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August 09, 2009

Birthright Israel Hires Agriprocessors' Disgraced Former PR Firm 5WPR

Ronn Torossian 5WPR illegally impersonated critics of Agriprocessors online.

5W Public Relations Announces the Addition of Taglit-Birthright Israel to Its Non-Profit Practice

NEW YORK, Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Taglit-Birthright Israel announced today that 5W Public Relations, one of the nation's 25 largest PR agencies, has been appointed to proactively direct and implement their public relations programs. Taglit-Birthright Israel (www.birthrightisrael.com) provides the gift of first time, peer group, educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18 to 26.

Ronn Torossian "We are thrilled to represent Taglit-Birthright Israel," said Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5W Public Relations. "Personally and professionally, we feel very strongly about the mission of Taglit-Birthright Israel and are excited about the challenge of continuing to build the organization's profile. As a firm that has experience working with philanthropies and non profit-groups, we are uniquely qualified to work with Taglit-Birthright Israel and look forward to immediate success."

Taglit-Birthright Israel's founders created this program to send thousands of young Jewish adults from all over the world to Israelas a gift in order to: strengthen participants' personal Jewish identity and their connection to the Jewish communities; diminish the growing division between Israel and Jewish communities around the world; and to strengthen the sense of solidarity among world Jewry.

For those who don't remember, Torossian's firm was hired by Agriprocessors after the May 2008 immigration raid. In its capacity as Agriprocessors PR agency, it impersonated Rabbi Morris Allen and other Agriprocessors critics online – starting right here on FailedMessiah.com. 

5WPR logo Among those impersonated along with Rabbi Allen were our own Yochanan Lavie and John Diamond.

I outed 5WPR and my report was picked up by Gawker, the NY Times, the JTA and The Forward, along with many other publications.

Under pressure of a lawsuit from the Rabbi Allen and Hechsher Tzedek, Torossian issued a pathetically weak apology at the start of a long holiday weekend and the suit was dropped.

I told Rabbi Allen that allowing Torossian to get off this easy was a mistake. I pointed out Torossian's alleged history of threatening competing PR professionals.

(A favored Torossian tactic is allegedly to tell a woman PR executive that he knows she is having an affair and will tell her husband if the woman ever crosses Torossian or 5WPR again. These affairs are usually non-existent. But who wants to explain that to their spouse?)

Birthright israel taglit logo I told Rabbi Allen Torossian is a thug who needs to be stopped. Suing him would in all likelihood do that.

But the choice was made by committee and, as so often happens in the Conservative Movement, the choice made was bad.

So know we have this lying, vindictive sleaze controlling public relations for, of all things, Birthright Israel – a program that takes Jews from all streams to Israel.

How do you feel about that now, Conservative leaders?

A better question, though, is how Birthright's funders feel about this. Does Michael Steinhardt approve of this?

If the answer is no, Steinhardt needs to clearly and publicly state it. Otherwise, we all might be led to believe that lying and stealing people's identities are things Steinhardt approves of.

I don't for a moment think Steinhardt approves of Torossian's misbehavior, and I doubt he would have approved the choice to hire Ronn if asked.

But Steinhardt needs to make this clear.

Meanwhile Conservative and Reform leaders should be asking themselves whether they want to continue to support Birthright.

I would suggest that, as long as Torossian and 5WPR are associated with Birthright, the answer to that question should be no.

Pretty Much Everything 5WPR.

The 5WPR "Apology".

[Hat Tip: Yirmiyahu.]

UPDATE 6 PM CDT – Mobius has started a Twitter petition calling on Birthright to fire 5WPR.


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In the Jewish world, if you're part of the in crowd, it doesn't matter how poorly you behave.

Obama to give Mary Robinson of Durbin fame the Medal of Freedom.

And heil to you, Mary Robinson
Adolph loves you more than you will know (Woe, woe, woe)
Allah bless you please, Mary Robinson
Durbin holds a place for those who hate
(Oy, oy, oy...oy, oy, oy)

We'd like to know a little bit about you for our song
We'd like to help you learn to like the Jews
Look around you, all you see are sycophantic eyes
Stroll around the White House and you'll feel at home

And heil to you, Mary Robinson
Adolph loves you more than you will know (Woe, woe, woe)
Allah bless you please, Mary Robinson
Durbin holds a place for those who hate
(Oy, oy, oy...oy, oy, oy)

Hide nukes in a hiding place where no one ever goes
Put it in your bookcase with your Protocols
It's a little secret, just the Robinsons' affair
Most of all, you've got to hide it from the Yids

You hate the Jews, Mary Robinson
Adolph loves you more than you will know (Woe, woe, woe)
Allah bless you please, Mary Robinson
Durbin holds a place for those who hate
(Hate, hate, hate...hate, hate, hate)

Sitting on a chair in the General Assembly
Going to the Zionism debate
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you've got the Jews
Ev'ry way you look at it, they lose

Where have you gone, Joseph Stalin
The comrades turn their lonely eyes to you (Not the Jews)
What's that you say, Mary Robinson
Uncle Joe has left and gone away
(Hey, hey, hey...hey, hey, hey)

I do not know but this sounds like a really stupid move from a business sense

How is 5WPR still in business???

"How is 5WPR still in business???"

Lets see, 5WPR is run by a conservative, right-wing guy, and Birthright is funded by a conservative right-wing guy.
Not hard to figure out.

5W is in business and keeps growing. They were 21 largest agency in world this year.

Ronnie was President of a Jewish organziation that believed in a Jewish state on both banks of the Jordan.

Which moron approved the hiring of his firm?

Why 5WPR??

E a s y The thinking goes like this...


I didn't know Charlie Bronfman was a conservative right-wing guy. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

This is a total slap in the face. Birthright really should know better.

Agree with all the above. Fire 5W.
And loved the song, YL. As usual.

Interesting as Jewschool pulled its post on 5WPR a few hours ago:


Meet Birthright’s Exciting New PR Team!!!
5WPR, headed by the uber-cool Alpha Dog of the PR World, Ronn Torossian, is now representing Birthright. Yay, good for the Jews! What are some of the cutting edge, creative ways 5W might represent Birthright? ...


Maybe they're rewriting it.

Deleted Jewschool post:


Blog Name: Jewschool (View Blog homepage)
Headline: Meet Birthright's Exciting New PR Team!!!
Category: Urban
Posted at: 09:27 PM - 09 Aug 2009

5WPR, headed by the uber-cool Alpha Dog of the PR World, Ronn Torossian, is now representing Birthright.

Yay, good for the Jews!

What are some of the cutting edge, creative ways 5W might represent Birthright? Let’s look back on some of their past clients and tactics and see if we can figure it out!

Inspire Jews by reminding them that “Hitler was a hunter sent by god to help get the Jews back to the promised land.”
Understanding The Israel-Palestine Conflict with Ronn Torossian - “”I think we should kill a hundred Arabs or a thousand Arabs for every one Jew they kill.”
Highlighting the Cutting Edge Israeli Porn Industry
Impersonate respected religious leaders online to… no, wait, that didn’t really work.

Well, I’m sure he’ll come up with something. He’s a PR genius! Any alum who want to share their excitement about Birthright’s latest hire, drop them a line! alumni {at} birthrightisrael(.)com

Hat-tip, Shmarya

"Hitler was a hunter..."

That comment was actually made by Christian fundamentalist and certified religious nut John Hagee.

Re: the song: Thanks Shmuel.

5 Wankers (apologies: Bob Marley)

Don't worry about a thing,
cause every little thing gonna be Birthright
Singin: don't worry about a thing,
cause every little thing gonna be Birthright!

Rise up this mornin,
Frowned at the daily blog,
Five little Wankers
Are doing P.R.
Singin sweet songs
Of impersonations untrue,
Sayin, (this is their message to oh-you:)
(repeat first verse).

Birthright has a history as to its hires:

REINING IN ABUSE; In jurisdictional jungle, where does the buck stop in misconduct cases? By Richard Greenberg
JTA - January 10, 2007
Reform Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman, who himself had been found by the CCAR to be in violation of the organization's guidelines on "sexual ethics and sexual boundaries."

A former CCAR president, Zimmerman was suspended for two years by the CCAR in 2000. He then resigned as president of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, but went on to become executive vice president of birthright israel and then vice president for Renaissance and Renewal of United Jewish Communities.

Also see: http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/zimmerman_sheldon.html

On Mary Robinson, it sounds like its not quite so simple, for example: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/19/opinion/19iht-edmary_ed3_.html

On Mary Robinson - see The New Republic. Their recollection of Mary is much closer to my own.
Its always nice to say you love Jews after the Jews have been screwed. But real leadership means stopping things like Durbin BEFORE they're a problem, not after. You take a moral stand based on values, not based on consensus. Mary Robinson is no leader and she hasn't earned the recognition such an award bestows.

yl: i had no idea you were "imitated". that sux.. well, often imitated, never duplicated. lets see them write clever parodies on a continuous basis.

How did this become a Mary Robinson thread, anyway?

Back to our Birthright Israel, and 5W Public Relations: When I think of Steinhardt, a certain four-letter word comes reflexively to mind.

Thanks, APC. I don't mind if other people do parodies, in fact I encourage it. But I do mind when 5WPR sockpuppets me, and has me saying pro-Rubashkin things. It was not fun.

YL: how do i know that was really you?

You don't...

this time i recognized your handwriting. it IS you.


was birthright the sponsor of those drunken jersey hoodlums in that video?

Zimmerman's wife forgave him and said it was all no one's business but hers and her husband's (like Hillary Clinton and Silda Spitzer) so women like that could give these organizations an excuse to hire the disgraced rabbi. And the Reform Movement covered it up for years before they could no longer do so.

Let's see... a Zionist agit-prop group advocates stealing land and their PR agency steals identities.

I don't see the problem here.

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