Thursday, June 11, 2009

A "Catering Hall" of a Different Kind

So you think the frum world is not addicted to lavishness when it comes to making simchas? YWN is not precisely my favored reading material but my cousin told me I had to read the following that appeared there today. Surely, surely there must be better reasons for a frum Jew to make the pages of a newspaper?!

Lavish Bar Mitzvah In NYC Jail Causes Uproar
June 11, 2009
Filed under: General News — Y.W. Editor @ 7:56 am -->
The NY Post reports:
Who needs the Waldorf?

A wealthy inmate was allowed to host a lavish bar mitzvah behind bars for his son at the downtown lockup known as the Tombs, The Post has learned.

The proud papa, is a financial-scam artist who jumped bail and spent nearly 20 years on the lam.
City Correction Department officials permitted him to use his own caterer, who supplied kosher food, china, forks — and knives — for about 60 guests who partied and danced the hora for six hours in the jailhouse gym.

Family and friends were allowed to keep their cellphones — normally a huge security no-no, the inmate was given the OK to dress in clothing appropriate for the occasion.

The guest list at the jail included several prominent rabbis as well as Yaakov Shwekey, a popular Orthodox singer, and a band.

The city threw in its own present — overtime pay for the correction officers staffing the soiree.
The Dec. 30 bash was so successful that the inmate chose the same venue four months later for his daughter engagement party for 10 family members, sources said.

Shame-faced Correction officials yesterday quietly disciplined five top employees, including a rabbi and an imam, for signing off on the bar mitzvah.

“I’ve never seen, in my career, anything as stupid as this,” said a Department of Correction insider about the bar mitzvah, which was permitted over the objections of at least one jail official. “It’s outrageous what transpired.”

Correction Commissioner Martin Horn was “livid” and “views the events as a spectacularly gross error of judgment up and down the command chain,” said a department source.

Horn suspended the correction chaplain who arranged the bar mitzvah, for two weeks.
Four other officials were stripped of two weeks of vacation.

A source said all Jewish inmates were moved out of the Tombs yesterday for unknown reasons.


JS said...

"The guest list at the jail included several prominent rabbis as well as Yaakov Shwekey, a popular Orthodox singer, and a band."

Boy, why am I not surprised?

Anonymously said...

Couldn't believe that this wasn't some kind of hoax or urban legend but the whole thing is true! If you want a perfect example of a chillul Hashem, this is it.

Juggling Frogs said...

[dropping jaw]



G6 said...

Do you know what upsets me EVEN MORE?

a) that he wasn't ashamed to *do* this in the first place

b) the number of commenters on YW that are defending his actions!!

Dave said...

I think what upsets me the most is that I'm neither surprised by what happened, nor by the defense being raised on VIN and YWN.

Dave said...

The "unknown reasons" seems to be ending the special treatment that Rabbi Glanz was providing: