News

No Sex Charge For Kolko; Boys’ Parents Foiled By DA

04/16/2008
Special Report/Editor at Large
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.

Yeshiva Fired, Then Paid, Rabbi Charged With Abuse

04/02/2008
Special Report/Editor at Large.
A Brooklyn rabbi charged with having sexually molested his students has collected almost $70,000 from Yeshiva Torah Temimah and entities linked to it since the school put him on administrative leave 22 months ago. Rabbi Yehuda Kolko received payments ranging from $3,000 to $9,000 per month between May 2006 and December 2007, according to court records obtained by The Jewish Week. The court records also suggest that before Rabbi Kolko left the school, he received tens of thousands of dollars above his reported yearly income at the school’s direction.

Playing With The Banned

03/05/2008
Special To The Jewish Week
Did the haredi rabbis go too far this time? That’s the question being asked in some circles after a ban issued by 33 fervently Orthodox rabbinic authorities forced the cancellation of a major charity concert slated to feature chasidic singing sensation Lipa Schmeltzer this week at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden. The offense?

BREAKING: Lawyers Against Kolko Seek Additional Victims; Trial Set For March 31

03/12/2008

Special to the Jewish Week
Lawyers representing "several men" and "two young boys" who were allegedly sexually molested by a teacher at Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Brooklyn sent a letter March 13 to the families of more than 600 male students who had Rabbi Yehuda Kolko as an instructor. The letter, from attorneys Jeffrey Herman and Michael Dowd, is "seeking any information that may be helpful to these important cases, including information that staff at Torah Temimah and/or [founder and head of school] Rabbi [Lipa] Margulies was aware of allegations against Rabbi Kolko."

For Kosher Meat Giant, A ‘Dreyfus’ Trial

07/30/2008
Staff Writer
If answers aren’t exactly forthcoming from Postville, well then, people are going to Postville to try and seek them out. A veritable parade of Jews — busloads from the Midwest last Sunday for a rally on behalf of immigrant rights, and this week a group of Orthodox rabbis traveling at Agriprocessors’s expense on what is being called “a fact-finding mission” — went looking for answers about the conditions in which their kosher meat is produced.

Keeping Her Eyes On Elderly

07/23/2008
Staff Writer
When Vivian Fenster Ehrlich left a career in publishing to become executive director of the nonprofit Dorot, 21 years ago, it had a budget of $700,000 and a staff of 24 crammed into two floors of a decrepit brownstone on West 91st Street. Now, as she prepares to become director emerita and start a venture she isn’t ready to publicly discuss, Ehrlich is running an organization with 10 times the budget and nearly three times as many staff, working out of its own 10,000-square-foot townhouse a few blocks south.

Group Ends Agriprocessors Boycott

07/09/2008
Staff Writer
The main organization urging a boycott against the embattled kosher meat giant Agriprocessors reversed course this week, issuing a statement praising  “significant steps” taken by the manufacturer and lauding “early signs of reform.” In announcing the end of its boycott, Shmuly Yanklowitz, director of Uri L’Tzedek (Awaken to Justice), told The Jewish Week, “There has been a victory in the last week.”

‘Scary’ Time For Jewish Nonprofits

07/02/2008
Staff Writer
Financial headlines are heralding hard times and Jewish newspaper headlines are, too; the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, an international relief agency, is cutting 60 jobs, the Jewish federation umbrella group United Jewish Communities is slashing at least 37, and the Jewish Theological Seminary, facing a $2.2 million budget shortfall, may trim its teaching staff.

Breast-Feeding Kosher In Shul

07/15/2005
Staff Writer
To the truly religious, the Torah is like mother's milk: sustaining and nurturing. Many, however, don't believe the sanctuary is a place where mothers and their babies should extend that metaphor into breast-feeding. In their view, the only thing that should be uncovered during services is the Torah scroll. But a new religious opinion passed recently by the Conservative movement's law committee endorses the idea of women discreetly breast-feeding their children in the sanctuary.

Conservatives' Rainbow Coalition

07/08/2005
Staff Writer
In the week since gay-friendly Conservative rabbis organized themselves, for the first time, into a public group (called Keshet Rabbis) their numbers have nearly doubled. Last week, 75 members of the movement's Rabbinical Assembly signed up to offer counseling and consultation to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Conservative Jews. This week the number stands at 137, just under 10 percent of the RA's 1,500 members.
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