The Rialto Building – San Francisco and Robert Rechnitz’s Bomel Co. – 2006



Lost Messiah, July 19, 2016

Based upon a tip that Robert Rechnitz was like his son Jona connected to Africa-Israel, and an article that circulated the web by Tikun Olam’s Richard Silverstein, we began searching where he left off, the Friedlander Group. A Robert Rechnitz search of the Friedlander Group site, brings up 37 results, none of which mentions any connection to anything but Agudath Israel and political activism (not to be confused with altruism). But then there’s the real estate…

As you may recall, Jona Rechnitz (of Mile-High Club Fame) worked for Africa Israel USA for several years; and on the coattails of that employment set up JSR Capital, which either acquired or managed companies of or for Africa Israel and/or Lev Leviev.

Africa Israel’s CEO is Lev Leviev a diamond magnate, who is now known in New York circles for his escorted foray through the Lincoln Tunnel, with the assistance of Jeremy Reichberg and his NYPD or NYPAPD connections, is or was an owner of some of New York’s most iconic buildings. 

Africa Israel is connected to Platinum Partners (and Murray Huberfeld) through investments (and diamonds). Africa Israel is connected to 88 Queensway through NY and California properties transferred from Africa Israel to 88 Queensway or Sam Pa.

Lev Leviev is also connected to 88 Queensway and Sam Pa through diamond mines in Africa, most notably Angola. And the wheels go round and round.

Robert Rechnitz has made finding connections to anything but his media consulting firm, the Friedlander Group, the Iron Dome Project, his apparent “philanthropic” donations to Israel (politicians) and political connections very difficult. We highly recommend the Friedlander Group if you want your secrets kept secret as apparently, they have done a brilliant job, almost.

While Robert Rechnitz’s LinkedIn Profile mentions Bomel, a company active in real estate which apparently Robert Rechnitz established in 1978, finding news articles and information on that connection is not obvious. The Bomel Companies website site makes no obvious connection to Robert Rechnitz , nor is there much media available on Rechnitz and Bomel. There is far more information that can be garnered from what is not public than what is. 

The fact that Bomel and Africa Israel are connected took some doing to substantiate. In November of 2006, the San Francisco Business Times reported on the Bomel Group’s acquisition of 116 New Montgomery Street, the Rialto Building in San Francisco. That property was allegedly subsequently sold to Africa-Israel. We had previously written about Africa Israel’s acquisition of that property. In June of 2010, in an obscure article about the relocation of Trulia, the San Francisco Business Times reported on a partnership between Robert Rechnitz’s Bomel and Africa Israel as joint owners of that same property, the Rialto.

The connection was made.

A final note: On the bottom of this article we have listed the 37 search results of the name Robert Rechnitz from the Friedlander Group website. We were intrigued by an article about FBI Special Agent Frankel who spoke at an Agudath Israel Breakfast. We make no implications or assumptions in this notation, only insofar as we think it quite anomalous that an FBI special agent would speak at an Agudath Israel anything. What is more intriguing is perhaps the Agudath connection itself, which also includes the likes of Murray Huberfeld, Mark Nordlicht, the Rechnitz clan, the Bodner clan – a veritable who’s who of extremely wealthy individuals and families who we maintain may have acquired wealth under very unsavory circumstances.

Lender puts mostly empty Britannia on the market

Trulia finds new HQ at 116 New Montgomery

Real estate search engine Trulia went searching for a bigger home. And found one.

The San Francisco-based company, currently located at 208 Utah St., has inked a deal to move to the South Financial District. Trulia has grabbed 32,000 square feet at 116 New Montgomery St. The new space is about twice what Trulia now occupies in Showplace Square.

Jonathan Allen and Marc Trovato represented the tenant. Charlie Withers of the CAC Group represents the owner, a partnership between Bomel Cos. and AFIUSA, as well as CWR Holdings. Trulia has 14 job openings in San Francisco.

Irish company sees green in Union Square retail properties

116 New Montgomery sold

Los Angeles-based developer Bomel Cos. has made its first foray into San Francisco, acquiring the pre-earthquake Rialto Building at 116 New Montgomery St. Bomel principal Robert Rechnitz said the 130,000-square-foot building is 90 percent leased and that the company would watch the residential sales market over the coming year to gauge whether it makes sense to convert it to condos or leave it as office. A building on the next block, 74 New Montgomery, is being converted into 107 condos.

The U-shaped building received an A rating from San Francisco Heritage and is considered to have influenced the architecture of the Monadnock Building and the Galen Building, both downtown.

Rechnitz, who specializes in infill housing project and boutique hotels, has been looking for an entry into the San Francisco market for six years.

“The market may be softening in terms of sales, but it’s a great city and demand for urban infill will continue to be strong,” he said.


The purpose of the Friedlander Group is as defined on their home page:

Since 2001, the Friedlander Group has provided government and public relations counsel to non-profit organizations as well as corporate and foreign entities, moving their organizations forward in ways they never thought possible.

We are a boutique political firm, based in New York City, specializing in government advocacy, public & media relations, and political event management.

In a global fast paced environment, the Friedlander Group stands out for its ability to effectively advocate on behalf of your needs utilizing a dignified approach, engaging in an ethical, fully transparent approach in its representation which guarantees the best possibility of success to the goals agreed upon by the client.

Our staff works side-by-side with clients as we utilize the best way to help advance their mission. Whether it’s a closer relationship to City Hall, assistance with navigating state funding, or a political event in Washington, DC we know how to reach the ears of relevant legislator

With respect to Robert Rechnitz, there were 37 search results on the website of the Friedlander Group:


1) Robert Rechnitz: Congress Gearing up for Iron Dome Tribute


3) Robert Rechnitz to be honored at Peres Congressional Gold Medal Reception

4) Iron Dome Congressional Tribute

5) Capitol Hill – swearing in of the 113th Congress

6) Congress, Jewish Leaders Gear Up for Iron Dome Tribute

7) Coverage on the Iron Dome Congressional Tribute

8) JTA Coverage of the Iron Dome Congressional Tribute

9) Pre Event Press Coverage

10) Yeshiva World Coverage of the Congressional Tribute

11) Bipartisan Group Of Lawmakers Celebrate U.S.-Israel Relationship

12) Shema Kolainu 11th Annual Legislative Breakfast 2013

13) Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices 11th Annual Legislative Breakfast – Pre Event Press Release and Invitation

14) Shema Kolainu’s Annual Breakfast Honors City And State Officials

15) Tu B’Shvat Celebration 2014

16) WNYC News report on Tu B’Shvat 2014

17) Agudath Israel Legislative Breakfast 2011

18) Longtime GOP Sen. Arlen Specter Dies

19) Jewish Heritage Celebration – 2014

20) House Passes Legislation on Peres Congressional Gold Medal Bill

21) Media Coverage – House Passes Peres Gold Medal Bill

22) Committee’s Private Reception with President Peres

23) Shimon Peres Congressional Gold Medal Presentation

24) Passing of additional funding for Iron Dome

25) Senate approves extra funding for Iron Dome

26) Agudath Israel Legislative Breakfast 2014

27) Agudath Israel Legislative Breakfast 2014 Pre-Event Press

28) Riveting Remarks of FBI’s Head of Counter-terrorism Division at Agudath Israel Legislative Breakfast

29) Media Coverage – FBI Special Agent In Charge at Agudath Israel Breakfast

30) The Americans Behind Peres’s Congressional Gold Medal Award

31) PAL Luncheon

32) Jewish Heritage Celebration – 2015

33) JewishInsider Coverage – White House Hanukkah Parties – 2015

34) Siyum Hashas 2012

Of that list, the one we found most interesting was a 2014 article entitled “Media Coverage – FBI Special Agent in Charge at Agudath Israel Breakfast.

Indeed, Mr. Frankel has traveled extensively for the FBI. He served as the FBI’s Deputy On-Scene Commander in Afghanistan where he led a group of FBI personnel who supported U.S. Special Forces components. Mr. Frankel was the On-Scene Commander for the FBI team that investigated the bombing of the Rugby Club in Uganda during the World Cup. He also led the team that arrested the surviving pirate involved in the Maersk Alabama incident off the coast of Somalia.

He was assigned to the New York Office where he supervised threat response squads within New York City and at JFK Airport. Mr. Frankel was an Associate Division Counsel within the New York Field Office wherein he provided legal advice to FBI employees on investigative and administrative matters. Mr. Frankel began his FBI career as a Special Agent assigned to the New York Field Office’s Gambino Family Organized Crime Squad.

In August 2013, he was promoted to Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office Counterterrorism Division.

In December 2013, Mr. Frankel was named Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office’s Criminal Division.

Special Agent in Charge Frankel began his remarks by thanking Rabbi Friedman for his contributions to law enforcement and said that since 9/11, the FBI has become a major force in counter-terrorism. One key was the growth and greater efficiency of the Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF), which pair the FBI with other law enforcement agencies. Started in 1970, there are now over 100 JTTFs nationwide, with more than 4,000 members (over four times the pre-9/11 total).

Finally, SAC Frankel voiced concern over proposed legislation that would allow much stronger encryption by technology companies such as Google, preventing access to information that has saved lives in the past.

Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Agudath Israel’s Executive Vice President and the Breakfast Chairman, acknowledged the partnership of elected officials with a politically engaged Jewish community, and recognized the hard work of Mr. Shlomo Werdiger, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Agudath Israel, and Rabbi Abba Cohen, Agudath Israel’s Vice President for Federal Affairs and Washington Director and Chaskel Bennett, member Board of Trustees, Agudath Israel of America, Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz – Vice President for Community Services for being on the front-lines of askanus.

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