The Satmar and the Value of their Money – De Blasio’s Presidency Bid and the Money in His Coffers…

Orthodox Jews stroll in Borough Park | Bebeto Matthews/AP Photo

Satmar Chassidim Helping DeBlasio Presidential Campaign Stay Alive

The following is via Politico:

Mayor Bill de Blasio is turning to reliable allies in New York City’s Orthodox Jewish community as he scrambles for debate-qualifying donations to his presidential bid.

A fundraising request for 10,000 donors giving just $1 each is circulating online and on WhatsApp — an encrypted messaging app — among those in the Orthodox Satmar sect, which is prominent in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The message, written in Yiddish and translated for POLITICO by three different people fluent or conversant in the language, acknowledges the mayor’s long-shot chances. It says it is not a request to support his White House bid, but rather to help him qualify for the September debate.

Failing to secure a spot on the national stage would be a blow to his struggling campaign.

The pitch also implies the donations would yield favorable treatment in the future.

It opens with a donation request on behalf of those “who work together with the faithful askanim [loosely translated to influential people] who are in constant contact with the government to lobby on a number of issues on behalf of our holy institutions and communities and for individuals who need help and to represent your interests,” according to one translation from a fluent Yiddish speaker.

It says the mayor “personally asked” for the support and then asks donors to extend the request to their wives and adult children.

“By donating the dollar you support your needs, the entire ultra-Orthodox public and our rights and needs by answering the call of askanim who need to show that the public recognizes those who understand our interests,” it reads.

Finally, it notes, “with the dollar you do not support his candidacy but you can help get him to the debate.”

De Blasio needs to show the Democratic National Committee he has raised money from 130,000 individuals in order to qualify, and as of his campaign filing this month, he only had about 6,700.

The message, shared with POLITICO by two people involved in Jewish politics who declined to be named, was signed by people they identified as Satmars.

The sect is divided into two factions, based upon loyalty to brothers locked in a succession feud following the death in 2006 of their father, prominent rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum.

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In search for debate-qualifying donors, de Blasio finds help among Orthodox Jews

From Politico.

Oded Forer – Creating a Civil Law Free of Radical Influences, the Draft, an Israel for All Jews [Video]

 

Parliamentarian Oded Forer: ‘Make Israel Normal Again’ (with VIDEO)

The number two on Yisrael Beitenu’s list wants to end power of Israel’s religious parties

In a TLV Internationals event moderated by The Media Line, parliamentarian Oded Forer, number two on the list for the Yisrael Beitenu party, spoke to a crowd of largely new immigrants about why they should support his party in the September 17 national elections. The gathering was the first in a weekly “Sunset Series” taking place in August, with different parties represented each week.

TLV Internationals serves as an advocate for new immigrants to Israel with the national government. With a following of over 60,000 young men and women from a multitude of nations, backgrounds and professional fields, the group has built the largest expat community in Israel.

he September vote is the second to take place this year, after Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party failed to garner enough support to form a government after the April 9 vote.

Forer highlighted three major components of Beitenu’s platform: Creating a government free of religious influence, allowing public transportation on Shabbat and requiring Haredim, or ultra-Orthodox Jews to be subject to the military draft.

“What we want to do is make Israel normal again,” Forer said. “We want to allow people to live the way they want.”

Forer expressed his belief that his party can double the number of seats it received in the first election to 10 or 11 this time by focusing on the increasing discontent of secular Israelis over the demands of the religious parties.

If Beitenu wins enough seats in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, he said it would advocate for forming a center-right unity government together with two other parties, Likud and the Benny-Gantz-led Blue and White faction. Such an alliance would almost undoubtedly garner the minimum 61 seats in the 120-member parliament needed to form a coalition.

“It doesn’t matter who the prime minister is, but what kind of government we have,” Forer said.

One of those attending the event was Brian Shaposhnik, who made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) from Toronto in 2013. He did not vote for Yisrael Beitenu in the April election but believes the party is pro-LGBT rights.

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Women of the Wall – Being Attacked by ultra-Orthodox Protesters and Referred to as a “Provocation”?

Women of the Wall at the Western Wall on August 2, 2019 (Courtesy Women of the Wall)

Women of the Wall at the Western Wall on August 2, 2019 (Courtesy Women of the Wall)

Protesters, worshippers skirmish at Western Wall during female-led service

Head of Conservative movement says he was accosted by ultra-Orthodox, had his kippa and prayer shall trampled on

An ultra-Orthodox protester was arrested Friday after allegedly attacking the head of Conservative Judaism in Israel, as a monthly prayer service at the Western Wall by a women’s group was marred by scuffles and loud demonstrations.

Yizhar Hess said an ultra-Orthodox minor tore off his prayer shawl and snatched and threw his skullcap to the floor as he attended morning prayers Friday at the holy site in support of the monthly Women of the Wall service.

A female supporter of Women of the Wall said she was also attacked by ultra-Orthodox protesters.

Meanwhile an ultra-Orthodox woman said she was pushed by a supporter of Women of the Wall and had her head covering torn off, and the group was accused of having tried to spirit a Torah scroll into the site by hiding it in a bathroom the night before.

“A bunch of enraged Haredim surrounded me and started pushing, kicking and spitting — and tore my tallit off of me,” Hess told Hebrew-language media. “My kippa was thrown to the ground and trampled on along with the tallit.”

In March, Hess said the same thing happened to him during skirmishes at the holy site.

The confrontations came despite heavy police presence deployed to secure the prayer service. Police have attempted to crack down on violent protests by ultra-Orthodox that have in the past marred the female-led prayers, held on every first day of the Hebrew month.

In a statement, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which administers the site, said it condemned “the provocations by Women of the Wall every month and the sharp violence on the other side.”

The body also accused the group of hiding the Torah scroll in a bathroom, in contravention of Jewish tradition, which generally forbids holy objects from entering bathrooms

Women of the Wall denied hiding the Torah scroll in a bathroom, and said it had been subjected to “hatred and violence.”

“Thousands of young men and women opposed us with screaming, pushing, hitting and serious interruptions of our prayer,” the group wrote on Facebook.

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500,000 Cell Phones – Kosher, of course, and the Rabbinical Committee for Communications

Members of the ultra-Orthodox community speaking on their cellphones.

How One ultra-Orthodox Man Got Full Control of 500,000 Israelis’ Cellphones

While most ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel adhere to the rabbinic ban on using the internet, they do make use of a more primitive technology — phone services that provide updates on the news, traffic, finance and even family events or funerals supplied by small firms over a dedicated phone line.

“I have a 10-year-old son with diabetes. They fitted him with a sensor and a pump, and I can’t manage with it,” begins one message to Hakav Hamatok, a diabetes hotline, a typical example of the kinds of services available. “The readings keep jumping. Can someone help me?”

Hakav Hamatok offers ultra-Orthodox diabetes patients updates, lectures and recipes, along with the chance to confer with other patients and even the recitation of Psalms for very ill patients. There’s nothing obviously problematic from a religious point of view about Hakav Hamtaok, but the hotline’s number has been blocked for people with so-called kosher telephones – devices that also don’t have internet capability, which some ultra-Orthodox rabbis prohibit. A member of the Rabbinical Committee for Communications apparently found content on Hakav Hamatok objectionable as well.

Hakav Hamatok isn’t the only such case. The committee decides which content the ultra-Orthodox – or Haredi community, as it is known in Hebrew – has access to and has the power to enforce its decisions: The cellphone companies have given the committee access to an interface enabling it to block any telephone line it wishes.

A group of Haredi rabbis founded the committee 15 years ago to defend the community from the onslaught of the internet and the risk that Haredim would gain access to inappropriate content. A “kosher” phone not only lacks internet access. It also has no camera or music features. Even text messages are out of bounds because they can be used by dating services.

The new committee is a rare case of Haredi unity and extending into the religious Zionist community. Rabbis across the spectrum designated representatives for the project after which the committee opened negotiations with the cellular operators. Any company that refused to offer a kosher phone was boycotted.

The Haredi press came on board in an unprecedented campaign against “the hazards of technology” and in favor of kosher phones. Haredi streets were plastered with posters with polemics against anyone daring to carry an “impure” phone.

Today nearly all of Israel’s cellular operators offer subscribers accounts without access to the internet or text messages. Cellcom’s kosher numbers start with 052-76 while Pelephone uses 050-41. You can’t unblock the internet from these numbers or transfer them to other companies for “unkosher” services.

Kosher numbers are also used to virtually shame Haredim who don’t have one. If your line isn’t kosher, your children won’t be accepted into Haredi educational institutions, and your local synagogue may sometimes even be out-of-bounds to you.

Even the more moderate ultra-Orthodox factions have embraced kosher phones, which now are estimated to number 500,000 devices. Their use has recently also penetrated ultra-Orthodox communities abroad.

But, as TheMarker discovered through internal documents, unpublished reports and conversations with dozens of people, the committee is no longer the broad-based undertaking it once was. Today, Yehuda Dweck, a resident of Bnei Brak, has exclusive control of the flow of information to hundreds of thousands of Haredim – which he sometimes exercises arbitrarily and without any explanation, raising questions about his motivations.

At the same time, Dweck has leveraged his work with kosher phones into a thriving business owned by his wife. And he is now trying to gain exclusive control through the power that he has received from the rabbinic committee over the sale and distribution of kosher phones.

Who’s making money?

Dweck, who is in his 40s, looks like a typical Haredi yeshiva student. He is short and gaunt and sports a large, black kippa and a tightly curled beard. But he is actually a determined man who is ruthless in his pursuit of his goals. From his home on a side street in the center of his ultra-Orthodox Tel Aviv suburb, he controls the Haredi telecom market with the help of a laptop and cellphone – a kosher one, of course.

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Measles, Number of New Cases Increases

A vial of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is pictured at the International Community Health Services clinic in Seattle, Washington, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo

Washington – U.S. Health Officials Record 14 New Cases Of Measles As Outbreak Slows

Washington – The United States recorded 14 new measles cases between June 27 and July 3, federal health officials said on Monday, signaling a slowdown in the spread of the disease that has infected 1,109 people this year in the worst U.S. outbreak since 1992.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it had seen a 1.3% increase in cases since the previous week and that it has recorded cases of the highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease in 28 states.

In recent weeks, the CDC has reported smaller increases in the number of measles cases, compared to a surge of more than a hundred cases reported in a single week earlier this year. It reported 18 new cases last week.

Disease outbreaks have not been reported in any new states since June 10.

The running tally of cases this year includes both active cases and those that have since resolved. No fatalities have been reported.

Health experts say the virus has spread mostly among school-age children whose parents declined to give them the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, which confers immunity to the disease. A vocal fringe of U.S. parents cite concerns that the vaccine may cause autism, despite scientific studies that have debunked such claims.

Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, meaning there was no continuous transmission of the disease for a year. Still, cases of the virus occur and spread via travelers coming from countries where measles is common.

CDC officials have warned that the country risks losing its measles elimination status if the ongoing outbreak, which began in October 2018 in New York, continues until October 2019.

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More Rabbinical Insanity – From the “Council of Torah Sages” – Ultrasounds, If Only Men Carried the Babies…

Ultrasound

Haredi rabbi: Don’t do ultrasounds during pregnancy

Rabbi Shalom Cohen, President of the ‘Council of Torah Sages,’ says waiting for the doctor means there’s going to be a blow afterwards.

“Council of Torah Sages” President Rabbi Shalom Cohen on Tuesday told his followers not to do any ultrasounds during pregnancy, Kikar Hashabbat reported.

According to Kikar Hashabbat, former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar was also present at the gathering, as were rabbis from the Bonei Olam organization, which helps couples pay for fertility treatments.

“G-d sends the cure before He sends the ailment,” the site quoted Rabbi Cohen as telling a gathering. “‘To send the cure before the ailment’ means that when you make the ‘cure’ ahead of time – you need to make sure that the ailment will not, G-d forbid, follow it.”

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Ill Repute Puts All Jewish Charities at Risk – Chabad UK a Potential Fraud, Another Scheming Charity

Orthodox man convicted over £10 million charity scam

Edward Cohen, 67, illegally sold medication – including viagra – through Jewish charities

 

An Orthodox man has been convicted of laundering proceeds from the illegal sale of medication totalling more than £10 million through Jewish charities. 

Edward Cohen, 67, funnelled “huge sums of money” – from sales and charitable donations – through an international network of firms, bank accounts and currency exchanges.

Southwark Crown Court heard that the medication sold included Viagra, slimming pills and prescription medication.

Edward Cohen fled the country ahead of the start of the trial and was convicted in his absence. 

Edward Cohen’s son David, a 38-year-old teacher, was cleared of money laundering charges and supplying false information to the Charity Commission.

But he was convicted of providing false information for the purposes of obtaining benefits. 

David Cohen, of Ashbourne Avenue, in Temple Fortune, North London, was granted bail.

Both men will be sentenced on July 4. 

The trial partly concerns the financial activity of charity Chabad UK – which is entirely separate from Chabad Lubavitch UK, and not part of the official Chabad movement.

Data obtained by police investigators show that in one financial year – 2012/13 – Chabad UK’s income jumped from £1.26 million to just under £8 million, almost £7 million of which came from merchant accounts linked to sales.

The following year, Chabad received £2.85 million from merchant accounts, out of a total income of £3.4 million.

It contrasted with the period from 2008 until 2012, when merchant account proceeds accounted for 2.5 per cent of an income of £6.05 million.

The jury heard that Chabad UK’s premises, on Oldhill Street in Stamford Hill, North London, were raided by police officers on September 1, 2014.

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