NYC: 21 “Rabbis” & students get arrested at the UN


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arrested 2.jpg21 rabbis and rabbinical students and one layperson were arrested Tuesday at the Isaiah Peace Wall opposite the United Nations after New York City police blocked the group’s attempt to shut down the entrance of the world body. The rabbis were protesting Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s vow to annihilate Israel, Tehran’s support of terrorism, and its incipient nuclear threat to the Mideast and Europe. Two police paddy wagons took the handcuffed 22 to Central Booking, opposite the Tombs.

The 22, backed by dozens of other rabbis and laypersons, had first gathered outside the Iranian UN Mission several blocks from the UN. There, Rabbi Weiss, national chairman of Amcha-Coalition for Jewish Concerns, which organized the action, declared: “There’s a fire burning, and we must raise a voice of moral outrage. We urge that the presence of any Iranian delegation be protested, that pressure be put on countries not to trade with Iran, that state governments divest from companies trading with Iran, and that nations signed on to the Genocide Convention strongly condemn Iranian President Ahmadinejad who’s threatened to wipe Israel off the map. We demand that the United Nations expel Iran, which has threatened to annihilate Israel, a fellow UN member state.

“We call upon the American Jewish community to organize a mass march on Washington, joined by hundreds of thousands, to raise a powerful voice of moral conscience and a simple message: there’s a fire burning, burning from Iran. There cannot be business as usual until Iran is stopped.”

Rabbi Bruce Ginsburg of Congregation Sons of Israel stated: “Iran trains terrorists to murder Israelis and insurgents to kill American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. Just as these terrorists have kidnapped Israel soldiers, so Iran has taken British soldiers hostage. Iraq has not paid the price; that must change. We turn to the world and say, take action! We say to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, kick Iran out of the United Nations.”

Rabbis Aaron Rubinger and Mark Ankcorn flew up from Orlando, FL to join the protest. Rabbi Rubinger declared: “Not since the Holocaust have Jewish lives been so endangered. We have to step up and tell the world that we won’t allow our people to be incinerated again.”

Rabbi Joseph Potasnick, president of the New York Board of Rabbis, stated: “We also pause here to remember the tragedy yesterday at Virginia Tech because we value all lives. Throughout history, hatred often begins with words. Iranian President Ahmadinejad says he’ll wipe Israel off the map. We say, remove the map from him — he should not be allowed to enter any halls of power anywhere. Ahmadinjad should be made to feel like a pariah.”

Singing “Am Yisrael Chai” (“the Jewish people live”) and holding signs aloft, the entire group marched to the Isaiah Peace Wall. As they descended the long, winding steps to the plaza below to attempt to cross over to the UN they were blocked by police officers, barricades and police vans.

Rabbi Weiss announced; “It’s a serious matter to step beyond the line, to violate the law. But we must do so as a moral outcry to the world that it can’t be business as usual. The time has come to expel Iran from the United Nations.”

A police official warned the group that if they continued to occupy the steps they would be arrested. In response, the 22 sat down beneath the biblical prophet Isaiah’s words, carved into the Wall: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more”.  Police officers moved up the stairs, arresting and handcuffing the 22, and loading them into the paddy wagons.

With hands handcuffed behind their backs, the 22 could not clap, but they sang and stamped their feet throughout their journey to Central Booking, which is on Park Row, near City Hall.  Locked in a large cell together, their handcuffs finally off, the 22 danced, prayed, shared words of Torah and planned future actions to highlight Iran’s threat against Israel, other Mideast nations, Europe and the US.

After a total of 5½ hours of incarceration, the police returned the 22’s possessions and let them go. Each is charged with disorderly conduct, and must appear in Criminal Court on May 15th.

The 22 are (organizational affiliations for identification only) —

Rabbi Mark Ankcorn, Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation

Rabbi Moses Birnbaum, President, Long Island Board of Rabbis, Plainview Jewish Center

Rabbi Steven Burton, Congregation Shaarei Shalom

Rafi Farber, rabbinical student, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Rabbi Jeffrey Fox

Rabbi Avidan Freedman, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Rabbi Bruce Ginsburg, Congregation Sons of Israel

Ben Greenberg, rabbinical student, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Yehuda Hausman, rabbinical student, Yeshivat Chovevai Torah

Rabbi Jason Herman, Congregation Beth Israel/West Side Jewish Center

Rabbi David Kalb, CLAL

Rabbi Pinchas Klein, Mount Freedom Jewish Center, Morasha

Rabbi Aryeh Leifert, Congregation Rodfei Sholom, San Antonio, Texas

Rabbi Etan Mintz, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale

Rabbi Ronald Price, Congregation Netivot Sholom, UTJ/Morasha

Glenn Richter, Amcha-Coalition for Jewish Concerns

Rabbi Aaron Rubinger, Congregation Ohev Shalom, Orlando, FL

Ross Shapiro, rabbinical student, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Rabbi Uri Topolsky, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale

Rabbi Avi Weiss, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale

Rabbi Akiva David Weiss, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Rabbi David Willig, Bayside Jewish Center



  1. How come YU had no Rabbis there?

    Because these were not Rabbis. They are a bunch of attention seeking people.

    Kudos to YW!

    Since when do reformed and conservative have Rabbis???

  2. Please note that the Rabbi David Willig listed here, is Rabbi David A. Willig, a modern orthodox rabbi. It is NOT the very choshuv Rav and Talmid Chochom from Kew Gardens, Queens, named Rabbi Dovid Willig.

  3. so you cant be a moder othodox rabbi and a chashuva rav at the same time?

    here we go again with blind hatred.

    I suppose if they had gotten into a fist fight with moshe aryej friedman you would then not be so mean.

    Did you know the NK showed up to this even in full force? As luck would have it, the cops forced them away for not “prearranging” their protest.

  4. Der Yid: Can you put all your comments into ONE comment?

    And what you wrote to Da Monster is exactly the point.

    Every CHINUK (including the NON-RABBIS who were at this event yesterday) is not a rabbi.





  6. ********NEWSFLASH********


    “These people represent NO ONE besides themselves…….AND EVEN THAT I QUESTION”

  7. Lkwd Yiddle, good point.

    where were the thousands of supporters yesterday?

    If my Rov was planning a protest and would plan on getting arrested….my entire shul (300 members) would have gotten arrested with him


  8. look up the news reports. i dont think this was a rally or an event even promoted as such. from what was published in the days before, this seems to have been a planned event to show symbolically that they were willing to be arrested for “civil disobedience” to demonstrate how strongly they feel about the Iranian Mission.
    Avi Weiss has been very successful in getting thousands to attend his rallies just by firing off a single email/fax.

    And BTW – the chunyuks dont get the same training they do in some other programs, but that is a different argument.

    If this site calls itself the “yeshiva” world, how can it justify ridiculing other yeshivos?

    Like i said, it is all relative. had the NK confrontation been more than it was, you would probably have to choose which side to be on.

  9. yiddle, there was noone there besides themselves.

    they have no supporters or talmidim or mispallilim.

    it’s just a big social club (example: shul=kiddush club)

    get real people.

  10. People listen to yourselves!!

    This is the yeizter haras way of attacking us. By having us attack ourselves. I live in Lakewood. I am a true black hatter. However I truly believe that for this galus to end, we must LIVE AND LET LIVE.

    Don’t insult others’ Rabbis, and they won’t insult yours. Everyone is entitled to have their own opinions, and not to have them ridiculed.

    Let’s bring Mashiach bimheira viyameinu, amen.

  11. “so you cant be a moder othodox rabbi and a chashuva rav at the same time?”

    I don’t think PK was declaring mutual exclusivity for MO and “Chashuv”. He was stating that the Rabbi referenced in the article is not a particular Chashuv Rav that he knows.

    “there are plenty of talmidei chachomim who might be referred to as “moder orthodox” ”

    No one is proposing that there aren’t. As an example, RIETS of YU works hard to produce sincere and dedicated Talmidei Chachomim. As Da Monsta noted, YU Rabbis chose to absent themselves from this venture.

    Der Yid and Moshe Fox, we are not smug about yidden straying from our holy Torah and its Mesorah, we are heartbroken. Does one finger feel superior when another is malfunctioning? For the integrity of Judaism, we may not give false Rabbinic respect and recognition. We have respect and love for them as a Tzelem Elokim and as a fellow Jew, and yearn for when all of Klal Yisrael will wholeheartedly return.

  12. YW Editor,

    Please don’t allow your site to be a bastion for such hateful sinas chinum!

    It’s truly hurtful to listen to these horrible comments.

    K’ish echad b’leiv echad.

  13. hey der yid:
    Stop twisting the FACTS.

    Yeshivaworld did not ridicule ANY Yeshivos. EVER.

    All he did was put the word rabbis into quotes.

    And EVEN when he published the Yated article which (rightfully) slammed Y.C.T. is was not his article.

    So please.,…….stop twisting stories around for your convienence.

    By the way: YCT is NOT a yeshiva, not do ANY of these “rabbis” have yeshivos.

    And since you know it all……perhaps you can enlighten us, and tell us WHO started the concept of Yeshivos in Europe?

    Let us know…..and you can be sure that he would have not called these people RABBIS or YESHIVOS.


  14. Hello?

    I’m one of the guys who tries to calm down some of the name calling and challenge the “ultra right wing, radical, fundamentalist, ultra-Orthodox Charedim” to walk their walk. It is sad when those who carry the banner of Torah behave at a sub-par level.

    I also enjoy the Moshe Fox puts in his two cents. I often disagree with him and I think we have a couple of major fundamental differences, but I think his voice challenges us to properly state and understand our position.

    HOWEVER . . .

    When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. Sinas chinam is another term that gets tossed around as a tool to try to bash people into submission. (Other terms are homophobe and the ones used above – radical, fundamentalist, right-wing, etc.)

    It is not sinas chinam to be clear that their “rabbis” are not rabbis. Moshe Fox, you’ve found this far right, radical site, but please be a bit more liberal in trying to understand where the majority here are coming from. We’re not as into sinas chinam as you seem to think. I’m a baal tshuvah who saw most worlds of Judaism through searching eyes. I’ll never claim that the Yeshivisha world is perfect or without some serious problems, but I’d seriously challenge you to check out your own paradigms. Kol hapoisel, b’mumo poisel. Maybe you need to do a little chesbon hanefesh to consider whether or not you have some sinas chinam towards to “radical fundamentalists.”

    I was in professional kiruv for close to ten years. I’ve learned to distinguish between the reform Jew and reform Judaism. Reform Jews are my brothers. Reform Judaism (and conservative) is an attack on Torah. (Of course, you can add some phrase like “as we see it” if it helps you deal with us.)

    Praises and kudos to YW editor for putting rabbis in quotes. Your “logic” of throwing out the “the ones who marched on Washington in 1943 to protest US govt. inaction in the face of Jews being murdered in Europe” is not a good argument. Nobody in their right mind would suggest that reform Jews do no good. Read the comments of praise for this Israeli killed in Blacksburg. I don’t know his affiliation, but I lived in Blacksburg and I can say with great confidence that he is unlikely to have been a Lakewood musmach. Nobody here cares. He was a Jew, and he died in a heroic way. I would suggest that you look through glasses that have assumptions of Black Hat Hate throughout the lenses. As a rule, the Yeshiva world does not hate those less frum than us. Do we hate threats against Torah? Yes. Do we hate actions which take away from kavod Shamayim? Yes. Do we sometimes get over zealous? Sure. But if you open up your eyes and look more lovingly at the Yeshiva world, you’ll see an amazing world filled with a lot of amazing people.

    Those “rabbis” teach so much that is completely k’neged Torah. I’ve been in the trenches fighting against them. What they do and teach is horrendous and as leaders and people with titles, they not only do they deserve no respect, they deserve denegration. As individuals, we can try to reach out. But it is not Torah to be respectful to the destroyers of Torah. Never has been. Never will be.

    Respectfully submitted.

  15. Sarah, there are plenty of people on that list of names who aren not specificiall musmachim of YCT. Anyways it doesnt matter. You are glad, you said so yourself.

  16. “Der Yid and Moshe Fox, we are not smug about yidden straying from our holy Torah and its Mesorah, we are heartbroken. Does one finger feel superior when another is malfunctioning? For the integrity of Judaism, we may not give false Rabbinic respect and recognition. We have respect and love for them as a Tzelem Elokim and as a fellow Jew, and yearn for when all of Klal Yisrael will wholeheartedly return. ”

    Who ever said that Lakewood and Monsey was authentic torah judaism?
    Maybe the jews from Afghanistan have a more true Mesora than the jews from Avenu J ? Who made you the moral barometer?

  17. Joe Shmo:
    I am sorry I canot possibly answer the question, I have never been able to master the art of corresponding with dead people.
    However, next time you speak with Reb Chaim Volozhoner, please ask him how he would have felt about internet threads riddled with loshon hora and sinas chinam.

  18. Uh….chances are that they DO.

    The FACT is that Lakewood was started By Rav Aron ZATZAL who implanted the seeds of TRUE AUTHENTIC YESHIVOS there.

    Get real.
    You have shown your true colors!

    The Mirrer Yeshiva is run by Talmidim who learned in “THE” Mir, Baranovitch, Kaminetz etc…….



  19. Its funny, I too was once in the trenches in Flatbush also fighting against some yeshivishe “Rabbis” who were teaching and preaching things that were completely kneged torah. What they taught and teach is horrendous and as leaders and people with titles, they not only didn’t they deserve no respect, they deserve denegration. As individuals, we can try to reach out. But it is not Torah to be respectful to the destroyers of Torah. Never has been. Never will be.

  20. Jews from afghanistan?

    You would be EMBARRSSED to act like a YCT person infront of Yidden like that or from Yemen.


    HUNDREDS of Yemen people moved to Lakewood about ten years ago.


    BECAUSE YOU ARE FAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Speaking of trenches… thats where alot of the talmidim are. in far off communities , college campuses…catering to all the yidden out there who happen to not be in the ny/nj area. where are all the deciples of the other yeshivos?
    all the orthodox world has to offer jewish communities outside their own daled amos, is chabbad shluchim, some chovevei guys, and a couple of yu guys who dont mind leaving ny. thats it. but they are in the real trenches.

  22. this looks like a Yeshivas Chovevei Torah event. Why don’t you hyperlink what you wrote about this “yeshiva” a couple of months ago in order that the oilam shouldn’t misconstrue this idea as being part of dastoirah…

  23. YW? Please get rid of this guy.

    WE don’t need to hear him trash-talk true authentic Rabbonim. He claims he was in the trenches in Flatbush……..yeah….probably Yeshiva Of Flatbush.

  24. If the “you” you addressing is me, well then:
    I do not live anywhere near rabbi avi weiss.
    I happened to be neighbors and friends (and even a former student of)
    Yemenite, Afghani and Iranian jews.
    “Yemen People” i susect you mean People from Yemen or Yemenite Jews.
    Im hopeful they have retained their authentic mesorah passed on through generations and not strayed into their surroundings.

    (For it was in yemen that the authentic mesora of text and dikduk in tanach was transmitted. many many years before the first printing press in eastern europe)

  25. “Authentic” ?
    How do we know whats authentic???
    Authentic only if you think that judaism was born in volozhin.
    Who are we to decie whats more authentic?
    I doubt they had brisker peyes is yeshivas shem v’eiver.

  26. Der Yid,

    Anger is ugly.

    I’m not here to defend the indefensible. There are orthodox rabbis who are not the best ambassadors, but your eyes are sending messages to your brain that are difficult to understand.

    Were you serious when you wrote,”all the orthodox world has to offer jewish communities outside their own daled amos, is chabbad shluchim, some chovevei guys, and a couple of yu guys who dont mind leaving ny. thats it. but they are in the real trenches.”

    If you meant that, then you are either a pathological liar or you haven’t paid attention to kiruv for the last 15 years.

    Have you heard of Aish HaTorah? How about Ohr Lagolah? NJOP? Ner Yisroel? Ohr Somayach? Lev L’achim? Forgive me for not knowing the names of the programs coming out of Lakewood.

    To disagree with people is one thing. To be misinformed and vengeful. If I hate blacks because of the actions of some blacks, I’m racist. If I hate women because of the actions of some women, I’m sexist. If I hate black hatters because of the actions of some, then what am I?

    Or maybe the question is, “then what are you?”

  27. Der Yid, kindly stop your public stupidity.
    Here is a piece from the first website of Rabbi Mark Ankcorn, Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation:

    “The mass arrest has fifty rabbis and counting. We hope to get to 100 by Tuesday. Can you imagine? 100 rabbis willing to be arrested to wake people up to the dangers of the Iranian government. The action is being organized by the Inter-Denominational Coalition of Rabbis of AMCHA: The Coalition for Jewish Concerns, and The New York Board of Rabbis.”

    Seems to me that they could not even get 20 “Rabbis”.
    More like 17.

    and….do you even know this “rabbi”??

    Do you know what kind of “Rabbi” he is???

    Here is his website

    (I have no time to do research on the rest of these “rabbis”, but feel free to Google them and see for yourself)

  28. Editor,

    Use your powers to send him an email telling him stop it or no more postings. By publickly bashing him, you’ll only add fuel to his burning hatred of us crazies.

  29. Every yid needs a Rebbe and a Mesorah, be it chasidish, slabodka, telz, etc. There is no mesorah for modern orthodox. In Europe there was no such group as modern orthodox. I’m sure Rabbi Y. B. Solivaichik from YU would have agreed with that statement.

  30. One last point: What kind of “Rabbis” openly embrace reformed and conservative “Rabbis”????

    The following is from the original article a few days ago: “The North Jersey contingent includes clergy from across the Jewish spectrum. Borovitz, a Reform rabbi, will be joined at the demonstration by Conservative Rabbi Benjamin Shull of Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley and Orthodox Rabbi Jeffrey Fox of Kehillat Kesher in Englewood.”

    Please post the Maar Mekomos which would suggest behiving like this.


  31. Why should I hate women or “black hatters” ?
    I happen to not be a woman, and I happen to wear a black hat. what does that make me? it makes me a male jew who often wears a black hat.

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