Ortho-Inmates Get Unfair Treatment

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Today on the subway the guy next to me was reading this story in the Post and all I could see was a sketch of an Orthodox-looking guy and the words RABBI’S ‘CLUB.’ I thought it might be about Kiddish Clubs, but it turns out, the Orthodox Jewish chaplain for NY prisons and jails was giving extra fancy treatment to Ortho-inmates (or as the post calls them, “Jewish jailbirds”), including gourmet kosher meals, and a bar mitzvah celebration for the son of one of the inmates.

NY Post:
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Rabbi Leib Glanz — the city jail chaplain suspended Wednesday for organizing a 60-guest bar mitzvah in the jail for an inmate’s son — also ensured that those “chosen few” inmates awaited trial there instead of at the more dangerous Rikers Island, according to a bombshell correction officers’ memo, a copy of which was provided to The Post.

The Post yesterday revealed that Glanz was suspended for two weeks, and four other top Correction officials lost two weeks of vacation, for allowing the bar mitzvah for the son of fraudster Tuvia Stern. It took place Dec. 30 at the Tombs in shocking contravention of security concerns.

The non-inmate guests partied in the jail’s visitors room for nearly six hours, dining on catered food, used china and silverware brought in from outside, and listened to Orthodox singer Yaakov Shwekey as up to eight correction officers worked overtime monitoring the shindig.

I know a lot of rabbis who work with inmates at jails and prisons, and I think prisoners deserve to be treated with respect, but this does seem to go well beyond what’s called for.

Posted on June 12, 2009

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