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El Al owner used fraudulent nursing home funds to buy airline, New York AG Letitia James claims

(New York Jewish Week) – New York State Attorney General Letitia James accused Jewish owners of four nursing homes in New York of misusing $83 million in government funds and diverting them towards the purchase of Israel’s national airline, El Al. 

In a lawsuit filed this week, James alleges that instead of employing the funds to care for residents and hire adequate staff, Kenneth Rozenberg and Daryl Hagler, the owners of Centers Health Care, have been using the money for their own personal benefit. In 2020, Rozenberg purchased a controlling stake in the Israeli airline El Al for $107 million. Hagler became a director of El Al in 2021, and per the suit spent $132 million in 2022 to purchase three properties in Brooklyn and Queens.

“Rozenberg’s investment in El Al, which ultimately allowed him to become the controlling shareholder of the airline, was made possible by his and Hagler’s longstanding pattern of fraud and illegality,” the suit says.

James is seeking to block Centers Health Care from admitting new residents until they are properly staffed to care for current residents as well as hire financial and healthcare monitors to ensure compliance. Rozenberg and Hagler are also being asked to return the allegedly stolen funds.

The facilities in question are Beth Abraham Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in the Bronx, Buffalo Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Buffalo, Holliswood Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare in Queens and Martine Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in White Plains. 

Centers Health Care denied the allegations. “Centers Health Care prides itself on its commitment to patient care,” Jeff Jacomowitz, a spokesman for Centers Health Care, said in a statement. “Centers denies the New York attorney general’s allegations wholeheartedly and attempted to resolve this matter out of court. We will fight these spurious claims with the facts on our side.” 

Per the suit, Centers Health Care has been engaging in fraud since as early as 2013. The suit alleges that the nursing homes often left residents sitting in their own feces and urine for hours, failed to respond to calls for help when residents fell and kept residents malnourished and starving.

“Nursing homes are meant to be safe spaces where the most vulnerable members of our community receive the care and dignity they deserve. Instead, the owners of Centers Health Care allegedly used these four nursing homes — and the vulnerable New Yorkers who lived there — to extract millions of dollars for their personal use, leading to elderly residents and those with disabilities suffering unconscionable pain, neglect, degradation, and even death,” James said in a press release.

“Rather than honor their legal duty to residents to provide the highest possible quality of life, Centers leadership and their associates seized every opportunity to put personal profit over resident care,” she added.

Four hundred residents at Centers Health Care facilities died in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The suit alleges that they died as a result of the nursing home’s failure to provide adequate staff and follow COVID safety protocols.

In the first year of the pandemic, more than 15,000  nursing home residents statewide died due to the coronavirus and its complications, according to a state audit.

Rozenberg was reported to have used his son, Eli Rozenberg, an Israeli citizen, as the frontman for his bid to purchase El Al, due to a law preventing non-Israelis from owning the airline. 

The suit alleges that in 2020, “Hagler used a bank account that received, among other sums, profits obtained fraudulently and illegally from the Nursing Homes to loan Rozenberg $103 million — at no interest and with no repayment terms or loan documentation — to facilitate Rozenberg’s purchase of the Israeli national airline, El Al. In the fall of 2020, Rozenberg lent $109 million to a company controlled by his son to purchase a controlling stake in the airline for a total of $107 million.” 

The senior Rozenberg made Aliyah in 2021 and took control of the company in May 2021.

This is the fourth lawsuit James has filed against nursing home owners this year. In a press conference, she encouraged anyone with concerns or information about nursing home conditions to file a confidential complaint.


The post El Al owner used fraudulent nursing home funds to buy airline, New York AG Letitia James claims appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Poland Bans Israeli Soccer Teams From Major City Due to ‘Safety’ Concerns

Stadion Widzewa is a multi-use stadium in Łódź, Poland. It is currently used mostly for football matches and serves as the home stadium of Widzew Łódź. Photo: maps.pomocnik.com.

Two Israeli soccer teams — Maccabi Haifa and Hapoel Beer Sheva — that were set to play their European Championship matches in the Polish city of Łódź have been banned by the hosting country, after widespread outrage from Poles.

The Union of European Football Associations previously announced that Israel will not be allowed to host UEFA-sanctioned matches due to the ongoing war against the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in Gaza.

As a result, the Israeli clubs announced on Sunday that their new “home stadiums” would be the Władysław Król Municipal Stadium and the Stadion Widzewa in Łódź. Soon afterward, two Polish clubs that play at the stadiums released statements distancing themselves from the decision, with many fans expressing antisemitic outrage on social media against Israel and support for the Palestinians.

The Polish city’s Cultural and Sport authority then released a statement saying that no Israeli teams would play at any facilities in Łódz because “the safety of Łódź residents and visitors is the highest priority for the city.”

Yacov Livne, the Israeli Ambassador to Poland, slammed the decision and lodged a complaint with the Polish city.

“One should not give in to such threats. Lodz needs to remain a place of tolerance, not fear,” Livne said in a statement on X/Twitter.

Maccabi Haifa took second place in the Israeli top league, giving it the opportunity to play in the qualifying rounds for the European Conference League, while Hapoen Beer Sheva came third in the Israeli premier league.

One of the Polish clubs based in Łódz has a history of antisemitism.

In 2016, a group of ŁKS Łódz hooligans set fire to “Jewish” effigies and paraded a banner calling for the burning of Jews. Years earlier in 2013, fans of the same team invited visitors to an indoor tournament to play a game in which they could throw objects at “Jews,” models dressed in uniforms of the club’s rival, Widzew Łódź. A sign next to the game informed players that for a meager price they would be given “three throws at the Jews.”

Antisemitism is increasingly creeping into Polish politics as well.

Last week a virulently antisemitic member of the Polish parliament who extinguished the candles of a lit Hanukkah menorah with a fire extinguisher won a seat in the European Parliament elections, riding a wave of far-right success across the continent.

The post Poland Bans Israeli Soccer Teams From Major City Due to ‘Safety’ Concerns first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino Harassed in NYC by Anti-Israel Media Personality For Being a ‘Zionist’

Quentin Tarantino being harassed by anti-Israel media personality “Crackhead Barney.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

A notorious anti-Israel social media personality accosted filmmaker Quentin Tarantino at a New York City restaurant and called him a “Zionist piece of s–t.”

A woman known online as “Crackhead Barney” shared a video on Saturday of her confrontation with the “Django Unchained” director, 61, as he was eating alone inside a restaurant on St. Marks Place. She approached his table and shouted, “Quentin Tarantino, say ‘Free Palestine!’ Why are you a Zionist piece of s__t?!” Tarantino remained silent as Barney repeated herself and then asked him, “Going to Israel?” as workers from the establishment tried to make her leave the restaurant.

When Tarantino left the eatery, a rowdy crowd awaited him outside including Barney, who confronted him again. She repeatedly shouted “Free Palestine” and asked the director to “say ni–er” multiple times while also exposing herself to the “Pulp Fiction” director. The crowd of people outside the restaurant also chanted “Toes! Toes!” which is seemingly a nod to the director’s fixation with showcasing feet in his movies.

Tarantino is married to Israeli singer Daniella Pick, who is the daughter of legendary Israeli pop musician Svika Pick. The couple live in Tel Aviv with their two children and Tarantino spoke in 2021 about learning Hebrew. In 2022, he received an honorary degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Shortly after the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel, Tarantino visited an army base in southern Israel and met with Israel Defense Force (IDF) troops.

Earlier this year, Barney harassed actor Alec Baldwin inside a coffee shop in New York City and recorded their confrontation on her cellphone. She told the actor, “Free Palestine … F–k Israel, F–k Zionism.” She repeatedly asked Baldwin to also say “Free Palestine” and when she would not back down, Baldwin eventually knocked Barney’s phone from her hands.

The post Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino Harassed in NYC by Anti-Israel Media Personality For Being a ‘Zionist’ first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Online Live Chat Service for Jews to Connect With Rabbis Sees 300% Increase Since Oct. 7 Attacks

A protester wrapped in an Israeli flag at a rally against antisemitism at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Photo: Reuters/Lisi Niesner

A live web service provided by Aish.com that allows users to speak directly with one of the Jewish organization’s leading rabbis has seen a 300 percent increase in usage since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel.

More than 5,000 chat responses (over 225 per day) are received each month, according to Aish, which added in a press release that many of the chats turn into extended conversations, sometimes on WhatsApp, in which rabbis help unaffiliated or disconnected Jewish users reconnect with their Jewish identities and form bonds with other Jews.

The Jewish organization said it believes the increase in usage of its live web chat service is due to the global rise in antisemitism and a newfound curiosity about Israel following Oct. 7, as well as a “yearning for meaning and community in the face of life’s uncertainties, and a desire for deeper meaning and spirituality in the face of a fast-paced modern culture where spiritual needs have been put on a backburner for too long.”

“We’re hearing from so many Jews who feel profoundly disconnected, whether due to living in areas with little Jewish community or lack of affiliation growing up,” said Rabbi Tzvi Broker, who oversees Aish.com‘s Live Chat. “The personal nature of these interactions, coupled with their anonymity, creates a safe space to ask questions and begin exploring. Having a live rabbi to connect and share with, has been a draw for many, and we’re seeing lives transformed as a result.”

Among their efforts, Broker and his team have helped people on the chat slowly incorporate Jewish rituals and traditions into their lives, and have connected them with peers through the organization’s new online community Aish+ so they can continue learning and engaging with other Jews.

“It’s amazing to witness lives being transformed in such profound ways,” said Broker. “Jews around the world are finding threads of connection to their heritage, and tapping into the depth and wisdom of our tradition to find meaning, community, and resilience in these challenging times.”

Bob Diener, the founder of hotels.com and the seed funder of Aish.com’s live chat, added in a statement: “The chat has been a powerful way for people to connect one-on-one with a spiritual leader and have their unique questions answered in a non-threatening and non-intimidating way. The chat’s rabbis are connecting so many people to their roots who otherwise don’t know where to go for guidance.”

“The chats have had a deep impact on many disconnected from the Jewish community,” said Aish CEO Rabbi Steven Burg. “Each of the people we connect with demonstrates a broad yearning to explore Jewish spirituality, peoplehood, and identity and that is why they have been turning to Aish for connection and guidance. We are happy to provide both while connecting them with local Jewish communities in their area, if there is one, to continue their journey.”

The post Online Live Chat Service for Jews to Connect With Rabbis Sees 300% Increase Since Oct. 7 Attacks first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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