requires that when his
followers get married, the bride must spend the night before her
wedding with him.A variation of the "right of first night".Rabbi Helbrans's
group 'Leiv tohor' was involved in a violent ongoing skirmish, with the Kashua community in Monsey.
There were 'undererground' letters (pashkevil'n, in yiddish) at the time both against and for Helbrans
This was really the first time that people in the Orthodox community really started to see Helbrans
for what he
was.In the past Helbrans
always had argued that any dispute he
was involved in was political or some sort of power struggle.In this case those arguments didn't work.
Last year, the Vaad Hoaskonim
, the rabbinical council of Orthodox communities in Williamsburg, Boro Park, Monsey and Queens, N.Y., issued a ruling that Helbrans'
group "constitutes a great threat, spiritual and physical, to the Torah observant community in general and to every individual in particular."It forbids the communities to associate with Elbarnes and urges his followers to leave him.
There are rumours that Satmar
has put a hit on him.Helbrans
has followers world-wide and has moved back and forth through Israel, Europe, Canada and the US.
issued a tidal wave of rulings that hamstrung the defense and he
allowed the prosecutor to make pointedly ethnic statements, especially in his
and a follower pled guilty two weeks ago to reduced charges of conspiracy to kidnap.
pleaded guilty to conspiracy and is awaiting sentencing.
isn't a household name, but in the 1990s, he
touched off a firestorm after he
was sent to prison on his
felony conviction.Helbrans, a rabbi and citizen of Israel, served about two years and was deported, state and federal officials say.
Federal prosecutors alleged he
got preferential treatment because of his
ties to a politically connected group of Hasidic Jews.
After taking a young Jewish boy from his mother and keeping him while on the lam for two years, Helbrans
benefited from supporters after his arrest, including Leon Perlmutter of Brooklyn, a fund- raiser for Gov
...Perlmutter, a prominent member of the Satmar Hasidic sect, which tends to vote in a bloc for candidates suggested by religious leaders, pressed state officials to help Helbrans, according to published reports and interviews.
was sentenced to up to 12 years in prison, but won an appeal in 1996 for a reduced sentence of 2 to 6 years.Three days later, he
was put in a work-release program by the Department of Correctional Services
, unusual treatment for a felon targeted for deportation, federal prosecutors argued at the time.
After their protest, he
was moved back to prison.But the case rose to near scandal with suspicions that the Pataki
administration was providing Helbrans special treatment.Helbrans
, who had three penalties for several problems while in prison, including unauthorized jewelry and an "unhygienic act," served until two weeks after his
eligibility for parole.
had once said his
life would be endangered if he
were repatriated. Helbrans
, who came to the US in 1990, was convicted in 1994 by a Brooklyn court of kidnaping Shai Fhima Reuven.The boy was 13 when he
disappeared in 1992, while studying at Helbrans's yeshiva.He
resurfaced in 1994 claiming that he
had run away from a secular family that abused him.His
mother, in turn, accused Helbrans of brainwashing the boy.
The case attracted wide attention in the US as an American battle between haredi and secular Israelis over the control of a child.
Immigration officials on Thursday deported Helbrans
, 38, on two grounds: that he
entered the US illegally, and that convicted felons can be deported. Helbrans
was paroled in late 1996 after two years in prison.His
early parole led to a federal investigation, which is continuing, of whether state officials had been improperly influenced by the haredi community, according to the Times.
, convicted in Fhima kidnapping, is deported 6 years later
was convicted in 1994 for kidnapping Shai Fhima, a student at Helbrans'
Brooklyn yeshiva, allegedly because he
felt Fhima's mother and stepfather were not raising him properly.
Fhima testified he
had gone voluntarily with Helbrans
The conviction, which Helbrans
is appealing, sparked a deportation order. Helbrans
was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison but released after serving only two.
was convicted in 1994 in the widely publicized abduction of Jewish teenager Shai Fhima Reuven, and was paroled in 1996 at his
is not named in court papers, several sources familiar with his
parole indicated a key case cited by prosecutors is his
Travis didn't return a call to his home, and Helbrans
could not be reached.
The 11/98 decision to parole Helbrans
came "at about the same time" the board released two other inmates in cases that are also being scrutinized by prosecutors.
had been convicted of kidnapping a boy, Shai Fhima Reuven, in order to give him a religious upbringing.He
had been sentenced to four-to-12 years, but that was later reduced by a state appeals court. He
has since been released on parole.
The transfer in June 1996 was rescinded after a federal prosecutor, who had brought charges against Helbrans
, protested to state prison officials.
The inquiry into the case of Helbrans
, who was convicted of kidnapping a teenager, Shai Fhima Reuven, in 1994, represents a broadening of the investigation by the U.S. attorney's office
into fund raising by Pataki's campaign.
The prosecutor who successfully intervened after Helbrans
was moved to work-release, Alan Vinegrad, said in an interview that prison officials told him the transfer had been ordered by senior state officials.
The state Parole Board later released Helbrans
, who was convicted of what is considered to be a violent crime under state law, in his
first appearance before the panel.The decision to parole Helbrans
, made over the objections of federal and state prosecutors, came in November 1996.
They said that after an extensive review of the file of Helbrans
, they were certain his
case was handled appropriately.
...William J. Muller, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn, has refused to respond to questions about the case, but others involved in the inquiry, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the office was examining how Helbrans was treated.
The case of Helbrans
and Shai Fhima Reuven attracted widespread attention.The crime occurred after Shai's mother, who is not an Orthodox Jew, entrusted him to the rabbi for bar mitzvah instruction.The authorities charged Helbrans
with keeping Shai away from his
family for two years in order to educate him as a Hasidic Jew.
In an interview, Helbrans
, a leader of an offshoot of the Satmar sect, acknowledged that Perlmutter had visited him several times in prison.
Zenia Mucha, a spokeswoman for Pataki
, declined to comment on Helbrans
was originally sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison, after a joint federal-state prosecution, but on June 17, 1996, an appeals court reduced the sentence to 2 to 6 years.Three days later he
was put in the work-release program, which is for prisoners who are less than two years away from the possibility of parole.
An immigration judge has ordered that Helbrans
is appealing the decision.
spent less than two years in jail for kidnapping Shai Fhima-Reuven, who was 13 when he
first disappeared in April 1992, after his
mother sent him to study for his
bar mitzva with Helbrans
in Brooklyn. The boy, from a troubled secular family with a history of abuse, turned up several years later as an observant Jew, after spending time with Helbrans and his associates in Monsey, New York, and Paris.
The case attracted wide attention in the US as a bizarre view of a battle between haredi and secular Israelis over the control of a child, waged on American soil. Helbrans
was convicted in 1994, and a US immigration court on March 26 ordered him deported.Under US law, a non-citizen can be deported after conviction of a crime of violence and "moral turpitude."
Wildes contends that the US government is going to extensive lengths to deport Helbrans
, a view shared by Helbrans's s