Rabbi Leib Glanz, a fired correction chaplain famous for organizing lavish jailhouse “bar mitzvahs,”will pay a $2,500 fine for accepting a gift from an inmate. The gift, valued at $500, was given to Glanz by Tuvia Stern, a longtime fugitive apprehended in 2006 for bilking Jewish investors out of some $1.7 million.
Glanz helped plan a 2009 bar mitzvah and a posh party for Stern’s son inside the Manhattan Detention Complex, known as the Tombs. The Satmar rabbi, who has a reputation for being a political power broker, told the city’s Conflict of Interest Board that he had initially refused the gift, but that the Stern family had insisted that he take it.
The “bar mitzvah” episode may be behind him, but that’s hardly the end to Glanz’s legal troubles. He was arrested in September for allegedly stealing $220,000 in New York City housing benefits designated for low-income residents. The landlord of the Williamsburg, Brooklyn duplex where the rabbi resided was receiving up to $1,675 a month in federal Section 8 subsidies that were supposed to be for Glanz’ brother Menashe, who lived elsewhere.
If convicted on the housing fraud charges, the brothers could face up to 15 years in prison.