Brooklyn Rabbi Probed Over 20 'Fake Charities'

Prosecutors Eye Yaakov Weingarten's Do-Gooder Empire

By Frimet Goldberger

Published June 26, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A Brooklyn ultra-Orthodox rabbi and purported do-gooder is under investigation for allegedly running 20 phony not-for-profit organizations to solicit funds from donors.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office issued a subpoena on June 7 to Rabbi Yaakov Weingarten of Brooklyn demanding he provide proof of legal incorporation, bank records, expenditures since 2007, and a list of donations, among other things, the Daily News reported.

According to reports, Weingarten has been running an alphabet soup of supposed charity organizations out of his office on Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn, many claiming to be linked to Hatzalah or other well-known Jewish ambulance or charity services.

Many within the Flatbush and Brooklyn communities expressed their frustration with the persistent mailings and phone calls requesting donations or demanding payment on false pledges.

On his website for Hatzalah Rescue of Israel, Weingarten boasts a lengthy list of rabbinical endorsements for his charity work. Many of these so-called supporters have demanded their names be removed.

The Attorney General’s office refused to comment on the probe.

The supposed charities include: Agudath Chesed Bikur Cholim Israel, Inc.; Bnei Torah, Inc.; Chesed L’Yisrael V’Chasdei Yosef, Inc.; Congregation Yad L’Shabbat, Inc.; Hatzalah Rescue of Israel, Inc; Hatzalah Shomrom, Inc.; Hayad Victim Assistance Fund; Hayom Victim Assistance Fund; Israel Emergency Center; Kupat Reb Meir Baal Haness Bnei Torah Eretz Yisrael, Inc.; Lmaan Hatorah; Magen israel; Our Children; Pulse Foundation, Inc.; Shearim, Inc.; Shearim Hayad L’Torah Center for Hatzalah L’Shabbat and Chesed L’Yisrael, Inc.; Yad L’Shabbat, Inc.; Yad Yisrael; Yaldei Simcha Yisrael; and Zaka Israel.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.