News Briefs, the Week of July 6, 2017


Rabbi and Former Rabbi Among 14 Arrested for Alleged Fraud

Two days of raids in the heavily Orthodox sections of Lakewood, N.J., have led to the arrest of 14 people, including a rabbi and a former rabbi, for alleged public-assistance fraud totaling about $2 million, USA Today reported.

Rabbi Zalmen Sorotzkin of Congregation Lutzk, his wife, Tzipporah, and his brother and sister-in-law were among those arrested on June 26, while former Oros Yisroel Rabbi Yitzchok Kanarek and his wife, Sora, were arrested the following day. Four other couples were arrested as well.

Prosecutors said the Kanareks wrongfully received $339,000 in Medicaid, nutrition assistance, Social Security and federal housing funds. They said the Sorotzkins wrongfully received nearly the same amount in Medicaid, food stamps, Section 8 housing subsidies and Supplemental Security Income.

Right-Wing Party in Germany Reprimands Party Member for Using Neo-Nazi Slogans

Alternative for Germany (AfD), a right-wing party, disciplined a party member on June 26 for using neo-Nazi slogans on a messaging service, Reuters reported.

AfD said the messages sent by Andrew Poggenburg — including the slogan “Germany for the Germans” — damaged the party’s image.

Poggenburg responded in a tweet saying, “Why could this put pressure on me? Of course ‘Germany belongs to the Germans’ and it should remain so.”

Reuters said the party has dealt with an internal power struggle about how to deal with members who use neo-Nazi language or adopt arguments made by the ultra-rightist National Democratic Party.

In January, the party disciplined another leader, Bjoern Hoecke, for criticizing the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin.


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