The publisher of a Hebrew- and Yiddish-language newspaper was charged with extortion after allegedly saying he would stop attacking a rabbi in print if he was paid $50,000.
Chaim Shaulson, publisher of the weekly Panim Chadashort, or New Faces, was arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court Thursday. Shaulson, 53, pleaded innocent to two counts of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny for allegedly taking a $1,000 down payment in the extortion scheme.
Judge Stephen Rooney released him without bail but ordered Shaulson to turn in his passport so he would not flee to his native Israel.
Members of the Hasidic community have long criticized Shaulson’s paper for having sensational headlines, licentious cartoons and gossipy stories.
Rabbi Moses Teitelbaum, the spiritual leader of the Satmar sect, was a weekly target of the paper, whose circulation was estimated at from 500 to 2,000 copies.
″This was worse than yellow journalism,″ Rabbi Chaim Stauber, an associate of Teitelbaum, told The New York Times. ″He stopped short of nothing. There was absolutely no moral code, no bounds.″
Officials said that Teitelbaum’s secretary, Rabbi Moses Friedman, told the district attorney about the extortion threat and offered to cooperate.
Yiddish-speaking investigators eavesdropped Wednesday when Shaulson visited Friedman’s house in Brooklyn, officials said. Police said Friedman gave Shaulson $1,000, then signed a contract with Shaulson that the negative attacks would cease. Shaulson was arrested minutes later.
After setting an additional fire in New York’s ultra-Orthodox neighborhood that put him up in arms with yet an additional Hasidic sect, posters went up in the city’s Haredi neighborhoods in 1996 versus Chaim Shaulson, author of the independent Hebrew-Yiddish tabloid Panim Hadashot. It was not the first neither last time that Haredi protestors and leaders have attempted to hide Shaulson as a journalist; he declares he was required to flee Jerusalem to his current home in the New York suburban areas because of dangers to his life. Last November, Shaulson browsed the web with a Hebrew-Yiddish blog he calls Ba’olamam Shel Haharedim, which has offered him and his mission the kind of exposure he formerly could just imagine in 35 years of journalism.
The most significant trouble in Haredi public is that for years we’ve been sweeping points, not desiring to deal publicly with essential public concerns, Shaulson informed his blog viewers. There has never ever been a circumstances in which I didn’t bring response of a person that intended to react, Shaulson told Haaretz.
Shaulson determined early in his print days to quit accepting promotions.
Cash is a weak factor, Shaulson states. At the beginning, Panim Hadashot had ads, yet that was how they can battle me.
Shaulson was born to a long-standing Jerusalem household connected with Chabad. Chaim Shaulson began his work in journalism in the 1970s, however also engaged in political activism with his papa. Shaulson thinks that heavy media exposure the Haredi area has been getting has lowered all kinds of concealed abuses.
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