Friday, October 11, 2013

FBI raid: Suspect called 'a rabbi of caliber' 

Rabbi Mordechai Wolmark is respected by peers as the head of a Monsey yeshiva.

His father-in-law, Zev Wolfson, was one of the greatest Jewish philanthropists in recent history.

“He is a well-respected figure in the Jewish community, and he’s somebody that’s respected not just because he married into a wealthy family,” said Rabbi David Zwiebel of Agudath Israel of America, a Haredi Jewish communal organization. “He’s respected because he’s a person of substance, a person who is an expert in Jewish law. He’s considered a rabbi of caliber.”

Wolmark, 55, head of Yeshiva Shaarei Torah in Monsey, is now charged by federal authorities, accused of being involved in a gang that kidnapped and tortured Orthodox Jewish men to grant their wives religious divorces.

And it’s not the first time Wolmark — and longtime associate Rabbi Mendel Epstein, a prominent ultra-Orthodox divorce mediator in Brooklyn who is a co-defendant — have been accused of being involved in a plot.

In 1997, Rabbi Abraham Rubin filed a civil racketeering lawsuit accusing Wolmark, Epstein and other rabbis of being involved in his kidnapping and beating on Oct. 23, 1996, in Brooklyn as he walked from synagogue to his home in Borough Park, Newsday reported at the time.

He alleged that three masked men shoved him into a van, handcuffed and beat him because he refused to grant his wife a get.

Rubin also claimed he was shocked more than 30 times with a stun gun, including to his genitals, and that he was put in a car then dumped outside a Brooklyn cemetery, the newspaper reported. Rubin, however, lost the lawsuit.

Wolmark, whose yeshiva was founded by renowned scholar and author, Rabbi Beryl Wein, is a married father in Monsey.

His wife, Rivka Wolmark, is the daughter of Zev Wolfson, a real estate developer and legendary supporter of Jewish outreach projects who died in August 2012.


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Chaptzem! Blog