Haredi in Haiti?

scumbagIt sucks when Jews commit a hillul hashem and the news picks up on it.  We all suffer, especially if they’re observant and it smacks of hypocrisy.

But what about when it’s a poseur?

Amidst the feel-goods about IsraAID and JDC helping out on the ground in Haiti comes a story of a shady character named Jorge Puello. He’s a “legal advisor” to the 10 missionaries accused (and now cleared) of smuggling children into Dominican Republic. He’s also wanted in connection with a human trafficking scandal that spans Central America. He reportedly ran a brothel out of his home in Miami, luring Caribbean women with promises of modeling work only to traffic them into the sex-trades. It gets stranger. Puello apparently served a stint in jail for narcotics, served in US Army Intel, and worked for Homeland Security. Is nobody doing background checks anymore?

Oh yeah, and there’s this: he sports a beard, velvet kippah an claims to be ”president of the Jewish Communities of Dominican Republic.”

AP  reports:

About four years ago, he emerged in Santo Domingo saying he wanted to establish a Sephardic Jewish community. Cerminara and Ana Puello said everyone in their family is Catholic and that Jorge Puello’s converted on his own. “He is Jewish by conviction,” she said. “He practices the religion and believes it in his heart.”

The Dominican Republic is home to about 50 Jewish families, a tightly knit and low-key community that includes Sephardim and Ashkenazim, and some had doubts about the new arrival, said Isaac Lalo, secretary of the Centro Israelita de Republica Dominicana, the main synagogue.

“This guy has nothing to do with our community,” Lalo said. “Sephardic Jews don’t just set up a community out of the blue.”

WTF?! Like we don’t have enough Madoffs in our midst, people gotta pose as us and do their evil deeds?  

Hat tip to failed messiah.

2 Responses to “Haredi in Haiti?”

  1. The missionaries have not been “cleared”; not even close. In fact, no final decision has even been reached to let them out of jail, much less let them leave Haiti, pending further investigation and possible further legal proceedings.

    And the only source for the claims that this guy worked for US military intel or DHS is the guy himself. And DHS didn’t exist at the time he claims to have been “working undercover” for it. See WSJ article yesterday for details. Last week he said he didn’t have a passport and had never been to El Salvador. This week he says he used to live in El Salvador with his wife (the one who’s in jail there) and that he has 5 children who are still living there. Why pay any attention to his claims?

    Dana · February 16th, 2010 at 4:25 pm
  2. Oh, there’s no reason to believe anything he says. I mean we’re talking about a human trafficker. The more I read about him, the more bizarre the story gets.

    What interests me is why he would choose to wrap himself in the guise of a Jew and claim to be president of a Sephardic community that doesnt even exist.

    I had read that the missionaries were being released by the Haitian courts:
    If thats changed I apologize for the error.

    adamrdavis · February 16th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

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"I may attack a certain point of view which I consider false, but I will never attack a person who preaches it. I have always a high regard for the individual who is honest and moral, even when I am not in agreement with him. Such a relation is in accord with the concept of kavod habriyot, for beloved is man for he is created in the image of God." —Rav Joseph Soloveitchik