Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Robert Kennedy Embraces Roseanne Barr’s Favorite Rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, Who Socks Away $600K a Year from Bogus Charity


Robert Kennedy Jr. is in boiling water over his video in which he declares COVID was designed to spare Ashkenazi Jews and the Chinese. Things are so bad, his sister and nephew have publicly criticized him.

His defense? He’s pals with America’s most self-publicized (and self aggrandizing) rabbi, Shmuley Boteach. He’s Kennedy is posting videos embracing Boteach. Kennedy just doesn’t get it. He’s on the wrong side of every single conversation.

I’ve been writing about Boteach since 2003 when he first emerged as Michael Jackson’s newest religious advisor. I revealed then that Shmuley had been kicked off Oxford University’s campus for financial malfeasance operating a questionable foundation. Then he came back to America and started a similar one with an unwitting Michael Jackson called Heal the Kids. They had a splashy and ridiculous fundraiser at Carnegie Hall. The New York Attorney General finally caught up with them.

This history of Shmuley Boteach in Tablet Magazine is a must read for his checkered past.


I last wrote about Boteach in 2018 when Roseanne Barr, who was recently accused like Kennedy of antisemitism, endorsed him during her racist Tweet fiasco. In the last month, Roseanne declared that six million Jews should have been killed in the Holocaust.

Shmuley over the last several years started a new not for profit, a 501 c3 called World Values Network. He and his wife take $600,000 in salary from donations, a little less than half their contributions. They run World Values Network out of their house in New Jersey. World Values Network in 2019, 2018, and 2017 –the last years their filed federal tax returns appear published –had expenses that far exceeded their income. All the expenses listed are personal ones — rent for the phony baloney organization, their own travel, and so on. The IRS lets them get away with it, and always has. They list no charitable donations of any kind. A son-in-law is listed as his Treasurer.

I started writing about Boteach in 2001 on Here’s what I wrote then. Nothing has changed except the victims.

In May 2001, this column discovered quite a lot about the so-called Oxford L’Chaim Society of New York, which has nothing whatsoever to do with Oxford University in Great Britain.

I wrote: “In 1999, the British government criticized (Boteach’s) L’Chaim Society of Oxford, London and Cambridge — an organization that was supposed to support and promote Jewish thinking and life on the Oxford campus — when they discovered that Shmuley (his name is Shmuel but he loves the nickname) had been dipping into the funds.

In an e-mail to the Oxford Union, Sonia Tugwell of the Charity Commission wrote on January 8, 2001: “In August 1999, the Charity Commission opened an inquiry under section 8 of the Charities Act 1993 into the L’Chaim Independent Charitable Trust as a result of concerns that the charity’s funds were being misapplied.

“The inquiry established that a number of apparent inappropriate payments were regularly being made by the founder of the charity, Rabbi Boteach and his wife. Fundraising costs and administrative expenses were high in relation to relatively low charitable expenditure.

“As a result of the inquiry, in March last year, the trustees of the charity, after taking appropriate legal advice, reached an agreement with the Boteaches. The result of this was that a sum was paid by them to the charity. The trustees of the charity decided to wind up the charity and the London and Oxford offices were closed last year with our approval. It was agreed that the assets of the Cambridge Society would be transferred to another trust. If there are any funds remaining after outstanding liabilities have been paid, these will be given to other charitable causes similar to those supported by the L’Chaim Independent Charitable Trust.”

An article dated June 1, 1998, in the London Daily Telegraph clearly states: “Ah Shmuley. The shame, the disgrace. (He’s been) publicly reproached by Elkin Levy, president of the United Synagogues; forced to resign from the synagogue in Willesden where he preaches, accused of conduct unbecoming, bringing the rabbinate into disrepute.” The resignation was apparently in response to the publication of Boteach’s controversial book, “Kosher Sex,” which has been a bestseller and was excerpted in Playbo y.

“It seems funny to me,” said a source at the Oxford Union, “that the headquarters for the L’Chaim Society of Oxford is in New York.”

Frustrated by the lack of information from Boteach’s office, I subsequently wrote another story on Feb. 18, 2002, stating that Boteach’s tax-free foundation in the United States is alled Oxford L’Chaim Society, implying a tie to the prestigious British university.

I also wrote that the L’Chaim Society’s 1999 public tax filing shows that the charity took in $300,000. Of that amount, $160,000 went to “management” and $122,000 was sent as a lump-sum donation to the L’Chaim Society of Cambridge, the other top British university.

But, of course, representatives of the Cambridge Society swore to me last year that they hadn’t heard from Boteach in a long time. Certainly they didn’t mention a huge donation, and neither did Boteach.

Even so, more than half the money collected by Boteach in 1999 went to salaries. Less than half was donated to charity. Just in case you were wondering.

The insinuation by @nypost and others that, as as result of my quoting a peer-reviewed paper on bio-weapons, I am somehow antisemitic, is a disgusting fabrication. I understand the emotional pain that these inaccurate distortions and fabrications have caused to many Jews who…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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