Orthodox to an equal treatment IDF obligation to the detriment of every secular child living in that country.

The US is founded upon a strict separation of Church and State. It was architected as an escape of religious tyranny. Somehow we are slowly finding our way back to religious rule. It is just a tyranny of a different kind.

Israel was founded upon the principles of a Democratic and yet theologically oriented state. It is little by little finding its way to becoming little more than the Jewish version of some of the most fundamentalist of Arab states. The big difference is that while the Koran is taught in fundamentalist Islamic states surrounding Israel, so too, is military training. Eventually Israel will be out-gunned, out-maneuvered, and quite honestly out-educated. It is a matter of time. Population growth statistics and a lack of government oversight will eventually doom Israel to the very thing it was created to prevent and those ultra-Orthodox anti-education, anti-Zionists will have themselves to blame.

To those within Israel reading this, you must exercise your right to vote or others will be voting for you. 

The key to changing the tide lies in education. Jewish scripture and its interpretation speaks of education and self-sufficiency, almost demands it. Maimonides: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”  Maimonides in The Guide for the Perplexed wrote: “The person who wishes to attain human perfection should study logic first, next mathematics, then physics, and, lastly, metaphysics.”

The great scholars did not write treatises on educational neglect and welfare. That should not be the messages Yeshivas in the US, Israel or anywhere else in the world should be teaching either.

New York to reform yeshiva system, grads can barely speak English

According to Zwiebel, there are some 160,000 students studying at about 450 yeshiva schools in the state, and most of those schools would need to significantly alter their curriculum under the proposed regulations. A better approach, he says, is to work with struggling schools individually to improve secular education.
“We have to work on those things and get them straight and do it on individual school-by-school basis rather than creating a new aggressive oversight structure that goes, as far as I’m aware, beyond that which exists in any other of the 50 states,” he said.
A similar fight has been playing out in Israel, where attempts by the government to enforce general education standards on publicly-funded ultra-Orthodox schools were met with fierce pushback from community leaders and their political representatives. Some ultra-Orthodox schools in Israel receive exemptions that free them from having to provide core classes in math, science, English and other subjects. Only 12 percent of ultra-Orthodox students received matriculation certificates in the 2015-16 school year, far lower than the 77 percent of students who did so in secular and modern Orthodox schools, according to a 2018 report by the Israel Democracy Institute.
As in Israel, some members of the ultra-Orthodox community in New York worry that the proposed regulations are part of a larger effort to change their way of life.
“The danger is that if you try to change one thing, it will not stop there. Tomorrow you will say that we need to change our dress code, the way of our beliefs, and so on,” said Volvi Einhorn, 28, a yeshiva graduate who now works at a design firm in Brooklyn.
Einhorn said that ultra-Orthodox Jews can do well professionally thanks to the support they receive from others in the community. But Steinberg says that still leaves many people working at jobs far below their potential and does nothing to help people who decide they don’t want to live an ultra-Orthodox lifestyle.
“What if I happen to not want to be part of the community anymore?” Steinberg said.
Under the proposed rules, private schools that don’t comply with the regulations would lose funding for textbooks, transportation and other state services. If schools don’t comply and parents continue to send their kids there, the parents could potentially face jail time. The Education Department held a public commenting period that ended in September and is currently considering whether to enact the proposal.
The proposed regulations stem from a 2015 complaint to New York City’s Education Department by former students of 39 Orthodox schools who alleged that they had not received sufficient instruction in secular studies, particularly English.
The letter was organized by Young Advocates for Fair Education, or Yaffed, which advocates for improved education in Orthodox schools. Its founder, Naftuli Moster, grew up attending Hasidic yeshivas in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park and says he graduated barely being able to speak English.
“[The yeshivas] want to continue doing what they’ve been doing, which in our view is mass educational neglect and depriving kids of an education, subjecting them to lives of poverty and dependence on government assistance,” Moster told JTA.
To read the article in its entirety, click here. 

Jersey City Grocery Store Shooting in December – Heavily Armed Duo with Bomb Hidden in Van



Bomb in Van of NJ Shooting Attack Suspects Could’ve Killed People 5 Football Fields Away: Officials

What to Know

  • One detective and three civilians were killed during a targeted shootout and standoff at a Jersey City kosher market last month
  • Two suspects, David Anderson and Francine Graham, were found dead inside the market; NJ’s top prosecutor said their motivation was hate-fueled domestic terror
  • Investigators said Monday that a bomb found in their van could have killed or maimed people as far as five football fields away

The U.S. attorney in New Jersey and the head of the local FBI said Monday that the bomb found in the van of alleged domestic terrorists Francine Graham and David Anderson could have killed or maimed people up to five football fields away.

They also said there was enough material in the van to make a second bomb.

Four innocent people, including a veteran Jersey City police detective and father of five, died in the hail of prolonged gunfire. Most of the victims were found inside the JC Kosher Supermarket on Martin Luther King Boulevard during what officials have described as a hate-fueled terror spree on Dec. 10.

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Educational Neglect in New York, Agudath Israel, PEARLS, YAFFED… “I was born here.”

Gene Steinberg, second from left in front row, with members of Freidom, the support group he founded for former haredi Orthodox Jews. (Freidom)

New York is trying to reform the Orthodox yeshiva system, which some graduates say barely taught them to speak English

NEW YORK (JTA) — Gene Steinberg was born and raised barely an hour outside New York City, but well into adulthood he could barely speak the language of his native country. 

Raised in a mostly Hasidic community 50 miles northwest of Manhattan, Steinberg, now 43, attended schools where Yiddish was the primary language of instruction. Until age 12, he received only an hour of instruction in secular subjects each day. After that, the number dropped to zero. From early morning until late in the evening, he spent his time immersed in the study of Jewish texts. 

When he went to enroll at a community college at the age of 37, he was told he had to take an English class aimed at new immigrants.

“I had a conversation with the person in charge and the first question she asked me [was], ‘When did you immigrate? What year?’” Seinberg recalled. “And I tried to explain to her, I didn’t immigrate. I was born here.”

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Rabbi Greer Fooled a Lot of People, Garnered Support…Yet Another Victim

This is being published from the files of Larry Noodles.

Please see his blog for an in-depth look into Rabbi Daniel Greer, whom Noodles refers to as the “GOAT.” He has written extensively on the subject.

In our opinion, far too many Jewish organizations, shuls, funds, and people have supported Rabbi Greer, written letters on his behalf, explained away his crimes as if they did not happen. Is it not time that his supporters be held accountable for their support and by implication their complacency?

A recent letter written to the Court and posted by Noodles on his blog reads: “He [Greer] humiliates people with the ease that others say good morning.”

“However, I wish to echo and amplify the voices of his true victims and tell you both from experience and professional expertise that victims of emotional, let alone physcial or sexual abuse often come back, often seek to impress, and often fail to confront the abuser.”

We will be following this story closely and adding information as it becomes available regarding Rabbi Greer and his supporters.

Is it not time to denounce Rabbi Greer and show your support for his victims?


Daniel Greer was sentenced to 20 years in prison, suspended after 12, last month after getting convicted of four felony counts of risk of injury to a minor. Connecticut trial Judge Jon Alander considered the testimony of no less than three accusers, ie., Rabbi Avi Hack, Eli Mirlis and Rafi when he sentenced pedophile “Rabbi” Daniel Greer, AKA “the Goat” to 20 years in jail.

In spite of the testimony of no less than three accusers, in spite of the fact that the Goat’s two loyal sons fled the compound, and in spite of the fact that Dr. Ford testified in the civil trial that Ezi Greer was molested by the Goat, the Goat received numerous glowing letters of admiration, love, and support. One such love letter was written and signed by “Senior” Rabbi Albert Feldman, Rabbi Emeritus of the Westville Synagogue, who stated: “After knowing Daniel Greer for better than a half-century, I can fully vouch for Rabbi Daniel Greer’s upright moral and ethical character and behavior in all situations.”

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Leifer, Five Years After Israeli Initial Ruling Protected Her, Faces Extradition

A private investigator tracked Malka Leifer as she did shopping in Bnei Brak on December 14, 2017.

Report: Leifer fit to face extradition

NINE years after three police statements were made in Victoria, a panel of psychiatrists has ruled alleged child sexual abuser Malka Leifer is fit to face extradition from Israel to Australia.

“We cannot believe this day has come,” alleged victim Dassi Erlich said.

“Incredible news! We knew this all along! Such a long wait! Justice has come!”

Leifer was first arrested in Israel in August 2014, but was ruled unfit to face extradition proceedings. A new panel of three psychiatrists was recently formed to give the Jerusalem District Court judge a new opinion on her mental health conditions.

The panel is due to hand over its report to the Jerusalem District Court today (Friday) and then it will officially be presented in court Tuesday, but an official with knowledge of the case told The Times of Israel that she has been assessed as fit to stand trial.

Child sexual abuse advocate Manny Waks said this is a monumental development in the case.

“It seem that finally justice will prevail,” he said.

To continue reading click here.


Anti-Semitism and Judaism – an Interesting View

From The Jewish Press


Why do people hate us? What is it about us they despise?

But perhaps it has nothing to do with us. There is a drop of bitter resentment deeply ingrained in the human psyche that, upon seeing the triumph of a people so small, gives birth to loathing.

We Jews are leaders. We are at the forefront of scientific research, medicine, and mathematics. We are producers and directors of major films. We are prolific writers, thinkers, and artists. We are a tiny people. Yet, we are disproportionately represented among the world’s elite.

It is unpleasant to see a small person win. It is unnerving to see a lowly person, a person abused and ostensibly stripped of honor and dignity, maintain his humanity and kindness. It is unnerving to see him demonstrate a G-dly element, an element that is higher than animalism.

Humankind ducks its head, subconsciously ashamed of its own failure, disgusted at the success of the humble. Humankind is shocked that a nation that has been beaten, over and over again – abused, expelled, exterminated – can rise up again and again. Like a phoenix from the ashes, we rise reborn, renewed, and idealistic as ever.

We are man’s mirror. What he shies away from is merely his own reflection. We are showing him his greatest failures and his greatest possible success. And if you know anything about human nature, you know that man’s tendency is to distance himself from potential, to idle in the shadows. Man fears the light, and in seeing another’s, he seeks to extinguish it. Instead of feeding the flame, he attempts to smother it.

Yes, we are also human. Prone to evil like any other, involved in some of the most gruesome schemes. On the other hand, we are shining moral examples. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Moses, David, and Solomon. Maimonides, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

To continue reading click here.

“All Those Who Suffer at the Hands of the Hateful” – Beautiful Speech [VIDEO]




It is measured, eloquent and calm and specifically acknowledges that Rabbi Rottenberg does not believe that the community should be politicizing this event or that the community should be arming itself.

We might all be able to do a little soul-searching after these comments.



Anti-Zionism Has a Death Toll… What the Writer Missed

Image result for jews burning flags in israel

A Commentary about the Inextricable Link between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, a Follow Up to Tuesday’s Opinion Piece and the Opinion of Hen Mazzig

[Opinion 1.9.20]

We are republishing an article that was posted yesterday, without the permission of the author. We will take it down if asked, or cut back what we have posted. We direct you to watch the video by clicking the below link and also to view Hen Mazzig’s article in its original iteration by clicking here. 

We wholeheartedly agree that anti-Zionism has a death toll; but think that Mr. Mazzig’s point is an over-simplification of a larger problem: that anti-Semitism is inherently anti-Zionism but the reverse is not always the case, though the two are often confused.  Anti-Zionism is dangerous insofar as it does not distinguish between the State of Israel and the Jewish people, nor does it give credence to people who are genuinely critical of the State, not as anti-Zionists; but as non-supporters. Nor does it clearly illustrate that the positions taken by major organizations like the ADL need to be addressed by clear minds to avoid a misunderstood narrative. There is a distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. In addition, Mr. Mazzig’s article does not take into consideration the highly confusing message that anti-Zionist Jews who arguably are not anti-Semitic sent out. Within their anti-Zionist framework they have invariably created a justification by non-Jews to be both anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic and, as a consequence, very dangerous to Jewish identity, both religious and otherwise.

There are Jews and non-Jews who do not support the State of Israel for one reason or another; but do not deem themselves to be anti-Zionists. That term connotes a somewhat active position on the subject. Rather, they disagree with the politics, or disagree with the philosophy or some other aspect of the State of Israel rubs them the wrong way so they simply ignore the entire issue or speak in their academic and political circles about their views. We have heard arguments on both sides and there are valid critiques to be had about the State of Israel.

There are then Jews, as listed in Tuesday’s LM article entitled:

Religious Jews Commiserating with Iran for the Destruction of Israel and Divisive Organizations – The Optics

who are outrightly anti-Zionist, even going as far as praying for Israel’s destruction. They believe that the razing of the State of Israel is a prelude to the coming  of the Moshiach (Messiah) and they cannot grasp how corrosive their views are for all Jews. They are the flag-bearers of anti-Semitism, whether they understand that premise or not. It cannot be understated that these fervently religious anti-Zionists are not small in number, are well-funded and are continuously growing.

As discussed in Tuesday’s commentary a large and visible contingent  traveled to wide press coverage and extensive, if not somewhat over-the-top, pomp and circumstance to give money to their fellow anti-Israel compatriots living within the State of Israel. They were greeted with a parade and rally upon arrival in Israel. Yet, they espouse the virtues of religious Jews inhabiting the Jewish State allegedly without accepting Israeli state funding or contributing any real benefit in return. They tow the anti-conscription line and the anti-Secular education narrative, both of which will ultimately be the downfall of the State of Israel. And they think not what they can do for their country, only what their country can do for them. Many are dual citizens of Israel and countries throughout the world and at least some collect services from both countries, all the while viewing religious principles first, country a far off second.

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Religious Jews Commiserating with Iran for the Destruction of Israel and Divisive Organizations – The Optics

Iran.Naturei Karta.2


[Opinion: 1.7.20]

(underlined portion loosely translated)

“We Identify with the hurt of all of the Iranians. We are Jews of the Torah, we pray that Zionist Israel will topple at the first opportunity.”

All Jews Should be Speaking Out About The Voices of Our Own Dissenters, Those Who Wish the Very Destruction of our Jewish Homeland and Those Who Boycott Solidarity Events

This Post is Not-Anti-Semitic, it is Painfully Self-Aware.

The insidious problem of anti-Semitism, with its complicated history and underpinnings, is a problem exacerbated not only by outside forces; but also from within the Jewish community itself. This is not victim-shaming but a series of observations.

Outspoken Jewish organizations that choose to “boycott” events like the Brooklyn Bridge solidarity march prove, in no uncertain terms, that they believe that not all Jews are created equal. Disagreement with the message of one of the sponsors should have been left on one side of the bridge as everyone walked across, to be picked up at a later time and place, if indeed, this was a Jewish solidarity event, uniting us all against anti-Semitism. Otherwise, it is simply an example of the incarnation of hatred within the Jewish community, a poor example if you are trying to unite Jews against a common enemy. Sadly, this same group received widespread coverage as the outspoken face of anti-Semitism and Jewish solidarity; and in reality they were and continue to be anything but. 


In Rockland County, New York, as political bigwigs like Kristen Gillebrand, Governor Cuomo and AG Tish James were allegedly “supporting the Jewish battle against anti-Semitism” they were only doing so if that anti-Semitism was directed at the Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox communities. They did not offer to meet with the standard bearer of Judaism, mainstream vocal Jewish and non-Jewish activists within the County. Instead they met with a single contingent, and not one that represents the majority of Rockland’s Jews.

As Jewish Federation of Rockland was voicing its concerns with a rally at the Jewish Community Center, a worthy cause, it was unwilling to address the fundamental concerns of ordinary people whatever the religion within the County. Those concerns are genuine and should not be belittled for the sake of political clout. Rather, those far more eloquent than this writer, have an obligation to come up with solutions to real problems that do not diminish the voices of those who do not provide a financial donation, contribution or political voting bloc.

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YAFFED and Social Media Called Out at Solidarity March – Supporting Educational Neglect, not Solidarity

Clarkstown What They Don’t Want You to Know (Facebook)

‘No Hate – No Fear’ Solidarity March Attended By Thousands From All Faiths

One speaker was noted Jewish community activist, Chaskel Bennett, who delivered a passionate speech defending the Chassidic community. In the article posted below there is a seven minute video of Mr. Bennett’s succinct remarks.

Bennett said that for every large scale attack such as Jersey City and Monsey there were also numerous small scale attacks. He stated that anti-Semitism is seen in many different forms and particularly mentioned that beyond the major incidences there were frequent and numerous occurrences. Bennett mentioned of particular concern:

1: Thugs cursing at Jews and committing knockdowns and similar random horrendous attacks on individual Jews going peacefully about their daily business.

2: Naftuli Moster, New City resident, founder of YAFFED and one of the rally’s supporting organizers for his work seeking to enforce secular education standards in ultra-Orthodox yeshivas. YAFFED’s work was said to be sowing the seeds of hatred towards Chassidim.

3: Some social media sites for spreading violent and despicable anti-chassidic bigotry on line. People were asked to call out and condemn the sites and the social media companies that host these sites.

We certainly agree with the first point made by Mr Bennett about knockdowns etc in New Jersey and elsewhere. Hopefully we will not see that type of thuggery become prevalent in Rockland County.

As to Mr. Moster, his activities should be very simple to resolve once the NY State Education Department and the government of NY State answer a very simple question as to whether or not YAFFED’s claims have validity. We believe that they do and we fully support Mr. Moster and the work of his organization. NY State monies should not be going to any institution that does not meet the standards required by New York law. If the State of New York finds that the yeshivas in question are in compliance then the matter can be closed.

As to Bennett’s criticism of social media we can only speak directly about this site. We would welcome a review of our content by New York State Attorney General Tish James and would fully cooperate with any such review.

As we have mentioned in an earlier post, to this end we have proactively written to the AG formally requesting a meeting with her to discuss any concerns she may have. We have also offered to bring several prominent people from Rockland County – about whose work we frequently write – to also meet with her as part of this review.

Finally, with regard to the social media platform that we use (Facebook) we have always successfully passed examination of our posts and will at all times continue to comply with this platform’s stated standards.

Throngs of demonstrators joined by elected officials walked solemnly across the Brooklyn Bridge in a solidarity march Sunday against anti-Semitism and all

America As a Refuge for All Peoples, Is it America First or Religion First?- anti-Semitism

Clarkstown – What They Don’t Want You To Know

The Rise In Attacks On Jews – What’s Behind It?

Here are some questions as they pertain to Rockland County that we feel were raised by the panel in the Journal Editorial Report:

1: Are the attacks pertaining to the ultra-Orthodox community – either physical or verbal (including criticism of its behavior on social media) – an indicator of social decay in Rockland County?

2: Are the secular and religious segments in Rockland County becoming uncertain and thus are becoming polarized and alienated?

3: Are citizens heading to a situation in Rockland County parallel to that in the 1990s experienced in the Crown Heights section of New York where tensions between the African-American and the Jewish communities boiled over into riots?

4: Are the new bail reform laws that were put in place recently by Governor Cuomo contributing to the rise of attacks on Jewish people by thuggish hooligans?

5: Is there a rise in anti-Semitism in Rockland County and if so does that rise indicate there is a lot of social anxiety resulting in disfavored groups becoming targets?

6: Is there a deeper problem in Rockland County that needs to be recognized and addressed?

We were stuck by the similarity of what we heard in this program with what one of our readers posted as a series of comments in several of our earlier posts a day or so ago. We believe that she correctly articulated some of the elements of “social anxiety” in Rockland County and we now would ask our readers if her observations give an indication of the “deeper problems in Rockland County society that need to be recognized and addressed?

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A Concerted Effort by a Community and NYS Government to Actively Destroy Free Speech – RUOC

To see this on Facebook click here.

Rise Up Ocean County Has Been Taken Down?

Can any attack on free speech prevail?

Our bet?

Absolutely not!

Here is the typical type of attack that has been waged against Rise Up Ocean County.

This article claims that “social media and cowardly politicians” are fueling anti-Semitism.

The article states:

‘Can this truly be happening in the United States? What has changed in the past generation? The answer is social media. A tool that is the essence of millennials’ pastime and even vocational endeavors, but now also serves as a vehicle of propagating hate and inciting malice and hostility.

Never before has it been so simple to indoctrinate the masses with the push of a button. This generation is educated by vindictive sociopaths instead of erudite professors. In an interview with The Associated Press, J.J. McNab, a fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, explained that the internet has played a pivotal role in assisting the most militant elements in disseminating their ideologies.

In early March of this year, I addressed state Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer at a “Stop the Hate” event to combat anti-Semitism and discrimination. I implored them to act against the rising anti-Semitic and discriminatory inuendo that exists in our own backyard.

I quoted Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, who visited Israel for the first time after the deplorable attack on a Squirrel Hill Synagogue where 11 congregants where brutally massacred. Peduto said, “Hate speech leads to hate crime.” This was my theme; hate speech leads to hate crime.

One month later, on April 5, Grewal and the Division on Civil Rights called for Facebook to help stem the rising tide of hate in New Jersey and across the nation by examining a Facebook page known as Rise Up Ocean County (RUOC).

Read on ….…/social-media-and-cowardly…/2768794001/

Just last week several “cowardly politicians’ sat silent as they were criticized in a meeting with New York State Attorney General James. In that same media one social media page, namely this one, was discussed and AG James was asked to do something about it.

This page was defamed when the attorney general was told that the “they” in the title of our page refers to the ultra-Orthodox community.

We have written to AG James with an offer to travel to Albany and meet with her in person and we have offered to have accompany us several leaders of various organizations struggling with zoning, fire, safety and educational issues in Rockland County. We also identified to AG James several politicians who are leaders in the issues about which we write frequently and indicated to AG James that we would welcome their participation in a face to face discussion.

We will keep you informed as to whether our offer of dialogue with the Attorney General will be accepted.

Meanwhile to our friends in Ocean County we await your return and to witness vindication of the constitution of the United States!

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Free Speech Out the Window – Has RUOC Been “Kashoggi’d?? – Return the Real RUOC Page to its Owner?!!!



Whatever you think about the Rise Up Ocean County Facebook Page and its 18,000 followers –

Free Speech in America Should be Free





From Rockland County, NY – Do We Really Want an Open Vigilante Militia?

Note: This has been posted at our discretion. It is without the permission of the author but publicly available on Facebook. Click here for link. This comes in the wake of a terrible tragedy in Monsey, New York on the 7th night of Chanukah.

We wish the victims and their families a refuah shlema (speedy recovery) and peace for the family of the man who remains in critical condition. 

We believe that this sort of “arming the community” is going to come with accidents, dangers and a necessary review by both State and Federal authorities on whether or not we really want all of our communities to start taking up arms. This, in our view, is a dark path, very dark. Combating anti-Semitic attacks, anti-anything attacks with combat weapons is a slippery slope.

That is our take. Yours may be different.

**Thoughts? **

MONSEY, NY — The pictures that circulated on social media showed three men with long guns strapped to their bodies.

They stood outside one of the many synagogues in Monsey, New York after an attack on a Hanukkah celebration left five injured.

“People need to understand there’s no other choice,” said one man named Shlomo, who held a rifle as he spoke to Yeshiva World News this past Sunday near the *shul*.

Another man holding a weapon said, “One day, it’s a stabbing, another day it’s a shooting,” adding, “I’m clearly here to say, ‘Hey, don’t bother me.’”

A Rockland County man named Anthony Mele gave a “thumbs up” as the group posed for some photos.

Mele—president of AMI Global Security– told PIX11 on New Year’s Day that some Monsey men had called him within an hour of the Saturday stabbings on Forshay Road, seeking advice.

Five Orthodox Jewish men had been injured in the assault at a rabbi’s home, including 71-year-old Josef Neumann, who suffered a devastating brain injury that’s left him partially paralyzed.

Mele said he spoke to the men about something he calls a Jewish Tactical Defense Initiative.

“It is the concept that the community should be well-prepared and well-trained to defend itself at a moment’s notice, “ Mele said, “….which is perfectly logical, in this particular situation.”

“Self-preservation and self-defense is a human right,” Mele added.

But some locals became concerned when they saw photos of the men with rifles circulating on Facebook and on sites like Rockland Report.

They contacted PIX11 about the photos.

We traveled to Monsey on New Year’s Day to see if anyone was ‘open carrying’ a rifle, which is not permitted in New York State, unless you have a hunting permit or special permission.

We didn’t see evidence of anyone carrying a long gun Wednesday, and we asked Captain Marty Reilly of the Town of Ramapo Police Department about the incident.

“We sent one of our lead firearms experts, a sergeant in our department, ” Captain Reilly told PIX11. “He went over and physically inspected the weapons and they were compliant with New York State laws.”

“It’s alarming to some residents when they see people carrying weapons openly, so they voluntarily secured the weapons,” Reilly said. “The persons carrying it were on private property. The sergeant asked them if they could secure the weapons and they voluntarily complied.”

Anthony Mele told PIX11 that he had trained one of the men in how to use an M-4 rifle.

“The only person it should be alarming to is the person planning to make an attack against them,” Mele said.

Yet the nephew of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg, who owns the home where Saturday’s stabbings took place, told PIX11 the rifles were not something their congregation endorsed.

“It was definitely not sanctioned by us,” the nephew said. “They’re not part of our community.”

Yet Mendy Hecht, who’s a Hasidic resident of Rockland County, said to PIX11, “I don’t think it is a problem. I mean, there is a Constitution and you are allowed to carry a gun.”

When PIX11 asked Hecht if that should include carrying assault-type weapons, he responded, “If you’re afraid, then yes.”

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KeyBank Sues KJ, NY Religious Charity for Alleged 950K Chargeback Scheme

KeyBank sues Kiryas Joel religious charity in $950K credit card chargeback scheme

KeyBank has sued a Hudson Valley religious charity and a co-founder for allegedly running a $950,000 credit card chargeback scheme.

KeyBank of Cleveland sued Mordechai Gold and BHMD BY on Chevron Inc., of Kiryas Joel, Orange County, Dec. 16 in White Plains federal court.

“KeyBank seeks to prevent the fraudulent transfer or dissipation of assets, including those assets that they have already tried to put beyond the reach of KeyBank,” the lawsuit states.

Gold responded in a court filing that the allegations are a “complete fabrication.”

The bank “has attempted to dress up its contract claim as being an elaborate fraud involving over 40 conspirators,” he stated, “yet KeyBank has proffered no evidence of fraud.”

Gold, 26, Yoel Shtosel and Joel Fekete set up BHMD BY on Chevron in 2015 to establish a place of worship, Bnai Yisroel, on Chevron Road, according to the incorporation papers, and to “support the spiritual needs of the community with providing free loans and to support the religious, intellectual, moral and social welfare among them.”

Shtosel and Fekete are not named in the complaint.

BHMD opened a settlement account with KeyBank in March for handling credit card transactions. Fiserv, a vendor working for the bank, processed credit and debit card charges for BHMD merchandise bought by cardholders, collected funds from the credit card banks and paid the merchants.

From April to early September, about $984,000 was deposited in the Keybank settlement account. During the same period, Gold transferred about $950,500 out of the account.

The transactions include $22,308 in cash withdrawals, $41,150 wired to a family trust, $84,000 wired to a member of Gold’s family and $533,996 transferred to Gold and BHMD accounts at NorthEast Community Bank.

Fiserv became suspicious and opened an investigation. BHMD was repeatedly charging the same, even-amount for transactions on high-reward credit cards. When the vendor questioned Gold, he said BHMD had been taking advance orders for Hebrew texts. Fiserv pressed for details, the complaint states, but Gold could not provide them.

Fiserv concluded that Gold and BHMD had colluded with customers to process fraudulent credit card transactions, collect the credit card rewards and steal the funds.

“BHMD and Gold then transferred the fruits of the fraud into outside bank accounts and took cash withdrawals,” according to the complaint.

Fiserv referred its findings to the FBI.

After KeyBank closed the settlement account in September, there was an enormous spike in chargebacks. Customers demanded refunds, claiming that the amounts of the transactions were incorrect, they didn’t recognize the transactions or the goods were not provided.

By mid-December, the chargebacks totaled $630,400, and KeyBank expects the number to surpass $950,000.

KeyBank had processed credit card transactions that resulted in $984,000 in deposits to the settlement account, “even though no actual goods or services were sold or delivered,” the complaint states. Then Gold and BHMD “plundered” $950,500.

The settlement account had insufficient funds for refunding the credit card banks, so KeyBank had to pay them.

Gold states in his declaration that BHMD functions as a charitable institution, raising money from contributors that it distributes to “needy families to help cover their costs (of) yeshiva, holidays, weddings and basic needs.”

BHMD had been offered a large supply of religious books and bookcases, he says, that it used as incentives to encourage donors to contribute $990,000 to his organization. But the supplier failed to deliver the items and BHMD was unable to honor its incentives.

“This resulted in a massive business failure in which over 40 contributors, disgruntled over the failure of BHMD to supply the promised items, issued chargebacks for their contributions.”

Gold said BHMD was unable to cover the chargebacks because it had immediately distributed the contributions to “needy recipients.”

The bank accuses Gold and BHMD of breach of contract and fraud. It is asking for a court to order to preserve all assets and for judgments for damages and enforcement of a personal guaranty Gold signed when he opened the settlement account.

KeyBank is represented by Manhattan attorneys Emily J. Mathieu and Brian K. Steinwascher. BHMD and Gold are represented by Richard M. Mortner of Manhattan.

To see the article on its original forum click here.