Charedi activist Shraga Stern has agreed to stop his public campaign against Ofsted.
London’s charedi community has been split over how to handle the inspectorate’s attitudes toward Jewish schools. Chinuch UK preferred a diplomatic approach toward the Department of Education and its inspectorate whereas Stern initiated a high-profile campaign accompanied by the threat of legal action.
Last week, Dayan Ephraim Padwa of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations asked Stern to back down from his campaign. Stern told The Jewish Press, “I’ve always worked under the direction of the senior rabbis of the charedi community. I continue to do so. At the moment I am ceasing campaigning on their instructions.”
He added that he was sure his high-profile campaign has borne fruit and “now is the time for open dialogue and round-the-table discussions.”
Stern’s tough stance, however, seems to have been taken up by educational consultant Michael Cohen, who called, in the Jewish Tribune, for the dismissal of Ofsted head Amanda Spielman, whom he accused of conducting an “anti-religious programme.”
He suggested Jewish schools should not allow Ofsted to inspect their schools; alternatively, they should or arrange school outings on inspection days. He wrote, “As any kind of trust and confidence in Ofsted has been destroyed, our schools and mosdos should become more strident and assertive in dealing with Ofsted inspections.”
Money launderer, 67, who tried to buy a knighthood is convicted in his absence of £10million Jewish charities scam after going on the run
A fugitive who once tried to buy a knighthood has been convicted of laundering more than £10million, made from the illegal sale of sex pills, through a Jewish charities scam.
Edward Cohen, 67, set up a ‘bewildering’ network of companies, some of them promoting Orthodox Judaism and ‘helping the Jewish poor’.
He diverted vast sums of cash, alongside legitimate charitable donations, via foreign exchange firms before sending it overseas, Southwark Crown Court heard.
Cohen, who fled the country before his trial began, also used some of the proceeds to try and purchase a gong from the Queen, supposedly in recognition of his work with the sham charities.
Cohen’s teacher son David, 38, was also involved in the charities but was cleared of money laundering charges and supplying false information to the Charity Commission.
But he was convicted of failing to notify a change in circumstances when obtaining benefits and bailed ahead of sentence on July 4.
David told jurors his signature had been forged on charity documents and insisted he had no idea what his crooked father was up to.
He said: ‘If I had known that my father was involved in any sort of dirty money I would have run a mile. I would not have not asked for his help, no way Jose.
‘I am sure I am not the only child who does not know how their father makes money.’
Cohen denied but was convicted in his absence of a series of offences including supplying false information to the Charity Commission and money laundering offences after a two month trial.
A warrant has been issued for his arrest and he will be sentenced in his absence on July 4.
Edward Cohen, 67, set up a ‘bewildering’ network of companies that he used to launder money through. He diverted vast sums of cash, alongside legitimate charitable donations, via foreign exchange firms before sending it overseas, Southwark Crown Court heard
Earlier James Dawes, QC, prosecuting, said Cohen set up a ‘bewildering variety of companies and they either put themselves or their family members as directors’.
‘The companies were simply vehicles. Either the Revenue was told these companies were dormant or they made no returns.’
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Immigration authorities in the U.K. have reportedly refused to allow R’ Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin to enter the country.
Sources confirm to YWN that Rubashkin arrived at the Manchester Airport on Sunday afternoon, where his entry was denied.
Rubashkin has been travelling the world speaking to audiences about his experience, and giving Chizuk to thousands. He was scheduled to speak this Monday and Tuesday in Manchester, in events that were advertised throughout the community.
Multiple sources tell YWN that one or two individuals in the community informed authorities that Rubashkin had a criminal background, and he was reportedly denied entry on that basis. These individuals were upset that the community was hosting Rubashkin, and had allegedly promised to cause problems.
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Two men have been convicted of falsely accusing two teenagers of robbery in north London.
Community neighbourhood watch group Shomrim Stamford Hill called police claiming the youths had tried to steal a moped from delivery driver Thiago Alves Vieira last July.
However, CCTV disproved the story.
Vieira, 38, from Edmonton, was jailed for eight months while Michael Scher, 32, was jailed for five months, suspended for two years.
Both had previously pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.
Wood Green Crown Court heard how police received a number of calls stating that two juveniles had been detained for robbery by the group on 3 July.
On arrival officers were told the pair, aged 13 and 15, had surrounded Vieira, demanded his moped keys and pushed him.
Vieira, along with Scher, of Amhurst Park, and Yaakov Nowogrodski, who were also members of Shomrim, made sworn statements to support this version of events.
However, this was proven to be a “deliberate criminal conspiracy,” police said.
Officers later located CCTV that showed the boys had not gone near Vieira.
Det Sgt James Leeks, of the Metropolitan Police, said: “Why these men decided to fabricate this case may never be explained. However, abusing the criminal justice system in such an underhand manner is disgraceful.”
Nowogrodski, 27, was found to have fled the country after he was charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and false imprisonment. A warrant for his arrest has been issued.
Rabbi Herschel Gluck, president of Stamford Hill Shomrim, said: “The Shomrim members involved in this incident were immediately suspended as soon as we were made aware of these serious allegations.
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We are not covering this story simply because a senior Dayan on the world rabbinical stage had an affair with a wealthy, married woman. If she was a consenting adult than he was simply human. There is little reason to believe that she was not consenting or that he used his political and religious clout to go beyond simple “pastoral counseling.”
We have taken up this story because apparently, either those in charge of appointment to the Beit (Beth) Din did not do their due diligence on Dayan Abraham, or they chose to ignore events and circumstances that might have prevented him from being the choice appointment. We will post more on that point in the coming days.
Suffice it to say, this event is a major failure of the Beit Din and should not be ignored. It should be reviewed, a debrief should be performed and a clearer understanding of how this appointment and the resulting affair could have happened. In addition, Dayan’s previous rulings, particularly as they concern marriage, divorce and the rights of parents should be reviewed and considered so it is certain that in his failings, Dayan Abraham did not fail others.
Senior rabbi, 55, is caught having an ‘inappropriate association’ with a married woman by a private eye hired by her multi-millionaire husband after he became suspicious of his ‘frequent pastoral visits’
A senior rabbi has been forced to quit his synagogue after an ‘inappropriate association with a married woman’.
Yonason Abraham, 55, said he had ‘fallen short of the standards expected’, adding he was ‘deeply sorry I have let you down’.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis issued a statement saying the ‘shameful episode … has shaken us to the core’.
He added: ‘When one of us fails in this manner, we are all greatly diminished.’ The disgraced rabbi is said to have quit over his links with the wife of a millionaire, to whom he gave ‘pastoral support’ in her marital home.
The marriages of both the rabbi and the millionaire were said to have been rocked by the scandal – although it is understood that neither couple has split.
Rabbi Abraham had founded the Toras Chaim synagogue near Golders Green in north London, and had long been respected as one of the four judges in the London Beth Din court. He has also resigned from this latter role.
His reputation as a devout leader of the Jewish community was questioned last month when he sent his sudden resignation letter to his congregation.
The rabbi said he had been under ‘exceptional strain and stress for some time which has taken its inevitable toll’, adding: ‘I now need to help myself and my family.’ A source close to the community told the Daily Mail: ‘He had got far too close to the glamorous wife of a multi-millionaire and senior figure in the community.
They have children. She suddenly started receiving a lot of pastoral support from [Rabbi] Abraham at her marital home. It’s said it wasn’t long before he crossed personal and religious boundaries.
‘The husband became so concerned at the rabbi’s frequent visits that he hired a private eye to find out what exactly was going on.
What he told the husband was enough for him and his wife to face possible divorce – and for the rabbi to resign.’
The source went on: ‘The husband’s hackles were first raised when his wife said she wanted the family to “embrace their faith” more. They attend synagogue like any other family so this seemed to him an odd thing to say.
‘Then there were all the visits from the rabbi, including his using the swimming pool, which on reflection was odd as well as he was supposed to be there to give pastoral support.
His worst fears were realised when the private eye produced evidence that left him in no doubt the rabbi was behaving inappropriately.
‘It was assumed they were divorcing but somehow they are holding it together. The rabbi’s reputation however has been ruined.
‘I don’t know how his marriage has survived. The fact that he is a judge in the religious court makes this even more embarrassing and hypocritical.’
The millionaire and his wife declined to comment when approached by the Daily Mail with the allegations. Rabbi Abraham also declined to comment.
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A Drug Problem Within the Haredi Population in Manchester, England – Rabbis, Please Help These Children
We would like to thank Yeshiva World News for covering the story below. We make absolutely clear to all readers that it is quite likely that YWN is not a supporter of this site or our coverage and perspective. That said, it does not diminish our respect for them and the work they do. We do not always agree with their coverage but they have a readership and circulation that they are beholden to and despite that, they cover stories such as the one below. We do not necessarily agree with the perspective the article took.
The issue, as we see it, is not that these girls were compelled to travel on Shabbat but that there is a growing and significant drug problem in the Yeshiva community in Manchester, England. We have been advised via a source, that the rabbis within the community know that there are a significant number of children, mostly boys, who are using drugs and either ignore the problem or actively cover it up. We have been advised that the drug of choice is Opiods.
We have further been told that the Manchester Police have been looking the other way.
We are not writing this article to condemn the actions of a rabbinical community trying to keep a drug problem quiet. It is not a shining example of how one wants a community, a family of children to be perceived. But, to the rabbis, teachers, parents and community leaders, closing your eyes to the problem or looking the other way will not make it go away. It will only get worse. The children who are using are sick and they need help as they would with any other disease.
We applaud the Chabad organization that refused to house these kids to prevent them from traveling on Shabbat. The Chabad organization stated their refusal is on the grounds that these children had committed crimes. We applaud any group that takes a stance against smuggling drugs (which is ultimately what was happening) and gets the authorities involved.
Drug abuse and addiction will not go away by ignoring it. It is a disease and these children need help like they would if they were sick with any other illness. If they had cancer, they would be given chemo or radiation coupled with love and support. If they had epilepsy or diabetes, they would be treated and loved. The same should be true of drug addiction. And, do not fool yourselves that occasional use of opiods is not addiction. It is.
Teaching religious oriented students is not going to “convince” these children to stop using and apparently it is not successful at influencing them to avoid trying these drugs in the first place. No community is immune, contrary to what the rabbis would have everyone believe. If kids are using, they need serious and medically oriented help. And they need to be embraced and loved.
The kids cannot stop using alone. They need an open and supportive, loving and kind community to help them.
We implore upon the Rabbis of the Manchester, England Yeshiva community to embrace the problem and work to fix it. These children need help, medical attention and love. At least give them that.
Following the YWN report of the arrest of chareidi girls upon their arrival in Manchester for smuggling in Khat (a drug), it has been learned the matter is gaining notoriety throughout areas of Europe, and there are two girls currently under arrest in Oslo.
As YWN-Israel reported, over the past few months, dozens of young charedi men and women have been arrested for smuggling contraband items in Manchester, England. Two girls spent seder night in detention and house arrest after they were apprehended. It is reported that the plant is not illegal in Israel, but it is prohibited in Europe.
BeChadrei Chareidim continues reporting on the case, explaining a number of askanim from Europe have contacted them to publicize the matter pertaining to the two girls detained Seder night, as well as the outrage of a Chabad shaliach whose become involved, albeit, not at his own behest.
Dozens of young chareidi boys and girls are smuggle the drug to Europe. They receive a sum of money and a hotel for three days and are told by the operator that if they get in trouble, they are told that they can “call the local Chabad shaliach”.
Two chareidi girls from Jerusalem were detained for a number of days in Oslo, the capital of Norway, for the attempted smuggling of Khat leaves. They are scheduled to be deported on this coming Shabbos to Israel. [They spent Pesach in detention.]
The Norwegians refuse to put them on a flight with a stopover, insisting on a direct flight, and this only happens on Shabbos, and for now it seems that the two will be forced to be mechalel Shabbos against their will because of the smuggling.
The Chabad shaliach to Oslo, Rabbi Shaul Wilhelm, says in a conversation with BeChadrei Chareidim, that all those who have become entangled with the law in the past few months are asking him if they can stay at the Chabad House and pay as much as they can, but he does not agree. “They are breaking the law and I do not assist lawbreakers,” said Wilhelm.
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