A Brooklyn native voluntarily returned to New York from Israel and pleaded guilty for his role in a drug-money laundering scandal involving members of the Bobover chasidic sect, two prominent Orthodox community leaders and a Colombian cartel.
In the unusual scenario, Michael Halberstam agreed to a plea bargain last month with the office of the U.S. Attorney's Eastern District. His surrender contrasts with recent episodes (notably the Samuel Sheinbein murder case) in which the United States has attempted to extradite Americans from Israel.
Charging that the FBI is being compromised by political concerns, activist Rabbi Avi Weiss is seeking a meeting with U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to discuss why the July 4 shootings at Los Angeles International Airport have not been classified a terrorist incident: in apparent neglect of the Justice Department's own guidelines.
Uri Tannenbaum hasn't seen or talked to his father in nearly two years.
Last week, he tried to get a message to his dad the only way he can: through the media.
"Dad, you must know you're with us. We love you. We miss you," Uri said, not knowing for sure whether Elchanan Tannenbaum will ever hear his words: or if he's even still alive.
Brian Burstin has been praying at Congregation Talmud Torah of Flatbush in Brooklyn since 1967, when he was 11.
Before that, his parents were members at the stately yellow brick Modern Orthodox synagogue on Coney Island Avenue, near the busy Avenue J kosher shopping strip in the Midwood section. The shul's late Rabbi Leo Landman, one of only three spiritual leaders in the synagogue's 80-year-history, performed Burstin's wedding.
Fallout continues this week over Mel Gibson's upcoming film "The Passion," about the violent death of Jesus, following a blistering review by the Anti-Defamation League and other viewers after a screening in Houston.
New developments include:
The battle of the heavyweights may be over, but the race for cash continues. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's stunning departure from the race against First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton transforms what was expected to be the most expensive U.S. Senate campaign in history into a race against time for Giuliani's replacement, the relatively unknown Long Island Rep. Rick Lazio.
"The key question is now how quickly he can ramp up his fund raising," said Sheila Krumholz, research director for the Center for Responsive Politics, a campaign watchdog group, of Lazio.
Last Passover, as Jeffrey Rubin and his son Benjamin were heading for early morning prayers at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, they discussed how to help Israel as the Palestinian attacks against the nation increased.
Benjamin, then a 15-year-old junior at Long Island’s Hebrew Academy for the Five Towns and Rockaway, came up with the idea to unite American yeshiva teens to show support. With the help of fellow student Baruch Danziger, they formed the National Council of Yeshivot in Support of Israel.
Should a Jewish research center set aside a prayer room adhering to the standards of one Jewish denomination? The question has generated a debate between secularists and religionists over the multimillion-dollar renovations at Manhattan’s Center for Jewish History.
Rabbi Mahir Reiss, a respected Brooklyn businessman and Orthodox Jewish philanthropist credited with resolving international Jewish religious disputes, was sentenced to 27 months and fined $6.3 million for his role in an international money-laundering scheme involving a Colombian drug ring. In handing down the sentence, U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein on Wednesday based his decision on whether the 48-year-old Reiss knew that the illegal money he was laundering involved drugs. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Dunst contended Reiss knew.
When Palestinian Authority President Yasir Arafat sought an economic adviser for the proposed first joint industrial project with Israel, he turned to a 63-year-old Libyan Jewish businessman who has broken bread with Col. Moammar Khadafy.
And the businessman, Rafello Fellah, is betting his reputation and a small fortune that the proposed Karni Industrial Free Trade Zone on the border of Israel and Gaza will help foster a new era of peace between the two entities.