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July 11, 2012

Haredi Man Gets 2 1/2 Years In Prison For Human Organ Trafficking

Levy Izhak RosenbaumLevy Izhak Rosenbaum showed no immediate reaction to the sentence Wednesday in Trenton federal court.

Levy Izhak Rosenbaum
Levy Izhak Rosenbaum

The AP reports:

A New York City man has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison in a case prosecutors say is the first ever federal conviction for illegally selling human kidneys for profit.

Levy Izhak Rosenbaum showed no immediate reaction to the sentence Wednesday in Trenton federal court.

The 61-year-old Brooklyn resident pleaded guilty last October to brokering three illegal kidney transplants for New Jersey-based customers in exchange for payments of $120,000 or more.…

Rosenbaum was caught in the Dwek scandal. He sold kidneys for more than $100,000 and paid donors far, far less.

He was in the business to make money. Helping people was allegedly a distant second.

[Hat Tip: Mark Jay.]


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if one reads the article the frum say how he was a hero getting them an organ

this is the same people who refuse to give an organ when they die.

goes hand in hand with their selfishness in this case and in the draft issue in Israel

at least they are consistent

But hang on - if they learn torah all day, then how come they get sick and need new organs?

3 to 5 is standard sentence for 1st offense.

6 months off for pleading guilty?

Well we can see the bright side of this he will be able to learn toireh as never before all day and that will pay of big time he will get rewarded in the next world where they give a dammn about his selfless deed of illigally getting an organ for a needy talmid chuchem.

There are 92,000 people in the US waiting for a kidney transplant. 4,500 of them die waiting each year.

"More than a third of the world's population lives on less than $2 a day."

Why is selling organs illegal?

2.5 years is a relatively small price for the mega-bucks he made doing this terrible thing.
Did the feds freeze his assets too? I hope so.

Selling people and pieces of people is a bad thing. He didn't get nearly enough time.

He made very little money and helping people was definitely not a distant second. do you know how many times he paid tickets and hotel etc. and the last minute the donor chickened out, or the doctor didn't approve that its safe to go ahead. In the big picture he didn't make much money and that why the judge let him get away with 2.5 years. I think he gained 130k from the entire thing,

Next time do your homework
Next time do your homework
Next time do your homework

Posted by: failed to mention | July 11, 2012 at 07:06 PM

I did my homework, little man.

Rosenbaum charged a ton of money, paid donors relatively little of it, an profited more than a little for his efforts.

Re failed to mention @ 7:06

Speaking of failure to do homework, please note that one of the "donors" tried to back out on him and he ostentatiously pulled out a gun and exhibited it to the "donor" to induce him to go through with his "voluntary" act.

The man is a total pig.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Thompson sentenced Rosenbaum to serve three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay a $5,000 fine in addition to his forfeiture of approximately $420,000 – consisting of the $410,000 he accepted for brokering the transplants and the $10,000 down payment he accepted from Dwek.

And that's before expenses he apparently paid brokers to assist him in finding


look like he made more $ than i thought he did

Earlier Wednesday, a doctor with Albert Einstein Medical Center testified that Rosenbaum brought as many as 15 pairs of donors and recipients to the hospital for transplants from 1999 to 2002.



Was Leon Gleckman, the famous Jewish gangster who run the bootlegging and the gambling operation during the prohibition and allegedly run the entire city of St. Paul, Minnesota in the early thirties, including the control of the police and the mayorship of the city, was Leon Gleckman known as “The Al Capone of St. Paul” or the “The Al Capone of Northwest”, was he in fact the grandfather of the blogger known as Shmarya Rosenberg?

now you grendson of Gleckman Lover of Chaim Levin band all internet caffe in the world

Scotte The Joke is on You

This is antisemitic propaganda. Why is it that there's no news reports about all the chilonim that traffic organs? The fact is that this article is more about propaganda against frum Jews than about News. The fact is the chiloni media has agenda. They had a modern orthodox boy on America's Got Talent wearing a kippah srugah, but I know plenty of young talmidei chachamim with black kippotim that sing much better and you don't hear the media giving them into the semi-finals of America's Got Talent. As the saying goes, with self-hating Jews and antisemitic goyim like these, who needs enemies?

Jeeeez, you'd have thought he would have left Shmarya some money, if that was the case. What a snooze.

In the Haredi world, a "businessman" who doesn't do a stretch in Club Fed, gets about as much respect as a teenager who won't ride the roller coaster.


The "chilonim" are doing it too. That's your defense of his man?

chumlee Obviously the boy wearing a "nice velvet yarmulke is a better person than a boy wearing a kippah srugah

I don't know this guy's story so I'll hold my input, yet as "Please hire a translator" wrote so eloquently, I have no idea why selling organs are illegal. I gladly gave mine away to a (happened to be non-frum) stranger, yet I would respect people who feel for the cause yet need the incentive of money to seal the deal. Would I think they're superheroes, perhaps not, but don't doctors get compensated? It's 99% safe to donate a kidney (if you pass the extensive screening...), so whoever calls it exploitation, is ignorant of kidney donation. In society some people have to do the dirty work such as coal miners. It's not 100% safe, but someone's gotta do it! It's not exploitation, it's reality!

Hey folks take a break from reading Failed Kidneys I mean Messiah for a minute and check out this video why they fail. A well spent educational time.


Ok here goes ; yes it's true he made money , lives in a very nice mansion/house on 20th ave in boro park , he also drives a very nice car .
However this person helped many many people , even if he made money , which he did he helped alot of people.
Can't say how but I used to watch him in action with Israeli donors , they were all treated like royalty.
All the kids always got tons of toys , electronics , clothing for adults plus money. He never took advantage of anyone . Illegal? Yes ! Stupid ? Yes ! But evil ? No way!

Where the kidneys kosher?

He should take heart that the judge didn't have the gall to give him 5 years.

is this guy from crown heights?
if yes, i had an experience with him.
i called for a friend.
and all he kept on saying was for me to send him money to help some bocher in the hospital.
i don't know...he sounded like a scam artist.
hope i'm wrong.
but i know he lived in crown heights and advertised in the newspapers.

So many trolls and sockpuppets. Always the same when one of the frumbags is sentenced.

Chumlee- we all know you're a fake, you outed yourself as a poor quality W4M knock-off the other day, remember? Time to evolve.

I've read some pretty compelling articles that buying organs, that coud be donated from live donars should be legal.
Let's see. The recipient is very happy, the donar is happy, as he got some money, what he did is not considered dramatically dangerous as many people do it as volunteers. And the middleman has earned some money for his efforts. How much time he spends vs how much money he makes (factoring in the fact that he is doing somthing ilegal) Makes all the difference as to whether he is a hero or an exploiter. Did he do somthing illegal , 100 percent. Should it be illegal is another question. is it immoral, I don't think the people who are alive today becouse of him think so.
Although he is charaidi (and on this blog charadim can do no right) this is a much more complex moral question then a reguler thief or trafficker. There are people alive becouse of him, and if u would rather die then pay to have an organ transplant, and remain on the right side of the law, most people would rather live, even if it is illegal.
Disclaimer. I don't know this guy or anything about this case, he may have exploited people terribly, just saying that paying for somthing that u are allowed to get free, and would save ur life, is a real moral dilemma

He was in the business to make money

What a crazy reason to be in business for!

Posted by: A yid | July 12, 2012 at 02:07 AM

You can't see the inherent danger to society when destitute people are persuaded to sell their organs just to put food on the table?

Surely it makes more sense for the state to exercise eminent domain over the bodies of the dead (especially those who are brain dead) and remove organs as necessary (including for research purposes) without risking the health of the living. The state can then compensate the relatives of the living by reducing estate taxes by a nominal amount as a sign of appreciation.

Jews have played an role in early medical research beyond their numbers. The quick burials required by halacha as well as the habit of not visiting cemeteries on Shabbos made just buried Jews favorable to grave robbers to sell to Medical Schools. To avoid having corpses stolen, non-Jews would wait a week for burial so that decomposition would begin before burial which made these bodies useless for research and not a target for grave robbers.

Posted by: A yid | July 12, 2012 at 02:07 AM

A yid - do you see any problem with the fact that the frumma refuse to donate organs but expect others to donate organs to them?

I gladly gave mine away to a (happened to be non-frum) stranger

Posted by: chareidi kidney donor | July 11, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Kol hakavod, seriously. A tremendous mitzvah.

If I may ask - how do you reconcile this with what appears to be the prevailing rabbinic opinion in your world, that organ donation is unacceptable? Is your rav in disagreement with the others?

Who is that LG: Bootlegging? Who the hell is the gov., to tell a free man not to make alchohol or sell it?? Then turn around and make alcohol and sell it!
The GOV. is the criminal, for criminalizing people for what THEY are doing, not Shamarya. Why are you trying to smear Shmarya with his relatives preceived sins?
BTW my grandmother was a bootleger and a tax dodger. I consider her SMART for outwitting the parasites who were trying to rob her of the fruits of her labor. Unlike her I don't have the balls to do what she did, so I am a servile puke to the gov., who has worked, allowed myself to be robbed via taxes which was given to the irresponsible breeders and the bottomfeeders of society.
Theses Chassids coming on this site with ad hominems are becoming boring.

In India healthy people line up to sell their organs for $2!!! to put food on the table.....LETS TALK ABOUT THAT......and who is buying? for redistribution!
Yeah! Right.
Shut up and leave Shmarya alone. who do you serve? It sure isn't the God of Avram.

@Who is That Leon Gleckman

I love it when you guys drive by and drop this bon mot as if was A) Relevant and B) something regular readers here were not aware of.

All you confirm is that Shmarya is and remains a hot topic of discussion among "you" guys.

You realize that's what he wants - right?


Thanks for your praise.

There is a Chareidi Chessed organization called Renewal that has coordinated over 160 donations since their launch five years ago (ALL donors being frum, to the best of my knowledge, and that's the organization I donated through). Though they do coordinate cases where the donor is donating to fellow relatives or close friends, the majority of their transplants donors give to complete strangers. If any readers want to donate, you certainly don't need to be frum to donate. They just happen to be a chareidi organization so all their [kidney] donors tend to be frum. Likewise, if any of you are renal patients in need of a kidney transplant, you can submit your name to their waiting list and they try to find a donor within six months. It's a non for profit so they charge ZILTCH if they find you a matching donor, so you have nothing to lose by placing your name on their waiting list. Not to mention the donors aren't paid to donate, so it's literally like a free kidney giveaway. If you think I'm just making this up to make chareidim look good, call up Columbia Presbyterian (Kidney transplant department) and ask them what Renewal does. The coordinator and secretary of that dept happen to be non Jewish, so they have no agenda to make up positive spin for chareidim...

And to answer your question about chareidi rabbonim, practically all rabbonim permit (not to mention admire) living kidney donation. What is controversial in halacha is cadaver organ donation (because of halacha dictating burial of entire body, and even more controversial is when they pull the plug on dying patients to prevent deterioration of organs so they can be salvaged for transplantation...).

Email me if you wish for more info at hatomimborka@gmail.com.

And to answer your question about chareidi rabbonim, practically all rabbonim permit (not to mention admire) living kidney donation. What is controversial in halacha is cadaver organ donation (because of halacha dictating burial of entire body, and even more controversial is when they pull the plug on dying patients to prevent deterioration of organs so they can be salvaged for transplantation...).

Posted by: chareidi kidney donor | July 12, 2012 at 02:51 PM

If they are not prepared to make organ donations from the dead they should NOT accept them.

Posted by: chareidi kidney donor | July 12, 2012 at 02:51 PM

Does your living donor program donate kidneys to non-Jews as well? Or do you just accept donations from them?


Why are you so political and making everything into a Rabbi bashfest? There are millions of Americans who've never registered as donors (my speculation is majority of Americans aren't donors, but that's only my speculation guess...). Do you think an atheist who isn't registered who gets renal failure, wouldn't accept a kidney transplant? It isn't a denominational issue, so why do you make it as such?

Do you think every person who receives charity is charitable themselves? There are rich people who are misers, and when they lose their money and reach out to charity, very few charities would turn them away due to their non-charitable past. But here it's not because they are non charitable that many frum Jews refuse to sign. They refuse to sign donor card due to a belief (I'm aware that many MO Rabbi's disagree) that it violates halacha. When the cadaver organ is offered, it's not like they are killing a guy to take the organs to give to the chareidi, rather the guy is dead and if the chareidi refuses it, they offer it to the next guy in line.


First of all, I don't speak for the organization, nor am I employed by them. I merely donated a kidney to a man that they matched me with, and they lent emotional support throughout entire process, as well as provided transportation to and from the hospital for the surgery.

Now that I have disclosed the above, I see no reason why they wouldn't add a gentile to their list. But the donor ultimately has the say who he'd like to donate to. I as the donor could have stated, I'm only willing to give it to a child in need. Or, I'm only willing to give it to an American. Or, I'm only willing to a male. Or, I'm only willing to give it to a Democrat, etc. So the organization doesn't really steer who benefits from the kidney. THE DONOR DOES. I happened to donate it to someone from a totally different background (there were orthodox Jews on the list with my blood type, yet they offered it to the first in line, as I didn't stipulate any biases as to who should receive it). It didn't bother me that he isn't Torah observant etc. Other donors have also donated to people from opposite spectrums. I'm sure others would only donate to their fellow ultra orthodox Jew. It's up to the donor, NOT the organization.

One last thing David,

I don't believe they ever received a kidney from a non Jew. To my knowledge their donors are all Orthodox and ironically 50-60% chassidic (as in Williamsburg/Boro Park/Crown Heights). I don't know as a fact as I don't work for them, but from all the events they've made that I've attended, I met dozens of donors, but they were all Torah observant.

When the cadaver organ is offered, it's not like they are killing a guy to take the organs to give to the chareidi, rather the guy is dead and if the chareidi refuses it, they offer it to the next guy in line.

Posted by: chareidi kidney donor | July 12, 2012 at 05:59 PM

(My bolding.) But this is the VERY reason that Charedim refuse to give organs from a cadaver on "life" support (keeping the organs perfused to keep them viable). They claim that such a person is NOT dead and removing their organs is KILLING them.

If you are not prepared to donate organs in this way then you should not accept them.

There is a major worldwide shortage of donor organs. I think medical practise should be changed to give organ donation priority to those that are already willing to give organs over those that are not. As reported here a while ago, an Israeli doctor is already doing this, so concerned was he about the unfairness of Charedim being willing to accept but not willing to give (much like their whole lives, really...).

Chareidim would be the first in line to sign a donor card.

Go to Boro Park and chessed organizations are a dime a dozen. That's indisputable. We would love to sign. The problem is Halacho dictates opposite of our feelings. Yet, it's not a halachik problem to accept. It's a problem to pull a plug. Once the plug was pulled, that's a game changer and halocho doesn't say you mustn't accept.

I guess beyond what I've already said, I won't be able to satisfy your concerns so I'll close my remarks at this point. If you want the last word, comment and I pledge not to respond...

I'm very torn about what's being said here. On the one hand, I'm certainly in no position (nor do I want) to give a hard time to someone who's donated a kidney. On the other hand, there's this:

We would love to sign. The problem is Halacho dictates opposite of our feelings. Yet, it's not a halachik problem to accept. It's a problem to pull a plug.

This is entirely a matter of opinion. The methods of determining death employed by Haredi rabbis are in conflict with those employed by the medical profession. I understand they're seen as being the methods advocated by Chazal, and this is my problem:

1. I can't respect the idea that men who lived hundreds of years ago, when medicine was in a relatively primitive state, were infallible and their pronouncements are therefore inviolable, but beyond that -

2. There are numerous rabbis with impeccable frum credentials (including Moshe Tendler, who spent years studying the issue, as well as some Haredi rabbis: http://www.hods.org/English/h-issues/issues.asp#brainstem), who have come down on the side of the medical profession - yet they are ignored by most of the Haredi world simply because it doesn't "hold by" them.

First of all, just because I donated a kidney, it doesn't validate my opinion over yours', so you don't have to feel torn disagreeing, The only reason I touted my donation ad nauseam is to debunk the notion that Chareidim don't care. If Chareidim didn't care, that organization wouldn't exist. So all I tried to do is make the debate respectful. Not quell debate.

In a sense I agree with you, in that which I don't think most Rabbis are qualified to have an opinion in medical issues, just as most doctors aren't qualified to have an opinion in Halacha. Unfortunately, some Rabbonim hate to say I'm unqualified to pasken, when they should really defer to the few Rabbonim who are indeed more expert in these issues such as Rabbi Dovid Feinstein. There are very few Rabbonim who truly grasp medical sciences thoroughly, and the advocates of cadaver kidney donation ought to concentrate on those Rabbis. Not the Rosh Yeshiva Gaon, who knows little about medical science. The trick is to be expert in medicine and halocho and render a qualified opinion based on thorough study of the issue.

I personally happen to be quite ignorant in [complex] halocho and medical science (as are the typical chareidim), so the types of people who insult my types are just being condescending for no good reason, yet more, are wasting their time... If they would set up meetings with the most thorough rabbonim involved in medicine, that would be time well spent. Assuming that they have respectful diplomats, and not just confrontational activists saying Chareidim should not accept kidneys...

If they would set up meetings with the most thorough rabbonim involved in medicine, that would be time well spent.

Do you think most Haredim would accept the opinions of those rabbonim who are knowledgeable?

I do find it very encouraging that there is an organization like Renewal.

The thing is, most Chareidim adhere to the Rabbonim of their kehilla. So assuming that the top experts in halacha & Medicine within Chareidi society become convinced of the merits of signing donor cards, they in turn can convince R' Elyashiv for Litvish Kehilla, and the Rabbonim of Satmar, Lubavitch Gur, Belz etc. Or I presume if R' Elyashiv becomes convinced, then all of Chareidi society will follow suit. But that requires that the experts of BOTH Halacha & Medicine become convinced and they in turn can educate the likes of Rabbi Elyashiv in the scientific intricacies in medicine... I suspect that Rabbi Elyashiv wouldn't trust a MO Rabbi or MD but would trust a Chareidi major posek WHO SPECIALIZES in medical halacha. It's very complicated. though I must admit, I don't know R Elyashiv, R' Feinstein etc. from a hole in the wall. All my writings are purely speculative.

Yeah, this is what I'm thinking. My impression is that medical halakhah is a highly specialized subset of Jewish law. I don't know how many poskim there are who are both qualified and respected as authorities by the Haredi world.

Exactly. Hilchos shabbos is pretty simple and clearly defined. Almost every rov is well rounded in his knowledge of hilchos shabbos.

On the contrary, medical halacha has few experts.

Minneapolis or Saint Paul newspaper had an article about this situation this week. A kidney donor, think from israel, had wanted to back out and tried to say so but could not due to speed of anesthetic working. The medical staff were not aware of the circunstances under which the donation was made.

CKD, if you're still monitoring this thread - I did email you, as you suggested.

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