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The Patient is best when it focuses on Judaism, not serial killers – Haaretz

Posted By on December 9, 2022

The Patient is best when it focuses on Judaism, not serial killers  Haaretz

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The Patient is best when it focuses on Judaism, not serial killers - Haaretz

Michigan man charged after threatening synagogue-goers yelled antisemitic invective during arraignment – JTA News – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Posted By on December 7, 2022

  1. Michigan man charged after threatening synagogue-goers yelled antisemitic invective during arraignment  JTA News - Jewish Telegraphic Agency
  2. Local synagogue leaders on threats after Bloomfield Township weekend arrest: 'It's really stressful'  Detroit News
  3. Dearborn man arraigned in antisemitic attack at Michigan synagogue  Detroit Free Press
  4. Man charged with synagogue threats held on $1M bond - flips off judge, makes anti-Semitic remarks  FOX 2 Detroit
  5. Michigan man charged with 'ethnic intimidation' after harassing synagogue-goers over Israel  St. Louis Jewish Light
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

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Michigan man charged after threatening synagogue-goers yelled antisemitic invective during arraignment - JTA News - Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Hasidic School to Pay $8 Million After Admitting to Widespread Fraud

Posted By on December 7, 2022

For years, the largest private Hasidic Jewish school in New York State illegally diverted millions of dollars from a variety of government programs, paid teachers off the books and requested reimbursements for meals for students that it never actually provided, the yeshivas operators admitted in federal court on Monday.

As part of the widespread fraud, school officials took money intended to feed children and used it to subsidize parties for adults, federal prosecutors said.

In order to avoid facing criminal charges, the school, the Central United Talmudical Academy in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, agreed to pay fines and restitution totaling more than $8 million, according to a deferred prosecution agreement filed Monday in Federal District Court in Brooklyn.

Todays admission makes clear there was a pervasive culture of fraud and greed in place at C.U.T.A., said Michael J. Driscoll, assistant director in charge of the F.B.I.s New York office, referring to the school by its initials in a statement. We expect schools to be places where students are taught how to do things properly. The leaders of C.U.T.A. went out of their way to do the opposite.

In court on Monday, a lawyer representing the yeshiva, Marc Mukasey, said school leaders would work collaboratively with the government to fulfill its obligations under the agreement, which has been in the works since 2019. After the hearing, Mr. Mukasey declined to comment further. School leaders did not respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.

The filing came six weeks after a New York Times investigation revealed that about 100 all-boys Hasidic schools across the state had received more than $1 billion in taxpayer funding in recent years while most were denying their students a basic secular education. The Central United Talmudical Academy figured prominently in that article.

Since then, Hasidic schools have come under intensifying government pressure on multiple fronts, with officials scrutinizing what the schools teach and how they manage their finances.

In September, the State Board of Regents approved a set of rules requiring all private schools, including yeshivas, to prove they are teaching nonreligious subjects like English and math or face a loss of funding.

The state education commissioner ruled this month that one Brooklyn boys yeshiva that had been the subject of a lawsuit was not complying with the state law requiring all private schools to provide a basic secular education. That school will have to work with the New York City Education Department to improve.

As part of the agreement filed in court on Monday, the Central United Talmudical Academy will be subject to an independent monitor for the next three years, after which prosecutors will dismiss the charges. The school will be able to submit a list of potential monitors for the government to approve.

The school has more than 2,000 male students enrolled at one location and 2,500 female students at separate buildings nearby. It is the flagship organization of a powerful faction of the Satmar group of Hasidic Judaism run by Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum. The faction operates several other schools in Brooklyn and the lower Hudson Valley.

The Williamsburg school received about $10 million in government funding in the year before the pandemic, according to a Times analysis of city, state and federal funding records.

During a hearing on Monday, U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis said he was deeply concerned about the behavior the yeshiva admitted to engaging in. It is my hope that this is a new beginning, he added.

Judge Garaufis implored two school representatives, Cheskel Berkowitz and Yoel Weisz, to follow through on the promises the school had made to eliminate any financial impropriety, for the good of the community.

The federal investigation into the school, led by the U.S. attorneys office for the Eastern District of New York, stemmed from a criminal case against two of its former leaders, Elozer Porges and Joel Lowy. Both men pleaded guilty in March 2018 for their roles in a conspiracy to defraud the government through school nutrition programs.

During that case, the investigators found evidence of other fraud and broadened the scope of their inquiry, the federal authorities said.

The documents filed on Monday revealed that the school was at the center of a varied and wide-ranging fraud scheme.

For years, the documents showed, the school paid many of its teachers and other employees in part with cash, coupons and life insurance policies, making it seem as if the employees were earning less than they really were and allowing them to pay lower taxes and qualify for welfare.

From 2010 to 2015, the school paid employees with at least $12 million in coupons 17 percent of its total employee compensation which the workers could use as cash in Hasidic grocery stores and other shops, the investigators found.

The school also set up no-show jobs for friends of employees and other community members, the documents said.

The yeshiva also benefited from its fraudulent payment practices because many employees and other community members used their welfare status to receive New York City vouchers for child care and then used them to pay the school, according to the documents. The Times reported last month that a city voucher program sent nearly a third of its total funding to Hasidic neighborhoods last year.

The federal investigation found that the school defrauded government programs meant to provide meals to low-income children, receiving more than $3.2 million from 2014 to 2016 in reimbursement for what the authorities said was an almost entirely fictitious meal program.

The fraud included the fabrication of records and dozens of sworn misrepresentations to government agencies, the authorities noted.

In some cases, the court documents said, yeshiva officials claimed that they provided meals to children on days when the school was not in session.

In recent years, as the school has negotiated with the prosecutors, it has replaced its executive management team and developed a new set of controls, among other changes, the authorities said.

Todays resolution accounts for C.U.T.A.s involvement in those crimes and provides a path forward to repay and repair the damage done to the community, while also allowing C.U.T.A. to continue to provide education for children in the community, said Breon Peace, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, in a statement.

The Times investigation found that the Central United Talmudical Academy, like other Hasidic schools, focused almost exclusively on providing religious education, with little instruction in English, reading and math and almost no classes in history, science or civics.

The Times also reported that Hasidic boys schools tend to score much lower on state standardized exams than other schools in New York.

In 2019, the Central United Talmudical Academy agreed to give state standardized tests in reading and math to more than 1,000 students, The Times found. Every one of them failed.

Rebecca Davis OBrien contributed reporting.

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Hasidic School to Pay $8 Million After Admitting to Widespread Fraud

Developer claims anti-Hasidic bias in suit over thwarted housing plans

Posted By on December 7, 2022

A developer has sued the Crawford Town Board for denying a zoning change he needed to build apartments, claiming the board turned against his project in 2020 after residents raised objections based on anti-Hasidic sentiment.

Rockland County developer Moses Schwartz had planned to build 54 apartments and a commercial building on Route 302 in Pine Bush and initially had support from town officials, who welcomed the affordable housing and were set to sell him 7.5 acres of town-owned land. But the board wound up rejecting the zoning change after a flood of residents spoke out against the project, voicing concerns about limited groundwater and traffic at that location.

In a lawsuit filed last week in federal court, Schwartz's attorneys argued that the true motivation was fear that Hasidic families would rent the apartments. The complaint cited Facebook comments about the project that made reference to Orthodox Jews and the Sullivan County village of Bloomingburg, where a 396-unit townhouse complex was being built for Hasidic families.

Facebook suit:Developer sues Facebook to seek anti-Hasidic remarks about thwarted Pine Bush project

Rejection:Crawford board votes down proposed apartments, businesses across from Pine Bush High School

Antisemitism:Proposed Crawford development spurs town's denouncement of online hate speech

"The Town did an about-face and adopted its residents' exclusionary and discriminatory campaign against the zoning changes and Plaintiffs' proposed multi-family housing project," wrote attorneys Robert Rosborough IV and Jennifer Thomas.

Crawford Supervisor Charles Carnes said in response on Tuesday that the suit was baseless. He said the board voted 5-0 against the zoning changes because of valid water and traffic concerns and the overwhelming public opposition to the project. He also countered the bias claims by saying the 1- and 2-bedroom apartments Schwartz planned to build weren't even intended for Hasidic families; he had told the board it would resemble a project he built in Maybrook.

"They definitely weren't geared toward Hasidic families," he said.

Schwartz had signaled his intent to sue the town by bringing an initial lawsuit against Facebook last year to demand it disclose the identities of people who had commented on the project on a private page called "Town of Crawford Now." Town officials had condemned remarks on that site as anti-Semitic.

That case ended in May with a judge ordering Facebook to tell Schwartz who administered the Facebook page, after he had agreed to narrow his original demand for the names of all participants. His lawyers appeared to be probing if town officials took part in the discussion and find out what they said.

The new suit alleges the town violated the federal Fair Housing Act, state law and the U.S. Constitution, and engaged in exclusionary zoning by limiting multi-family housing opportunities. Schwartz, who says he spent more than $60,000 on his thwarted development plans, is seeking damages, reimbursement for his legal fees, and an order requiring the town to "amend its zoning to comply with constitutional mandates."

Chris McKenna covers government and politics for the Times Herald-Record and USA Today Network. Reach him at

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Developer claims anti-Hasidic bias in suit over thwarted housing plans

In Hasidic Enclaves, Failing Yeshivas Flush With Public Money – The New …

Posted By on December 7, 2022

The groups all emphatically said Hasidic schools operate independently of each other, not as a network. They denied some of The Timess findings, including that the schools do not provide an adequate education and that teachers regularly use corporal punishment. They also noted that the schools receive far less taxpayer money per pupil than public schools do, and they said Hasidic neighborhoods were not as impoverished as government data might suggest.

The Hasidic community is proud of the education that it provides to its students all of whom attend at their parents choice for a religious education and has many, many accomplished and successful graduates, wrote J. Erik Connolly, a Chicago lawyer representing the Tzedek Association, a group that works with Hasidic schools, in a letter to The Times.

Another spokesman for Hasidic schools, Richard Bamberger, denied that graduates of the schools were unable to speak or write in English and said the schools are safe and have zero-tolerance policies against any violence.

Mr. Bamberger and Mr. Connolly also said that Jewish schools, known as yeshivas, in general perform well on standardized tests for high school students, a point that Hasidic leaders have often argued. In fact, very few Hasidic students take those tests, and the results almost entirely reflect the performance of students at the yeshivas that provide robust secular education, including modern Orthodox schools.

In other parts of the world with large Hasidic populations, including in Britain, Australia and Israel, officials have moved to crack down on the lack of secular education in Hasidic schools. But that has not happened in New York, despite a state law requiring private schools to offer an education comparable to the one provided in public schools.

Bill de Blasio, the former mayor of New York City, began an investigation into the schools after receiving complaints in 2015, but his administration put it on hold when the pandemic hit. Mayor Eric Adams has not intervened in the schools and has touted close ties to Hasidic leaders. In Albany, Gov. Kathy Hochul has taken a similarly hands-off approach, as did her predecessor, Andrew M. Cuomo.

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In Hasidic Enclaves, Failing Yeshivas Flush With Public Money - The New ...

Dave Chappelle Sets Hair Aflame, Now Being Accused of Anti-Semitism …

Posted By on November 26, 2022

Dave Chappelle made his return to Saturday Night Live, and in doing so, made all the right people mad. The consternation started during the week prior with writers on the show threatening to boycott his appearance. If thats not a testament to the thin-skinned, partisan nature of the entertainment industry, Im not sure what is.

Chappelle eventually showed up to tape the episode, and he showed out. He did a segment on why some people trust Donald Trump that was very instructive. You could hear a pin drop at certain points as the mostly leftwing audience waited for what he was going to say, but in the end, he had them rolling as he always does.

I maintain its impossible not to like Chappelle, but sure enough, there are people on the left who are doing their best to try. Naturally, that means accusing the comedian of being anti-Semitic.

But while he made a point to avoid the topic that has seemingly consumed him for the past couple of years, Chappelle may have dug himself an even deeper hole bydeliberatelydefending the essence of Kanye Wests antisemitic rhetoric through comedy.

The comedian entered the room and began by reading a brief statement: I denounce antisemitism in all its forms and I stand with my friends in the Jewish community. And that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time.

Chappelle went on to explain that over his 35-year career, he has come to learn that there are two words in the English language that you should never say together in sequence: The and Jews. And he had some strong jokes about Wests death con 3 tweet and the ramifications he faced from Adidas and others for his words.

Its a big deal, he had broken the show business rules, Chappelle said. You know, the rules of perception. If theyre Black, then its a gang. If theyre Italian, its a mob. If theyre Jewish, its a coincidence and you should never speak about it.

Context is everything, right? And the context here was not an unmedicated rant on some podcast. Kanye West clearly has mental issues, and hes admitted that publically, even after his most recent anti-Semitic tirade. On the other hand, Chappelle is telling jokes, and it is the job of a comedian to take someone happening within the culture and then make fun of it. It is that connection to contemporary society coupled with controversial topics that make a joke funny. If Chappelle was just riffing on farts his whole career, we wouldnt know his name.

Besides, I think anytime you are talking about anti-Semitism, you have to take at least some time to judge the intent behind what is being said. Is someone really trying to stir up another Holocaust? Do they truly hate Jews? Or did they say something out of ignorance? Or, as in the case of Chappelle, were they just telling jokes? Again, the context matters, and rushing to cancel everyone who gets within ten feet of something that could even be perceived as anti-Semitism is an overreaction.

We have to have more grace than that. Unfortunately, outlets like The Daily Beast arent going to give it because their hit piece isnt actually about anti-Semitism. Its about the fact that Chappelle gored one of their sacred cows by making fun of the transgender lobby on his Netflix special. Thus, Chappelle must be destroyed, and theyll never stop trying to take him down.

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AA Synagogue

Posted By on November 24, 2022

Many of our committees and initiatives have agreed to host and share their beautiful sukkot around Atlanta with all of us. Everybody, whether assembling a welcome kit or not, is invited to come together for the holiday of Sukkot!

If you have pledged to assemble a welcome kit, one of these sukkot parties will function as your drop-off location. Bring your kit to the sukkah, and an AARI Committee member will ensure it makes its way to the Welcome Co-Op, our partner in caring for the newly arriving refugees. Additionally, each sukkah party will have all the supplies needed to assemble a bag so more can support and share our abundance with those in need.

Below is a list of the sukkah parties going on around Atlanta. You do not need to be a part of the hosts community (i.e. involved in Kesher, Sisterhood, mAAc, etc.) to join a particular sukkah party. If you love AA Synagogue and are a part of our spiritual family, you are welcome to any party that is convenient to you. (And just think: You might meet somebody new and make a new friend.) Join a Sukkah party, enjoy snacks and camaraderie, and assemble a welcome kit for a newly arriving refugee family. We couldnt think of a better way to celebrate the holiday of sukkot as a community!

mAAc Sukkah Party: Wednesday, October 12, 13 p.m., Ahavath Achim Synagogue (600 Peachtree Battle Ave, NW Atlanta GA 30327)

Kesher Sukkah Parties:

Sisterhood Sukkah Party: Thursday, October 13, 6:30 8:30 p.m., Ahavath Achim Synagogue (600 Peachtree Battle Ave, NW Atlanta GA 30327)

Meshorerim (Spiritual Music) Sukkah Party: Saturday, October 15 79 p.m., Home of Bonnie and Michael Levine (460 Gift Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316)

Interfaith Inclusion Committee (IIC) Sukkah Party: Sunday, October 16, 13 p.m., Ahavath Achim Synagogue (600 Peachtree Battle Ave, NW Atlanta, GA 30327)

Inclusion and Belonging Committee Sukkah Party: Sunday, October 16, 14 p.m., Home of Shelly and Allan Dollar (2192 Greencliff Drive Atlanta, GA 30345)

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AA Synagogue

How One Jewish Groups Tweet Surveillance Uncovered a Synagogue Plot – The New York Times

Posted By on November 24, 2022

  1. How One Jewish Groups Tweet Surveillance Uncovered a Synagogue Plot  The New York Times
  2. No decision yet on federal charges for 2 men arrested in connection with NYC synagogue threat, FBI says  CNN
  3. Jewish Community Security Organization in UK Says It Discovered N.Y. Synagogue Threats - HS Today  HSToday
  4. New York City police arrest 2 men in threat to Manhattan synagogue  USA TODAY
  5. Synagogue Threat: 2 men charged after making threat against NYC Jewish community  WABC-TV
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

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How One Jewish Groups Tweet Surveillance Uncovered a Synagogue Plot - The New York Times

Cantor Fromson, Temple Israel agree on new, five-year contract – Cleveland Jewish News

Posted By on November 24, 2022

Cantor Fromson, Temple Israel agree on new, five-year contract  Cleveland Jewish News

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Cantor Fromson, Temple Israel agree on new, five-year contract - Cleveland Jewish News

Native American Heritage Month: Continued Support for the Indigenous …

Posted By on November 24, 2022

In November, we celebrate Native American Heritage Month. The National Congress of American Indians guides us to recognize November as:

"a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories [while] acknowledging the important contributions of Native people...educate the general public about tribes, raise general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced... and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges."

Unfortunately, much of North America is just beginning to recognize the contributions of Indigenous peoples. As Jews, our own experiences with discrimination create sensitivity and solidarity with the plight of the Indigenous population. This is especially true for those of us with intersectional identities, including BIPOC Jews. Still, all of us must bear the responsibility to shed light on racial injustice. From Yalkut Shimoni ("Gathering of Simon) 1:13, one midrashic commentary on the books of the Tanach that was compiled between the 11th and 14th century, we understand our communal responsibility to ensure equity is every person's reality:

"God formed Adam out of dust from all over the world: yellow clay, white sand, black loam and red soil. Therefore, no one can declare to any race or color of people that they do not belong here since this soil is not their home."

Yet, our society continues to fail Indigenous communities in many ways, illustrated especially by the thousands of Indigenous people who have gone missing or been murdered throughout the United States and Canada. Indigenous people are working to raise awareness about how their communities are being harmed - but why is it that the rest of the world isn't listening?

Our Jewish values instruct us to listen to the words of God, the teachings of our ancestors, and the commandments that help us live a moral, and Jewish way of life. There remains a continued need to prove our trauma to the rest of the world, a continued need for the world to hear stories, just as there is a need for the Indigenous population to be heard by everyone. Holocaust denial continues to fuel a rise in antisemitism, and so too will Indigenous communities continue to be threatened if we do not listen to their cries. Of the 5,712 Indigenous women reported missing in the U.S. in 2016, only 116 were logged by the federal missing person's database, according to the New York Times . We must do better in speaking out when another group of people is being intentionally targeted and harmed.

Lack of awareness is what makes the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Sprit (MMIWG2S) Movement a necessity. This movement gained traction in Canada in 2015 as Native women and their families spread awareness about the threats to their communities. Indigenous women and girls are at a disproportionate risk of violent and non-violent victimization. In Canada, Indigenous women and girls are 12 times more likely to be murdered or abducted than any other group, according to In America, four out of five American Indian and Alaskan Native women experience violence in their lifetimes according to NCJRS, more than any other racial group. Protests and an increased use of social media advocacy have been useful in building awareness about these issues and the movement's momentum, but Indigenous citizens have been speaking out and sharing their stories for years.

In 2009, The REDress Projectwas founded by artist Jamie Black, first seen on the campus of the University of Winnipeg and Manitoba, Canada. Over 100 red dresses were displayed to "acknowledge the spirits of those who have crossed over and honor their lives by collectively creating a growing movement towards social change." Since the exhibit was first presented, it has been shown in public spaces internationally, and has sparked an arts-based movement in support of the MMIWG2S Movement. However, without support and action from the Jewish community, Americans, Canadians, and non-Indigenous communities, Native people will continue to be overlooked, their contributions erased, and experience unnecessary disparities which have allowed Indigenous peoples to go missing and be murdered.

It is our duty to listen and to act. As the ancient Israelites promised: "We will do and we will hear" (Exodus 24:7). But we must do better. We must hear better. The Exodus story teaches us what it is like to be oppressed and enslaved - another experience we share with the Native population - but it also shows us that our work is ongoing. The journey of our people continued after we were freed from Egypt, as so too does our journey for justice persist. We have a divine responsibility to care for our neighbors, and we must continue to fulfill our role in upholding the world God created by making it more equitable for all.

That is why, this Native American Heritage Month we ask that you take action to help your Indigenous neighbors:

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