The Simon Wiesenthal Center is a global human rights organization researching the Holocaust and hate in a historic and contemporary context. The Center confronts anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, promotes human rights and dignity, stands with Israel, defends the safety of Jews worldwide, and teaches the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations. With a constituency of over 400,000 households in the United States, it is accredited as an NGO at international organizations including the United Nations, UNESCO, OSCE, Organization of American States (OAS), the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO) and the Council of Europe.
What do you get when you mix extraordinary amounts of money, a world-renowned charity, a wealthy entitled son of religious Jewish ‘Philanthropists’ (not again….), Norman Seabrook and NYPD Chief Philip Banks?
June 15, 2016
We knew it all along… the money was funneled through the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Rechnitz Brainchild, “sensitivity training seminar.”
Updated 11:00PM EST
We knew that the JSR Capital/Rechnitz connection and the Rechnitz brainchild Simon Wiesenthal Center’s “sensitivity training program” had less to do with sensitivity than greed and corruption. We had no doubt that the Simon Wiesenthal Center was inexplicably embroiled in a scandal involving arrogance, shady politicians and dirty police officers and was being used by everyone involved as the industrial washing machine. We made the connections months ago, knowing full well that if we were right a once revered charitable organization could be forever insurmountably damaged.
We never anticipated that the City of New York would withdraw $500K in annual funding for reasons of “prudence” [damage control]. Perhaps the idiot in City Hall (Mayor de Blasio) should be considering the ramifications of such a move on the core mission of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its far reaching implications. Jona Rechnitz might have wanted to give that some thought also.
Perhaps the $500K should come directly from Jona Rechnitz and his wealthy family and other benefactors who have likely benefitted from his political savvy for years. Perhaps the money should come from Norman Seabrook who was well-cared for and became well-traveled as a result of his Rechnitz/”sensitivity” connection. Perhaps the money should come from the various police officers whose skewed collective moral compass may very well be the downfall of any trust New Yorkers have or had in the NYPD.
Perhaps the money should come the Wiesenthal liaison who made this all possible. You, along with the above-named have managed to corrupt the incorruptible, tarnish the untarnishable and dirty the name of a man, Simon Wiesenthal, whose greatest gift was his selflessness.
Sadly, for those of us who are children or grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, the damage done to the Jewish world is immeasurable.
A Mayor de Blasio donor under federal investigation for lavishing cops with gifts also helped pry taxpayer money from the City Council for a police training program he supported, The Post has learned.
Real-estate investor Jona Rechnitz used his connections to siphon $655,000 over the past two years from the City Council to fund a law-enforcement sensitivity seminar at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance, a source familiar with Rechnitz said.
“Rechnitz was able to secure funding from the council for a program he had an affinity for, based on his status as a heavy political contributor,” the source said.
The Wiesenthal Center established a program in 2004 to teach cops to be more tolerant to religious and cultural minorities. A museum spokesman called the seminar “universally acclaimed and respected” and said it trained 13,555 officers over the years.
The spokesman said Rechnitz has been a benefactor and volunteer at the Midtown museum since 2012.
The Upper West Side macher gave the museum thousands of dollars in 2014 after winning $25,000 on a $500 Super Bowl prop bet.
But Rechnitz’s primary role was recruiting scores of high-ranking cops and corrections officers to attend the center’s sensitivity-training program, called “Perspectives in Profiling.”
“Jona helped introduce us to people at Corrections and the Police Department,” the museum source said. “He helped bring people to events and helped raise money for [the museum].”
Two attendees included correction-union president Norman Seabrook and then-NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks, sources said.
The top cops are under federal investigation for receiving gifts and travel fees from Rechnitz, sources have told The Post.
Rechnitz allegedly funded several other jaunts for top brass to the Super Bowl, China, London, Brazil and Rome and golfing trips to the Dominican Republic, sources told The Post.
He also bundled $41,650 for de Blasio’s 2013 campaign and wrote $50,000 in checks to the Campaign for One New York, a nonprofit promoting the mayor’s agenda, state campaign-finance records show.
But Rechnitz needed help getting the City Council to fund his pet project, so he turned to the museum’s director, Rabbi Steven Burg, and its politically connected lobbyist then, Michael Cohen, a source said.
“Cohen arranged for tours of the Wiesenthal Center for different lawmakers and arranged for funding as well,” the source said. “He introduced Rechnitz to other elected officials.”