The Zirkind Family Saga Continues – From “Shoah Gelt” to an Alleged Family Laundry Business

All In the Chabad Family.  From Shoah Gelt to a Bail Request for Synagogue and Mikvah Attendance – Why is No One Reporting on This?

[Edited – 8.13.20]

Chabad Lubavitch is not without its scandals. It is, in our opinion, largely lacking in accountability, particularly where one of their own, a pillar of their community is involved.  

To give some historic perspective, Colel Chabad is the oldest and most prestigious Chabad charity in the world. It is well respected and called upon as a Chabad Partner for Shluchim (outreach).  In the 1990’s the Zirkind family established a branch of Colel Chabad in Montreal, Canada, a task completed by patriarch of the family, Simcha Zirkind. Going back as early as 1998, the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission approved a television station for and on behalf of Rabbi Zalman Zirkind. 

In 2015, the Chabad Lubavitch Headquarters Magazine honored Rabbi Simcha Zirkind as a “pioneer of Chabad Activities in Quebec who died at the age of 76. 

Rabbi Simcha Zirkind, Pioneer of Chabad Activities in Quebec, 76

[Excerpted]

Rabbi [Simcha] Zirkind was among the pioneering activists of the Lubavitch Youth Organization in Montreal. He later raised funds for Colel Chabad, Machne Israel and Kehot Publication Society.

In 2004 he launched the Advice for Life project which made the Rebbe’s teachings available to many in the Jewish community of Quebec. Over the years he distributed over 200,000 copies of the various editions of the publication.

It seems, however, the family has used this charity as a slush fund and vehicle for money laundering. Colel Chabad is based in Brooklyn, NY, with branches around the world. It is to some extent the financial epicenter of Chabad.

Rabbi Zalman Zirkind is the Director of the Canadian branch of Colel Chabad. Colel Chabad of Canada has long been connected to money laundering schemes, going back to 2011 and earlier, as seen in the National Post article linked here.

In 2019, long after the article above from 2011, the LostMessiah Blog reported on Mark Zirkind, drug trafficking and the claims of “Shoah Gelt” which were raised in a 2019 Canadian appeal of a 2014 sentence for money laundering. It was not until this blog reported on that story in 2019, that other papers picked it up.

On July 21, 2020 Chabad member and Crown Heights resident Benzion Zirkind, formerly of Montreal, Canada, was arrested and indicted by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, from 2018 to 2020. 

A few days earlier, on July 16, 2020 Benzion’s uncle, Zalman Zirkind, of Montreal, Canada, was arrested in Champlain, New York for Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, on charges related to those of his nephew. 

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