Archive for August, 2008

Judaic Mafia Defrauds "Jews" and Forbids Victims From Reporting Crimes

August 30, 2008

It is strictly forbidden to moser [inform the non-Judaic authorities on] either a Jewish person or his property. One who mosers a Jewish person or his property has no share in the world to come. (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat, 388)

More on Orthodox Judaism’s code of omerta in Judaism Discovered, pp. 426-429.

Little outcry heard from alleged victims of pyramid scheme

By Steven G. Vegh
The Virginian-Pilot
August 29, 2008

NORFOLK

Investor Joseph Shereshevsky’s fellow Orthodox Jews are the principal victims he allegedly defrauded in a multimillion-dollar pyramid scheme, prosecutors say.

But there’s little public outcry coming from his synagogue, B’nai Israel Congregation, and Jewish law may be part of the reason.

At the first Saturday service after Shereshevsky’s Aug. 11 arrest, Rabbi Chaim Silver reminded members that Judaism forbids gossip, also known as “lashon hara,” or evil speech.

Participants at the service said Silver did not cite the scandal. But they said the connection was as obvious as the shock generated by the allegations against Shereshevsky.

“I don’t think there’s a single person in the community it hasn’t affected in some way, just because he was a benefactor and so many people had invested in or worked for him,” said a member who asked not to be identified.

Silver did not return several calls for comment. Other members also did not return calls, or refused to comment on Shereshevsky.

Shereshevsky is accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of diverting $100 million from investors with WexTrust Capital, where he was chief operating officer. His business partner, Steven Byers, also was charged.

Prosecutors call it an affinity-fraud case because Shereshevsky allegedly targeted other Orthodox Jews, in addition to other individuals …

The silences may reflect not only the ban on gossip but a Jewish custom that frowns on being a “moser,” or informant, said Samuel Heilman. A sociologist at City University of New York, Heilman writes about American Judaism and Orthodox Jews.

“The moser is somebody who hands over, literally, information that is hurtful regarding Jews to someone – to the authorities,” he said. The custom harkens to Jewish historical experience with anti-Semitic civic authorities.

“The silence speaks volumes – there’s an obvious embarrassment about this,” Heilman said of the Norfolk congregation’s quiet.

Banned from criticism, reluctant perhaps to commend the accused, for most members, “the most obvious and best tactic is to say nothing,” Heilman said.

Jonathan D. Sarna, a Brandeis University scholar of Jewish history, said close-knit Orthodox communities can sometimes function as sub-economies, or networks for doing business or trading information.

“The price you pay is that that can also be abused and it’s always very painful, much as it is in a family when a family member turns out to not be honest,” he said …

Full article:

http://hamptonroads.com/2008/08/little-outcry-heard-alleged-victims-pyramid-scheme

Judaic Mafia Defrauds "Jews" and Forbids Victims From Reporting Crimes

August 30, 2008

It is strictly forbidden to moser [inform the non-Judaic authorities on] either a Jewish person or his property. One who mosers a Jewish person or his property has no share in the world to come. (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat, 388)

More on Orthodox Judaism’s code of omerta in Judaism Discovered, pp. 426-429.

Little outcry heard from alleged victims of pyramid scheme

By Steven G. Vegh
The Virginian-Pilot
August 29, 2008

NORFOLK

Investor Joseph Shereshevsky’s fellow Orthodox Jews are the principal victims he allegedly defrauded in a multimillion-dollar pyramid scheme, prosecutors say.

But there’s little public outcry coming from his synagogue, B’nai Israel Congregation, and Jewish law may be part of the reason.

At the first Saturday service after Shereshevsky’s Aug. 11 arrest, Rabbi Chaim Silver reminded members that Judaism forbids gossip, also known as “lashon hara,” or evil speech.

Participants at the service said Silver did not cite the scandal. But they said the connection was as obvious as the shock generated by the allegations against Shereshevsky.

“I don’t think there’s a single person in the community it hasn’t affected in some way, just because he was a benefactor and so many people had invested in or worked for him,” said a member who asked not to be identified.

Silver did not return several calls for comment. Other members also did not return calls, or refused to comment on Shereshevsky.

Shereshevsky is accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of diverting $100 million from investors with WexTrust Capital, where he was chief operating officer. His business partner, Steven Byers, also was charged.

Prosecutors call it an affinity-fraud case because Shereshevsky allegedly targeted other Orthodox Jews, in addition to other individuals …

The silences may reflect not only the ban on gossip but a Jewish custom that frowns on being a “moser,” or informant, said Samuel Heilman. A sociologist at City University of New York, Heilman writes about American Judaism and Orthodox Jews.

“The moser is somebody who hands over, literally, information that is hurtful regarding Jews to someone – to the authorities,” he said. The custom harkens to Jewish historical experience with anti-Semitic civic authorities.

“The silence speaks volumes – there’s an obvious embarrassment about this,” Heilman said of the Norfolk congregation’s quiet.

Banned from criticism, reluctant perhaps to commend the accused, for most members, “the most obvious and best tactic is to say nothing,” Heilman said.

Jonathan D. Sarna, a Brandeis University scholar of Jewish history, said close-knit Orthodox communities can sometimes function as sub-economies, or networks for doing business or trading information.

“The price you pay is that that can also be abused and it’s always very painful, much as it is in a family when a family member turns out to not be honest,” he said …

Full article:

http://hamptonroads.com/2008/08/little-outcry-heard-alleged-victims-pyramid-scheme

Pederasty in the Yeshiva

August 29, 2008

Orthodox Judaism allows sodomy of boys less than nine years old (Judaism Discovered pp. 422-423). When the bishops call the rabbis their “elder brothers in the faith,” this is the faith they must be referring to. Note the similarity in impenitence between the rabbis in this matter and that of the bishops. They don’t adhere to the same rules as “the goyim.” Note also that rabbinic pederasty is aired only in Judaic publications, not in front page national headlines as is the case with pederast priests. The so-called “secular ‘Jews'” of the establishment press apparently abide by the rabbis’ code of silence.

The Satmar is an anti-Zionist sect like the Neturei Karta but both uphold Talmud and Kabbalah and all of the depravity therein as divinely inspired. Many internet truth seekers, revisionist historians and even traditional Catholics have, for some unexplained reason, allied with these Satmar and Neturei Karta anti-Zionist, “‘Torah’-true” “Jews.” If the accusations against the rabbi below are true, he would have been raping that 8 year old boy with permission from his “Torah,” which is to say, Talmud.

Satmar Teacher Accused of Sexual Abuse by Former Student

The Jewish Week

Staff Report – 08/27/2008

A teacher at a prominent Satmar yeshiva in Williamsburg has been accused of sexual assault and abuse by a former student.

In court papers filed Wednesday, Joel Engelman is seeking $5 million in damages from Rabbi Avorohom Reichman, the yeshiva, the United Talmudical Academy and the Satmar Bungalow Colony, where Reichman also teaches in the sect¹s summer camp in upstate White Lake.

The civil complaint alleges that Engelman, now 23, was 8 years old in 1993 when Rabbi Reichman sexually assaulted him. The suit alleges that Engelman “suffered psychological and physical injury, which required medical and psychological treatment,” as a result of the abuse.

The suit also alleges that the school “continues to lack basic rules protecting children from sexual assault.”

It states that a deal was in place in April whereby the Engelman family agreed not to pursue legal action in return for Reichman¹s resignation from the school and the camp. But Rabbi Reichman, according to the suit, was videotaped teaching at the camp in July, after the statute of limitations for a criminal prosecution had run out.

“The defendants fraudulently induced Joel Engelman to enter into this exchange of mutual promises, and oral contract,” the suit alleges.

It also claims that various Satmar officials investigated Engelman’s allegations and found that “there were multiple, credible complaints of sexual abuse made against Reichman.”

Calls to United Talmudical Academy and the Satmar Bungalow Colony for comment were not returned.

“I really didn¹t want this to get into the courts,” Engelman told The Jewish Week. “Had they done things differently [and fired Reichman], I probably wouldn¹t have sued. This is the last thing I wanted.”

Engelman’s sexual abuse allegations are the latest in a string of such charges made by former male yeshiva students in ultra-Orthodox schools in Brooklyn.

Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, a first grade teacher at Yeshiva Torah Temima in Flatbush, recently plead guilty to two counts of endangering the welfare of a child after being charged with several counts of sexual abuse. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes defended the last-minute plea, citing the young age of the plaintiff.

Several civil suits pending against Rabbi Kolko and the school seek a total some $50 million in damages.

http://thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c36_a13292/News/New_York.html

Pederasty in the Yeshiva

August 29, 2008

Orthodox Judaism allows sodomy of boys less than nine years old (Judaism Discovered pp. 422-423). When the bishops call the rabbis their “elder brothers in the faith,” this is the faith they must be referring to. Note the similarity in impenitence between the rabbis in this matter and that of the bishops. They don’t adhere to the same rules as “the goyim.” Note also that rabbinic pederasty is aired only in Judaic publications, not in front page national headlines as is the case with pederast priests. The so-called “secular ‘Jews'” of the establishment press apparently abide by the rabbis’ code of silence.

The Satmar is an anti-Zionist sect like the Neturei Karta but both uphold Talmud and Kabbalah and all of the depravity therein as divinely inspired. Many internet truth seekers, revisionist historians and even traditional Catholics have, for some unexplained reason, allied with these Satmar and Neturei Karta anti-Zionist, “‘Torah’-true” “Jews.” If the accusations against the rabbi below are true, he would have been raping that 8 year old boy with permission from his “Torah,” which is to say, Talmud.

Satmar Teacher Accused of Sexual Abuse by Former Student

The Jewish Week

Staff Report – 08/27/2008

A teacher at a prominent Satmar yeshiva in Williamsburg has been accused of sexual assault and abuse by a former student.

In court papers filed Wednesday, Joel Engelman is seeking $5 million in damages from Rabbi Avorohom Reichman, the yeshiva, the United Talmudical Academy and the Satmar Bungalow Colony, where Reichman also teaches in the sect¹s summer camp in upstate White Lake.

The civil complaint alleges that Engelman, now 23, was 8 years old in 1993 when Rabbi Reichman sexually assaulted him. The suit alleges that Engelman “suffered psychological and physical injury, which required medical and psychological treatment,” as a result of the abuse.

The suit also alleges that the school “continues to lack basic rules protecting children from sexual assault.”

It states that a deal was in place in April whereby the Engelman family agreed not to pursue legal action in return for Reichman¹s resignation from the school and the camp. But Rabbi Reichman, according to the suit, was videotaped teaching at the camp in July, after the statute of limitations for a criminal prosecution had run out.

“The defendants fraudulently induced Joel Engelman to enter into this exchange of mutual promises, and oral contract,” the suit alleges.

It also claims that various Satmar officials investigated Engelman’s allegations and found that “there were multiple, credible complaints of sexual abuse made against Reichman.”

Calls to United Talmudical Academy and the Satmar Bungalow Colony for comment were not returned.

“I really didn¹t want this to get into the courts,” Engelman told The Jewish Week. “Had they done things differently [and fired Reichman], I probably wouldn¹t have sued. This is the last thing I wanted.”

Engelman’s sexual abuse allegations are the latest in a string of such charges made by former male yeshiva students in ultra-Orthodox schools in Brooklyn.

Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, a first grade teacher at Yeshiva Torah Temima in Flatbush, recently plead guilty to two counts of endangering the welfare of a child after being charged with several counts of sexual abuse. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes defended the last-minute plea, citing the young age of the plaintiff.

Several civil suits pending against Rabbi Kolko and the school seek a total some $50 million in damages.

http://thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c36_a13292/News/New_York.html

From "Israel" to Los Angeles

August 27, 2008

As big as this is, it’s rather small-time compared to CIA and Mossad drug-running and money laundering operations, but apparently big enough to draw the ire of these organizations. Also, Moroccan “Jews” are low on the totem pole in racist “Israel.”

From Israel to Los Angeles

ALLISON HOFFMAN

Jerusalem Post – Aug 27, 2008

Meir Abergil (left) and Yitzhak Abergil (third from left) in court on Tuesday.

When the Abergil crime organization needed to expand its drug operation in Los Angeles, US federal prosecutors claim they turned for help to an upstart Latino street gang known as the Vineland Boyz.

Named after a street running through working-class San Fernando Valley neighborhoods northwest of downtown Los Angeles and just a few miles from glamorous studio back-lots, the Boyz allegedly first teamed up with Israelis in 2000, offering protection to Itzhik Abergil’s partner Moshe Malul and helping him deal thousands of Ecstasy pills in their territory.

The cooperation wasn’t unusual, experts said.

“Somebody from the street gang needs large quantities, and the Israelis can provide a source,” said Myles Malman, a former assistant US attorney in Miami who prosecuted Israeli crime-rings there. “The Israelis control the Ecstasy trade from the source, but not on the street.”

The Vineland Boyz were in many ways perfect partners for Abergil and Malul. First established in the late 1980s by members of a high school football team, they established themselves by fighting for control of their turf with the Mexican Mafia, the dominant gang controlling illicit activities in Southern California neighborhoods and prisons.

Their feud with the Mexican Mafia, known as “La Eme,” sent the Boyz looking for ready supplies of drugs, and the Israelis could provide them. Prosecutors allege Malul took shipment of more than a million Ecstasy tablets in Los Angeles in April 2001 alone and sold them through the Vineland Boyz network.

By 2003, a member of the gang, Luis Sandoval, known as Hog, was working as a hit man for the Abergil-Malul drug syndicate. According to a sweeping federal indictment, Sandoval and two unidentified co-conspirators had gone to Cafe Bazel, a chic restaurant popular with expatriate Israeli artists in the Encino area, and fatally shot a man suspected of stealing 76 kilograms of Ecstasy tablets from Malul and Abergil.

The August 31, 2003, hit appears to have been the high point of the Israelis’ collaboration with the Vineland crew. Within a few months, Abergil, possibly concerned about new organized-crime laws in Israel, allegedly began distancing himself from Malul in conversations with unnamed associates, telling them that Malul made the decisions for his own group.

In November 2003, the Vineland Boyz became the targets of a multi-layered probe by the Los Angeles Police Department and federal officials after a suspected member of the group allegedly shot and killed a police officer in the Los Angeles suburb of Burbank and then fled to Mexico, prompting public calls for a crackdown.

In 2005, the gang was largely undone by a massive raid in which 1,300 law enforcement agents arrested two dozen members on racketeering charges and a host of drug and weapons counts.

Abergil, whose organization the US State Department ranks among the top 40 drug importers into the country, was quick to establish other connections in Los Angeles. He partnered with one pair who allegedly arranged transport of Ecstasy tablets stuffed inside toy tigers from the Abergils’ base in Antwerp, Belgium, to California, according to the indictment. Other loads went by Federal Express or other direct mail services.

“They all will make these alliances where they need help,” said Jonathan Edelstein, an attorney in private practice who has written legal articles about Israeli narcotics smugglers. “If for whatever reason it becomes unworkable with a certain group, then they find another group.”

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1219572136072&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

From "Israel" to Los Angeles

August 27, 2008

As big as this is, it’s rather small-time compared to CIA and Mossad drug-running and money laundering operations, but apparently big enough to draw the ire of these organizations. Also, Moroccan “Jews” are low on the totem pole in racist “Israel.”

From Israel to Los Angeles

ALLISON HOFFMAN

Jerusalem Post – Aug 27, 2008

Meir Abergil (left) and Yitzhak Abergil (third from left) in court on Tuesday.

When the Abergil crime organization needed to expand its drug operation in Los Angeles, US federal prosecutors claim they turned for help to an upstart Latino street gang known as the Vineland Boyz.

Named after a street running through working-class San Fernando Valley neighborhoods northwest of downtown Los Angeles and just a few miles from glamorous studio back-lots, the Boyz allegedly first teamed up with Israelis in 2000, offering protection to Itzhik Abergil’s partner Moshe Malul and helping him deal thousands of Ecstasy pills in their territory.

The cooperation wasn’t unusual, experts said.

“Somebody from the street gang needs large quantities, and the Israelis can provide a source,” said Myles Malman, a former assistant US attorney in Miami who prosecuted Israeli crime-rings there. “The Israelis control the Ecstasy trade from the source, but not on the street.”

The Vineland Boyz were in many ways perfect partners for Abergil and Malul. First established in the late 1980s by members of a high school football team, they established themselves by fighting for control of their turf with the Mexican Mafia, the dominant gang controlling illicit activities in Southern California neighborhoods and prisons.

Their feud with the Mexican Mafia, known as “La Eme,” sent the Boyz looking for ready supplies of drugs, and the Israelis could provide them. Prosecutors allege Malul took shipment of more than a million Ecstasy tablets in Los Angeles in April 2001 alone and sold them through the Vineland Boyz network.

By 2003, a member of the gang, Luis Sandoval, known as Hog, was working as a hit man for the Abergil-Malul drug syndicate. According to a sweeping federal indictment, Sandoval and two unidentified co-conspirators had gone to Cafe Bazel, a chic restaurant popular with expatriate Israeli artists in the Encino area, and fatally shot a man suspected of stealing 76 kilograms of Ecstasy tablets from Malul and Abergil.

The August 31, 2003, hit appears to have been the high point of the Israelis’ collaboration with the Vineland crew. Within a few months, Abergil, possibly concerned about new organized-crime laws in Israel, allegedly began distancing himself from Malul in conversations with unnamed associates, telling them that Malul made the decisions for his own group.

In November 2003, the Vineland Boyz became the targets of a multi-layered probe by the Los Angeles Police Department and federal officials after a suspected member of the group allegedly shot and killed a police officer in the Los Angeles suburb of Burbank and then fled to Mexico, prompting public calls for a crackdown.

In 2005, the gang was largely undone by a massive raid in which 1,300 law enforcement agents arrested two dozen members on racketeering charges and a host of drug and weapons counts.

Abergil, whose organization the US State Department ranks among the top 40 drug importers into the country, was quick to establish other connections in Los Angeles. He partnered with one pair who allegedly arranged transport of Ecstasy tablets stuffed inside toy tigers from the Abergils’ base in Antwerp, Belgium, to California, according to the indictment. Other loads went by Federal Express or other direct mail services.

“They all will make these alliances where they need help,” said Jonathan Edelstein, an attorney in private practice who has written legal articles about Israeli narcotics smugglers. “If for whatever reason it becomes unworkable with a certain group, then they find another group.”

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1219572136072&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

From "Israel" to Los Angeles

August 27, 2008

As big as this is, it’s rather small-time compared to CIA and Mossad drug-running and money laundering operations, but apparently big enough to draw the ire of these organizations. Also, Moroccan “Jews” are low on the totem pole in racist “Israel.”

From Israel to Los Angeles

ALLISON HOFFMAN

Jerusalem Post – Aug 27, 2008

Meir Abergil (left) and Yitzhak Abergil (third from left) in court on Tuesday.

When the Abergil crime organization needed to expand its drug operation in Los Angeles, US federal prosecutors claim they turned for help to an upstart Latino street gang known as the Vineland Boyz.

Named after a street running through working-class San Fernando Valley neighborhoods northwest of downtown Los Angeles and just a few miles from glamorous studio back-lots, the Boyz allegedly first teamed up with Israelis in 2000, offering protection to Itzhik Abergil’s partner Moshe Malul and helping him deal thousands of Ecstasy pills in their territory.

The cooperation wasn’t unusual, experts said.

“Somebody from the street gang needs large quantities, and the Israelis can provide a source,” said Myles Malman, a former assistant US attorney in Miami who prosecuted Israeli crime-rings there. “The Israelis control the Ecstasy trade from the source, but not on the street.”

The Vineland Boyz were in many ways perfect partners for Abergil and Malul. First established in the late 1980s by members of a high school football team, they established themselves by fighting for control of their turf with the Mexican Mafia, the dominant gang controlling illicit activities in Southern California neighborhoods and prisons.

Their feud with the Mexican Mafia, known as “La Eme,” sent the Boyz looking for ready supplies of drugs, and the Israelis could provide them. Prosecutors allege Malul took shipment of more than a million Ecstasy tablets in Los Angeles in April 2001 alone and sold them through the Vineland Boyz network.

By 2003, a member of the gang, Luis Sandoval, known as Hog, was working as a hit man for the Abergil-Malul drug syndicate. According to a sweeping federal indictment, Sandoval and two unidentified co-conspirators had gone to Cafe Bazel, a chic restaurant popular with expatriate Israeli artists in the Encino area, and fatally shot a man suspected of stealing 76 kilograms of Ecstasy tablets from Malul and Abergil.

The August 31, 2003, hit appears to have been the high point of the Israelis’ collaboration with the Vineland crew. Within a few months, Abergil, possibly concerned about new organized-crime laws in Israel, allegedly began distancing himself from Malul in conversations with unnamed associates, telling them that Malul made the decisions for his own group.

In November 2003, the Vineland Boyz became the targets of a multi-layered probe by the Los Angeles Police Department and federal officials after a suspected member of the group allegedly shot and killed a police officer in the Los Angeles suburb of Burbank and then fled to Mexico, prompting public calls for a crackdown.

In 2005, the gang was largely undone by a massive raid in which 1,300 law enforcement agents arrested two dozen members on racketeering charges and a host of drug and weapons counts.

Abergil, whose organization the US State Department ranks among the top 40 drug importers into the country, was quick to establish other connections in Los Angeles. He partnered with one pair who allegedly arranged transport of Ecstasy tablets stuffed inside toy tigers from the Abergils’ base in Antwerp, Belgium, to California, according to the indictment. Other loads went by Federal Express or other direct mail services.

“They all will make these alliances where they need help,” said Jonathan Edelstein, an attorney in private practice who has written legal articles about Israeli narcotics smugglers. “If for whatever reason it becomes unworkable with a certain group, then they find another group.”

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1219572136072&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

More Incest, Child Abuse, Filicide in "Israel"

August 26, 2008

Israël: un homme soupçonné d’avoir battu à mort sa petite-fille française

http://www.lemonde.fr/web/depeches/texte/0,14-0,39-36731289,0.html

Judaism sanctions incest and child rape. See Judaism Discovered, pp. 422-425, 436.

More Incest, Child Abuse, Filicide in "Israel"

August 26, 2008

Israël: un homme soupçonné d’avoir battu à mort sa petite-fille française

http://www.lemonde.fr/web/depeches/texte/0,14-0,39-36731289,0.html

Judaism sanctions incest and child rape. See Judaism Discovered, pp. 422-425, 436.

"Elder Brothers’" Voodoo Ritual Comes Under PETA Scrutiny

August 26, 2008

More on Kapparot in Judaism Discovered pp. 516-520.

Also see:
Benedict’s Elder Brothers and their Voodoo Ritual

PETA alleges bird dumping at High Holidays ritual in Brooklyn

PETA undercover cameras show chicken carcasses piled in a Dumpster after slaughtering at the kapparot center in Crown Heights, Brooklyn in 2006.

By Sue Fishkoff – 08/25/2008

NEW YORK (JTA) — An animal rights group is calling for a New York state investigation into kapparot, the High Holidays ritual that involves swinging a live chicken over one’s head.

The ceremony is meant to transfer one’s sins to the bird, which is then slaughtered and its meat or an equivalent monetary amount, is given to the poor.

Instead, the rights group charges, thousands of dead chickens were thrown away in Dumpsters following last year’s ritual in Brooklyn, a violation of Jewish law and a burden on sanitation workers.

It’s the second year in a row that the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, is objecting to kapparot — also pronounced kapparos — in the New York City borough, but the first year it is focusing on dumping dead birds.

Last summer’s complaint to the state and city was more wide ranging, alleging a variety of health and safety violations as well as animal cruelty.

On Monday, in a letter to the state’s kosher law enforcement division, PETA asks that Rabbi Shea Hecht of the National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education be investigated for possible consumer fraud at the kapparot center he runs in Crown Heights.

The letter charges that on Sept. 20, 2007, the center discarded thousands of chickens slaughtered after the ceremony, throwing their carcasses into hundreds of trash bags picked up the next day by Greg’s Express.

“These are chickens that consumers expected to be processed for meat that would be distributed as tzedakah,” or charity, it states. “Participants at NCFJE clearly did not expect the chickens they made kapporos with … to be disposed of as trash.”

As the center knew it was selling and killing more chickens than it could process, the complaint continues, its actions constituted deceptive advertising and consumer fraud, as well as a violation of the principle of “ba’al tashchit,” or wasteful, wanton destruction.

A separate letter was submitted to the Kashrus Information Center, an independent association of more than 100 rabbis that monitors kosher affairs in Brooklyn.

Hecht vehemently denies PETA’s allegation.

“To my knowledge I didn’t throw out any chickens last year,” he told JTA. “Last time I checked, in this country we have a right to swing a chicken over our head and give it to the poor to eat. It’s a beautiful thing.”

Rabbi Moshe Weiner, the rabbinic administrator of the information center, said that sites operated by communal organizations such as Hecht’s are well run. Weiner acknowledged problems at unlicensed “fly-by-nights,” but said the situation had significantly improved because of proactive steps taken by area rabbis.

Nevetheless he is taking the situation seriously, he told JTA, and has already called for a meeting of leading rabbis, the state authorities and Hecht to address PETA’s concerns. “If something is wrong we have to clean up our act,” he said. “We are not shrugging it off.”

The recent complaints are based on the work of PETA staffers Hannah and Philip Schein, a married couple who have been documenting what they allege to be health, safety and animal welfare abuses at Brooklyn’s estimated 14 kapparot centers for the past three years. They were chosen because they are Jewish, they say; and both are former Hillel program directors — Hannah at Princeton University and Philip at Syracuse.

Although this year’s letter focused on disposal problems, animal welfare continues to be a concern, the Scheins say. Some centers become overwhelmed by demand and use young men not properly trained in shechting, or kosher slaughter, they say.

“They’re supposed to put the chickens in cones to bleed out,” said Hannah Schein, showing a video the couple shot at one Brooklyn center last year. “These youngsters were just taking them after shechting and putting them in garbage bags.”

Pointing to several Chasidic boys standing in a Dumpster surrounded by chicken carcasses, she asked, “How is this fulfilling my mitzvah of kapparos?”

The Scheins, who live near PETA headquarters in Norfolk, Va., came to light earlier this year as the couple responsible for the first undercover videos of controversial slaughter methods at Agriprocessors, the kosher meat plant in Postville, Iowa, that is currently at the center of a legal maelstrom.

“Here you can see, in the whole shechting area, they’re piled five to six layers high,” said Philip Schein, walking a reporter through footage he shot at kapparot sites in 2005 and 2006. “Some of them are still alive. There’s blood everywhere. It’s the most unhygienic thing I’ve ever seen.”

Weiner told JTA that “chickens were dumped” at some sites. One site in Flatbush, which did not operate last year, was a notorious violator.

“They slaughtered too many, couldn’t process them, then dumped them in the garbage,” Weiner recalled.

Talking about the unlicensed “fly-by-nights,” he said, “They buy chickens, hire a shochet and have no supervision. It’s true, it got out of hand.” But, Weiner added, things were much better last year.

A week after the PETA complaint was submitted on July 30, 2007, about a dozen leading rabbis met to discuss how to clean up kapparot and clamp down on the worst offenders.

In a letter signed by 27 of their colleagues, the rabbis warned local Jews to patronize only those kapparot centers with rabbinic supervision.

Rabbi Luzer Weiss, the director of the Brooklyn office of the Kosher Law Enforcement Division of the New York State agriculture department, said that every center was told it must have a rabbi on site from the time the chickens arrived early in the morning through the slaughter process to ensure the animals are given food, water and appropriate shelter.

Weiner said at least three centers decided not to open because they did not want to pay for such supervision.

“There were people walking around from place to place, checking,” Weiss said. “Thank God, it went very well.”

Not that well, the Scheins claim. While they did see latex gloves and other indications of health and safety precautions at last year’s kapparot sites, the Scheins said the chicken dumping and other animal welfare issues were as bad as ever.

Weiss said he received no reports of dumping in 2007.

For years, Orthodox groups have warned against sloppy kapparot sites in Brooklyn. In 2001, Kashrus magazine, a watchdog publication for the kosher industry, urged much tighter control over kapparot.

For the past five years, the Kashrus Information Center has warned Jewish consumers about violations it observed at some centers and issued guidelines for correct practice.

The problem is that no one agency of any kind, religious or government, is in charge of overseeing or enforcing kapparot. The Scheins found that out when they submitted their first complaint last year. Each agency passed the buck to the next, they said.

“The power is in the hands of the consumer,” said Rabbi Moshe Elefant of the Orthodox Union, one of the rabbis at last year’s August meeting. “The consumer has to say, ‘I will not go to a kapparot center that is not supervised.’ And their rabbi has to tell them not to go.”

In preparation for this year’s kapparot, which will take place Oct. 2-8 throughout the borough, rabbis again are urging the Jewish public to keep its eyes open and telling kapparot centers to obey the law, secular and Jewish.

In its summer issue, Kashrus magazine printed a nine-point guideline for ethical and safe kapparot worked out by the magazine’s publisher, Rabbi Yosef Wikler, in cooperation with kosher slaughter expert Dr. Joe Regenstein of Cornell University.

Weiner worries about bringing the state into the issue.

“It could open up the door for groups like PETA to give trouble to the legal ones,” putting the entire ritual in jeopardy, he said.

That’s OK with the Scheins, who point out that Jewish law allows one to give money to charity instead of swinging a chicken. Today it is primarily Chasidim who still observe the full ritual.

That may be so, Weiner said, “but each community has the right to practice its own customs.”

Nevertheless, he added, it must be done “in a legal and humane way.”

http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/news/article/20080825kapporosPETA08252008.html