Five leaders of Lev Tahor, a fringe Charedi sect, were indicted in White Plains, N.Y. for conspiring to kidnap two children from their mother and return them to their sect.
The accused were arrested in December and accused of kidnapping two children, a 14-year-old girl and her 12-year-old brother.Their mother is Sara Helbrans, the daughter of sect founder Shlomo Helbrans. The mother had fled the group, based in Central America, and returned to with three of her six children to New York’s Sullivan County. Three other children were returned to her 10 days later.
The indictment alleges a plot by Nachman Helbrans, 36, who leads the sect since his father’s death, and sect members Mayer Rosner, 42; his son Jacob Rosner, 20; and Mayer’s brother, Aron Rosner, 45, of Brooklyn. A fifth man, Matityau Malka, was charged with aiding a second kidnapping plot in March, according to the Times Herald-Record
They were indicted earlier this month in District Court in New York on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and international parental kidnapping. They have all pleaded not guilty. Four are being held without bond. Aron Rosner was released on a £8.2m ($10 million) bond to home confinement and electronic monitoring.
Lev Tahor, which has about 230 members, relocated to Guatemala from Canada in 2014 following allegations of mistreatment of its children including abuse and child marriages.
It moved in 2016 from the outskirts of Guatemala City to the small village of Oratorio after religious disputes with its neighbours, and reportedly crossed the border from Guatemala to Mexico in June 2017. Members may have returned later to Guatemala.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.