In a surprise move, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, the Brooklyn yeshiva teacher charged with having sexually molested his students, pleaded guilty Monday to two lesser counts of child endangerment and was sentenced to three years’ probation.
Under the plea agreement, Rabbi Kolko, 62, made no admission of sexual wrongdoing. He will not have to register as a sex offender, and pleaded guilty only to a misdemeanor — not a felony.
Chasidic leaders in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, were scrambling this week to find homes for some 40 residents evicted from their apartments Monday night: the latest, and most ironic victims of an expanding, politically charged probe of alleged safety violations by local developer Chaim Ostreicher.
The homeless chasidim, from seven families, were doubled up in the homes of other families and sheltered in local synagogues on an emergency basis. But community leaders stressed this was only temporary.
Two years ago, Brooklyn State Supreme Court Justice Gerald Garson was hailed by several Jewish women's groups for forcing an obstinate Orthodox husband to give a get, or religious divorce, to his young Sephardic wife.
In a landmark decision, Garson invoked the 1983 New York State Get Law and ordered the husband to pay his 22-year-old wife of four months the sum of $500 a week in permanent maintenance because he refused to "remove a barrier to her remarriage" by denying her the get.
Gov. George Pataki’s top Jewish liaison has been grilled by a federal grand jury in Brooklyn investigating whether the state gave special treatment to two Israeli drug dealers. The dealers were granted leniency after requests from a leading Pataki fund-raiser, Rabbi Leon Perlmutter, a prominent member of the Satmar chasidic community.
Jeff Wiesenfeld, Pataki’s executive assistant who deals with Jewish affairs, appeared before the grand jury in Brooklyn several weeks ago, sources said.
There’s nothing more predictable than politicians (and their followers) saying “my opponent is playing to people’s fears,” as if that disccredits the reason people are afraid in the first place. Opponents of William Thompson have warned that if elected this Democrat might turn New York back into the Fort Apache anarchy of the David Dinkins years, or into the Detroit or Newark of this year.
A new and more serious indictment — possibly including rape charges — may be filed as early as next week against Israel’s disgraced former president Moshe Katsav after his withdrawal Tuesday from a plea deal that would have kept him out of jail.
“I want to fight for my innocence,” Katsav told a three-judge panel in Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court. “I have been thinking about this for a long time, and it was finalized in my mind today.”
A day after the arson fire at a Hauppauge, L.I., synagogue last week, a congregant at the neighboring Dix Hills Jewish Center rushed up to the rabbi to ask about security for the High Holy Days.
"He said security was being beefed up and that there was nothing to be worried about," the congregant, Elaine Greenwald, said later of her conversation with Rabbi Howard Buechler. "I trust that when the rabbi tells me that, we're doing all we can."
Other than the occasional murder, few newspaper stories, if any, originate from the desolation of East Tremont Avenue; certainly no stories in Jewish newspapers, now that all the Jews have long ago scattered from these Bronx streets. Thereís nothing left on East Tremont, is there? But let it be written, in the words of the biblical Jacob: ìSurely, God is in this place ó and I, I did not know.