To the uninitiated, Rabbi Glanz’s ability to pull off such an outlandish event may seem wondrous. Certainly, concern over how the celebration came to be authorized, as it was by top Correction Department officials, has resulted in multiple investigations.
But interviews and city records show that Rabbi Glanz has a long history of access and influence, of seeking favors and performing them, and of acting as a liaison between the insular world of the Satmars and elected officials.
For two decades, he has been something of a Satmar master of ceremonies, arranging official tours of the community, based in Williamsburg, translating Yiddish for political leaders, charming mayors and their aides with gifts, then soliciting money and support for his sect’s priorities.
One Jewish political operative defends Rabbi Glanz thus:
(Rabbi Glanz) is the kind of person who would go anywhere any time to help somebody – I would never question his motivations, even in this case.
Anywhere, any time? Pardon my cynicism, but I’d say the salient point here is “…soliciting money and support for his sect’s priorities.”
The line between post-modern absurdity and shande fur de goyim continues to blur…