A Lefkowitz by Any Other Name

In 2012, Agudath Israel of America filled up the Citifield Stadium to preach against the evils of the Internet. Some speakers issued global bans and others hawked filters.  For a long time Agudah had no internet site. But for the last few months they have a website. They make believe it as something specific to their Lefkowitz Leadership Initiative.

Channeling civil engineers they admonish: “internet usage is only permitted with proper and adequate filtration.”

Marc Shapiro is amused by their accommodation to reality and speculates, “years from now we will probably be able to read in the official history of Agudath Israel of America how the Agudah was among the first to recognize the great value of the internet for spreading Torah, and how the Agudah immediately seized this opportunity. ”

—-

UPDATE- Commenter “Shmilda” points out that they had a website for the 2015 convention but they didn’t officially acknowledge it was theirs. He writes, ” That has some audio and video without the warning about proper filtration systems. Maybe the water is cleaner up in Stamford?”

Commenter “Sdom vaAmora Adma Tzvoyim Tzoar (5 Towns)” points out the Lefkowitz center is named after Israel Lefkowitz, a man embroiled in financial scandal and an enemy of frum blogs and a defender of Agudah’s handling of sex abuse.

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8 thoughts on “A Lefkowitz by Any Other Name

    • no so. the lefkowitz patriarch is yisroel lefkowitz, who is deceased and certainly did not drive his town car up on the curb.

  1. Nice try. There are even pictures of Lefkowitz up on the curb with his window rolled down.

    And after the blogs highlighted what was already in the newspapers, the Lefkowitz family had a big problem, but only that the word got out against them:

    http://www.chareidi.org/archives5772/vayishlach/VYS72aaguda.htm

    Aguda Convention Warns about the Danger on the Desk (and in the Pocket)

    By Sarah Pascal

    Rabbi Avrohom Lefkowitz, the convention co-chairman, expounded upon the frightening effects of the “Frum blogs”. “These blogs,” said Rabbi Lefkowitz, “promote rechilus, loshon hora, machlokes, and the worst: devastating destruction of our gedolim. A Washington insider confided to an Orthodox askan: ‘You don’t know what your blogs are doing to you in Washington. They are destroying the perfect picture of the Jewish community, with the violent responses you write against your leaders.'”

    http://www.villagevoice.com/news/scandal-cash-6396881

    Israel Lefkowitz, an adult- and nursing home owner convicted of bilking Medicaid

    http://exposemolesters.blogspot.com/2009/05/agudah-motto-sanctuary-for-pedophiles.html

    Rally outside Agudah dinner protested group’s opposition to pedophile legislation.

    Click Here For Jewish Week article
    by Hella Winston

    According to Rabbi Rosenberg, the protesters were there “[to let] Jewish people who are supposed to be Torah-observant people know that we are not allowed to have any kind of pedophilia in our community. And [unfortunately] the Agudah and these rabbis with them are backing these pedophiles on a very, very bad level.”

    He referred specifically to the case of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, who is alleged to have abused what some believe could be dozens of children with impunity for over four decades, both in schools and at the Agudah-owned Camp Agudah, Inc.

    At one point, the protesters got into a confrontation with Israel Lefkowitz, who identified himself as an Agudah trustee “proud to be an Agudist since 1940.” Through the open window of his car as he entered the Hilton, he told protesters that he “was against sexual harassment for all the children.”

    When asked by The Jewish Week whether he thought people should report allegations of abuse directly to the police, Lefkowitz did not respond, but chided the protesters for demonstrating in public.

    “The problem [with the Markey bill] is that somebody can wake up after 40 years and say that he was molested.”

  2. The article was updated (2/9/16) with the following addition:

    UPDATE- Commenter “Shmilda” points out that they had a website for the 2015 convention but they didn’t officially acknowledge it was theirs. He writes, ” That has some audio and video without the warning about proper filtration systems. Maybe the water is cleaner up in Stamford?”

    Commenter “Sdom vaAmora Adma Tzvoyim Tzoar (5 Towns)” points out the Lefkowitz center is named after Israel Lefkowitz, a man embroiled in financial scandal and an enemy of frum blogs and a defender of Agudah’s handling of sex abuse.

  3. I will tell you what else irks people about the Lefkowitzes besides that they suddenly took a major interest in opposing blogs AFTER they were exposed on them.

    They were the subject of nursing home abuse exposes in the NY Times.

    The family is infamous for suckering a top family as mechutonim while concealing that their own child had medical issues.

    And according to the kollel members of the former Lefkowitz kollel on Nostrand Ave, the Lefkowitzes just took off one day with little or no warning, leaving everyone holding the bag, when they decided to start afresh far away from Brooklyn.

    I am not here to bash the frum world. I am just tired of the corrupt old boys club that has hijacked the supposed communal institutions.

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