"As the Town of Mamakating and the Village of Bloomingburg continue to call for integrity in the local voting process and prosecution for voting fraud that has become systemic, the two are now calling for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to step in and engage on matters that Sullivan County District Attorney James Farrell has neglected. The results of the March 18, 2015, Village of Bloomingburg election remain inconclusive because fraudulent votes by those who do not live in Bloomingburg were counted; incumbent Village Trustee Katherine Roemer has not conceded.…"
"… From the beginning, when I entered into the arbitration regarding the dispute between Aish HaTorah and Rabbi Hillel Weinberg, my intention was just one thing – to strengthen, restore and stabilize the organization and to make a compromise between the parties so that Yeshivas Aish HaTorah could continue with its work like it had over the years. It had never crossed my mind at all to fire and remove the Rosh Yeshiva [Head of the Yeshiva]from his institution so that the leadership would remain vacant, and that the institution's management would be left as a free for all, G-d forbid. But my intention was clear and since I had been consulted on the matter, I saw fitting to give comprehensive advice including the appointment of a new Rosh Yeshiva so that the Yeshiva would be able run as it ought to and also to ensure that Rabbi Hillel should have an appropriate alternative position – other than that of Rosh Yeshiva – as befits the son of Rav Noach zt"l [may the memory of the righteous be a blessing], founder of Aish HaTorah.…"
Haredim in the Israeli port city of Ashdod staged a protest on Shabbat after a shopping center was opened for business on the Jewish Sabbath. Some secular residents decried what they called haredi "coercion" and have launched a campaign to allow all store, restaurants and entertainment venues to open on Shabbat if their owners so choose.
Here's the complete list of all the Jewish community leaders who wrote to New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asking for leniency for William E. Rapfogel, the Modern Orthodox former head of the the New York City Jewish community's anti-poverty charity, the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. Rapfogel and his buddies stole at least $9 million from the Met Council, taking the money right out of the mouths of the poor and using it to line their own pockets and the pockets of their friends. But these leaders – including at least 19 rabbis – wanted Rapfogel to get a sweetheart deal.
Something as easy as adding more spinach, kale, collards and mustard greens to your diet could help slow cognitive decline, according to new research. The study also examined the nutrients responsible for the effect, linking vitamin K consumption to slower cognitive decline for the first time. “Losing one’s memory or cognitive abilities is one of the biggest fears for people as they get older,” said Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D., assistant provost for community research at Rush University Medical Center and leader of the research team. “Since declining cognitive ability is central to Alzheimer’s disease and dementias, increasing consumption of green leafy vegetables could offer a very simple, affordable and non-invasive way of potentially protecting your brain from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.”
“Since we heard that there were many cases of fraud and intimidation at the polls, and the Yachad Party as a result did not pass the threshold [of votes necessary to hold any Knesset seats], I hereby give notice that according to my Torah opinion anyone who has seen or heard of these things [the fraud and intimidation] must give testimony to the proper [legal] authorities [i.e., the police and the state prosecutor's office]…[in order] to bring truth, justice and integrity into their proper place – and as it says in the Torah, ‘if he does not tell [then] he will carry the sin.’”
The audio is an official recording of the radio transmissions between Flatbush Hatzolah EMT/ambulance service and its EMTs and ambulances. Based on eyewitness accounts and other information, it appears to begin about 10 minutes after the FDNY arrived at the Sassoon home to fight the fire, which was already out of control, at about 12:23 am on Saturday, March 21.
Five babies of African asylum seekers died in ad hoc daycare centers in South Tel Aviv over the past eight weeks, and dozens more reportedly died in similar unsafe, overcrowded and unsanitary ad hoc centers under similar circumstances over the past two years – all while the government of Israel failed to do anything to protect those children or help.
Cigarettes cause cancer, heart attacks and other health problems and are forbidden by an increasing number of rabbis (mostly Modern Orthodox). But lots of haredim smoke anyway and now a group of Israelis is taking advantage of that sad fact by selling "loosies" and packs of "kosher for Passover" Israeli cigarettes, complete with several kosher seals of approval from haredi rabbis, to haredim in Brooklyn.
Modern Orthodox developer Shalom Lamm's hasidic candidate Aaron Tzvi Rabiner won the Board of Trustees election in tiny 420-person Bloomingburg, New York by 9 votes – but only after the county's board of elections changed its own ruling without informing the non-hasidic incumbent and allowed questionable voters, all of whom were hasidim, to have their votes counted. If the board had followed its own original ruling, the non-hasidic incumbent would have won in a landslide. "Under these circumstances," the incumbent's attorney wrote in a letter to a local judge, "appellate authority dictates that petitioner’s remedy as to this election now rests with the attorney general…” [emphasis added]
Victims of the child sexual assault scandal that rocked Melbourne’s Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish community have called on Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne to intervene in the running of Chabad’s Yeshivah College in a bid to rid the school of the influence of leaders tainted by the child-abuse royal commission.
Who sent letters to New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asking him to go easy on William E. Rapfogel, the Modern Orthodox former head of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty who stole at least $9 million from the UJA-Federation's New York City area anti-poverty organization, causing the nonprofit to eventually collapse? Who wanted Slick Willie to get a get out of jail free card? Take a look.
For more than ten years, Mosdos Chofetz Chaim has pursued a policy of filing what many claim are largely frivolous lawsuits and related legal actions against the villages of Pomona, Chestnut Ridge, Wesley Hills, and Montebello, all located in Ramapo, New York. Friday, it its biggest lawsuit to date was thrown out of court – for the second time.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is an atheist who has been pandering to religious groups – especially to Satmar hasidim – in likely preparation for a gubernatorial run or an appointment to national office by Hillary Clinton if she is elected president next year. De Blasio promised during the 2013 campaign that all homeless youth in the city would have shelter beds if he were elected mayor. But he reneged on that promise, even though many of these homeless youths are survivors of child sex abuse and even though sexual predators openly wait outside youth shelters like Covenant House to try to sexually exploit youths turned away due to lack of space.
Regarding his call not to give them any help, even though among them there are needy families, Greenbaum justified his position by saying: "There is no need to say a lot regarding the fact that they are not justified in taking part in the haredi consensus whether for good or bad. Whoever separates himself from the group in a time of trouble, chazal [the sages of the Talmudic era] taught us that he cannot be included with us in a time of joy. He even added and said "There is no choice but to not give [charity; tzedaka] to those who are not a part of us what we work hard to get with little power."
“Basically, everyone is trying to figure out what should they do this Sabbath,” said Edgar Gluck, a prominent rabbi in Borough Park who has been helping to counsel people. He personally uses a hot plate, he said, but places it on a granite countertop, next to a stainless-steel sink, and feels that it is safe.
Mizrahi blames the deaths of the seven Sassoon children – who were all killed early last Saturday in a Brooklyn house fire started by a Shabbat hotplate left on and unattended – on Facebook, text messages, immodesty, lack of proper Shabbat observance, lack of shomer negiah, and women's wigs that are too long, as well as "sins" committed by the children in previous lifetimes, a position based on 'normative' Lurianic kabbalah.
Satmar hasidic PR hack Yossi Gestetner's Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC) has released a disgusting video that smears opponents of the haredi community as anti-Semites and potential terrorists without ever once mentioning the very real misbehavior of many haredim. It pulls from a tiny minority of opponents who are (or can be construed as) anti-Semitic and smears the vast majority of opponents with that very broad brush. The video is narrated by the hasidic Majority Leader of the Rockland County Legislature Aaron Wieder. Richard French interviews Gestetner and his henchman Benny Polatseck about the smear, and Gestetner doubles down repeatedly on it.
"It was "shocking to see the toddler's condition,” a police source reportedly said. "The boy suffered severe neglect, and although we have seen almost everything, it was difficult to see his condition. We were shocked when we saw him and realized that he had apparently been wandering in the streets alone and sleeping in a cardboard box for the past several days."
"…Worst of all was to learn that these same people, respected and learned rabbis, leaders of our community, had engaged in slander and abuse of former Yeshivah students who had the courage to come forward and testify about the abuse they had undergone, and that they and their families had suffered ostracism from some sections of our community. To learn that this same ostracism is continuing today is nothing short of shameful.…"
Early last Saturday morning, 7 haredi siblings from the Sassoon family died in a horrific house fire in Brooklyn. There were no smoke alarms on the first or second floors of the house, and a Shabbat hotplate had been left on and unattended. It caused a fire that the sleeping family did not notice in time to get out of the house. Seven kids died, one other and their mother jumped from the second floor and is hospitalized in critical condition with injuries, burns and smoke inhalation. Wallerstein attempts to explain what the lesson is from this fire and why the kids had to die. Wallerstein, you see, thinks he knows why God killed the kids, because kabbalah and Jewish tradition told him – we are not careful enough with our own Shabbat observance. It isn't smoke alarms we need to check, it's our Shabbos observance.
The well-liked principal of Chabad’s Beth Rivkah school located in its Yeshivah Centre campus in Melbourne, Australia is reportedly about to leave the school after the school’s Committee of Management allegedly stonewalled needed changes highlighted by the horrific testimony about Chabad child sex abuse coverups at Australia’s Royal Commission investigating child sex abuse in Chabad institutions.
Modern Orthodox Developer Shalom Lamm’s proposed Satmar hasidic girls school was was finally approved by the Town of Mamakating, New York’s Planning Board Tuesday night, after which the spokesman for Lamm and the hasidic community Michael Fragin lashed out at the board for purportedly being anti-education.
Chabad’s Yeshivah Centre of Melbourne’s top rabbi, Tzvi Hirsh Telsner, allegedly told a member of the Yeshivah Centre’s synagogue this week that he was wrong to have reported child sex abuse to police without first getting permission from a rabbi. Telsner allegedly did this intentionally in a way that other Chabad members – who had been bullying the victim – could hear.
Residents of a tiny 420-person village in the Catskill Mountains in New York State are demanding that Sullivan County District Attorney James Farrell investigate the Sullivan County Board of Elections. The outraged Bloomingburg residents and elected officials from the adjoining Town of Mamakating claim a substantial number of unregistered voters were improperly allowed to vote in the local village election held earlier this month.
A haredi community in Queens, New York is holding a Saturday night memorial for the seven Sassoon children killed early last Saturday in a horrific house fire caused by a dangerous Shabbat hot plate known as a plata. The memorial will be combined with a fire safety presentation from local FDNY firefighters.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has the ability to fill a majority of the seats on the New York City Board of Health with his own appointees before he asks that board to repeal the city’s informed consent requirement for all circumcisions involving metzitzah b’peh (MBP), the dangerous mouth-to-bleeding-penis sucking done by haredi mohels after cutting off the baby’s foreskin. And so de Blasio delayed asking the board to toss the existing informed consent requirement and has allegedly set out to fill the board with his own appointees, who will then likely rubber-stamp whatever the mayor wants done, even if it goes against what a majority of pediatric infectious disease specialists and public health experts believe is safe.
“He’d prepare special drinks for every kid every morning, all the right proteins, that kind of guy,’’ the friend said, adding that it appears that Sassoon is turning to his faith to try to deal with any guilt he may be struggling with over the home’s lack of smoke alarms. “If he had been as meticulous about smoke alarms as about proteins, it wouldn’t have happened,’’ the friend said. “But sometimes if you move into a house that’s already furnished, you don’t think about it.”
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The New York Times: "The legal conflict has revealed a deep tension within the Orthodox community that has been reported in the Jewish weekly press, and has been the almost exclusive topic of discussion on some Orthodox Jewish Web sites like failedmessiah.com and unorthodoxjew.blogspot.com in the months since Mr. Hikind brought up sexual abuse."
The New York Times: "In Postville, residents were dismayed by a report posted on a Jewish Web site, FailedMessiah.com, saying that Sholom Rubashkin held a celebration in Postville last week after he was released from detention on $1 million bail."
THE COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW: "[Jeff] Abbas passed the video to Shmarya Rosenberg, a blogger in St. Paul, Minnesota, who has provided some of the best coverage of the raid and its aftermath; a few days later, the video was referenced in The New York Times."
The Forward: Postville’s City Council initially voted to support the idea of a community benefits agreement, but later voted to withdraw support for such an agreement — a development first reported on the blog Failed Messiah.
Samuel Freedman in the Jerusalem Post: "[T]the scandal of Agriprocessors has been chronicled from Stephen Bloom's book Postville to Nathaniel Popper's investigative reports in the Forward to Julia Preston's coverage in The New York Times to the muckraking blogger FailedMessiah.com."
Religion In The News: "So authoritative has Rosenberg become that he is now regularly quoted by the Register; and his site has been referenced by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and both the Forward and the JTA."
Tablet Magazine: “If you’re Jewish and you were married five years ago, you have not confronted the problem that exists today,” Rosenberg says. “The problem is much worse for anyone who isn’t Orthodox. As the Haredi strength grows and their control grows, that’ll become clearer.”
Religion Dispatches: "The best collection of articles I’ve found can be perused at failedmessiah.com, the blog of Shmarya Rosenberg, who, with the perspective of insider turned disillusioned outsider, has been probing the nuances and hypocrisies of the ultra-Orthodox establishment since 2004."