Do Not Educate Our Children, G-d Forbid They Should Actually Be Doctors, Lawyers, Productive Members of Society

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Protesters: Religious education at yeshivas should remain unchanged


WEST NYACK –Several people from the Orthodox Jewish community in West Nyack protested changes being made to religious education.

Concerned families and school leaders say they don’t want to change how they are educating students at local yeshivas.

“This country was based on freedom of religion and freedom of speech. They’ve had this education for thousands of years. This is why we came out here,” said one protester.

The state Education Department held a training session with all of the school districts in Rockland County at BOCES located on Parrott Road.

School officials say the state spoke about the need to guarantee that private schools are getting substantial equivalency of instruction that are in public schools.

They say it’s to ensure that all students receive the education to which they are entitled.

Clarkstown police say a 36-year-old man from Blooming Grove was arrested during the protest for urinating in public.

 

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Swipe for Points Scheme, Part II – Store Cleared Out Entirely

Store in “Swipe for Points” Scheme Quietly Clears Out Merchandise

 

Sterling Electronics has been partially cleaned out in a quiet move Thursday night. Many Crown Heights residence witnessed as moving trucks pulled up to the store and workers began removing the merchandise from the shelves. This comes following the revelation of the stores involvement in the recent Credit Card “swipe for points” scandal that left many with tens of thousands, and some with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

by CrownHeights.info

CrownHeights.info has received multiple alerts from community members as moving trucks and multiple workers were seen emptying shelves and merchandise from the iconic Sterling Electronics store on Kingston Ave. Stories of harassment from the workers have surfaced, as they attempted to prevent people from taking photos during the Thursday night clean out.

The store can be seen in photos with some shelves bare, and the floor littered with boxes to be packed.

This follows the recent revelation of the “Swipe for Points” scandal that was broken here on CrownHeights.info, shining a light on the corruption behind the scandal in hopes of educating the public.

The scandal was based in the Sterling Electronics storefront on Kingston ave, and spilled over to an alleged buyout of the famous electronics store “The Buzz.” The buy turned out to never have been completed, leaving many wondering where the money went.

The premise of the scheme was rooted in the sometimes lucrative market of credit card points and rewards programs. From signup bonuses to spending goals that double rewards, many had allowed themselves to be lured into this risky practice in which they allow individuals and companies to use their lines of credits, with a promise of repayment, so that they can “manufacture spend.”

The “foolproof” scheme fell apart as the store, already in financial trouble following some alleged “bad business decisions,” became unable to pay its bills. In a last ditch effort to stay afloat, an additional charge was made on the credit cards. This time though, the store was unable to return the money from the charges made, leaving all the credit card owners with the debt.

The store has not reopened since the revelation of the nearly 4 Million dollar credit card scheme. Rumors that additional monies taken as personal loans were also involved in the scheme, could not be verified by CrownHeights.info.

The owner of Sterling Electronics, Gershey Nueman, was unable to be contacted, his

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Another Case of Money Laundering and Fraud – Lakewood, NJ and School For Handicapped Children

Corruption Of Public Resources And Money Laundering By The Founder Of A School For Handicapped Children?

It is not surprising that such corruption exists and that money laundering is prevalent throughout the United States.

However it is amazing that such cases appear with frequency in communities that place great emphasis on religious studies and trying to understand God’s will for their lives.

In these same New Jersey communities we also have had numerous cases of welfare fraud.

For some amazing reason those responsible will not be required to repay 100% of what they stole as recent reports such as this one from the Asbury Park Press indicates ….

https://www.app.com/…/medicaid-fraud-lakewood-n…/1679615002/

Which raises a question as to why the public is expected to pay for that which was stolen from them and is there no longer equal justice for all and special justice for none?

The defense in this latest trial has now started. We await with interest to hear the case presented by the defense.

The Archdiocese and the Ultra-Orthodox Sharing Anti-Children’s Rights Causes: Apartheid – Faith – Based Education

New York should compel its religious schools to accept public oversight

 

Leaders of Jewish and Catholic private school systems in New York are refusing to accommodate curricula oversight by the state’s Education Department.

new york religious schools reject oversight
Parked school bus of United Talmudical Academy, a Jewish school in Brooklyn, New York. (Anulla, Flikr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

According to an article in Church & State, the online magazine of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, leaders of New York Catholic schools in December wrote this to state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia:

“We write to inform you that the New York State Council of Catholic School Superintendents, representing some 500 Catholic schools, rejects the recently released ‘substantial equivalency’ guidelines and is directing all diocesan Catholic schools not to participate in any review carried out by local public school officials.”

Mostly religious studies

The recent dust-up started in 2015, when news media began reporting on the quality of education offered at another religion’s private schools in New York — ultra-Orthodox Jewish yeshivas — when it became known that their students were mostly being taught the Torah, Judaism’s primary text, but very little about secular subjects, including English, science and mathematics.

“As a result, students were emerging from these schools with essentially no skills that made them, employable in any field outside of narrow religious studies,” the Church & State article noted.

Because New York government education officials didn’t want to unfairly single out schools of any religious tradition in their oversight of all schools curricula — public and private — they decided to have public school officials inspect each religious school every five years to make sure they were offering adequate instruction in non-religious subjects.

As did the Catholic school leaders, officials of Jewish schools also refused to cooperate with state officials in any educational oversight of their programs.

The protest even had an international connection. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported late in 2018 that Aharon Teitelbaum, leader of the ultra-Orthodox Satmar Hasidic group (which has a significant presence in New York City) vowed that “the Jewish people will not surrender to the wicked … even the state education commissioner.”

Teitelbaum even threatened the take his case to the Democratic Party now dominating the leadership of New York politics.

“It wouldn’t pay for them to start a war with all God-fearing Jewry in New York,” he said, according to the Church & State article.

So, what is this brouhaha really about?

New York public education officials promulgated new guidelines last year to assess the quality of classroom curricula at the state’s private schools and ensure that what they offer is “substantially equivalent” to that of public schools. This means instruction should match that of standard secular subjects taught at public schools.

Sounds reasonable enough, right?

But religious school don’t trust the public school system.

Faith vs. knowledge

As James Culrara, executive secretary of the state Council of Catholic School Superintendents, told the Albany (NY) Times-Union:

“We simply cannot accept a competing school having authority over whether our schools can operate.” (italics mine).

In fact, public and religious schools are not in competition with each other. Ostensibly, they are part of a shared educational system whose primary aim is to provide children with a broad, so-called “liberal” education that essentially teaches them about the realities of existence, not necessarily the surrealities (except perhaps in literature and art).

The problem is that religious schools tend to want to focus on theology rather than actuality. If you don’t know how huge a problem these schools (including homeschools) are for many of their students, take some time and read posts in the blog titled Recovering from Religion. You might also read a lovely, heartbreaking memoir titled Educated by a young, homeschooled woman named Tara Westover who eventually broke free only discover her almost debilitating ignorance about the real world.

Faith vs. reason

Fundamentalist religious schools tend to embrace the idea that anything not of God should not be prioritized. It can an aggressively inward faith of the type promoted by St. Augustine and Martin Luther, who held that reason and knowledge are not only largely unnecessary in human existence but a kind of sin to pursue. Why, Luther asked, try to understand something that is not understandable? Just believe. And if you don’t? Fake it till you make it.

Unfortunately, many kids who come out of fundamentalist religious schools often understand a lot about their religions and dangerously little about anything else.

This kind of apartheid education should be denounced, particularly in America, whose founders were Enlightenment men who emphatically wanted their new nation to honor fact over fiction, reason over religion, especially in the affairs of state, .

 

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Where Have all the Diamonds Gone, Gone to Joe Gutnick Everyone, Where have All the Diamonds Gone.. Long Time Ago

Joe Gutnick appearing at the Federal Court in Melbourne in 2017.

Where has the money gone from ‘Diamond’ Joe Gutnick’s loans?

RICHARD BAKER OF THE AGE, AUSTRALIA

Australia’s corporate watchdog is investigating what happened to $18 million in loans that saw money flow from publicly listed companies controlled by mining magnate Joseph Gutnick to a private company that he was also closely involved with.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has confirmed to The Age and Sydney Morning Herald that it is investigating loans involving the Gutnick-chaired Merlin Diamonds, whose shares have been suspended from trading since October, and a private company called AXIS Consultants.

The centrepoint for the loans drama is Mr Gutnick’s level-one office at 42 Moray Street in Melbourne’s Southbank precinct. It is home to both Merlin Diamonds and AXIS.

Since 2001, AXIS has been integral to Mr Gutnick’s financial dealings. Several of his listed mining companies have contracted AXIS to provide administrative, management and geological services.

Filings with the Australian Securities Exchange show listed companies such as Merlin Diamonds, Top End Minerals (now called Myanmar Metals) have over several years advanced unsecured loans of at least $18 million to AXIS.

Another Gutnick-controlled public company, United States-based Legend International, has loaned AXIS at least $5.6 million.

Unfortunately for the shareholders of the Australian companies, AXIS has proved unwilling or incapable of repaying the bulk of the loans. Most of them have been written off as impairments and are, most likely, unrecoverable.

The terms of these AXIS loans have been extremely kind. “No fixed terms for repayment of loans between the parties, no security has been provided and no interest charged,” is how Merlin Diamonds explained the arrangement in its 2015 annual report.

ASIC investigators are trying to determine if there is any justification for publicly listed companies closely associated with Mr Gutnick making such generous loans to AXIS, a private entity also linked to the businessman.

The next question is why AXIS has not repaid the loans?

The conduit

Mr Gutnick was a long-standing director of AXIS until he declared himself bankrupt in July 2016. But it’s still closely tied to him.

His eldest son, Mordechai Gutnick, and long-time business associate Peter Lee are present AXIS directors. Another loyal ally, David Tyrwhitt, who has worked with Mr Gutnick for more than 20 years, was an AXIS director until October 2017.

Mr Gutnick, his son, Mr Lee and Mr Tyrwhitt, the AXIS directors, have also all appeared as either directors or senior executives at publicly listed companies, including Merlin Diamonds, that have loaned AXIS money over the past six years.

So when the ASX began asking questions of Merlin Diamonds about its AXIS loans in October last year, it was reasonable to presume answers would be forthcoming given the crossover in directors and shared office.

Merlin diamonds is closely linked to Gutnick.
Merlin diamonds is closely linked to Gutnick.

But, remarkably, Merlin Diamonds told the ASX it “does not have access to the financial information of AXIS”.

Unlike the Merlin Diamonds board, or the stock exchange regulator, The Age and SMH have been able to access some of AXIS’s confidential financial information.

It shows that AXIS has operated as a conduit for the transfer of huge sums of money from public companies controlled by Mr Gutnick to other businesses strongly linked to his family.

One AXIS balance sheet from 2014 shows that the publicly owned Merlin Diamonds, Top End Minerals and Legend International between them had loaned more than $12 million to AXIS.

Two more private companies associated with Mr Gutnick had also loaned AXIS $2.3 million

Money in, money out

While the loaned money was flowing from the publicly listed companies into AXIS, even more money was going out of the private company.

As of 2014, several other Gutnick-linked companies borrowed more than $15 million from AXIS. The AXIS balance sheet records a net loss in 2014 of $1.79 million and a $2.5 million gap between its current assets and liabilities.

While it is clear there is plenty of financial detective work for ASIC to do, some investors, while grateful for the regulator’s interest, are perplexed as to why it has taken so long for anyone to act.

“This has been hidden in plain sight for years. The loans, the conflicts of interest and the lack of repayment are all there in the ASX filings,” said one former Gutnick associate who asked not to be named for fear of receiving a writ from a businessman who has in the past sued his own family members.

Then rich-lister Rabbi Joseph Gutnick in his Melbourne office in 2013.
Then rich-lister Rabbi Joseph Gutnick in his Melbourne office in 2013.CREDIT:JESSE MARLOW

Hard times for the chosen one

It is difficult to fathom that the man with two mortgages over his St Kilda East house was just five years ago wealthy enough to be included at the tail end of the BRW richest 200 list with an estimated fortune of $255 million.

Folklore has it that the starting point for Mr Gutnick’s amassing of riches was a prophecy made in the late 1980s by the New York-based spiritual leader of the ultra-orthodox Lubavitch Hasidic movement.

The late Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson foresaw great wealth for Mr Gutnick in the discovery of gold and diamonds in the Australian outback.

The Rebbe’s endorsement of Mr Gutnick’s Australian mining ventures carried enormous weight among ultra-orthodox investors who ploughed money into Gutnick-led ventures. Some won and some lost. Such is the mining game.

By the end of the 1990s, Mr Gutnick was at the peak of his powers. The saviour of his beloved Melbourne Demons, Mr Gutnick and his family travelled by private jet and Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars. They had bodyguards and friends in high places in Australia, the United States and Israel.

No more so than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu. When Mr Gutnick helped bankroll Mr Netanyahu’s 1996 election campaign, he made an influential friend for life.

Gutnick with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2001.
Gutnick with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2001.CREDIT:JOE ARMAO

After experiencing great highs and depressing lows over the next 20 years, everything finally fell apart for Mr Gutnick in 2016 when a $103 million deal between his Legend International company and the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative came unstuck, resulting in expensive litigation and the businessman’s decision to declare bankruptcy.

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Meeting Between Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau & EP Representatives Canceled Due To Hearing On Agunah Case — Yeshiva World News

A special meeting was scheduled to take place on Tuesday in the office of Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Dovid Lau, with the European Union’s Ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret, and the European Union Special Envoy for Religious Freedom, Jan Figel. Read more on Yeshiva World News >

via Meeting Between Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau & EP Representatives Canceled Due To Hearing On Agunah Case — Yeshiva World News

Video: Guard Shoots Person Outside Chabad Jewish School in Fairfax Area — Chafraud-Depravitch

A security guard at a Los Angeles Chabad school shot a person on a public sidewalk who was taking video of the school. The guard shot from behind the school gate hitting his victim in the leg and declared it a “warning shot.”. From Patch.com The Chabad Ohel Chana High School was placed on lockdown. […]

via Video: Guard Shoots Person Outside Chabad Jewish School in Fairfax Area — Chafraud-Depravitch