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December 29, 2008

BREAKING! Chabad Forms High-Level Committee For Rubashkin Legal Defense, PR, Fundraising

Details:

As many of you know, I proved a month ago that Chabad is raising tax deductible money and apply it to Sholom M. Rubashkin's legal defense.

Then, earlier today Chabad's talking points for the defense of the Rubashkins were accidentally leaked by a Chabad blog.

Now the following announcement has been posted on Chabad.info, another leading Chabad blog:

New Committee to Tackle Rubashkin Case

A new committee has been formed to supervise efforts to secure the release of Shalom Mordechai Rubashkin, former CEO of Agriprocessors in Postville, IA • The group, which is comprised of individuals with years of experience in assisting community members with legal troubles, began assisting Rubashkin six weeks ago • 'The Committee of Concerned Anash for Pidyon Shevuyim' will focus on assisting the Rubashkin familly in all matters.

["Anash" is an acronym that basically means members of the Chabad-Lubavitch community." "Pidyon Shvuyim" means redemption of captives.]

The Committee is working with a team of top lawyers for the best defense as well as a public relations group, and will be collecting funds for the legal defense and keeping the community involved with the cause, Chabad.info was told.

Committee members include Levi Balkany [see here and here for details about Levi's family], Yingy Bistritsky, Ari Chitrik, Sholom Duchman, Mendel Feller, Noson Hecht, Shea Hecht, Shmuli Hecht [is probably the Shmuel Hecht who offered property worth in excess of $10 million dollars toward Rubashkin's bail and who is a Chabad rabbi and businessman in New Haven, CT, but could also be a nephew or cousin], Sholem B. Hecht, Sholom B. Lipskar [and here as founder of Aleph, which is raising tax deductible money for Rubashkin's legal defense], Benjy Stock, Zalman Vishedsky and Yaakov Weiss, Suri Ciment, Hindy Labkowski and Molly Resnick.

In a press release sent to Chabad.info, the committee made the following statement: "The committee wants the public to know they are the official group to assist and aid the Rubashkins, endorsed by the family. The committee has years of experience in dealing with pidyon shevuyim cases, and now they have turned their attention to helping Sholom Rubashkin."

Members of the committee held a meeting Sunday at the offices of The National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education (NCFJE).

Following the meeting the committee held a press conference for the Lubavitch media in an effort to call on the worldwide Lubavitch community to take action, get involved, and donate to the Rubashkin legal fund. The meeting was attended by reporters representing many chabad news outlets, including Chabad.info.

Other Jewish groups are expected to speak out on behalf of Rubashkin, citing that "the case is now an attack against shechita."

Rabbi Pesach Lerner of Young Israel and Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zweibel of Agudas Yisroel are said to be planning a trip to Iowa to meet with Rubashkin in prison.

This Tuesday, lawyers from Grefe and Sidney, one of the firms defending Rubashkin will be visiting Crown Heights to meet with the committee and residents. They are scheduled to meet with Ahron Rubashkin, patriarch and founder of the Agri plant.

"Lubavitch in Crown Heights, and around the world, needs to know – from S. Padre Island, Texas to Shanghai, China, Kosher meat was available because of the Rubashkins," Rabbi Sholem Ber Hecht said. "Any traveler, as well, benefited from Rubashkin. This affects every single person that eats kosher throughout the world."

The head of Colel Chabad, Chabad's oldest charitable organization dating back to the late 18th century, the founder of Chabad's prison outreach, and the head of the Chabad organization that runs a Crown Heights yeshiva (the oldest baal teshuva yeshiva in the world) and the Ivy league Torah Study Program all sit on this committee as do other connected Chabad members. (Please follow the links above to see.)

Chabad can no longer deny that it is both raising money for Sholom M. Rubashkin's defense and orchestrating much of the pro-Rubashkin / anti-government propaganda flooding media and the Web.

That should not surprise regular FailedMessiah.com readers – I proved that almost a month ago.

If you follow the above link for Mendel Feller, you'll see something else interesting. Rabbi Asher Zeilingold, the man who helped fake an OSHA report 'clearing' Rubashkin (also here) and who has long acted as one of Agriprocessors' kosher supervisors, is listed by Chabad.org as an official employee of Chabad-Lubavitch. Please click to enlarge:

Feller [Also Zeilingold]

Previous Post: EXCLUSIVE: Chabad Raises Tax Deductible Money For Rubashkin Defense.

Previous Post: Chabad's Talking Points For Rubashkin Defense.

PDF Archive of Chabad.info Post Announcing Committee:

Chabad Rubashkin Committee.pdf

Sholom Duchman, Sholem B. Hecht, Shea Hecht Chabad Centers as a PDF:

Duchman.pdf

Sholom B. Lipskar / Aleph PDF:

New Prison Chief Visits Aleph Institute to Learn About Prisoner Rehabilitation Efforts - Stories - Chabad-Lubavitch News.pdf

Benjy Stock PDF:

Stock.pdf

Mendel Feller as a PDF:

Mendel Feller.pdf

[Hat Tip: a reader.]

Comments

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Oh, G-d! What next?

Why not spend the money helping ex-Agri workers?

Are they really going to mainstream America with this story?

Maybe Jerry Lewis will do a Telethon to raise funds.

mailto:jgrey@kwwl.com

Jamie Grey of KWWL-TV should report about this. Mostly for her own sake before she wins the Radio-Television News Directors Association's "Chump of the Year Award".

Maybe they should call on Juda Engelmeyer.

Is that the same Yaakov Weiss who's the accused child molester?

Is that the same Yaakov Weiss who's the accused child molester?

I think so.

Ok Shmarya why don't you blame all WASPs after the Bakers illegally rented an inappropriate space to Chabad for the party?

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/ny-lifive3012313039dec30,0,1434735.story

Meanwhile, officials at the Town of Hempstead said that the Chanukah Wonderland gathering violated the town's public assembly law, and that fines could be levied against the owners of the building. Tax records show the owners to be Philip and Norma Baker.

Ray Schwarz, Hempstead inspections supervisor, said the building is zoned for general retail, not public assembly, and a special permit is required for more than 13 seats associated with dining. More than 100 people were at the party at the time of the crash.

A notice of violation was posted on the building Friday. A second notice was posted Monday, requiring the building's owner to comply with the law.

Schwarz said the building did not have the required amount of parking to safely accommodate the event. The violation could result in a $350 fine against the Bakers, who could not be located last night.

At least 3 members are Rubashkin relatives.

Weiss, Balkany & Duchman.

I know these people. I have gone to their children's weddings. They scare me. A cult, that's what it feels like to me. Really horrible. The height of negative traits that I hate to have associated with Jews. Oh hum, so what else is new??

chabad.info is a Messianist website. It is not at all clear that it represents mainline Chabad individuals.

chabad.info is a Messianist website. It is not at all clear that it represents mainline Chabad individuals.

The rabbis listed are non-messiansts.

Further, the committee briefed several different Chabad blogs and media. Chabad.info is one of them.

A dumb question. I don't know much about IRS tax laws. Can a non-profit accept tax deductible contributions to support a wealthy person's legal defense? If so, it is Chabad's right to do this. I do believe it is a misrepresentation to not call it publicly (on the web site) the Rubashkin defense fund.

On a moral level, I feel some of the resources should go to the workers that have been hurt. If it is an IRS violation, then that is a whole other issue.

Jerome

A cheerleader. There are a few bloggers who are getting ready to put this propaganda operation on the worldwide AP news wire.

If Chabad been supporting pidyan shevuyim for hundreds of years and is treating Rubashikin like any other Jew then it shouldn't be a problem.

If not ...

This list of rabbis, mostly from the Lipskar-Duchman-Hecht family axis, does not say to me that Chabad, qua Chabad is doing anything.

It does say that a faction of leading Lubavitchers is organizing to support one of their own, whom they likely believe to be falsely persecuted.

Notably absent from the list are the administrators of the Lubavitch movement's central institutions, named in the late Rebbe's will: most notably Rabbi Yudel Krinsky and Rabbi Avremel Shemtov.

I am sure both Krinsky and Shemtov will be careful, as they always have been, not to blur the lines between Chabad as a religious movement/denomination and the activities of individual Lubavitchers no matter how prominent they are.

Still, it does seem clear that Aleph is raising money for Rubashkin's legal defense, as this blog has established. This is probably an entirely legitimate activity, as their remit within the movement is serving incarcerated Jews.

Does Aleph do this for others? Probably not very much. But when their community is faced with a clear crisis of Pidyin Shevuyim, it is utterly sensible that the organization with experience in that area would step up to bat. How could one expect otherwise?

Though they are villified here, the Rubashkins are well thought of within the Lubavitch community, and they have for years provided an valued, essential service. One can only expect the larger Lubavitch community and prominent figures within it to head up an effort on the Rubashkin's behalf.

Pidyin Shevuyim, the Redemption of Captives, remains a precept within normative Orthodox Judaism, as much as one may wish to punish Rubashkin for his business dealings or other lapses.


Shmarya, for all the hubbub, it seems that several Rubashkin family members, plus some friends of the family--including a sprinkeling of Chabad rabbis--are collaborating on a strategy to get Mr. Rubashkin released.

Big deal.

I would expect similar in any community. People working to help each other out.

No?

What both of you miss is the following:

1. Chabad originally tried to hide its connection to the Rubashkin Legal Defense Fund.

2. It also tried to hide the fact that it was giving tax deductions to donors to that fund.

3. Leaders of major movement organizations sit on this Rubashkin committee.

Shmarya, for all the hubbub, it seems that several Rubashkin family members, plus some friends of the family--including a sprinkeling of Chabad rabbis

4. All but the women ARE Chabad rabbis.

5. While efforts have been made to HIDE Chabad's role in fundraising and PR, no effort has been made Chabad to openly separate itself from these efforts.

6. Before the week I outed Chabad's connection to Rubashkin fundraising, there is no record of a Chabad "legal defense fund" and there is no information of any efforts to raise money for the legal defense of other criminals or alleged criminals.

Shmarya:

Chabad originally tried to hide its connection to the Rubashkin Legal Defense Fund.

Big deal.

It also tried to hide the fact that it was giving tax deductions to donors to that fund.

Big deal. If it's against the law, they would be silly and you would be so happy. If they structure things cleverly, good luck to them.

Leaders of major movement organizations sit on this Rubashkin committee.

Wow, I guess that means Chabad supports Rubashkin. Shock, horror. He is one of them, after all.

no effort has been made Chabad to openly separate itself from these efforts.

Perhaps you want them to ring you and give you an exclusive. Who cares?

there is no record of a Chabad "legal defense fund" and there is no information of any efforts to raise money for the legal defense of other criminals or alleged criminals

Hey you just told us that they hide things.

It's amazing. Israel is effectively at war, and Shmarya sits in his gutkes behind a terminal firing bytes at Chabad and Rubashkin.

t's amazing. Israel is effectively at war, and Shmarya sits in his gutkes behind a terminal firing bytes at Chabad and Rubashkin.

If you are really concerned about Israel – and if you are the devout Orthodox Jew you claim to be – you should be looking inward at your own behavior, not outward at others.

What have you done wrong of late?

Have you been unnecessarily rude to people you disagree with?

Have you used ad hominem attacks against those you despise?

Have you shaded the truth to 'win' arguments?

Do you pray with kavanna?

Do you give tzedaka properly?

Do you study Torah as much as you should? With the attention and focus you should?

If you're concerned about Israel, look inward.

If you're trying to win an argument in a deceitful way, continue as before.

Dear Isaac Balbin:
You are from Melbourne right?

How is that Lesbian teacher that molested her students doing?
You know, the one where the big rabbi threatened cherem (excommunication) if anyone went to the authorites.
The one where the teacher was given a big sum of money to go back to Israel.
Are the Australian authorities requesting extradition back to Australia?
Or this this another case of the molester gets protected and damm the victims????

Two Pertinent Items based on Comments, so far:

1. Are the IRS Tax Laws being violated by a non-profit raising money for Rubashkin's Legal Defense Expenses. If so, charges against Chabad need to be investigated.

2. If some money were for [Pidyin Shevuyim, the Redemption of Captives], this would probably be legal. However, Sholom Rubashkin IS NOT A CAPTIVE. He is a US citizen, who has been indicted by both the State of Iowa and by the United States Government for various civil and criminal offenses and is awaiting trial. Again, charges against Chabad need to be investigated.

Good for you, Shmarya. You are one focused individual, and your list of what to do if you really care about israel is Torah in and of itself. Thank you for that clarity. Well-put.

We keep hearing about all of the people Rubashkin has helped over the years.

Where are they now when he could use their help?

Why doesn't the family or this committee care a lick for the people who have been devastated and left behind in the wake of the Rubashkin's greedy quest?

Is this committee going to raise money to pay the sale barns and cattle suppliers the Rubashkin's stole from?

Will they help keep other struggling businesses alive; those small businesses who will likely never see a penny of what they are owed?

Will this committee set aside funds to help the City of Postville recover from the damage done by the Rubashkins?

How can it be so easy for these people to distort and ignore the teachings of the Torah to further their own self-serving interests?

If they can so easily distort and ignore their own book of holy guidance to suit their own needs, they will clearly believe they are right in trying to get Rubashkin released. I do hope there is a contingency in place (if he is released on bail) to do it all over again the next day. The chances of Rubashkin being re-arrested on any one of multiple pending charges (before he can flee) are great, indeed.

A word to the wise for this honorable committee - don't waste your time on keeping Rubashkin out of jail. That will never work. Focus on repairing the damage this family has done to your own faith and this town instead. It's a far greater mitzvah.

well, shmarya, at least you acknowledge non-messianist establishmentarian influence in chabad

hidden or not in the past, let's say it was circumspect, now it isn't

they got a right to defend whomever they want, the problem for me is Chabad through its commercial enterprise not only established communal enclaves but entered into the larger arena where all Jews, including secular, operate and then royally screwed up and now are trying to enlist us under secular Constitutional rallying cries whose context and culture is outside their natural skill-set. This selective parachuting in and out of modernity has a cost; the cost of parochial semi-literacy--one example is the quaint delusion that preaching the Noahide Laws to, say, the Roman Catholic Church or Indian Hindus is meaningful activity--another example is this nonsense

Isaac Balbin, are you for real?

Your posts have made a lot of sense except for the latest one.

There is a huge problem problem if Chabad supports one of their own who is corrupt instead of dealing with the problem that he, Rubashkin, created.

maybe they can pull in Sharansky

it's nice to know that these particular chabadniks think that their relation to the United States is equivalent to that of a Jew in Czarist Russia or a Polish baronial latfundia--but their guy isn't a hostage or a captive or kidnapped or seized but arrested and detained under the laws of a country that many of us, notwithstanding the turns and twists of Jewish identity, fail to see as alien, or foreign, or part of sitra atra

"Lubavitch in Crown Heights, and around the world, needs to know – from S. Padre Island, Texas to Shanghai, China, Kosher meat was available because of the Rubashkins," Rabbi Sholem Ber Hecht said. "Any traveler, as well, benefited from Rubashkin. This affects every single person that eats kosher throughout the world."
Would the meat be as tasty and "legitimate" if the human blood, sweat, and tears that flowed onto it during processing was acknowledged? Obviously this rabbi has been eating propaganda from the Rubashkins.

The Aleph we are talking of here is the Aleph Institute of bringing kosher meat to the Jews in prisons, correct? I brought this up sometime ago figuring the Rubbishcan was looking for a way to get his foot in the door with the goal of picking up meat supply contracts for prison systems. Very lucarative. No one has mentioned this. Any input out there folks? Archie, surely you can weigh in here please.

[Would the meat be as tasty and "legitimate" if the human blood, sweat, and tears that flowed onto it during processing was acknowledged?]

Hometown Postville:

This statement/question really makes me think profoundly. You express yourself well. Just think about how much substandard product was sold as top-grade Kosher through the years. I would think an awareness to this would cause people to rectify their consumption of non-kosher products-by simply not supporting the source any longer. Instead, there is a committee forming to support the Rubashkins (which makes it appear to the rest of us) that it really isn't necessary to adhere to Kosher practices.

IMHO BigChabad is trying to rehabilitate the Rubbishclan with full support of the OU in order to ko$herize as many people in the world as possible and make lot$ of gelt so they can become even more powerful. Contributions will not do it but a giant ko$her vehicle will, they must keep the Ko$her cow alive and kicking at all cost. Sooner or later they will have so much gelt they can buy all the politicians they want and establish their own territory somewhere after having established a sort of squatters' rights and taken it over. I personally find BigChabad pretty scary and have for some time. On the other hand they may be beginning their downward slide.

Remember Leo Frank and Ethel Rosenberg. Whatever Rubashkin has done, he must be treated no worse than any other defendant. Good thing some people are stepping up to try and help him with that. (It's already been discussed here, but to my mind the prosecution/judge may have overreached in denying Rubashkin's bail.) I hope Rabshkin's supporters aren't breaking more laws in their efforts to "help."

Shmarya:
Thanks for the mussar.
I am not sure who I "despise". Maybe you can tell me? You seem to think you know everything.

Isa: That "woman", Malka Leifer is apparently in Israel. She hasn't been charged unfortunately because it seems that alleged victims are shtum. It is very very sad.

Archie: don't expect chabad to do anything but defend charges. what is so unusual about that? The court has turned him into a martyr by not giving bail. It was a stupid move.

Hi Y&1/2,

Your last comment reflects my views, as well.

But we must pray that HaShem has finally had enough of the corruption in our basic religious leadership (OU, etc) and in some of the Kosher Animal Agribusinesses.

So it would be very appropriate if He inspired the Federal Prosecutors, in the rumored upcoming RICO Case against Rubashkin, to also take down the (OU, etc.).

How could this possibly be legally tax-deductible? The Rubashkin family is not an established charity and should not be recognized as such. I am less financially secure than the Rubashkins are--'million$' of times over, I would suspect. Perhaps, I should post my "tax-deductible" donation address.

off topic: but I find it interesting (the dog that didn't bark) that posters (and the blog author) have not broken in to comment on Olmert & co's latest military campaign--Maybe how Lebanon turned out makes people cautious

?

Aleph is also involved to some extent in shipping food to military installations and troops in overseas combat theaters. The Defense Dept has strict rules regarding what kind of packaging can be used. According to information I have, the MRE type entrees from Labriute were disqualified for technical reasons but some of the blister packed Rubashkin deli garbage was ok'ed. Apparently the bureaucrats at the Pentagon forgot to investigate whether the stuff inside the packaging is hazardous too.

Thank you Shmarya, for helping distinguish, as one person put it, the "ordinary secular Jews from the cult." It's sad to see what people can justify when they focus only on their inner circle, not on G_d and their fellow man, I guess that's what defines a cult. I have found your views to be very thought provoking and well supported with documentation. The vicious criticism you encounter shows you are on the right track and they are desperately trying to discredit you. Judging from the spectrum of people posting, you are piquing the interest of a vast audience. As a Christian in the rural midwest, my exposure to Judaism has been limited, so I appreciate the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the Jewish faith. Thank you for allowing me to participate in your blog and expressing my views without judgement.

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