Satmar, de Blasio and Food Stamps

https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20161222/williamsburg/satmar-hasidic-teitlebaum-raid-fbi-eastern-district

Satmar Leader Linked to Mayor Arrested For $30K Food-Stamp Fraud, Feds Say

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A fundraiser for Mayor Bill de Blasio who oversees government relations for a network of yeshivas was charged for running a $30,000 federal food-stamp scam, according to a criminal complaint.

Yitzchok Iziel (Isaac) Sofer was arrested by the FBI Thursday morning for filing false claims under the federal food subsidy, SNAP, between 2012 and 2016. He claimed poverty while at the same time taking out a life insurance policy in which he reported making $100,000 per year and having $600,000 in assets, Brooklyn federal prosecutors charged.

Sofer collected $30,516 in food stamps during that period, according to the federal complaint.

His arrest comes as part of an ongoing criminal investigation, the indictment stated, though prosecutors would not say if was related to a March raid of the Central United Talmudical Academy’s offices.

 

Read : https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20161222/williamsburg/satmar-hasidic-teitlebaum-raid-fbi-eastern-district

The Satmar and de-Blasio…. A Match Made of?

 

 

FBI grills de Blasio’s Satmar pals in fundraising probe

Federal investigators are questioning leaders in Williamsburg’s Hasidic community in their expanding inquiry into Mayor de Blasio’s fund-raising practices, multiple sources told The Post.

Rabbi and political fund-raiser Moishe Indig was questioned by FBI agents on Wednesday. Indig referred them to his attorney but agents seized one of his cellphones, the sources said.

“They told him, ‘It’s all about Bill,’ and they want more information from him,” said one source close to Indig, a de Blasio ally.

“They have an interest in Moishe because they’re digging into de Blasio’s fund-raising tactics and they want to know what favors they [Hasidic community members] are getting back from the mayor,” the source added.

Indig did not return calls seeking comment.

Agents visited Rabbi David Niederman on Thursday, but Niederman referred them to his lawyers, two sources said. Niederman told The Post federal agents did not visit him.

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Federal authorities on Thursday arrested Williamsburg political operative Yitzchok “Isaac” Sofer on charges he lied about his income to obtain $30,000 in food stamps.

The FBI interviewed Sofer two weeks ago about mayoral fund-raising and influence peddling, but he refused to rat on his friends at City Hall, the sources said. The sources believe the FBI brought the food-stamp charge to squeeze information from him.

“They know Sofer is a progressive Hasidic Jew who is friendly with all these guys in the administration including [top de Blasio aides] Avi Fink and Emma Wolfe,” a City Hall source said. “People in the community come to him to fix their problems and he has amassed his influence.”

Indig, Niederman and Sofer are influential leaders in the Satmar community, one of the city’s largest Hasidic sects. De Blasio ­aggressively courted the Satmars in his 2013 mayoral campaign.

It was Indig who convinced leaders of the Satmars’ Aroni faction to shift their support from Christine Quinn to de Blasio two weeks before the contentious 2013 Democratic primary, sources said.

Sofer said at the time that de Blasio’s support for private religious schools was a main reason for the endorsement.

Sofer and Indig were the hosts of an Oct. 3, 2013, fund-raising event for de Blasio, according to the mayor’s campaign Web site.

Indig, who landed on de Blasio’s “Worst Landlords” list back when the mayor was public advocate, has attended at least two meetings at City Hall with Niederman and other religious leaders, according to the mayor’s official schedule.

But Indig has never registered as a lobbyist despite advocating on issues important to the Orthodox community, sources said.

“Developers go to Indig with issues with their properties, hoping to get permits expedited or rezonings approved by the city,” said one Williamsburg source. “People hire him privately to get things done.”

Sofer, 39, works in government relations for the Central United Talmudical Academy, which is tied to the Aroni faction. The yeshiva’s lobbyist, Capalino+Company, pressed Fink and other City Hall officials in early 2015 to open a universal-pre-K program at the site.

The FBI raided the academy’s offices in March, possibly as part of a probe into the use of federal school-lunch funds, reports said.

CUTA spokesman Michael Tobman called Sofer’s arrest a “personal matter having nothing to do with the larger community or its institutions.” Sofer did not return a message seeking comment.

 

To see the article in its entirety click here.

Satmar Support Hillary – But not Her Face in their Newspapers…

 

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‘Friend of the Jews’ Hillary Clinton Endorsed by ultra-Orthodox Satmar Sect

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/u-s-election-2016/1.751424

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A day after Ivanka Trump visited the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s grave to gather spiritual support for her father’s presidential campaign, another ultra-Orthodox sect gave an endorsement to his rival, Hillary Clinton, called her a “longtime friend of the Jews.”

The large Satmar sect includes has tens of thousands of followers worldwide, the majority of them in the New York areas. Since 2006, the community has been divided into two factions, led by rival brothers and rabbis Aron and Zalman Teitelbaum. Members of both sects are anti-Zionist, believing that it is sacrilege to create a Jewish state before the arrival of the Messiah.

The statement calling on Satmar followers to support Clinton, which came from Rabbi Aron Teitelbaum’s branch, declared that Satmar leaders “endorse and hereby order all registered voters, in our community, to come out and give the vote for the longtime friend of the Jews, Hillary R. Clinton, former New York State Senator and Secretary of State. (She) is known for her rare rich career of grand achievements, with special sensitivity and understanding to the needs of our Jewish brothers, in particular with very delicate cases of pidyon shevuyim (liberation of Jewish prisoners) and hatzalot nefashot (saving of lives.)”

The announcement is signed by the “brotherhood” of community organizers.

It’s not the first time in the 2016 election season that Clinton has won the Satmar endorsement. In April, both factions gave her their blessing in her primary race against Bernie Sanders. At the time, one Satmar newspaper ran an editorial declaring that, “It is important to demonstrate our ‘Hakarat Hatov’ (the Hebrew term for gratitude) for Mrs. Clinton, whose help for Jewish interests had far-reaching effects back when she was First Lady in the White House.”

The reference to “liberation of Jewish prisoners” in the Satmar endorsement may have something to do with the fact that on his last day in office, January 20. 2001, the same day he infamously pardoned financier Marc Rich, President Bill Clinton also reduced the prison sentences of four ultra-Orthodox men, members of the Skverer sect, whose rabbinical leader is the brother-in-law of Satmar’s Aron Teitelbaum, who had been convicted and imprisoned for federal fraud.

That pardon raised eyebrows due to the fact Hillary Clinton, in her first Senate run a few months before the pardons, received an overwhelming percentage of the vote from the Skverer’s sect’s home base in New Square – more than 100 times than that of her opponent, Republican Rick Lazio. An investigation was initiated by the Manhattan U.S. attorney into whether, as the New York Times reported  “the village leaders aggressive courting of the president and Mrs. Clinton before and after the 2000 Senate election raised questions of whether the men’s sentences were reduced in exchange for votes.”

The 2002 Times story quoted the attorney for the Southern District of New York who announced the closing of the investigation saying that he had “determined it wasn’t appropriate to bring charges against anyone in the case.” That attorney was a man who would go on to play a key role in the current election race – FBI director James Comey.

While Satmar may be endorsing Clinton’s candidacy, it is not exactly known for empowerment of women. Women don’t hold leadership roles in their strict community and if Clinton should win the presidency, her photograph wouldn’t be featured in their newspapers, which refrain from running any images of women – particularly in Clinton’s trademark pantsuits (one report  tells of a 2006 meeting with between Clinton and a Satmar rabbi which was stymied because the then-senator was wearing pants. The situation was resolved by her agreement to “wear a long raincoat over her pants.)

In August, it was reported that the sect had issued a decree that higher education for women was “dangerous” and “against the Torah,” and that “no girls attending our school are allowed to study and get a degree.”

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/u-s-election-2016/1.751424

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words – To be a Charedi or Not to be a Charedi

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HEATING UP! Hamodia Attacks Mishpacha Decision To Publish Photo Of Hillary – Contributing Editor Of Mishpacha Sruli Besser Fires Back

 

It was predictable. We all knew this would happen – it was just a matter of time.

As YWN has reported, the front cover of this week’s Mishpacha Magazine had a picture of Hillary Clinton. YWN has confirmed that this decision was made after consultation with the greatest Poskim and Gedolim in the United States.

Nonetheless, the decision was denounced by the editorship of Hamodia in Israel. Yet Hamodia was well aware that Mishpacha’s decision was checked and double-checked with the Gedolei HaPoskim. In fact, Hamodia has behind the scenes, been avidly trying to get all Charedi media publication to agree to their Chassidish opinion (the Admorim of Gur and Novaminsk — which we FULLY respect) not to publish a Hillary photo.

Apparently they are oblivious to the fact that not everyone is required to follow those Chassidim opinions. It is shocking that the Hamodia in Israel chose to attack the opinion of major Poskim – and label them as not “true Chareidim.”

Here are excerpts from their editorial that slammed Mishpacha: “True Charedi newspapers never have and never will publish pictures of women, even if they are in leadership positions. Jews have their own view of everything that happens, especially when the subject is as important as elections. In the eyes of Jews, the US is definitely a ‘kingdom of kindness’ in our days, and deserves recognition and appreciation for that. They understand that the fact that we won’t publish a picture of the Democratic candidate on the front page of haredi newspapers does not mean that we don’t support her, but rather stems from the fact we keep Jewish law,” said Hamodia.

There is a story told that when Artscroll’s biography on Rebbitzen Kanievsky a”h was about to go to print, a copy was shown to Hagaon HaRav Chaim Shlita. After browsing through the book, he turned to those around him and asked, “Why are there so many photos of me and not many of the Rebbitzen? This book is about her!”

Is Moreinu HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita not a “true Chareidi?”

The policy of not publishing photos of women has morphed into a policy of dangerous intolerance to those who do not adopt this Chumrah.

The weekly Flatbush Jewish Journal published a photo of Rebbitzen Pam A”H on her Yartzheit. Their decision was made following the Psak of their Rabbonim – who are among the biggest Rabbonim and Poskim in Flatbush. Sure enough, the paper was viciously attacked by some of the local Chassidish Rabbonim. The Rabbonim who have paskened for the paper have been living in Flatbush for 70 years or more. These Chassidish Rabbonim have only opened their shuls recently.

Recently, the same newspaper was attacked after publishing photos of Rebbitzen Feldman A”H of the Mirrer Yeshiva.

The intolerance has simply gone too far.

Whatever happened to respecting the opinions of others? Why must every Charedi publication follow the opinion of the Hamodia?

Additionally, one must take into consideration the ramifications of ignoring the President of the United States.

Let’s take, for example, when the iconic photo taken inside the Situation Room during the operation to capture or kill Bin Laden. That photo was airbrushed to remove then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and published in the Satmar newspaper Di Tzeitung.

The doctored photo and story went viral. Later, WikiLeaks exposed emails that showed just how furious Hillary was at the time. Imagine her reaction as president. Not to mention the fact that altering the photograph was illegal and the cause for a serious Chillul Hashem.


Today, Sruli Besser – a contributing editor of Mishpacha responded to the HaModiah attack on Facebook. He wrote:

Dear Hamodia,

I’m so sorry that you don’t find us to be true chareidim. I thought hours of conversation and deliberation with real rabbanim would give us some credibility, but I guess not. I’m sorry that when we asked genuine gedolim and poskim how to proceed and followed their advice, we didn’t think to ask you what true charedi papers have always done.

I’m much sorrier that you thought it wise to make this a public issue, because the charedim (true, not true, whatever) don’t need this story in the secular media. We were barraged by requests for comment last week from major media outlets, and we respectfully fended them off because we’re not here to be spokesmen and saviors, just to do keep doing our jobs with ehrlichkeit, professionalism and dedication. It’s not about us.

I respect your right not to publish a picture of Hillary, in line with your mesorah. (I imagine that this comment appeared in Hebrew Hamodia, not English, I haven’t yet seen it. I hope it’s not in English!) It’s a holy mesorah. I enjoy Hamodia and will continue to enjoy it.

Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld was asked by a British census taker what language he spoke at home and he said Ivrit, rather than Yiddish- which of course didn’t reflect his true ideology. Talmidim asked him why he chose to answer that way and he said, ‘Voss iz tzuvishen mir uhn mein breeder, things that come between me and my brother, iz nisht di gesheft fuhn der…isn’t the concern of this Englishman.’

I’m sure you mean this l’shem shamayim and I wish you hatzlacha in your great work.”

http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/482751/heating-up-hamodia-attacks-mishpacha-decision-to-publish-photo-of-hillary—contributing-editor-of-mishpacha-sruli-besser-fires-back.html

 

Satmar vs. Israel Lobby in NY Congressional Primary

As always, a hat tip goes out to Richard Silverstein and Tikun Olam..

http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2016/10/18/satmar-vs-israel-lobby-new-york-congressional-primary/

 

Will Cuomo’s Replacement Protect Ultra-Orthodox Sex Crime Victims?

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D.A. Kenneth Thompson, “Voice for racial justice” but not for molested children…

We would not want to celebrate someone’s demise. It would be purely awful of us. He leaves behind a wife and children, parents and siblings.

We offer our sincerest condolences to those who mourn his loss. We do not.

We can’t help but hope that his successor will do more, just a little more is something, to help the victims of sexual assault, suffered at the hands of Rabbis, and frankly Priests. We find ourselves praying, just short prayer, that his successor cannot be swayed by the power of the bloc of ultra-Orthodox voters and power brokers.  Perhaps he will meet these men again…

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Ken Thompson, Brooklyn District Attorney, Dies After Disclosing Cancer

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/10/nyregion/ken-thompson-brooklyns-first-black-district-attorney-dies-at-50.html?_r=0

Kenneth P. Thompson, the first black district attorney of Brooklyn and a voice for racial justice at a moment of tension between law enforcement and minority communities, died on Sunday from cancer, his family said. He was 50.

Mr. Thompson was elected district attorney in 2013 after campaigning on a platform of reform and racial justice, and unseating Charles J. Hynes, a fellow Democrat and a troubled incumbent who had served more than 20 years.

After being absent from his office for nearly two months, Mr. Thompson released a statement on Tuesday saying he had cancer. His office released a second statement on Sunday night, announcing his death and saying that his family had been by his side at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan when he died.

A former federal prosecutor who went on to have a successful private law practice, Mr. Thompson earned a reputation in office as one of the country’s most progressive district attorneys, creating a robust internal unit that reviewed questionable convictions and establishing a policy of not prosecuting most low-level marijuana arrests.

At a moment of heightened racial tension over police-related shootings, he chose to prosecute — and eventually won — the complicated case of Peter Liang, the former New York City police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man, Akai Gurley, in the stairwell of a housing project in 2014. After the trial was over, Mr. Thompson decided not to seek prison time for Mr. Liang, which enraged Mr. Gurley’s family and led to protests.

“The thoughts and prayers of our entire city are with District Attorney Ken Thompson, his family and his loved ones tonight,” Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, said in a statement on Sunday. “With a life and promise cut far too short, our city was blessed with but a glimpse of Ken’s unwavering commitment to justice and his unrivaled pursuit of a more fair system for all those he served.”

Born and raised in New York City, Mr. Thompson was the son of a police officer and lived in public housing in Harlem before moving to Co-Op City, a housing development in the Bronx. He attended the city’s public schools and applied to the Police Department, as his mother had, before choosing instead to attend the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. After his graduation, he obtained a law degree from the New York University School of Law.

On the advice of one of his law professors, Ronald K. Noble, a onetime Treasury Department official and the secretary general of Interpol, Mr. Thompson sought and found a position as a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn. In 1997, he was assigned the prestigious task of making the opening statement at the trial of Justin Volpe, a former police officer who eventually pleaded guilty to torturing a Haitian immigrant, Abner Louima, with a broken broomstick in the bathroom of a Brooklyn station house.

After leaving government service, Mr. Thompson went into private practice. His most prominent case was representing an African-born hotel housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, who accused the French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn of raping her in a Manhattan hotel room in 2011. Cyrus Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, eventually dismissed the case, and Mr. Thompson was criticized for his incendiary personal attacks against Mr. Vance and members of his staff.

Mr. Thompson had harbored ambitions for higher office, but, according to a friend who spoke on the condition of anonymity because Mr. Thompson declined to disclose the type of his cancer, learned he had an aggressive form of the disease this year. By the time he received the diagnosis, the cancer had already metastasized and was incurable.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo may now name a replacement for Mr. Thompson, who would have faced re-election next year. “A lifelong New Yorker, Ken was known as an effective, aggressive civil rights leader — and a national voice for criminal justice reform,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement on Sunday.

Mr. Thompson is survived by his wife of 17 years, Lu-Shawn Thompson; his children, Kennedy and Kenny; his mother; his father; his brother; and his sister.

 

To read the article in its entirety click here.

 

Satmar – Abusing Government Resources: Section 8, SNAP, Medicaid

 

 

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Several Members of the Satmar Community Reportedly Arrested This Morning

The FBI in Williamsburg this morning made arrests at 118 Skillman and 900 Bedford. Four members of the Satmar community were arrested arrested in Williamsburg, Bedford and Skillman. The FBI were in Boro Park at 52nd between 11 & 12 as well this morning.

The 5 arrested so far are:

Shlome Kuptchik & his wife
Zalmen leib Teitelbaum Ben Meir
Gabe Bihmd Myrtle
Nuta Wolf

To read the article in its entirety: http://israelnewsonline.org/breaking-several-members-of-th…/