Lesser Charges in Pikesville Shooting Dropped

Some charges against a Baltimore woman who is accused of harassing and attacking a young Pikesville couple were dropped in Baltimore County Circuit Court on Aug. 28.

Stephanie Kamlot has two other cases pending against her in roughly two years of incidents. She is alleged to have placed razor blades under Pikesville resident Leah Efron’s car tires, assaulted her at Seven Mile Market and harassed Efron and her husband, Noam, at their former residence in Pickwick Apartments. In May, Kamlot was arrested after allegedly pulling out a handgun replica and throwing a large rock through a window of the Efrons’ home in the 3100 block of Northbrook Road.

The charges dismissed were malicious destruction of property and trespassing. A disposition for second-degree assault, related to the market incident, is scheduled for Sept. 9, and a hearing date has yet to be set for charges of second-degree assault (a second count), stalking, harassment, malicious destruction of property, fourth-degree burglary and intimidating a juror.

Kamlot’s attorney, Marc Snyder, hopes to get the remaining two cases heard at once and will plea not criminally responsible in order to get Kamlot help.

“It would probably be in a closed hospital setting where she’d get the treatment she needs and she would not be able to leave until they felt she got the help she needs,” Snyder said.

Noam Efron attended a district court hearing in July in which the charges that were dismissed in circuit court were first heard.

“As long as she’s in custody, I’m fine with it,” Efron said of Snyder trying to get all the charges heard at once.



Israel Calls Up Reservists, Deploys Missile Defenses Against Syria

Israel ordered a small-scale mobilization of reservists on Wednesday and strengthened its missile defenses as precautions against possible Syrian attack should Western powers carry out threatened strikes on Syria.

But an Israeli official briefed on a meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet said the Jewish state believed the probability of it be targeted by Syria, its northern neighbor and long-time foe, was low.

“Following a security assessment held today, there is no reason for a change to normal routines,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “We are, in parallel, preparing for any scenario.” CONTINUE >>

Rockets Fired From Lebanon Into Northern Israel

 Sirens were heard thought the Galilee this afternoon, as three rockets were fired from Lebanon into Northern Israel in the Nahariya area. Two rockets fell in open unpopulated areas; one rocket was intercepted by the “Iron Dome” anti-rocket system. No injuries or damage were reported. A few civilians suffering from shock were admitted to hospitals.

Reports from Lebanon indicate that the IAF has already retaliated.

Civilians in the north were instructed to stay close to their designated shielded areas.

MDA has elevated its level of alertness to the highest level.

The Haifa airport has been shut down by the IDF. Events scheduled for this evening in the north have already been cancelled.

No terrorist organization has taken responsibility yet. Hezbollah is currently heavily engaged in the civil war in Syria, and so it is less likely that they are looking to initiate another front against Israel. Palestinian terrorists groups have rocket capabilities, and it is possible they are trying to draw Israel into the regional turmoil.


Levindale Death Being Investigated as Homicide

Baltimore City police are investigating the death of an 86-year-old found dead in his Levindale apartment in July as a homicide.

Ernest Curtis, 86, was found dead in his apartment at The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Place, at 2500 W. Belvedere Avenue, on Tuesday, July 30, after officers responded for a reported sick case, according to a police press release.

On Tuesday, Aug. 13, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner concluded that Curtis’ death was caused by asphyxiation.

Homicide detectives are actively investigating the case, according to the release. Anyone with information related to this case is urged to contact detectives at 410-396-2100. Callers can remain anonymous.



An IDF Spokesperson announced that four IDF soldiers were wounded last night by an explosion during operational activity in the north. They were lightly to moderately wounded, and were evacuated to an hospital. The IDF is investigating the incident, and is monitoring possible developments.

Additional details about the incident were not given.


Attempted Spy Arrested In Israel

An ultra-Orthodox man, a member of the Neturei Karta sect in Jerusalem, was arrested in July on charges of attempting to spy on Israel for Iran. He apparently contacted the Iranian embassy in Berlin three years ago, offering to spy for them and stating he would, “kill a Zionist.”

The Iranians supplied him with an email address, through which they would maintain contact. He checked the account a few times and contacted the embassy again by phone a few times. The name of his contact person was ‘Haji Baba.’

The inductment states that he has admitted the charges. The indictment further delineates that the man explained to the Iranians that he wished to have a ‘gentile’ rule in Israel, and wished to work to actualize such a government.


Violent Rock-throwing Results In Injured Person

windowglassA local Jewish resident was in his car late last night, making a left from Gist Avenue onto Labyrinth Road, when a rock was thrown through his car window, smashing the window and injuring the driver, according to a release by Shomrim.

Police arrived on the scene approximately one hour after 911 was first called at 9:33 p.m.

Shomrim units were out last night looking for a group of eight teenagers, who may have been responsible.

If you see anything, call 911 and Shomrim.

The JT will have more information as it becomes available,


Charges in Pikesville Shooting Incident Will Be Heard in Circuit Court

Charges against a Baltimore woman accused of harassing and attacking a young Pikesville couple will be heard in Baltimore County Circuit Court in August.

In the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore County on Tuesday, July 16, Judge Robert J. Steinberg granted Stephanie Kamlot a Circuit Court hearing on August 28.

“The ultimate goal here is to consolidate everything that’s pending,” said Marc Snyder, Kamlot’s lawyer. Her charges include second-degree assault, stalking, harassment, destruction of property, fourth-degree burglary and intimidation, some of which are already being heard in Circuit Court.

The charges stem from roughly two years of incidents in which Kamlot is alleged to have placed razor blades under Pikesville resident Leah Efron’s car tires, assaulted her at Seven Mile Market and harassed Efron and her husband, Noam, at their former residence in Pickwick Apartments. In May, Kamlot was arrested after allegedly pulling out a handgun replica and throwing a large rock through a window of the Efrons’ home in the 3100 block of Northbrook Road.

On Tuesday, Kamlot wore a beige pantsuit and spoke briefly with her lawyer before the hearing. Snyder does not expect to have a jury trial, and said Kamlot may plea not criminally responsible, which would leave sentencing up to the judge.

“She needs help,” Snyder said. “I don’t think she needs jail.”

Noam Efron was in court Tuesday morning, but left before the hearing upon learning the charges would most likely be heard at a later date. He said it was a delay tactic, noting that sentencing for the Seven Mile Market assault was also delayed, but can see how having all of the charges together would make the process easier.

“As long as she’s in custody, I’m fine with it,” Efron said.


Learn more about this incident>>


Falling Tree At Calif. Summer Camp Kills Counselor

 A tree fell through a dining hall at a Jewish summer camp in Northern California, killing one and requiring four others to be airlifted to a nearby hospital.

NBC News reported that a counselor, Annais Rittenberg, was killed.

A Cal Fire spokesman, Daniel Berlant, posted on Twitter that emergency crews were responding to a “mass casualty” event on Wednesday at Camp Tawonga, with 20 reported injuries, the Los Angeles Times reported.

There were conflicting reports as to whether any children were injured in the incident. Gregg Rubenstein, director of finance for the camp, told The Associated Press that the staff was still assessing the situation but no campers were among the injured.

A spokesman for the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Jim Oliver, told myMotherLode.com that children had been trapped under the tree but were not necessarily injured.

Founded in 1925, Camp Tawonga is located near Yosemite National Park and headquartered in San Francisco.

In response to the tragedy, Marsha Hurwitz, the chief operating officer of the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation, issued a statement saying that “our hearts go out to the children, staff, and families involved.”

“Camp Tawonga is a vital part of our Bay Area Jewish community, and we are profoundly saddened and shocked by this tragedy,” Hurwitz said. “We have offered whatever assistance we can provide to the camp, its families, and staff in responding to today’s events.”


Acknowledging Failure On Sex Allegations, Norman Lamm Steps Down From Y.U.

In his letter announcing he was stepping down as Yeshiva University’s chancellor and rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Norman Lamm acknowledged his failure to respond adequately to allegations of sexual abuse against Y.U. rabbis in the 1980s.

Lamm_07.02.2013Lamm, now 85, became the school’s third president and head of its rabbinic school, the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, in 1976. He stepped down as president in 2003, becoming chancellor, but stayed on as the head of RIETS.

His resignation Monday from his two posts at the school were attributed to an agreement reached three years ago.

It comes several months after a report in the Forward newspaper that detailed allegations of abuse dating back to the 1970s and ’80s against two rabbis at Y.U.’s high school for boys, principal George Finkelstein and Talmud teacher Macy Gordon.

“Rabbi Lamm’s decision to retire is based on an agreement that was reached three years ago,” the university said in a statement. “His contract expired June 30.”

Last December, Lamm acknowledged to the Forward that he knew about some of the allegations but chose to deal with them privately; law enforcement authorities were never informed.

“My question was not whether to report to police but to ask the person to leave the job,” Lamm said.

On Monday, Lamm issued a mea culpa for failing to pursue the allegations.

“At the time that inappropriate actions by individuals at Yeshiva were brought to my attention, I acted in a way that I thought was correct, but which now seems ill conceived,” Lamm wrote in a letter emailed to faculty, students and alumni in which he discussed his retirement. “And when that happens — one must do teshuvah. So, I too must do teshuvah [repentance].

“We must never be so committed to justifying our past that we thereby threaten to destroy our future. It is not an easy task. On the contrary, it is one of the greatest trials of all, for it means sacrificing our very egos, our reputations, even our identities,” he wrote. “But we can and must do it. I must do it, and having done so, contribute to the creation of a future that is safer for innocents, and more ethically and halakhically correct.

“True character requires of me the courage to admit that, despite my best intentions then, I now recognize that I was wrong,” Lamm wrote. “This is what I am modeh [acknowledge] as I reflect on my tenure.”

[Read the full text of Lamm’s letter.]

Finkelstein was forced out of the school in 1995 after being accused of inappropriate contact with students by wrestling with them. He went to work as a dean at the Hillel Community Day School in North Miami Beach, Fla.

Gordon was placed on a leave of absence in 1984, according to the Forward. Both rabbis now live in Israel.

Lamm’s comments about the sexual abuse allegations represented four paragraphs of a six-page resignation letter that otherwise was a reflection on his tenure at Y.U. Lamm also made an oblique reference to his failing health, noting, “Conditions have caused me to rely on help from my family in writing this letter.”

Richard Joel, the president of Y.U., declined to discuss Lamm’s remarks on the sexual allegations or be interviewed for this story. He released a statement to JTA through a spokesman.

“I would like to express my appreciation to Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm for his half-century of service to Yeshiva University. During his tenure he helped guide the University with steadfastness and vision,” Joel said in the statement. “Dr. Lamm’s contributions to the Jewish world as a distinguished rabbi, philosopher and scholar are unparalleled.”

In its report last fall, the Forward cited three former students who said Finkelstein invited students into his home or office to wrestle with them, that they could feel his erect penis against them during the tussling, and that Finkelstein told the students he loved them and tried to kiss some of them.

Everyone at the school knew of Finkelstein’s penchant for wrestling with boys, the former students said.

Finkelstein denied to the Forward that there was anything sexual about his contact with students, though he said the wrestling, in retrospect, was wrong.

Gordon was accused of sodomizing a former student with a toothbrush when the student was 16. The former student and his father both told the Forward that they reported the incident to Y.U.’s leadership but not to the police because they did not want to damage the school’s reputation or further harm the boy.

Gordon told the Forward he had “no recollection” of the toothbrush incident and said he had not conducted himself inappropriately.