NEW YORK (JTA) – A former prison chaplain in New York reportedly was fined for accepting Judaica gifts for arranging a jailhouse bar mitzvah.
Rabbi Leib Glanz was fined $2,500 on Monday for accepting a solid silver kiddush cup and plate valued at $500.
The cup and plate were given to Glanz from Tuvia Stern, an inmate at The Tombs in lower Manhattan, who had asked the rabbi to coordinate a bar mitzvah for his son in the prison in 2008. The celebration, complete with kosher catering and a band, sparked a media frenzy and cost Glanz his job as chaplain.
Prison officials are prohibited from accepting accept gifts from inmates or their families.
“I initially refused to accept the gift, but the family and other guests insisted that I accept it,” Glanz said in a settlement with the Conflicts of Interest Board.
Glanz said he relented because he did not want to embarrass the Stern family in front of family and friends.
In an unrelated investigation, Glanz is charged with theft and conspiracy for allegedly taking $22,000 in Section 8 subsidies.