The problems with the Lubavitch

Just what Park Slope is wanting….
August 26, 2008, 8:29 pm
Filed under: Real Estate | Tags: ,

Sunday, August 24, 2008

292 15th Street Mikvah

Future Site: Undeveloped vacant lot along 15th Street in south Park Slope awaits Jewish ritual bathing pool.

Above: The site in context with neighboring buildings.


New construction of a three-story, 3711 sq.ft. community facility for the Lubavitch community of Park Slope, Brooklyn. The building consists of three floors above ground, (that’s 31′ tall) and a full cellar space dedicated to ritual bathing for men and women. Seems the plans also indicate a subcellar as well.

The second level is dedicated to religious activities. The third level includes a caretaker’s apartment and a large Sukah terrace for outdoor rituals.

Daniel O’Conner Architects

Sharon Engineering P.C.

DOB Property Profile Overview for 292 15th St.

Renderings lifted from Daniel O’Conner Architects home page

Even if you covered it in aluminum siding, this one’s gonna stand out from the crowd. IMBY’s hoping for a facade of natural stone, maybe weathered limestone… Even modernist Breton Brut with roughly imprinted concrete would be welcome. Please, no mirror polished granite or salmon colored CMU’s. Do you think the curb cut will be used for parking out front? Would love to see a nice tree over some SUV with clergy plates. That section of 15th needs street trees badly. What are the chances of seeing some vertical gardening up along that staircase? GREEN WALLS link


Lubavitch uses another residence as a chabad in Edmonds, Washington
August 26, 2008, 8:02 pm
Filed under: Real Estate | Tags: ,



“Couple offer Orthodox Jews a focus in Edmonds, Washington”

Rabbi and his wife hope to connect area Jews with their heritage by establishing a Chabad-Lubavitch center.

EDMONDS — Rabbi Zevi Goldberg maintains a full beard and wears a yarmulke. His wife, Leeba, flips thick blond hair over her shoulders with scarlet-painted fingernails.

“It’s a wig,” she explained, finger-combing the long layers.

An Orthodox Jewish wife shouldn’t show her hair to anyone other than her husband, she said, but that doesn’t mean she can’t look good.

The Goldbergs are ultra-Orthodox Jews. They’ve come to Snohomish County to connect every person of Jewish descent with their heritage, they said, whether through celebrating High Holy Days each year or committing to a fully kosher lifestyle.

Even people who don’t intend to follow a strict kosher diet are welcome in the Goldberg home, as long as they have a desire to connect with their Judaism, Leeba Goldberg said.

“Labels are for clothing, not for people,” she said. “We’re not here to force anything on anybody. If you’re a Jew, we just want you to come here to experience Judaism.”

The Goldbergs represent the second effort in recent years by the Chabad-Lubavitch movement to establish a center in Snohomish County. Rabbi Yossi Mandel opened a worship and education center in his south Everett home in 2006. He abandoned the effort early this year to return to the East Coast.

The Goldbergs moved to Seattle from Brooklyn more than a year ago. When Mandel left Snohomish County, they felt compelled to pick up where he left off.

The Chabad-Lubavitch movement can be traced back to 18th century Russia. It gained a following in the U.S. in the 1940s, when a Belarussian rabbi who settled in Brooklyn dreamed of expanding Orthodox Judaism’s influence in North America. There are now more than 3,000 Chabad centers worldwide, according to the organization’s Web site.

For now, the local center is the bottom floor of the Goldbergs’ Edmonds home. The couple hopes to one day build a center to hold services, Hebrew lessons and celebrations.

Temple Beth Or, home to a Reform congregation, is Snohomish County’s only established Jewish house of worship. About 130 families worship there, according to temple officers. The temple was formed in 1988.

Zevi and Leeba Goldberg are convinced there are many more Jews in Snohomish County. There are clues everywhere, they said.

About 80 people attended an open house the Goldbergs held Sunday.

And the kosher food section of the local QFC supermarket was a pleasant surprise, they said. The aisle was stocked with specialty items only serious kosher Jews would need, instead of the standard matzo ball and challah mixes many supermarkets carry.

“Somebody is requesting those items,” Zevi Goldberg said.

Reporter Krista J. Kapralos: 425-339-3422 or

Lubavitch door to door salesmen…Lock your doors!
August 24, 2008, 5:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Roving Rabbis Visitors go in search of fellow Jews

JIM CLARK / Gresham Outlook

Eli Junik and Mendel Schapiro, rabbis from Brooklyn, N.Y., walk the streets of Gresham, approaching strangers in an effort to reach out to the Jewish community.

“Excuse me, are you Jewish?”

It’s an odd question to hear in East County, or at least unlikely, but coming from Mendel Schapiro and Eli Junik, it makes perfect sense.

The two 21-year-olds from Brooklyn, N.Y., are part of the “Roving Rabbis” program of the Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish movement, a branch of Orthodox Hasidism – and they look the part.

Dressed in traditional Jewish garb, with pressed white shirts, black jackets and bushy beards, the two life-long friends (they’ve known each other since kindergarten), have spent the last week-and-half reaching out to the Jewish community in Gresham and other parts of East County.

They say they’ve been largely successful in achieving the mission of the program, which is to meet and encourage unaffiliated Jewish people in their faith, and to bolster their Jewish identity. But it hasn’t necessarily been easy.

“When we started, people told us ‘we don’t know any Jewish people’,” says Schapiro of his outreach efforts in Gresham. “But with time, we slowly starting finding them.”

Because there is no close-by synagogue or community center, their methods for finding Jewish people are fairly rudimentary. They called names in the phonebook that seemed right, but preferred the one-on-one interaction of simply walking into businesses and asking, “Are you Jewish?”

The Roving Rabbis program sends pairs of Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbinical students to countries around the world, a tradition that started within the movement more than 50 years ago. But this is the first time the program has visited East County.

“It’s always helpful to teach other people what you know,” Junik says.

When the Rabbis do find a Jewish person, they have a conversation, asking about their lives and their faith. They also suggest traditional practices to strengthen or reconnect people with their faith, or “Jewish soul.”

“There’s a lot of Jews who just don’t know how to express it,” Junik says. “We give them tools to express their faith.”

Elizabeth Barmon, who lives in Gresham and is Jewish, says she was surprised and delighted to see the Rabbis walking around last week – even more so when she met them.

“It was just really encouraging for me personally,” she says of the Rabbis’ visit. “I was feeling really kind of cynical, but this, this was great.”

Barmon says that the Jewish community in Gresham isn’t very strong, and that she travels to Southwest Portland for synagogue. “But there’s more than you might think.”

Schapiro and Junik will continue their outreach work until Wednesday, Aug. 27, when they will head back to New York. But even after that, they will keep their mission, an important part of their faith, wherever they are.

“We never rest, there’s always more people to meet and things to do,” Schapiro says.

Junik boils it down even more: “Always happy, never satisfied.”

2007 article about Agriprocessors….one year ago?
August 24, 2008, 5:45 pm
Filed under: Iowa Slaughter House | Tags: ,

Postville, Iowa

The Forward

May 18, 2007

Kosher Slaughterhouse Hit With Lawsuits

Owners of the nation’s largest kosher slaughterhouse have been facing an organized revolt from workers who are unhappy with conditions at the factory first in the form of a class-action lawsuit against the company, and more recently in a mass walkout by employees during regular working hours.

The lawsuit and the walkouts are hitting Agri Processors, a

Kosher slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, that is owned by the Rubashkins, an ultra-Orthodox family based in Brooklyn’s Chabad Lubavitch community.

Workers at the Iowa slaughterhouse told the Forward that between 200 and 300 employees left their posts last Monday during the morning work shift to protest a May 4 letter sent by the company’s management to employees, many of

whom are believed to be undocumented immigrants. A copy of the letter acquired by the Forward informed workers that in order to keep their jobs at the plant they would need to reconcile their Social Security numbers with federal records. Workers say it is their understanding that after the records are reconciled, they will have to again work their way up the plant’s pay scale, which starts at $6.25 an hour.

The company did not respond to numerous requests for comment. The walkout came a little more than a month after 23 workers filed a class-action lawsuit against the company in a Dubuque, Iowa, federal court. The lawsuit alleges that the company has not compensated workers for the time they spend preparing for work at the beginning of the day and cleaning up at the end of it. Such compensation appears to be mandated by recent Supreme Court decisions. The company has not yet filed a response but a lawyer for Agri Processors told the Forward that the company is investigating the allegations.

Working conditions at the Agri Processors slaughterhouse have been under scrutiny in the past year, after an article in the Forward detailed worker complaints. Since then, the company has been the subject of an investigation by rabbis affiliated with the Conservative synagogue movement (see sidebar). During these inquiries workers at the plant were generally hesitant to speak publicly about their concerns, but this appears to be changing.

One of the workers named in the class-action suit, Berulo Morillo Jimenez, said that the silence has faded as workers have grown more frustrated with their unaddressed concerns.

[The managers] are always yell, yell, yell, said Morillo

Jimenez, 53, who came to Postville from Guanajuato, Mexico. They just treated us terribly. What resulted now is that we are standing up for our rights.

Morillo Jimenez, worked for three years in the beef department at Agri Processors, cutting London broil and steak from the bone. He left Agri Processors last month to work for a construction company. At the new job it’s still hard work, but they treat employees better, Murillo said. They don’t tell us to run, run, and run. They give us breaks.

In addition to the legal fight in Iowa, Agri Processors’ Miami operation is facing a lawsuit from an employee that says the company has refused to pay him overtime. A similar suit against the Miami operation was filed and settled with the company last year.

The lawyer representing Agri Processors in the Miami cases did not return calls seeking comment. While Agri Processors did not respond to requests for comment about the walkout, The Courier, a local Iowa newspaper, reported last week that

Shalom Rubashkin, the Postville plant manager, denied that any walkout had occurred.

The people that checked in this morning stayed until the end of the shift, Rubashkin was quoted as saying in The Courier.

The walkout was reported in a number of local Iowa news outlets and three workers at the plant told the Forward that it did in fact occur. One of the three said he participated in it. The three workers said that a second walkout took place Monday night, involving about 50 employees. Confirmation of both walkouts also came from officials with the United Food and Commercial Workers, who have been living in Postville while trying to organize employees at the plant.

By May 11, a pamphlet was circulating around the apartment

blocks where workers live, mocking Rubashkin’s denial of the walkout. The pamphlet features an ugly figure, presumably meant to be Shalom Rubashkin, saying: There was no walkout or anything else. Workers Love Me, Workers are Happy & Workers Love Working at Agri Processors!!

The head of the local union organizing efforts, Carl Ariston, said that the motivation for the walkout was a letter sent on May 4 by the company, in which workers were told that their Social Security numbers did not match government records. The letter, from the human resources director, tells workers to verify their social security numbers within 60 days, or lose their jobs.

In the past, workers have told the Forward that in order to work at Agri Processors; immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala have secured fake Social Security numbers.

Ariston and the workers at the plant said that the walkout was ended after Rubashkin came out and told the workers that he would attempt to fix the Social Security problem.

Everyone left and there was a lot of disorder, and then there was some chat with the owners, said Marvin Yovany Lopez, a former worker who is listed in the class-action suit and still lives in Postville.

This is not the first time that the immigration status of

workers at Agri Processors has come into question. Last year, the company did not recognize a union vote at its Brooklyn facilities, arguing that the vote was invalid because management had discovered that many of the workers who participated were illegal immigrants.

A National Labor Relations Board judge decided against the

company and ordered it to recognize the vote.

The Conservative rabbis who visited the Postville plant issued a report in December, in which they said that there are significant issues of concern at the plant, including issues of health and safety.

At the time, the members of the Conservative committee said

they were trying to work with the Rubashkins to change conditions at the plant, but there was little concrete movement on that front. Today, workers at the plant say that nothing has changed.

Morillo Jimenez told the Forward that the Rubashkins did say at one point during the past year that they would help workers straighten out their visas. He said this led many workers to stick around, but nothing ever happened. Things are almost exactly the same, Morillo Jimenez said.

Among the original complaints reported by the Forward were those about the lack of pay for work performed at the beginning and end of the day. A Supreme Court decision in 2005, known as IBP v. Alvarez, affirmed past decisions that found companies to be responsible for paying workers to put on and take off protective gear known in the business as donning and doffing.

The lead counsel on the lawsuit in Iowa, Brian McCafferty, said that workers at Agri Processors are not being paid for anything other than the time that the production lines are moving. At lunch, the workers have a 30-minute unpaid break, but McCafferty said that, in practice, they get little of the break because they have to clean up before eating and then prepare again before working.

Murillo Jimenez, a named defendant in the class-action suit,

said another problem at lunch is that the company provides only one microwave for the dozens of workers on break at any one time.

McCafferty said that the biggest of the alleged shortchanges

comes at the end of the day.

At the end of the day, you’re covered in blood and guts and you have to wash all of that off, and you have to wash all the equipment he said. According to our interviews, they’re not getting paid for any of that.

McCafferty, who has led past successful lawsuits on the donning and doffing issue, said he believes that Agri Processors may have to pay upward of $1 million in back pay.

Burillo and Lopez said that until now, the workers had put up

with the short pay because they did not know any better.

Here the people don’t know, said Yovany Lopez, who de-veined

beef at the plant. They don’t know English or laws or how to read and write.

This Lubavitch win is very troubling…the Lubavitch press gloats
August 24, 2008, 5:27 pm
Filed under: Real Estate | Tags:

Portland Chabad Rabbi Wins Right To Hold Prayer Services At Home

PORTLAND, MAINE — (August 22, 2008) Rebecca Rosenthal

( Faced with an outpouring of support from a very diverse group, Maine’s zoning board reversed its decision to prohibit a Chabad rabbi from hosting prayer services in his home at a hearing late Thursday night.

The 5-0 decision delighted the 200 people of all faiths who gathered at rally led by the Maine Civil Liberties Union in support of Chabad Lubavitch of Portland’s Rabbi Moshe Wilansky an hour before the zoning board began the hearing. Over thirty pastors and priests joined rabbis from local synagogues and leaders of the local Jewish Community Center, Jewish Federation and the Muslim community at the peaceful rally in front of city hall.

Standing outside of City Hall, Rabbi Wilansky addressed the rally. “Tonight people of all faiths and beliefs, have joined together for freedom of religion and all that is American,” said Rabbi Wilansky, “to ensure that all are treated equally and with dignity.”

Rabbi Wilansky, Chabad’s representative in Portland, ME, has been welcoming a group of fifteen worshippers in his home on the Jewish Sabbath and holidays for the last fifteen years. This past May, a member of the zoning board hand delivered a letter that stated the services violated local zoning codes. According to city documents provided to the group’s attorney, the decision was based on a single telephone complaint to City Hall.

MCLU counsel Zachary Heiden told “Our mission is to protect the constitutional rights of individuals. One of the most important rights is the freedom to practice religion without government interference. In this case we feel the government has interfered” with Rabbi Wilansky’s right to worship.

To show support for religious freedom, Rabbi Alice Dubinsky sent notices out to her congregation at Temple Bet Ha’Am in south Portland, expressing hopes that one hundred families from the temple membership would attend.

“Numerous mainstream Portland churches advertise Bible study groups, women’s groups and church services in private homes. These are just as much ‘open to the public’ as Rabbi Wilansky’s Sabbath services,” wrote Phyllis Leeke, a Portland resident, in a letter that appeared in The Forecaster, a local newspaper. “The city doesn’t take action against landlords about noise and loud parties until after numerous complaints. Who made the decision to jump on Rabbi Wilansky after only one complaint?”

According to information received by Chabad’s attorney Marshall Tinkle, the board’s complaint stems from the number of parking spaces on the street occupied by those who join Rabbi Wilansky at the services and the website where service times are posted.

“Concerns about parking on the street and about a website inviting coreligionists to pray are not cause to infringe upon the First Amendment,” Tinkle said.

Portland Jewish Community Sets Sweet Precedent

PORTLAND, ME — (August 22, 2008) Baila Olidort

( Months after a legal battle threatening Portland’s Chabad rabbi’s right to hold prayer services in his home, Rabbi Moshe Wilansky came out a winner Thursday night.

But even prior to the midnight decision by the city’s zoning board, Rabbi Wilansky saw the cross denominational support this case generated as a “historic” development.


An hour before the zoning board began its hearings Thursday evening, leaders of the entire Jewish community, including Reform and Conservative, and representatives of almost every church in Portland turned out at a rally led by the ACLU to protest the city’s ban on prayer services at the Chabad Rabbi’s home.

Protestors then joined Rabbi Wilansky inside City Hall. Hours into the hearing there was standing room only in the chambers, as a succession of religious representatives and Portland residents took to the witness stand to testify in support of Chabad.

Not one voice from the crowd was heard in opposition to Chabad.

Gratified and grateful for the unanimous decision by the zoning board, Rabbi Wilansky focused on the community-wide support Chabad enjoyed in this case.

“I feel it was truly a historic night for all the people of Portland. To see hundreds who came out from all religious faiths and from the entire Jewish spectrum—people who remained for hours late at night to hear the case and stand behind Chabad—that is tremendous.”

The case, which cut to the heart of the individual’s right to practice religion freely, was of obvious concern to religious people of all faiths. If the ban would hold, it might set precedents threatening numerous Chabad representatives who do not have designated synagogues and centers, and worship at home with their co-religionists, as it would religious people of other faiths.

But to some, the outspoken show of support for Chabad suggests that sweeter change may be astir. After all, it’s not the first time Chabad’s activities to help Jewish people practice Judaism, have been legally challenged. And it won’t be the last.

Standing with Chabad with remarkable unity, the Portland community may have set a precedent: maybe next time a Chabad representative finds himself at the mercy of his city’s zoning board, he won’t be standing alone.

Hopefully, others will feel as Caroline Braun does.

Rabbi of Temple Beth-El, the largest Conservative Synagogue in Northern New England, Rabbi Braun addressed hundreds at the rally prior to the hearing and said, “We can’t imagine Portland without Chabad.”

PORTLAND, ME — The city has reversed its decision to prohibit an orthodox rabbi from hosting weekly prayer services at his Portland home.

Zoning board of appeals members voted 5-0 late Thursday to allow Rabbi Moshe Wilansky to continue hosting Saturday prayer meetings, a ruling that eased the concerns of many religious leaders and civil liberties advocates.

The decision came after a demonstration on the steps of city hall that afternoon and passionate pleas from Wilansky supporters who crammed the meeting that followed.

The protest drew several area religious leaders and a crowd of more than 100 – many fearful the city’s interpretation of what constitutes a “place of worship” could have had sweeping consequences that put home-based prayer groups at risk.

“This is a part of our traditions that has existed since the beginning of Christianity,” said Eric C. Smith, congregational outreach coordinator for the Maine Council of Churches.

At issue was whether the city should consider 101 Craigie St. a residence or a place of worship

Zoning Administrator Marge Schmuckal delivered Wilansky a letter in late May, ordering him to stop Saturday prayer services at his home.

City officials said Wilansky has used his Craigie Street home as a synagogue for years. They said that put him in violation of zoning regulations because his property did not meet the two-acre minimum for places of worship in a residential neighborhood.

Wilansky attorney Marshall Tinkle and the Maine Civil Liberties Union appealed the order, saying it was an unconstitutional encroachment on his religious liberties.

Board members said the decision was outside the purpose of the city’s zoning laws.

“The zoning ordinance is not intended to get into people’s houses and regulate their behavior,” board member Gordon Smith said.

City officials said the zoning rules are meant to prevent parking disputes and traffic congestion in residential areas – the same type of complaints that have dogged Wilansky for approximately five years.

The May directive followed the latest traffic complaint from neighbor Mary Lewis, who, along with anonymous tipsters and public works employees, said the 29-foot-wide street is too narrow to accommodate the additional parked cars during the winter.

Wilansky and his backers said the rule effectively prevented him from practicing his religion at home.The rabbi is a member of the Chabad Lubavitch movement, one of the largest branches of Hasidic Judaism, and director of Chabad Lubavitch of Maine, which lists its headquarters as his home. No synagogue in Maine practices that brand of orthodox Judaism.

His supporters said the most important prayer of the Sabbath requires a quorum of 10 men and strict orthodox rules prevent driving on Saturdays, limiting Wilansky’s options for religious expression.

Most of the prayer service participants either walk or get a ride. That means although approximately 15 worshipers visit his house on Saturdays, they bring with them just five or six cars, Wilansky said.

Neighbors who spoke at the meeting said they had no complaints about the prayer services. Some said they lived on the street for years before they knew about them.

“I don’t understand why there is so much contention over this,” said Ralph Johnson, who lives at 95 Craigie St.

The city’s planning department said the rabbi had more ambitious aims than simply hosting a weekly prayer group. Director Penny Littell pointed to an advertisement on his Web site ( as proof that his home is open to the general public during Sabbath prayer services.

But appeals board members said the Wilansky home was far from a synagogue.

Unlike most houses of worship, Wilansky pays taxes on the property, has no sign outside advertising services and does not hold major religious ceremonies – weddings, for example – inside, they said.

“The big events that happen in a person’s religious life don’t seem to be taking place here,” board member Deborah Rutter said.

Lubavitch involvement with drugs,money laundering and diamonds
August 18, 2008, 11:06 pm
Filed under: crime | Tags: , , ,

I will not recopy the blog but have given you the link in order for you to read the story if there is an interest.

Major Israeli Newspaper “Maariv” reveals: The Jewish Laundry of Drug Money
By DaisyNavidson(DaisyNavidson)
An important member of Tal’s laundering ring was Rabbi Shalom Leviatan, a
Lubavitch Hassid, head of the branch in Seattle It is assumed that all the considerable political power of of these Hassids and of their rebbe (then alive),
How to Exterminate the Federal… –

Lubavitch Agriprocessors also have a plant in Nebraska…..Abusing the Indians at Local Pride?

June 23, 2005…10:52 am

Rubashkin Set To Open New Nebraska Slaughterhouse In Cooperation With Oglala Sioux And Pine Ridge Indian Reservation – USDA Must Approve But Is Expected To Do So Tomorrow – USDA Still Refusing To Release Results Of Last Year’s Investigation

GORDON, Neb. An Iowa meatpacking firm that has drawn fire from an animal-rights group has bought an old packing plant in Gordon, Neb., and plans to process kosher beef, lamb and bison products using workers from the nearby Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

If the plant passes a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection scheduled for Friday it could begin slaughtering cattle as soon as Monday, according to Tally Plume, executive director of the Oglala Oyate Woitancan Empowerment Zone, which encompasses the reservation.

The firm, Local Pride, announced this week that it would begin hiring and training local workers for the plant. The plant will employ 40 to 50 local residents, according to a Local Pride news release. Plume said many of the workers would be tribal members.

Local Pride is owned by the Rubashkin family, which also owns Agriprocessors, operators of a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa.

Local Pride is working with the empowerment zone, created on the reservation in 1999, along with the Oglala Sioux Tribe Workforce in Action Program, the city of Gordon and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

Plume said the empowerment zone board expanded the zone, with USDA approval, to include 300 acres where the plant is located in Gordon, 36 miles southeast of Pine Ridge village.

Plume said the project considered Gordon for a site because the reservation lacks infrastructure to accommodate such a facility.

By being in the empowerment zone, Local Pride will be able to get a tax break for hiring tribal members, Plume said.

Reservation residents already have undergone training at the Postville plant.

“The potential for employment on this project could get pretty high,” Plume said. He said the Postsville plant began with about 50 employees and now has 700 workers.…

Meanwhile, Plume said he was not worried about allegations by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that Agriprocessors’ Postville plant uses cruel slaughtering methods that violate federal rules and strict kosher slaughtering standards.

PETA cited a video secretly made by an activist working undercover at the plant that showed workers using large knives to slice cows’ throats, as required for kosher preparation. The video also shows some of the cows then stumbling around for as long as three minutes. PETA says the animals were still alive and suffering.

Plant officials say the animals’ movements are involuntary and that massive blood loss to the brain brought on by slitting their throats renders them insensitive to pain within seconds.…

Plume said he is confident that the USDA probe will exonerate the Iowa plant. He said rabbis will be present at the Gordon plant as well.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency also filed a lawsuit accusing the Postville plant of exceeding limits set in wastewater discharge permits and failing to submit proper risk management plans or hazardous chemical inventory forms.

Plant spokesman Mike Thomas told the Courier that those matters have already been resolved with city and state officials.…

The USDA is expected to find against Rubashkin in the PETA-exposed throat-ripping scandal. But the USDA has been moving slowly and has refused to release the findings from last year’s investigation.

The Jewish community has a long history with Pine Ridge and the Oglala Sioux. Most of it good; some, not. The tribe’s positive exposure to Orthodox Judaism has largely been through left-leaning Orthodox Jews, including at least one rabbi, Moshe Lichtman, who practice a sort of social action, peace and justice style, Judaism and who work with non-Orthodox Jews.

But the Rubashkin family has a history of illegal and anti-social behavior – a history that includes bank fraud, misappropriating union dues paid by it’s employees, the documented recruitment of illegal alien workers, repeated EPA violations and the original Postville controversy.

One wonders whether the Oglala Sioux have trusted too much, based on their past experience with an atypical “bein adam lehaveyro“* Orthodoxy.

*In Judaism, the mitzvot (commandments) are broken down into two main parts, “bein adam lehaveryro,” between people, and “bein adam lemakom,” between people and G-d. Although both parts are meant to be equal, Orthodoxy tends to put more weight on commandments between people and G-d (for instance, prayer and keeping kosher) and to minimize the interpersonal and social justice commandments (for instance, not stealing union dues).

Filed under Kosher Business?, Kosher Meat Scandal