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Friday, March 7, 2014


Brooklyn DA Thompson Drops Extortion Case Against Samuel Kellner

Prosecutors in the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office dismissed all extortioin and bribery charges Friday morning against chasidic abuse whistleblower Sam Kellner. Assistant District Attorney Kevin O'Donnell, speaking in court Friday, said that his office conducted an independent review of the facts of the case and found the two witnesses against Kellner to be unreliable. After the ruling, Kellner told The Jewish Week, "At the lowest point in my life, the justice system reached over" and did the right thing. "I just want to say that everything I did was according to halacha and rabbinical OK. And what I learned is that following the rules will get you out of trouble, not into trouble."…AS REPORTED BY HELLA WINSTON

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZR6PrLioX0 VIDEO OF PROTEST


Brooklyn DA Thompson Drops Extortion Case Against Samuel Kellner

A demonstration was held yesterday outside of Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes's office to protest the controversial prosecution of Hasidic sex-abuse whistleblower Sam Kellner. Chaim Levin, a Jewish activist from Crown Heights, organized the protest, and called upon D.A. Hynes to drop all charges against Kellner.
"We already know that the case against Kellner is falling apart," said Levin. "But the way it just became so abundantly clear that he's being wrongfully accused, and the real danger is not being pursued at all, it's just so disturbing and distressing."
As we previously reported, Kellner first came into the spotlight when he pushed for justice on behalf of his son and other alleged victims of sexual abuse within the ultra-Orthodox community. Kellner spoke out after learning that his son was allegedly molested by Borough Park rabbi/travel agent Baruch Lebovits.
After obtaining permission from a rabbinical court to report the abuse to the Brooklyn DA's office, Kellner was told that prosecuting was useless and that unless he could prove Lebovits was a serial offender, he would most likely go free. As a result, Kellner found two victims to come forward, and Lebovits was convicted of eight counts of molestation. However, in spite of the conviction, Lebovits, 62, has not seen much jail time.
The twist in the case comes when DA Charles Hynes indicted Kellner on charges of attempting to extort Lebovits, after the second victim recanted his statements and said that Kellner was bribing him.
But it was recently disclosed that the second victim recanted his statements again, clearing Kellner's name. And as we previously noted, it's been learned that the victim is being paid not by Kellner, but by a man named Zalmen Ashkenazi, a community activist is reportedly close to Lebovits.
"The precedent the D.A.'s office is setting is frightening," Levin said while protesting outside of 350 Jay Street. "Coming from an Orthodox community and having to deal with the culture of silence where my family told me to shut my mouth, my parents told me to shut my mouth, my Rabbi told me to shut my mouth and everyone said don't tell anyone."

Hynes's spokesman Jerry Schmetterer declined to comment on the protest, but told us, "We intend to take this case to trial."

DA Hynes has a history of looking the other way when it comes to sexual abuse charges in the ultra-Orthodox community, something that many attribute to his heavy reliance on their bloc vote.
Mark Meyer Appel, president of the Voice of Justice, who came in from Florida to attend the rally, feels that "there is no question that this man [Hynes] is a very seriously corrupt guy."
"This case is absurd. I don't know how much longer this guy can get away with it," Appel said. "I happen to know the boy that recanted his testimony, and it's horrific, it's really horrific. This boy, everyone knows he was a victim, Kellner's son, he told half of New York including myself."
When asked what his ideal outcome for the case would be, Appell replied that he feels the DA is too embarrassed to drop the case, so they are doing a "slow step" backwards. "I would like this thing to go on, the trial to go on," he said, "because then we can subpoena everything and find out what really happened. Which is one of the reasons why they want to drop it."
The protest, which started at 11 a.m., had dissipated by noon, but organizer Levin said he was "happy with the turnout." He also pointed out that the DA's office had hosted a press conference on a Brooklyn prostitution ring bust at the same time.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014



The joke’s on the students


The joke’s on the students

But he and others are now exploiting the political momentum behind pre-K to pursue agendas that have nothing to do with early education — whether it’s redistributing wealth, flexing muscles, currying favor or just getting reelected.
And as they do so, they’re using the 4- and 5-year-olds they claim to care so much about as pawns in a political game.
De Blasio set the pattern by artificially yoking his pre-K proposal to a temporary tax hike on city residents making $500,000 or more.
As a campaign strategy, it worked brilliantly. He was the guy who wanted to take from the rich to give to poor children — a message that hit a sweet spot with voters.
Policywise, however, a tax that goes away after five years — as de Blasio proposes — makes no sense as a way of financing a permanent expansion of public education.
Plus, he doesn’t really need the money. According to the Independent Budget Office, the city is currently running a $2.4 billion surplus and is on track to be $1.9 billion in the black next year.
Hiking taxes became even less necessary when Gov. Cuomo declared that Albany would pick up he entire pre-K tab — not just in New York City, but across the state. But de Blasio turned up his nose at this extraordinarily generous offer — claiming the sum the governor’s offering is insufficient and suggesting that his way, and only his way, “will serve the best interests of the children tof our city.”
His argument that he needs the dedicated tax to provide “stable, consistent, reliable” funding for pre-K doesn’t hold water, though. Taxes on the wealthy are especially unreliable and inconsistent, because they fluctuate with the ups and downs of the economy.
All of which suggests that he wants to tax the rich for its own sake — and pre-K is a useful means to that end.
The motives behind Cuomo’s sudden zeal on the issue are transparent as well.
De Blasio’s pre-K plan put the governor in a tight spot: Going along would violate Cuomo’s pledge against tax hikes, but opposing it would alienate his Democratic base. So he proposed financing pre-K out of the state budget as a way of threading that needle while reasserting his status as the alpha dog of New York politics.
Yet he, too, insists it’s all about the kids.
“I support a statewide system because the children in New York City are precious and so are the children in Buffalo and so are the children in Albany and so are the children in Suffolk,” he said on WNYC. “I’m not going to leave behind the children in any part of this state. That is not going to happen. And no one should want it to happen.”
It was a clever bit of rhetorical jiu-jitsu , bludgeoning de Blasio with his own “tale of two cities” rhetoric. In truth, nothing about de Blasio’s plan would in any way deny pre-K to children in Buffalo, Albany or Suffolk.
Still, local politicians across the state — eager to be on the good side of a powerful governor — rushed to parrot his disingenuous argument.
“Every single child deserves early education, regardless of which ZIP code they were born in, or how many millionaires there are in their community to foot the bill,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
“New York is one state, and we should serve every child in it, no matter what city they live in,” Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano weighed in.
Also stepping forward as supposed champions of children were three state senators who declared themselves “deeply offended by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent assertion that the children in New York City are more deserving and more in need of early childhood education than the 4- and 5-year-olds in the communities we represent.” That was the joint statement by John Flanagan of Long Island, John DeFrancisco of Syracuse and Joe Robach of Rochester — members of a Senate GOP caucus that has not previously made a priority of pre-K, universal or otherwise.
Portraying New York City’s mayor as a money-grabbing bogeyman is a convenient way of pandering to their constituents in an election year.
Let’s stipulate that all of these elected officials are, behind their political posturing, decent human beings who care about children. All or most of them will wind up supporting whatever compromise pre-K plan results from this kabuki show — which, hopefully, will do good things for kids.
In the meantime, all of them should give the holier-than-thou rhetoric a rest.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'"

Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities.

People worldwide will honor the memory of Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. by making Monday a "no shots fired" day and ringing church bells in support of non-violence.

Church services and tributes will be held across the United States to commemorate King's 85th birthday on Monday, a federal holiday. At the same time, there is a push for a new monument and possibly a major movie production from director Oliver Stone.

"Dr. King's philosophy of non-violence is more relevant, I believe, than it was 10 years ago," King's daughter, Bernice, told Reuters.

In a time of school shootings and increasingly violent movies, television shows and video games, his message of non-violence should continue to resonate, said his daughter, chief executive officer of the Atlanta-based Martin Luther King Center which promotes his philosophy of non-violence.

"America has an enormous appetite for violence. I don't know why we have such an affinity for that, but I do know it has to stop," she said.

As part of the birthday tributes, the Atlanta branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) began a gun buyback program, hoping to get 1,000 weapons off the city's streets.

King, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, was assassinated four years later in Memphis, Tennessee.

This year, U.S. Jews, like other Americans, will mark Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by remembering him as a powerful voice against racism and for civil rights. But, for Jews, Dr. King was also something else: a uniquely important ally in the fight against anti-Semitism and for a secure Israel.
Today, Dr. King’s close bond with the Jewish community is treated only as a small footnote of his life and work. But, toward the end of his life, Dr. King devoted significant time and energy to strengthening what were becoming increasingly strained ties between black Americans and U.S. Jews. One issue Dr. King was particularly concerned with was the growing mischaracterization of Zionism as racism.

” He goes on, “The majority of those Jews who went south to help blacks or who demonstrated in their communities or gave money to the movement were neither rabbis nor adherents of Orthodoxy. It was just the opposite, in fact, most Jews who participated in the movement were the least religious of Jews”
 Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Heschel and King developed an inextricable bond and friendship based on the common commitment to social justice. In fact, Heschel marched arm in arm with King at the head of the Selma to Montgomery protest in March 1965.
Heschel told his daughter Susannah after the march, “I felt my legs were praying.” King expressed his appreciation of Heschel’s involvement: “Often I have seen religious leaders stand amid the social injustice that pervades our society, mouthing pious irrelevancies… But here and there we find those who refuse to remain silent behind the safe security of stained glass windows… He (Heschel) has been with us in many of our struggles. I remember marching from Selma to Montgomery, how he stood at my side...”
King’s Support of Jewish Community Issues
As expressed by Rabbi Marc Schneier, American Jews began protesting against the Soviet government’s discriminatory anti-Jewish policies commencing in the early 1960’s. Heschel embraced this important cause and so did King. King expressed his thoughts on the discrimination against Soviet Jews as follows: ”Injustice to any people is a threat to justice to all people… and I cannot stand idly by… and fail to be concerned about what happens to my brothers and sisters who happen to be Jews in Soviet Russia. For what happens to them, happens to me and you…”
King also strongly advocated on behalf of Israel’s security. King expressed support for Israel in 1968 when he said: “Peace for Israel means security and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity… peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.”

Monday, January 13, 2014



Honoring Guardians 
Of Settlement In Judea

By Tim Boxer
TATE Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who led a group of his Brooklyn constituents to Gaza to support the settlers who refuse to budge from their homes, told me he’s making plans for another trip.
“I’m taking hundreds from all over the United States. We’ll arrive in Israel on June 6, the anniversary of the Six Day War. We’ll camp in Kissufim, just outside of Gaza.
“Jews should not be forced to abandon their homes. If there will be peace, and Arabs should live together.”
And what happens if the military stop you from entering the region?
“That would be pathetic,” he said.
Hikind was one of a multitude of speakers at a benefit at the Puck Building in New York for Beitar, a settlement located between Jerusalem and Efrat.
Dinner chair Mark Meyer Appel, a real estate investment banker, described a visit to
Beitar last July to meet Mayor Yitzhak Pindrus. The appointment was for 8 a.m. The secretary assured Appel that the mayor would be on time.
“What are his hours?” Appel asked.
“He works from 8 to 8.”
“From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.? That’s a hectic schedule.”
“Actually from 8 a.m. to 8 a.m.”
Pindrus lauded Ezra Friedlander for producing the New York benefit. The 400 dinner guests raised $250,000 for his fast growing city, which now numbers 25,000 people.
The mayor singled out Elie Hirschfeld for effusive praise. Hirschfeld, a standout New York real estate developer, built a much-needed children’s playground.
Pindrus was grateful to investment banker Joseph Sprung for organizing a group including real estate manager Ruben Margules, Sephardic leader Eddie Shama and real estateinvestor Ron Rettner that raised funds for an emergency medical center, and
The mayor also praised Sam Domb, MARK MEYER APPEL and Ari Noe for donating Passover food for the residents
. Domb is a major philanthropist and prominent real estate operator. Noe heads OTR Media Group, responsible for the colorful billboard all over Times Square.
Charles Schumer, senior U.S. Senator from New York, said the rest of the world is beginning to realize “what we knew all along: the majority of Israelis wish to live in peace but the majority of the Palestinians and the majority of the Arabs do not. They view the land as all theirs and want Israel to cease to exist.”
Schumer revealed the origin of his name when he said, “Hashem gave me the name shomer [guardian] and that’s been my job – to be a shomer for the United States, New York and Israel.”

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Please Sign this Petition and Help Save The Life of a 6 Year Old Boy

Sign a Petition and Help Save
The Life of a 6 Year Old Boy


Sign a Petition to authorize the FDA to grant a compassionate use exemption to Refael Elisha Cohen for Antineoplaston therapy.

The Cohen family, of Houston, TX, is facing a battle none of us should have to go through - aggressive brain cancer in their 6-year old son Refael Elisha. Having recently received the devastating news from their doctors that "there is nothing more we can do for him", the Cohens are turning to a last resort - Antineoplaston Therapy at the Burzyinski clinic. However, the FDA pulled their approval for this treatment in 2012 pending further clinical trials. We are told that the FDA is nearing approval to resume this treatment, but Refael Elisha does not have time to wait.
The FDA has the power to approve a "compassionate use exemption" so Refael Elisha can undergo this therapy to try and save his life.
We are asking the FDA to grant this exemption so we can continue to fight for his life.

Petition: http://edsn.us/Lj/helpgov