Chosen: Crimes and Misdemeanors

By Shmarya Rosenberg

The Weekly Blotter

Rabbi Shaul Kassin, the 79-year-old chief rabbi of New York City’s Syrian Jewish community, pleaded guilty in federal court to a money laundering-related offense. Kassin was one of several Syrian rabbis arrested two years ago on money laundering charges. “Few financial crimes offend our sensibilities like those that hide illegal activities behind the curtain of charity,” New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said. The same federal sting led to the arrests of more than 30 New Jersey politicians, as well. (New York Post)

Dov Charney, the embattled CEO of American Apparel, has now been sued by another employee who claims Charney sexually harassed her. This is the second such suit filed in last month against Charney, who denies the allegations. (Los Angeles Times)

Rabbi Bernard Freilich, the embattled hasidic liaison to the New York State Police, abruptly resigned. Freilich is accused of illegally wearing a police badge, illegally using police lights and other ethical violations. (Failed Messiah / Albany Times Union)

Shotgun marriage: ultra-Orthodox parents in Israel forced their 13-year-old daughter to marry as penance for her flirtatious behavior. (Ha’aretz)

Accused Orthodox con artist Dina Wein Reis has been offered a plea deal by the US Government. Wein Reis allegedly stole hundreds of millions of dollars from large corporations. The deal allegedly would require Wein Reis to serve 1 1/2 years in federal prison, pay a very large fine, and make restitution. So far, Wein Reis has not accepted the deal. (Failed Messiah)

The civil-fraud trial of United Talmudical Academy, the Brooklyn-based Satmar hasidic yeshiva system, is set to begin soon. UTA is accused of laundering money for Allou Healthcare, a business owned by the Jacobowitz family of Satmar hasidim. (Wall Street Journal)

In 2007, Agriprocessors – the massive Postville, Iowa kosher slaughterhouse owned by the Rubashkin family of Chabad-Lubavitch hasidim –  and Nevel Properties, the Rubashkin family’s Postville real estate arm, were forced to repay $1.4 million dollars to the Allou Healthcare bankruptcy after it could not show what Allou received for the millions of dollars it paid Agriprocessors. When asked in a deposition what Nevel Properties had done for Allou to justify the payments, Sholom Rubashkin replied “nothing.” (Failed Messiah)

The Kabbalah Centre, which boasts followers like Madonna, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, is reportedly being investigated by the IRS and a federal grand jury. (Showbiz 411)

The president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Alexander Mashkevich, is embroiled in an a human trafficking and child prostitution scandal. Mashkevich is a longtime donor to Jewish causes, especially Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jewish causes. (Ynet)

Nine West Bank settlers were arrested after fighting with Israeli police who were trying to arrest suspects in a spree of anti-Arab violence. (Ha’aretz)

A survey finds that the more Orthodox observant Jewish Israelis are, the more they favor random attacks against Palestinian civilians as retaliation for Israeli government peace moves and Arab terrorism. (Ynet)

An Zionist Orthodox West Bank settler was sentenced to 1 1/2 in prison for kidnapping and assaulting a 15-year-old Palestinian boy and killing his goat. (Ha’aretz)

Israeli police recommended indicting an Orthodox mayor and his ultra-Orthodox deputy on bribery and public corruption charges. (Behardrei Haredim / Failed Messiah)

Three as yet unnamed people were arrested on suspicion of torching two cars belonging to Arab students at the Safed Academic College. Each car had a bumper sticker identifying the owner’s religious affiliation. One was Christian, the other Muslim. (Ha’aretz)

The racial segregation in the ultra-Orthodox West Bank town of Emmanuel that rocked Israel earlier this year may have its root in a child sexual molestation case. The principal of Emmanuel’s Ashkenazic elementary school for boys, Rabbi Moshe Nussboim, is accused of molesting three Sefardic boys. The racial discrimination that led to a wall being built down the middle of a girls school and the forced separation of Sefardic children from hasidic children was allegedly done as payback for the Sefardic parents and the ba’al teshuva parents who reported Nussboim to police. (Jerusalem Post)

The Association of Jewish Aging Services of North America – the umbrella organization of Jewish nursing homes – fired its Leukemia-stricken CEO after she asked permission to work from home due to the increased risk of infection that comes with chemotherapy.  The Association’s board wrote, “Your proposal, if accepted, would pose undue hardship to our organization.” The CEO then offered to take a temporary pay cut to pay for an outside consultant to help run the Association from the Association’s office during her chemotherapy. The Association’s board responded, ““We cannot dedicate the same time until you return or while a temporary consultant, assuming one could be recruited and engaged, becomes familiar with our issues, members, industry, partners, etc.” (JTA)

Shmarya Rosenberg publishes His reporting has been cited in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Columbia Journalism Review, Ha’aretz, Jerusalem Post, Forward, JTA, Village Voice and many other publications. He was named to both the Forward 50 and the Heeb 100 in 2008.

What do you think?

2 Responses

  1. kosherkingdom

    Pretty intense… Especially the school molestation case and the Haredi parents. To be honest the ultraorthodox are just crazy in general, but this takes the cake.


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