Cuomo Dodges Questions about Promises to Satmar Rebbe Zalman Teitelbaum to Keep Hands off with Education

Cuomo dodges questions about endorsement deal with Satmar Rebbe

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday did not refute reports that he assured a prominent rabbi he would keep his hands off yeshivas in exchange for an endorsement — instead pointing to his lack of control over the state Education Department.

The department is currently reviewing a long-delayed city Department of Education probe of whether 30 yeshivas have been meeting minimum requirements for secular education, a 3-year effort in whichofficials were blocked from visiting half the schools.

Asked about reports  that he had essentially told Satmar Rebbe Zalman Tietelbaum not to worry about the matter last week, Cuomo wouldn’t address the question head on.

“The State Education Department will enforce the law, but it’s not the governor’s responsibility. I have no control of the state Education Department,” he told reporters following a press conference at the Tappan Zee Bridge, which has been renamed for the governor’s father, Mario Cuomo.

City officials punted their probe to the state because the state Education Department has ultimate oversight over what’s taught in non-public schools.
Advocates had complained in 2015 that many yeshivas were violating the state requirement that they provide a secular education equivalent to what students get in public schools.

To read the remainder of the article click here.
Advertisements

If You are Latino, if You are Black if you are LGBTQ – Tish James’ List of Financial Backers Should Steer You in ANY OTHER Direction

A NOTE TO THE JAMES’ SUPPORTERS WHO THINK THEY ARE GETTING SOMEONE LOOKING OUT FOR THEM. THE ONLY ONES SHE CAN LOOK OUT FOR ARE THOSE WHO CONTRIBUTED HEAVILY TO HER CAMPAIGN… AND IT IS NOT YOU. – 12.9.18

Whatever we know, or don’t know about what Ms. James believes in, or did, her donor pool tells us everything we need to know about what causes she will support and who will be prosecuted for their crimes.

To the Latinos and Blacks, your schools in East Ramapo, New York (and Lakewood, New Jersey) have been destroyed because money and Federal Funds goes to Yeshivas and not to public education. It goes to supporting a non-substantially similar education. While having a minority candidate represent your interests may feel like a victory, she will be beholden to her contributor base first and that has nothing to do with her color but the color of the hats of those who donated heavily to her campaign.

To the LGBTQ community, you are an abomination to the ultra-Orthodox Jews supporting the James campaign. You are a violation of the laws of G-d, right or wrong. Ms. James will ultimately need to placate her financial backers. Your humanity and dignity is not a top priority for those wanting to preserve an insular and highly religious way of life. The two simply cannot go hand-in-hand.

Please voters, look to Ms. James’ greatest sources of financial campaign support to decide for who to vote on election day. A James win is nothing more and nothing less than a win for the Ultra-Orthodox communities of Williamsburg, Crown Heights, Ramapo, Kiryas Joel and all of the other communities inhabited for the most part by the ultra-Orthodox Jewish donors to her campaign.

“At the end of the day, members voted for who they know.”

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who is running for state attorney general, talks on the campaign trail about wanting to be New York’s first openly gay statewide elected official. Yet despite being a slight favorite in the latest Siena College poll, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, one of Maloney’s primary rivals, is winning more LGBTQ support.

James just released a letter signed by more than 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer New Yorkers involved in politics, all backing James – including New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. Perhaps the only LGBTQ group backing Maloney’s campaign is the Victory Fund, which seeks to elect LGBTQ people.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who is running for state attorney general, talks on the campaign trail about wanting to be New York’s first openly gay statewide elected official. Yet despite being a slight favorite in the latest Siena College poll, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, one of Maloney’s primary rivals, is winning more LGBTQ support.

James just released a letter signed by more than 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer New Yorkers involved in politics, all backing James – including New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. Perhaps the only LGBTQ group backing Maloney’s campaign is the Victory Fund, which seeks to elect LGBTQ people.

Dear Ms. James – A Shikse, a Shvartze, a Shabbos Goi and the Darling of Those Who Grace Our Pages

Dear Ms. James:

We have been following your donor pool and are more than a little bit disheartened.

Did you know that many of your ultra-Orthodox contributors, grace the pages of this website, not for their generosity “philanthropy” but for their lack of morally integrity, if not blatantly illegal activity?

Are you prepared to bend to the whim of those who are so generously financing your campaign as darling of the ultra-Orthodox? Or, are you morally challenged enough for it not to matter?

Are you prepared to sacrifice your moral integrity (and that of those around you); or do you not have any?

Are you prepared to live in an ethically shady area between what might be legal, (or not) and what is most definitely, while perhaps legal – questionably unethical (or not)? Or, do you already live there?

Did you know that the people with whom you sit, the men with their black hats, lengthy beards, black coats and pious looks, those who promise you generous support, will expect something in return? Or, have you already agreed to their terms and conditions?

Are you prepared for the day the Tallyman comes calling? Or, has the price for their support already been laid out in unadulterated detail?

Are you flattered that they have chosen you, a woman of color and a non-Jew to represent them as the future Attorney General of the State of New York? Or, have  you decided that you are willing to do whatever it takes?

Do you ask yourself, why you? Or are you naïve enough to believe that they have chosen you because of the best qualities you have to offer?

Or, worse still,  have you already given them your soul?

Perhaps we can set you straight…

You should not find the support you are being given flattering. It is not being offered to you because of your grades in school and how hard you have worked. It is not being offered to you because of where you come from, how much you struggled and how much your family struggled to get you where you are. 

You are not being showered with campaign contributions because the men from a culture you understand so little about, speaking a language you do not understand, believe you will be fair, impartial and ethically grounded. They believe you will be there’s for the asking. And they don’t bargain fairly.

These men believe you to be malleable and pliable. They believe you to either be of questionable moral character or so driven that you would sell your soul to the Devil himself to get to the AG’s seat.

And Ms. James, you have indeed sold your soul to the Devil.

It is very likely that your cast of unsavory donors have “dirt” (whether real or fabricated) buried in a shoebox somewhere waiting to come to light. When you are asked to return a favor that is less than comfortable for you it will not matter whether you were hiding something or not, all will be lost. These men don’t play nice in the sandbox. They will bury you, say the Kaddish and be done. Scratch that, you are not a Jew. Kaddish is unnecessary.

Being the Darling of the Orthodox Jewish donor pool that has so willingly fed your coffers is anything but a complement. It is an insult, both to your own hard work and to the struggles that define you (at least according to your interviews).

Should you win the election, we hope you will prove yourself to be better than those very donors give you credit for. You returned money from one such donor. We only wish you would return the rest.

We hope you will have a voice that can make your family and your community proud, one that will demand that laws are followed, reporting of rape and molestation is encouraged and the elderly are protected.

Your ultra-Orthodox donors want none of it. They want a cheap political whore.

For those of us watching your donations from the ultra-Orthodox grow, and knowing the dark places that money comes from, we hope you do not get elected. We hope for your sake that your integrity does not need to withstand that test. These men (and their wives) are their own kind of mafia.

If you are defined by the company you keep, we find the prospects of your election to be more than a little bit unsettling.

 

 

Chofesh H’Betui – The Right to Convey Free Thinking – at Stake PART II

The Word “Philanthropist” and the Services Money Can Buy –

Taking Aim at Free Speech

We have stated many times that we really do not like the word “Philanthropist.” Those self-proclaimed philanthropists, in our view, who riddle these pages have not given freely. They have not given anonymously to a beneficiary and taken no credit for the gifts, one of the highest forms of giving in the Jewish faith. Instead they have boasted philanthropy as a badge of alleged honor. Philanthropy, as such, is not a gift but a justification or a remediation of whatever sins have been committed.

And at this the holiest season on the Jewish calendar, we are taught that giving money to repent for our sins is simply not enough.

We are not philanthropists. We are supporters of a cause-accountability. We take on issues involving children, education, the treatment  of our elderly, honest business practices, human decency, mutual respect for our neighbors, integrity and most importantly, the right to free speech.

Nearly each page we have published contains the name of someone, whose ‘Wikipedia” page would call a philanthropist, as self-described. These alleged “Philanthropists” have learned to game a system, whether by greasing the palms of politicians, sending police officers to Israel, making friends with the appropriate corrupt officials in the Congo, purchasing a nursing home by manipulating zoning laws and then treating the patients reprehensibly or altering the zoning laws to suit their fancy. And, all of this under the guise of “Philanthropy.”

To our valued readers, these same self-proclaimed “Philanthropists” filed a lawsuit against a blogger, served on a Saturday which will require a response of one form or another in the middle of the holiday season. It will require funding and time. And in the greatest of ironies, the Plaintiffs refer to themselves as “Philanthropists.”

This lawsuit is an effort to silence the blogger and presumably silence this blog. The stakes are high. We have a readership of well over 1.5M views in the last few years and if we are forced to shut the doors to this site, it will send a message to each of our readers that it is too risky to speak up, something which runs counter to our very system of beliefs. A victory by these Plaintiffs would be the destruction of society’s ability to hold bad actors accountable for their actions, a horrifying result.

The law firm handling the suit is well connected in Kings County and is well known for its political connections and for its support of so many of the members of the community that grace our pages. The law firm has as great an interest in this case as its clients.

We will be asking for your support in the coming weeks. We have never asked for financial assistance to keep these pages running but a crowdfunding site is being established by friends of this page.

In the meantime, the findinglostmessiah@gmail.com address is up and running after some maneuvering. We are happy to answer questions and we could use any help you may have.

Finally, insofar as WordPress has a set of standards they follow, we encourage posting and participation. We remain faithful to the trust placed in us by you, our readers.

With many thanks. With kindness and immeasurable gratitude.

L’Shana Tova – LM and all of those who make this endeavor possible.

 

 

Education in New York, Substantially Similar? Likely… Not Happening Under Cuomo

PHOTOS: Gov. Cuomo Visits Satmar Rebbe of Williamsburg, Promises Not To Interfere With Yeshiva Education

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo visited the Satmar Rebbe of Williamsburg at his home on Thursday night. Leaders of several community Mosdos attended the meeting.

According to a BeChadrei Chareidim report, the Governor reassured the Rebbe that he would not interfere in Yeshiva education. Orthodox Jewish Yeshivas in New York City have been under investigation in recent years over allegations from a group called YAFFED that the yeshivas provide an inadequate level of secular education.

To see the articles and photos click here.

 

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.

–– A

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.