Monday, August 16, 2010

What kind of standards does the Queens Vaad follow?

This is not not meant to question the validity of any gerus ever overseen by the Queens Vaad as there have no doubt been stable people with pure intentions who approached the Queens Vaad beis din to be megayer. There are choshuvei rabbonim however that encouraged me to publicize this story.

An esteemed rov once remarked to me that the Queens Vaad has been known for allowing problematic individuals to be megayer. After a very distressing incident recently, I could not agree more.

A young lady who was converted by the Queens Vaad wrote a letter to a talmid chochom in Eretz Yisroel who is close to one of the gedolei hador, decrying how she has been mistreated by the Jewish community to the point where she stays in her tiny apartment and does not accept Shabbos invitations. Her story sounded convincing & the rov decided to publicize her plight.

I and my wife happen to know of cases where giyoreses have indeed been abused by terrible people. The story made us sick and we sought her out to invite her for Shabbos.

The problem however is that this particular woman is a complete fraud. Besides her shocking lack of commitment to mitzvos, she is a demented and nasty person possessed by dimyonos (delusions). The Queens Vaad must be out of their minds for converting her as will be explained. We gave her the royal treatment which she repaid by constantly insulting us to our faces and manufacturing complaints that she was being slighted. The nivul peh and filth systematically flowing from her mouth was absolutely shocking and we were forced to isolate children away from her. Her mean-spirited demeanor towards very young children attempting to be friendly to her was also eerie and frightening.

We actually felt like prisoners in our own home and were terrified of what she might do next. She did nothing but curse and complain when she was not stuffing food in her face like the most ravenous glutton you could picture. We went the extra mile to give her the ultimate taanugei Shabbos, buying all the food at such gourmet purveyors as Pomegranate and Fairway Market. She managed to complain about almost every dish while she ate huge volumes that are unimaginable, to the point that it was ainah maspekes lebaalim. We were not completely cleaned out (emphasis added) as she only ate half of the gallon of ice cream in one sitting for instance.

Did the Queens Vaad even do a cursory background check on her? (A question which may well be irrelevant since she is certifiably crazy to the casual observer) She is basically White Trash from Upstate NY who never finished school, something she is attempting to do now in her 30s. She incidentally bragged how she is part of a group effort to cheat on tests at Brooklyn College. After being discharged from the US Army after 6 months, she was the only White person living in East New York, Brooklyn, in perhaps the last 50 years, having purposely moved to that neighborhood. She currently lives in Queens where she complains that Bucharian men decades her senior are "slobbering" over her.

Incidentally, she maintains a website where she kvetches yomam velayla about all kinds of gerim who she says are not legitimate and where she rants to the world about how every shidduch presented to her is beneath her dignity. (She of course wants someone put together with all the maylos even though she is fat, not otherwise blessed with yofi and doesn't seem to have much else going for her. The Chazal of Saiss usapachass comes to mind, both literally & figuratively.)

I called Eretz Yisroel after Shabbos to advise the rabbonim they had been duped and they took down the letter..

One rov commented:

"I can tell you that she sounds very mentally disturbedThis case does not sound good, but is probably caused by gullible dayanim not devoting enough time to evaluate the case."

Others thought it might be more sinister. There are out of town rabbonim who refuse to be megayer some individuals who then make their way to NY and find a willing Queens Vaad.

After Shabbos, we learned things about the meshuga woman that are rather disturbing.

She is like a mini-Tropper who is trying to have control over all women converts and potential converts through an internet group that she controls. She is discouraging many of them from converting and using the information she has about the rest to badmouth them.

She is a crazy megalomaniac and maybe even a C****tian missionary plant.

She went to a religious school affiliated with this movement. Not mentioned on Wikipedia is that journalists have accused this denomination of being cult-like. More about them to follow.

Think about it. She is manipulating media such as dozens of websites to make it sound like anyone converting to Judaism is going to be thrown to the dogs.

Part of the vitriol that she spewed at our Shabbos table, apart for her disdain of Torah & mitzvos, was a very loud & emphatic "I HATE JEWISH PEOPLE". She had to be at least a little diplomatic and said she hates any rabbi she has met EXCEPT for a certain YU musmach. However, I have found her badmouthing this rabbi as well in a comment to someone else's blog.

She also gloated several times to us about how proud she is to come from WASP heritage (White Anglo Saxon Protestant). She name drops all the time that she is related to folk hero seamstress Betsy Ross. What's very interesting about this is that Smithsonian researchers find that her relatives invented the story that Ross crafted the first American flag for George Washington which was believed by the gullible American public. It looks like she tells lies regarding just about everything.

We felt all the vibes of an anti-Semite sitting among us.

It is not difficult by the way that a Missionary plant would be crazy. Depending on the church, I have personally been confronted by missionaries who are visibly nuts. Rabbonim I have consulted with think it is entirely within the realm of possibility that she could be a missionary plant.

A few days later, my wife mentioned that as soon as the woman showed up erev Shabbos, she insisted she needed to do so something urgent and asked to use my wife's laptop computer (not the one that I use). I decided to check the history to see what she did. The very first thing she did was download a file. Who does that on a computer that doesn't belong to them? I ran all kinds of diagnostic programs and discovered a Trojan .exe where someone was executing remote commands and monitoring us. I cannot prove where the Trojan came from but it's was a program that was not detected with anti-virus and anti-malware programs running in the background.

I asked a ger about the 2 churches the woman was associated with. The Wesleyan / Holiness movement can be fanatics who speak "in tongues", if you know what that is. She happens to speak very loudly & strangely. They are also known to be into proselytizing. 

The United Church of C***** is a Calvinist denomination, the same church that Obama belongs to, and they have been labeled "functionally anti-Semitic" by the Wiesenthal Center.

When you scratch below the surface, her internet campaign seems to be methodical in intent to dissuade people from Yiddishkeit. She makes comments that are obvious lies and seemingly intended to spread her poisonous propaganda, like that people give her flack for having deceased parents.

She is planting comments all over so that people follow the links back to her own blog which is "propaganda central". It increasingly looks like she is trying to discourage all gerim, both pre- and post-. And once she gets the giyores candidates in her clutches through the closed forums, she must be wreaking havoc.

The Queens Vaad, the rabbonim say, has been known to produce several unstable and controversial gerim, including the infamous Lauren Winner who was chozeres lesurah.

In her freshman year at Columbia University in New York, after years of studying and somewhat tortured consideration, she [Columbia doctoral student Lauren Winner] immersed herself in the ritual bath, the mikvah, and converted. And thus Ms. Winner spent her college years doing things that were considered exceedingly weird by most of her peers: She wore long skirts, never exposed her upper arms, kept a kosher kitchen, didn't engage in random sex--indeed in her entire undergraduate career, she went to only two parties outside the orthodox Jewish community.

In short, she did everything a good orthodox Jewish woman should do, right down to baking two loaves of challah every Friday. Except for one thing. She began to doubt. And she had a dream about Jesus. She woke up in a state of certitude, deeply convinced that the dream was sent from God and that Jesus was "real and true and sure." By her senior year, Ms. Winner was feeling both disaffected from the orthodox Jewish community and spiritually blah. She was, in the God-talk phrase, having a dry spell. And, of course, there was that dream.

So Ms. Winner focused her scholarly attention on Christianity: She read books; she wrote papers about the Great Awakening. And, a few years later, when she was at Cambridge University getting a master's degree, she was baptized into the Church of England and became a Christian. A committed Christian--Ms. Winner has mastered the Book of Common Prayer, is active in a church, studies the Bible, practices a prayer discipline and worries about sin.

But the Cambridge experience did not end her anxieties. How could she go back to Columbia for doctoral study--to a neighborhood where everyone knew her as an orthodox Jew--and present herself as a cross-wearing Christian? Her first strategy, which she now admits was suboptimal, was not to tell anyone. She didn't want to appear ditsy. After all, she says good-humoredly, "it is flaky to be religious at all, and then it is really flaky to switch religions from orthodox Judaism to orthodox Christianity."


I was advised not to attempt to reach out to the Queens Vaad as they are known for scandals in other areas of halacha and for shooting the messenger. There are gedolei rabbonim saying that they plan on coming out against the Queens Vaad over gerus but that there are more pressing issues on their plate right now so they will get to them later.

If anyone knows gerim or candidates for giyur, they should be advised to stay clear of this woman and her blogs, internet forums and poisonous agenda.