Yeshiva Camp and Alcohol Use – A Community Ignoring a Problem and a Rabbi Taking Action

Dear Reader:

We are publishing this Letter to the Editor of Yeshiva World News because we think it is information that needs attention. We do not know if the writer of the letter reads our site, nor was it sent to us by him. He does state that he sent it to several publications that took no interest in his concerns; something we find both reprehensible and endemic of the society in which this problem is being ignored.

This problem cannot go away if it is not actively and openly discussed and addressed. We commend the author’s courage.

LM

The Alcohol-Drinking At Yeshiva Camps Is Out of Control And Being Ignored

Dear YWN readership.

I regret saying this, but my letter was sent to 4 Jewish publications before the summer, and unfortunately, it was ignored. I have since updated it to reflect new information (from as recent as last night), and humbly request it be published for the sake of saving lives.

Parents sending their boys to summer camps in the Catskills may think their boys are safe, but they aren’t.

No, I am not referring to pedophilia. That problem has Boruch Hashem been dealt with by organizations such as Amudim and the Gedolim behind them who devote their lives to helping the victims.

The topic I want to address is alcohol-drinking in camps. But not just any camps. I am referring to the elite “yeshiva / learning” camps. I have decided to leave the names of these camps out and hope that this letter alone will hopefully awaken the masses.

Please don’t start telling me that this is a minor percentage, because it’s not. This is a roaring problem that is largely being ignored and not being taken seriously by the people running these camps. I humbly question why the Roshei Yeshiva of these boys allow them to go to any of these camps as it’s no secret regarding the alcohol consumption at these camps. In fact, I have had many conversations with leading Roshei Yeshiva about this, and they just shrug their shoulders.

Just last night a bunch of these camps joined together to go to a well known amusement park. The day was capped off with a concert and a band with singing and dancing. I don’t think your readership needs to see the footage of the drunk boys staggering all over the place, so I’ll hold that for round two – If immediate action isn’t taken.

What are these camp owners waiting for? Do we need a few boys to die of alcohol poisoning before people boycott these camps? Why is the “zero tolerance for a smartphone” enforced but the drinking epidemic being ignored?

I should add (not that it makes any difference) that I am not referring to drinking beer. I am talking about bottles of hard liquor that the boys have stashed away.

I am demanding that the camps take action before I and others like myself take appropriate action to ensure the problem is dealt with another way. We will make sure your camps are (legally) exposed and blacklisted by every single family in America.

Thank you for publishing my letter, and I am sorry for being so harsh, but the reality demands this.

Have a wonderful and safe summer.

Yeshaya Dovid Braunstein – Lakewood

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Another Effort to Sell a Nursing Home to Allure, Joel Landau and Their Partners: Profit Before Care – Please AG PROTECT OUR MOST VULNERABLE

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Another Attempted Nursing Home Purchase by Allure – Whose Pockets Will be Lined and How can the Public Help?

The below-referenced case is being heard. The Greater Nursing Home owners are attempting to sell the facility to the Allure Group cast of characters: Joel Landau (not photo attached, of cours), and the Rubin(s). The AG is attempting to prevent the sale. It’s calendared for  8/15/17 per the alert below.

 

Oral arguments will be heard at that time. Frank Carone (disinterest? – NO) (partner of Brooklyn Democrat Boss Seddio and Mayor deBlasio’s L.I fundraiser) Howard Fensterman  – the lawyer attempting to facilitate the hand-over of yet another facility to predatory owners (you’ve seen his name before).

With all of the money that incestuously changes hands among this cast of characters it’s a wonder why they don’t just all share the same bank account and be done with it.

 

Being clear, it is yet another effort facilitated by the co-opted NY State DOH and its Public Health & Health Planning Council  (think Rivington House) to  sit back and lets these corporate takeovers happen. This cast of characters is a group of morally challenged individuals who make millions of dollars off the backs of elderly and infirmed patients.

Where is the San Francisco Bee when you need it? 

 

Index Number: 155305/2016
The following case which you have subscribed to in eTrack has been updated. Changes from the last update are shown in red and are annotated.

Court: New York Civil Supreme
Index Number: 155305/2016
Case Name: GREATER HARLEM NURSING vs. X
Case Type: E-Other Special Proceedings
Track: Standard
Upstate RJI Number: 
Disposition Date: 
Date NOI Due: 
NOI Filed: 
Calendar Number: 
RJI Filed: 06/28/2016
Jury Status: 
Justice Name: KOTLER, LYNN R.

Attorney/Firm for Plaintiff: 
ABRAMS FENSTERMAN FENSTERMAN/
3 DAKOTA DR, STE 300 
LAKE SUCCESS, NY 11042
Attorney Type: Attorney Of Record
Status: Active

Last Appearance:
Appearance Date: 07/12/2017 — Information updated
Appearance Time: 
On For: Supreme Trial — Information updated
Appearance Outcome: Remove Stay — Information updated
Justice: KOTLER, LYNN R. — Information updated
Part: STATUS CONFERENCE 8 — Information updated
Comments: 

Future Appearances: — Information updated
Appearance Date: 08/15/2017 — Information updated
Appearance Time: — Information updated
On For: Motion — Information updated
Appearance Outcome: — Information updated
Justice: KOTLER, LYNN R. — Information updated
Part: IAS MOTION 8EFM — Information updated
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ORAL ARGUMENT — Information updated
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ORAL ARGUMENT — Information updated

Older appearances may exist but are not shown.

Motions: Motion Number: 2
Date Filed: 07/26/2016
Filed By: PLAINT
Relief Sought: Leave To Intervene
Submit Date: — Information updated
Answer Demanded: No
Status: Open: 

Before Justice: KOTLER
Decision: 
Order Signed Date: 

Motion Number: 1
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Filed By: 
Relief Sought: Other Reliefs
Submit Date: 
Answer Demanded: No
Status: Open: 

Before Justice: KOTLER
Decision: 
Order Signed Date: 

Scanned Decisions: None on file.

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Ultra-Orthodox Bigwigs Raking in Money as They Walk All Over the Impoverished – Borough Park – OPINION

 

UPDATED CLARIFICATION: In Borough Park There Are Laws And Then There Are Laws

http://www.kingscountypolitics.com/in-borough-park-there-are-laws-and-then-there-are-laws/

You don’t need to be a Talmudic scholar to understand that the bigwigs at Borough Park yeshivas and nonprofits are raking in the big bucks while poverty-stricken Orthodox Jewish families are given the shaft.

And every Thursday afternoon before Shabbat when these bigwigs leave boxes of food on the doorsteps of impoverished Jews while they pick their pockets for yeshiva tuition, it doesn’t seem to live up to the highest form of Talmudic charity or tzedakah.

But that’s the way politics and economics goes in the Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish community. They take care of their own as long as the top get theres.

 
 

Which also helps explain why the neighborhood’s top yeshiva and non-profit bigwigs signed on to a full-page ad in the Jewish newspaper Hamodia wishing City Councilman David Greenfield a Mazel Tov (Good Luck) at his new gig heading the Met Council on Jewish Poverty and pledging support for his hand-picked successor, Kalman Yeger.

Considering how much taxpayer money some of these organizations received through Greenfield’s city council office coupled with the fear of losing financial support if they don’t support Yeger, signing on to the ad was the least they could do. Even if it does border on illegal for non-profits to be directly involved in campaign advertisements, particularly if they are getting government funding.

But the legality or lack thereof is besides the point. The message behind the ad is to let the community know that Yeger’s coronation to the city council is a done deal. That there’s no use in fighting the inevitable.

And for now, the ploy seems to be working. Yoni Hikind, a therapist by trade who works with some of the community’s most troubled youth including those with substance abuse issues, told KCP that he’s always wanted to follow in his father, Assemblymember Dov Hikind’s footsteps, to help people and do good things for the community.

“Running for office is something I’ve been considering for 36 years,” said Yoni, “but I have to take a look [at running for the city council seat] and see what’s involved.”

For two days, Yoni said he’d get back to KCP with a photo and more of his plans, but for now he hasn’t. Ditto for the Hikind family ally, Democratic District Leader David Schwartz, who some would like to see run, but who has ruled it out for now.

Real Estate attorney and Republican District Leader Nachman Caller is said to be looking at running, but surprisingly JPUpdatesPublisher Moshe Friedman called KCP saying he was Caller’s spokesperson, although sources say that he secretly supports Greenfield.

“The bottom line is there is no outrage over [Greenfield] handing someone the seat. Nobody wants to run. Maybe people think David Greenfield can deliver even more at the Met Council,” said Friedman.

It’ still too early to know for sure where all this will lead, but one thing is for sure. When it comes to following the letter but not the spirit of the law, the powerful in the orthodox and Hasidic community of Borough Park have it down pat.

It leaves one wondering how they follow Talmudic laws.

Editor’s Clarification: The Hamodia ad was paid for by Yeger For City Council, and not the people listed on the ad. 

Alright already, I acknowledge I may or may not have taken a few angry cheap shots at Yeshivas and Kalman Yeger. That said, I’ve been in the journalism game long enough to know when you go down the rabbit hole of apologizing for something you’ve written it only makes matters worse. So I’ll own what I’ve written, lick my wounds and move on.

Regarding, Mr. Yeger, I personally believe it is always better to have a spirited campaign of ideas with at least two candidates, but if this is who Borough Park wants to represent them in the city council, so be it. I’ll put any anger I may or may not have aside, put on my most objective hat and henceforth judge Mr. Yeger on his merits.

Regarding the comments on this website as well as from people who personally called me that said or insinuated I am somehow anti-Semitic and/or endorse the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, you are even more off base than any comments made about Yeshivas and the leadership of Borough Park.

I went to cheder and was bar mitzvah at Skokie Central Traditional Congregagtion, an orthodox shul, which is still going strong. In Skokie, where I spent my entire childhood into early adulthood, we were always a tight-knit Jewish community. The intent of this column, as misguided as it may or may not have been, was to stand up for the poor Jews struggling to come up with tuition money. That’s a far cry from me writing or insinuating in any way that there is a grand conspiracy of my people, whom I love and support, to own the world. If these comments didn’t hurt so much they would be laughable. 

Stephen Witt  

Rabbis and Politicians – The similarities are Shocking – Protecting a Synagogue or its Rabbi?

See J-Wire Australia and New Zealand: http://www.jwire.com.au/the-jerusalem-beth-din-serves-an-injunction-to-protect-south-head-synagogue/

The Jerusalem Beth Din serves an injunction to protect South Head Synagogue

A meeting of creditors is scheduled to take place in Sydney on Friday.

The ruling was made following a letter to the Beth Din in Jerusalem written by the spiritual head of the South Head Synagogue Rabbi Benzion Milecki on Monday July 10th in which he wrote:

“Because the Synagogue Board and President acted and are acting in a manner that endangers the continued functioning of the Synagogue through the defendants taking unilateral actions, that include boycotting and requesting members of the community to pray in another venue (in order to force the resignation of Rabbi Milecki),  liquidating the Holy Congregation Ahavat Shalom, selling the land and Synagogue building in all of its parts – including the Synagogue, the Beth HaMidrash, the Library, the Mikveh etc – G-d forbid (which is possible because the President of the Synagogue released the bank and replaced it with himself as mortgagee together with two other Board members);].

And because it is the intention of the defendants to execute their plan leading to the destruction of all the facilities, an irreversible situation incapable of remedy (because, as mortgagees, they can vote for the liquidation of the Synagogue as means of retrieving their funds at the creditors’ meeting that will take place on Friday morning, 20th Tammuz);

Therefore I request His Honour the Av Beth Din and the Beth Din to issue an immediate injunction that prevents any of the sides from acting in a manner that could lead to the destruction of all these holy facilities.”

Order of HaRav HaGaon Rav Chaim Shlomo Rozental, Rav and Av Beth Din of Jerusalem, and Av Beth Din of the Special Court Established by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel in the matter of Rabbi Benzion Milecki and South Head Synagogue.

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Shelly Silver GUILTY! Conviction Overturned on Technical Grounds

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The evidence still shows Shelly Silver is guilty, guilty, guilty

Outrageous: Shelly Silver, one of the worst abusers of the public trust in recent New York history, just got his 2015 conviction tossed on technical grounds.

Prosecutors promise a new trial, but justice has already been delayed far too long here.

A federal appeals court Thursday tossed the former Assembly speaker’s 2015 corruption conviction because a later Supreme Court ruling tweaked the rules for what counts as political corruption.

Yet the same 2nd Circuit of Appeals had just affirmed the bribery conviction of ex-Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. despite similar issues.

And the evidence against Silver proves corruption under the new rules as well as the old.

  • The then-speaker funneled some $500,000 in state grants to a doctor who, in turn, sent patients to Silver’s law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg — which then paid Silver for the referrals.
  • In another scheme, Silver voted to OK tax-exempt financing for a real-estate developer, Glenwood Management, and for favorable rent- and tax-abatement laws. In exchange, Glenwood took some work to the firm of another Silver pal, which in turn paid “fees” to the speaker.

Silver pocketed at least $4 million from these kickbacks.

At trial, his defense boiled down to “everybody does it.” But while the Legislature is indeed profoundly corrupt, that doesn’t make any of it legal.
And certainly not these abuses of power by a man who ruled as speaker for more than two decades.

Yes, the Supreme Court last year tossed the corruption conviction of ex-Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell over too-broad instructions to the jury about what defines “official acts.” But Silver’s case involved far more clear-cut bribes — and more clear-cut abuse of power — than McDonnell’s.

Yet somehow the 2nd Circuit thinks a “rational jury” might not have found Silver guilty if it had been “properly instructed.”

Let’s hope prosecutors move quickly to a new trial. The best medicine for New York’s rampant corruption is swift, harsh punishment for the abusers. And Silver, 73, has already been free for far too long.

Australia – South Head Rabbi Will not Compromise, Synagogue to be Liquidated

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THE AUSTRALIAN JEWISH NEWS: https://www.jewishnews.net.au/south-head-future-decided/66205

South Head future all but decided

A LAST-DITCH attempt to save South Head Synagogue from liquidation appears to be over, much to the disappointment of the entire community.

A group, known as the South Head Synagogue Unity Plan, has “reluctantly concluded that there is nothing further” it can do to bring Rabbi Benzion Milecki and the shule’s board together.

“It appears that the costs and burdens upon the community will almost inevitably cause the South Head Congregation, as we have known it, to be very seriously damaged,” Gary Cohen and Peter Wise, who described themselves as concerned congregants who support a united congregation, said in a joint statement.

“It will now likely enter a new phase and we are saddened by this, but compromise for the greater good from all parties has not been forthcoming. No one should take any pride or satisfaction in this outcome.”

The AJN can exclusively reveal that in response to the rabbi’s offer last week, the secure creditors made an offer of more than $1 million and agreed to organise a tribute to the rabbi in the synagogue, on the condition that the rabbi had no control over the future of the shule.

The AJN can also reveal that in the report to creditors, the administrator wrote that he considered the rabbi as a director because of his heavy involvement in discussions, decisions and board meetings.

Wise and Cohen said that they have not taken sides, and praised both sides for trying to find a middle ground, but said that the task is too great.

“A lot of water had already flowed under the bridge and the parties have not, until this point in time, been able to bring themselves to accept the terms that each other was insisting upon.

“We have reluctantly concluded that there is nothing further that we can reasonably do to bring the parties together.”

The AJN understands that the shule’s doors could be closed today (Thursday) by administrator Anthony Elkerton because the money required to keep the shule open has not been forthcoming.

Shule president James Hochroth told The AJN that tomorrow (Friday) the creditors will vote on the future of the synagogue.

“The secured creditors intend to vote in line with the recommendation by the administrator, to wind up the company, at the meeting for creditors this Friday.”

Hochroth said the creditors have no choice because there is no prospect of the shule thriving again in the current circumstances.

He said however, that despite the closure of the shule, the congregation has not disbanded. “Most South Head regular attendees are now going to a second minyan – it is not a breakaway, it is the congregation.

“There were 80 men and 25 women on Friday night and then Saturday morning the same again, but with children.”

In contrast, the numbers at South Head Synagogue have been reported to The AJN to be between 12-30 people.

Cheesy Canadian Company Gets Fined for Unkosher Behavior

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Food company busted for selling phony ‘kosher’ cheese to kids

 

A Canadian food company was ordered to pay more than $19,000 for selling cheese falsely labeled kosher to Jewish youth campers, authorities said Monday.

Creation Foods Company in Woodbridge, Ontario pleaded guilty in provincial court and was hit with the penalty of $25,000 Canadian, or $19,417 in US dollars, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The incident — called a “spiritual poisoning” by a key Canadian kosher administrator — is believed to be the first case involving phony kosher food ever brought to provincial court.

“We’re very pleased and gratified that the Canadian justice system was diligent in prosecuting this crime,” Richard Rabkin, managing director of kosher certifying agency the Kashruth Council of Canada (COR), told The Post on Monday.

“It was a milestone, a first and we hope the last.”

The phony kosher cheese was delivered to two camps in northern Ontario in summer 2015, according to COR.

“The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s investigation determined that the company sold a non-kosher food product to two Jewish youth camps, by means of a forged kosher certificate,” according to a CFIA statement.

“The cheese sold to both camps did not meet the requirements of the kashruth.”

Reps for Creation Foods did not return messages seeking their comments on Monday.

The two camps involved were sent loads of mozzarella and cheddar. The mozzarella had proper COR certification but the cheddar did not.

And when camp officials asked for proof, that’s when the fake letters of kosher authenticity were used, Rabkin said.

It’s unclear whether campers actually ate the non-kosher cheddar.

Even if that cheese were physically safe, it was a moral affront to sell it to Jewish customers knowing it wasn’t kosher, according to Rabkin — calling it a “spiritual poisoning.”

The key in making kosher cheese comes from enzyme used to coagulate milk into cheese.

To read the remainder of the article in the NYPost click here.