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Thursday, December 27, 2012


                                         PLEASE CALL THE UPDATED LIST OF ADVERTISERS NOW

Ami Magazine, and it's editor Rabbi Yitzchok Frankfurter, have gone out of their way to whitewash, and excuse child molestation, abuse, and rape in the Charedi community. They point fingers, and lay blame at everyone's feet, but their own. It's the fault of those who point it out, or it's the evil media's fault for reporting it, but it's never the fault of those doing it.

complicit, irresponsible and dangerous.
                           Here is a list of last week’s AMI Magazine Advertisers
Please ask them politely either by phone or by email
Until such time that said Magazine
Will stop supporting pedophiles
Yarchei Kallah:  212.797.7380 / yarcheikallah@agudathisrael.org
Classic Confections 718.435.4444 / info@classicnyc.com
Happy Hearts Wine 718.633.5350 / info@happyheartswine.com
The Living TorAH Museum 877.752.6286 / info@torahmuseum.com
Dirshu: 888-5-Dirshu
Eretz HaChaim Cemetary 718.437.2210 / info@eretzhachaim.org
Mesamche Lev 718.506.1400 / info@mesamchlev.org
Daven For Me 718.437.8812 / info@davenforme.org
Revival: 728.629.1000 / info@revivalhhc.org
Traveler’s Choice 212.868.8697
Ezra Medical Center 718.686.7600 / info@ezramedical.org
Sell Mile$ Now 732.987.7765
Liquors Galore 718.338.4166 / info@liquorsgalore.com
Sara Schenirer Institute for Special Education 718.633.8557xt15 / postgraduate@tifse.com
Lou G Siegel (Caterer):  212.921.4433 / orders@lougsiegel.com
Comfort Auto 855.633.8500 / sales@comfortautoinc.com
The R20 Group 516.612.8750 / info@ther2ogroup.com
Shticky Shtick 718.854.1367
Therma Rid 877.987.7013 / info@thermarid.com
TeleGo 212.477.1000 / support@telego.net
Rebetzin Aidel Miller (Ayinhora):  718.689.1920 / miller.ayintova@gmail.com
K Events 747.333.8893 / info@hawaiianpesach.com
The Bicom 718.437.1232
Elite Central Vacuums 718.435.4800 / sales@elitecentralvac.com
Stern’s Exclusive Furniture 718.686.7421
Classifine Classifieds 212.444.9600
The Lakewood Courtyard 732.905.2055 / tlc@lakewoodcourtyard.com
Renewal:  718.431.9831: / info@renewal.com
Simpson Jewelers 718.871.0120
Rachel’s Place 718.506.9900
Parna$$ah Expo 732.987.7704 / info@parnassahexpo.com
Vaad HaRabbonim L’Inyanei Tzdaka 877.722.2646
G Graphics 845.323.7947 / ceegeegraphics@gmail.com
A private Chef 845.783.6955
xTHERMinate 718.705.8188

Juror: We convicted Nechemya Weberman because he abused a teen, not because he was Jewish

They convicted him because of the facts, not because of his religion.
A juror in the sexual abuse case pitting a teen accuser against Hasidic leader Nechemya Weberman said he broke the panel’s silence to refute the notion the jury returned a guity verdict out of anti-Semitic bias.
"It wasn't religion, it wasn't their background, it wasn't revenge," said the 42-year-old man, who asked not to be identified. "It was a young girl and an old man alone in a room."
The juror offered the first public account of the jury's thinking during deliberations in the high-profile trial, which ended Dec. 10 with a guilty verdict to all 59 counts.
Weberman, 54, was convicted of molesting the now 18-year-old for three years starting when she was 12, forcing her to perform oral sex and reenact porn scenes. She started to see the unlicensed therapist after running afoul of the insular sect's stringent modesty rules.
Weberman’s lawyer George Farkas had claimed after the conviction that Hasidic Jews do not have “the same shot with a jury as anyone else."
But the juror said he had no preconceptions about Weberman's community, adding the panel didn't view him as "a monster."
"We realized we couldn't make a flippant decision and ruin a man's life," the juror recalled. "It was, 'Oh boy, we have a serious job.'"
The juror said the panel accepted the victim's "emotional" testimony, which stretched over four days, but didn't want to rely solely on her words.
"We needed something else," he said.
“Something else” came in the form of social worker Sara Fried, who testified she diagnosed the girl with post traumatic stress disorder over the years of molestation.
"That's what clinched it," the juror said during an hour-long interview at a Brooklyn diner last week. "We took the vote and everyone was unanimous."
He also noted there were multiple locks in Weberman's home, that he admitted to driving the girl upstate alone and that he housed other runaway teens.
"It raises a lot of red flags," he said.
The panel of 12 jurors — a racially diverse group of different ages, including a college student and a retiree — weighed Weberman's fate for about five hours. After, jurors were ushered out of a side exit, escaping the media glare.
Weberman, who's facing a maximum of 117 years, is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday, though it will likely be later this month.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/juror-webman-anti-semitism-article-1.1234375#ixzz2HR8Ac8XG

Dedi, the singer, accused of bribing Netanyahu

A popular Orthodox Jewish singer has been accused of transferring hundreds of thousands of shekels to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli attorney general said in a statement.

Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is investigating the claim that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took thousands of shekels in cash from a businessman named Dedi Graucher.

An initial investigation was prompted by a report on an Israeli television channel over two years ago that claimed the prime minister
accepted the financing of private trips for himself and his family while in public office.

The Ministry of Justice issued a statement saying that former State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss had received information about the alleged incident during the investigation of the "Bibi-Tours Affair." The Attorney General asked the police in May 2012 to review the information and determine if there was sufficient evidence to warrant a criminal investigation.

Netanyahu has denied all allegations.


Ami doesn't print letters to the editor that took issue with the "Farkas -Weberman" article!

Yitzchok Frankfurter, Satmar Clown
Yitzy Frankfurter, the gutless and spineless editor of Ami Magazine, refuses to print any letters to the editor that criticized his poor judgement of printing the insane interview with the attorney of the convicted rapist and pedophile Weberman. Forkosh Batchie's stupid reaction to the conviction of Weberman was so crazy that people are now questioning the sanity of this once prestigious lawyer.
We have received copies of  hundreds of responses to this insane and one sided article, and not one was published!
This coward, Frankfurter, drops this insensitive Forkosh Bomb and then refuses to own up to this mess.
Shame on you!


Ancient Afghan Manuscripts with Hebrew Letters

A trove of ancient manuscripts in Hebrew characters rescued from caves in a Taliban stronghold in northern Afghanistan is providing the first physical evidence of a Jewish community that thrived there a thousand years ago.
On Thursday Israel’s National Library unveiled the cache of recently purchased documents that run the gamut of life experiences, including biblical commentaries, personal letters and financial records.
Researchers say the “Afghan Genizah” marks the greatest such archive found since the “Cairo Genizah” was discovered in an Egyptian synagogue more than 100 years ago, a vast depository of medieval manuscripts considered to be among the most valuable collections of historical documents ever found.
Genizah, a Hebrew term that loosely translates as “storage,” refers to a storeroom adjacent to a synagogue or Jewish cemetery where Hebrew-language books and papers are kept. Under Jewish law, it is forbidden to throw away writings containing the formal names of God, so they are either buried or stashed away.
The Afghan collection gives an unprecedented look into the lives of Jews in ancient Persia in the 11th century. The paper manuscripts, preserved over the centuries by the dry, shady conditions of the caves, include writings in Hebrew, Aramaic, Judea-Arabic and the unique Judeo-Persian language from that era, which was written in Hebrew letters.
“It was the Yiddish of Persian Jews,” said Haggai Ben-Shammai, the library’s academic director.
Holding the documents, protected by a laminated sheath, Ben-Shammai said they included mentions of distinctly Jewish names and evidence of their commercial activities along the “Silk road” connecting Europe and the East. The obscure Judeo-Persian language, along with carbon dating technology, helped verify the authenticity of the collection, he said.
“We’ve had many historical sources on Jewish settlements in that area,” he said. “This is the first time that we have a large collection of manuscripts that represents the culture of the Jews that lived there. Until today we had nothing of this.”
The documents are believed to have come from caves in the northeast region of modern-day Afghanistan, once at the outer reaches of the Persian empire. In recent years, the same caves have served as hideouts for Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.
It remains unclear how the ancient manuscripts emerged. Ben-Shammai said the library was contacted by various antiquities dealers who got their hands on them.
Last month, the library purchased 29 out of hundreds of the documents believed to be floating around the world, after long negotiations with antiquities dealers. The library refused to say how much it paid for the collection, adding that it hoped to purchase more in the future and didn’t want to drive up prices. The documents arrived in Israel last week.
Comparisons with the other find are inevitable.
The Cairo Genizah was discovered in the late 1800s in Cairo’s Ben Ezra Synagogue, built in the ninth century. It included thousands of documents Jews stored there for more than 1,000 years.
Ben-Shammai said it was too early to compare the two, and it would take a long time to sift through the findings from Afghanistan. He said they were already significant since no other Hebrew writings had even been found so far from the Holy Land.
He said the Jewish community in the region at the time lived largely like others in the Muslim world, as a “tolerated minority” that was treated better than under Christian rule. Afghanistan’s Jewish community numbered as many as 40,000 in the late 19th century, after Persian Jews fled forced conversion.
By the mid-20th century, only about 5,000 remained, and most emigrated after Israel’s creation in 1948. A lone Jewish man remains in Afghanistan, while 25,000 Jews live in neighboring Iran - Israel’s bitter enemy.
The library promises the finds will be digitized and uploaded to its website for all to see.
Aviad Stollman, curator of the library’s Judaica collection, said much more would be gleaned after intense research on the papers, but already it tells a story of a previously little known community.
“First we can verify that they actually existed - that is the most important point,” he said. “And of course their interests. They were not interested only in commerce and liturgy; they were interested also in the Talmud and the Bible,” he said.
“They were Jews living a thousand years ago in this place. I think that is the most exciting part.”


Iranians murder a Jew in Tehran

Daniel Magrufta
A 24-year-old Iranian Jew, who was part of one of the wealthiest Jewish families in the Iranian Jewish community, was murdered last week as reported by Israeli Channel 2. The Iranian Jewish community is fuming.
His name was Daniel Magrufta, the son of a well-known businessman. He was dating the the non-Jewish daughter of a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
Channel 2 reported  that Jewish community suspects that she was involved in the murder, but she was released without any charges being brought against her.

Journal News Hypocrites! Hire armed guards, but posted addresses' of citizens that have gun permits!

The Journal News of West Nyack, N.Y., has hired armed security guards to defend its offices after receiving a torrent of phone calls and emails responding to the paper's publication of the names and addresses of area residents with pistol permits.
RGA Investigations, a private security company, "is doing private security at on location at the Journal News as a result of the negative response to the article," according to a police reportfirst obtained by the Rockland County Times (Nanuet, N.Y.) and shared with POLITICO. The guards "are armed and will be on site during business hours through at least January 2, 2013."
Last month, in the wake of last month's elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the Gannett-owned Journal News published interactive maps showing the names and addresses of pistol permit holders in New York's Westchester and Rockland counties. Conservatives and gun rights advocates publicly protested the paper's move; on Monday, the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association called for a nationwide boycott of the paper's advertisers, calling it a “wanton act” that “has put in harm's way tens of thousands of lawful license holders."
The Journal News continues to host the map on its website and has said that it will soon add a map listing all pistol permit holders in Putnam County.
According to the Clarkstown Police report, filed today, Journal News editor Caryn McBride had "previously reported a large amount of negative correspondence in response to the media outlet's publication of local gun permit holders." McBride shared one email with the police officer from "an unknown subject who wondered what McBride would get in her email now." The officer told McBride the email did not constitute an offense.
The Rockland County Times, a Journal News competitor, led its exclusive report citing the juxtaposition of targeting gun ownership while hiring armed guards.
"Guns are good for the goose but NOT for the gander," Dylan Skriloff, the Rockland County Times' associate publisher & editor-in-chief wrote.

Lebanon calls in military to investigate Israeli peppers?

Unsuspecting customer picks up a pack of peppers with word Israel printed on the sales tag, calls police • Police refer the matter to the military, who launched an investigation into the forbidden fruit and its path from Israel to Lebanon.
Israel Hayom Staff
Clear and present pepper!
  Photo credit: Yossi Zeliger


Israeli Doctors treat Obama's Grandmother, but No "Hakoras Hatoiv"


Sarah Onyango Obama is the third wife of Hussein Onyango Obama, President Obama's grandfather. She is apparently the source for much of what President Obama knows about his family in Kenya, and is one of the most important sources of family lore cited by Obama in his first memoir, Dreams from my Father.
Mrs. Obama was transported from her rural village of Nyang’oma Kogelo in western Kenya to the hospital in Equatorial Guinea, which features over one hundred Israeli personnel. The hospital facility was not founded by the Israeli government but by Israeli entrepreneurs Yardena Ovadya and Ariyeh Horesh.
It is not uncommon for Israeli entrepreneurs to create social services--such as hospitals and agricultural training programs--in African countries, often in return for access to mineral resources and investment opportunities.
Though the treatment was performed by Israeli doctors, Sarah Obama describes her medical visit to Equatorial Guinea as proof "of the fact that you don’t need to fly to Europe to get medical treatment," the Times reports.

The Weberman Trial, or: The Wolf Who Cried Bias

By David Lerner
The Satmar community sees itself as the victim in the Weberman case. Which brings to mind the saying in the Talmud: “They commit the act of Zimri and demand the reward of Pinchas.”
“The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than anyone else.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

King Alexander Jannaeus once warned his wife that the only people one needs to fear are pseudo-pious hypocrites. “They commit the act of Zimri and demand the reward of Pinchas,” he said, and this is exactly what came to mind in the aftermath of Nechemya Weberman’s trial and the surreal attempts by the Satmar Hasidic community to paint itself as the victim.
Nechemya Weberman has by now been found guilty on 59 charges, including sexual abuse of children, and the following is now abundantly clear: The Satmar Hasidic community, on our watch, protects and shelters abusers of children. This is no longer a matter for debate, but an irrefutable fact.
The community’s reaction to recent events has been truly bizarre. Community members argue that they have been unfairly depicted in the media; journalists and columnists, they claim, are biased and use anti-Semitic imagery. But the most widespread gripe is that the entire community was put on trial, and that’s unfair! Weberman’s own defense attorney, George Farkas, employed this canard in his opening statement at trial, alleging that the victim had “great vengeance and furious anger … against Nechemya Weberman, and [sought] through this to bring down the entire community that either supported him, or of which he was a part.”
In a recent interview with the squalid Ami magazine, Farkas reiterated much of this, arguing essentially: The jury didn’t get the whole truth, but I can’t tell you what that is. One can perhaps forgive George Farkas; he’s an attorney defending his client. What I do take issue with is his assertion that: “I think they [Satmar] have the right to distrust her.”
With those words, Farkas is going beyond defending Weberman. He is essentially excusing all the intimidation that led up to the trial, and restating the fatuous “the entire community was on trial.”
If there is any merit to this rather grandiose claim, it is only because the community inserted itself into the proceedings with their own actions; it is they alone who put themselves on trial. Let us review how this very community has reacted in response to the allegations against Weberman.
On May 16th of this year, the Satmar community threw an extremely well-publicized and well-attended fundraiser for Weberman, a man then accused of truly heinous acts. It is reported that they sought to raise $500,000 at this event for Weberman’s defense. Some of the publicity might be credited to victim advocates protesting at the event, but Satmar made no pretense of discretion; the event was widely announced via Yiddish posters all over Williamsburg. That their support for Weberman was meant for public consumption is further evidenced by the hiring of an unlettered PR hack; a man whose Twitter bio contains the laughable falsehood: “My Opinions are Based on Facts; Not Ideology [sic].” Employing his unique brand of casuistry, he assured the media that this was all about ensuring justice, a fair trial, and the American Way. (Justice for the victim? They overlooked that American tradition, it seems.)
A mere few weeks later it became clear that some people were willing to invest substantial capital in making this case disappear. Four Hasidic men were arrested on charges of bribery: they tried to buy the victim’s silence and/or departure with $500,000. Some will argue that these men were acting on their own, that there is no connection between the two events, but I trust intelligent and literate people to review the sequence of events and draw their own conclusion.
Let us also review what happened to the victim and her family for pursuing justice:
They have been subject to numerous threats of bodily harm.
They have been expelled from schools and synagogues.
They have had their businesses defaced and boycotted.
They have become the objects of widespread slander, dismissed as the dregs of their own society.
Satmar men photographed the accuser in court, necessitating precautions usually reserved for gang trials. (One of the men claimed to be a supporter of the victim; if that is the case he is only guilty of ignorance.)
Near the end of the trial came the most damning news of all: Schoolchildren were being recruited to prayfor Weberman’s acquittal. Teachers received instructions to employ their students in beseeching God on behalf of “the important activist” falsely accused by “debased and lowly people.” For extra weight, the instructions quoted the Shemone Esreh prayer–“May there be no hope for informants”–implying that Weberman’s accuser was deserving, as the prayer hopes, “instant annihilation.”
There is so much more: the Anthony Comstock-esque Vaad Hatznius, the perjury of the school principal denying its existence, the intimidation of Weberman’s other victims who have not yet come forward, the cowardice of Weberman’s anonymous defenders on Twitter and other social media, and much more. All these point to the same inevitable conclusion: Weberman, a man accused of monstrous offenses against children, received widespread support from the community.
And still they cry: “The community was put on trial!”
It wasn’t. It was never about the community–until they themselves made it so.
We often compare people who shout inflammatory lies to The Boy who Cried Wolf. The more conventional moral to that fable is that if one wishes to deceive, do not employ the same falsehood over and over. This eludes Satmar, one of whose leaders referred to the young girl as a “whore”–a classic tactic among those who blame victims for their abuse. But in this case, there is a unique twist to it: In Aaesop’s classic fable, the boy who cried wolf does not directly lead the wolf to his flock; the same cannot be said of Satmar. The Satmar community led the victim directly to her predator, then rejoiced in protecting, defending, and sheltering him.
Satmar had a real wolf but ignored it, and then cried about an imaginary wolf: the outside world and the media. That is disgraceful.
After all is said and done, each of us can only be responsible for our own actions and inactions. I do not believe in collective guilt, but ultra-Orthodox Jews as a group must do some serious soul-searching over how they handle criminals within their community: Child sexual abuse exists and is a serious problem; Mesirah, as Rabbi Eli Fink argued in a recent blog post, is an outdated concept that needs to be discarded; rabbinical courts do not have the power to deal with sexual predators save for the same power we all have: involving the police. The sooner all this is realized the better it will be for children. Change can happen only when more Chasidim defy societal taboos against talking about abuse and reporting abusers; maintaining the status quo will only bring about more victims.
Finally, it is no secret that many (although certainly not all) of the victim’s advocates are “OTD,” or “Off the Derech,” the people who have left the path of Orthodox and Hasidic Judaism. These men and women, including myself, are repeatedly asked: “Why do you care?” In other words: you guys left the community, so why don’t you just mind your own business?! This echoes the “outside agitators” claim used by every tyrant in dismissing calls for change, and deflects the issue entirely. But still, as a former Hasid and an “OTD” myself, I will offer this in response:
We grew up in these communities. The victims are our sisters, our brothers, our friends. We personally know many victims of abuse who have not come forward for fear of retaliation. Yes, it is true we no longer share your religious views, but we are still your brothers and sisters. We see protecting children as the most universal human value. We intimately know this community and its attitudes; we don’t want to destroy them, we want them to protect their most vulnerable members.
That is why we care, and that is why we will not remain silent.


Palestinian arrested for having sex with yeshiva students

A Palestinian man doing favors for the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community particularly on shabbat, serving as a shabbat goy, meaning doing items Jews are prohibited of doing on Shabbat, was arrested today for having sex with yeshiva students in the Israeli city of Bnei Brak, according to press reports.

Police arrested a Palestinian man living in Bnei Brak on suspicion of paying religious school students to have sex with him. The suspect has been residing in the city for 20 years and serves as a Shabbat goy.

Police estimate that over the years the suspect was able to gain the trust of several students from
the yeshiva. At one point he began to offer money in exchange for sex.

Investigators have traced so far two children who had been exploited by the suspect for an extended period of time. They estimate that there are other victims over the age of 14.

It was suspected that the Palestinian invited the yeshiva students to his house, where he had sex with them.
Police are trying to locate other victims, but are having trouble trying to get Bnei Brak residents to cooperate.

Rabbi Chaim Halpern dancing his last dance? Video


Meilech Schnitzler indicted for assaulting Nuchem Rosenberg

Brooklyn, NY - Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes today announced the indictment of Meilech Schnitzler for Attempted Assault in the First Degree, for throwing a cup of bleach in the face and eye of Rabbi Nathan Rosenberg on December 11, 2012.
Schnitzler, 37, is charged with two counts of Attempted Assault in the First Degree; Assault in the Second Degree; Assault in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree.  He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the top count.
“This indictment alleges an act of thuggery in broad daylight that cannot be tolerated,” said District Attorney Hynes.  “The indictment sends a clear message that anyone who would seek to intimidate someone opposed to the uncovering of sexual abuse in the Orthodox community will face serious criminal charges and if convicted, I will ask for the maximum jail time.”
According to the indictment, the defendant and the victim both lived in Williamsburg and knew each other.  The victim was walking past 311 Roebling Street when Schnitzler allegedly tapped Rosenberg on the shoulder, threw a cup of bleach in his face and eye and ran away.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

Weberman was leader in Va'ad Hatznius

Posters in Brooklyn call on Jewish women to abide by ultra-Orthodox standards of ‘modesty.’
This is no joke... read on:

One of the most striking ironies of the Nechemya Weberman trial, which ended with his conviction on 59 counts of sexual abuse, was the revelation that the unlicensed therapist was a member of the Va’ad Hatznius, or modesty patrol, the self-appointed arbiters of right and wrong in the Satmar community.
Until recently, the Va’ad Hatznius was little known outside the Hasidic community, but its actions have reverberated through the community for years. Although they ostensibly monitor the moral behavior of both sexes (men and women are both warned not to read English books, watch television or surf the internet), most of their energies are directed towards ensuring that women and girls dress and behave modestly.
Their reasoning is clear: When a female wears revealing clothing or chats with the opposite sex, it could entice the men, and lead to dire consequences. In other words, the goal of their injunctions is to inhibit the sexual impulses of the male population.
Where did the tradition of the Va‘ad Hatznius originate? And what do the Hasidim themselves think of it? The term V‘ad Hatznius doesn’t appear in the Bible or in the Talmud, but Maimonides does write, in Hilchos Yom Tov 6:21, that “the Beit Din [rabbinical court] must appoint officers during the festivals to patrol the gardens and orchards and along the rivers to prevent men and women from gathering there to eat and drink, lest they fall into sin.”
The Jewish communities of eastern Europe didn’t use the term Va’ad Hatznius either but religious leaders did issue rulings, forbidding women from publicly wearing fashionable clothing and jewelry, said Dr. David Fishman, professor of Jewish History at the Jewish Theological Seminary. The rulings were announced after prayer services in the synagogue or through posters hung on the synagogue door. In larger cities, posters were hung in a number of places.
A book about these rulings, published in Yiddish by Mordkhe Bernshteyn in Argentina in 1955, explains that these decrees were often quite detailed. According to rules issued by the burial society of the town of Rymanow at the turn of the nineteenth century, for example, women were forbidden from wearing golden veils, pearl-studded or silver-lined kerchiefs. In addition, the dictum said, “women should not wear any fashionable dress or shoes. Even their kerchiefs should be similar to those that their mothers wore.”
Women who defied these rulings were penalized monetarily, as were the tailors that designed them, and if a tailor continued to sew fashionable clothing, he could lose his work permit, Bernshteyn writes, quoting the records of the Rymanow tailors’ guild.
The intention of those rulings had nothing to do with preventing sexual temptation, however. “They were simply worried that if Gentiles were to see how much money Jews were spending, the wealthy landowners would raise the taxes for the entire Jewish population,” Fishman explained. In fact, men, too, were warned not to dress in conspicuously lavish clothing or wear powdered wigs.
However, these rulings were issued during a time when Jews were collecting taxes for the Czarist government and hence had the power to levy fines against members of their own community, and ex-communicate or penalize them for defying the rules. Once the Czarist government took away the power of the Jews to tax their own population in 1844, the only means that community leaders had to ensure adherence to their rulings was through social pressure – a tactic which has remained effective till today, as Hasidim continue to fear being ostracized from their community or losing valuable marriage prospects as a result of so-called indecent behavior.
The strict separation of men and women is a relatively modern one, Fishman explained. In Czarist Russia, men and women used to stand together at weddings; there was no mekhitse, or partition between them. When Sh-Anski, the author of The Dybbuk, led his series of landmark ehnographic expeditions through Volhynia and Podolia in 1912–1914, he photographed cemeteries in which the graves of even the most pious couples were found side by side. Today most Hasidic men are buried separately from their wives. The Ohel (gravesite) of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, for example, is not next to the grave of his wife, Chaya Mushka.
Rabbi Ysoscher Katz, who was raised in the Satmar community of Wiliamsburg, and is the director of the Beit Midrash program at the modern Orthodox rabbinical school, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, told the Forverts that the Va’ad Hatznius isn’t an organized body but an informal group of people who act on their own, and whose actions the Rebbe doesn’t officially condone. Every v’aad is comprised of a theoretician, one who decides which kind of behavior to ban, and enforcers.
The theoretician is usually a well-regarded figure, while the enforcers give a more fanatical impression, Katz explained. “They usually wear their tsitsis out, their hair and clothing is unkempt, and they have no job, so they don’t elicit much respect from the community. Weberman was undoubtedly a theoretician, his tsitsis didn’t hang out, his hair was combed, he had a job, this is why families trusted him.”
Katz recalled that the Va’ad Hatznius of Williamsburgh issued an edict about 20 years ago against women wearing ponjelos (loose houserobes) and turbans that revealed some hair, as they stepped outside to dump the garbage. Posters were hung everywhere, warning that tragedies might befall the community if women didn’t start dressing modestly. The Va’ad also rebuked the owners of dress shops for selling ponjelos and immodest turbans.
Katz says that the Satmar Hasidim he knows are privately upset with the Va’ad. “They say they’re bullies, extremists and have nothing better to do because they have no jobs,” he said. “But even if people don’t admire them, they still fear them.”
Rabbi David Niederman, President of the United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg, denied any knowledge of the Vaad Hatznius. When asked whether the group has the blessing of the Satmar rebbe, Niederman replied: “I don’t know (what) the Va’ad Hatznius is all about.”
The UJO is the central planning and social service agency for more than 200 organizations in Williamsburg.
The Satmars are not the only Hasidim to use modesty patrols. Katz remembers an incident his friends had with the Va’ad Hatznius of the Gerer Hasidim, while studying in Israeli yeshivas during their teen years. They had heard that the Tel Aviv Museum was interesting, so they took a trip there. Soon afterwards, their parents back home in the United States received anonymous phone calls, warning them: “You have no idea what your children are doing in Israel.”
“My friends suspected that the Va’ad was shadowing them – Katz said – and one day there was a knock at the door, and there was a Gerer Hasid saying, in Yiddish: ‘We’ve heard that improper things are going on here, that there are too many newspapers. So I’ve come to check it out.”
“Look all you want, you won’t find anything,” one of the students replied. The Gerer Hasid searched the entire apartment until he found an issue of Time Magazine with a photograph of Princess Diana on the cover. “You see?!” he exclaimed. “There really are impurities here!”


Journal News publishes names of people who have legal gun permits, but will not publish names and addresses of criminals.

A controversial decision on the part of The Journal News (http://goo.gl/ugMM4) to publish the names and addresses of hundreds of residents in Westchester and Rockland counties who possess a handgun or pistol permit has sparked a furor online and on social media, with over 1,100 comments posted on The Journal News website and 18,000 likes on Facebook so far.
ABC News reports (http://yhoo.it/W0tBDW) that gun owners’ names and addresses were placed on a virtual map, enabling viewers to click on any dot to determine who has a weapons permit and where they live.
“This is CRAZY!! Why in the world would you post every licensed gun owner’s information?? This is the type of thing you do for sex offenders, not law abiding gun owners…I am canceling my subscription with your paper today!!!” wrote one commenter.
All of the data was culled from public records. The Journal News has also put in a Freedom of Information Law request to obtain the same information for residents in Putnam County. Officials there are still in the process of gathering those records.
In a statement, The Journal News defended its decision to post the information, saying its readers “are understandably interested to know about guns in their neighborhoods,” in the wake of the shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut last week.
“We obtained the names and addresses of Westchester and Rockland residents who are licensed to own handguns through routine Freedom of Information law requests. We also requested information on the number and types of guns owned by permit holders, but officials in the county clerks offices in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties maintained that those specifics were not public record. New York’s top public-records expert, Robert Freeman, disagrees,” the statement said.
The Journal News said it would not answer any additional questions about the map.


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2. Kosher event promoter Nick Magliato 

3. Margaret Tietz tietzjewish.com - soup kitchen funded by the UJA federation in Jamaica Hills, Queens

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15. Curly Sheitels

16. Lousiegel.com - 212-921-4433