Chaplain, prison official resign over bar mitzvah

(JTA) — A New York City Corrections Department official and a prison chaplain have resigned in the wake of a lavish bar mitzvah held in prison.

The department’s bureau chief for facility operations, Peter Curcio, who allegedly approved the bar mitzvah for inmate Tuvia Stern’s son, submitted his resignation Monday, The New York Times reported.

Curcio told the New York Post Tuesday, the day after his resignation, that head chaplain Imam Umar Abdul-Jalil signed off on the bar mitzvah.

On Tuesday, Rabbi Leib Glanz, a chaplain for city jails who arranged the bar mitzvah, also resigned over the scandal, the New York Post reported. Glanz was in the middle of a two-week suspension over the scandal when he announced his resignation.

New York City’s Department of Investigation is working to ascertain whether the rabbi misused his position as prison chaplain to arrange the bar mitzvah, The New York Times reported. Glanz is a prominent member of the Satmar Chasidic community who has ties to law enforcement and city and state political figures, according to the Times. 

The catered event for 60 non-prisoners, including several prominent rabbis, was held Dec. 30 and included a band, china and a performance by Orthodox Jewish singer Yaakov Shwekey. 

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