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August 03, 2009

Dwek Faces Shunning, If Not Death

Solomon Dwek without beard "Moser," "snitch," in all likelihood can never go home again.

Ex-mogul, informant, now pariah, Solomon Dwek faces shunning by Syrian Jewish community
By JEAN MIKLE • GANNETT NEW JERSEY, APP

Solomon Dwek without beard Solomon Dwek, the central figure in the FBI's arrest of five rabbis on money-laundering charges, is likely a pariah in the Syrian Jewish community that once praised his business acumen and philanthropic acts.

His own rabbi father spoke emotionally about the case to his congregation, while those who have been shunned in the past say Dwek will be ignored, spat upon, and even in mortal danger if he returns to the Deal area he once called home.

But a local Jewish community group said the allegations against a few should not overshadow all the good the Syrian Jews have done.

"One of (the) core values we embrace is a deep and abiding respect for the law," said the Sephardic Community Alliance, an umbrella group that includes more than two-dozen Syrian organizations.

In what sources describe as an extremely emotional speech at Deal Synagogue July 25, Dwek's father, Rabbi Isaac Dwek, strongly denounced the act of a Jew informing on other Jews, without specifically mentioning his son.

Rabbi Dwek then asked the community to pray for him and his family. Rabbi Dwek is head of the synagogue and one of the leaders of the local Syrian community.

Rabbi Dwek could not be reached for comment.

[Audio of Rabbi Dwek explaining that his son Solomon is "a former member of my family." "I said 'Baruch Dayan HaEmet,'" Rabbi Dwek said.]

Rabbis Arrest FBI 7-23-09 Just two days earlier, on July 23, Edmond Nahum, 56, an assistant rabbi at the temple, was arrested in the FBI raid and charged with money laundering.

Other religious leaders arrested include Rabbi Saul Kassin, 87, of Brooklyn, spiritual leader of the Syrian Jewish community; Eliahu Ben Haim, 58, of Long Branch, principal rabbi of Congregation Ohel Yaacob in Deal; Mordechai Fish, 56, rabbi at Congregation Sheves Achim in Brooklyn, and Fish's brother, Rabbi Lavel Schwartz, 57. All were charged with money-laundering.

Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra said the rabbis acted like "crime bosses," typically charging a fee of 5 to 10 percent for each money-laundering transaction. Sources have identified Dwek as the cooperating witness named in the criminal complaints. Thirty-nine others, including three mayors and two assemblymen, were arrested on charges ranging from bribery to attempt to sell kidneys.
Lawyers: Dwek misled rabbis

Rabbi Kassin Arrest 7-23-09 Lawyers representing the religious leaders were arrested have sounded a different theme: Dwek had taken advantage of their clients' goodwill and his long-standing ties with the rabbis to entrap them.

"Mr. Dwek was a student of Rabbi Fish, and Rabbi Fish thought of him as a son," said Michael Bachner, who represents Mordechai Fish. "He trusted him, and never in his wildest dreams would have thought that this student would have been involved in criminal conduct and would have attempted to manipulate or engage him in criminal conduct."

Nahum's lawyer, Justin Walder, said Dwek was "seeking to be absolved for his immense wrongful conduct by implicating another." Kassin's lawyer, Robert Stahl, also said his client was misled by Dwek.

Dwek was arrested by the FBI in 2006 on bank fraud charges after he deposited a phony $25.2 million check at a PNC Bank drive-through lane in Eatontown and then transferred $21 million to other accounts.

Long Branch resident Sandi Shapiro said she believes Dwek entrapped the rabbis by asking them for help.

"This is something that is really bothersome to me," said Shapiro, a real estate agent who said she is Jewish but is not a member of the Syrian community. "Not only did these people believe him and believe in him in his own community, they trusted him. I don't believe in corruption, especially when it comes to government, but for him to go to these people, with taxpayers' money, he gives it to them, he bribes them; it's entrapment."

Bloody_knife "Filthy snitch"

Several posters on Web sites frequented by ultra-Orthodox Jews have labeled Dwek a "moser," or snitch, and called for him to be ostracized from the community, or worse.

"He is a filthy snitch and should be dealt with accordingly," wrote an anonymous poster on a Yiddish news site, Voz Is Neias.

Speaking July 25 on a Jewish radio program, Sam Hirsch, a lawyer and former state assemblyman from Brooklyn's Borough Park, said Dwek "should have been killed" after informing on other Jews.

According to an article posted on the "The Jewish Week" Web site, Hirsch later backtracked, saying he was referring to a concept of traditional Jewish law that called for reformers to be killed but that no longer applies today. Hirsch could not be reached for comment.

Shmarya Rosenberg, a former ultra-Orthodox Jew from St. Paul, Minn., who was excommunicated about 5 1/2 years ago, said Dwek will be ostracized from the community in which he once had such high standing.

Rosenberg, who said he was shunned after he questioned a Lubavitch rabbi about not doing enough to save Ethiopian Jews from persecution, said Dwek's actions are seen as much worse by the Syrian community.

"I don't think he'd be safe if he went back there," said Rosenberg, who runs a Web site, www.failedmessiah.com, which publishes articles that are often critical of ultra-Orthodox Jewry.

"They'll completely ignore him, they'll spit on him, call him names," Rosenberg said. "He'd walk into a restaurant and everybody would walk out. He's the worst of the worst to them. The code of Jewish Law says, you have to take people like that and shun them, and preferably, kill them."

Spinka Rebbe Agudah 7-28-09 Popper.jpg Yet some leaders in the close-knit Syrian Jewish community have called for introspection and soul-searching in the wake of the arrests. On July 28, a hastily called legal symposium in Brooklyn's Borough Park drew an overflow crowd of ultra-Orthodox men.

The symposium included an emotional speech by Naftali Tzi Weisz, the grand rabbi of the Spinka sect in Brooklyn, who recently pleaded guilty in a separate money-laundering case.

According to an article from "The Forward," Weisz told the audience, "We must have to express our wish that these matters will never happen. We have to commit that in the future this will never happen again."

The Sephardic Community Alliance, an umbrella group that includes more than two dozen organizations, released a statement this week that was posted on the popular Syrian Jewish Web site www.symall.com. The statement says the group is taking "pro-active steps to deal with the situation," and notes that the allegations of wrongdoing by a few should not tarnish a proud and close-knit community known for its generous charitable donations and for taking care of its own.

"These allegations are profoundly troubling to us," the statement reads. "But at this moment we must remember that they are just allegations. If over time these allegations prove to be true, we must be clear that this conduct is unacceptable and that it goes against every value and teaching our community holds dear. We have worked hard over generations to uphold the values of the Torah and better the lives of our children, and one of those core values we embrace is a deep and abiding respect for the law."

Rosenberg said that he believes some good will come from the July 23 arrests.

"It's going to force some level of change," he said. "If nothing else, these guys will be a little bit more careful."

Here's video of Dwek passing a $25 million dollar bad check in 2006:

Comments

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"One of (the) core values we embrace is a deep and abiding respect for the law,"

Except Jewish law when it comes to loving converts.

can you imagine any shul opening its arm to Dwerk like they did for Kolco. there would be would an uproar like you have never seen before.

What is wrong with this oicture

Jew - Itallian
Moser - Omerta
Rabbi - Don
Organized Crime - Oraganized Religion
Money Laundering - Money Laundering
Bribery - Bribery
Extortion - Extortion
Tax Evasion - Tax Evasion
Closed Society - Closed Community

(With apologies to all the law abiding and principaled Jews and Italians who do not paticipate en the stereotypes, dont' break the law, and are equallay embarassed and ashamed of their fellow community members)

Bad Food - Great Food

Find me a Jewish restaurant that's 1/10th as good as Don Peppe in Ozone Park.

Take your pick:

20 years (or more) in prison

OR

Shunning for life

What would you pick??

I would take shunning, Isa. One can always start over in another place/time if one has the chutzpah to do so.

Please order these transgressions on a scale of (1) being the worst and (6) being the least bad:

Child Molestation
Whistleblower (Moser)
Homosexuality
Masturbation
Eating Tref
Driving an elderly person to Shabbos services

Take your time. I know it can be difficult.

Althelion : i presented this at the aptly named symposium, "haredim and morality" which lasted less than 3 seconds and was attended by no one and was told that it would be better to molest a male child in the car you are driving on shabbos as you are masturbating, with bacon and pork shoved in your mouth, throat ears and nose , rather than being a moser.

when i asked about licking ham off the buttocks of a moser i was thrown out.

I thought the the buttocks of a moser WAS ham.

What troubles me is that he was allowed back in the synagogue after he swindled many members of his community out of $200M (besides the $150M from the banks). Those that weren't victimized then, including the rabbis that were now caught, didn't see any problem in dealing with him. Now that he became a moser, suddenly he becomes persona non grata.

"He is a filthy snitch and should be dealt with accordingly,"

interesting choice of words. 'snitch' implies guilt of the people he ratted on. it also implies that the person making such a statement is a criminal himself, or has criminal intent.

The fellas who dine at Don Peppe would know exactly how to handle Mr. Dwek.

Is he going to have to go into Witness Protection?

Maybe he can grow a beard, move out West and call himself a shaliach?

Yechi Dwek the mench who ended the chillul hashem!

At some point (say like right now) it would be good to say that these "close community" jews and normal jews are different religions. I have nothing to do with these people and don't wanna be confused with a kidney dealing gur nor a laundering syrian. We normal american Jews have no connection culturually nor religiously to these people beyond some superficial food n holiday laws.

Solomon Dwek was last spotted outside michael jackson's plastic surgeon's office. He has already lost 40lbs and will soon be taking up a career as a michael jackson lookalike impersonator,.

there is so much wrong with the response of the Syrian community:

1) a community that takes care of its own ? This just re-enforces the Syrian communities elitist and biggoted attitudes. Why just take care of your own ? arent all people equal ? I guess not.

2) a community that is law abiding ? come on... doesnt the law call on citizens to assist ion assuring that justice is served ?

The Syrian community is too often a private club that sees no one as their equal. I guess we deserve it as a people. when you say "we are chosen", when you promote a "better than them" attitude, you often get people who actually beleive it and take what they can.

This is a chillul hashem and dwek's daddy should not condem his son but his chief rabbi who is currently accused and likely to be found guilty of being a crook !

if shits like hirsh says things like that-he is the one who dissicrating our Torah in all its wonders and glory----------------------------------simply what Dwek did is to try to clean some of the filth and dirt and expose those people pretending to be religious and using the Torah as their their cover and cloak as good guys when they are notnothing short of evil worms ,who brings the holy nation down,purely for their own selfish gratification--in short they are abhorant and causing so much harm to amm israel ...................................

may hashem judge this man for his evil, wickedness. Setting up many honorable people who were lured to help him, inorder to escape the jail sentence that awaited him is more than a "snitch" ..I dont know the correct word for that but I feel very bad for the parents of this low life creature!

Posted by: Never a son | October 03, 2010 at 03:37 PM

Please.

These "honorable men" laundered millions of dollars *before* Dwek and these "honorable men" took commissions on the money they laundered – including the money they laundered for Dwek.

JEWISH COMMUNITIES ARE BEING CLOSED UP AND THROWN AWAY BY OTHER PEOPLE LIKE THE WORLD HAS NO SPACE LEFT. AS THE BLACKS YOU PUSH THEM TO HARD AND THEY GO THE WRONG WAY. AS MOSES SAID LET MY PEOPLE GO.

There are none more deserving of facing justice than "men of god": pedophilic priests (and rabbis) and embezzlers, thieves, traffickers in organs and diamonds, probably murderers, who pretend that their lives are righteous.

I receive at least two letters a week from Israel, asking for money for a poor family there where someone has a brain tumor and is taking care of the family while the man of the house' is studying....or other similar circumstances, though there is always a brain tumor involved. The funds, of course, go to Lakewood New Jersey or Monsey, New York.

These 'honorable men' cannot help but know that what they are doing violates human decency, not to mention the laws of the Country to which they came to find freedom. Maybe they should realize that in a truly just world, having violated civil law (AND torah law) they'd be exiled and shunned - maybe back to Syria and wouldn't that be ironic?

It is not lost on me that, having grown up with Warner Brothers cartoons (in a fairly strict Orthodox home)that,in speaking of the father far far far more than the son, Elmer Fudd's 'dwek' is 'drek'. Pretty good description.

It is always the same.. Protect the perp and shun the good citizen who did the right thing. These people who shun and suggest murder and not Orthodox anything. They are experts at concealing the truth, concealing crimes, concealing murder concealing fraud, concealing child molestation, concealing money launderingf. The are experts at everything but spirituality.. They are just a disgrace and embrarassment to Jews all over the world who don't adhere to their slavish behavior. We are about to celebrate Passover, and talk about how once we were slaves in Egypt.... but the black hats are slaves right now. Slaves to their leaders, slaves to behaviors they know are immoral and wrong, slaves to a community that constantly and ritually ignores the law. They are an ABOMINATION.

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