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DA Withholding Key Evidence In Chasidic Whistleblower Case, Kellner Attorney Alleges

07/03/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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In its case against a chasidic sex abuse whistleblower, the Brooklyn district attorney's office is withholding “highly significant” evidence favorable to the defense and may have suborned perjury, according to an attorney for Sam Kellner.

Kellner, a resident of Borough Park, is awaiting trial on charges he paid a witness to fabricate claims of sexual abuse by Baruch Lebovits, a cantor and prominent member of the Munkacs chasidic community. Kellner, whose son is also an alleged Lebovits victim — and who brought additional Lebovits victims to the police — is also charged with attempting to extort money from the Lebovits family.

Member Item Funding Again Under Fire

After Quinn's grants tied to campaign donors, de Blasio says end the program; UJA-Fed. fears 'black hole.'

07/03/2013
Assistant Managing Editor
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The City Council’s system of doling out millions of dollars to community organizations is once again under fire after Speaker Christine Quinn gave a hefty chunk of her share to groups whose officials support her mayoral campaign.

Christine Quinn gave $3.1 million to organizations linked to her donors, a report says.

New York AG Alleges 19 Pro-Israel Charities Are Scams

06/28/2013
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Their names contained keywords associated with helping Israelis and others in need.

But according to New York's state attorney general, 19 organizatons tied to four individuals were fraudulent set-ups intended to aggressively hoodwink Israel supporters into donations that were mostly used for their own benefit.

In State Supreme Court in Brooklyn Thursday, Eric Schneiderman alleged the four "brazenly abused the generosity of the public” by withdrawing more than $2.5 million raised in donations for personal and family expenses from 2007 to 2013.

The organizations included Hatzalah Rescue of Israel, Magen Israel, Israel Leukemia and Cancer Society, Our Children and Zaka Israel. They were not affiliated with similarly named organizations.

The defendants named in the complaint, which was obtained by The Jewish Week, are Yaakov Weingarten, 52 and his wife, Rivka, 52, and two of his employees, Simon Weiss, 28, and David Yifat, 66.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says defendants spent charity funds for personal gain, including a casino outing.

Claims Conference Board To Discuss Fraud Behind Closed Doors

06/27/2013
Staff Writer
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For the first time since the conviction of all 31 people arrested in connection with the defrauding of $57.3 million from the Claims Conference, the organization’s board will meet July 9 to discuss its next steps – and it has decided to keep the meeting closed to the public.

Despite requests from the New York Jewish Week and the Forward , the board chairman, Julius Berman, said in a statement:

Lhota Targets Frontrunner Weiner

06/26/2013
Assistant Managing Editor
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Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota is hoping the rising popularity of Democrat Anthony Weiner will galvanize his base, calling on supporters to send cash to help him in an expected November match-up.

Republican Joe Lhota is hoping Anthony Weiner, right, will scare up some GOP cash. Skyscraper City, left. Getty Images, right.

Jewish Groups Pan Voting Rights Ruling

06/25/2013
Staff Writer
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Several Jewish organizations this week condemned a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that in effect strikes down a provision in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that has served as protection for otherwise disenfranchised voters for nearly a half-century.

Reward Offered For Tips On Anti-Jewish Messages In Borough Park

06/24/2013
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Councilman David Greenfield is offering a $1000 reward for confidential information leading to the arrest and conviction of vandals who defaced the headquarters of Community Board 12 in Borough Park. A source told The Jewish Week the messages included "Jewish pigs."

After New Research, ADL Will No Longer Honor Holocaust-Era Policeman

06/20/2013
Assistant Managing Editor
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In a dramatic reversal of historic fortunes, Giovanni Palatucci will shift from righteous gentile to possible Nazi collaborator as the Anti-Defamation League reconsiders an annual award in his honor.

Image from a website started by a relative shows Giovanni Palatucci as a young man.

New Evidence Ties Hezbollah To Burgas Terror Blast, Says Bulgaria

06/20/2013
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Bulgaria claims it has previously undisclosed evidence that further implicates Hezbollah in a deadly terrorist attack last year on Bulgarian soil, JTA has learned.

A Bulgarian representative to the European Union said Wednesday that investigators have discovered that a Hezbollah operative was the owner of a printer used to produce fake documents that facilitated the July 19 bombing of a bus filled with Israeli tourists in Burgas. Five Israelis and their Bulgarian driver were killed in the attack.

Documentary Claims Mentalist Uri Geller Was CIA Spy

06/17/2013
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The Israeli magician and psychic Uri Geller worked as a CIA spy, according to a new documentary.

“The Secret Life of Uri Geller-Psychic Spy,” by Vikram Jayanti, says Geller used his powers against Russia, including erasing Soviet floppy discs and changing the mind of an unnamed Russian leader in order to convince him to sign a nuclear arms reduction treaty, The Independent reported.

Uri Geller: Claims he refused to use powers to kill. Getty Images
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