Urge Probe of Nursing Homes

Rabbi Balfour Brickner, director of the New York Federation of Reform Synagogues, called on Governor-elect Hugh Carey today to launch a state-wide investigation of corruption and illegal practices in the operation of nursing and old-aged homes in New York City and state, “even if this means the indictment of Jews.” In a statement issued today, Rabbi Brickner said he was “appalled by evidence that Jews are involved and that even a rabbi appears to be a leader in this criminal effort at the expense of the aged….There is no room in the Jewish community for such despicable persons.”

Currently under investigation for possible fraud in the use of medicare funds and other alleged illegal activities are the nursing homes owned by Rabbi Bernard Bergman and members of his family. Bergman, now reportedly in Israel, is an Orthodox Jew and a former president of the Religious Zionist Organization of America

Rabbi Brickner recommended that Carey utilize “the forces of religion in helping the aged.” He suggested the establishment of nonprofit nursing and old-aged homes operated by inter-religious groups and financed with government funds along the lines of low-income housing projects. (See related story P.3)

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