MONTREAL—Lev Tahor, the radical Jewish group accused of raising their children in squalid conditions, has operated for more than a decade as a religious charity with millions of dollars flowing through its accounts, the Star has learned.With the kind of influence they go by, it's more like the operation of a mosque.
The group that is alleged to exert strict control over its members’ liberty, health and finances amassed nearly $6 million in assets at its peak and regularly pulled in annual revenues of hundreds of thousands of dollars for the operation of its reclusive community in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, north of Montreal.
Financial filings show Lev Tahor’s two charitable guises — Congregation Riminov and the Society for Spiritual Development — are run by the group’s spiritual leader Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans and an eight-person inner circle.
Congregation Riminov was registered as a tax-exempt religious charity in 2001, shortly after Helbrans moved from Israel to Canada, where he would later be granted political asylum (the rabbi was deported to Israel after serving prison time in New York for the second-degree kidnapping of a young religious recruit).
The charity had a rapid rise in its financial performance under its stated goal: “the operation of a synagogue and provision of assistance to those in need.”
An Israeli source with knowledge of the Lev Tahor group said community members survive mainly on government welfare payments that are given to the group’s leadership. The money is allegedly then rationed out to the 40-odd families, which has been described as a method of exerting control over members.No doubt about that. Unfortunately, in regards to the children they're keeping:
“Already the payments to families in Quebec are generous. It’s what, $1,700, $2,000 for a family that has five or six children?” said the source in Israel who has assisted former Lev Tahor members.
“But the money doesn’t go to the families. The money goes to the sect’s leadership.”
Children’s Aid officials in Ontario have not commented on the case and have so far failed to act on the Quebec judge’s order.Well this is angering. The authorities have failed to act to protect the children. It's bad enough they let a man with a criminal record into Canada, now they won't even act properly to help out the children in this sick cult? Must this be taken all the way to the Canadian supreme court?