Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
The Schmooze

Jewish Principals of Brooklyn Health Care Company Under Fire

A stinging indictment of a Brooklyn-based home-health-care company in this week’s Village Voice shines a spotlight on its Jewish principal — and the two “wily operatives out of Williamsburg’s Orthodox Jewish community” who have apparently abetted his “routine looting of public resources.”

The “misnamed” Excellent Home Care Services “has been happily pillaging state coffers for years without interference,” writes Voice investigative reporter Tom Robbins in the article, titled, “The Sick Looting of Home Health Care.” While the backstory gets complicated, Robbins lays out a byzantine account of how the company allegedly lied about its stated mission to serve special-needs patients — but continued to bill government programs like Medicaid and Medicare.

What role did the Orthodox fixers — Joseph Menczer and Joseph Goldberger — play in the Excellent adventure? They raised $500,000 for former New York governor George Pataki’s campaign, “the kind of support that cements deep friendships,” Robbins writes. “They quickly presented the new governor with a list of favors sought. One had to do with the business of supplying home care attendants for the elderly and infirm.”

At their urging, Pataki reversed a moratorium on home health care licenses issued by his predecessor, Mario Cuomo — as long as the new licenses served special-needs patients. Joseph Goldberger’s elderly father-in-law was a co-owner of Excellent, according to Robbins.

But Excellent’s mission to serve disabled New Yorkers was a “laugher,” Robbins writes. “In 2008, this needy group accounted for less than 5 percent of its patients; in 2009, just 3 percent.” Still, “earnings soared. Excellent reported $93.2 million in revenue, most of it via Medicaid, from 2007 to 2008. Gross profits were $23 million, with its two partners taking home $4 million apiece.” “This is how Excellent Home Care came to be,” Robbins writes. “And if its operators told a single word of truth about their actual intentions, it does not appear in any record.”

Excellent’s license is now up for review. Susan Regan, an attorney on the state’s review board who raised alarms about the company as far back as 1998, agreed with Robbins’ assessment of the company. “I think that was their intention from the beginning,” she said. “I want to revoke this license.

“I can’t think of a more extreme example,” Regan said. “It was essentially a fraud.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.