Reopening the Camp – 2003

Updated June 3, 2009
For the Mailing that was sent to all residents of Crown Height Click Here

To address the question being asked by the public:

Why wasn’t the camp open for our children when the original directors got back their camp (between the years of 2003  to 2006)?

The original directors’ and owners intentions and purpose, were to insure the best camp for our children. The first year of the camp, 1995, was successful beyond all expectations. The enrollment was initially 250 children, which rose to approximately 400/500 children and it was expected to increase.

In 1996 a dispute arose amongst the Directors of the Corporation and Yaakov Spritzer “took the camp away.” For approximately 5 or 6 years, despite the protests of Shmuel Heber, Yosef Goldman and Mendel Hershkop, and without following the Not for Profit Laws, Yaakov Spritzer directed the Camp with Meir Schrieber.  Yaakov Spritzer was also the one to put the camp in Bankruptcy. After the decision of Judge Glasser which decided that Shmuel Heber, Yosef Goldman and Mendel Hershkop were still directors of the Corporation, Shmuel Heber, spoke to the school principals (of Crown Heights) and the directors (of those schools) and gave a very good offer to the principals and directors for their students to attend the camp, as a whole Yeshiva for the summer.

Thereafter, Yaakov Spritzer approached the principals and directors and stated “don’t agree with them” [Heber, Goldman and Hershkop], I will bring you a letter from the Beth Din of Crown Heights that no one should attend this camp. A letter was thereafter obtained and mailed to all the members of the community stating “…no one should participate in camp “Machne Menachem and Gan Menachem” in any way whatsoever, (including to register their son(s) as campers or as a staff member), as long as the organization is being directed in opposition to the ruling of the Beth Din.” Mr. Spritzer went against the good of the camp, causing our children and our community a great loss.

When getting back their camp, the original directors got straight to work to re-open the camp for our children once again.”The Brosure

The Brochure


The following letter was sent out to the principals of our Yeshivas



The following is an excerpt from a letter/motion to the Court (Judge Glasser), which explains (in better words then I can describe) what went on… (written by Meir Hershkop, March 5, 2003)

Our (the defendants’) efforts to reactivate the Camp

I want to advise the Court that since this Court’s decision reinstating (certain) defendants as directors we (the defendants) have been working diligently to reactivate and rejuvenate Camp Machne Menachem. For example, we paid several thousand dollars to reinstate the insurance for the Camp which had lapsed because Spritzer deliberately let it lapse by failing to pay the insurance. Likewise, we paid the arrears on the Camp’s telephone bill (of over a thousand dollars) so as to reconnect the telephone line. Again, Spritzer had deliberately let the Camp’s phone line become disconnected, by failing to pay the phone bills.

We opened a new office for the Camp. We printed brochures touting the Camp. More important, we met with the principals and administrators of various schools in the community to discuss the Camp and some innovative ideas for the use of the Camp. We were delighted that we received a very positive, and indeed, enthusiastic responses from the school’s principals and administrators to our plans. (See e.g., the attached letter from Rabbi Shmuel Heber to Rabbi Rosenfeld.)

But Spritzer and his attorneys take action to block our efforts (through Bais Din);

Finally, I must bring to this Court’s attention an attempt by the plaintiff Spritzer and plaintiff camp’s attorneys to undermine and void this Court’s decision declaring defendants directors of the plaintiff Camp. I (and some of the other defendants) have received a letter from the Crown Heights Bais Din, (a copy of which is attached hereto) which threatens anyone who should send their child to our camp.

The Court must not make a mistake – this letter was not issued sua Aponte. We have ample reason to believe that plaintiff’s attorneys directly solicited and then supported the Bais Din’s issuance of this letter, and may even have helped draft the Bais Din letter. This is shocking in view of the attorneys’ status as “Officers of the Court” and yet they were and are actively working to nullify the decision of this Court by way of improper threats and innuendo. Aside from their status as “Officers of the Court,” these attorneys are supposed to represent the Camp and it is therefore a clear and utter breach of their obligations to the Camp to attempt to stop the Camp’s functioning.

It is certainly improper for plaintiff Spritzer who claims to be a director of the Camp, to deliberately work against the Camp of which he claims to be a director; and certainly it is unheard of that Spritzer should attempt to force the closing of a Camp in which he is supposed to be a director. This is a plain breach by Spritzer of his fiduciary duties to the Camp.

What ever happened to "דינא דמלכותא דינה"?

What ever happened to "דינא דמלכותא דינה"?

"אין לפסוח על שתי הסיפים"? Who is indeed guilty of doing just that? If Spritzer got premission from the Bais Din to go to Court, then what say do they have now (that he lost), and if they did not give him premission, then how can they take his side, when he went againts ther order/psak (that this case should only be judged in front of a Bais Din)

"אין לפסוח על שתי הסיפים"? Who is indeed guilty of doing just that? If Spritzer got permission from the Bais Din to go to Court, then what say do they have now (that he lost)דינא דמלכותא דינה . If they did not give him permission, then how can they take his side, when he went against their order/psak (that this case should only be judged in front of a Bais Din)? Also: with all do respect, what does Rabbi Schwei have to do with this Din Torah? Were is Rabbi Mengles signature?

A letter sent out to the community by the original directors (2001)



14 Responses to Reopening the Camp – 2003

  1. Mendel says:

    Rabonim Bashing! Is that where this is going???

  2. Rabonim Bashing! Is that where this is going???

    Please explain, how is what I wrote “Rabonim Bashing!”.

  3. camper says:

    In this upside down world, it’s not what you do that defines you, it’s what you say your going to do or doing that defines you.

    Although, the original directors always in actuality listened to the rabbonim, without agreeing with what they say. That does not matter.
    Spritzer, on the other hand, does not listen to rabbonim (ever), but since he says he does (he talks the talk), then thats OK, he is the big “kovod Harabbonim” man.

    How dear anyone question the rabbonim, it’s one thing to not listen to a thing they say, it’s another to question (even if you are following their psak)

    Look, people are not looking what president Obama does, they are to distracted with what he’s saying!

  4. Mendel says:

    1. Making it as if the Rabonim were coerced into writing the letter.
    2. Your comments under the letters (making it as if you have superior Torah knowledge then the Rabonim, afrah lepuma!!!).
    3. Your questioning the legitimacy of Rabbi Schwei (Why does he have to be involved from the beginning? The fact is, that at that point he was (and is) a Rov!).

    [MM: Mendle, your e-mail address that you posted does not work, is there a reason for that? until I receive a proper e-mail, I will not approve any of your comments]

  5. Camper says:

    1. Making it as if the Rabonim were coerced into writing the letter.

    Why is that so shocking, are they Tzadikim?
    Maybe Spritzer fooled then, convinced them, for g-ds sake he fooled the court for 3 years (giving him control of the camp) etc…
    Is this all new to you, have you been living here, in Crown Height?

    How did they indeed stand by while Spritzer went to court (and made a vicious mesira for 7 years), against their orders? (I’d like a proper answer to this question).

    2. Your comments under the letters (making it as if you have superior Torah knowledge then the Rabonim, afrah lepuma!!!).

    Am we going to be shunned for just asking questions, 7 families were going through hell and they can’t ask the Rabbonim some question, (who, what, when, why and HOW?).

    3. Your questioning the legitimacy of Rabbi Schwei (Why does he have to be involved from the beginning? The fact is, that at that point he was (and is) a Rov!).

    So any Rav can sign any Psak, even though they have no clue what they are signing (the Rav can sign without making any investigations).
    what about the rav that was by the din torah (rabbi Mangle), why did he not sign?

    Really, in the end of the day this (discussion) is all irrelevant. The fact is that spritzer was the one that did not listen to the Rabbonim (and went to court). the other directors did listen. the only thing the original directors are guilty of, is asking questions? Fine, with me, they have a right to defend themselves, after all it was them being prosecuted in court.

    Let’s not turn the hijackers in to victims now and the victims in to aggressors.

  6. Emes says:

    Your whole argument here is essentially flawed, for i could say the same thing with you guys, that: This that now you’re fighting the camp, shows that the needs of the community weren’t exactly on the top of your agenda. Obviously that doesn’t go (at leas in your mind), so same here.

  7. “Your whole argument”

    Whats the WHOLE argument?
    Please explain!

    Let’s see how you managed to slice and dice.

  8. Chaim H. says:

    “This that now you’re fighting the camp, shows that the needs of the community weren’t exactly on the top of your agenda.”

    What your saying is, even if a person steals something from his fellow, it’s OK as long as he is doing it for the community. Right and Wrong doesn’t matter if you have the right intentions, which we can’t even say about Spritzer.

    I’ll walk in to your house tomorrow, take it over, open a program for drop outs, homeless, a soup kitchen or maybe a Yeshiva. I’ll use it for the greater good.

  9. hypocrisy? says:

    I just stole a car, who wants to come on Mivtzoyim with me?
    Think of all the good we can do now!
    We will help bring Moshiach even closer.
    Besides, the person I took the from never used it anyways.

  10. mishichist says:

    “I just stole a car, who wants to come on Mivtzoyim with me?”

    Only if it has moshiach flags on it and you blast Yechi on the stereo system, then I’m in. I’ll only drive a stolen car to do Mivtzoyim if it’s with a KOCH for Moshiach!

    Moshiach Now!
    Only with Ahavas Yisrael will moshiach come

  11. Camper says:

    There is a reason why the Bais Din sent the two parties to a different Bais Din, obviously the Bais Din in Crown Heights don’t won’t to get involved anymore in this case (as Rabbi Segal wrote in his letter).

    So after all the superficial debates, the only question that remains [today,2009], Why isn’t Spritzer showing up to a Din Torah.

    If I was sure of my innocents, i would be more then eager to state my case, (im talking from experience).

  12. Justice for all! says:

    if asking questions or making “assumptions” on the Rabonim is so bad, how bad would it be if the things being said, are actually true.

    just something to think about.

    as a person whos reading the information on this site, I have more then just a few questions for the Bais Din.

  13. “Rabonim Bashing! Is that where this is going???”

    We deal in truth here. We attempt to ascertain truth. As you know, I am who I am because of many things. One of those things is I resist the tug of popular sentiment. I’m not part of the conventional wisdom. I refuse to follow group behavior. I refuse to do it This is 100% total manipulation by the Obama administration, the Democrats in Congress, with the assistance of their accomplices in the Drive-By Media. I, ladies and gentlemen, am the only national figure not going along with the lynch mob mentality here. An entire government is lined up against one company that they bailed out. They own 80% of this company, and they are acting like they have nothing to do with what’s going on. They installed the CEO, Ed Liddy, and they act as always as innocent bystanders with no culpability whatsoever, and I’m not going to sit around and let a lynch mob mentality rule the day, at least in the hearts and minds of those of you in this audience. You deserve the truth and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what you will have and what you’ll get when you tune to this program.” (Rush Limbaugh)

    Could not have said it any better!
    I’m going to write the truth, the story the way it actually happened. I’m not going to change history just because somebody will get offended. If you have a problem with what I’m writing (the events as they actually happened), then know this, I too am upset that these things happened. But my friends, I’m not the one that will get the back lash (I’m just reporting), you have questions about how certain people did certain things, go ask them!. Like they say, “the Truth hurts”, not everybody will be happy with the Truth, to those people, I say too bad!. You are upset about hearing these things, imagine the people that lived and suffered because of these things.

  14. By the Grace of G-d
    23rd of Adar Rishon, 5763

    To All Residents of our Community

    Greeting and Blessing!

    In light of the fact that, this past week, a letter signed by two members of the Beis Din Tzedek began circulating in the neighborhood concerning the summer camp Machne Menachem, we feel compelled to set the record straight with this short letter. This is particularly true since the above-mentioned letter was written caustically, unlike standard letters of the Beis Din. After reading the following facts, it will become crystal clear who instigated this letter and for what motive.

    1. When we were forced to appear in court, to defend ourselves in a case initiated by Yakov Spritzer, he claimed we did not represent the Board of Directors and accused us of baseless lies and other falsehoods. After five years of hardship and great personal anguish, and after detailed examination and inquiry by the judge, the court recently ruled in our favor – that we always were, and still remain, the Board of Directors of Machne Menachem. Thank G-d, the judge totally negated and nullified all accusations and lies hurled at us by Yakov Spritzer. (The entire ruling will mailed under separate cover, bli neder.)

    2. Upon receiving the ruling from the judge, we began seriously working on a summer program. We planned to open a Yeshivas Kayitz (summer yeshiva program) for all yeshiva students, something sorely lacking in the five years the camp was not in our hands.

    3. Although we could have easily filled registration with children from other areas, or have rented space to other organizations, we felt duty-bound to help the children of our neighborhood. This was an honor for us. We therefore sent our suggestions (see enclosed insert) to the administrators of local schools, with ideas that resolve two most pressing concerns: 1) To find adequate space for all yeshiva students, for the entire summer; 2) To provide scholarships for those – blessed with large families, or those who simply cannot afford to pay the required amount. They; too, will now be able to send their children to camp. Similarly worded documents were sent to the administrators of both Oholei Torah and Lubavitcher Yeshiva.

    4. Hearing of this development, Yakov Shpritzer approached the administrator of Torah and asked him to deny our request. Furthermore, he promised to bring a letter from the Rabborum,” with a clear ruling forbidding anyone to enroll in our program. Tie fulfilled this assurance and the letter was promptly written.

    5. According to the letter, the ruling of the Rabbonim is based on an earlier ruling dated 5757 (the original is enclosed). This raises undeniable concerns and inexplicable questions:

    I) The din torah was between Yitzchak Hartman and Meir Hershkop on one side, and Yakov Spritzer with Meir Schreiber on the other. This is explicitly written in the ruling. Hence, the din torah did not pertain to us at all.

    II) The entire ruling was, as clearly stated, based on the opinion of local educators. They were asked about the above individuals – Spritzer and Hershkop – and not about Spritzer and Heber at all.

    III) The entire debate was, as expressed clearly; about management alone. Ownership was not even mentioned. This was because the Rabbonim did not yet know who were officially registered as the real owners. Now that the judge ruled we have ownership and are considered to be the board of directors, this gives us the authority to decide who should run the camp.

    IV) Three years ago, a respected member of our community asked Rabbi Osdoba if he would abide by the ruling of the judge regarding the camp. Rabbi Osdoba wrote him a response, dated Sunday, Mar Rishon, 5760, in which he wrote: “Will the bees din accept the ruling of the courts? The Halacha stipulates that ‘the law of the land is law’ This individual showed us this response back then, and also showed it to us again now

    V) It is incredulous for them to state in the letter that “Shmuel Heber is Posae’ach al Shtei Hase’ifim.” This statement has no meaning or relevance to the entire case and we cannot understand its intention. Moreover, Shmuel Heber was not involved in any din torah about Machne Menachem!

    6 When we were at the Ohel, we wrote to the Rebbe about our expressed intention to bring positive changes for the children of our _neighborhood, but we were barn. g purposely and forcefully prevented by others. Later, when we entered the small shut, we were amazed to see a video playing the Rebbe’s talk of Purim 5747, in which he explains at length the criteria of a Ray, based on two paragraphs (Se’ifim) found in Rambam (Hilchos Talmud Torah 4:1, and Hilchos Issurei Bi’ah 19:17). We understood that this referred expressly to our circumstances, hinting that these were the two Se’ifim (see the two paragraphs of Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, 246:8, and Even Ho’Ezer 2:5, and the Hayom Yom of this date in both months of Adar.)

    7. Regretfully; the damage now affects parents of children living in our neighborhood, who will be forced to find an alternate camp for their children and pay full price – an exorbitant amount of money. Children whose parents cannot afford this large amount will languish in the city for the summer, with all the dire consequences this entails. We do not wish to elaborate on the great pain, and anguish facing our community, an intolerant situation caused by certain individuals fueled by personal hate and egotism. To attain’ their goals, they are prepared to destroy the education our children richly deserve.

    With respect and blessing,
    Shmuel Heber
    Mendel Hershkop
    Yosef Goldman
    Machne Menachem, Board of Directors

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