Sunday, June 01, 2008

Rabbi Menachem Genack - administrator of the Orthodox Union’s kashrut division: speaks about the Agriprocessors scandal.

The Jewish Standard -
OU weighs in on Agriprocessors scandal
Josh Lipowsky
By Josh Lipowsky
Published on 05/30/2008

Rabbi Menachem Genack tells a Teaneck audience that if Agriprocessors, the largest kosher meat producer in the country, is found to be criminally liable, the Orthodox Union will withdraw its certification. photo by josh lipowsky

The problems at Agriprocessors that resulted in a federal raid at its Postville, Iowa, plant earlier this month highlight larger issues in America, rather than in just the kosher industry, according to the administrator of the Orthodox Union’s kashrut division.

"This issue of undocumented workers in plants is not a Rubashkins’ story, it’s an American story," said Rabbi Menachem Genack, who spoke Tuesday night at the Jewish Center of Teaneck to some 80 listeners. "It is standard in many manufacturing facilities that workers have documentation but are not legal."

OU weighs in on Agriprocessors scandal

The problems at Agriprocessors that resulted in a federal raid at its Postville, Iowa, plant earlier this month highlight larger issues in America, rather than in just the kosher industry, according to the administrator of the Orthodox Union’s kashrut division.

"This issue of undocumented workers in plants is not a Rubashkins’ story, it’s an American story," said Rabbi Menachem Genack, who spoke Tuesday night at the Jewish Center of Teaneck to some 80 listeners. "It is standard in many manufacturing facilities that workers have documentation but are not legal."

Rabbi Menachem Genack tells a Teaneck audience that if Agriprocessors, the largest kosher meat producer in the country, is found to be criminally liable, the Orthodox Union will withdraw its certification. photo by josh lipowsky

Genack, of Cong. Shomrei Emunah in Englewood, said that a faulty American immigration policy was creating these problems, which, he added, are widespread in factories across the country. He said that he did not know if the Rubashkins, the Brooklyn-based Lubavitcher family that owns Agriprocessors, were aware of workers’ falsified documents, but he urged members of the audience to be patient as the investigations continue.

"We have to see where the facts take us," he said. "If [the Rubashkins] are found to be criminally liable, then we would have no choice but withdraw the supervision."

Laws guaranteeing workers’ rights have their basis in the Torah, Genack said. Still, he defended the OU’s position of not monitoring working conditions at the factory. Jewish companies should "just be conforming, not better, not worse" in their compliance with labor laws.

If the charges against Agriprocessors are accurate, he said, that signifies that dozens of federal inspectors already in the plant have failed at their jobs. Allegations include violations such as paying below minimum wage and physical abuse.

"The United States government has rules and laws that monitor these activities," Genack said, citing the Environmental Protection Agency, OSHA, and USDA. "The OU position is these are important issues, but we don’t have the expertise to develop standards in these areas. It’s not an easy thing to determine or define."

Because of the number of federal agencies responsible for overseeing the plant, Genack said that the most serious charges involving physical abuse of workers are unlikely to be true. Likewise, he dismissed allegations that workers ran a methamphetamine lab on the premises.

Still, the government has the resources to quickly recognize and address problems as they appear, he said.

"Issue after issue, they should have been handling this," Genack said of federal inspection agencies.

U.S. Attorney Matt Dummermuth said last week that 297 of 389 people detained at the Agriprocessors plant pleaded guilty and were sentenced on felony charges. Criminal charges brought against the detainees all related to the use of false information to gain employment. Of those sentenced, the vast majority received five-month prison sentences followed by three years of supervised release. All those sentenced face deportation. Genack said he told the Rubashkin family that as a first step to fixing the problems in Postville, they should get "independent, professional management and the family should step down [from running the plant]."

Sholom Rubashkin, the company’s CEO who oversaw the Postville plant, announced his resignation earlier this week. "The best course of action for the company, its employees, the local community and our customers is to bring new leadership to Agriprocessors," Aaron Rubashkin, the owner of Agriprocessors Inc., and the father of Sholom Rubashkin, said in a statement. A company statement further said that Agriprocessors is conducting an independent investigation of the immigration issues and is cooperating with the government. The Brooklyn butcher, who founded the company in 1987, added, "The company has begun the search for a new permanent chief executive officer. We have engaged a team of industry experts to help us identify and secure a new leader who can help us meet the needs of Agriprocessors today and in the future. We will make more information on the search process available by the end of next week."

The statement reiterated that "due to pending legal issues," the company would not respond to specific allegations. These include charges of hiring underage workers, sexual harassment, and withholding of overtime pay. If the company hires independent management, then the OU is unlikely to withdraw its supervision, even if the Rubashkins are found liable, Genack said.

According to Eli Rosenfeld, a spokesman for Empire Poultry who was at Tuesday night’s gathering, that company has increased its production and seen "a noticeable increase" in orders in the past two weeks. Despite fears of shortages or price gouging, Rosenfeld said Empire does not anticipate a price hike. Genack said Agriprocessors has enough inventory to avoid a "dramatic change" in prices but calls for a boycott — which have come from a number of Jewish organizations — could change that.

Uri L’tzedek, a project started by students at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, a liberal Orthodox rabbinical school in Manhattan, began circulating a petition this week asking Agriprocessors to pay its workers at least the federal minimum wage, abide by laws pertaining to workers’ rights, and treat employees according to Torah standards.

According to a statement on its Website, the Jewish Labor Committee calls on Agriprocessors "to live up to the responsibilities of corporate citizenship, end its campaign of worker abuse, and respect the rights of its employees including their legal right to union representation. Until Agriprocessors establishes its commitment to these responsibilities, we urge consumers of kosher meat products to seek alternatives to the Rubashkin labels."

In its statement, the JLC asserted that the company had displayed "a clear pattern of employer negligence and even lawlessness," including violating child labor laws and tolerating various forms of worker abuse.

Similarly the Conservative movement’s top bodies have asked that kosher consumers "evaluate whether it is appropriate to buy and eat meat products" from Agriprocessors.

Meat and poultry produced by Agriprocessors is sold under the following kosher and non-kosher labels: Aaron’s Best, Aaron’s Choice, David’s, European Glatt, Iowa Best Beef, Nevel, Rubashkin’s, Shor Habor, and Supreme Kosher.

JTA contributed to this report.


Sholom Rubashkins said...

We don't follow the Torah, but that's fine, because the OU doesn't care so why should we?

Rabbi Menachem Genack said...

Did you realize I contradicted myself. First I made this statement:

"We have to see where the facts take us," he said. "If [the Rubashkins] are found to be criminally liable, then we would have no choice but withdraw the supervision."

Then a contradictory one after that:

The statement reiterated that "due to pending legal issues," the company would not respond to specific allegations. These include charges of hiring underage workers, sexual harassment, and withholding of overtime pay. If the company hires independent management, then the OU is unlikely to withdraw its supervision, even if the Rubashkins are found liable, Genack said.

Avi Shafran said...

Has Genack taken a page out of my text book? With all his double speak, and distorting of the truth, I suspect he has copied my act.

Moshe Rubashkin said...

The OU has indicated they would not withdraw their kashrus certification. Genack warned me though, that if Sholom is still the CEO, then we can no longer do business together. I thought about it, and decided that for looking goody's sake, it was the best thing for all of us. Who cares about some title, Sholom can help us under a new position at the plant as the assistant to the CEO.

exposemolesters said...

For those who were sexually abused in the State of New York - and are beyond the SOL; this is a VERY VERY IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENT. Do something about it. This is your opportunity. Call the number at the end of this article, or go to their website. DO NOT LET YOUR ABUSER(S) AND THEIR ENABLERS OFF THE HOOK! THEY NEED TO PAY DEARLY!


May 22, 2008

Childhood sexual abuse survivors need more time to begin recovery

Maggie Watson
Guest essayist

New Yorkers have an opportunity to make our state safer for children. S.4614 is a bill currently before the state Senate that if passed would extend the statute of limitations for the prosecution of sexual offenses against a child until that victim reaches age 28. Currently the statute of limitations runs out at age 23. However, because victims are often traumatized by someone known to them, an estimated 80 percent to 90 percent of abused children are unwilling or unable to disclose their victimization until well after they reach adulthood.

Since childhood sexual abuse survivors are more likely to do poorly in school, more likely to suffer from mental and physical illness and more likely to experience financial failure and physical injury, they need more time to begin to recover and to distance themselves from the offender.

As the law stands, we unrealistically expect survivors of sexual abuse to face their abusers in grueling court proceedings before they turn 23. In addition, children stay silent because predators use any number of trauma-inducing tactics to keep them that way. And the current law tells abusers that their methods need only be effective until their victim's 23rd birthday. Hence, not extending the law to (at least) age 28 leaves most child predators free from punishment and free to reoffend.

Furthermore, the option to file civil action, generally pursued after the lengthy criminal matters, will be denied because time has run out.

The last few years have seen laws increasing the punishments for those convicted of sexually abusing a child. But how much good can these laws do when only 10 percent to 20 percent of child victims are able to stand up under the devastating lifelong consequences of their suffering long enough to speak out?

Why hasn't this common-sense bill been passed?

Sadly, because it awaits more support. Consider calling or writing a letter to your state senator.

For more information, call (800) 244-5373 or go to

Watson, of Rochester, is a volunteer with Prevent Child Abuse New York.

exposemolesters said...

For the person who was trying to reach me. Kindly email me at:

Israel Belsky said...

I see no reason why sex abuse, or under aged children - is a problem at Agriprocessors. As long as the meat is kosher - then what's the big deal?

conversion crisis said...

The "Rabbis" responsible for this are insane. What gives them the right? They're not acting on halacha! They're lunatics who seem to make up their own torah and laws as they go along. Woe is to the Jews who have such an awful rabbinical leadership!

'I want my former citizenship back'
By Lily Galili

"Those idiots have apparently declared war on all of us; there is no doubt that we will win on the battlefield, but it could be that the field will already be entirely destroyed."

The "battlefield" in this quote is the country. The "they" are the members of the Supreme Rabbinic Court, whose recent controversial and not entirely understood ruling invalidated thousands of conversions to Judaism, mainly among Russian-speakers. The person quoted here is not some annoyingly secular person; he is Rabbi Pinchas Polonsky, who even back in the Soviet Union devoted his life to promoting Judaism.

After coming to Israel in the last immigration wave, Polonsky was one of the founders of Machanaim, a center for instilling Jewish identity, aimed at immigrants from Russia. Polonsky, a disciple of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook and someone who until not long ago represented Orthodoxy in the community, embodies the protest that is already seething.

The following is small episode that also reflects the big emotional storm: This week a friend of mine called the Russian-language hotline set up by the Institute for Jewish Studies because of the conversion crisis. Just after she finished that conversation, she phoned me. Between the calls she managed for the first time since she came to Israel to formulate the sentence: "I want my former citizenship back; this is not the country to which I had wanted to come."

Her hard feelings were not born of the conversation with the emergency line. The Institute for Jewish Studies, which was established on the recommendation of the Ne'eman Committee as a center for studies toward conversion, is on the side of the "good guys" in this story. My friend's reaction stems from the frustration that derives from the terrible confusion. The polite woman on the other end of the line explained to her that it is not clear whether, until now, 167 conversions have been disqualified, or only one.

"I know that everyone is panicking," said the worker on the hotline. "It could be that they are considering the disqualification of all the conversions, but there is also a chance that everything will remain the same, though it could be that they will only disqualify conversions done by one person."

Confused? Rightly so. The "one person" in this riddle is Rabbi Haim Druckman, the man in the eye of the storm - a storm whose meaning on the Russian street is different than on the broader Israeli street. For most Israelis, this is entirely a political story of power struggles between national religious Zionism and the Orthodoxy represented by the Supreme Rabbinic Court. It is the inevitable clash between the Zionist ethos and the spirit of rabbinic law.

For tens of thousands of immigrants, however, this is a personal-collective story of people who find themselves in the crossfire and do not always understand what is happening but feel that the shooting is aimed at them. The reactions on a Russian-language site are sad and confused.

"Can someone tell me exactly what they have decided at the rabbinic court?" wonders a man who converted. "I don't understand anything. It isn't clear to me whether they have perhaps disqualified my conversion. I nevertheless need to observe the Sabbath, or not. Someone please explain."

In a personal blog, an immigrant whose father is Jewish says what she replies when asked why she isn't converting. "This is a question I have been hearing for 15 years, especially from veteran Israelis who don't even understand what it is to go through conversion. - And what is going to happen now to those whose conversion has been disqualified? What will happen with their children? I love my country very much, but it is quite hurtful and insulting to live in it."

David Eidelman, a political commentator from the Russian-speaking community who has already managed to work in the political system from Labor to Kadima, is especially disturbed by the damage to human rights inherent in this story.

"The whole story of the mass conversion is missionary at a state level," he says. "This is an especially problematic approach among people from the former Soviet Union. They have come from a system of coercion and the denial of human rights, and again find themselves in a system of missionary coercion that conditions civil rights on conversion. It is unreasonable that a Jew on his mother's side can choose whether to be religiously observant or not, but a Jew by conversion does not have the right to choose. The missionary state forces me to lie."

Rabbi Naftali Schreiber, of the organization Rabbis Against Conversion, all of whom come from the former Soviet Union, observes all of this from a position of "I told you so." "The commentators don't understand the significance of the ruling. There are those who are trying to claim that in actual fact this is a matter of only a few dozen or up to 8,000," he argues.

"In actuality, it will turn out that this is a matter of tens of thousands of people whose conversion has been disqualified. Our message to immigrants is 'don't do this. Your status will be in doubt for generations to come, forever. Don't get into this horror.'"

Alongside a demonstration that Druckman's converts are planning opposite the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem this week, there will be a demonstration by Rabbis Against Conversion. In both groups they will be speaking Russian. One can find consolation only in the sad fact that there is no more immigration from the former Soviet Union, so the ruling can do it no harm.

Going Kosher said...

Chabad Rabbi Takes Ben Franklin Award For Book on Going Kosher
LOS ANGELES, CA -- (June 2, 2008)

( Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Zalman Goldstein's book GOING KOSHER IN 30 DAYS! was named winner among the three finalists in the religion category for the 2008 Benjamin Franklin Awards from IPBA, the Independent Book Publishers Association.

The award recognizes excellence in independent publishing and highlights the best titles and trends in major publishing categories.

The award ceremony, at the Wilshire Grand Hotel May 29, drew some 500 industry professionals, book buyers, critics and other publishing leaders. Upon accepting his award, Goldstein noted that every mitzvah achieved brings a positive spiritual global warming.

Goldstein thanked IPBA for recognizing the efforts and work that went into making GOING KOSHER IN 30 DAYS! the success it is. “And to my fellow Jews,” Goldstein quipped, “my brothers and sisters here tonight, and those watching from afar, remember this title, because tomorrow morning is day number one!

GOING KOSHER IN 30 DAYS! ($22.95, Sept. 2007, ISBN 978-1891293238) shows the simply curious and those seriously considering going kosher all the whys and hows of kosher. With cleverly divided chapters following the days of a single month, the book contains everything needed to launch a personal path to kosher observance.

Judged by a panel of more than 190 judges from throughout the publishing industry who weighed and evaluated more than 2,500 submissions in over 50 categories, the Benjamin Franklin award recognizes that GOING KOSHER IN 30 DAYS! was the most successful in achieving its purpose and meeting its intended audience's needs.

The award ceremony kicked off the 2008 BEA Expo (Book Expo America) in Los Angeles which features the largest selection of English language titles in the world with buyers at wholesale and retail levels, librarians, book critics.

The award comes at a time when interest in kosher observance is at an all-time high, with more kosher food availability at chain supermarkets than ever before, and more possibilities for eating kosher when eating out. Even beyond the U.S., in Beijing, Buenos Aires and Goa, in countries with small Jewish populations, kosher awareness is growing. Recently, the world's largest barbeque in Uruguay, for example, was launched with a kosher beefsteak.

Rabbi Goldstein has authored other books to help readers gain confidence and skills to participate in Jewish practice. Among them are the popular Shabbat Table Companion and Shabbat Synagogue Companion, which won the prestigious IPG/PMA award for their innovation and design. He specializes in coaching individuals and families in their quest for Jewish growth.

Agudath Yisroel of America said...

We are undecided on whose side to be on. We do make this clear though. Anyone who converts into Judaism must observe a Haredi orthodox style of living. No more, no less. if the reform, conservative lifestyle occurs after the conversion - the conversions may be overturned.

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Think Again: On Halacha, no compromises
Jonathan Rosenblum , THE JERUSALEM POST May. 29, 2008

About 20 years ago, I read an article in Tradition magazine in which the author posed the following "contradiction" in Maimonides' Mishna Torah: We see that the Rambam usually adopts the "liberal" position. And yet in this case he takes a "conservative" position.

Now, posing apparent contradictions in the Rambam and reconciling them has occupied the finest yeshivot minds for 900 years. But it had never before occurred to any scholar to challenge the Rambam according to some table of contemporary values, rather than in terms of the legal principles he enunciates and the Talmudic sources from which he derives those principles.

I was reminded of that nearly forgotten article recently by media coverage of the decision of the Rabbinical High Court of the Chief Rabbinate, affirming an earlier decision of an Ashdod beit din. The earlier decision nullified a conversion overseen 15 years earlier by Rabbi Haim Druckman. The Ashdod beit din had before it clear evidence that the woman in question had immediately after her conversion violated some of the most basic and stringent Torah commandments, and that Rabbi Druckman's beit din had made no serious effort to ascertain whether she had any intention of accepting the yoke of mitzva observance...

Mercaz Harav yeshiva said...

Mercaz Harav yeshiva marks Jerusalem Day

Head of seminary which lost eight of its students in terror attack replies to Prime Minister Olmert's remark that 'only delusional fantasists believe in a Greater Israel,' promises that 'a kingdom and government will rise from under this hollow regime'

Kobi Nahshoni
Published: 06.02.08, 08:17 / Israel Jewish Scene

Mercaz Harav yeshiva, which lost eight of its students in a terror attack in March, held its traditional Jerusalem Day rally on Sunday evening.

"Today is a day of self-examination in regards to Jerusalem's meaning," said Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, the yeshiva head. "Unfortunately, they are those who say about us – the lovers of Jerusalem – that only delusional fantasists can think today about the grains of the Land of Israel. God forbid! We do not live from their mouth, and thank God, we are the dreamers and the fighters.",7340,L-3550737,00.html

Victory for the Haredim said...

Last update - 12:45 01/06/2008
Victory for the Haredim
By Avraham Poraz
Tags: Haredim, Jews, Israel

The state's decision to stop employing Rabbi Haim Druckman, who has for several years headed the special conversion administration designed to expedite and alleviate the conversion process, followed a ruling by the Supreme Rabbinic Court. This court nullified a conversion Rabbi Druckman performed 15 years ago, and its ruling applies in effect to all the conversions performed through Rabbi Druckman's conversion administration, as well as to conversions within the Israel Defense Forces.

These sad developments are part of the struggle raging between Orthodox Zionism - whose approach was reflected in Rabbi Druckman's conversion administration and the one that operated in the IDF - and the ultra-Orthodox. Remember that we are talking about nullifying Orthodox conversions, which are the most strict to begin with.

Israel has more than 300,000 citizens who came to the country under the Law of Return, largely from the Commonwealth of Independent States, but are not considered Jewish according to Orthodox halakha, or Jewish religious law. In keeping with a Supreme Court ruling long ago, anyone who converted overseas in a recognized Jewish congregation, whether Reform or Conservative, is Jewish and is entitled to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return. Since Israel recognizes only Orthodox conversions performed by the rabbinic establishment (and not even those now), the Reform and Conservative movements began conducting "pop-over conversions" - conversions were performed in Israel, but in converts were sent in the final phase to Reform and Conservative congregations overseas to complete the process.

Finance Minister Roni Bar On said...

Despite Shas threats, Bar On says won't increase child welfare payments
By Yair Ettinger and Mazal Mualem, Haaretz Correspondents

Finance Minister Roni Bar On said on Monday that there would be no increase in child welfare payments, despite Shas chairman Eli Yishai's threat that his party would leave the government if the stipends were not raised.

"We will not agree to a withdrawal from our successful economic statesmanship that has proven itself over the years," said Bar On.

In a sub-committee meeting on the issue of the payments, Yishai warned Bar On that this time, Shas meant business and that if his party demands were not met, Shas would follow the instructions of Shas' Council of Torah Sages.

In a telephone survey of the Council of Torah Sages, the Rabbis decided that "if a solution is not found for Shas' demands to raise the child welfare stipends, Shas will support a law to dissolve the Knesset."

"NIS 260 Million remains in Shas' coalition agreement, and this money should be utilized for the implementation of positive measures that would decrease poverty and increase household incomes, especially concerning children," said Bar On in response.

Political insiders say Shas is getting ready to jump ship on the assumption that the government's days are numbered, and it is using the social agenda as its excuse.

Shas has rejected Olmert's offer to appoint a Shas man as deputy housing minister in exchange for support on the appointments. Shas ministers told Olmert they would not be appeased with appointments and would reject the offers even if offered another ministerial post.

Shas sources said they were Olmert's most loyal partners and did not complain even when Olmert gave labor the deputy defense minister's post and appointed Majali Wahabi of Kadima as deputy foreign minister to solve internal coalition problems, despite prior agreements with Shas.

"It's not that we're taking advantage of Olmert's weakness because of the investigations. It's a mater of principle," a Shas source said Monday.

"We won't let them give us the runaround. We want a yes or no answer," said the source.

Shas intends to emphasize social causes in the next election campaign and needs to distinguish itself from Labor on these issues, a Shas source said. Shas will say in its campaign that Labor prefers to "feed opportunist politicians rather than hungry children," the source said.

Anonymous said...

Riskin to launch interfaith center

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin is launching an Orthodox center for dialogue with Christians.

Organizers of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation say it is the first Orthodox Jewish institution of its kind dedicated to theological dialogue with Christians.

The center, which is slated to open in June in Efrat, Israel, will host seminars for Jewish and Christian scholars and promote research aimed at making religion an instrument of peace in the world.

"A sea change has occurred since the Shoah,” Riskin, the chief rabbi of Efrat, told the Christian Post. “Most churches now teach that God remains faithful to His covenant with the Jewish people, and that the biblical promise is continually being reaffirmed by the Jewish return to its homeland in Zion."

Arnold H. Glasgow said...

I thought the corrupt Jewish leadership can use a kick in the rear end.

“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.”

“Success is simple. Do what's right, the right way, at the right time."

“A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit."

Benjamin Franklin said...

“He that can have Patience, can have what he will”

chicken factory said...

“We can see a thousand miracles around us every day. What is more supernatural than an egg yolk turning into a chicken?”

exposemolesters said...

Don't just be a bystander. If you know of someone being sexually or physically abused; it is your obligation as a fellow Jew to report the offender to the police. Furthermore, it is worth noting that if you stand silent while a child is victimized, you are an enabler and a sinner.


May 22, 2008

Childhood sexual abuse survivors need more time to begin recovery

Maggie Watson
Guest essayist

New Yorkers have an opportunity to make our state safer for children. S.4614 is a bill currently before the state Senate that if passed would extend the statute of limitations for the prosecution of sexual offenses against a child until that victim reaches age 28. Currently the statute of limitations runs out at age 23. However, because victims are often traumatized by someone known to them, an estimated 80 percent to 90 percent of abused children are unwilling or unable to disclose their victimization until well after they reach adulthood.

Since childhood sexual abuse survivors are more likely to do poorly in school, more likely to suffer from mental and physical illness and more likely to experience financial failure and physical injury, they need more time to begin to recover and to distance themselves from the offender.

As the law stands, we unrealistically expect survivors of sexual abuse to face their abusers in grueling court proceedings before they turn 23. In addition, children stay silent because predators use any number of trauma-inducing tactics to keep them that way. And the current law tells abusers that their methods need only be effective until their victim's 23rd birthday. Hence, not extending the law to (at least) age 28 leaves most child predators free from punishment and free to reoffend.

Furthermore, the option to file civil action, generally pursued after the lengthy criminal matters, will be denied because time has run out.

The last few years have seen laws increasing the punishments for those convicted of sexually abusing a child. But how much good can these laws do when only 10 percent to 20 percent of child victims are able to stand up under the devastating lifelong consequences of their suffering long enough to speak out?

Why hasn't this common-sense bill been passed?

Sadly, because it awaits more support. Consider calling or writing a letter to your state senator.

For more information, call (800) 244-5373 or go to

Watson, of Rochester, is a volunteer with Prevent Child Abuse New York.

St Lucia Teachers Union said...

Teachers alarmed at allegations of sexual abuse in schools
published: Tuesday | June 3, 2008


The St Lucia Teachers Union (SLTU) yesterday said it was alarmed at the increased number of sexual abuse allegations being made against teachers.

SLTU General Secretary Wayne Cumberbatch said that the union viewed the allegations very seriously and was prepared to work with the relevant authorities to deal with the situation.

Officials of the Ministry of Education have said they are investigating the claims made by both male and female students.

"We are very concerned about reports of increased incidents but were not informed of any. If this is happening, we are ready to work with the ministry to stamp this out as the association is very committed to ensuring that our education is free from those problems," he said.

Several reports

In a statement yesterday, the ministry said that last year it had received eight reports of sexual abuse and that the issue was raised at the general meeting of the principals' association on the weekend.

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Dr Rufina Frederick, said incidents of teachers having sex with students were on the increase and that some principals were sweeping the matter under the carpet.

She said that while there were counsellors in every secondary school to assist affected students, dealing with the situation can be difficult.

But Cumberbatch said that there is a code that speaks to the behaviour of teachers and their relationship with the students, "and we will work with the authorities to ensure that we eradicate such incidents of abuse from the system".


He described as "unfortunate" the statement made by the senior education official, saying that it "casts a doubt and a negative image over the system".

"We think that if you are doing to deal with such a sensitive issue, it should be handled on a case-by-case basis rather than making blanket statements," he said.

Kiryas Joel said...

4 candidates vying for 2 seats on Kiryas Joel board
By Chris Mckenna
Times Herald-Record
June 03, 2008 6:00 AM

KIRYAS JOEL — Four candidates will battle for two village trustee seats Wednesday in the latest challenge to one-party rule in this politically divided community of Satmar Hasidim.

Opposition leaders have been itching for a board seat since trying unsuccessfully to unseat the longtime mayor and two allies in 2001 — the first contested municipal election in a place where such votes were a mere formality for a quarter-century.

They also put up candidates in the 2004 and 2005 elections, but lost both times to the village's majority voting bloc. Because of the way board terms are staggered in Kiryas Joel, no local votes were held in the intervening years.

This time around, the two sides are competing for two of four trustee seats, each of which carries a four-year term.

On the establishment ticket are incumbent Jacob Freund, who's seeking his second term, and newcomer Moses Goldstein. Trustee Baruch Markowitz, who joined the board with Freund in 2004, didn't seek re-election.

The minority faction has put up Salomon Feder — who ran unsuccessfully for trustee in 2001 and 2004 — and Israel Holtzer.

Even if both opposition candidates win, the establishment would still control the board, since Mayor Abraham Wieder would cast tie-breaking votes.

Wieder and two trustees face re-election next year. Three years ago, their ticket won a hotly contested race in which 86 percent of the village's 5,800 voters cast ballots. Wieder beat his challenger by roughly 500 votes in that election.

The major divide within Kiryas Joel stems from a rivalry between two rabbi brothers, each of whom commands a legion of followers and claims to be grand rebbe — or supreme leader — of some 100,000 Satmar Hasidim worldwide.

Wieder and his supporters are aligned with Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, the longtime chief rabbi in Kiryas Joel. Their opponents are loyal to his younger brother, Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum, former chief rabbi in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

Orthodox Union said...

Orthodox Union
OU West Coast Region and West Coast NCSY Hold Annual Awards Banquet, 6/23

The Orthodox Union West Coast Region and West Coast NCSY will hold their Annual Awards Banquet on Monday, June 23, at the Sephardic Temple, 10500 Wilshire Boulevard, beginning at 5:45 pm.

This year’s banquet honors an outstanding list of people, noted for their contributions to the Region and to the greater Jewish community. They are:
• Rabbi Uri and Aliza Pilichowski, OU Young Rabbinic Leadership Award;
• Jeff Presser, OU Synagogue Leadership Award;
• Howard and Mor Shapiro, OU Community Service Award;
• Dina Muskin, OU Young Leadership Chesed Award, and
• Ian Lurie, Sarah Markoff, and Zach Morrow, NCSY Young Leadership Awardees.

Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, Director of OU West Coast, declared, “The annual banquet is culmination of the year’s activities and enables us to recognize those individuals who have given so much to the community The honorees are people I’ve worked closely with over the years, allowing me to develop special relationships with each of them, and the young leaders are truly outstanding for having accomplished so much at such early ages.”

Rabbi Daniel Korobkin, Director of Community and Synagogue Services said, “The West Coast Region has seen significant growth over this past year with the addition of two synagogues to the OU network and the resurgence of OU involvement of our shuls in Portland and the Bay Area. We are excited about the future and the continued growth of Orthodox communities throughout the West Coast.”

A highlight of the dinner will also feature a Sefer Torah dedication in loving memory of Ahuva Wernick, a”h, the “Matriarch of NCSY-West Coast.” As founder of the NCSY West Coast Region over 30 years ago, Mrs. Wernick devoted herself to instilling a love of Torah Judaism in countless teenagers. When she was honored at the OU’s West Coast dinner in 1994, she displayed her typical modesty by saying, “I am what I am because of what my parents were – my models, my teachers. They showed me how to be a leader in the community and how to give to the community.”

Rabbi Kalinsky said, “Mrs. Wernick was the face of OU and NCSY West Coast for many years, and she was really the driving force behind many activities when I first arrived at the Region.”

The students who recently attended NCSY’s Spring Regional participated in the mitzvah of helping the sofer (scribe) complete the letters of the Sefer Torah, in what was a moving event to all who witnessed it. Rabbi Kalinsky said, “I heard one teenager say, ‘I came to the Regional from Sacramento and if I only came here to write my letter in the Torah, it was well-worth the trip.’” In Mrs. Wernick’s distinct honor, the new Sefer Torah will be “portable” (much like the Mishkan in the desert) and will travel to a variety of OU/NCSY events, such as shabbatons, retreats, and conventions throughout the West Coast.

In addition to the awards and the Sefer Torah dedication, there will also be a video presentation of the year in review. Rabbi Kalinsky explained, “The video presentation will highlight the OU West Coast Region’s activities over the past year, so that people can see the results of their support of the OU. Featured events include the Kashrut Seminar and Halachic Seudah at Prime Grill that took place last summer; the annual West Coast Torah Convention featuring homegrown talent in December; the Synagogue Leadership Seminar in May; and the Emerging Communities Showcase in New York in April, in which several West Coast communities took part.”

For further information, contact Rabbi Kalinsky at, or 310-229-9000, ext. 204.

Wife of Moscow yeshiva student murdered said...

Published: 06/02/2008

The wife of a Moscow yeshiva student was stabbed to death during a late-night walk.

A drug addict attempted to rob Yael Anetdinov, 27, in a park near the religious school early Monday and, when she resisted, the man stabbed her, according to Pinchas Goldschmidt, Moscow's chief rabbi.

Anetdinov had gone for the walk after midnight with a friend. The attack occurred after the two had split up to return home.

Two government workers in the park witnessed the attack and the attacker was detained. There is no evidence that the attack was motivated by anti-Semitism, Goldschmidt said.

Anetdinov, who held dual Russian and Israeli citizenship, lived near the Ohaley Yaakov yeshiva with her 35-year-old husband and their two children, aged 4 and 5, said the school's leader, Betzalel Mandel.

"We're completely broken and trying to hold strong," Mandel told JTA. The yeshiva has about 20 students.

The Russian government is assisting with the logistics to prepare for a funeral "as quickly as possible" in Israel, Mandel said.

Lipa Margulies the fat putz said...

The same way they made up lies about me and Kolko; they are doing it again.

Since the raid, former employees have complained of poor working conditions, rampant sexual harassment and long overtime shifts for which they were not always compensated. Several teenagers also told JTA they worked in the plant, in violation of Iowa labor laws.

Workers receive un-kosher treatment said...

Found at:
Workers receive un-kosher treatment, and other labor stories

Author: John Wojcik

Fed workers, like others, can sue

By a 6-3 margin, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled May 27 that federal workers, like private sector workers, can sue when their employer retaliates against them for filing discrimination claims. In a case involving Puerto Rican postal worker Myrna Gomez-Perez, the justices ruled the Postal Service discriminated against her in 2002 on the basis of age. She was then 45.

Gomez-Perez had sued under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act. After losing a grievance she started suffering discrimination on the job, the justices noted. That retaliation, they said, was illegal.

Labor launches campaign for infrastructure

The Laborers have launched a massive grass-roots campaign to mobilize both unionists and the general public in favor of dedicated, extensive investment in reconstructing the nation’s airports, highways and railroads. Union President Terry O’Sullivan unveiled the drive in a May 30 speech in Washington D.C. He said that without such reconstruction, the U.S. would fall behind economically as our goods would be unable to be transported – and workers would be unable to get jobs.

Congress hikes penalty for child labor

The House gave final approval May 30 to legislation increasing fines on employers who break child labor laws. Sponsoring Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said President Bush is expected to sign it. The child labor bill was folded into another pro-worker measure – a bill banning insurers from discriminating against people based on information about their genetic makeup. The bill increases fines from $11,000 to $50,000 for violations of the child labor laws.

Jewish leaders blast meat firm for “un-kosher” treatment of workers

A leading national organization of Jewish trade unionists has blasted the country’s largest kosher meat firm, Iowa-based Agriprocessors Inc., for its distinctly un-kosher treatment of its workers – including calling in the feds to stop unionization. In its statement, the Jewish Labor Committee said the May 12 immigration and customs Enforcement raid on Agriprocessor’s Postville, Iowa plant which rounded up hundreds of workers, was only the latest problem at the plant.

The plant produces the majority of glut kosher (extremely kosher) meat that Orthodox Jews consume in the United States. The plant’s owners are leaders in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York. Before the raid, the plant had been cited and fined $182,000 by Iowa for workplace health and safety violations. Workers there are suing plant owners in federal court over the company’s refusal to pay them for time required to put on and take off protective equipment before and after working.

The Jewish Labor Committee noted that the failure to pay the workers violates both U.S. labor law and the Torah, five sacred books of scripture which Orthodox Jews follow. The committee’s statement read, in part, “American Jews share a common conviction that all workers must be free to exercise their rights and challenge employer abuses. Our belief is grounded in the collective memory of American Jewry of the gross exploitation of Jewish immigrants by employers. Judaism is clear on the topic of treating workers with dignity and respect. We understand that we must treat our workers decently and justly, ethically and legally.”

Iraq’s attack on unions challenged

The AFL-CIO issued a statement on May 27 protesting what it describes as “violation of labor rights” in Iraq.

The statement read, in part:

“The Al-Maliki government in Iraq continues to enforce Sadaam Hussein’s anti-labor laws that ban unions for public sector employees and create government-dominated sham labor organizations. These laws were kept on the books by the U.S. after the invasion, and have been enforced by subsequent Iraqi regimes. Relying on them, Al-Maliki’s government has refused to recognize unions organized by workers themselves in the oil and other industries. It has raided union offices, seized records, arrested and brutalized union leaders, and frozen union bank accounts – with the knowledge and cooperation of U.S. occupation forces.

“From the day the dictatorship fell, Iraqi workers have demanded the right to organize their own unions, free of government interference. They have demanded all of the rights established by the International Labor Organization – foremost the rights to freely organize, bargain, and, when necessary, to strike. The new Iraqi constitution calls for the adoption of a basic labor law that recognizes and codifies these rights.

“The Maliki regime has instead ordered “labor elections” in June in which workers are to designate their unions and elect union leadership. However, workers in public enterprises, including the entire oil industry, are barred from voting, and the government retains the right to disqualify union leaders chosen by the workers in those elections. The elections will apparently result in only one government-approved labor federation, rather than providing union pluralism required by the ILO standards (and already established in fact by the workers themselves in a variety of labor organizations they created).

Pilgrimage for teen who died from heat begins

A four day “pilgrimage” to honor the memory of 17-year-old Maria Isabel Vasquez Jiminez began June 1 in Lodi, Calif. at St. Anne’s Church. The United Farmworkers led the action which drew supporters from all over the state. The pilgrimage is slated to end in the state capitol on June 4.

Vasquez-Jiminez, who was two months pregnant, collapsed on May 14 while working for Merced Farm Labor in a vineyard owned by West Coast Grape Farming in Stockton, Calif. Maria had worked for nine hours in temperatures that reached 101 degrees.
According to witnesses, the labor contractor failed to provide shade or cool drinking water for several hours. Maria’s body temkperature was 108.4 degrees when she was finally taken to the hospital that day, two hours after she collapsed. She died two days later. The labor contractor had been cited for prior violations of the state’s heat regulations. The rules went into effect in 2005 after a campaign by the union that followed heat related deaths that year.

“Super Union” to be created

The long discussed merger of the United Steel Workers with Unite, their British counterpart, is seen as a key step in labor’s global strategy, allowing workers to negotiate with the multi-national corporations for which they work. The merger, the two unions say, will differ from the loose alliances that the USW has been entering since the 1990’s. While the two unions will still operate independently, when need be, they will join at the top of the organization for both membership drives and negotiations with common employers. “There really are no American companies any more,” said Wayne Ranick, USW spokesman. The big companies that we think of as being American, “all of them are multinational,” often with a presence overseas.

Retiree pensions slashed

Hundreds of retired steelworkers from the former Republic Technologies International are being notified their pensions will be cut, in some cases by as much as 75 percent, to less than $300 a month, due to new calculations by the federal agency that guarantees employer paid pensions. The company had declared bankruptcy in 2002.

Unionization raises wages

After decades of disappointing wage growth for American workers, a new report from the Center for Economic and Policy research shows that unionization significantly boosts the wages of low-wage workers. The report, “The Union Advantage for Low-Wage Workers,” finds that unionization raises the wages of the typical low-wage worker by 20.6 percent. Unions also have a substantial impact on the wages of workers at the middle and top of the wage distribution, but the report found that the effect for the low-wage worker was the largest. For the typical U.S. worker unionization raises wages about 13.7 percent, according to the report.

Milton Balkany said...

The OU sees no problem at all with the Rubashkins - and I agree!

In addition to immigration issues, for which the company has not been charged, Agriprocessors got multiple citations from the state earlier this year for violations of workplace safety and health standards. Still no problem with its kashrut certification.

Jews for Racial and Economic Justice said...

Thanks to the terrific group, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) for alerting me to the kosher meat boycott currently roiling parts of the Jewish community coast to coast. It turns out that AgriProcessors, the country's largest kosher slaughterhouse, seems to be guilty of some ugly union busting and targeting of immigrants that has outraged at least a portion of the Orthodox community.

The allegations against the company -- which produces sixty percent of the beef and forty percent of the chicken provided to the kosher marketplace -- include a pattern of knowingly exploiting undocumented workers with sub-standard pay and severe workplace mistreatment; violation of child labor laws by putting children as young as 13 to work and reports of floor supervisors physically, verbally and sexually abusing workers.

AgriProcessors has been cited multiple times by federal and state regulators for food-safety, environmental, labor and animal-cruelty violations. The company was also the site of a recent immigration raid as US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials closed the plant and arrested 389 workers for immigration violations. Far from properly punishing any criminals, the action was, in fact, "A Raid on Fairness," as the Boston Globe called it in a strong editorial on May 24.

If the government wants to send a message, it ought to pay more attention to prosecuting abusive employers who hire undocumented immigrants and mistreat them by withholding pay or doling out verbal and physical abuse. So far, no officials at AgriProcessors have been charged.

Glaring allegations of such abuse can be found in the search warrant application that officials submitted to raid Agriprocessors. In one case, a former worker told federal agents about finding a methamphetamine lab on the company premises. The former worker spoke of having destroyed part of the lab and said that this led to a physical confrontation with an immediate supervisor and, eventually, to being fired.

A federal informant who worked at AgriProcessors told officials about workers who appeared to be undocumented having trouble getting paid. In one case, a supervisor put duct tape over a worker's eyes and hit him with a meat hook, without, the warrant says, causing serious harm.

The violations were first reported by a Jewish newspaper, the Forward, prompting Jewish advocacy groups to note that Jewish law protects workers and forbids inflicting unnecessary pain on animals.

Picking up on that theme, Uri l'tzedek, a group established to serve and inspire the American Orthodox Jewish community towards enacting social justice, is asking the estimated one million Americans who observe kosher restrictions to consider whether a company can meet religious standards if it violates ethical ones.

Uri l'tzedek's conclusion is clear by its petition drive calling on Agriprocessors to pay its workers the minimum wage of the land, to recommit to abide by all federal, state and local laws including those pertaining worker safety, sexual harassment, physical abuse, and the rights of your employees to collective bargaining and to treat its workers according to the standards that Torah and halakha places on protecting workers--standards which include the spirit of lifnim meshurat hadin, going well beyond the bare minimum requirements of the law.

And for those history buffs among you, Kosher meat boycotts have a storied tradition. The first recorded kosher meat boycott in the US took place 1902 and was an early demonstration of the rising political consciousness of Jewish women in New York City's ghettos. Most of the boycotters were not yet American citizens, but they had lived in America long enough to observe the organizing strategies of the nascent labor and women's suffrage movements. The example set by the kosher meat boycotters was later emulated in Jewish neighborhood rent strikers in 1904 and 1907-08, and in food boycotts in 1907, 1912 and 1917. Many of the daughters of the kosher meat boycotters of 1902, especially those in the garment trades, would become the backbone of New York's labor movement.

I'm not under the impression that this blog is especially well-read in the Orthodox community but I think the AgriProcessor boycott is an important cause to highlight. Even beyond the legitimate and worthy goals of the campaign this movement shows the social justice side of the Jewish tradition that is too often drowned out by the rasher and more self-interested stereotypes.

Sexual Abuse at Iowa Plant said...

More than two weeks have passed since the federal government launched an immigration raid -- the largest single-site raid in American history -- against Agriprocessors in Postville, yet many Iowans and plant employees continue to point to documents filed in the lead up as well as personal stories following the raid and wonder what might make news headlines in the weeks to come.

"I'm confused and I am sad that nothing has been done to this company," said 33-year-old Juanita, speaking through a translator in Marshalltown on Wednesday. "So many families were broken as a result of this raid. So many were charged by the government. It is bad that only those most poor and vulnerable get charged while a company with deep pockets gets nothing."

Juanita, who came to this country from Petapa, Guatemala said she worked at the Postville plant on the chicken production line. She was assigned to work graveyard shift and, although she had asked for a promotion or shift change, she was refused.

"My supervisor, who was also from Guatemala, tried to force himself on me in the parking lot in my car after I had asked for a job change," she said. "When I pushed him off me I began to hear that I was not working hard enough or fast enough. I am a good worker. I did my job well. It was because I would not have sex with him that I was pushed so hard. He told me that I could always change my mind and that, if I did, he would put in a good word for me."

No longer working at the plant, Juanita and her 16-year-old sister, who did not wish to be interviewed, are trying to decide what they will do next.

"I don't know where we will end up or what we will do," she said.

The story of sexual coercion is echoed by Jenaro Rucal, who says he went to work at Agriprocessors after purchasing fake documents at the age of 13.

"My girlfriend was 16 when she came to work at the plant," he said in a telephone interview Friday morning. "I had a fight with the supervisor because he told my girlfriend that she could get 'perks' if he got 'perks' from her."

In addition to the personal stories that have come out in the days following the raid, documents filed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement outline a scheme that involved the purchase and registration of automobiles. An unnamed plant supervisor worked with a Cedar Rapids car dealership to provide vehicles to what was believed to be undocumented workers. The dealership would purchase specific makes and models at car auctions and provide them to the plant supervisor, who would then sell the vehicles to workers.

cancer research said...

More profit than progress in cancer research
With so many expensive drugs available, why aren't we doing better?
By Robert Bazell
Chief science and health correspondent
updated 4:58 p.m. ET, Tues., June. 3, 2008

CHICAGO — As I do every year at this time, I have been covering the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the world’s biggest gathering of cancer specialists. At least 33,000 medical professionals registered for this year’s meeting. The number of attendees has been climbing yearly for decades, an indication of the enormous growth of the cancer treatment industry.

In the massive commercial exhibits area, drug companies vie to attract attention for their treatments and diagnostics. Many of those products sell for tens of thousands of dollars a year for each patient and bring in billions of dollars for their manufacturers.

During conference session breaks the seemingly endless hallways of Chicago’s monstrous McCormick Place Convention Center become gorged with doctors walking at slightly crooked angles. The gait results from each carrying a conference bag filled with the huge printed programs, books of study abstracts, as well as the drug company handouts they accumulate. Those doctors, considered "thought leaders" whose prescribing patterns influence other doctors, score invitations to drug company parties at some of the cities most elegant restaurants and clubs.

In the midst of this annual frenzy, it's appropriate to ask a question that has become a cliché of medical journalism: Are we winning the war on cancer?

The inquiry has been recurring since December 23, 1971 when President Nixon signed into law the National Cancer Act, called the "War on Cancer" by those who backed it in Congress and the White House. At the signing Nixon declared, "I hope in the years ahead we will look back on this action today as the most significant action taken during my Administration."

The Act made the National Cancer Institute separate from the rest of the National Institutes of Health, with the NCI director reporting to the President. And it vastly increased funding for the NCI to $230 million that year. Today, the NCI’s annual budget is about $5 billion.

Difficult to eliminate
There is of course no simple answer to the question of progress against cancer. The word cancer applies to some 200 diseases characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. Today, a diagnosis of cancer is not the automatic death sentence that many saw it to be at the time of Nixon’s signing. Some 10 million Americans, in fact, are living with cancer.

In addition, the death rates from lung cancer — the biggest killer of all — have been dropping in men and have leveled off in women. That is due almost entirely to changes in smoking patterns that occurred decades ago.

The treatments that the lung cancer specialists here apply have little effect. In fact, one of the news announcements from this conference was that the drug Erbitux, which sells for about $17,000 a month, prolonged survival in lung cancer patients by an average of one month.

There have been small, but steady declines in other major killer cancers such as breast, colon, and prostate. Those have to do with better methods of early detection and treatment.

But when looking at the overall picture there has been shockingly little progress. In the United States between 1950 and 2005 (the last year for which data are available) the death rate from cancer declined by 5 percent, an amount that is mostly due to the decline in cigarette smoking. By contrast the death rate from heart disease fell in the same period by 64 percent!

As the population ages, more people will die of both cancer and heart disease so these figures from the American Cancer Society are adjusted to account for the aging population.

If so many more doctors are treating cancer with so many more expensive drugs why are they not doing better?

Basic research has revealed how similar cancer cells are to normal cells. That similarity makes it enormously difficult to eliminate cancer without destroying normal tissue.

There is no question that the $5 billion the government spends on cancer research is a good investment and should be increased. Indeed, adjusted for inflation it has been falling dramatically in recent years. In order to truly confront cancer, scientists need to understand far more about its basic biology.

Some cancer activists and politicians are starting to talk about a second war on cancer, or an immense, ongoing government-backed effort like the Apollo space program. If there is such a program, it would be very useful to have a discussion on how much we spend on basic research and prevention, compared to how much we spend on marginally useful treatments.

Like so many other conflicts, the "War on Cancer" does not have a clear outcome. But there is no question many have found it financially profitable.

Sholom Rubashkin said...

I'm not the only CEO getting fired.

June 3, 2008, 4:51 pm
Carl Icahn wants Yahoo CEO fired

By Yi-Wyn Yen

Another day, another angry Yahoo shareholder.

Yahoo investor Carl Icahn told the Wall Street Journal that he wants wants to get rid of Jerry Yang as Yahoo’s CEO for botching the Microsoft (MSFT) bid.

Icahn is putting more pressure on Yahoo (YHOO) in an effort to force a union with Microsoft. “It’s no longer a mystery to me why Microsoft’s offer isn’t around,” Icahn told the Journal. “How can Yahoo keep saying they’re willing to negotiate and sell the company on the one hand, while at the same time they’re completely sabotaging the process without telling anyone.”

The corporate raider’s scare tactics to bring Microsoft and Yahoo together haven’t worked so far. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer withdrew a $33-per-share bid one month ago after Yang indicated he wanted a higher offer. Shortly after, Icahn bought up a minor stake in Yahoo and announced plans to launch a proxy fight to oust Yahoo’s board in hopes of convincing Ballmer to come back. But Ballmer has said he has moved on. So far, has not revealed any plans to make another offer.

Icahn told the Journal that he doesn’t believe Ballmer will return because of Yang. Court documents in a Yahoo shareholder lawsuit that were unsealed Monday accused Yang of trying to sabotage the Microsoft deal.

The complaint made by two Michigan pension funds said that Yang convinced the board to adopt a poison pill that would make a Microsoft takeover extremely difficult. Though Microsoft said it was willing to set aside $1.5 billion to retain Yahoo employees, Yang adopted a plan that would allow all employees to leave Yahoo and receive a generous severance package if the company was bought.

“I’m very cynical about many of the boards and CEO’s in this country, but even I am amazed at the lengths that Jerry Yang and the board went to entrench themselves in this situation,” Mr. Icahn told the Journal.

The Journal also reported that Yahoo’s board is scheduled to meet Tuesday.

Yeshiva of Brooklyn said...

We are such shmucks! We won't apologize for child sex abuse victims. That would be an admission of guilt and our attorneys won't let us do it.

SA apology for child sex abuse victims

The South Australian Parliament will formally apologise to former wards of the state who were victims of child sexual abuse.

The Government promised to make the apology after the public release of the wide-reaching Mullighan Inquiry in April.

Premier Mike Rann has told Parliament the apology will be followed by a small ceremony at Old Parliament House, which victims will be able to attend.

"Today I wish to announce that an apology will be offered on behalf of this Parliament and past parliaments on the 17th of June," he said.

"For the children whose innocence was so devastatingly taken away from them an apology is profoundly important.

"It is fundamental for the restoration and dignity of their self-respect that they understand we as a Government and as a Parliament and on behalf of all South Australians are sorry."

The State Opposition says it supports the apology.

Opposition leader Martin Hamilton Smith says abuse uncovered by the Mullighan inquiry into children in state care is a dark chapter in South Australia's history.

But he says the Government has chosen to have it on same day as the Opposition's reply to the State Budget.

"I think the apology to the abused is important enough to have a day in Parliament of its own," he said.

The inquiry by former Supreme Court Justice Ted Mullighan found 242 people were children in state care when they were abused.

shira said...

I am stopping to eat Rubashkins. There are just too many problems that conflict with Torah values. I hope others will do the same.

interesting comment on UOJ blog said...

Even Belsky has some kind of standard said...

Just to prove what a fraud Menachem Genack is.

Belsky announced in public that he stopped eating Rubashkin. This was after he spilled the beans in Reisman's shul about the truck accident with the 9000 chickens that became sofek treif. Weissmandel made sure the shipment didn't go under his label and dumped it in the OU's lap without doing his duty & warning them.

The most pathetic thing of all is that R' Yisroel Reisman looked like a tipesh that Kehillah Ka$h-R-US still uses Rubashkin so he got up the next week and said things aren't as bad as Belsky made it. To the best of my knowledge, R' Yisroel Reisman won't eat Rubashkin either so his defense of and association with Kehillah is an outrage.
7:49 PM, May 30, 2008

Kehillah Ka$h-R-US said...

We will give you a hechsher for tarfus. As long as the money rolls in we're in business.

HAFTR said...

Anonymous said...

...Meanwhile, while we talk about kashrus, the teacher fired by HAFTR for alleged misdeeds with under=age girls can seek employment elsewhere, and harm untold numbers of jewish girls, because no one will name who this teacher was, nor follow the law and report the person to the authorities...and the journalists and others involved pat themselves on the pat for a job well done...
who are we kidding?

AgriProcessors said...

Agriprocessors Runs Help Wanted Ads In Guatemala Newspapers...

Aaron Rubashkin: "I wish everybody should be treated like we treat people"...

RCA: Believe Rubashkin, Not Workers, Not Evidence...

the Forward said...

The rabbinic administrator at the Central Rabbinical Congress, Yitzchok Glick, told the Forward that he had spoken with kosher companies and told them not to permit Conservative rabbis into their factories.

“We said that they shouldn’t allow them in,” Glick said. “The Orthodox kosher producers are all of the same opinion. They will adhere to our proclamation. They will not allow them into the plant.”

Rabbi Menachem Genack, head of the largest kosher supervision agency, the Orthodox Union, said his organization is “not taking a position” on the Tsedek Hekhsher. But Genack said he believed that labor issues would be better left to governmental authorities.

Until now, Orthodox rabbis have had almost total oversight of the kosher industry, and the looming entrance of the Conservative movement is being met with a great deal of suspicion in some circles. The Jewish Press columnist referred to the “suspicious machinations” of the new Conservative campaign.

The debate took on a much more explicitly personal tone in Kosher Today, which detailed the grievances of Asher Zeilingold, an Orthodox rabbi in Minnesota who felt he had been wronged by the “deceptive behavior” of a local Conservative rabbi who is leading the new committee.

Zeilingold, who is paid to provide kosher certification for the meat at AgriProcessors, was an early defender of the company when the original allegations appeared in the Forward. In Kosher Today, Zeilingold said that the Conservative task force was “delighted to accept all the lies and slander of the Forward article as absolute truth because it gave them a pretext by which they could gain entry into AgriProcessors and other plants positing as the champions of ‘kashrut’ and the rights of workers.”

agudah fresser said...

January 23, 2007...5:44 pm

Agriprocessors, Inc., issued a voluntary Class I recall on about 2,700 pounds of frankfurters _ the highest classification given to consumer recalls, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Tuesday.

The company is recalling two-pound vacuum-packed packages labeled ‘Supreme Kosher Family Pack Classic Frankfurters made with Beef & Chicken,’ and one-pound packages of ‘Supreme Kosher, Classic Frankfurters made with Beef & Chicken.

The products were recalled after an Agriprocessors employee discovered possible underprocessing.

A Class I health hazard is when a reasonable probability exists that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

The frankfurters were produced Nov. 15 by the Postville, Iowa-based company and shipped to retail stores in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The recalled products were labeled with the establishment number; ‘EST. 4653A’ inside the USDA mark of inspection, and bear the use-by date March 16, 2007.

FSIS has not received any reports of illness related to the consumption of the products.

Read the rest at:

Pandora's Box said...

When a shy, frightened pre-school victim
was asked if her grandfather
had hurt her when he touched her,
she responded, "Only in my heart."

Pandora's Box

During an initial therapy session with a senior citizen, I asked one of my routine interview questions: "Have you ever been sexually abused?" She paused, then nodded slowly. Although she had been in therapy most of her adult life, there was no record of sexual victimization in her overflowing patient file. Her response, "No one ever asked."

Parents of sexually abused children or children brutally murdered at the hands of molesters -- left to a lifetime of grief and confusion -- wonder why their children didn't tell.

Too often, we do not ask. We survey school children on alcohol use, drug use, suicidality, depression, physical abuse, and sometimes concensual sexual contact. But we fail to ask about sexual victimization. Why? Are we afraid to open Pandora's Box?


The nature of the crime constituting child sexual abuse is intertwined with the issue of victim secrecy.

Research began exposing sexual abuse of children as a problem of sizable proportions in the late 1960s and early l970s (Watson, 1984). One theme remains consistent in the research: sexual abuse is extensively undisclosed and underreported (Bagley, 1992; Courtois & Watts, 1982; Finkelhor & Browne, 1986; Slager-Jorne, 1978; Swanson & Biaggio, 1985; Tsai & Wagner, 1978).

There are many factors relating to the dynamics of the insufferable crime that may impact victim failure to disclose. Victims of sexual abuse frequently experience feelings of shame, guilt, isolation, powerlessness, embarrassment, and inadequacy (Bagley, 1992; Courtois & Watts, 1982; Herman & Hirschman, 1977; Swanson & Biaggio, 1985). They may even accept responsibility for the abuse by blaming themselves (Johnson, 1987).

Victims may also have a feeling that "something is wrong with me," or that the abuse is their fault (Johnson, 1987; Tsai & Wagner, l978). They may be embarrassed or reluctant to answer questions about sexual aspects of the abuse (Berlinger & Barbieri, 1984).

Children often fail to report because of fear that disclosure will bring consequences even worse than being victimized again. The victim may feel guilty for creating consequences to the perpetrator and may fear subsequent retaliatory actions from the perpetrator (Berlinger & Barbieri, 1984; Groth, 1979; Swanson & Biaggio, 1985).

Based on research, it could be expected that victims' perceptions of guilt and self-blame would interfere with their decision to identify themselves through disclosure.

Child sexual abuse said...


Child sexual abuse affects more than 100,000 children a year. Many of these children present to the emergency department (ED). The following article outlines triage determinants for examinations, examination techniques, and interpretations of genital findings of sexual abuse.

Child sexual abuse has been defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics as the engaging of a child in sexual activities that the child cannot comprehend, for which the child is developmentally unprepared and cannot give informed consent, and violate the social taboos of society. In general, children cannot consent to any sexual activity, but the legal age of consent may vary by state.

Sexual activities involving a child may include activities intended for sexual stimulation, such as those involved in contact sexual abuse (eg, touching the child's genitalia or the child's touching an adult's genitalia), penetrating injury (eg, penile, digital, and object insertion into the vagina, mouth, or anus), and nonpenetrating injury (eg, fondling, sexual kissing).

Noncontact sexual abuse often occurs, which may include exhibitionism, voyeurism, and the involvement of a child in verbal sexual propositions or the making of pornography.

Physical findings of sexual abuse are often not present. The most important determinant for abuse is the child's (or a witness's) account of the incident. Physical indicators may be present, such as bruises to the skin (eg, on the arms and legs from pinch marks or force), abrasions to wrists and ankles (eg, from tethering), bruises to the genital area and mucosa, oral palatal bruises and/or petechiae, and rectal abnormalities. Hymenal abnormalities may be present from chronic abuse or acute injury. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) may be present in sexually abused children and teenagers.
United States

In 2002, approximately 90,000 children in the United States were reported to Child Protective Services for suspected child sexual abuse. The actual number is likely to be higher because these numbers reflect only children whose cases are investigated by Child Protective Services.

Although perforation of the vagina or viscera could result in injury and death, death resulting from sexual abuse is unusual.

* Most of the morbidity associated with sexual abuse is a result of emotional and psychological trauma.
* Reactions to sexual abuse can include posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, anger, impaired sense of self, dissociative phenomena, suicidal behavior, sexually reactive behaviors that are beyond the scope of normative child sexual development, and indiscriminate sexual behavior.
* STDs may result in further morbidity. However, the prevalence of STDs in sexually abused children varies with geographic location and with the child's age. Most STD prevalence rates in prepubertal children tend to be below 4%; in adolescents, the prevalence rate is approximately 14%.


It is estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will have experienced an episode of sexual abuse while younger than 18 years. The numbers of boys affected may be falsely low because of reporting techniques.

Rabbi Elior Chen said...

Israel asks Brazil to extradite rabbi

Published: 06/04/2008

An Israeli rabbi who fled to Brazil amid child-abuse allegations is likely to be extradited for trial.

Israeli police said Wednesday they had asked Brazil to extradite Rabbi Elior Chen, 29, who turned himself in to police in Sao Paulo.

Israel had issued an international arrest warrant for Chen, who is alleged to have counseled his followers to severely beat and burn children in order to rid them of the devil. Other children allegedly were forced to drink alcohol and turpentine until they vomited.

Some of the abuses have resulted in serious and life-threatening injuries. One toddler remains in a vegetative state.

Chen previously was said to be hiding in Canada.

Elior Chen should get the max said...

Suspected Haredi child abuser Elior Chen turns himself in to Brazilian authorities
By Uri Blau and Yair Ettinger, Haaretz Correspondents

An ultra-Orthodox rabbi suspected of orchestrating one of the worst cases of systematic child abuse in Israel has turned himself in to Brazilian authorities, it was revealed on Wednesday.

Elior Chen turned himself in following ongoing cooperation between Israeli and Brazilian police to determine his whereabouts. After his alleged crime was exposed, Chen and his family fled to Canada, ultimately making their way to Sao Paulo.

Israeli sources said Chen's extradition to Israel would be carried out soon.

Chen's lawyer, Ariel Atari, said that his client turned himself in after reports in the Brazilian press began to surface, blaming the Jewish community for giving shelter to a child abuser.

"It's something Elior Chen couldn't live with. What caused him to turn himself in was the desire to prevent blasphemy."

Chen is considered the spiritual leader of a Jerusalem sect that was found to have abused young children, two of whom, aged 4 and 5, were hospitalized in March in critical condition.

Chen's wife, Ruth, and their four children traveled to Brazil with him, but departed last week for Belgium. Hoping to pressure Chen's wife to turn him in, Brazilian authorities had removed the children from their mother's custody and placed them with a foster family for two days, after which they were returned to their mother.

Representatives from Israel Police went Brazil to pursue Chen last week. An international warrant for his arrest was issued in April.

Chen allegedly ordered his followers to "discipline" children by beating, burning, pushing and shaking them, and tying them up as a way of "correcting" their behavior.

Chen had fled to Canada with one of his disciples after the arrest of a Jerusalem mother, apparently another of his disciples, on suspicion she severely abused her eight children at Chen's bidding. The mother was indicted for allegedly burning her toddlers, making them eat feces and locking them in a suitcase for days at a time, among other charges.

One of her children remains in a vegetative coma.

Rabbi Mordechai Tendler said...

I think people are just picking on me because I'm a Tendler.

June 4, 2008

Arguments heard in case of New Hempstead rabbi accused of seducing woman

Jay Gallagher
Albany Bureau

ALBANY - The state's highest court heard arguments yesterday about whether a claim of emotional distress and breach of fiduciary duty should be reinstated against a New Hempstead rabbi on behalf of a woman who says he seduced her.

The case involves Adina Marmelstein, a Manhattan woman, and Rabbi Mordechai Tendler, founder and spiritual leader of Kehillat New Hempstead.

Marmelstein claims the two had a sexual relationship from November 2001 to May 2005 after he induced her into having intercourse "as part of a course of sexual therapy which he represented would lead to her achieving her goals of marriage and children."

"Should the predator be allowed to cloak himself in clerical garb to prey on his clients?" Marmelstein's lawyer, Lenore Kramer, asked the seven-member Court of Appeals panel.

But Tendler's lawyer, Richard Bliss, said: "What we have here is consensual conduct. I don't think we should criminalize it."

Bliss pointed to a statute passed by the state Legislature in 1935 that abolished the right to seek monetary damages for seduction.

But Kramer argued that because Tendler was a rabbi, it put him in a position of power over Marmelstein and that this position separated their relationship from a mere affair.

"This man is a predator," she said.

Could he have seduced her and not faced criminal sanctions if he was not a rabbi? Judge Robert Smith asked Kramer.

"It is an indispensable element" of the action that he was a rabbi, Kramer said. "This is not some man she met in a bar."

The trial-level court, the Court of Appeals, upheld Marmelstein's right to seek damages, but the mid-level appeals court reversed that decision in a 3-2 vote.

A decision from the Court of Appeals is expected by early next month.

the Former Soviet Union said...

Conversion focus heats up ahead of Shavuot

exposemolesters said...

Aaron Rubashkin tells lies!

NEW YORK (JTA)—Aaron Rubashkin, the owner of the embattled kosher slaughterhouse Agriprocessors, denies he has engaged in unethical labor practices and blames the failure of U.S. immigration policy for his mostly illegal workforce.

In the first substantive comments by an Agriprocessors representative since the government rounded up more than a third of its employees on immigration charges in a May 12 raid of its Iowa plant, Rubashkin flatly denied allegations of worker mistreatment and plant mismanagement.

“Everything is a lie,” Rubashkin told JTA.

In a more than hourlong interview May 30 outside his Brooklyn butcher shop in the heavily Orthodox enclave of Borough Park, the 80-year-old Rubashkin was visibly angered by the flood of charges that have imperiled his business, the country’s largest kosher slaughterhouse.

The raid has reduced Agriprocessors’ output significantly and sparked fears of a national shortage of kosher meat.

A government affidavit cites claims that the drug methamphetamine was being produced at the company’s Postville plant, that undocumented workers were paid $5 per hour and that a Jewish kosher supervisor duct-taped a worker’s eyes and abused him with a meat hook.

In the weeks since the raid, workers have also charged that female employees were offered improved working conditions in exchange for sexual favors and that underage workers were employed at the plant in defiance of Iowa labor laws.

“We got 21 or 23 inspectors,” Rubashkin said in a thick Yiddish accent. “Every minute the plant is open, there is USDA inspector. We got maybe 30 rabbis. How can we do something which is wrong? If I want to, God forbid! We are ethical people. We don’t do no injustice to nobody, not to a cat.”

Dressed in a blue cotton shirt and black fedora, Rubashkin acknowledged that he was concerned the company may be brought up on criminal charges, but said he was “a hundred percent confident” that he would prevail in court.

“I believe in the American system, and I did nothing wrong,” said Rubashkin, who opened his shop in 1953, the same year he emigrated from Russia.

Asked why he was replacing his son Sholom as vice president if the charges are phony, Rubashkin threw back his shoulders and arched his eyebrows.

“For the business,” he said. “In order to enforce, after such a shock, we want to beef up management—change management, change rules, to do different ways.”

Rubashkin emphasized that the management change was for the sake of the company, “not for the people.”

“We treat people—I wish everybody should be treated like we treat people,” he said.

Agriprocessors sells meat products under various labels that include Aaron’s Best, Rubashkin’s, Shor Habor, Iowa’s Best Beef and Supreme Kosher.

Federal authorities have not brought criminal charges against the company or its executives. The bulk of the accusations, particularly those concerning worker mistreatment, remain unsubstantiated.

But nearly 300 former employees have pleaded guilty to various forms of fraud involving fake work documents and are facing deportation. The affidavit cites claims that Agriprocessors had assisted workers in securing false documentation.

Rubashkin denied underpaying his workers, saying that all new hires start at $8.60 per hour—above the federal minimum wage of $5.85, that workers are paid time-and-a-half for overtime and that they are provided with paid vacation and health care. He further said he had no idea that his workers were illegal and that they had produced what appeared to be legitimate work documents.

The affidavit states that Agriprocessors received five separate notices from the Social Security Administration of 500 Social Security number discrepancies.

“People coming there looking for jobs—they bring ID with a photo, with a number,” Rubashkin said. “With the same card the person go to the bank. With the same card he got his credit card. With the same card he bought a car.”

“19 million illegals here? I don’t bring ‘em here. I pay taxes and the government supposed to control the stuff.”

Rubashkin also had harsh words for the media, which he mockingly referred to as the “free press” and twice compared to the Soviet, state-run media.

“A lynching press,” he called it.

He accused the media of harping on the negative and ignoring the good he has done for the Postville community. Rubashkin said he offered full medical coverage to workers and their families, paid for cancer treatments for sick workers at the renowned Mayo Clinic 100 miles to the north and helped set up a day-care center for the children of employees.

Katie Hageman, who runs Postville Child Care Services, told JTA the Rubashkins donated $20,000 to the construction of the center, which caters primarily to the children Agriprocessors’ employees.

Rubashkin sees himself as a victim of an immigration system that Washington has steadfastly refused to fix. He has bitter words for the Jewish social justice activists who have spoken out most vigorously since the raid.

The Conservative movement has urged kosher consumers to “consider” whether they should purchase Agriprocessors’ products, while Uri L’tzedek, a social justice initiative launched by liberal Orthodox rabbinical students, circulated a petition threatening a boycott of the company.

“I’m against tzedek?” Rubashkin asked, using the Hebrew word for justice. “It’s a very nice word, but what kind of tzedek? Tzedek is when you give a person what to live. Tzedek is when you give ‘em a salary he should be able to pay rent. Tzedek is when you sick, you should have a doctor. This is tzedek.”

Long prominent in the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, Rubashkin was interrupted several times during the interview by well-wishers, including a bearded man who used a Hebrew expression to wish Rubashkin success in his business. And while the butcher himself was loath to speculate on why he was being singled out, his customers were not so reticent.

“It’s only anti-Semitism,” said a woman who identified herself only as Esther, as she wheeled a half-dozen Rubashkin’s bags to her vehicle.

Esther compared Rubashkin’s plight to that of Jonathan Pollard, the former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst who was slapped with a harsher sentence—life imprisonment—for spying for Israel than others who had spied for enemy states.

“Everything is the same,” Esther said.

Other customers offered different theories to explain the controversy swirling around their longtime neighborhood butcher.

“I think they took him as a scapegoat because he’s a big company,” said a Borough Park resident who identified himself as Motti. “All the big guys suffer at the end. What’s his name, Mike Tyson, was put into jail because he had too much money. O.J. Simpson was nailed in some ways because he has a lot of money. And on and on.”

Though their explanations differed, all agreed that they would continue to patronize Rubashkin, even if the charges against him were proved to be true.

The Orthodox Union, by contrast, one of two kosher certification agencies supervising Agriprocessors, has said it would withdraw supervision if charges are brought against the company.

“I would have a problem, but I again realize that the world has come to that,” said customer Shaya Mayer. “Nobody cares about somebody else. The meat’s nice, the meat’s good, I’m going to continue to buy it.”

Unlike his customers, Rubashkin refused to endorse the anti-Semitism thesis as the explanation for his troubles—but he didn’t seem entirely unconvinced, either. Several times he invoked classical anti-Semitic canards, like the infamous libel that Jews used the blood of Christian children to bake matzah, to underscore what he sees as the baselessness of the claims against him.

“We got a big mess, no question about it,” he said. “Why? Because somebody say I was 15 years when I came to work there.”

More on Agriprocessors said...

* Author: Ben Harris
* Filed under: Agriprocessors, Kashrut

Jun 3,2008

Couple of interesting developments on the Agriprocessors front today.

First, my interview with Aaron Rubashkin went live on the site this afternoon, the first response from any Agriprocessors’ official since this story first broke May 12. I’ll have more on that interview tomorrow.

Second, we learned about the launch of Postville Voices, a new blog that appears very sympathetic to Agriprocessors. The blog was apparently launched last week, and much of it concerns the supposedly impoverished quality of the reporting on the raid and its aftermath. There is one bright spot, however.

And finally, the Rabbinical Council of America issued a statement on the Agriprocessors situation, the first official statement from an Orthodox body since the May 12 raid. There’s a number of interesting aspects to the document, notably the veiled swipes at the Conservative movement’s Hekhsher Tzedek initiative, as well as the Jewish and labor groups that have been consistent critics of the company. The full statement follows.

The Rabbinical Council of America
305 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001

Statement regarding Recent Developments at
Meat Processing Plant in Postville, Iowa

June 3rd 2008

The Rabbinical Council of America has been following recent developments taking place at the AgriProcessors kosher meat plant in Postville, Iowa. Like many others, both within and beyond the Jewish community, we have been concerned to determine the facts and the realities surrounding the many reports that have appeared in the print and online media, so as to respond appropriately, and responsibly.

Given the gravity of the allegations, and the potential impact on the Jewish community and kosher consumers, it would be inappropriate to rush to judgment before all relevant facts are clarified. It is important to keep in mind that to date conflicting reports have been issued, denials of improper behavior have been heard, and the recent events have occurred against a background of long-standing conflicts involving competing interest groups. Nonetheless it is important even at this time to clarify what in our view should be guiding principles in addressing this issue, once the facts will be known.

Relevant Principles of Jewish Law

The Torah, Halacha, and our sacred tradition require that we show ethical sensitivity on many levels:

1. We are required to respect our fellow human beings, who must be treated with fairness and dignity at all times. This applies whether they be Jew or non-Jew, rich or poor, and for that legal or illegal immigrants.
2. Inseparable from the requirement of ethical treatment of our fellows is the requirement to not judge them prematurely, without knowledge of the facts, and without providing an opportunity to rebut allegations in appropriate fashion.
3. We are required to obey all of the laws and regulations of the land if promulgated lawfully, and enforced without discrimination, to adhere to them in letter as well as in spirit, whether or not we approve or make sense of them.
4. We must show sensitivity to needless animal suffering, preventing it where possible, and minimizing it when unavoidable. This is particularly true when it comes to practicing humane methods of animal slaughter, a matter of great concern to rabbis in every generation.
5. We must above all take every reasonable step to prevent the disgrace, even in appearance, of the Jewish people and the Torah. Thus even if an act is technically permitted, if it nonetheless brings discredit to us and our faith, be it in Jewish or non-Jews eyes, it must be avoided.

Public Interest Principles

The availability of reliably supervised kosher meat (as with other kosher food) at a reasonable cost to the consumer is essential to Jewish life (and indeed to many who are not Jewish.) This requires an appropriate understanding of current business models as well as the requirements of Jewish law in providing and supervising such products.------------

malka leifer said...

Woman pleads guilty to sex abuse charges
June 4, 2008

KSL News) A former Utah County teacher has pleaded guilty to charges she had a sexual relationship with an underage boy. But her husband is still facing charges in connection with the affair.

Earlier this week, Jennifer Candida Gonzales pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted forcible sexual abuse as part of a plea deal.

The Provo Daily Herald reports that Gonzales admitted to having a relationship with a 16-year-old boy, which was discovered by her husband, Richard, when he came home early from work one day.

At that time, he pulled a handgun on the couple and threatened to kill them. Aggravated assault charges are still pending against him.

Court of Appeals said...,0,5107414.story
NY's top court considers claim of seduction by cleric

June 4, 2008


New York's top court is considering whether a 1935 state law that prohibits suing seducers for monetary damages applies to members of the clergy.

Adina Marmelstein wants the Court of Appeals to reinstate her claim for breach of fiduciary duty against married Orthodox Rabbi Mordechai Tendler. The New York City woman says Tendler talked her into having sex while advising her on personal, legal and financial problems at the Kehillat New Hempstead synagogue in Rockland County.

In arguments Tuesday, her lawyer _ Lenore Kramer _ said a special fiduciary, or trust, relationship exists in clergy counseling.

Attorney Richard Bliss countered that Tendler was not a trained or state-licensed counselor and a midlevel court's 3-2 decision barring the case should stand.

Sen. Hillary Clinton said...

You guys all didn't actually fall for my lachrymose outbursts.

This is what I'm willing to offer Obama in exchange for the vice presidency. I'll give up my super delegates to him, and I'll bring Bill and his chicks aboard. The Clinton name is prestigious. Jermiah Wright's and Catholic priest Michael Pflegers' of the world - will be a distant bad memory.

exposemolesters said...

Aaron Rubashkin has to be suffering from dementia. He sounds ridiculous!

Rabbi Moshe Rubashkin said...

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Last update - 15:19 08/02/2008
Chabad-linked rabbi fined $0.5 million in toxic waste case
By Saul Sadka

Rabbi Moshe Rubashkin, the head of the Chabad-dominated Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, has pleaded guilty to illegally storing chemical waste at a textile mill owned by his family.

In a plea bargain with prosecutors, Rubashkin and his son Sholom agreed to pay nearly half a million dollars to reimburse the local and federal agencies that were forced to clean up the mill site after the Rubashkin family denied ownership of the plant. (Click here for U.S. Department of Justice statement on their arrests)

The rabbi's son, Sholom Rubashkin, confessed last month to lying to federal agents when he falsely claimed his family had no interest in the mill at the time the offenses were committed. Moshe Rubashkin, 50, and his son Sholom Rubashkin, 28, face sentencing later in the year, and each face a maximum of $250,000 in fines and 5 years in jail.

The Montex Textiles mill in Allentown, Pennsylvania was purchased by the Rubashkin family in 1989, and was operated by them until its closure in 2001. In 2002, the family sold the mill to a corporation called "Skyline Industries." The mill suffered a series of fires in 2005, one of which was ruled to be caused by arson.

According to the indictment in the case, Skyline refused to clean up the waste that was subsequently found at the site by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and local and federal agencies were forced to undertake the cleanup.

According to prosecutors, the waste posed a critical health hazard to the surrounding residents, with highly flammable material stored. The EPA found aluminium powder and hydrogen peroxide stored alongside corrosive acids.

The Justice Department statement on the case quotes Pat Meehan, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, as saying that, "This kind of material, when improperly stored, is the equivalent of a lit fuse to the surrounding community."

Prosecutors alleged that the Rubashkin family had maintained an interest in the plant, following its sale to Skyline and during subsequent complex financial transactions relating to the site. Prosecutors had alleged that when questioned by the EPA, Sholom Rubashkin had knowingly made false statements regarding the interests that his family held in the mill.

Moshe Rubashkin has a police record going back to the 1980s. In 2002, he pleaded guilty to a count of bank fraud for passing bad checks and was fined over $200,000 and jailed for 15 months with a subsequent five-year probation period. In 1995, Rubashkin was found to have engaged in inequitable labor practices at another textile mill under his family's ownership in Brooklyn.

After leaving jail, he was elected to head the council in Crown Heights despite being on probation for fraud. The Crown Heights Jewish Community Council is elected by members of the local Chabad affiliating community based in the Brooklyn neighborhood where the movements headquarters are located. The community is thought to number around 15,000.

Rubashkins are seen as an "influential" family within the Chabad movement. Moshe Rubashkin's father, Rabbi Aaron Rubashkin, established the major kosher abattoir AgriProcessors in Postville, Iowa in 1987. The plant is the largest supplier of kosher meat in the United States. Rubashkin's brother-in-law is the prominent Republican fundraiser Rabbi Milton Balkany, reportedly nicknamed "The Brooklyn Bundler", due to his fundraising tactics.

"The Brooklyn Bundler" said...

Rubashkin's brother-in-law is the prominent Republican fundraiser Rabbi Milton Balkany, reportedly nicknamed "The Brooklyn Bundler", due to his fundraising tactics.

Rubashkin's are boneheaded said...


In a damning report by the Forward's Nathaniel Popper, Rubashkin's Iowa slaughterhouse stands accused of serious fraud and worker safety violations, as well as serious charges of other worker abuse. I can add that cattle growers have complained for years about alleged short weighing by Rubashkin, a fraudulant practice that costs them much money, and have echoed many of the charges made in the Forward articles.

The rub? Rabbis -- including, it appears, the OU, KAJ, Crown Heights Beis Din and other kosher supervising agencies -- have known about much of this abuse for years, and have done nothing. Why? Because, in their twisted understanding of halakha, meat obtained in whole or in part through fraud and exploitation is still kosher. Therefore, this rabbinic 'logic' goes, rabbis and kosher supervising agencies are not responsible to speak out against these abuses.

Many years ago, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein did speak out against less serious workers abuses, and refused to buy or consume produce raised and harvested through worker exploitation. We were once slaves in Egypt. Did God free us to exploit and abuse workers that provide our 'kosher' food?

Boycott Rubashkin, until this abuse is no more.

And, if you can do so, also stop consuming products produced under the many kosher supervisions Rubashkin employs, until the leadership of those agancies is replaced with a leadership that is committed to observing halakha in whole, and who refuses to endorse companies who exploit workers or tortue animals.

exposemolesters said...

Obama for U.S President? Won't happen. If it were just on the anti-Israel stance alone, that so many fear, mainly the Jews, Barack Obama may still have a very realistic shot at the white house. However, his foreign policy leaves a lot to be desired.

When people say don't trust a politician - this is a classic example of what they're referring to.

His connections to haters of not just Israel, but America too, should trigger an alarm in every caring citizen.

Obama is unsuited to be the next commander in chief, and the polls are going to reflect just that.

Newsweek reports:

Mideast Views on Obama’s Message to Jewish Voters

By Joanna Chen

Barack Obama is trying to persuade Jewish voters that he will maintain Washington’s pro-Israel stance. Israelis, however, are less convinced. Shortly after the newly minted Democratic presidential nominee delivered a strong-and well received-speech to the American Israel Political Action Committee’s policy conference on Wednesday, political analysts in the Jewish state remained skeptical about Obama. “People have a major problem with him here in Israel,” says Yaron Deckel, a political analyst for Channel One TV. “"When I ask Israelis who would be their choice for U.S. president, Obama always comes last, after John McCain and Hillary Clinton. He’s an unknown candidate.”

Obama is unlikely to stay unknown for long. But no matter how aggressively he courts Jewish Americans, Israelis are likely to remain leery of a candidate they perceive as lacking in foreign policy experience. "We are the kings of history,” says one Israeli government official who asked to remain anonymous because he has close ties to Washington. “And he has no history. There is a real fear that Obama may be less aggressive and less forthcoming than his predecessor.”

Read full article here:

Rabbi Yossi Engel said...

Rabbi faces fraud allegations in Australia

Published: 06/05/2008

A U.S.-born rabbi living in Australia will head to court over allegations of fraud.

Police have been investigating Rabbi Yossi Engel, who has resided in Adelaide, South Australia, since 1998, after it was alleged last year that he signed fake report cards and applied for government funding for a Hebrew school that did not exist.

The director of public prosecutions will assess the police report on Engel before charging him and then set a court date, according to a report in the Australian Jewish News.

The Adelaide Criminal Investigation Branch is believed to have interviewed more than 50 people linked to the case in the past 10 months.

Engel’s turbulent tenure in Adelaide centered around his dismissal in late 2006 from the post of rabbi at the City of Churches’ only Orthodox synagogue, Adelaide Hebrew Congregation.

The embattled Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi appealed the dismissal to the South Australian Supreme Court, which ruled that his contract with the congregation had ended. Despite his acrimonious separation from the synagogue, Rabbi Engel, 41, formed a breakaway congregation that has divided the community.

Adelaide, a dwindling Jewish community of less than 1,000 residents, also has a small Jewish school and a Progressive temple.

Ask the Rabbi said...

Ask the Rabbi: Suicidal tendencies?
Shlomo Brody , THE JERUSALEM POST Jun. 5, 2008

Q Given its well-known dangers, how can any Jew justify smoking?

- Brian P., Michigan

A Your question bothers many people who cannot understand how so many Jews, particularly those who display tremendous piety in other realms, can reconcile this dangerous addiction with the Torah's ordinances against harmful behavior. This phenomenon becomes particularly painful in cases of loved ones whose addiction will ultimately kill them.

After tobacco was introduced in Europe in the late 1500s, doctors considered it beneficial for health, especially against digestive and, ironically, respiratory diseases. While a few, including King James I of England, opposed smoking as sinister behavior (1609), it ultimately became socially acceptable among non-Jews and Jews alike. Particularly notable were hassidic rabbis who promoted smoking tobacco and snuff for spiritual purposes, for which they were scorned by their mitnaged opponents (Encyclopedia of Jewish Medical Ethics). The idling and sometimes decadent tobacco culture irked the famed R. Yisrael Meir Kagan (Poland, 1839-1933), who denounced smoking in his lesser-known writings as physically deleterious and a waste of time and money (Likutei Amarim Ch. 13). Yet smoking remained prevalent in study halls and homes alike.

Before the contemporary era, smoking was most frequently discussed with regard to its permissibility on festivals. As opposed to Shabbat, when tampering with a flame is entirely forbidden, the rules of yom tov allow for kindling a fire from a pre-existing flame, although one is forbidden to create or extinguish a flame entirely (OH 511). One important condition, however, required using the flame for a purpose that is customarily enjoyed by the vast majority of people (shaveh lekol nefesh).

Regarding smoking, many rabbis claimed that it is not enjoyed by the majority of people, especially first-time smokers who frequently cough and become disoriented (Hayei Adam 95:13). Yet smoking was historically permitted by most decisors, who cited its social acceptance and frequent recreational use as proof that it constitutes permissible use of a flame on yom tov (Biur Halacha 511:4). Other common questions included whether one must recite a blessing over tobacco, as one does with food (Mishna Berura 210:17), and if cigarettes contain hametz prohibited on Pessah.

While a few physicians expressed concern with smoking in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was only in the 1950s that research definitively documented its deleterious effects on smokers and those around them, including a direct link to lung cancer. Since public health services began campaigns against tobacco, the number of new smokers has sharply declined, although the addictive nicotine within cigarettes makes it difficult for many to quit.

One immediate consequence of the reduction in smokers related to the permissibility of smoking on yom tov. Since cigarettes no longer fall into the category of actions enjoyed by the majority of people, many contemporary decisors, including Rabbi Shlomo Auerbach, forbid smoking on yom tov. Most scholars also ruled that a person bothered by smoke may demand a smoker to refrain from smoking or to leave his area, even in public places or houses of study (Igrot Moshe CM 2:18).

The major issue, however, relates to the permissibility of smoking at any time. The Torah commands us to "greatly beware for your souls" (Deuteronomy 4:15), admonishing us to avoid dangerous behavior. Maimonides contends that anyone who dismisses warnings of harmful behavior should receive lashes (Hilchot Rotzeah 11:5). In defining unacceptable behavior, the sages determined that risks which the multitude engage in remains permissible, citing the verse that "God protects the foolish" (Shabbat 129b). As such, defining dangerous activity remains contingent on the knowledge and behavior of the era.

In a landmark responsum in 1976, Rabbi Haim David Halevi, the Sephardic chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, banned cigarette smoking, contending that previous generations would have never permitted it had they known of its dangers (Aseh Lecha Rav 2:1). His public announcement received widespread attention here and around the world (it was covered on Page 2 of The New York Times). He forbade purchasing cigarettes for others (Aseh Lecha Rav 6:58), and even asserted that in light of the advances around the world against smoking, continued smoking in Israel represents a desecration of God's name (Aseh Lecha Rav 3:18).

While in 1982 Rabbi Eliezer Waldenburg similarly forbade smoking (Tzitz Eliezer 15:39), most decisors in the '80s refrained from prohibiting it, since the deleterious effects were not immediate, even as they forcefully discouraged smoking as an unhealthy habit (Igrot Moshe CM 2:76). As the effects of smoking have become better understood, however, the vast majority of rabbis, of all denominations, forbade smoking. Most recently, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Rabbi Yosef Elyashiv have joined those voices. Indeed, one can confidently say that today, every Jew has an obligation to help smokers kick the habit and prevent others from beginning.

The writer, editor of, teaches at Yeshivat Hakotel and is pursuing a doctorate in Jewish Philosophy at the Hebrew University.

Rabbi Avi Shafran said...

No Jew can be called Jewish unless they are orthodox.

by Carolyn Slutsky
Staff Writer

While he was traveling the country on a tour bus as a working actor, dreadlocks cascading down his back, becoming a rabbi was the farthest thing from Darby Leigh’s mind.

But last weekend Leigh became the first deaf rabbi ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and one of the only hearing-impaired rabbis in the country, a milestone that points to the increasing diversity being found within all pockets of Judaism today.

That milestone was cemented at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, which last weekend ordained its first deaf rabbi in 15 years, William Tepper, since Rabbi Rebecca Dubowe became the first deaf woman ordained in 1993.

Steve Brenner, president of the Washington Society of Jewish Deaf, believes the....

Haredi child abuser said...

'Rabbi' Elior Chen arrested in Brazil
etgar lefkovits and jpost staff , THE JERUSALEM POST Jun. 4, 2008

An Israeli fugitive who is considered to be the ringleader of - and 'spiritual mentor' responsible for - one of the worst child abuse cases in Israeli history was arrested by Sao Paulo police on Tuesday night. Elior Chen, who calls himself a "rabbi," is expected to be extradited to Israel in the coming days.

Chen, 29, and his followers are suspected of severely abusing two children, ages three and four, who were beaten with hammers, knives and other implements for months, until the younger child lost consciousness in March.

They are also suspected of severely abusing other children in the family.

The three-year-old suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the abuse he was subjected to at the hands of his mother and her companions, according to an indictment filed in a Jerusalem court.

He is expected to remain in a vegetative state for the rest of his life.

Initially on Wednesday, Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby reported that Chen had turned himself in, though the Justice Ministry said Thursday that the suspect had actually been apprehended.

However, Chen's lawyer Ariel Atari claimed that his client had turned himself in "so as to prevent Brazil's Jewish community from coming to harm."

"There were reports that the Jewish community was hosting a man who had perpetrated terrible deeds, and that is why he turned himself in," Atari told Israel Radio, asserting that "The reason for his turning himself in has nothing to do with Israel Police."

Chen originally flew from Israel to Canada to avoid arrest after police uncovered the abuse, then immediately continued to Brazil.

In an apparently successful attempt to attain information about his whereabouts, Chen's wife Ruth and their four children were sent to Belgium from Brazil last week, the police said.

Chen had apparently sought refuge with members of a vehemently anti-Zionist haredi sect in the Brazilian city.

Jerusalem Police had issued an international arrest warrant for the suspected ringleader in the child abuse case in April.

The suspects in the abuse case allegedly received instruction from Chen on how to 'fix' the children's behavior, and 'cleanse' them of their satanic possession, says the indictment.

The chilling charge sheet in the gruesome child abuse case recounts that the mother allegedly forced her children to eat feces, locked them in a suitcase for three days - letting them out only for brief periods - repeatedly beat, whipped, and shook them, burnt their hands and gave them freezing showers.

The abusive mother and 'educators' are also suspected of pouring salt on the burn wounds of one of the children, stuffing his mouth with a skullcap and sealing it with masking tape, and giving them alcoholic drinks until they vomited.

Chen provided explicit written instructions on how to abuse the children.

Chen's father Ya'acov has publicly urged his son to return to Israel and face trial, insisting that he is innocent.

Shimon said...

Just want to make a point here. The Rubashkin's clearly violated laws of the Torah and laws of the land. To deny it like they are, is an insult to our intelligence.

exposemolesters said...

What the Rubashikins fail to grasp or comprehend - is that bnei yisrael put their trust in what they thought was an ethical Glatt Kosher product. With tremulous hearts they now realize the true reality. They have been duped!

It goes without saying, that illicit practices by Agriprocessors has created a firestorm, as it should. If Moshe Finkel didn't stir your outlook on consuming tarfus, perhaps this will.

It's inconceivable how one doesn't even pause and do a double take on supporting a company that violates and infringes on your inner and outer soul. One that blatantly disregards halacha and basic human rights. Don't be a nitwit. Stop supporting the Rubashkins. Demand that Genack and Orthodox Union do the same.

The shady, dishonest, crooked, and amoral practices at Postville, Iowa must come to an end!

70 arrested in child porn crackdown in Australia said...

Seventy people have been arrested in Australia in a nationwide operation to crack down on the use of images of child sex abuse posted on the internet.

The arrests followed a six-month investigation by police into paedophile communities online and how they trade pornographic images of children.

The inquiry was launched after 99 explicit pictures were posted by a hacker on a respected European website. Over 76 hours, the site had 12 million hits from 150,000 users in 170 nations.

More than 2,800 internet protocol addresses were traced back to Australia and then identified by police. Those arrested include a federal policeman and several teachers, reports say.

Some of those arrested are accused of child abuse and four children have been removed from their homes.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said that investigations were continuing and more arrests were likely.

Investigators had worked with international partners and state police in what Mr Keelty described as one of Australia's largest single operations against images that show child sex abuse.

Rabbi Shlomo Mandel the putz said...

I hope Charles Hynes doesn't come after Rabbi Yehuda Nussbaum, the other Rebbeim, and myself for sexual and physical abuse against boys at Yeshiva of Brooklyn. The NYPD scared me so much when they showed up to investigate.

Priest arrested on sex abuse charges

BROOKLYN - Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes Wednesday announced the arrest of Father Augusto Cortez, 44, on sex abuse charges.

Cortez, a priest who works with students at Saint John the Baptist School, in Bushwick, is charged with Sex Abuse in the Second Degree, Forcible Touching and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. If convicted, he could face up to a year in jail.

He is charged with touching a 12-year-old female student’s breast May 29.

District Attorney Hynes thanked the Diocese of Brooklyn for quick action in alerting prosecutors about the allegations, in accordance with the protocols of a Memorandum of Understanding. Since the Memorandum of Understanding was drafted by the Diocese and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, in 2002, sex-crimes charges have been brought against five priests.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding, the Diocese of Brooklyn has agreed to notify the Kings County District Attorney’s Office whenever church officials are accused of sexual misconduct. The District Attorney agrees to keep the investigation confidential until – and unless – formal charges are brought.

Yudi Kolko said...

Lawyer Michael Dowd (who is also representing Kolko victims) is in the news.

edited by Michael Clancy | email:
Carpenters Union Big Goes Back on Trial for Bribery
Posted by Tom Robbins at 10:00 AM, June 3, 2008

What may be the city’s longest running bribery case is back in court this week — ten years after the alleged crime was committed.

Mike Forde, executive secretary of the 25,000-member New York District Council of Carpenters was charged back in 2000 with taking a $50,000 bribe from a mobbed up contractor while dining in 1998 at a midtown Hooter’s restaurant.

Forde didn’t go to trial on those charges until 2004 when he was convicted, along with union business agent Martin Devereaux, of taking cash to allow the builder to violate union work rules during the renovation of the Park Central Hotel on Seventh Avenue.

But the trial judge later overturned the conviction, stating that jurors had improperly discussed the case during deliberations. The judge also said jurors had read an article about it —in the Voice!(“A Mob Soprano Sings", April 13, 2004).

So yesterday Forde and Devereaux were once again facing a jury, as lawyers delivered opening summations.

Manhattan assistant district attorney Michael Scotto, who tried the first case, said the state would prove both men had sold out their membership for money. Rod Lankler, representing Forde, said key witness Sean Richards, a contractor whose father in law was a New Jersey mobster, “was a man who would do anything to avoid his obligations.”

Lawyer Michael Dowd, who is also on his second time around on the case, represents Devereaux. “This is a case based on fabrications,” Dowd told the jury.

The trial is expected to take three to four weeks.

Lipa Margulies the ass said...

Is this the same lawyer that's trying to ruin the reputation of Yeshiva Torah Temima and Yudi Kolko? Sheker gumur!

During most of his testimony, Mr. Richard seemed the antithesis of the gloating, sarcastic man who lashed out against many of his former crime associates in an interview with The New York Times in 2000.

He rarely raised his voice on the witness stand, even when defense lawyers fired confrontational questions.

When questioned about his family, Mr. Richard mixed melancholy and anger.

“I’ve tried to change my life, sir,” he told Mr. Dowd.

“Was that after you left your children and your wife?” Mr. Dowd fired back.

Mr. Richard’s voice began to crack, his cadence picked up and his face turned red. He explained, “I’m not proud of everything I did,” but Mr. Dowd did not relent.

“And you chose a stripper over your children?”

Mr. Dowd was referring to Mr. Richard’s decision to take an exotic dancer who was his girlfriend into witness protection in 2000, and not his wife and two sons. Mr. Richard testified that he later took Ms. Riggi, whom he divorced roughly five years ago, and his children into protective custody with him.

Mr. Richard was most emotional when Mr. Dowd questioned whether he had been punished for his poor decisions.

“I’m missing out on my children’s lives for eight years now because of what I’ve done,” Mr. Richard said.

The authorities raided Mr. Richard’s home office in the summer of 1999, he testified. In October, they notified him that he had been wiretapped, he said. Two months later he turned himself in to the authorities.

His high life was over and the results were devastating, he said.

Mr. Richard said he became addicted to cocaine and other drugs. He was an alcoholic, he said. “I was a terrible man,” he said. “I don’t deny that before this court.”

Mr. Richard seemed depressed about his current situation. He is in witness protection on his own. Asked by Mr. Scotto when he last saw his 9- and 10-year-old sons, Mr. Richard’s voice cracked and he said: “I don’t remember. A long time ago.”

He said, however, that he was turning a corner. He said that he was in Alcoholics Anonymous and that he had been sober since 2003. He works as a furniture mover under an assumed name in an unidentified location. Yet Mr. Richard might have seen this coming. When he first got into the business, he said, he spoke with Ms. Riggi about the fact that police raids were an inevitable part of organized crime.

After roughly five hours of testimony on Tuesday, Mr. Richard was whisked out of the courthouse in a van with windows tinted pitch black, hiding him from the outside world.

Bill Clinton said...

Obama is my kind of champ. Now that wre're making moves to be a partnership (with hillary and I getting the final say of course), I'd like to look you in the eyes and say that I did not have sexual relations with that woman.

Obama and Clinton meet, discuss uniting Democrats

By BETH FOUHY and NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writers2 hours, 54 minutes ago

Hillary Rodham Clinton and likely Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama met privately Thursday night to talk about uniting the Democratic Party.

"Senator Clinton and Senator Obama met tonight and had a productive discussion about the important work that needs to be done to succeed in November," their campaigns said in joint statement.

The statement included no details of their talks, as pressure mounted for Obama to invite Clinton to become his running mate.

Robert Gibbs, an Obama spokesman, would not say where the former rivals met, except that it was not at Clinton's home in Washington, as had been widely reported.

Posek Belsky said...

I see no reason why we can't have giraffe meat readily available. I'm placing a call to the Rubashkins to ask if their schochtim are up for the task.

Israeli rabbi says giraffe meat, milk are kosher

JERUSALEM (AFP) — An Israeli rabbi has declared giraffe meat and milk to be kosher, although his pronouncement is unlikely to have observant Jews clamouring to consume the exotic products, a daily reported on Friday.

"The giraffe has all the signs of a ritually pure animal, and the milk forms curds, which strengthened that view," the mass-circulation Yediot Aharonot quoted Rabbi Shlomo Mahfoud as saying.

The rabbi based his ruling on a recent finding by researchers from Bar Ilan University who took a milk sample while treating a giraffe at Ramat Gan safari park near Tel Aviv.

They found that the milk forms curds as required under Jewish religious law, a finding confirmed by another research institute, the daily said.

Giraffe meat is also considered ritually pure because the animal has a cloven hoof and chews the cud.

"Indeed, the giraffe is kosher for eating," said Mahfoud, who was present when the researchers made their finding.

Yigal Horowitz, chief veterinary surgeon at the safari park, is not overly worried by the development.

"This doesn't mean that tomorrow we are going to drink giraffe milk or eat soup made from giraffe necks," the paper reported him as saying. "After all, this is an animal in danger of extinction."

Rabbi Chaim Druckman said...

Chief Rabbi Threatens to Quit if Rabbi Druckman is Fired

by Hillel Fendel

( Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar stands behind Conversion Authority head Rabbi Chaim Druckman, and demands that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reinstate him.

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar, the Rishon LeTzion, plans to meet with Olmert's top aides next week. One of the main issues, the rabbi's aides say, will be Rabbi Druckman.

Rabbi Druckman became the center of a storm last month when a three-judge panel of the High Rabbinical Court invalidated all the conversions to Judaism performed over the past several years under Rabbi Druckman's watch. Religious-Zionist rabbis immediately stated that they did not recognize the validity of the ruling, and Rabbi Amar reassured government ministers that the ruling was not binding.--------

Woody Allen said...

No joke: Woody Allen sues company over rabbi billboard

(JTA) — Woody Allen is suing a clothing company for advertisements showing the actor dressed as a rabbi.

Allen filed a $10 million lawsuit recently in U.S. District Court in Manhattan against American Apparel Inc. for using an image from one of the filmmaker’s movies of him dressed as a rabbi.

The text of the billboard and online ads, which were published without Allen’s consent, read “The Holy Rebbe” in Yiddish. The billboards were put up last May in New York and Hollywood. Allen does not commercially endorse any products in the United States, the suit said.

Cong. Shomrei Emunah said...

Genack, also the CEO of the OU Kashrut Division, is co-editor of Mesorah, a journal expanding on the teachings of Soloveitchik, and "Shiurei HaRav," scholarly volumes based on Soloveitchik’s lectures as interpreted by his students. He serves on the board of the Toras HoRav Foundation, headed by Soloveitchik’s daughters Tovah Lichtenstein and Atarah Twersky, through which 15 English and Hebrew works have been published.

Avi Shafran said...

Remind me never to use Talanksy's dentist. I prefer that my teeth get pulled out by an ultra orthodox dentist.

Morris Talansky due in court in dentist assault
Michal Lando, NEW YORK , THE JERUSALEM POST Jun. 5, 2008

Morris Talansky, the wealthy Long Island businessman at the center of the corruption scandal that threatens to bring down Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, is due to appear in court in Hempstead, New York, on Tuesday over an altercation with his longtime dentist.

Talansky is currently in Israel for a grandson's wedding.

One of his many legal embroilments, this one concerns Talanksy's dentist, Leonard Barashick, 84, who said the 75-year-old slammed him in a heavy steel chair and threw him against a wall with a fist as big as a "kosher ham" in a Baldwin, New York, dental lab.

Police arrested Talansky last July and charged him with third-degree assault, said Eric Phillips, communications director for the Nassau County District Attorney's Office.

Barashick said he had been a friend of Talansky for 40 years, and they couldn't be "closer," adding that the dentist-patient relationship is the most "intimate" of all.

"In the hours that you have root canals done, you talk to your dentist," said Barashick, who claims insight into why Talansky, once caring and kind, turned "insane."

Talansky's lawyer, Ralph Bontempo, did not return several calls from The Jerusalem Post.

The argument with Talansky took place at the Ralph Ragucci dental lab, where the two went to pick up "dental caps," according to Barashick, and Talansky was upset that Barashick was asking to be paid for dental procedures.

"Talansky said he paid enough money over 40 years and doesn't have to pay any more money," said Barashick. "So even though I quoted him the fees labeled on the expenses, I couldn't satisfy him. He wanted the work without having to pay the couple thousand dollars."

Despite the alleged assault, Barashick said he was still prepared to drive back with Talansky, but instead Talansky "charged" at him with his car "as if to run me over" and drove away, first throwing a bag of dental impressions that belonged to another patient out the window.

Barashick, who served in an infantry unit in World War II and is a decorated war hero, said, "a friend who slams me with a chair and wants to kill me is like a mosquito biting you."

Barashick said he ended up in the emergency room and was hospitalized for two weeks. He said he had "swelling the size of an egg" on his left shin, and "broken skin" on both legs.

Police took down two messages saved on his voicemail with threats to his life from Talansky, Barashick said. One said "thunder and lightning were going to strike me," he added.

Initially hesitant, Barashick said he was convinced by the policewoman working on his case to have Talansky arrested. "I felt he was more to be pitied than censored," Barashick said.

But now he intends to sue Talansky for damages.

"I am accusing Rabbi Morris Talansky of being a liar, a thief, a philanderer and a homicidal maniac."

Barashick also said Talansky had involved him and several other dentists in their 80s in a "life insurance scheme" for which he was promised $200,000 in cash.

A local rabbi who asked to remain anonymous said Talansky was known as a "tumler," someone who makes "a lot of noise."

"He liked to throw his weight around, and be close to the gedolim (big shots)," the rabbi said.

Though he has a "good heart" and wanted to "do things for the Jewish people," the rabbi said Talansky was "a guy who people wouldn't have bought a used car from."

Aaron Twerski said...

John Sickels and James Christensen are honorable police officers!

Creston Police Officers Arrested On Sexual Abuse Charges

June 6, 2008--Criminal complaints were filed today in Union County court against two Creston police officers, accused of sexual abuse. John Sickels and James Christensen, both of Creston are each accused of second degree sexual abuse. The charges carry possible 25-year prison sentences.

The alleged incident happened April 17 at the Crestmoor County Club in Creston. A female bartender claims the two officers were the only patrons left in the bar around 2 a.m. She says they requested she perform a sex act to both of them, but refused. The woman says Sickels then left the room while she pleaded with Christensen. When he came back, the woman says Christensen held her down while Sickels raped her.

During a May 6th interview with DCI, Sickels admitted having sex with the woman, but says it was consensual and doubts Christensen witnessed the act.

Sickels and Christensen turned themselves in today in Des Moines. Bail is set at $25,000 for both men. The DCI is handling the case while the attorney general's office will prosecute at request of Union County officials.

Look for more information tonight on Channel 13 News at Five and Six.

Penetration Scheinberg said...

I didn't read anywhere in the article that there was penetration.

All sexual abuse of kids is deserving of federal time

Joey Thompson
The Province

Friday, June 06, 2008

Newspapers gave the sexually abusive dad only a passing mention, but the length of the child molester's sentence bugged me enough to dig deeper.

D.S. had been handed a total of three years for sexually terrorizing his daughter for more than a decade, from the time she was in playschool to her early teens, as well as for molesting his wife's 13-year-old sister dozens of times before she was old enough to flee the home.

Dad should have got more jail time, I figured. But perhaps B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Powers had his reasons.

Turns out, a prison term of three years is well within the conventional range for repeated sexual assaults on a child under Canadian criminal law, even when the attacks have crippling long-term effects, as many of them do.

If you doubt that, take a look at the sex-trade workers and addicts in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Research shows the majority of them suffered physical and/or sexual abuse when they were kids.

Powers said S.'s daughter and sister-in-law still suffer nightmares, depression and panic attacks. They so fear the 38-year-old dad and what he might do to retaliate that they've had to break off their relationship with their mom and sister to avoid the likelihood of running into him. They're having difficulty forming relationships. The emotional pain will stalk them always.

Not so the sexual offender whose identity, if he's related to his victims, is automatically protected by the laws prohibiting disclosure of their names. How convenient.

In calculating the appropriate sentence for S., Powers reviewed a dozen sex-offender cases that involved the same aggravating factors: The victims were young, the perpetrators were either relatives and/or in a position of trust and they abused the kids for years.

Only the most violently abusive child molesters were given sentences longer than four years. The garden variety were handed two years less a day, meaning they did their time in a provincial facility rather than in a nastier, tougher and more distant federal institution.

Problem is, treatment isn't available in provincial jails. So there's no chance of rehabilitation for these guys, even though it is supposed to be a key principle of sentencing.

Only the federal institutions are equipped with intensive sex-offender programs and yet those who routinely prey on vulnerable family members aren't being sent there.

Denunciation and deterrence are also considered principles of sentencing; especially applicable when the offence involves the abuse of children or youth, according to the Criminal Code.

But is two or three years, cut by a third for good behaviour, much of a deterrent? I don't think so. It's time judges realized that all acts of sexual abuse against children are violent and deserving of federal time.

Speaking of time, The Province had to wait about three months for Powers to release a copy of his reasons for sentence. We might still be biding our time had the paper not retained a lawyer to flex some muscle and remind the court that the public, including the media, are entitled to unrestricted access to public documents such as judges' reasons.

Accessing data clearly of public interest and relevant to the administration of justice should not take that long, nor incur such legal costs.

Phone: 604-605-2119.

Prevent Child Abuse New York said...

Prevent Child Abuse New York is the only statewide, nonprofit organization in New York dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect. We do so by:

* Increasing public understanding of the problem and its solutions.
* Serving as a resource for families, individuals and organizations.
* Advocating for expanded and improved programs and policies to prevent child abuse.
* Fostering a statewide network committed to child abuse prevention.

Quick Links:

* Price Chopper Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign Raises More Than $32,000!
* Stay Informed - PCANY Blog
* 2008 Excellence Award Winners
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* Subscribe to our E-mail News & Alerts
* Child Abuse Prevention Resource Room

Contact Us:
Send an E-mail | 1-800-CHILDREN
24-Hour Prevention and Parent Helpline: 1-800-342-7472 (PIRC)

We are the New York State chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America. Call 1-800-CHILDREN to reach your state's chapter.

Prevent Child Abuse New York said...

Child abuse includes physical abuse, physical neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse inflicted by a parent or other caretaker.

PDF of the 2005 Child Abuse and Neglect Fact Sheet

PDF of Prevent Child Abuse New York's Report, the Costs and Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect

New York State law defines these types of abuses in the following ways:

Physical abuse is non-accidental physical injury of a child inflicted by a parent or caretaker which ranges from superficial bruises and welts to broken bones, burns, serious internal injuries and in some cases, death. The definition of physical abuse includes actions that create a substantial risk of physical injury to the child.

Physical neglect is withholding, or failing to provide, adequate food, shelter, clothing, hygiene, medical care, education, and/or supervision, such that the child’s physical, mental or emotional condition is impaired or at imminent risk of being impaired.

Sexual abuse is when a parent or caretaker commits a sexual offense against a child or allows a sexual offense to be committed, such as rape, sodomy, engaging a child in sexual activity, engaging a child in - or promoting a child’s - sexual performance.

Click here for further information about recognizing and reporting sexual abuse. Click here for information about protecting your children from sexual abuse.

Emotional abuse includes parents’ or caretakers’ acts or omissions that cause or could cause serious conduct, cognitive, affective, or other mental disorders. For example, torture, close confinement or the constant use of verbally abusive language to harshly criticize and denigrate a child. It also includes emotional neglect - withholding physical and emotional contact to the detriment of the child's normal emotional development, and in extreme cases, physical development.

Click here for information about recognizing and reporting emotional abuse.

Child abuse and neglect cross all ethnic, social and economic lines.

Child abuse and neglect stymie children’s normal growth and development. Victims of child abuse suffer medical and developmental problems requiring long term health, mental health and special education services.

The consequences are wide-ranging and affect us all. Child abuse leads to other problems – long term health and mental health problems, drug addiction, runaways, juvenile violence and adult crime. Most violent prisoners in our jails were abused or neglected as children.

Child abuse is costly for society, as well as for its victims. New York State spends more than $2.3 billion a year to deal with the immediate and long-term results of the abuse and neglect of our children

About Me

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It is unfortunate that it has come to this. It is a big darn shame it has come to this. It is very hurtful that it has come to this. But yet, IT HAS COME TO THIS. It has come at the price of a GREAT CHILUL HASHEM. It has come to Hashem having to allow his holy name to be DESECRATED so that his CHILDREN remain SAFE. Shame on all those responsible for enabling and permitting Hashem's name to be desecrated! When you save children you save the future. You save the future you save generations. You save generations you save lives. You save lives you have saved the world!!!!!!!