N.Y. investigates lavish jail bar mitzvah


NEW YORK (JTA) — New York City is investigating how a well-connected inmate was able to hold a lavish bar mitzvah in prison.

The city’s Department of Investigation is looking into how Tuvia Stern — who was on the lam for more than 20 years for stealing $1.7 million in a financial scam before being extradited by Brazil and landing in prison — was able to hold a catered bar mitzvah with 60 guests and a prominent Orthodox singer, the New York Post reported.

The bar mitzvah, which was held Dec. 30 in the gymnasium of the Lower Manhattan jail where Stern is being held, included several prominent rabbis, a band, china and a performance by Yaakov Shwekey.

Stern, according to the Post, also held an engagement party for his daughter at the same place several months later.

"Clearly, this is not something that should have taken place," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the Post.

Recommended from JTA