Rabbi and several others arrested in welfare fraud case.

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Rabbi and several others arrested in welfare fraud case.

Seven married couples from the same New Jersey shore town, including a rabbi and his wife, now face charges that they misrepresented their income to get a combined $2 million in public welfare benefits to which they were not entitled.

Three couples were arrested late Tuesday in Lakewood after four couples, including Rabbi Zalmen Sorotzkin, of Congregation Lutzk, and his wife, Tzipporah, were arrested Monday.

The three couples were identified as Yitzchock and Sora Kanarek; Chaim and Liatt Ehrman; and William and Faigy Friedman.

Prosecutors say the three couples misrepresented their income and then collected more than $674,000 in benefits. They say the couples failed to disclose income from numerous sources on applications for Medicaid, housing, Social Security and food assistance benefits.

The state and federal investigation centers on Lakewood, which is home to a large and growing ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

In the arrests Monday, the Sorotzkins were charged with collecting more than $338,000 in benefits prosecutors say they weren’t entitled to. Their attorney said they will plead not guilty.

They were charged in state court along with Mordechai and Jocheved Breskin, who prosecutors said collected more than $585,000 in benefits they weren’t entitled to.

Zalmen Sorotzkin’s brother, Mordechai, and his wife, Rachel, were one of two couples charged in separate federal complaints with conspiring to fraudulently obtain Medicaid benefits.

They made more than $1 million in 2012 and in 2013, the complaint alleges, but still received more than $96,000 in Medicaid benefits, including $22,000 to pay for medical expenses when their sixth child was born in November 2013.

“Everything is going to work out and all will be vindicated,” said Rachel Sorotzkin’s attorney, Fred Zemel.

According to a federal complaint, Yocheved and Shimon Nussbaum hid their income by creating companies that were run by relatives on paper but that the couple actually controlled. They made a total of $1.8 million in 2013, but still received Medicaid, food benefits and housing assistance into 2014, prosecutors said.

Source: http://7ny.tv/2sUGLh7

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Israeli Judge Rules Airlines Can’t Reseat Women At Request Of Men.

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Israeli Judge Rules Airlines Can’t Reseat Women At Request Of Men.

Renee Rabinowitz, a Holocaust survivor in her 80s, was flying from Newark, N.J., to Tel Aviv in 2015, when a flight attendant on Israel’s El Al airline asked if she would be willing to change seats. An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man had said he did he not feel comfortable sitting next to her.

Rabinowitz agreed to move. But afterward, she said she felt “deep humiliation” — and sued the airline in Israeli court.

Jerusalem’s Magistrate Court ruled Thursday in her favor, saying that asking her to change seats based on her gender was discrimination.

“I’m thrilled because the judge understood the issue,” Rabinowitz told The New York Times. Her lawyers are calling it a “revolutionary” decision.

Rabinowitz, an Orthodox Jew, is a retired lawyer with a Ph.D. in educational psychology, according to the Times. “Despite all my accomplishments — and my age is also an accomplishment — I felt minimized,” she told the newspaper.

Rabinowitz was represented by the Israel Religious Action Center, the legal and advocacy arm of the Israel Reform movement. The group says requests for seat changes to accommodate men who don’t want to sit next to women have become common.

“It’s difficult to find someone who has flown New York to Tel Aviv who hasn’t seen it or been a part of it,” IRAC Deputy Director Steven Beck told NPR. “Particularly around the holidays, a lot of ultra-Orthodox are taking flights” and the men “would not sit down.”

Some deeply religious Jews believe any contact between the sexes is immodest. That has caused delays and even chaos on numerous flights in recent years when men refused to take seats next to women.

Beck says the phenomenon isn’t limited to flights on the Israeli airline: “It’s just [that] the number of ultra-Orthodox Jews on El Al is greater, and the effort to accommodate them is greater.”

The court ruling requires El Al to instruct its staff in writing that such requests are illegal and train workers in the new rule within six months. The court awarded Rabinowitz 6,500 shekels, or about $1,800, in damages.

Requests from El Al for comment were not immediately returned. The airline was owned by the Israeli government before being privatized in 2006.

After the lawsuit was filed last year, El Al told Israel’s Haaretz newspaper that its “employees in the air, on the ground, in Israel and around the globe do all possible to listen to and provide solutions to the concerns or requests from our customers whatever they might be, including seating requests on the airplane.”

ainst women because its reseating policies also applied to men. But it pointed out that Israeli courts have allowed religious observance to be considered in the past.

Why doesn’t El Al have passengers request special seating requirements in advance, as they would request a kosher or vegetarian meal?

Beck says his organization suggested El Al require passengers to do just that, but the airline refused.

“Our problem is with pressuring women,” says Beck. “It’s not fun to be told a flight will be delayed or sent back to the gate if you don’t accommodate a man’s request.”

Rabinowitz’s case echoed other recent battles in Israeli public life. Beck called the ruling a victory over “the gender segregation that Israel has been battling for more than a decade — all of the attempts by the ultra-Orthodox community to push women out of the public sphere.”

IRAC won a lawsuit in 2007 against gender segregation on public buses (though Beck notes that buses in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods continue to have de facto segregation). And in 2014, an Orthodox feminist group won a class-action lawsuit against an ultra-Orthodox radio station that wouldn’t allow women’s voices on the air.

Rabinowitz’s family fled Europe to escape the Nazis at the beginning World War II and moved to the United States; she later moved to Israel. Beck said his client is a mother of two, grandmother of six, great-grandmother of 32, “and now a civil rights activist.”

Rabinowitz told the Times she was “exhilarated” by Judge Dana Cohen-Lekach’s ruling because “she realized it is not a question of money; they awarded a very small sum. She realized it’s a matter of El Al changing its policy, which they have been ordered to do.”

Source: http://n.pr/2ucT9Xw

10 Toxic People You Should Avoid At All Costs.

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10 Toxic People You Should Avoid At All Costs.

Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons.

As important as it is to learn how to deal with different kinds of people, truly toxic people will never be worth your time and energy—and they take a lot of each. Toxic people create unnecessary complexity, strife, and, worst of all, stress.

“People inspire you, or they drain you—pick them wisely.” – Hans F. Hansen

Recent research from Friedrich Schiller University in Germany shows just how serious toxic people are. They found that exposure to stimuli that cause strong negative emotions—the same kind of exposure you get when dealing with toxic people—caused subjects’ brains to have a massive stress response. Whether it’s negativity, cruelty, the victim syndrome, or just plain craziness, toxic people drive your brain into a stressed-out state that should be avoided at all costs.

Studies have long shown that stress can have a lasting, negative impact on the brain. Exposure to even a few days of stress compromises the effectiveness of neurons in the hippocampus, an important brain area responsible for reasoning and memory. Weeks of stress cause reversible damage to brain cells, and months of stress can permanently destroy them. Toxic people don’t just make you miserable—they’re really hard on your brain.

The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control. One of their greatest gifts is the ability to identify toxic people and keep them at bay.

It’s often said that you’re the product of the five people you spend the most time with. If you allow even one of those five people to be toxic, you’ll soon find out how capable he or she is of holding you back.

You can’t hope to distance yourself from toxic people until you first know who they are. The trick is to separate those who are annoying or simply difficult from those who are truly toxic. What follows are ten types of toxic drainers that you should stay away from at all costs so that you don’t become one yourself.

10. The Arrogant

  • Arrogant people are a waste of your time because they see everything you do as a personal challenge. Arrogance is false confidence, and it always masks major insecurities. A University of Akron study found that arrogance is correlated with a slew of problems in the workplace. Arrogant people tend to be lower performers, more disagreeable, and have more cognitive problems than the average person.
9. The Judgmental

  • Judgmental people are quick to tell you exactly what is and isn’t cool. They have a way of taking the thing you’re most passionate about and making you feel terrible about it. Instead of appreciating and learning from people who are different from them, judgmental people look down on others. Judgmental people stifle your desire to be a passionate, expressive person, so you’re best off cutting them out and being yourself.

8. The Twisted

  • There are certain toxic people who have bad intentions, deriving deep satisfaction from the pain and misery of others. They are either out to hurt you, to make you feel bad, or to get something from you; otherwise, they have no interest in you. The only good thing about this type is that you can spot their intentions quickly, which makes it that much faster to get them out of your life.
7. The Dementor

  • In J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, Dementors are evil creatures that suck people’s souls out of their bodies, leaving them merely as shells of humans. Whenever a Dementor enters the room, it goes dark, people get cold, and they begin to recall their worst memories. Rowling said that she developed the concept for Dementors based on highly negative people—the kind of people who have the ability to walk into a room and instantly suck the life out of it.

    Dementors suck the life out of the room by imposing their negativity and pessimism upon everyone they encounter. Their viewpoints are always glass half empty, and they can inject fear and concern into even the most benign situations. A Notre Dame University study found that students assigned to roommates who thought negatively were far more likely to develop negative thinking and even depression themselves.

6. The Manipulator

  • Manipulators suck time and energy out of your life under the façade of friendship. They can be tricky to deal with because they treat you like a friend. They know what you like, what makes you happy, and what you think is funny, but the difference is that they use this information as part of a hidden agenda. Manipulators always want something from you, and if you look back on your relationships with them, it’s all take, take, take, with little or no giving. They’ll do anything to win you over just so they can work you over.

5. The Envious

  • To envious people, the grass is always greener somewhere else. Even when something great happens to envious people, they don’t derive any satisfaction from it. This is because they measure their fortune against the world’s when they should be deriving their satisfaction from within. And let’s face it, there’s always someone out there who’s doing better if you look hard enough. Spending too much time around envious people is dangerous because they teach you to trivialize your own accomplishments.

4. The Self-Absorbed

  • Self-absorbed people bring you down through the impassionate distance they maintain from other people. You can usually tell when you’re hanging around self-absorbed people because you start to feel completely alone. This happens because as far as they’re concerned, there’s no point in having a real connection between them and anyone else. You’re merely a tool used to build their self-esteem.

3. The Victim

  • Victims are tough to identify because you initially empathize with their problems. But as time passes, you begin to realize that their “time of need” is all the time. Victims actively push away any personal responsibility by making every speed bump they encounter into an uncrossable mountain. They don’t see tough times as opportunities to learn and grow from; instead, they see them as an out. There’s an old saying: “Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.” It perfectly captures the toxicity of the victim, who chooses to suffer every time.

2. The Temperamental

  • Some people have absolutely no control over their emotions. They will lash out at you and project their feelings onto you, all the while thinking that you’re the one causing their malaise. Temperamental people are tough to dump from your life because their lack of control over their emotions makes you feel bad for them. When push comes to shove though, temperamental people will use you as their emotional toilet and should be avoided at all costs.

1. The Gossip

  • “Great minds discuss ideas, average ones discuss events, and small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

    Gossipers derive pleasure from other people’s misfortunes. It might be fun to peer into somebody else’s personal or professional faux pas at first, but over time, it gets tiring, makes you feel gross, and hurts other people. There are too many positives out there and too much to learn from interesting people to waste your time talking about the misfortune of others.

Source: http://bit.ly/2swHyVt

Texas Passes Bill Requiring Women to Hold Funerals For Their Abortions.

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Texas Passes Bill Requiring Women to Hold Funerals For Their Abortions.

Texas legislators have introduced a bill colloquially known as the “fetal funerals” law, and as if that name isn’t distrubing enough, what the new decree stipulates is even more horrifying.

Senate Bill 8, as it’s officially titled, mandates a few things: first, that all fetal remains must be buried or cremated—this means that whether you have an abortion or miscarry, you’ll have to have a funeral of sorts for your lost fetus. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: The Handmaid’s Tale is real life.

Under Senate Bill 8, women also cannot donate fetal tissue for research, as all the remains must be used for the funerals. How lovely and practical.

The bill bans a technique called “dilation and evacuation,” which is used for almost all second term abortions and so, in essence, would ban abortions happening after the first 13 weeks. And get this—anyone found to be assisting in any of the aforementioned banned activities is subject to up to two years in prison.

Texas Governow Greg Abbott’s new decree comes after the state has infamously tried and failed before to prevent women from having abortions. Their HB2 bill was one of the strictest anti-abortion laws in history, and while it was struck down by the Supreme Court last year, it’s impact on the amount of abortion clinics open in Texas is lasting:

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This isn’t the first time Texas has required fetal burials:

Amanda Allen, senior state legislative counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in Buzzfeed‘s report, “No state has put together a host of restrictions in one package like this before. It’s the most sweeping piece of anti-abortion legislation this session.”

Source: http://bit.ly/2raFwHh