Friday, July 7, 2023

Chabad Rabbi Jacob Biderman alleged to have been an active participant to defraud banks, the Mitchells and Rabon & Rabon, Inc.


Chabad Rabbi Jacob Biderman (Vienna)

The below news links from 2018/2019 describe an alleged fraud scheme that was initiated in January 2015 regarding a Real Estate portfolio in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA. Part of the fraud allegedly involved Chabad Rabbi Jacob Biderman making 3 wire transfers, one of which to a bank account in Chile. Jacob Biderman was operating (at least initially) through his company "Friends of LBS [Lauder Business school]". According to the articles, the scheme was orchestrated by Sarah Ginsburg who is Rabbi Biderman's sister and who has a Chabad House in Mrytle Beach.

Introduction and Background

Here are the details of Rabbi Jacob Biderman's Chabad House

As is common practice in Chabad, regions are normally allocated to families. Here is another Chabad House in close proximity.

Rabbi Avraham Biderman is Jacob Biderman's son and both Rabbi Mordechay Segal and Rabbi Yechiel Michel Butman are married to Rabbi Jacob Biderman's daughters and are registered as Chabad Shluchim in Vienna. This is all clearly described here.

Sons: Rabbi Avraham Biderman, Rabbi of Chabad synagogue in the 2nd district of Vienna, married to Debora née Deutsch.
Moshe Mordechai Biderman, activist at Chabad House Vienna.
Mussia married to Rabbi Mordechay Segal, heading the Central Chabad House in Vienna
Mina married to Rabbi Yechiel Mechel Butman, Chabad activities coordinator in Vienna
Nechama married to Rabbi Israel Arie Leib Wolosov, Yeshivat Torath Emet, Jerusalem

Rabbi Jacob Biderman's sister, Sara Ginsburg, runs a Chabad House in Myrtle Beach, USA:

Another organisation called "Friends of LBS" has been set up in Myrtle Beach with the following personnel:,264100821/

This clearly shows that this is a family run organisation consisting of Sara Ginsburg (Rabbi Biderman's sister) and Rabbi Biderman's son-in-law Yechiel Butman.

Furthermore, in this article requesting donations for Jacob Biderman's Lauder Chabad Business School in Vienna (LBS), he clearly asks for money to be deposited in the "Friends of LBS" bank account in Myrtle Beach.

The relationship between Rabbi Jacob Biderman and Sara Ginsburg is mentioned in this quote from an article on the Chabad colive news site...

She is also survived by her siblings Mrs. Sara Ginsburg of Myrtle Beach, SC; Rabbi Yaakov [Jacob] Biderman of Vienna, Austria, and Mrs. Leah Aizenman of Myrtle Beach, SC, and her mother, Mrs. Esther Parshan of Queens, NY.

Rabbi Jacob Biderman is regarded as a professor according to this web page 

In 2001, founded the "Jewish Teachers Seminary" in Vienna in cooperation with the Austrian and the Israeli ministries of education. the opening ceremony of this institution was attended by more than one hundred Rabbis from all over Europe, Austrian and Israeli government officials, as well as Mr. Romano Prodi, then the President of the European Commission. Thereafter Biderman received the title of Professor and was appointed as Dean of the institution.

This is a title which he enjoys on his school's web site

Summary of the alleged fraud and its implications

The below news links from 2018/2019 describe an alleged fraud scheme that was initiated in January 2015 regarding a Real Estate portfolio in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA. Part of the fraud allegedly involved Chabad Rabbi Jacob Biderman making 3 wire transfers, one of which to a bank account in Chile. Jacob Biderman was operating (at least initially) through his company "Friends of LBS". According to the articles, the scheme was orchestrated by Sarah Ginsburg, Rabbi Biderman's sister.

If it is true that Jacob Biderman knowingly participated in the fraud described in these news articles, then the following questions must be asked:

1) How can an active participant of fraud be registered as a Chabad Shliach?

2) How can the Chairman of the Lauder Business School in Vienna, a school set up to teach Torah ethics in business, be someone who has conducted his business in an allegedly fraudulent manner?

3) Will he still be advertised as one of the founder members of the RCE (Rabbinical Council of European Rabbis)?   

3) How can this person still refer to himself as a Rabbi and why aren't other Rabbis demanding he give up this title?

In 2015, two of the parties mentioned in this alleged fraud entered into a fight where one of them was shot, but the attempted murder charges were later dropped. How do other Chabad Rabbis feel about one of their colleagues being mixed up with such violent activities when they are trying to promote Judaism? Is any Chabad Rabbi prepared to speak out?

Articles and Links detailing the alleged Fraud

Judge Benjamin H Culbertson ruled yesterday that Jack Isaiah Rabon’s mediation settlement with Kyle and Karon Mitchell be immediately thrown out on grounds that Rabon worked with a local lawyer  to defraud the Mitchells.

The Sun News reported last Fall 2017: Court documents filed in early September allege that Jack Isaiah Rabon, Jr., along with his wife, Nicole Rabon, conspired with their attorney and with the buyers of the land to conceal hundreds of thousands of dollars in the transaction from Karon Mitchell, Jack Rabon’s sister, and Kyle Mitchell, her husband. The suit claims that at least some of that money was funnelled through a foreign bank account and then given in cash to the Rabons and their attorney, Lane Jeffries, who worked for the McNair Law Firm at that time.

Myrtle Beach Area Attorney Lane Jefferies

The dismissal of the mediation agreement opens up opportunities for the Mitchells to sue Rabon, his attorney Lane Jeffries, the buyer of the Mitchell’s property Sarah Ginsburg and Jacob Biderman, and potentially even the city of Myrtle Beach.

As the Myrtle Beach Sun News reported last October 6th:

According to court filings, Jeffries, Jack and Nicole Rabon, Ginsburg and Biderman all told the plaintiffs that the purchase price for the combined parcels was $542,000. That’s the total amount that was listed on closing documents and the total that is available in Horry County land records.

However, the suit claims that the buyers really paid $777,000, and that the Rabons and Jeffries kept the additional $235,000 out of official records in an attempt to conceal it from Kyle and Karon Mitchell.

As a part of that arrangement, the suit says Biderman transferred $100,000 to a bank account in Chile under the name of Gabriel Yosef. That money was allegedly given to Jack and Nicole Rabon and Jeffries by Yosef after the transfer.

This article was published in March 2019

Myrtle Beach Lawyer Firm Named in Fraudulent Sale

“McNair Law Firm intentionally withheld material information about the September [2015] Sales from the two mortgage holders to conceal numerous assets in violation of federal and state law”

Lane Jefferies [McNair’s Lawyer] knew about and, more importantly, was concerned about Gabby’s wire. This proves he knew about the illicit funds and was an active participant in the conspiracy to defraud the banks, the Mitchells and Rabon & Rabon, Inc .

Myrtle Beach residents Karon and Kyle Mitchell filed a motion this past week in the Fifteenth Judicial Court to void the fraudulent sale of $777,000 worth of downtown Myrtle Beach real estate they previously owned.

The lawsuit claiming fraud reads: There is no issue of material fact in dispute as to whether the sale of September 3, 2015 was procured by fraud by all of the parties involved and is void and/or voidable under South Carolina law.

Sarah Ginsburg orchestrated a scheme in which $777,000.00 was paid for the two properties owned by Rabon & Rabon, Inc., with $235,000.00 of that money being paid “under the table” to Jack Rabon and others. There are actually two instances of fraud in the transaction.

The most obvious fraud lies in the specific representations of Mr. Jeffries [Lane Jeffries – McNair Law Firm Lawyer at that time] and Mr. Rabon to Plaintiffs and numerous courts that only $542,000.00 was being paid for the two properties. These allegations pertinent to the fraud directly against Plaintiffs [hereinafter the “Direct Fraud”] are verified by Michelle Cohen, (the real estate agent involved in the sale) Jack Rabon (the President and Vice President of the Corporation and primary benefactor of the illicit funds), and the Biderman Defendants (the purchasers of the properties).

The second instance of fraud was only recently uncovered in discovery and deals with fraud perpetrated by the lawyers, at the direction of the client, against the creditors of the Corporation. McNair Law Firm intentionally withheld material information about the September Sales from the two mortgage holders to conceal numerous assets in violation of federal and state law [hereinafter the “Asset Concealment Fraud”].

Jacob Biderman is a citizen of Austria who operates a Jewish educational institution in Myrtle Beach through Friends of LBS, LLC. The original written contract with Friends of LBS, LLC was for the sale of Sea Palms #3 and the Brick House for the total price of $542,000.00.

However, the actual deal was for Biderman to pay $777,000.00 for both properties, with the additional $235,000.00 to be paid to Jack Rabon and others (exclusively) via a wire transfer and cash. This payment arrangement cut owners Kyle and Karon Mitchell out of their portion of $235,000 of the proceeds of the entire sale. The lawsuit claims that not only was McNair Law firm aware of the fraud, but a lawyer and perhaps lawyers of the firm actually participated in that fraud.

The downtown Myrtle Beach properties named in the fraudulent schemes include:

All that certain piece, parcel or lot of land situate, lying and being in the City of Myrtle Beach, Dogwood Neck Township, Horry County, South Carolina, shown and designated as Lot Three (3) of Block Nineteen (19) according to a map or plat of Hotel Section of Myrtle Beach, as made in June and July if 1926, under the supervision of Stanley H. Wright, Engineer, which map or plat is recorded in the Clerk of Court’s Office for Horry County in Plat Book 1 at page 84, reference to which is hereby made as a part and parcel of this description. TMS # 181-11-03-005/ PIN # 444-01-04-0044 [hereinafter the “Brick House”]

All those certain pieces, parcels or lots of land, with improvements thereon, situate, lying and being in the City of Myrtle Beach, Dogwood Neck Township, Horry County, South Carolina, shown and designated as Lot Numbers Seventeen (17) and Eighteen (18) of Block Nineteen (19), as shown on a map of the Hotel Section of Myrtle Beach made in June and July 1926, under the supervision of Stanley H. Wright, Engineer, and recorded in the office of the RMC for Horry County, South Carolina, in Plat Book 1 at page 84, reference to which is craved as forming a part of these presents.
TMS # 181-11-03-002 / PIN # 444-01-04-0051

All that certain piece, parcel or lot of land, with improvements thereon, situate, lying and being in the City of Myrtle Beach, Dogwood Neck Township, Horry County, South Carolina, shown and designated as Lot Number Two (2) of Block Nineteen (19), as shown on a map of the Hotel Section of Myrtle Beach made in June and July 1926, under the supervision of Stanley H. Wright, Engineer, and recorded in the office of the RMC for Horry County, South Carolina, in Plat Book 1 at page 84, reference to which is craved as forming a part of these presents.
TMS # 181-11-03-004 / PIN # 444-01-04-0043[collectively hereinafter “Sea Palms #3”]

In January 2015, Jack Rabon executed a contract with Shai David for the sale of several Rabon & Rabon, Inc. properties for $1 million. Rabon and David had a separate, unwritten agreement that David would pay Rabon an additional $735,000.00 “off the record” for the properties. Lane Jefferies [McNair Law Firm Lawyer] was present at most of the meetings while these negotiations took place and actually discussed the illicit payments in a text message exchange with Rabon on January 10, 2015.

Officially, Sea Palms #1 was sold to David for $242,000.00 in February 2015 and Sea Palms #2 was sold for $175,000.00 in March 2015. These sales took place without approval from the Probate Court or notice to the minority shareholders. The Sea Palms #2 sale resulted in cash of $128,289.57 belonging to the Corporation that was deposited directly into the McNair Law Firm Trust account. Once Plaintiffs discovered the sales, they filed suit against Rabon.

In their Answer, the McNair Firm misrepresented to the court and creditors that the money obtained from the sale of Sea Palms #2 was used “to preserve assets of the Corporation.” In fact, McNair actually held more than $120,000.00 in Rabon & Rabon, Inc. funds in its trust account at the time it made this representation. Ultimately, only $48,460.30 the $128,289.57 was spent towards expenses for the Corporation.

Michelle Cohen was the realtor involved in the deal and the primary representative of the Biderman Defendants. Ms. Cohen confirmed the conspiracy to pay the additional illicit funds via affidavit.

Jacob Biderman, Atid Properties, LLC, Friends of LBS, LLC and Sarah Ginsberg admitted in their joint answer that the additional $235,000.00 was paid for the two properties outside of the closing.

Therefore, the payment of the illicit and undisclosed $235,000.00 in funds is admitted by all of the parties directly involved. There is a dispute as to who received $50,000.00 of the illicit funds, but all parties agree that $185,000.00 went to Jack Rabon through Daisy Ridge, LLC and cash.

On August 20, 2015, Lane Jefferies made a motion in the Horry County Probate Court to sell two properties owned by Rabon & Rabon, Inc. In the motion and in direct representations to Plaintiffs, Lane Jefferies represented that Friends of LBS, LLC agreed to pay $145,000.00 to Rabon & Rabon, Inc. for the Brick House and $397,000.00 for Sea Palms #3, for a total of $542,000.00. These representations were false. Jack Rabon and Lane Jeffries knew the aforementioned representations were false at the time they were made to the Mitchells and the Probate Court.

Both the corporate resolution drafted by Jefferies and the Consent Motion signed by the Probate Court represented that only $542,000.00 was being paid for the property as opposed to the actual agreed upon price of $777,000.00. Due to the impending loss of the property to BB&T, and the false understanding that no better offer existed, the Mitchells signed the Resolution and the Consent Order on August 25, 2015.

Upon the executed Resolution and Consent Order, the final stages of the conspiracy were set into motion. Biderman formed a new LLC, Atid Properties, LLC, for the sole purpose of taking title to Sea Palms #3 and the Brick House. Jack and Nicole Rabon formed a new company, Daisy
Ridge, LLC, for the sole purpose of receiving the illicit funds via wire from Biderman. The formation of Daisy Ridge, LLC was suggested by Lane Jefferies who referred the Rabons to Robert Frenz, an attorney in Columbia, for its formation. Jefferies actually provided the fraudulent address for Rabon to use as the office for Daisy Ridge, LLC via text message.

After the LLCs were formed, the last piece of the conspiracy involved the money. The money from Biderman would be transferred through three wire transfers.

The First Wire consisted of the legitimate funds under the contracts and transferred to the Emery Law Firm Trust Account from a newly created Bank of America bank account in the name of Atid Properties, LLC. This total of $527,627.77 arrived no later than September 2, 2015.

The Second Wire in the amount of $100,000.00 was wired from Biderman’s account in Austria to a bank account in Chile in the name of Gabby Yosef, Michelle Cohen’s brother.

These funds were withdrawn in cash to be handed to Jack Rabon.

The Third Wire was in the amount of $135,000.00 and was transferred to a PNC Bank Account in the name of Daisy Ridge, LLC. Due to the anti-money laundering regulations in the U.S., the Third Wire had to go through a clearinghouse in New York and it did not arrive by September 3, 2015.

This caused a ripple in the plan, resulting in Jack Rabon demanding that additional security be paid for the illicit funds in the amount of $135,000.00. Biderman wrote three checks for $45,000.00 each that were given to Lane Jefferies as security for the illicit funds.

Lane Jefferies signed a receipt for these three checks on September 3, 2015. Jefferies asserted that these checks were for “security for the brick house,” but this is false. All funds necessary for the closing of both properties arrived in the trust account of the Emery Law Firm no later than September 2, 2018, the day before the three checks were handed to Lane Jefferies.

On September 2, 2015, Lane Jefferies engaged in a series of texts with Jack and Nicole Rabon. These texts are the proverbial “smoking gun” with regard to proving Lane Jefferies’ knowing and intentional involvement in the conspiracy.

Former Sea Palms Hotel Owner Jack Rabon participated in alleged fraud with McNair

These texts demonstrate his knowledge of both wires involving the illicit monies from Biderman. The single text that conclusively proves Lane Jefferies’ direct involvement reads as follows: “Damn. Jack, can you get Michelle on the phone and see if gabby got his wire?”

The only “gabby” involved was Gabby Yosef, the brother of Michelle Cohen. The only way Gabby Yosef was involved with any party in general, or with the real estate transaction on September 3, 2015 in particular, was through the wire of $100,000.00 to his bank account in Chile.

Lane Jefferies knew about and, more importantly, was concerned about Gabby’s wire. This proves he knew about the illicit funds and was an active participant in the conspiracy to defraud the banks, the Mitchells and Rabon & Rabon, Inc.

*EDITOR’S NOTE – The statements in this legal complaint concerning Shai David were taken as a sworn affidavit by Jack Rabon. Mr. David disputes those statements as factually untrue and not accurate.

Then, in October 2019, this article was published:

Perjury charges filed against Supreme Court Justice’s Son-In-Law

Myrtle Beach area attorney Lane Jeffries has been sued for perjury.

The Charlotte Observer first reported on this issue last March

Allegations of secret payments and a cash-packed envelope being handed off in a parking lot were some of the “illicit” activity that occurred during the 2015 sale of an oceanfront motel.

Those two details highlight the latest filing in the ongoing lawsuit over the sale of hotels and a home near 7th Avenue in Myrtle Beach…

Today, perjury charges were filed in the case by plaintiffs Karon Mitchell, Kyle Mitchell, and Rabon & Rabon, Inc., against defendants: Attorney Lane Jeffries, McNair Law Firm, P.A., Atid Properties, Daisy Ridge, LLC, Friends of LBS, LLC, Sarah Ginsburg, Jacob Biderman, Gabriel Yosef, and Michelle Cohen.

The complaint states: There is no issue of material fact in dispute as to whether the sale of September 3, 2015 was procured by fraud and that Lane Jefferies, a member of the South Carolina Bar, was an active participant.

Lane Jefferies knowingly provided false testimony in a sworn deposition. Any additional explanation or affidavits that contradict his sworn deposition testimony must be considered a “sham affidavit” and cannot be considered by this Court in reaching its decision. Without Jefferies’ false alibis about the September Sales, he cannot mount a defense against Plaintiff’s claims, especially considering the admissions he provided in that same deposition.

Jeffries is currently the Supervising Litigation Attorney at Anastopoulo Law Firm. During the period when the event occurred Jeffries worked under the supervision of Henrietta Golding at the [then] McNair Law Firm in the Myrtle Beach office.

For those interested in reading more about Lane Jefferies, click here.

However, it appears tensions were mounting even back in 2015 before these court cases came to light. Here is an article from November 2017 describing the altercation between two of the men involved in the alleged fraud.

Victim charged weeks after shooting incident in Myrtle Beach

Jack Rabon

Shai David

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Weeks after an altercation and shooting between two local business men in Myrtle Beach, the alleged shooting victim from the November 17 incident on Main Street has been charged with third-degree assault and battery for punching the man charged with shooting him.

According to Myrtle Beach Police reports, 46-year-old Jack Rabon was charged December 11. The arrest warrants state that Rabon approached the alleged shooter, 42-year-old Shai David, while he was in the doorway of his vehicle, and punched him with his fists. David suffered "minor bodily injury" as a result, and Rabon is now charged with third-degree assault and battery.

David, the alleged shooter in the case, was arrested and charged in November for attempted murder after allegedly shooting at Rabon in a parking lot on Main Street. Rabon was transported to the hospital after the shooting. Rabon's wife said Rabon was shot once in the shoulder and chest, and had a punctured lung. She also said Rabon had been previously threatened by David.

Court records indicated Rabon had recently filed a lawsuit against David.

At about 4:45 p.m. November 17, David got into a physical altercation with the shooting victim, 46-year-old Jack Isiah Rabon, in the 800 block of Main Street, and when the altercation ended, Rabon tried to leave in his vehicle, according to David's arrest warrant. David then got a handgun and started shooting at Rabon as he tried to drive off. Rabon wrecked his vehicle, exited out of the passenger side, and hid behind another vehicle.

David then walked over and searched for Rabon, the warrant states. Once he saw Rabon, David moved to get a clear firing line at him and fired another shot at him.

David has been charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, based on the fact that David was not in imminent peril when he shot Rabon, the warrant states.

David's bond was set at $100,000 at a hearing, and he must surrender his passport as an additional condition of his release, due to his ties to Israel. He is also ordered not to have contact with the victim or his family. David's attorney claimed he was wearing a body camera during the shooting incident Tuesday afternoon.

David is the former owner of the Oasis Motel, located at 704 York Street in Myrtle Beach. WMBF News interviewed David in June 2014 after several Irish exchange students staying at the motel were arrested after several parties drew complaints for noise and public drunkenness.

On November 12, a lawsuit concerning real estate was filed by Rabon against David, according to online records from the Horry County Courts. 
The owner of Lovely Law Firm, Justin Lovely, said he's considering moving his business elsewhere due to the ongoing violence in the Five Points area.

"Nobody wants crime in your neighborhood, let alone where you conduct business," he said.

Lovely heard the gunshots Tuesday afternoon.

"Immediately, I got up. At first, I thought it was a car backfiring. Ran outside with my associate, a couple of my staff, heard four more shots fired and then I got everybody back in here," Lovely said. "We saw a guy with a green shirt running over here saying, 'Call the police, call the police.' We knew it was gunfire at that point."

Lovely said this is the first time he's heard a shooting during business hours. He said the shootings in Five Points usually happen overnight.

It would seem that Jack Rabon has other arrests to his name according to this article

Then in February 2017, this is reported

Judge says local businessman will stand trial for attempted murder

Shai David during an earlier court appearance

Myrtle Beach businessman Shai David will stand trial for attempted murder after a 2015 shooting, Judge Steven H. John ruled Friday afternoon.

John's ruling came after about a day and a half of statements and testimony during a "stand your ground" hearing, which is when a judge determines if a person had a reasonable right to defend themselves where they felt threatened, even with deadly force.

John said the request for immunity under the "stand your ground" law was denied and that Shai David will go to trail on attempted murder charges.

A date for that trial has not yet been set.

David's arrest came in November of 2015 after a shooting in the Superblock area of downtown Myrtle Beach. Police say David and another local businessmen, Jack Isaiah Rabon, had a fight, and after that fight, shots were fired and Rabon was hit while trying to leave the area in his car.

Rabon was also charged with third degree assault and battery for the fight that proceeded the shooting.

During the defense's final address to the judge Friday morning, they said that when David acted he was meeting force with force.

They argued that weapons were present during the fight so Rabon was a serious threat to David and that David had the right to fire shots and to continue to shoot until it appeared that any danger had ceased.

But the state argued that Rabon had retreated to his truck and ended the assault when David took aim and fired shots.

The state said that even if David had the right to shoot at the car at first, he kept shooting and advanced towards Rabon, meaning it was not self defense.

During testimony on Thursday, Rabon said he never threatened David with a gun. He said he only had a pocket knife on him at the time of the shooting, though he did have a gun in his car and assumed David knew that.

But the defense said since David knew Rabon had a gun, he felt threatened and had to act to protect himself.

David's attorney Fran Humphries says the ruling has no impact on the upcoming trial.

"It has no real bearing on the trial of the case, it's something that was created by statue in 2006. We took advantage of it. We weren't successful but we look forward to the trial," he said.

Humphries even said this hearing may help their case a bit.

"This motion allows us to sort of set some parameters for the case. We know now what the alleged victim will say because he didn't provide a statement of law enforcement at the time and so that gives us a little more information about how to better defend the case," he said.

According to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division website, "stand your ground" comes from the Protection of Persons and Property Act:

The stated intent of the legislation is to codify the common law castle doctrine, which recognizes that a person’s home is his castle, and to extend the doctrine to include an occupied vehicle and the person’s place of business. This bill authorizes the lawful use of deadly force under certain circumstances against an intruder or attacker in a person’s dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle. The bill provides that there is no duty to retreat if (1) the person is in a place where he has a right to be, including the person’s place of business, (2) the person is not engaged in an unlawful activity, and (3) the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent death, great bodily injury, or the commission of a violent crime. A person who lawfully uses deadly force is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action, unless the person against whom deadly force was used is a law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his official duties and he identifies himself in accordance with applicable law or the person using deadly force knows or reasonably should have known the person is a law enforcement officer.

Martin Spratlin, one of the prosecuting attorney's with the 15th Circuit Solicitor's Office, said the "stand your ground" part of this is an extension from a typical self-defense defense case.

"Typically in a self- defense case you have to establish that you had no other opportunity than to do what you did. You couldn't escape, you couldn't run away, you couldn't hide and get away from the situation, you were left with no other choice. What the castle doctrine does is it removes that," he said.

Part of the hearing included footage from a body camera that David had on at the time of the fight and shooting. A member of his defense team says that footage will be provided to ABC15 News next week.

Further reading (some links may be behind a paywall) : The case against a Myrtle Beach man accused of shooting a former business partner in a fight over money in the superblock two years ago has ended with a dismissal from the court.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Open Letter To Arie Folger : YOU HAVE FAILED MISERABLY

Ex-Chief Rabbi of Vienna Arie Folger

Dear Rabbi Arie Folger,

We were in contact some months ago when I readily admit to knowing very little about the case and readily swallowed what you told me.

Since then, I have learnt a lot more most of which is horrifying. Yes, Adrian is right, the Austrian Court system is thoroughly corrupt. One judge who is highly prejudiced against Beth was allowed to preside over the case each time it came to court and even on appeal when an independent judge should have been appointed. That would never be allowed in England and shows an unprecented level of corruption in the Austrian court system. I long for the day when both Thau and the vile Gottlicher are brought to book for their crimes. Gottlicher is being investigated and about time. They should both be struck off, hopefully imprisoned for abusing their positions and never be allowed to practise again.

The role of IKG and the various rabbis such as yourself, defies belief. What is the point of being so ritualistically religious if you don't act ethically and kindly?

And where are the boys? Why did they not have their bnei mitzvah ceremonies? Why have they been allowed to disappear with their abusive and mentally unstable father? Is no-one concerned for the safety of those boys? I ask you again, where are they?

No more being economical with the truth. No more telling me I don't know the whole story, how without proof and with false statements from 'friends' Beth was deemed mentally unfit to care for the children. A false psychiatric report dubiously obtained is not evidence.

When you stand and are judged by the highest court you and your colleagues will be found doubly wanting.  You were supposed to use your position to be a good Jew and make the world a better place. You have failed miserably.


Ruth Leveson

#OpenLettersToFolger #ReunitingBethWithHerSons

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

A story about Chelm - Part II


This is a continuation of the Chelm story. You can read the first part here.


Some years later, a gathering was organised for all the elders of all the different towns across the entire land. It was a very important gathering where there was lavish food and dignitaries in attendance. Everyone knew it was an important gathering because the elders told everyone it was.

The inhabitants of all the towns and cities (other than Chelm) had been pleading with their own elders for many years about the poor man in Chelm whose house was on fire, but sadly, the elders had been unable to do anything to help despite being very important. But, knowing that the elders of Chlem would be attending the infamous gathering, the elders from other towns were requested by their townsfolk to confront the elders of Chelm to demand to have the man's fire put out. After all, this would be easily accomplished given their closeness with the king of Chelm.

At the gathering, the participants were reminded how important they were and how important the gathering was. They even sent out messages during the gathering to villagers far and wide to inform them that the gathering was underway and that it was very important. Over the next few days, there were many speeches by many people. Some of the speeches praised Chelm and their elders for having such an elite fire service, but never mentioned the man whose house was on fire. Some speeches thanked all elders for protecting all their respective villagers, but never mentioned the man whose house was on fire. There were fables told how heroic elders went to extraordinary lengths to gallantly rescue people in all manner of situations, but never mentioned the man whose house was on fire.

In-between the speeches, friendships were forged, food and wine was consumed, ancient legends were reminisced and nostalgic tales were retold.

No one will ever know for sure whether the fire in Chelm, and the man's suffering, was mentioned at the important gathering, but the fire in Chelm continues to burn to this very day.

Sunday, May 8, 2022


Below are emails sent to Ariel Muzicant, which he has ignored. How can this man stand as president of the European Jewish Congress and represent European Jewry, as someone who turns his back and buries his head, when his leadership is called upon?

From: Gillian Kaye
Date: Wednesday, 20 April 2022
Subject: Ariel Muzicant

Dear Mr Muzicant,

I hope this email finds you in good health.

I have seen a couple of replies that you have sent to Beth's supporters saying that you tried to help but you were prevented.

I contacted you several times in 2015 and you just made other excuses then. I attach an email to me from a mutual friend of ours, Flo Kaufmann, which is self explanatory.

Where there's a will, there's a way, but problems so not go away if they are ignored.

It's the boys' barmitzvah in a few weeks and it will be good if you help to bring Shalom to the situation so that Beth is made welcome at this important occasion in their lives.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,
Gillian Kaye


From: Gillian Kaye
Date: Sunday, 8 May 2022
Subject: Ariel Muzicant

Dear Mr Muzicant,

I hope you had a lovely Pesach.

I refer to my email of the 20th April 2022 to which I still await a reply.

Amongst Beth's thousands of supporters, there are many non-Jews. Please give a thought about how more anti-Semitism will be created if this feud is not brought to an end, besides the damage to two young boys and the reputation of the Jewish community in Vienna.

Your silence and denial of the situation is not helping.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,
Gillian Kaye

From: Flo Kaufmann
Sent: 21 March 2015 19:55
To: Gillian Kaye
Subject: Muzicant

Shavua Tov,

Hi Gillian - I am in touch with him on another matter and he is OK on that. However, I am making no headway on the matter of the two children. I am also talking about it to others and I am doing my best which at the moment is not producing anything.

I’m sorry to be so negative, but all I can say is should the opportunity present itself I will put the case forward.

You might like to take it up with Vivian Wineman. He is president of the BoD for a few more weeks, and will probably be at meetings where Muzicant will be present. As Viv’s term of office is coming to an end he might be more inclined to press for some progress as he won’t have to sit at meetings with Muzicant after May.

It’s a thought and might be worth a try.


Friday, May 6, 2022


Sehr geehrter Herr Deutsch,

I will never forget the time I wrote to you as part of the campaign to reunite Beth Alexander with her sons, Samuel and Benjamin.

Your Office's response (quoted below) insinuated that those assisting with the campaign were associating with Holocaust deniers:

"...we strongly condemn the participation of Holocaust deniers in this campaign..."

You say "Never Forget" and yet you turn your back on other Jews.

Never Forget, Asher Harrison J. Bar-Shimon

#OpenLettersToDeutsch #ReunitingBethWithHerSons


Dear Mr Deutsch,

In London we remember the Jewish suffering from the past with Yom Hashoah, but also the more prevalent current suffering of a mother not able to see her children.

It is senseless to pour time and money into remembering the past whilst forgetting the present.

The Jewish world is waiting for this to change.

Kind regards,

Daniel Roth
London, UK

#OpenLettersToDeutsch #ReunitingBethWithHerSons

Sunday, May 1, 2022



[To find out who your local representative of the Board of Deputies is, you should contact your synagogue and/or the Board of Deputies office at ]

From: Sheila Kon
Date: Sunday, 1 May 2022
Cc: chiefrabbi,,,,
Subject: Ariel Muzikant

I understand that Ariel Muzikant has recently been appointed interim president of the EJC.

As interim head of this important organization I would expect him to serve the interests of the entire European Jewish community.

I am thinking specifically of the appalling travesty of justice regarding Beth Alexander and her twin sons Benji and Sammy Schlesinger in Vienna.

A campaign spearheaded by UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Dr Mathew Offord, Beth's Member of Parliament now has thousands of Jews and non Jews from around the world following this case in horror and disbelief that two young boys have been denied the loving care of their mother and all their maternal family for so many years.

To date pleas of help to Ariel Muzikant have fallen on deaf ears.  Many around the world are looking at the role of the IKG in this case with alarm and incredulity.

If he cannot help resolve an ongoing crisis in his own community I am wondering how he could possibly stand as representative of European Jewish Communities.

The removal of Moshe Kantor showed the world that the European Jewish community stands proud with morals and ethics.

In his new position, I and all the thousands of people around the world following this case would expect Ariel Muzikant to step up to the moral and ethical leadership required by this prestigious position and do everything possible to reunite this family.

Awaiting good news

Kind regards

Sheila Kon

Ariel Muzikant



Ariel Muzikant

Here is an open letter written to Mr Muzikant with permission to be published here.

Dear Mr, President,

I have been following for years the tragedy of Beth Alexander, a Mother prevented from seeing her children.

Needless to say, this is one of the crassest possible violations of human rights, let alone Jewish values. It reminds us of the darkest times in our history but is, incredibly, happening today in Vienna under the appearance of legality.

There is no need to elaborate to which extent this is a stain and a major disgrace on European Jewry and Jewry in general and for Austrian Jewry and Austria in particular.

Many eyes of concerned Jews around the world are now on you. I hope that you will seize the chance to demonstrate that the EJC Presidency is not just for the decorum but a position of real Jewish and human leadership.


Ilan Weil
Geneva, Switzerland

ARIEL MUZICANT - Over 40 years tenure in Austrian Jewish leadership, claims "he has no function"


Ariel Muzikant

 According to the EJC website...

Dr Ariel Muzicant has been continuously involved in Jewish life in Vienna, Austria and Europe over the last 43 years, serving in leadership roles a large number of functions and institutions, such as: President (1998 – 2012) and Honorary President (2012-) of the Jewish Community of Vienna (IKG Wien) and the Jewish Communities of Austria, Founder and President of the Jewish School in Vienna (1979 – 1995), President of the B’nai B’rith-ZPC Loge (1996 – 1998) and President of Keren Hayessod/UJA-Austria.


On Tuesday, April 19, 2022, 5:58 PM, Muzicant, Ariel <> wrote:

Mrs Bervin,

I tried, Vienna rabbis tried, many individuals tried, the leadership of IKG tried, members of the board of deputies tried. And we all failed.

From the moment it became a fight against the Austrian Jewish Community, nobody would get involved.

I do not know Mr Schlesinger or his family. But as I mentioned before there are laws in Austria. If what you are writing would be true, how come there was no legal persecution?

I have no function in Vienna and therefore please stop contacting me on this issue

Chag Sameach

Ariel Muzicant

> Am 19.04.2022 um 17:20 schrieb
> Mazaltov on your temporary position in this extremely important organisation.
> I read with sadness and disbelief your response to someone who had asked for your help in the case of Beth Alexander and her sons. I don’t know if you are aware but Michael Schlesinger’s mother did exactly the same thing to his father as Michael is doing to Sammy and Benji’s mother. It is well known that Michael abused Beth both physically and emotionally and who knows how he is treating his sons.
> As you probably know this case has been ongoing for years. Members of Parliament and Chief Rabbis in the UK have all been told previously that Beth would be allowed to see and be a part of the boys lives. This was years before Rabbi Friedman became involved, as that was only in January this year. So people shouldn’t be making him the excuse why they won’t get involved in helping a Jewish mother and her sons. No one would have had to let him become involved had the leaders in the Vienna Jewish Community dealt with this humanely and helped a Jewish mother. How can a school not let a mother know anything about her children’s education, health and welfare? My brothers are both divorced and remarried and all the parents know everything about their children from their ex spouses and see them whenever they want.
> My late mother was an Honorary Vice Life President of WIZO U.K. and a member of the committee for Women in the Community, together with the late Lord Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Her life was dedicated to helping Jewish women and children in domestic situations. I have been in touch with Brenda Katten who is a past President of WIZO UK and who is horrified by this tragedy and the fact that time after time the same Judge is deciding on this case.
> Hoping to hear a positive response from you.
> Sincerely

> Anne Berwin