The Satmar-Ruled Brooklyn pt. 4 – Lee Ave. The Modesty Committees -“Gut’s polizei” – And Even Hynes Knew (2013)

Modesty in Ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn Is Enforced by Secret Squads

Faceless heads model on Lee Avenue in Brooklyn, where women’s clothing stores have been warned not to use mannequins.CreditCreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times 

 

The Brooklyn shopkeeper was already home for the night when her phone rang: a man who said he was from a neighborhood “modesty committee” was concerned that the mannequins in her store’s window, used to display women’s clothing, might inadvertently arouse passing men and boys.

“The man said, ‘Do the neighborhood a favor and take it out of the window,’ ” the store’s manager recalled. “ ‘We’re trying to safeguard our community.’ ”

In many neighborhoods, a store owner might shrug off such a call. But on Lee Avenue, the commercial spine of Hasidic Williamsburg, the warning carried an implied threat — comply with community standards or be shunned. It is a potent threat in a neighborhood where shadowy, sometimes self-appointed modesty squads use social and economic leverage to enforce conformity.

The owner wrestled with the request for a day or two, but decided to follow it. “We can sell it without mannequins, so we might as well do what the public wants,” the owner told the manager, who asked not to be identified because of fear of reprisals for talking

In the close-knit world of ultra-Orthodox Judaism, community members know the modesty rules as well as Wall Street bankers who show up for work in a Brooks Brothers suit. Women wear long skirts and long-sleeved, high-necked blouses on the street; men do not wear Bermuda shorts in summer. Schools prescribe the color and thickness of girls’ stockings.

The rules are spoken and unspoken, enforced by social pressure but also, in ways that some find increasingly disturbing, by the modesty committees. Their power is evident in the fact that of the half dozen women’s clothing stores along Lee Avenue, only one features mannequins, and those are relatively shapeless, fully clothed torsos.

The groups have long been a part of daily life in the ultra-Orthodox communities that dot Brooklyn and other corners of the Jewish world. But they sprang into public view with the trial of Nechemya Weberman, a prominent member of the Satmar Hasidim in Brooklyn, who last week was sentenced to 103 years in prison after being convicted of sexually abusing a young girl sent to him for counseling.

Mr. Weberman, an unlicensed therapist, testified during his trial that boys and girls — though not his accuser — were regularly referred to him by a Hasidic modesty committee concerned about what it viewed as inappropriate attire and behavior.

The details were startling: a witness for Mr. Weberman’s defense, Baila Gluck, testified that masked men representing a modesty committee in the Hasidic village of Kiryas Joel, N.Y., 50 miles northwest of New York City, broke into her bedroom about seven years ago and confiscated her cellphone.

The Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, who prosecuted the Weberman case, has now received allegations that members of a modesty committee forced their way into a home in the borough, confiscating an iPad and computer equipment deemed inappropriate for Orthodox children, officials say. Allegations have also surfaced that a modesty committee threatened to publicly shame a married man who was having an affair unless he paid the members money for what they described as therapy.

They operate like the Mafia,” said Rabbi Allan Nadler, director of the Jewish studies program at Drew University in Madison, N.J.

Rabbi Nadler, who testified at Mr. Weberman’s trial, said that modesty committees did not have addresses, stationery or business cards, and that few people seemed to know where their authority originated, though it was doubtful, he said, that they could continue operating without the tacit blessings of rabbinical leaders.

“They walk into a store and say it would be a shame if your window was broken or you lost your clientele,” he said. “They might tell the father of a girl who wears a skirt that’s too short and he’s, say, a store owner: ‘If you ever want to sell a pair of shoes, speak to your daughter.’ ”

In Israel, there have been similar concerns. Though no modesty committee was overtly involved, there has been anger over ultra-Orthodox zealots who spit on and insulted an 8-year-old girl for walking to school through their neighborhood in a dress they considered immodest.

In Brooklyn, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who has represented the heavily Hasidic neighborhood of Borough Park for 30 years, said that he had never met a modesty committee member, but that “there are a lot of independent operators that believe they are protecting God and have to do this kind of stuff, and that’s sickening and gives us all a black eye.”

“If you want to advocate modesty,” he added, “do your thing, but when you stuff it down my throat physically, that undermines us and hurts us.”

Hasidic leaders contend that the modesty committees are nothing more than self-appointed individuals who, indignant at some perceived infraction, take matters into their own hands.

“These are individual people who decide to take on this crusade,” said Rabbi David Niederman, who as president of the United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg is a sometime spokesman for the Satmar Hasidim. “You see posters telling people do this and do that. It does not represent an authorized body.”

But many Hasidim say they have seen or heard how a shadowy group of men seeks to pressure parents to rein in children who wear dresses too short or stockings too thin, or who chat on cellphones with friends of the opposite sex. One family reported being harassed because the wife had stepped outdoors with a robelike housecoat rather than a long dress.

While many of the rules of conduct are announced on Yiddish broadsides posted on trees, lampposts and walls, residents of Hasidic neighborhoods say some store owners have received rough verbal warnings from a modesty committee to stop selling magazines that carry photographs considered too revealing, or articles that dispute the Satmar Hasidim’s belief that Israel should not have existed until the Messiah’s arrival.

The Central Rabbinical Congress of the United States and Canada, in addition to certifying foods as kosher and adjudicating matrimonial and commercial disputes, does at times remind the Satmar community of the community’s modesty rules. It is made up of scores of rabbis, but it has an address — it is housed on the second floor of a Williamsburg row house — and it signs every decree it issues.

“We give out proclamations,” said Rabbi Yitzchok Glick, its executive director. “We don’t enforce. It’s like people can decide to keep Shabbos or not. If someone wants to turn on the light on Shabbos, we cannot put him in jail for that.”

But Hasidim interviewed said squads of enforcers did exist in wildcat form.

 

 

 

 

To read the remainder of the article in the NY Times click here.

Advertisements

The Satmar-Ruled Brooklyn pt.1: Yanky Daskal and Allegations of Sexual Abuse

Yanky Jacob Daskal, and his Exploits – A Protected Member of the Shomrim and Influential – 

Getting away with reprehensible abuses….. and there are others.

The following articles are being posted from www.corruptionbycops.com . They have reposted a number of our articles over the years for which we are most grateful. In 2016 we outlined a history of 9 of the Shomrim which can be seen on their site by clicking, here. 

Please take the time to read and familiarize yourself with that site. It is about time others are speaking up. It might be about time that the police, the DA, the supposedly trustworthy trusted officials and the honest amongst the Satmar and elsewhere finally take back the currently corrupt Satmar-ruled Brooklyn.

Certainly the vote of that bloc can’t really be enough to close our eyes to all of their crimes. 

We will be posting several articles under the heading, “Taking Back the Satmar- Ruled Brooklyn.” 

 

The influential leader of a Brooklyn safety patrol known as the SHOMRIM had been sexually abusing a teenage girl,

Yanky Jacob Daskal, 59, who runs the Shomrim’s Brooklyn South Safety Patrol, a Hasidic neighborhood watch group, abused the girl between August and November of last year, police said…

 

Brooklyn safety official charged with raping 16-year-old girl

Brooklyn safety official charged with raping 16-year-old girl

By Rocco Parascandola
| NEW YORK DAILY NEWS |May 10, 2018

An official with an influential neighborhood watch group in Brooklyn has been charged with raping a 16-year-old girl, police said Thursday.
Jacob Daskal, 59, who runs the Shomrim’s Brooklyn South Safety Patrol, a Hasidic neighborhood watch group, abused the girl between August and November of last year, police said.

Daskal was charged with rape and criminal sex act, plus three misdemeanors — forcible touching, sex abuse and acting in a manner injurious to a child.

Shomrim’s links to law enforcement have been a subplot in the ongoing federal probe involving two businessmen and a number of NYPD supervisors. In 2016, the FBI investigated what role the supervisors may have played in securing gun licenses for members of Shomrim. Daskal, who lives in Borough Park and has strong ties to the NYPD, was not charged in that case.
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/brooklyn-safety-official-charged-raping-16-year-old-girl-article-1.3982706

To continue reading click here.

Brooklyn Safety Patrol Leader Is Charged in Sex Abuse of Teen

Jakob Daskal, the head of the Brooklyn South Safety Patrol, leaves court in Brooklyn on Friday after he was arraigned on charges that he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl.CreditStephanie Keith for The New York Times

By Al BakerMay 11, 2018

On Wednesday, sex crimes investigators for the New York Police Department received a troubling report: The influential leader of a Brooklyn safety patrol known as the shomrim had been sexually abusing a teenage girl, the police were told.

A day later, detectives arrested the man, Jacob Daskal, a leader of one faction of what has been, since the 1970s, a sort of auxiliary police force for the ultra-Orthodox Jews of Brooklyn’s Borough Park, Crown Heights, Flatbush and Williamsburg neighborhoods.

Mr. Daskal, 59, was charged with statutory rape, sexual abuse and other crimes. The authorities believe the abuse took place at Mr. Daskal’s home between August and November of last year, when the girl, who is now 16, was a year younger. But the inquiry is continuing, to determine if the alleged abuse occurred over a longer period of time or if there were additional victims.

The revelations cast another shadow over a group that has long cultivated relationships with New York’s law enforcement and elected leaders — and that has secured government funding for vehicles, phones and other equipment integral to its brand of security for some of the city’s most insular populations. On several occasions, critics have questioned whether the shomrim’s proximity to authority has fostered vigilantism or corruption.

In May 2016, two men linked to the shomrim of Williamsburg admitted to taking part in the assault of a black man in their neighborhood. A month earlier, Alex Lichtenstein, a former member of Mr. Daskal’s Brooklyn South Safety Patrol, which covers Borough Park, was arrested on federal charges of trying to secure handgun permits by offering the police thousands of dollars in cash bribes.
In the case of Mr. Daskal, 59, he was arrested at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, within the 77th police precinct, the police said. He was then taken to the Brooklyn Special Victims squad, they said.On Friday, the police said that Mr. Daskal had been charged with third-degree rape; third-degree criminal sex act; forcible touching; acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17; and third-degree sexual abuse. He shuffled, handcuffed, into court for arraignment and pleaded not guilty before Judge Deborah Dowling, who issued an order of protection on behalf of his accuser.
Evan Lipton, a lawyer for Mr. Daskal, said his client was prepared to surrender his passport.
Afterward, as Mr. Daskal was released on bail, some supporters surrounded him in a hallway as Mr. Lipton told him, “Your phones have been seized.”
It was not immediately clear what triggered Wednesday’s report to the police.
Around Borough Park, people seemed dazed by the news of the arrest.

“This is the last thing anybody would believe,” said one man, a neighbor, who stood outside Mr. Daskal’s house about noon, watching as a van from the Crime Scene Unit pulled to the curb. Throughout the morning, investigators, some wearing latex gloves, converged on the brick duplex set back from 46th Street as onlookers, including several children, gathered outside.

On those same streets, the shomrim are seen as quick-acting stand-ins for police officers. With their two-way radios and social media links, they have won praise for keeping a watchful eye on the community, chasing down burglars, controlling crowds and locating the missing.
Residents, many of whom are Yiddish-speaking and cling to a culture rooted in preindustrial Europe, trust the shomrim as liaisons to secular authorities, who can negotiate language barriers and complex social mores.
According to state campaign finance records, Mr. Daskal has been a consistent political contributor over the years.
Police officials, too, have embraced the shomrim. It is commonplace for shomrim leaders to attend promotion ceremonies at Police Headquarters in Lower Manhattan.

In 2015, a year before he became police commissioner, James P. O’Neill, then the chief of department, threw out the first pitch at an annual softball game between officers from the 66th Precinct and members of the Borough Park shomrim. Mr. Lichtenstein played in that game, the Greenfield Classic, named for David G. Greenfield, a city councilman who represents the district. In an interview in 2016, however, Mr. Daskal denied that Mr. Lichtenstein’s criminal case involving the gun permits had anything to do with the shomrim.

On Friday, as investigators streamed in and out of Mr. Daskal’s house, signs of their connections were evident. Parked in the street, near Mr. Daskal’s driveway, were a pair of shomrim vehicles outfitted like police patrol cars: emergency lights; a shield logo; the words “Courtesy Professionalism Respect” written on the side.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/11/nyregion/brooklyn-shomrim-leader-charged-sex-abuse.html

 

More R&R, Victimizing the Prostitute, She Deserved Better then and She

 

Image result for pics of jona rechnitz and jeremy reichberg

NYPD corruption trial: Ex-prostitute testimony details Las Vegas weekend

https://www.amny.com/news/nypd-corruption-trial-1.23122444

The Manhattan federal court NYPD corruption trial took a trip on the seamy side Thursday as an ex-prostitute took the stand to describe how she was hired to dress up in a skimpy stewardess  outfit on a private jet to Las Vegas and then have sex with former deputy inspector James Grant.

Gabriella Curtis, 29, known as Gabi Grecko at the time of the trip in 2013, said that after the three-day Las Vegas Super Bowl weekend arranged by Grant’s co-defendant Jeremy Reichberg with five men altogether, she was unhappy Grant only gave her $1,200 to $1,500.

“The fact I was with multiple people . . . I thought it would be more,” she said, but Grant told her, “If our team had done better then we would have been able to give you more.”

Reichberg, 44, and former partner Jona Rechnitz, are charged with giving out favors ranging from meals and gifts to home repairs to the prostitute for Grant, 45, and other cops, in return for escorts, access to public events, assistance with gun permits and other perks.

Curtis said she was at loose ends in 2013, trying to make money to escape a bad relationship when she got into hooking through a website called Sugar Daddies and a Miami-based escort service.

She met Reichberg, a businessman from Borough Park, Brooklyn, at a bachelor party in a Midtown hotel attended by 15 men where she performed sex acts. He got her phone number, she testified, and later called her to arrange for the Las Vegas trip.

In addition to Reichberg and Grant, she identified another man on the trip as “Jona” — a reference to Jona Rechnitz, Reichberg’s partner and the government’s star witness in the case, who has previously testified about his efforts to corrupt cops, union officials and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

She said the group’s suite at the MGM Grand had two rooms, and she stayed in one with Grant, but said her escort services were “for everyone who asked.”

Curtis is reportedly now engaged to an Australian businessman. Defense lawyers are expected to portray her as a not-credible fame seeker more interested in exposure than truth.

But in her direct testimony, Curtis said that after the NYPD corruption case broke, she did an interview with the New York Post in an effort to empower women, not out of self-interest.

“I hoped I could help other females. While females are slut-shamed, men get high-fives,” she said. “I didn’t do it to hurt anyone….I didn’t do it for fame.”

She said the whole experience was a disaster. The story, a tabloid sensation in the city, was the “exact opposite of what I wanted and most of it wasn’t true,” she testified, and the reporter started dating her for a month before it ended badly.

“I felt really isolated,” said Curtis. “ . . . This was a person who seemed as if he cared about me.”

If she does any more interviews, she said, she wanted them to be “feminist” interviews.

“I feel like I’m not even a person any more,” she said. “I feel like I’m just a hooker.”

During cross-examination Thursday afternoon, defense lawyers said they want to put in evidence that Curtis has posed in revealing outfits for news outlets since her brush with celebrity to contradict her story of exploitation. But U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods has said he may not allow it.

Please click here to reach the source material.

 

 

Rampant Corruption and Israel’s Eroding Core Values, Former Spymasters Speak

Ex-Mossad chief: Israel ‘dangerously sick’ under Netanyahu’s leadership

TIMES OF ISRAEL 28.March.2018

Five former spymasters say PM eroding country’s core values, decry ‘pervasive’ culture of corruption under his tenure

 

Top row: Former Mossad chiefs from L to R: Danny Yatom, Tamir Pardo, Zvi Zamir, Shabtai Shavit, Nahum Admoni and Efraim Halevy.  Bottom row: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and President Reuven Rivlin host a candle lighting ceremony for of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah at the President's residence in Jerusalem on December 18, 2014. (Haim Zach / GPO)

Top row: Former Mossad chiefs from L to R: Danny Yatom, Tamir Pardo, Zvi Zamir, Shabtai Shavit, Nahum Admoni and Efraim Halevy. Bottom row: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and President Reuven Rivlin host a candle lighting ceremony for of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah at the President’s residence in Jerusalem on December 18, 2014. (Haim Zach / GPO)

Five former chiefs of the Mossad spy agency leveled harsh criticism at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, with one saying that Israel was “dangerously sick” under his leadership.

“I feel so bad about what is happening in the country, the corruption is so deep, so pervasive,” Shabtai Shavit told the Yedioth Ahronoth daily in an excerpt of a joint sit down interview ahead of Independence Day. “There are no red lines, no taboos and add to that the deepening rift among the people.”

Shavit was joined by Zvi Zamir, Nahum Admoni, Danny Yatom, Efraim Halevy and Tamir Pardo in expressing serious concerns about Israel’s future.

“As intelligence people, our most important skill is being able to anticipate the future,” Shavit added. “So I ask myself what kind of country will my grandchildren inherit, and I cannot give an answer to that.”

“It’s a problem of values, of divisions,” Pardo said. “We need leadership that is able to navigate between crises at the right places, but unfortunately, that does not exist today.”

Zamir, the oldest of the group at age 93, fired off the sharpest criticism of Netanyahu, saying the prime minister and his powerful cronies were only serving their own interests.

“I’m not sure that for the prime minister and the senior officials surrounding him that public interests prevail over their personal interests of more money and more power,” he said.

“We are dangerously sick,” he said. “Netanyahu may have inherited a country with symptoms, but he has ushered it into a state of malignant disease.”

Yatom echoed Zamir’s sentiment, saying it was unsurprising that Netanyahu and a growing number of his associates are under investigation for corruption, because they put their own interests ahead of the country’s.

Israel, he warned, was “on a downward spiral,” and called on the prime minister to resign.

In his interview, Halevy criticized Netanyahu, saying his “need for headlines and obsession with his public image verses running the country and managing its security matters is problematic.”

“I think something very bad has happened to leadership in Israel,” he added. “There is a major flaw in the political system that everything that isn’t illegal is kosher.”

88-year-old Admoni said his main concern with Israel today is the growing rift between Israelis, asserting the divide between religious and secular populations was “worse than its ever been.”

“The divide just keeps growing,” Admoni lamented.

Nearly all of the former intelligence officials have publicly censured Netanyahu in the past, though the extensive criticism leveled against him in Yedioth on Tuesday was unprecedented.

The full interview with the six former Mossad chiefs will run in Yedioth’s weekend magazine, 7 Days, on Friday.

Netanyahu is embroiled in several corruption scandals and was questioned again by police on Monday in connection with the Bezeq scandal, known as case 4000.

The probe involves suspicions that Netanyahu, who has served as communications minister for several years over his past two terms as premier, advanced regulatory decisions benefiting Bezeq controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch in exchange for flattering coverage of the Netanyahus from the Elovitch-owned Walla news site.

In addition to Case 4000, Netanyahu is also suspected of wrongdoing in so-called cases 1000 and 2000, in which police have recommended he be indicted for bribery, breach of trust and fraud.

In Case 1000, Netanyahu and his wife are suspected of receiving illicit gifts from billionaire benefactors, amounting to some NIS 1 million ($282,000) worth of cigars and champagne from the Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian resort owner James Packer, allegedly in return for certain benefits.

Case 2000 involves a suspected illicit quid-pro-quo deal between Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper publisher Arnon Mozes that would have seen the prime minister weaken a rival daily, the Sheldon Adelson-backed Israel Hayom, in return for more favorable coverage from Yedioth.

Netanyahu denies wrongdoing in all the cases.