What follows are essentially Chabad's talking points on the Agriprocessors Scandal and the imprisonment of Rabbi…
… Sholom M. Rubashkin.
Earlier, I posted the the actual court documents relating to denial of bail for Rabbi Sholom M. Rubashkin. I encourage you to read them.
Since the talking points emphasize the need to raise money for Rabbi Sholom M. Rubashkin's legal defense, here is proof that legal defense is paid for in part by tax deductible money raised by Chabad.
I'm not going to correct the many inaccuracies in the Chabad talking points right now, although you are certainly free to do so in the comments section, if you choose.
From CrownHeights.ch, one of the leading Chabad blogs based in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York, the international center of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Text is presented, including emphasis, as it is in the original Chabad post:
Points Concerning the Rubashkin Defense
As we sit in our homes enjoying the Chanukah lights, playing dreidel with our kids, a family man sits in prison, branded a “criminal and flight risk” i.e. guilty before being accorded his right to prove his innocence in court. This same man has helped hundreds, if not thousands of both Chabad and non-Chabad families over the last 20 or years.
So that our global Jewish community be made aware of the truth concerning this case, and can speak to it with clarity, we have written up the facts to-date and will circulate them throughout our communities. We will also continue to offer updates as the case progresses so that each person can help by disseminating true and helpful information.
The Rubashkin Family started their meat business in Postville, Iowa about 20 years ago (January 3, 1989.)
As soon as they established their company and began hiring people, they set up a Human Resource office in their company which dealt with interviewing and clearing potential employees.
At that time, the minimum wage in Iowa was about $3.00 and the Rubashkin’s hired their starting workers at $5.00 an hour. Over the years they also developed a health insurance plan for all of the workers in their plant, which was partially subsidized by the company and partially through payments by the individual workers. The health plan included the entire family and it also included dental care.
After a year of work in the Rubashkin factory, every worker was entitled two weeks paid vacation and the company always had a policy of paying proper overtime to anyone who worked over 40 hours a week.
About 7 years ago, a turkey slaughter house which was operating on the other side of the tracks went out of business and several workers from that plant applied for employment at Rubashkin’s plant. Among them were a few workers from South America. All of them were processed the same way as previous workers, through the Human Resource office of Rubashkin.
However, it was at this point that more and more workers from South America began to seek employment at Rubashkin’s plant. The documentation that these people brought to the meat plant was checked by the Human Resource office and it was the same documentation they used to get a driver’s license, to rent an apartment, to register their children in school and to establish their bank accounts. So that any immigrants who worked in Rubashkin’s plant was also being recognized by a half a dozen other businesses and government agencies based on the same documentation that was presented to Rubashkin.
It was a little after that time that the United Food and Commercial Worker’s Union began to agitate in the Rubashkin factory and tried to unionize the workers. However, over the years, as much as they tried, they were never able to get 50% percent of the workers to request unionization and, therefore, they never had an opportunity to have a factory wide vote on unionization. This reality gave the union cause for wanting to harm the Rubashkin plant.
The community in Postville, Iowa has approximately one hundred Jewish families and through the Rubashkin’s efforts there are two Mikvahs [ritual baths], there are Shuls [synagogues], there is an Elementary School for boys and girls, a High School including also a full-time Yeshiva Gedola [post-high school religious training] which accepts students not only from the local families but also from all over the world.
Rabbi Weissmandel, from Monsey, who is in charge of the Kashrus at the Rubashkin plant has told people that he knows for a fact that the Rubashkin’s went out of their way to provide meat to various supermarket chains and other wholesalers at a loss when they knew that the meat would end up in the areas that otherwise could not get Kosher meat. One example of this was the nationwide chain of Trader Joe.
In May of 2008, the Immigration Authorities made a major raid on the Rubashkin plant and arrested approximately 390 people. These people were led away in chains and went through very difficult times in a legal process which was eventually customized to deal with them and their cases.
Note: The media reports at the time of the immigration arrests included allegations worker abuse – Now they are forgotten!
Various legal suits have been brought against the Rubashkin Company, as well as members of the Rubashkin family. Several managers of the company have also been arrested. From May until October all of these pressures against the company caused the company to try to restructure itself. The Schechita [kosher slaughter] was interrupted, the regular cash flow was interrupted, many of the families in Postville did not receive their salaries and the Kosher meat supply in America was diminished so that there are some cities now in the United States where there is absolutely no Kosher meat available.
During this time, it became necessary for the company to declare (Chapter 11) bankruptcy and is currently under the Trustee appointed by the bankruptcy court. Shechita has begun in a limited fashion. Some of the families have begun to receive their pay-checks and the Trustee is hoping to bring the factory and the plant back to some form of normal operation. However, the legal suits against the company and against the family are continuing. During that period from May to October, the family worked diligently and feverishly to try to put together funds in order to save the company and to keep things moving. As a result of that, millions of dollars were lost because of legal fees and because of the bleeding of the funds to pay people, to keep the plant going, even though they could not Shecht [ritually slaughter] the sufficient amount of meat, etc. Eventually, all of the family savings were used up in these financial and legal maneuvers so that by the time the very serious blow to the family came along, they were simply unable to put together sufficient legal funds to put together a viable legal team to defend the company and to defend the family members.
At the end of October, Sholom Rubashkin, President of Agriprocessors was arrested on financial charges which according to many legal experts are usually put into a civil suit. However, in his case the government decided to pursue the case as a criminal case, and so he was jailed and was denied bail on his initial request for bail. At a subsequent hearing, the Federal prosecutors in Iowa introduced the concept that since Sholom Rubashkin is a Jew and since the State of Israel has a law of return which gives citizenship to any Jew who wishes to settle in Israel, therefore Sholom Rubashkin would be a flight risk. In his ruling, the judge accepted the possibility of flight risk, and he did not allow Sholom Rubashkin to be freed on bail.
Legal scholars from across the United States and overseas are amazed and shocked at this strange misapplication of American law. The Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides for fair bail and establishes the concept that a person is innocent until he is proved guilty and that he has the right to be free on bail until he enters the system and is brought to trial. The absurd idea to keep a Jew in jail because he might run away to Israel has been disproved many times by many cases in the past. The legal team working for Sholom Rubashkin has submitted memorandum on various levels of the legal system in Iowa and we are praying that at the next hearing the reality of the situation will be recognized and that Sholom Rubashkin will be allowed out on bail. The family has offered more than sufficient financial guarantees, as well as other specifics to satisfy the judge’s fears that Sholom might be a flight risk.
The Rubashkin family has proudly been a contributing force in American Jewish life for several generations. Despite the difficulties that the family had in communist Russia and the difficulty it had in enduring the inhumane sufferings of the Holocaust, in America they have established themselves and have been at the giving end of Jewish society and Jewish community for over fifty years. The generosity of the Rubashkin’s is well known all across America. Their restaurant on 13th Avenue which was one of the first Glatt Kosher restaurants in Borough Park has a tradition of providing free meals to indigent and poor people in a respectful and in a discreet fashion. The Rubashkin’s are known for their generosity and their Tzedakah.
Sholom Rubashkin devoted his personal attention to the Jewish community in Postville, Iowa and went out of his way and spent immeasurable sums of money to see to it that all of the needs in the Jewish community would be taken care and that the Jewish families who came to live in Postville would be able to enjoy a rich, Chassidishe lifestyle in the center of mid-Western America. The Rubashkin Company went out of its way to make every effort to provide Kosher meat to Jews all over the world so that from South Padre Island, Texas to Vancouver Island, to Bangor, Maine to Shanghai and to the South Pole, you were able to obtain Kosher food, and Kosher meat because of the efforts of the Rubashkin family, very often at a great loss to themselves.
The charges brought against the Rubashkin family generally would fit either into the framework of financial problems or bookkeeping discrepancies, certainly not anything of a criminal nature.
Furthermore, the question of hiring non-documented immigrants is a question that faces every business in America. There are millions of non-documented immigrants who work in factories across the United States and in businesses across the United States. All of those millions did not work in Postville Iowa. Despite the best efforts of the Rubashkin family to make sure that all of their employees were properly documented, it did turn out that some of them had obtained their papers in an improper fashion but this was not the fault of the Rubashkin family or the Rubashkin business.
What we must do now is:
a) Spread the word that the Rubashkin meat business was not only a business, but it was also a force for Kosher food in America and that the American Jewish community needs this business to thrive and to continue to produce and to provide Kosher meat all over the United States.
b) Let the world know that members of the Rubashkin family who were involved in the business devoted their lives not only to the development of their business but also to the development of the Jewish community in Iowa and across the United States. Through their charity, through their community involvement, through their personal care for Jews in need they were always at the forefront of the “givers” in the Jewish community.
c) The issue of keeping a Jew in jail and not allowing him on bail is a disgrace to the history of America, to the history of our Constitution and to the basis of justice and liberty upon which the United States stands and it is incumbent upon everyone in America to think about this injustice that is being perpetrated against this individual, Sholom Rubashkin, in Iowa and we have to approach our elected officials, the Justice Department of the United States and urge them to enforce the laws of America properly and to see to it that Sholom Rubashkin is freed on bail according to the laws of Human Rights in the United States.
d) We have to raise funds to help the legal teams.
PDF archive of the original Chabad blog post: