Syrian Community Moving To Limit Damage After Sting


Assistant Managing Editor
The Syrian Jewish community, based in Brooklyn and the seaside town of Deal, N.J., acted swiftly this week to control the fallout from money-laundering allegations against four prominent rabbis — charges that could put some of its major institutions under scrutiny.

New Light On Organ Trafficking

Assistant Managing Editor
The FBI knew about a Brooklyn-based organ merchant working within the Jewish community here and in Israel as far back as 2002, but for unknown reasons, did not act against him until last week.

After Fraud, A Call For Compassion

Assistant Managing Editor
Rabbi Allen Schwartz recalls Chaim Regensberg as a family man who hosted fundraisers in his Upper West Side home for charities in Israel or for Congregation Ohab Zedek, where he was an active member. “I always thought he was an honest guy, upright in all areas,” said Ohab Zedek’s rabbi, who has known Regensberg for about 10 years. “But something happened, he got in over his head and instead of coming clean immediately, it got worse.”

Ex-Israeli Soldier Nabbed On Weapons Charges

Staff Writer
An Iran-born former Israeli was arrested on weapons charges Monday after he allegedly tried to buy grenades from undercover cops. Police said an assault rifle and ammunition were found in the Queens apartment of Joshua Hedvat, according to the New York Post. Hedvat, 57, through his attorney, Samantha Seda, said he was "set up," the Post reported.

Jewish Cops Defend Turetzky

Staff Writer
Jewish police officers this week are standing firmly behind one of their own who breached the so-called "blue wall of silence" in the Abner Louima trial. "He said what he saw, and that's what a cop is supposed to do," said Sgt. Eric Finkelstein, president of the Shomrim Society, of Det. Eric Turetzky. Shomrim represents 2,800 officers, civilian employees and retirees of the NYPD.

Busch Report Blasted On Shooting Anniversary

Staff Writer
Marking the fourth anniversary of the shooting of Gideon Busch, family and friends gathered at the site in Borough Park to recite poems and prayers, while politicians called for a new investigation of the incident. Busch was gunned down by police officers who said he charged at them with a hammer after they answered a disturbance call. Witnesses said Busch posed no threat to the cops, and a forensic expert is expected to concur in a civil trial this fall.

Suspect Nabbed In Brooklyn Shul Heists

Staff Writer
A man arrested for stealing from a synagogue last year was charged Tuesday with nine more counts of burglary in Brooklyn. Police said Marc Cukierwar, 31, dressed as an Orthodox Jew and stole hundreds of dollars from charity boxes at several synagogues in the Sheepshead Bay area. It is unclear if he is actually Jewish. Cukierwar was arrested Dec. 28 while trying to buy drugs, said State Sen. Carl Kruger of Sheepshead Bay.

Pot Farm Raided

Staff Writer
Acting on a tip from an Orthodox community source, narcotics detectives from the Brooklyn District Attorney's office raided a Midwood apartment last week and confiscated 66 marijuana plants, worth an estimated $50,000. After executing a search warrant, the detectives arrested Leopold Ostreicher, 35, at the scene and charged him with felony possession of marijuana, a first-degree felony punishable by two-and-a-third to seven years in jail. Ostreicher, who has lived in the seventh-floor apartment on Ocean Parkway for two years, told authorities he is an interior designer.

'Pot Rabbi' Nabbed In Borough Park

Staff Writer
Acting on a tip from rabbinic leaders, police and narcotics investigators have arrested a 50-year-old Brooklyn man they allege is known as the "pot rabbi" among Orthodox youth. Yitzchak Fried of Midwood, who has been the leader of a controversial congregation in Manhattan's East Village, was arrested outside the Munkaczer synagogue on 13th Avenue in Borough Park on Tuesday afternoon. He was charged with criminal sale of marijuana, a third-degree felony, and faces 16 months to four years in jail.

Boro Park Drug Death Shocks Area

Staff Writer
The apparent drug overdose of a chasidic teenager in Brooklyn two weeks ago has sent shockwaves through the small but growing community of at-risk Orthodox youth, their families and the network of organizations struggling to aid them. Moshe Feiner, 19, was found dead in a Borough Park apartment on Dec. 15, the victim of a suspected heroin overdose. Sources say Feiner had undergone drug rehabilitation as many as seven times, and was well known to Jewish anti-drug programs.
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