Wednesday, November 3, 2021

How I Helped Yanky Kanievsky Buy His Luxury Home

Yanky Kanievsky, grandson and manager of Rav Chaim Kanievsky, just bought a new home. It's a stunningly decorated, three-floor home, very different from the standard apartments in Bnei Brak. He paid the entire sum outright, without taking out any mortgage. He didn't even have to sell his previous home in order to buy it. After all, he didn't need his own money for it. 

He had mine.

I'm still not clear as to exactly how it happened. True, I don't check my credit card statements as carefully as I should. There are several standing monthly payments to various charities. Back in 2018, I received a receipt from one such charity, called Beit David, but I was suddenly suspicious, because I hadn't remembered ever donating to it. Looking into it further, I saw that it was based in the Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet - the extremists' neighborhood, which I couldn't imagine housing a charity that I would give to. The receipt was for a standing monthly payment that was taking place over two years! I immediately stopped the payments. 

I vaguely remember calling them and asking how they had started processing donations from me, and not receiving any satisfactory answer. Meanwhile, on the local Beit Shemesh email list, it turned out that there were others in the same position. Beit David had taken thousands of shekels from their bank account, over a prolonged period, without their knowledge or consent.

I had forgotten all about this until a few days ago, when I learned about Yanky Kanievsky's extraordinary new home. How did a thirty-year-old kollel student afford such a property?

One friend of mine told me that many people simply give him gifts. They are so enthralled to have someone as special as Rav Chaim in the world, that they gladly give money to him. Of course, the physical act of giving is done via his family manager. Who uses it to buy a luxury home.

That in itself is distasteful, but it seems that there are much, much worse things taking place.

A few weeks ago, an explosive piece of investigative journalism in The Marker (which you can also read here) revealed shocking facts about some high-profile charity campaigns. It was summarized in English on Twitter and commented upon by journalist Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt as follows:

‘The industry behind “Yocheved has kidney disease” & “Yossi needs heart surgery” is a murky one, peopled with activists, journalists & broadcasters who milk charities & divide loot among themselves. At best, the remaining crumbs go to the needy.’ 

Orthodox community members are constantly bombarded with heartbreaking fundraising pleas — destitute brides, emergency transplants, children orphaned by Covid. Charity is sewn into our very ethic: Torah, repentance and charity save us from an evil decree, our sages teach. And donors, from big to small, open their hearts and wallets— and sometimes, are being swindled, according to this report. The report shows how a vast majority of fundraising proceeds from one charity org go to media channels & askanim

The numbers tell it all: an Israeli non-profit campaigned for medical expenses for 26 patients. Auditors requested support files of the 26; 18 of them were "lost." The 8 cases that were found revealed that of a total of NIS 8.8 million raised for 8 patients, only about NIS 950K was transferred to beneficiaries in total. That’s about 11%.

Another campaign, "Saving Yocheved,” sought to raise funds for a woman’s urgent surgery for a kidney transplant. The public opened their wallets, pouring in donations. NIS 5 million was raised. However, according to the report, only NIS 116K went to Yocheved. 98% of the money went to the mechanism around it, to well-known radio programs, media consultants and procurers of rabbinic support. 98%.

One donor named Avraham Schechter claimed in a lawsuit that he tried to find out if Tamar, the "sick orphan" whose story broke his heart & inspired him to give NIS 18K, did exist. He contacted the call center & radio station, asked to speak with Tamar, but was refused. (The CEO of Kol Barama insisted to TheMarker that it is not his job to find out if the people at the center of campaigns they broadcast do exist.)

Our communities have a serious problem on our hands — the lack of fiscal transparency in religious nonprofits, the ease with which corruption happens at the expense of innocent donors, and the systemic cover-up of this. Certainly, not all charities are the same but this case shows how sizable, easy and broad a charity fraud can be. What ensures us that this is not happening elsewhere? What mechanisms are we building to protect both baalei tzedakah & our most vulnerable? Community members ought to be demanding: Where are our tzedakah donations going? And how are our own media companies complicit in this — abdicating their responsibility to comfort the afflicted, and instead choosing to comfort the comfortable?

It is disturbing to witness such a cynical abuse of belief and kindness. Robbing widows, sick & orphans in the name of chesed, while promising blessings to the naive donors who do it as an act of pure tzedakah —This is literally choosing fatty meat and incense over the rights of the orphan & the cause of the widow.לִמְדוּ הֵיטֵב דִּרְשׁוּ מִשְׁפּט!

Postscript: I hesitated to tweet this because I know some of the players here, & there will be implications for me merely for sharing this. But I realized the reasons for hesitation are the same reasons our community stays silent about too many festering issues.  (Source: https://threader.app/thread/1445037141961158665)

The article specifically mentioned that large funds are paid to those who obtain celebrity rabbinic endorsements, such as the House of Rav Kanievsky. And it names the charity at the center of this scandal: Beit David. As you can see on Beit David's website, they have a prominent endorsement from Rav Chaim Kanievsky. Meanwhile, a check on the Ministry of Justice website reveals that this charity is being shut down under court order.

Now, it would certainly be false to claim that all charedi charities are like Beit David. There are many charedi charities with which the funds donated do indeed reach the intended recipients.

At the same time, however, it's pretty clear how Yanky Kanievsky paid for his luxury home. It's not just Beit David that needed Rav Chaim's endorsement. It's whoever is seeking to obtain some of the power that Rav Chaim's persona wields. As another very important article in The Marker detailed:

Controlling which nonprofit will receive the rabbi's blessing and which radio station will advertise the House's activities and fundraising is worth a lot of power and money in Haredi society. In the sector, Yanki is described as the community kingmaker, the one who pulls the strings and whose authority is undisputed. He has the power to arrange who will be employed in the sector's various educational institutions, public events, political institutions, and also who will be fired and where will budgets be channeled. He recommends PRs, advertisers, producers, photographers, strategic advisors, journalists and lawyers, such that no one wants to quarrel with the House, because that could mean a loss of livelihood.

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Yanky Kanievsky is clearly an unsavory character, and that's even before you find out about his support of molesters. He is monetizing his grandfather's influence, with enormous sums coming from people who are under the impression that they are giving money to needy families. But that's not even the biggest problem. There is also a total lack of regard for how Rav Chaim's influence affects people. Previously, I've described how this leads to naive people having their lives destroyed - sometimes literally.

But, as I've said before, you can't only blame Yanky Kanievsky for this terrible exploitation of an elderly man. He's only able to do it because there's a willing audience for it. The responsibility lies with everyone who places Rav Chaim's "guidance" and blessings upon a pedestal on which they do not belong

In a post I wrote titled "Mishpachah, Gedolim and Decisions" I concluded that "There are countless people who make decisions that are, at best, ill-informed, and at worst, life-threatening, because they have been led to believe that Rav Chaim Kanievsky and others like him should be making the decisions for them. Anyone who contributes to the myth of his Daas Torah shares responsibility for that."

When people call upon you for donations to a charity, and tell you that they have Rav Chaim's endorsement, this is actually a reason not to give them. Instead, give to one of the many charities that do not pay for meaningless celebrity endorsements. 

Unless, that is, you want to be paying for Yanky's next luxury home.


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82 comments:

  1. Pictures: https://twitter.com/freyisrael1/status/1454729417415086083

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  2. The phenomena of mis-using people's credit card details is not new. In the past I have given my credit card details for a single modest payment, only to find that they set up a monthly payment, and it is very difficult to cancel these payments as they have no phone number or address linked with the name on the credit card bill.

    I no longer make any donations via credit card, if a organization that I am familiar with contacts me for a donation, I ask them to send me an envelope and I mail them a cheque - unfortunately there are many fraudsters or dishonest people who present themselves as legitimate organizations.

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    1. My experience exactly. I answered a call, specifying that I'm giving 25 shekels in a one-time payment, for someone's operation, or something like that. My credit card statement indicated that they signed me up for a standing order for 100 shekels for 24 months!

      I eventually found the organization's phone number, by seeing when the standing order started, and looking at my credit card statement. When I tried to cancel it, they said that the money (2,400 shekels) was already sent for the person's operation!

      It took quite a bit of arguing to tell them that it was a mistake--there's no way I would have agreed to a 2400 shekel donation, even in 24 installments.

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    2. You know that you can initiate a chargeback right?

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    3. I succeeded in getting them to cancel the standing order--so they reduced it to the individual, 25 shekel payment, as I originally intended.

      But it still is disconcerting, that you only discover the "mistake" if you assiduously check your monthly credit card statements.

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    4. As a matter of policy, I never give out my credit card for any tsedaka. They can send me an envelope, and I can send them a check.

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    5. When I am told that it is guaranteed that by donating to a specific cause I will have a simcha in my household or receive special "blessings" I am reminded that giving to a charity should be without a reward. If I want to receive "blessings" all I need to do is to give some money to a homeless person who usually says "G-d bless you." Every time I have approached the Kotel someone who seems to have a direct connection to G-d for a fee will bless me. I get many telephone, email, and mail solicitations for "worthwhile" causes. It is hard to know if they are just fronts for fraud. Ron - Toronto

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  3. Don't give to any Haredi charities at all. Give instead to charities that rescue victims of those cults. Like to https://hillel.org.il/ and to https://www.leshinuy.org/

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    1. Is israelgives.org vetted? Needs to be an organization like charitynavigator that rates Jewish charities.

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    2. These two organizations don't fight against Haredi perversions, they preach for complete abandoning of the commandments. Dear RNS, it's disappointing to see their links in your blog.

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    3. agree . these orgs are meisit umeidiach

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    4. A friend of mine said that one of Hillel's methods (not the US campus organization, the Israeli organization to "assist" Charedi youth) is to pick up Charedi guys that are hitchhiking. They ask how are they doing in yeshiva. If the bochur says that he enjoys it, they don't try to convince him to leave and "try something else".

      But, if the bochur says that he has problems, then they start to convince him "to look for greener pastures" with Hillel.

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    5. zdub
      the Midot organization vets charities. If they have the Midot seal they are probably OK and are well vetted. midot.org.il
      you can also use the Israeli Guidestar version. Only give to orgs that have (at the very least) אישור ניהול תקין
      https://www.guidestar.org.il/home

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    6. How do you understand Guidestar? For instance, here are the expenses for Keren Hayeled.
      הוצאות
      הוצאות שכר לפעילות
      7,532,146 ₪
      "Expenses for wages for activity": Does that mean salaries?
      יתר הוצאות לפעילות
      5,911,464 ₪
      "Other expenses for activities": Does that mean the actual charity being applied?
      הנהלה וכלליות – שכר ונלוות
      1,139,069 ₪
      הנהלה וכלליות נוספות
      381,868 ₪
      הוצאות אחרות
      88,268 ₪

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    7. What you need to do is look at the percantage that goes to the charitable purpose of the fund. For some charities this may be hard to separate out because their aims are embodied in the salaries paid. In the case you show above it looks like they spent 13M on activity with an overhead of 1.5M that is not bad but not fantastic. I don't know what the specific fund does. Is 5M on professionals reasonable? For the overheads, you can look at the list of salaries and see if the payroll looks reasonable. I generally look for better than 90% of the money going to the charitable purpose.

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  4. Is Yanky Kanievsky in charge of the Beit David "charity" or does he endorse it? I wasn't sure from the article and just wanted to clarify what his role is in the org. Thanks

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    1. Neither. The charity just bought an endorsement, like so many of them do.

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  5. It's very nice that the מנהלת of Beit David made 475,720 NIS in salary in 2020, almost 40k/month (she made "only" 294,174 ₪ in 2019). More info at https://www.guidestar.org.il/organization/580038545/documents.

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    1. It seems like of the organizations 17 million shekels of annual income, 14 million comes from the משרד העבודה והרווחה
      does someone want to tell the relevant minister about this?

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    2. would it help to publish the names of the Board Members of this organization? Maybe if members of the public turned to these people they might be able to affect some change?

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  6. It's quite the accusation with not much detailed evidence...

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    1. In fact i would say it's pretty defamatory and makes a number of leaps that you have no concrete evidence. I don't disagree that Charedi charities are a disgrace, however you cannot make such accusations without concrete evidence, which you may have, however have not provided.(I do not profess to know Israels libel laws, however they appear to be quite onerous)

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    2. I agree. The guy has clearly worked full time as an aide to his grandfather for over a decade. Pertinent points would have been: What is a reasonable salary for such a job? How much could he have reasonably saved over the course of his employment? How much did he have invested from Chasuna gifts? How much is the property? Did he actually buy outright or did he take a legitimate interest free loan? Did he leverage the first property to buy the second? Who is living in the first property? Are they paying rent?

      That does not even approach the speculation that he received funds from Beth David or that he was somehow aware of their fraudulent activities. If they managed to fool him, that just means that he made the same mistake as Rabbi Dr. Slifkin and multiplied it by recommending that his grandfather endorse it. Not a crime.

      I'm sorry, but without details this post reeks of slander. And the title is completely without foundation in truth.

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    3. Any work he would do is illegal, as he never served in the army under an exemption that he's learning full-time.

      He obviously isn't, but probably has the paperwork and you just try to arrest him.

      "Working as a full-time aide to his grandfather..." That's great. And where does the money to pay him come from?

      You're operating within a real bubble in which people obey the law.

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  7. Lately it seems like half the stories on Arutz 7 are "dramatic" stories, usually with grabbing headlines of this sort.

    I get the feeling that the campaigns, at least the English ones, are very dependent on ignorance and prejudice of the donors, especially if they are overseas:

    1. Americans who don't quite grasp that Israel has a healthcare and welfare system that pay for a *lot*. Healthcare is virtually free and, thank God, is pretty good. No, Israelis are not dying for want of surgeries or the means to pay for them. I'm not saying money is *never* needed, especially for some very rare conditions or for ancillary expenses, but nowhere near the frequency you'd think from these ads.

    2. "Marry off my children" is code. It means "buy them an apartment." And, of course, "support them because they're not working." If that was actually spelled out, the stories would seem a lot less tragic and would garner a lot less donations.

    3. This also plays into various prejudices charedim and/or non-Israelis have toward Israel, as a backward country, one with too much bureaucracy, incompetent, etc., not to mention as a place run by evil Tziyonim out to persecute holy charedim stam. (Yanky was recently photographed between his father and Edelstein as they signed a declaration as to how evil the current government is for- wait for it- increasing the tax on disposable plates.) That Israel (well, the freyer Israeli taxpayer) pays for pretty much any medical care any charedi citizen needs doesn't compute for people who think that.

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  8. what am I missing? why aren't these people arrested or at least investigated?

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  9. How could someone as smart as you combine standing monthly payments to various charities with not checking your credit card statements carefully every month?

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  10. In the United States, GuideStar is used to verify charity and non-profit efficacy.

    Add this to the long list of things we need to learn from "the goyim" . . .

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    Replies
    1. There's an Israeli Guidestar as well. You can get the contact information of the non-profit organization, and see the number of employees, the amount of money it raises, etc.
      https://www.guidestar.org.il/

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  11. It's sad that Yanky is a thief and takes the charity money for himself. It's disgusting.

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  12. I was also scammed by Beit David a few years ago. My Hebrew isn't good, and I thought that maybe I had agreed to something on the phone without understanding it properly. When I noticed these monthly payments, I thought, "Well, even if there was a mistake, at least it's going to Tzedaka."
    The same thing happened a few months ago, when I noticed payments on my statement to an unknown Jerusalem-based charity. This time, I told the credit-card company that I suspected fraud (initially, they told me it was too late to cancel as this wasn't a standing order, but a lump sum payment to the charity with repayments payable in instalments).
    I weep at the depths to which these people have stooped.

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  13. Just waiting for A Schrieber to post here and call Rabbi Slifkin an evil moser for (again) pointing out all that is crooked in the heart of frum yiddishkeit.

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  14. related, in Lakewook electiobn yesterday 61% voted for the OHTER candidate which was not andorsed by the Lakewood Vaad. and only a quarter bother to vote at all.

    verdict: charedim do not care to vote and do not trust the recommendation of their askanimm and leaders to be in their best interests.

    any politician looking at these results will now have to decide if its worth for him to give loads of $$$ to leaders and askanim to only grab 39% percent of the vote of 25% turnout...

    the beginning of the end.... the internet is really that bad... it needs to be banned asap

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    1. Wait a minute! Jews are a minority in Lakewood.

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    2. Avraham,

      according to US census and Wikipedia:

      The percentage of Jewish people in Lakewood is one of the highest for incorporated areas in the U.S., at an estimated 59%

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    3. I don't live in Lakewood, but my understanding is that turnout was closer to 33%. Also, a significant number of voters there stayed home because while they didn't want to vote for the Vaad-endorsed candidate, neither did they want to outright defy the Vaad by voting for his opponent.

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  15. Not even an honorable mention of Geichazi?

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  16. I think it is customary for fundraisers to take a certain percentage of the money raised. I vaguely remember this issue discussed in Halacha as well. I don't know what percentage is allowed/customary, however (though I guess it's not 98%...). You could provide some background about this, in order to give a more complete picture on why what these guys are doing is wrong.

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    Replies
    1. The Chazon Ish writes that taking 25% is מכוער הדבר - a disgusting thing to do.
      It is somewhere in Igros, I forget where.

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  17. Mates, charity fraud and scams is pretty common among all nations and religions. Jews maybe worse because of their high IQ and generations of expirience, but it's common everywhere.

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    1. And we care what averos the other nations do because.....?

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    2. Maybe because it shows our common human nature.

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    3. Also, maybe to reconsider if hollier the thou attitude is supported by the facts?

      “Iam a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?…If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.” (Merchant of Venice III:1)

      Though Shylock asserts the common humanity of Jew and Gentile, the Torah proclaims that the Jew should, in fact, be different. How different are we?

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    4. It's still not a justification for any of this despicable behaviour, saying that the Goyim do it too.

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    5. Not a justification, but an understanding in the context of the common human nature.

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    6. Are you orthodox? Do you believe Jews are the Am Hanivchar of whom a higher standard is expected?

      Normative litvish yeshivish approach is

      We are the best in the world

      Yanky K sits firmly in that area of society

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    7. מעשיך יקרבוך ומעשיך ירחיקוך.
      יהללוך זר ולא פיך, נכרי ולא שפתיך

      This was a what I believe in regardless of what the normative approach is.

      Delete
  18. I used to have a woman collect for my wife for badly needed dental work. She goes door to door all over to collect money. I finally stopped dealing with her because we never got an idea of how much was collected and then she calls up and says she was robbed and needs the money she collected for my wife to get home. Or if she got mad at us, she would threaten not to collect for us. In short, I got tired of the games and not even sure the money she gave us is even close to what is actually collected.

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  19. A few rules for donations:

    1- Never give credit card information to a fundraiser who calls you. If someone calls, even saying that they are from an organization that you trust, the person may still be an imposter. Thank them for the reminder, and say that you will donate on the organization's website.

    2- Personally, i try not to give to organizations that employ paid fundraisers (or at least I bypass the fundraiser by going straight to the website). The envelopes sent by many organization also often have little numbers on them, which is to identify the fundraiser who should get the percentage. Going straight to the website should eliminate this 'middle-man'

    3- If you don't want to mail a check (our checks to Tzohar routinely disappeared in the mail), or use a credit card, most organizations will accept a bank transfer.

    4- Organizations with 46a tax exempt status are subject to more careful scrutiny by the tax authorities and Rasham Haamutot (besides giving a receipt that allows the donor to take a tax deduction).

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  20. Slifkin is one of the "experts" at maligning Charedi culture. Not that some of his accusations don't have merit, rather that any impropriety on the part of a charedi person is presented as being emblamatic of ALL charedi culture by Slifkin. On the other hand you will never hear from him about systemic problems within Israeli secular culture or the daati leumi world. Slifkin inhabits a very simplistic world in which "charedi"= all bad and "secular"= all good.

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    1. My my, quite judgmental for an LMHC.
      Sarcastic as well.
      And simplistic.
      And defamatory.
      And illogical (ever heard of Whataboutism, Mr LMHC?)

      And, no, I do not know Abba Cohen, LMHC and had never heard of him.
      But I don't like his comments here and felt I wanted to respond.

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  21. "the lack of fiscal transparency in religious nonprofits"

    Big problem in the US. Religious charities are exempt from all reporting requirements.

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    1. I used to work in compliance for both IDT Jlem and Greenpoint Tech also in Jlem. Both did fundraising for various Jewish causes and Federations. Both companies I worked for had to be registered in each state it had a campaign in. So we had to send in alot of paperwork. Also the org's we called for had to have all their IRS paperwork up to date, So there is a paper trail of how much they made, admin costs, etc, etc. I o not think that Israel has anything like it. I could be wrong.

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    2. with all due respect, the US charities and Federations have enormous rents, salaries, overhead and yes you can have a paper trail but the bottom line is that the Jewish charities exist to help themeslves. They do very little bottom line. When I was younger I called the NY Federation for help as I had no income and the rent was due. My mother had always donated the little she had 18, 36 because they called all the time asking for donations to help "needy people in times of crisis". ha ha, Iafter she passed away I had no way to pay the rent and I called them they HUNG UP on me. Here I am all alone and needed to pay the rent on an emergency basis and they did not even refer me anywhere, they hung up on me. So its the US charities as well not just Israeli ones.

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    3. You are quite right and Federations are really corrupt places. When I was working at Greenpoint, I called up AISH and said I need certain paperwork. They faxed it me and the copies were unreadable. The problem was not on our end, but their. I asked why you guys just buy a new machine. They actually said they could afford one!? So I went to their offices near the Kotel to get the paperwork and their offices are beautiful and money just oozes out, but not enough to buy a new fax machine. After my time at GP, I got an email from AISH, they wanted me to help them fill out paperwork for fundraising. But they were not going to pay me. So I told them to kick rocks(in a nice way). They claimed they could not afford it, but when you look at their tax forms for the year...they are not hurting.

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  22. To me this seems to be a heart warming tale of Charedi integration into one of the great institutions of Israeli life: avarice, financial fraud and abuse of power.

    Those who voted for a prime minister when that prime minister was 1) actively being investigated for multi billion dollar scale corruption and 2) had already attempted to pass immunity laws to protect themselves from such investigations are in no position to pass judgment on a brash and unpleasant young man on the make who feathered his nest to the tune of a few hundred thousand...

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    1. Just because non-chareidim do it regularly is no excuse for chareidim. Those who (claim to) follow the Torah should be held to a higher standard ...היכי דמי חילול השם.

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    2. "To me this seems to be a heart warming tale of Charedi integration into one of the great institutions of Israeli life: avarice, financial fraud and abuse of power."

      The vast majority of Israelis, like the vast majority of most populations, are honest, hard-working people. But we get it: You harbor a deep irrational prejudice against anything to do with Israel, including Israelis. Hey, it's a common malady, often as a way of justifying not making aliyah. What your psychological issue is I won't try to guess.

      "Those who voted for a prime minister when that prime minister was"

      I didn't vote for him, and I'm far from his biggest fan. I don't think R' Slifkin did either. Many of those who did have no problem with young Yanky and would even defend him. But:

      "1) actively being investigated for multi billion dollar scale corruption"

      Actually, none of Bibi's investigations amount to more than some vague promises involving no money and some bottles of champagne. Read the news every now and then.

      "and 2) had already attempted to pass immunity laws to protect themselves from such investigations"

      Like every other elected official ever.

      "are in no position to pass judgment on a brash and unpleasant young man on the make who feathered his nest to the tune of a few hundred thousand..."

      Those places cost a lot more than that.

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    3. "To me this seems to be a heart warming tale of Charedi integration into one of the great institutions of Israeli life: avarice, financial fraud and abuse of power."

      The vast majority of Israelis, like the vast majority of most populations, are honest, hard-working people. But we get it: You harbor a deep irrational prejudice against anything to do with Israel, including Israelis. Hey, it's a common malady, often as a way of justifying not making aliyah. What your psychological issue is I won't try to guess.

      "Those who voted for a prime minister when that prime minister was"

      I didn't vote for him, and I'm far from his biggest fan. I don't think R' Slifkin did either. Many of those who did have no problem with young Yanky and would even defend him. But:

      "1) actively being investigated for multi billion dollar scale corruption"

      Actually, none of Bibi's investigations amount to more than some vague promises involving no money and some bottles of champagne. Read the news every now and then.

      "and 2) had already attempted to pass immunity laws to protect themselves from such investigations"

      Like every other elected official ever.

      "are in no position to pass judgment on a brash and unpleasant young man on the make who feathered his nest to the tune of a few hundred thousand..."

      Those places cost a lot more than that.

      Delete
  23. Rabbi Slifkin, do you remember how you came to donate to Beit Dovid in the first place?

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  24. How much do submarines retail for these days? A few billion? I'm told if you are the prime minister's cousin and can help broker a deal, there could be a good few million Euros in it. Bur I just read the wrong newspapers so what would I know?

    Perhaps it's simply nice of Nachum to be so generous to Bib, who after all worked so hard on facilitating the removal of competition law for millionaires: I'm only sorry I don't share his giving nature.

    Talking of giving natures, like most Olim, the concept of having to pay tax may be a somewhat foreign one to Nachum. Officially, of course, only foreign investment income is tax free to Olim. Which is to say, make sure you remember to set up the Isle of Man company to funnel you regular income – and the magic of living tax free is yours.

    I'm not on a particular downer on Israel. Corruption is in the London air tonight, and not just for Diwali. But talking of Israelis, an Israeli called me: had I heard about some binary options?

    I had heard about them, from the Times of Israel. Binary options fraud is one of Israel's great export successes, along with Congolese blood diamonds and spyware. Individuals with military training paid for by the public flog off Israel's cybersecurity birthright so that the Emir of Dubai can listen to his wife's divorce lawyer.
    Respectable da'ati leumi English speaking, Yom Haatzmaut barbequing professionals will set you up with your Scottish Limited partnership, your Ukranian and Cypriot bank. There is no anti-money laundering legislation which seems to affect the networks of Ramat Gan : the lawyers, trust professionals and auditors. There are no reporting requirements (lashon hara!), no beneficial owner ID. There are no questions asked, and no stories told.

    It is true that everywhere, corruption is the air we breathe. And this isn't just about Israel.

    Leave aside the US, where the concept of harnessing the platform of the Presidency to sabotage the peaceful transfer of power to a democratically elected political opponent seems so inevitable, so natural.

    I live in the United Kingdom, steeped in centuries of the tradition of how things are managed. A country so deeply corrupt that the Queen regularly exercised her personal prerogative to veto legislation deleteriously affecting her personal interests, and a generation of public servants facilitated and covered up the fact.

    A country which formed a specially privileged process to hand out corrupt Covid contracts to friends and families of ministers and officials on favourable terms.

    A country where planning permissions for a property development which had been refused was swiftly reconsidered, and granted - after a charity dinner sat next to the Secretary of State, and a subsequent exchange of text messages.

    A country where the prime minister seems to be unable to escape from donors bestowing free holidays and refurbishments on him: but all is well, because these donors to the prime minister did so for absolutely no reason or quid pro quo, his personally appointed ethics advisor is certain. The advisor he appointed after his predecessor resigned in protest. Talking of Alexander Boris de Pfefell's advisors, a few years ago, his 23 year old female "technology teacher" (his euphemism, not mine) got a £70,000 grant from the fund he controlled as the then London mayor - entirely on merit, we are told.
    I don't give money to Kupat HaIr, I didn't say Pirkei Shirah 30 times a day: and yet my tax money still goes to fund the UK health secretary's pub landlord's unsuccessful but nevertheless personally lucrative first venture into the world of the provision of healthcare personal protective equipment.

    Rabbi Dr Slifkin voted for impunity for the most powerful corrupt man in Israel. I'm still not clear what he is complaining about it.

    Corruption is the air we breathe: the air we breathe in. The air we breathe out. Complaining about corruption in the Charedi elites is like complaining about the dirt in the neighbour's garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not badly put, my man, not badly at all. The world is a corrupt place, but it still keeps going on. Yank Kanevsky is a small fish. He does well by the shtetl standards of the charedim, but is nothing, absolutely nothing in comparison to the billions of fraud coming minutes before Bank Hapoalim, Histadrut, the kibbutzim and the Knesset. Nothing will ever change. You cannot change the human nature, mates.

      "It ain't the roads we take; it's what's inside of us that makes us turn out the way we do." O'Henry.

      Delete
    2. We shouldn't lose the perspective, when being faced with the chatedi malfeasance.

      Bank Hapoalim and its Swiss subsidiary pleaded guilty to aiding U.S. customers in setting up accounts under false names and avoiding U.S. reporting requirements for more than a decade, prosecutors said in a release, helping them evade taxes on more than $7.6 billion in deposits.

      And nobody went to prison, nobody lost their jobs and we don't even know the names of who was responsible for the fraud. The bank paid one BILLION dollars in fines.

      It's not an exception - it's a rule. Here from the 1990:
      https://www.nytimes.com/1990/05/11/business/israel-to-hold-bank-inquiry.html.


      Chareidim are people too, you know. Don't expect from them more then the house man nature can do. If Yanky had an education, he might have been another Madoff, who knows?

      Delete
    3. I really don't see how political graft enters into all this.

      We're talking about instances where people are approached for tzedakah, willingly agree to give a small sum, and all of a sudden find themselves signed up for a standing order for thousands of shekels. If the thousands of shekels would actually go for medical fees, nu, בסדר. But we have the עגמת נפש of realizing half, or maybe way more than half, is going for somebody's luxury home.

      It's outright גזל, and a borderline חילול שם שנים.

      Delete
    4. It's like the old Hebrew National frankfurter commercial: "We're kosher--and have to answer to an even Higher Authority."
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR1eeV5-M4U

      Delete
    5. maybe thats why chareidi dont eat Hebrew National

      Delete
    6. A charismatic leader promising salvation from evil in return for cash. I'm talking about the Rabbi Dr's Rebbe, the Rebbe Bibi, whom he gave a free pass on staying from the public to - for his luxuries and homes.

      Delete
  25. What's the difference? Politicians and bankers get rich by defrauding the public of their money and taxes. They promise, don't their word and steal billions. It's the same human nature expressing itself and charedim are a small fry in comparison. Most of the charities are corrupt. Just read about the history of chaluka. Nothing is new and nothing will ever change. This is human nature.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why just politicians and bankers? You
      can also add criminal gangs like the Italian Mafia and the Mexican drug cartels. So the only thing that differentiates Chareidi society from those miscreants is religious beliefs and rituals. Why trust Chareidism as the only path to God when they’re part of the same secular criminality and immorality?

      Delete
    2. Only a small percentage of charedim run charities. This isn't just politicians and bankers, it's human nature in action and biology generally trumps religious beliefs. You don't need to trust charedim, you can look at the general results of their way of life and draw your own conclusions. I think it's still the best of what is out there right now. Notwithstanding all the problems.

      Delete
    3. Politicians and bankers steal the most because they have the access to enormous sums of money, but it's a general human trait as Chazal said רובם בגזל. All people, all religions and all ideologies function within the parameters of the human nature and that is a mixed bag, mates. ראיתי בני .עליה ומועטים הם
      https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/holy-rollers-the-religious-leaders-using-churches-to-launder-illicit-cash-across-the-americas

      https://www.egypttoday.com/Article/1/92174/Fugitive-contractor-Mohamed-Ali-carries-out-money-laundering-for-Muslim

      There were some Jewish charities convicted of drug laundering, but their number and the amounts laundered are nothing compared to Muslim, Christian or secular ones or compared to banks and politicians who do billions.

      The antagonism to chareidim causes some to become irrational and lose the perspective. כל אדם יהיה בעיניך כליסטים והוי מכבדו כרבן שמוען בן גמליאל.

      Delete
  26. Everything I'm telling you, mates, can be found in חובות הלבבות שער התשובה.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just read Martin Luther's "On the Jews and their Lies" and wow, it was eye opening.

      The parallels between his accusations and the anti-chareidi invective present on certain websites are too close for comfort. Many of his arguments were so familiar, I had to check every few minutes to make sure I wasn't reading an anti-chareidi blog. Accusations of theft, greed, idleness, parasitism, haughtiness, corruption of the word of God abound on every page.

      It is good to know that this is not a recent phenomenon!

      Delete
    2. Luther attributed that to all Jews, whereas Rabbi Slifkin points out that some Charedim do it. What makes it so terrible is precisely the fact that people like Martin Luther will go from "some" to "all".

      Delete
    3. Luther attributed that to all Jews, whereas Rabbi Slifkin points out that some Charedim do it. What makes it so terrible is precisely the fact that people like Martin Luther will go from "some" to "all".

      Delete
    4. Not true, read it again. He has no problem with Jews who convert and accept Jesus. He likewise has no problem with the righteous prophets and Jewish kings like David or Shlomo, who he no doubt imagines would accept Jesus if they lived in his time. Just like the anti-chareidi blogs have no problem with "chareidim" who renounce typical chareidi opinions.

      His polemic is absolutely no different than the anti-chareidi blogs, just replace the word "Jew" with "chareidi", they are 100% interchangeable.

      Delete
  27. Negative information may not be shared even when true unless there is a benefit. What is supposed to be the benefit of this post? That people not rely on RCK's court for their decisions?
    Fair enough.

    Meanwhile in other news the Ad Kan organization told channel 13 that senior members of the coalition's Raam (UAL) party, through its Aid 48 charity organization, transferred funds to Hamas.
    Other media outlets refused to carry the story.

    MK Issa of Raam met Hamas official Hamod during a visit to Gaza & was publicly thanked for the charity's help. Aid 48 is directed by Azhar Shaharur, whose terrorist brother attacked Netanya's Park Hotel in 2002; her husband & son belong to Gaza's Islamic Jihad.
    Ad Kan director Gilead Ach noted that Israeli taxpayers are funding a terrorist organization responsible for the murder of Israelis.

    Raam plans to sue Channel 13 for slander; Betzalel Smotrich called to shut down the charity.

    As we accuse Yanky of taking our money for financial corruption, we should accuse the coalition of taking our money for the sake of murderers, all the house in the world not amounting to one murder, & on a much larger scale.
    As the information about Yanky is to benefit us having the correct attitude towards RCK's court, the information about Raam funding Hamas is to benefit us having the correct attitude towards the coalition.

    Yanky, you say, didn't even have to sell his previous home in order to buy the new one cause after all he didn't need his own money for it--he had yours.
    Hamas, likewise, didn't have to sell their old murderous ammo to buy things newer & better cause after all they didn't need their own money for it--they had ours.

    I also see that some readers did not separate the accusations against Yanky with those against Beit David.
    In fact the post connects them almost seamlessly.
    But while BD is accused of fraud, Yanky is accused of taking
    consensual bribes--a subtle but significant distinction.

    ReplyDelete

  28. As another very important article in The Marker detailed:

    Controlling which nonprofit will receive the rabbi's blessing and which radio station will advertise the House's activities ....

    etc. etc. etc.

    My, such sweeping claims, over a dozen, but what is the source and even the sense of some of them? What for example does a *photographer* do or avoid doing, to stay in Yanky's graces? And how good of of a photography customer is Yanky in the first place? Or is the writer being creative?

    ReplyDelete
  29. https://share.newsbreak.com/578q419e

    It's just common human nature, mates.

    ReplyDelete

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