Friday, December 31, 2004

Confessed pornographer/trafficker of women Charles Kushner has connections to Hebrew Academy for Special Children (HASC)


At 1:27 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Here's an idea, audit every organization associated with Charles Kushner.

Mack-Cali CEO honored. (Transcripts).(Mitchell E. Hersh, chief executive officer of Mack-Call Realty Corporation, is a recipient of the 2003 Hebrew Academy for Special Children Humanitarian Award)
March 12, 2003
Real Estate Weekly

Mitchell E. Hersh, chief executive officer of Mack-Call Realty Corporation, was honored as recipient of the 2003 Hebrew Academy for Special Children (HASC) Humanitarian Award at the HASC Inaugural Benefit Dinner on March 3 at the Puck Building, 295 Lafayette St.

Proceeds from the dinner benefitted Camp HASC, an award-winning summer camp of the Hebrew Academy of Special Children in New York's Catskill Mountains where children with cerebral palsy, Down's syndrome and autism spend seven weeks in a caring, loving and warm environment.

The dinner was co-chaired by Charles Kushner, chairman of Kushner Companies; Richard Stadtmauer, vice chairman and managing partner of Kushner Companies; and Bruce Schonbraun, managing partner of Schonbraun Safris McCann Bekritsky & Company. Barry Lefkowitz, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Mack-Call Realty Corporation, was the event journal chairman.

Hersh served as Regional Corporate Chairman of the American Heart Association's 2001 New Jersey Heart Walk

In 2002, he was the recipient of the Monmouth University Real Estate Institute Leadership Excellence Award and the Hamilton Township, New Jersey Economic Development Advisory Commission Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Hersh is a member of the Real Estate Roundtable and serves on the Board of Trustees of the New York University Real Estate Institute and on the Board of Directors for both the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and the New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties.

At 2:15 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Local builder may bid on Israel bank
by Robert Wiener
Metrowest Jewish News
February 26, 2004

One month after losing a bid to purchase the New Jersey Nets, builder and philanthropist Charles Kushner is reportedly making a move to buy the Israel Discount Bank.

Fifty-five percent of the bank is currently owned by the Israeli government, and Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is responsible for part of its operations and would have to approve its sale.

Kushner is a longtime friend of Netanyahu who has contributed to the former Israeli prime minister's political campaigns. Netanyahu is seeking to have his government divest itself of publicly owned institutions, including the 200-branch bank.

The bank was listed in 2003 as having $29.4 billion in assets.

Howard Rubenstein, owner and director of the high-powered New York public relations firm that represents Kushner, confirmed the Livingston resident's interest in the bank, first reported in The Record of Bergen County. "This is just the beginning of the process," said Rubenstein. "Charlie could come in with partners."

But Rubenstein declined to say whether Netanyahu had personally invited Kushner to enter the bidding for the bank.

"Netanyahu is also a friend of Matthew Bronfman, and Bronfman is also reported to be interested in buying the bank," said Rubenstein, referring to the Seagram heir and son of World Jewish Congress president Edgar Bronfman. "Netanyahu has lived in New York, and he knows every single person who's been involved with Israel in a major way."

Rubenstein added, however, "I understand Netanyahu will recuse himself from any matters dealing with the sale."

Dafna Zucker, banking correspondent for Globes, an Israeli financial newspaper, said the bidders' friendship with Netanyahu or other Israeli officials would bear little weight when it comes to sealing a deal on the bank.

"At this point, Kushner is making an offer to participate in the purchase of the bank. It will be decided by bidding, and the high price will mark the winner," said Zucker, who added that Kushner is not well-known in the Israeli financial community. "Netanyahu and others believe private banking is good for Israel's economy."

Still, a certain degree of what the Israelis call "proteksia" -- connections -- couldn't hurt a potential buyer either, said an expert on Jewish philanthropy and Israel who is based in New York.

"When Israel wants to sell one of its major assets, it wants to make sure that the prospective buyers have a strong commitment to Israel's survival," said the expert. "As someone once said, `If you're doing business, you may as well do business with a friend.'"

The deal is not without its financial risks.

"It sounds like a good deal for Netanyahu, but I'm not sure it's such a good deal for Charlie. He could lose a whole lot of money," said the expert. "Israeli banks have not shown continued success and have required government bailouts in the past." In 1997, a team led by the late shipping magnate Ted Arison bought a 43 percent stake in Bank Hapoalim, the country's biggest bank. In 1992, the bank announced it was laying off 900 bank employees to head off future declines.

Rubenstein is unconcerned.

"Charlie is a very good businessman," he said. "You can count on him not making any investments that are unsound and inappropriate."

Kushner is one of the leading philanthropists in the area's Jewish community, serving or having served on the boards of Daughters of Israel Geriatric Center, the Rabbinical College of America, the Hebrew Academy for Special Children, and United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ. The Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy and Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston are named in memory of his late father. He is vice president of long-term planning and a member of the schools' board of trustees.

According to the Kushner Companies' Web site, the firm owns and manages more than 24,000 apartment units and has a commercial portfolio consisting of 7.5 million square feet of office space.

In recent years, some of the developer's business ventures have come under legal scrutiny.

Part of the scrutiny stemmed from a lawsuit he faced from his brother, Murray, and a former bookkeeper, Robert Yontef, over allegations that Charles Kushner directed corporate funds into campaign treasuries, including one held by Gov. James McGreevey. Kushner denied the allegations, and the lawsuit has been settled.

Charles Kushner is also being investigated by the NJ Attorney General's Office for political contributions he made while serving as a director of the NorCrown Bank in Livingston.

State law prohibits the majority owner of a bank from making political donations, but Kushner's attorneys have argued that his stock in NorCrown was being held in trust.

In another matter, Kushner withdrew his name last year from consideration as chair of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He was facing complaints that his public service could be tarnished by a conflict of interest after making heavy gifts to politicians, including McGreevey.

Last month the Nets turned down a $300 million offer from Kushner and U.S. Sen. Jon S. Corzine (D-NJ) and accepted an offer from Brooklyn developer Bruce Ratner.

Robert Wiener can be reached at

At 7:43 AM, Blogger MoChassid said...

your continuing obsession with kushner and unfounded allegations and inuendo 'outs' you for what you really are. a bitter loser.

At 9:34 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>your continuing obsession with kushner


>and unfounded allegations

Everything is accurate.

>and inuendo 'outs' you for what you really are.
>a bitter loser.

And that is relevent to this thread how?

At 10:16 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

There are simply to many community leaders that not only have zero midot and conduct themselves in ways completely contrary to Judaism. They wrap themselves in our religious institutions and degrade everything we stand for.

Why do we tolerate them? Because of their money.

Why doesn't our leadership act? Because ther is no accountability or transparency within our institutions and leadership.

Do I care that you don't like what I say? Nope. I'm just happy you're capable of righteous indignation. That's a step up from most of the people I deal with in the Orthodox community.

I want my institutions cleaned up. I want want a regime change in my community's leadership.

I'm just here to get people angry. That's when people's true faces come out. Case in point: Rabbi Yaakov Menken and his tirade against Gary Rosenblatt. Now his true colors are exposed as just another leader more concerned with Gary Rosenblatt than the system and leadership that kept Rabbi Baruch Lanner and Rabbi Matis Weinberg in positions of power.

At 10:05 AM, Blogger MoChassid said...

The problem that I have with your tirade against Kushner is that you are impugning the reputations of perfctly innocent charitable organizations in your zealous efforts.

Until the revelations of misconduct against kushner (to which he pleaded guilty) how was any organzization to know that he was involved in any of this. Unlike your other campaigns, no one is trying to cover up anything and no one is justifying what he did.

What, exactly, does the fact that Kushner was a donor to HASC have to do with anything? He was a generous donor to scores of Jewish organizations. Are you suggesting that he is part of the HASC cabal. Where is your evidence? What is your basis for this?

I have zero sympathy for kushner or for the leadership at HASC (if the allegations turn out to be true). But this, IMO, is just gratuitous, self-righteous lashon hara and inuendo.

It does not reflect well on you and what you are generally trying to do.

At 11:23 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>The problem that I have with your tirade against Kushner
>is that you are impugning the reputations of perfctly
>innocent charitable organizations in your zealous efforts.

No. They impugn themselves by associating with his likes.

>Until the revelations of misconduct against kushner
>(to which he pleaded guilty) how was any organzization
>to know that he was involved in any of this.

He was pushed out of the Port Authority because of inappropriate political contributions. If Jewish organizations want to be seen as having low standards they should continue associating with people of his ilk. I think higher standards are in order and NOT to associate our organizations with ANYONE who's ethical conduct is as questionable as Kushner's was. Action should have been taken long before the confession to criminal charges.

At 11:30 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

"... unless ... convicted of a crime..."
It's this kind of attitude that damages the integrity of our instiututes. They should have pulled/deferred the honor to Charles Kushner immediately.

Despite Allegations, Gala Honoring Political Donor Will Go On
Forward (NY)
July 23, 2004

Under his bail agreement, Charles Kushner, the real estate mogul and political fund raiser arrested last week for allegedly hiring a call girl in an effort to blackmail a witness, is not allowed to leave his home state of New Jersey. But he will still be one of the guests of honor at a fund-raising gala next month in Israel for Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

Leaders of the American Committee for Shaare Zedek say that unless Kushner is convicted of a crime, they see no reason to pull him and his wife off the roster of honorees.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger MoChassid said...

Why don't you answer my question. Are you alleging that Kushner has anything to do with what's going on at HASC?

We have already established your holiness, that you would never accept a dime from anyone who had even the hint of ever having done anything wrong (even if it were the difference, say, between opening a camp for special children or not). And, it is equally disingenuous to bring in the Shaarei tzeddek dinner which suggests that that is something I would defend. I never defended that nor would I.

But your completely made up inuendo linking the alleged transgressions of HASC with the conviction of Kushner on an entirely different matter is as offensive and unethical as taking money from someone who withdrew his nomination from the Port Authority.

At 11:59 AM, Blogger MoChassid said...

and another thing. it would be much more gracious if you would just admit you were wrong. There's nothing wrong with being wrong once in a while.

At 12:01 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>What, exactly, does the fact that Kushner was a donor to
>HASC have to do with anything?

Please re-read above:
"Kushner is one of the leading philanthropists in the area's Jewish community, serving or having served on the boards of... the Hebrew Academy for Special Children..."

At 12:03 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>Unlike your other campaigns, no one is trying to cover
>up anything and no one is justifying what he did.

HASC is an important charity that does important work. $1 Million could have helped a lot of families greatly. I realize many of the directors are trying to rectify the problems and are sorry for what happened but let me be clear they are responsible for what the oversight of this charity and they have failed on this front. Being on the board of directors doesn't mean you simply show up to a few meetings, hob-knob with other wealthty/prominent people, a nice annual dinner and a line on the CV. You have taken on a responsibilty of oversight on a charity, you have obligations. Many of the directors have been there since the 80's, one has been a director since 1973.

They failed in this oversight.

My understanding further is that the board members have violated their fiduciary obligations to the charity by not going to the authorities when they learned of the fraud.

Let me also be clear that Bernard Kahn was not underpaid. He was collecting around a quarter of a million dollars in salary.

At 12:17 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>and another thing. it would be much more gracious if you
>would just admit you were wrong. There's nothing wrong
>with being wrong once in a while.

Correct. I am human, I make mistakes. In the past, I have made mistakes and have attempted to post corrections and readily admitted errors. In the future I will likely make mistakes too, I will try to admit to them as well.

So far, I see nothing to appologize for here.

Over the past years, HASC has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees, much to lobbyists. It's time to open the books and let the chips fall where they may.

How many organizations is this happening to? How much desperately needed funds is going to the wrong pockets?

Russ Reid Co. (lobbyists) $105,362

At 12:20 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>We have already established your holiness, that you
>would never accept a dime from anyone who had even the
>hint of ever having done anything wrong

I never established that.

Accountability and transparency within our institutions and leadership is the tagline.

> (even if it
>were the difference, say, between opening a camp for special
>children or not).

That's always the argument/claim/justification yet never the case.

>And, it is equally disingenuous to bring
>in the Shaarei tzeddek dinner which suggests that that is
>something I would defend. I never defended that nor would I.


At 12:21 PM, Blogger MoChassid said...

You keep confusing the issue.

I am not defending Kushner.

I am not defending HASC.

Got that?

It doesn't change the fact that your post about Kushner and his alleged ties to HASC was completely gratuitous.

At 12:32 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>Kushner and his alleged ties to HASC was completely gratuitous.

"On June 30, 1999, the campaign got $8,000 from seven people associated with the downstate Hebrew Academy for Special Children, which has received more than $1 million in grants from Walsh's subcommittee."

Sound familiar?

Kushner was involved with inappropriate campaign contributions.

Given the lobbying articles I posted and the current HASC fraud allegations, maybe it's time for some long needed forensic audits.

At 2:43 PM, Blogger MoChassid said...

you're grasping at straws. concentrate on HASC, not this nonsense.

At 8:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


When Mayor Bloomberg cut the ribbon at NYU's new Wagner School of Public Affairs in the Puck Building last autumn, he dedicated the event to a crusade "against corruption and for good government." Absent from the celebration was Charles Kushner, who last year donated the Puck Building to NYU. His presence would have been an embarrassment after his appearance in a New Jersey courtroom where he pleaded guilty to tax fraud, violation of campaign finance laws, and obstruction of justice. Though facing a prison stretch up to 25 years, Kushner remains on the NYU Board of Trustees. This invites questions about the roles of universities and their leaders. What are their standards of conduct and to whom are they applicable?

Recalling an instance of another university trustee's misconduct, that's why Hazel Dukes was forced to resign from her position on the board of SUNY seven years ago. Ms Dukes, a former civil rights leader, pled guilty to embezzling $13,000 from the bank account of a friend with cancer. Commenting on her departure, a fellow trustee declared that "higher-education leaders serve as role models for our students."

Charles Kushner's case reflects a different order of public insult. He made illegal campaign donations and then tried to obstruct justice by retaliating against a potential witness. He employed a prostitute to lure him into a motel room where a hidden camera recorded their tryst. Kushner then sent the videotape to the witness's wife at their home on the day of their daughter's sixteenth birthday party. The witness, his wife, and child were Mr. Kushner's own brother-in-law, sister, and niece.

Leaving aside the unbecoming example of a university trustee's grotesque behavior, it is Kushner's willful subversion of democracy that ought to disqualify him from any future association with education. This kind of tampering can hardly be encouraging to the students whose interest in voting we so desperately require.

The mayor ignored this irony, joking about the Wagner School as the premiere job-training institute for City Hall. But NYU president John Sexton, the event's host, obtained the Puck Building by recruiting Kushner onto the board of trustees. He should explain the sequence of events in NYU's windfall real estate acquisition, especially what he knew about his friend, Kushner's troubles before accepting the gift. Those interested in the city's welfare deserve an explanation. So do Sexton's fellow governors at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Will anyone in the city or state step forward to require this testimony, preferably under oath?

Do New Yorkers really consider it acceptable for NYU to inherit this chunk of real estate, so crassly donated as a tax write-off? Many parents might like to see the tainted Puck Building, or at least part of it, redeemed in the guise of a new public school. It would be a more direct affirmation of NYU's pledge to community service than its continual property hoarding. In any event, this scandal illustrates the idea that large urban universities are too much part of our common space to operate without formal public scrutiny.


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