Chosen: Crimes and Misdemeanors

By Shmarya Rosenberg

The Weekly Blotter

Rabbi Sholom Rubashkin, the former VP of Agriprocessors, once the largest kosher slaughterhouse in the world, was profiled on CNBC’s American Greed television series. Rubashkin is currently serving a 27-year sentence for various fraud related crimes and for perjury. (CNBC)

An overview of the various scandals related to Agriprocessors and the Rubashkin family. (Failed Messiah)

Chabad-Lubavitch, the hasidic missionary group Rubashkin affiliates with, printed an edition of the Tanya, its foundational work of theology, in Rikers Island jail in New York City. When Chabad first started doing programs there in the 1970s, seven Jewish inmates participated in their programs. This week, 150 Jewish inmates participated. (

A Chabad yeshiva, religious school, in Melbourne, Australia is accused of misusing a $2 million dollar government grant. (The Age)

Yeshiva Me’on Hatorah, an ultra-Orthodox rabbinical school  in Roosevelt, New York, repeatedly violated zoning, health and safety regulations and then cried antisemitism when regulators moved to shut it down. A judge ruled against the yeshiva and noted, “The fact that plaintiff is unhappy that defendants would not permit it to operate as it pleased does not rise to any evil intent on the part of defendants. In fact, there is still a question of whether plaintiff could have operated as it pleased had it simply sought a variance. This case is just an example of a town enforcing its zoning ordinances.” (Examiner)

A member of the volunteer ambulance corps of the Satmar hasidic village of Kiryas Joel, New York was arrested and charged with reckless driving and ticketed for 21 violations of vehicle and traffic laws. Menachem Kramer allegedly drove other motorists off the road while responding to a traffic accident in which no one was injured. (Times Herald-Record)

Israel’s former president, Moshe Katsav, was sentenced to seven years in prison for rape and sexual abuse. (Ha’aretz)

The Rachmanistrivka Rebbe, the leader of the Rachmanistrivka hasidic movement, said the earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan is a punishment from God because Japan is currently prosecuting two Satmar yeshiva students for drug smuggling. “God is landing blow after blow on the Japanese. But they’re like Egypt and Pharaoh. Japan does not understand that it is holding the detainees [Satmar yeshiva students arrested for drug smuggling] for no reason. They think the yeshiva students know what this drug is, but from where would hasidic yeshiva students know what this is? Only goyyim [non-Jews] know what drugs are. Rather than [Japan] admitting its mistake, it continues to hold them, and for that [Japan] is punished,” the rebbe said. (Failed Messiah)

An Israel Christian Arab says he was stabbed by a gang of ultra-Orthodox Jews shouting anti-Arab slogans. The attack follows a wave of anti-Arab incitement by Orthodox Zionist and ultra-Orthodox rabbis in Israel. (Ynet)

Only 9% of Zionist Orthodox Israelis believe Orthodox soldiers must obey orders to evacuate West Bank settlements and outposts. 58% believe Orthodox soldiers should disobey orders and refuse to participate in evacuations. (Ynet)

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.

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About The Author

Shmarya Rosenberg

Shmarya Rosenberg has been published in Newsweek/The Daily Beast, Moment Magazine, the Forward, Tablet, StarTribune, Jewcy, Sh'ma and Heeb, and was profiled in the New York Times, Ha'aretz and the Jerusalem Post. His work has been cited in dozens of newspapers and broadcast media sources worldwide, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, New York Observer, AP, Des Moines Register, Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, and CNN and CNBC's America Greed. He is the publisher and editor of

3 Responses

  1. harvey

    u neglected to include the 10mill thta S.r. gavce to the local Koshe rBakery?? gee was thta reported to the IRS, y would S R give that much to a Bakery, gee maybe he was selling shumar matzoh in december

  2. Ari Gold

    Hassidim commit crimes? We ned to get a handle on this. If this continues, even the common unaffiliated jew will be breaking laws not to mention matzah at the Rikers seder.

    You know, I used to think I “got” the title ‘heeb’. It captured pushed the envelope containing our sarcasm and relatively new found ability to laugh at ourselves even when the goyim are watching. But your focus on the Orthodox Jew as the evil miser reminds me that “we” can’t be that secure and that ‘heeb’ is still just a slur. Thanks for ruining the joke.


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