Kushner Corruption

In what may turn out to be one of the biggest scandals to rock the Northeast Jewish community, not to mention the political scene in New Jersey and New York, Charles Kushner, a billionaire philanthropist and co-founder of Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy and Kushner Yeshiva High School, has been indicted on charges involving an attempt to subvert a witness in a federal investigation, “obstruction of justice and interstate promotion of prostitution.”

CNN reports that investigations into Mr. Kushner’s campaign contributions to top Northeast democrats, including Hillary Clinton, Joseph Lieberman and Jim McGreevey, as well as violations of “federal tax and fraud statutes” have been going on since February, 2003.

The New York Times has the full story on his prostitution promotion, and the implications it holds for NJ Governor Jim McGreevey, who has a “close relationship” with Mr. Kushner, and received $1.5 million from the businessman for his political campaigns.:

In a criminal complaint that reads like a plot line from an Elmore Leonard novel, Charles Kushner, a New Jersey landowner and businessman with close ties to many religious and political figures, was charged with hiring prostitutes to entice his brother-in-law and his accountant into sexually compromising situations.

The complaint says that the accountant did not take the bait, but that the brother-in-law did. The result, prosecutors said, was a sexual encounter between the brother-in-law and a high-priced New York call girl in a Bridgewater motel room last December that was recorded by a hidden camera.

The complaint, which mentions no name except Mr. Kushner’s, says that he and his co-conspirators mailed the incriminating tape to a relative with whom he was feuding and who was cooperating with investigators. Based on the allegations in a separate civil suit, that family member is believed to be Mr. Kushner’s sister, Esther Schulder. Her husband, William E. Schulder, did not return calls seeking confirmation that he was involved. Robert Yontef, the accountant, could not be reached either. The mailing, according to the complaint, was an attempt to “retaliate” against the potential witnesses and block any further cooperation.

The two yeshivot closely associated with Mr. Kushner have yet to issue a statement.

10 thoughts on “Kushner Corruption

  1. “The two yeshivot closely associated with Mr. Kushner have yet to issue a statement.”
    Don’t hold your breath.
    Indeed, why should they? This isn’t the first Jew who has given money to Jewish institutions and has ended up in trouble with the law. So long as the money isn’t ill-gotten, they have no reason to say anything…

  2. Some do it one better, they give the money after sitting in Jail to rehab their image.
    Anybody heard of Michael Milken?

  3. Finally, we are aware of a fine Kosher cookbook that has come from a group affiliated with that school…
    Do you think that this current issue makes all the foods inside Treif??!!


  5. Meh. My shul has a few white-collar felons itself (although I don’t know about the prostitution thing). Many wealthy families in this country originally got their money doing something illegal/immoral, Jewish and non. Not that that makes it alright. But many of the biggest philanthropists fall into this category. And don’t we say during Ashamnu that Tefilah, Teshuvah, and Tzedakah can lessen our sins (before God)?

  6. EMTZ, I’m surprised you can be so blase about it…
    As for this:
    “And don’t we say during Ashamnu that Tefilah, Teshuvah, and Tzedakah can lessen our sins (before God)?”
    Yes that’s true, but Tzedakah is not a magic eraser for sin.
    If you are truly sorry after the fact maybe, but often it’s more a case of “tovel im sheret byado” (I may not have the phrase exactly right.) You can’t really sin and repent at the same time…
    In addition, giving some of your ill gotten gains to charity does not really qualify as tzdekah anyway.
    And yeah the prostitution this is really odd. I mean his own brother-in-law?? Yikes!
    Never mind the Chillul Hashem factor….

  7. this is bad. How bad? Very bad.
    Bad bad bad.
    (bad boys, bad boyz, whatcha ya gonna do? whatcha gonna do when they come for you?)
    one bad apple. or maybe two. I hope.

  8. That’s what happens when there isn’t a media watchdog on the Jewish professional world. As it is, the Jewish press does no more than cover regional or community matters, and no one watches the foundations or the schools.
    Does anyone doubt that there is stuff worse than this happening in such organizations as the AJC, the Jewish Agency, and so on, not to mention community Jewish orgs? It’s about time we–the Jewish community, that is–got our act together and put out an industry magazine that investigated wrongdoing.

  9. I don’t know about that Ariel.
    Seems to me that there are plenty of people in the news/media willing and able to air out our dirty laundry for us.
    I do agree that there probably are a lot of practices that go on inside Jewish agencies that range from wasteful to sketchy to downright criminal.
    That’s the only reason I can figure why yeshiva tution is so high…..
    Honestly, does it take 15K a year to educate a First Grader?
    So where is that money going!?
    (That’s was kind of a tangent but yeshiva tution is the bane of my existance)

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