De Bla­sio Donor Jona Rech­nitz In­fu­ri­ates Sy­n­a­gogue Con­gre­gants

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - By Han­nah Hayes

Mem­bers of a Los An­ge­les sy­n­a­gogue were in­fu­ri­ated last week when Jona Rech­nitz, a dis­graced real es­tate de­vel­oper and crooked donor to Mayor de Bla­sio, do­nated over $30,000 so that he and his fa­ther could par­tic­i­pate in the Yom Kip­pur ser­vices on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 1.

Sources told The Post that Rech­nitz was per­mit­ted to pick up the To­rah while his fa­ther read aloud from the holy Jewish text. Ac­cord­ing to the sources, an honor pur­chased for the rabbi by Rech­nitz was in­cluded in the more than $30,000.

Rech­nitz's “pricey piety” up­set one con­gre­gant so much that he slammed down his prayer book, and left the Yeshi­vat Yavneh tem­ple to go wor­ship some­where else, sources told The Post.

One source at the sy­n­a­gogue told The Post, “There's no shame, noth­ing. No re­grets, no calm­ing down. To just come in and spend $30,000 on hon­ors is a sense of ar­ro­gance and en­ti­tle­ment. I think that he's ru­ined so many peo­ples' lives and he's sit­ting here just try­ing to pre­tend that noth­ing is wrong.”

The Post re­ports, “A con­gre­gant also de­scribed how Rech­nitz pre­vi­ously showed off by bring­ing real-es­tate-agent broth­ers Josh and Matt Alt­man — stars of the Bravo ca­ble net­work's ‘Mil­lion Dol­lar List­ing' se­ries — to the sy­n­a­gogue af­ter he re­turned to LA this past sum­mer. The Alt­mans, who sell multi-mil­lion-dol­lar homes in West Los An­ge­les, didn't re­turn a re­quest for com­ment. Rech­nitz, who founded New York City firm JSR Realty, gained no­to­ri­ety last year by agree­ing to serve as a key wit­ness in sev­eral pub­lic-cor­rup­tion probes. Rech­nitz scored that gig by ad­mit­ting he bribed two NYPD cops and acted as the mid­dle­man for a hedge-fund man­ager seek­ing to bribe a union of­fi­cial. He also ad­mit­ted to pay­ing off a de Bla­sio fund-raiser, iden­ti­fied by sources as Ross Offin­ger, in ex­change for of­fi­cial fa­vors, but the feds opted against charg­ing the mayor or any­one around him fol­low­ing a lengthy probe. Rech­nitz's rep­u­ta­tion took a fur­ther hit when de­tails emerged about

“There's no shame, noth­ing. No re­grets, no calm­ing down.”

his deal­ings with al­leged Ponzi schemer Ja­son Nis­sen, a for­mer city teacher who was busted in May in a $70 mil­lion scam in­volv­ing tick­ets to ‘Hamil­ton and the Su­per Bowl.”

Rech­nitz made nearly $8 mil­lion off his wealthy friends through his al­legedly fraud­u­lent ticket busi­ness, ac­cord­ing to civil court doc­u­ments.

On Oc­to­ber 23, Rech­nitz is due to come back to New York City to tes­tify at the trial of the city Correction Of­fi­cers' Benev­o­lent As­so­ci­a­tion's for­mer head Nor­man Seabrook, who al­legedly ac­cepted bribes to send a hedge fund union funds. Rech­nitz is sup­posed to tes­tify about his part in the al­leged scheme to a Man­hat­tan fed­eral jury. The scheme in­volved Seabrook re­ceiv­ing $65,000 in cash in ex­change for his promised in­vest­ment in Mur­ray Hu­ber­feld's hedge fund Platinum Part­ners.

Jona Rech­nitz is sched­uled to re­turn t New York City in two weeks to tes­tify at Nor­man Seabrook’s trial.

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