FASCISM MASQUERADING AS DEMOCRACY
Democracy On Paper Is A Mafia Structure In Reality
“The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint.” – Isaiah 1:5
“When a leader heeds lies, all his underlings propagate those lies.” – Proverbs 29:12
“‘Enough, you “leaders” of Israel!’ says The Lord God. ‘Remove violence and plundering, enact justice and righteousness, and stop dispossessing My People!’ says the Lord God. ‘You should have honorable/honest standards!'” – Ezekiel 45:9-10
by Rabbi Bruce L. Cohen
Former MJAA Development Chairman, IAMCS Yeshiva Instructor, Envoy to Israel, South Africa, Russia, Conference Musician’s Chairman, Conference Evening Program Director, MainStage Conference Musical Worship Leader – and more.
The lovely and inspiring chart you see here below is a lie.
I created this chart in my capacity as the Development Chairman of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA) between 1988-1993. I used it very effectively as a fund-raising and affiliation-motivating tool all over the world.
I did not know it was a lie when I created it.
Having created it and spread it around, ethical responsibility falls to me to correct formally and on the record the misrepresentation, within reach of all those affected by my sale of a faulty product. (Leviticus 5:1, Ezekiel 33:3)
I and my wife found out this chart was a lie the hard way.
We found out the way idealistic young Germans serving their country in WWII found out at some point into or after the war that the National Socialist Party and German government were riddled with unchecked sickness and corruption, and the goals of national restoration had been hijacked by a small, insane, criminal cluster of mere thugs with one cultic leader at the heart of it all, using the nation for their own aggrandizement, enrichment – and in some cases, indulgence of a penchant to enjoy infliction of pain on others without empathy.
When I and my wife tried to use our supposed “Member” rights outlined on paper in the Alliance Constitutions, in order to seek remedy for the corruption having surfaced within reach of our arms and the harms visited on us and others by it – we were hit with a withering illegal, unethical “Whistleblower” counterattack by the current highest power-holders and their circle of influence, all too willing to join in a massive cover-up persisting to the present day.
HOW THE CHART NEEDS CORRECTION
This misrepresentation of the MJAA and the IMJA persists to the present day.
The network of accountability relationships this chart suggests does not, in reality, exist anywhere but on paper.
In the real world, if a national alliance deviates from its Constitution – a disaffiliation-level offense – nothing is done by the IMJA in response remotely resembling the “duly-diligent investigation” (Deuteronomy 19:18) of credible reports of such deviations required by the Constitution’s direct provisions and its reliance upon Biblical law as the final arbiter of sound practice.
If harm is done by officers abusing their offices or access – no qualified, sound, unbiased process is brought to bear on it.
Said one IMJA President to a member who inquired about a case sent to the IMJA: “Oh, we don’t do things that way any more; we do them ‘by relationship.'” The IMJA is required by law, as a non-profit corporation, to “do things that way” (as required by their legal incorporating documents); and the Torah directly forbids justice “by relationship” (Deuteromony 1:17), because inevitably, those with less relationship get less justice.
Without changing the legal documents, the controlling officers have changed Standard Operating Procedure.
They have simply not announced they have done so to the Members and Donors.
The above chart both outlines and suggests a level of a formal and entrenched network, and the kind of accountability assumed naturally to exist within such developed formal spiritual associations: commitments to order, ethics, Member safety from power-holder abuses, and due process for harms suffered. One pastor of a huge northwestern church actually gasped into his lapel microphone when he saw this chart, and said to the thousands of people in the room, “I had no idea the Messianic Jewish movement was this … developed!” It made a huge impression that turned into supporters and financial gifts. The impression this pastor had was, sadly, a false impression.
Said Paul Liberman, a recently retired General Secretary of the IMJA, to me directly, “We (the IMJA) cannot handle cases like the one filed against the Chernoffs. We don’t have the money, time, or qualified personnel. So, we are going to ‘pass’ on handling those charges.” Passing meant, de facto, to let soundly charged alleged criminals go free without trial – and to leave their hapless victims stuck with unremedied harm to their livelihoods, and quality-of-life.
There is no disclaimer anywhere on the IMJA website making plain that The IMJA is not at present able to adhere to its Constitution, and nor able to enforce compliance by its Member Alliances to the IMJA Constitution, or their own Constitutions. The entire IMJA presentation to the world is – at present – a fraud.
The IMJA’s officers are also, as individuals, almost to-a-person, completely unqualified by education or experience, or situationally, by non-bias, to handle such complaints directly – since they are not certified experts in due process, are often close-associates, beholden to, or otherwise biasingly connected to the very people accused of wrongdoing; and they have, to a person, directly stated they are unwilling to expend the time, energy, and funds necessary to employ suitably qualified, unbiased experts to give sound due process of complaints that go to the very heart of the IMJA’s and its affiliated national Alliances on-paper missions.
The above MJAA/IMJA chart is like a catalogue picture of a refrigerator that doesn’t keep things cold. It looks like a refrigerator, and its called a refrigerator in the catalogue; and everyone knows what a refrigerator does; but when it arrives, you find it is – in fact – an oven. The seller just did not bother to tell you it heats things up instead of cooling them down. That is called, “fraud.”
HOW DO THE IMJA AND AMERICAN MJAA FUNCTION NOW?
On paper, the MJAA and IMJA seem sound: they are defined as national and international representative and affiliation organizations, having democratically-elected officers serving the on-paper mission of the organizations, and all sub-missions soundly deriving from those documents.
They operate in the real world as a fascist structure.
The Alliances have been hijacked.
They have not “grown” beyond their original purposes in an organic, orderly way.
The leaders still pretend to the public they function as described on paper.
The Alliances are far more of a petty mafia in actual function, than a democracy.
The on-paper structure has been reduced to mere lip-service to the form.
Elections are held in the MJAA, but everyone knows the outcome before the election is even held. There is a “slate” the powers-that-be “recommend” – and meetings are held in Chernoff-dominated congregations in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Atlanta, and perhaps more locations held by the power-core, in which “the slate” is sold to the congregants as “God’s will” to maintain “the vision.” They are told that electing other people will be against God’s will –– and will disable progress of “the vision.”
Despite the MJAA’s on-paper nature as a national organization, the Conference electing the Slate is always held near Philadelphia, thus directly enabling the Chernoff’s congregation to predominate the Business Meeting by having its members most easily able to attend, even by day-trip to the site near Harrisburg. The majority of people in the MJAA Business Meeting for elections are members of David Chernoff’s “Beth Yeshua” congregation in Philadelphia. Amendments to allow Members unable to attend the meeting to vote by mail or electronic means have been shot down. Any effort to balance the Business Meeting population has been not only torpedoed, but name-called as “division” and “rebellion.” Members from all over the West, Northwest, South, Southeast and Midwest are far less able to attend than are Philadelphians: thus, the Philadelphia predominance in the governing echelon is preserved.
Philadelphia’s closest ally congregations in Cincinnati and Atlanta, hold formal member meetings before the conferences, in which they sell “The Slate” to their members, and slander any other candidates to voters. Long-time Cincinnati, Ohio’s “Beth Messiah” member, Elissa Tabb Wendt said to an opponent of The Slate in the late 1990’s, “Your conduct in the meeting was so positive! Your spirit was so great! I expected you to be so horrible! We heard such terrible things about you at the meeting back in Beth Messiah before the Conference! What a relief!”
David Chernoff perjured himself to the IAMCS later in 1999 by stating on paper that there is never any marshaling of influence by the Chernoff circle to dominate the MJAA elections: he alleged everything happens organically.
Philadelphia lawyer, Dennis Abrams, a member of Chernoff’s congregation, stated to me directly why he never attended the MJAA Elections: “They’re a joke. It’s like musical chairs: always the same people – and everyone knows the outcome is already decided. Why would I waste a beautiful summer afternoon like this one I could be spending with my family, to sit through that farce?”
FASCISM IS A SERIOUS WORD – PLEASE PROVE IT
The MJAA is, on paper, a nationally-representative association.
At the time David Chernoff was charged in March 1999 with multiple ethical crimes, the Executive Committee consisted of the absolutely fascist imbalance detailed below:
- David Chernoff (Central accused)
- David Chernoff’s brother, Joel. (Co-accused)
- David Chernoff’s sister, Hope.
- David Chernoff’s assistant rabbi, Joe Finkelstein. (Co-accused)
- David Chernoff’s past assistant rabbi, Jeff Foreman.
- David Chernoff’s personal and corporate lawyer, Jeff Lowenthal.
- David Chernoff’s self-described “best friend,” Bob Solomon. (Co-accused)
- David Chernoff’s best-friend’s wife, Dottie Solomon. (Co-accused)
- David Chernoff’s best-friend’s son, Kevin Solomon
- David Chernoff’s other self-described, “best friend” Bob Cohen
- David Chernoff’s next-door neighbor and family adopted son, Robert Winer.
- David Chernoff’s submitted congregant, Hank Rich.
- David Chernoff’s father’s successor in Cincinnati, Mike Wolf
- And various place-holding Executives who were not in the actual governing loop, and who said directly, “Oh, we’re not included in the important decisions: the Chernoffs and their friends do all that stuff.” (Direct quote from one of them.)
- Every one of the above persons considers David Chernoff their “pastor” – meaning, their chief advisory and hierarchic superior.
The above accounts for the vast majority of the MJAA Executive level’s population.
And the above does not even account for other sub-levels of biasing connection to Chernoff: for instance – the son of David Chernoff’s best friend had his best friend also on the Executive Committee; and Marty Chernoff’s successor to his Cincinnati congregation’s leadership had two or three younger or newer Midwestern people sitting on the Board who were under his line of influence – and thus, Chernoff’s fascist control through these sub-lines extended even farther.
In official due process for his abuse of his office, David Chernoff directly denied being conscious of any such influence by himself among others more or less than any other Executive. That position was, according to Scriptural standards, plain and overt perjury.
The above, my reader, is a fascist structure.
The word fascism comes from the Latin word fascia, meaning a “cluster” or “bundle.”
It refers to a small group of people in control, functioning above or outside normative rules and accountability.
The political science term for it is, oligarchy.
The Chernoff-centered oligarchy has resulted in moral catastrophe for the Alliance and its members.
HOW FASCISM PERVERTS JUSTICE, AND HARMS CITIZENS
Predictably, this fascist-structure Executive Committee, when assigning a sub-committee to handle an aspect of the charges against David Chernoff which, if it went against Chernoff, would have destroyed his standing and veneer – who did they assign to that committee? Both Testaments require people “totally without bias, doing all things without preference” and Jewish law requires no judge or juror “either love or hate any party in the case.” The MJAA assigned a tribunal composed of Bob Solomon, Bob Cohen, and Judah Hungerman. Solomon and Cohen are both non-jurists (failing the expertise standard of Scripture in Proverbs 24:6) who were David Chernoff’s self-described “best friends.” Hungerman was a self-admitted former professional evidence forger, who had never repented and made right his crimes of making innocent people seem guilty, and guilty people go free as innocent – and who attempted to serve forged evidence in the very proceeding in which he was participating as a judge (which “evidence” was proven to be forged on the spot: and nothing was done by the MJAA or IMJA about such a directly criminal act by a judge during an official proceeding).
The result of the tribunal populated with David Chernoff’s two best friends – who had both affirmed this status at the start of the proceedings – was, predictably, a result that insulated David Chernoff in September 2000 from the case that had been filed against him way back in March 1999, and had been hitting obstruction-after-obstruction. MJAA Exec Murray Silberling’s explanation for the long delay was indicative of the fascist nature of the situation:
“No one has ever held David Chernoff accountable for anything before. No one (no Executive, including people having been MJAA Executives for up to 20 or more years) knows what to do.”
Of course, like a scene out of Kafka, the people David Chernoff had been harming to advantage himself and his close-associates were left, not only without remedy, but dishonestly blockaded from any sound opportunity to finish presenting their long-filed and accepted-for-handling case against David Chernoff to the people having the Biblical and corporate responsibility to hear it, or provide a setting for it to be soundly handled.
The above scene sounds more like Stalinist Russia than a modern scene on American soil, but this took place in Atlanta, Georgia, in the year 2000. When the party against David Chernoff pointed out that having David Chernoff’s two best friends as judges in a proceeding in which Chernoff’s standing and career were in the balance was directly contrary to the commands of Scripture and all civilized norms, that party was name-called by the judges as “having a bad spirit” and “an authority problem.” So it goes in fascist regimes.
Is all this known?
By nearly everybody.
Why does no one tell the Emperor he has no clothes?
No one wants to incur the wrath of the one with power to ruin their lives.
LIVING UNDER FASCISM IN A RELIGIOUS ASSOCATION
“There is no way around David Chernoff in the MJAA,” said Jonathan Bernis, former MJAA Executive and now President of Jewish Voice Television.
How is this reality lived in the MJAA?
Bernis went on, “This is David Chernoff we are talking about: he sees the world in black and white, you are either for him, or against him; and if he thinks you are against him, he comes after you this way (with backroom, unaccountable character assassination and influence manipulation). If David thinks (anyone) is against him, my advice is, just leave the MJAA.”
Is Bernis the only one?
“If the Chernoffs knew I spend time with (these people who don’t support them), they’ll kill me. I’d be done around here (in MJAA, said at an MJAA Northeast Regional Conference).” – Rabbi Jeffrey Bernstein
“The charges against David Chernoff will never get dealt with: they’ll just go around the world telling everyone you (Chernoff’s accuser) are a bad person, and nothing will happen.” – Ronita Kersey, former Executive Assistant to Joel Chernoff in Messianic Records
“No one will process those charges. Know why? If they agree not to, they’ll get to have breakfast with Joel Chernoff. All our counselors told us the MJAA is a sick and dangerous family system, and we should never interact with it again. And we went back. What is wrong with us, that we went back? We were out, and we went back in, and I let my kids love those people. It was the worst decision of my life, and I regret it every day. Some day, Yohanna Chernoff (Marty’s still-influential widow, still alive at the time) will die, and the whole Movement will get a lot healthier in one day.” – Helene Rosenberg, M. Div, (whose husband was almost driven to suicide by a Chernoff attack having poisoned his reputation and career.)
THE EXCUSE FOR FASCIST OPERATIONAL REALITY
The rank and file are told that only certain people genuinely have “the vision.”
And only people “with the vision” can properly govern the MJAA.
What is “the vision?”
“The vision” is correct understanding of the correct spiritual personality of ‘The Great End-Time Jewish Revival’ (Hosea 3:4-5, Deuteronomy 30:1-6, Ezekiel 36:18ff); and, for the Chernoff’s, it includes acceptance of Marty Chernoff’s place as the chief visionary and architect of the modern Movement, and his son David’s place as Marty’s rightful heir, and the Chernoff cadre’s right to be the point leadership and governors of the entire Movement.
American pamphleteer Thomas Paine wrote in his famed, Common Sense, “Nature teaches us the truth that ‘divine right of kings’ (inherited right to rule) is folly by giving great kings idiots for sons.”
It was as true of Henry II as it was of Henry V.
And it is true of Marty Chernoff.
THE “EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES” REALITY THE MJAA LIVES WITH EVERY DAY
David Chernoff has no qualifications for the high positions his father bequeathed to him.
His father “ordained” him: he has no formal, soundly-certified training of any kind as a spiritual leader.
He has no certified training as an expert analyst of Scripture: no training analyzing literatures in ancient or foreign languages.
He has no certified training for any of the major tasks he performs in his role.
He also demonstrates a consistently dishonest and dishonorable nature that violates the most basic of believing standards: truthfulness. When his own conduct or those of his close allies has been under scrutiny, he has simply made up self-contradictory stories on the fly. Despite having the written Confession of Joe Finkelstein, signed in attestation by his own brother, Joel (See Finkelstein’s Confession here) – David Chernoff blamed all the troubles that issued from Finkelstein’s several-year swath of serious sinning … on Finkelstein’s victims, saying “I know Joe Finkelstein is a good man,” (despite the confessed multi-year sin streak) but saying of his accusers (whose accusations were all confessed by Finkelstein to be true, and against whom there were no such accusations), “that thing between you and Joe was ‘a division’ (an unethical power-grab or baseless malicious harm-spree).”
David Chernoff denied over and over again Finkelstein’s Confession was true, despite Joe (according to Joel) having gone to David in his office and re-enforced that the Confession is true. And the Confession included affirmation of Finkelstein’s victims as blameless and of the highest ethical standing possible (1Tim 3 “overseer” level qualification standards) which Joel Chernoff’s signature also affirmed as true.
In August 1998, David Chernoff was asked this direct question: “Ok, if you deny the Confession is true, or accurate – what do, David, say happened?” Chernoff’s response to the victim of Finkelstein’s confessed and witnessed crimes was, “You want to know the truth? You did it all to yourself.”
In David Chernoff’s inner-world, “the truth” is – a person Joe Finkelstein stole from, lied to, swore falsely to, slandered, and rained monetary and other harms upon – all those wrongs and harms confessed by Finkelstein as truly done – to David Chernoff, it was the victim was who caused the problems: Finkelstein’s victim had somehow, “done it all to himself.” (See Finkelstein’s Confession here.) David Chernoff’s stated views in these regards seem far beyond mere untruthfulness, and into the realm of deep evil, pathology, or both.
Moreover, David Chernoff’s printed “Response To The IAMCS” to the charges against him was from start to finish, filled with easily demonstrable falsehoods, often each contradicting the other. which were clearly pointed out to the IAMCS soon after its release. The IAMCS Judiciary, under evidence-forger Hungerman, never engaged with Chernoff’s massive perjuries in print.
MARTY PASSED HIS MANTLE TO DAVID
The sole reason David Chernoff has standing to do what he does is because the man David sees as “Moses” (his father, Marty) told him, in effect, he is “Joshua.” Marty handed David the mantle. Those in Marty’s circle accepted Marty’s fiat.
It was like giving plutonium to a person with no proven or certified gifts for, or expertise in physics or chemistry. Massive harms were sure to follow – and have.
David had in his youth basic good looks and a zeal for couture sufficient to make him likely as a good runway or still-photo model; but there are no luminary spiritual, intellectual, or innovative qualities to him. He is known for “giving the same five sermons over and over again,” and there is no theological, social, or theoretical insight by him to which anyone can point. He is, in contrast, known for direct errors in Biblical matters: for example, the number of sermons is past counting in which he has directly stated, “The Battle of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38) could happen any day now,” – when the Scriptures directly teach that for that particular prophesied battle to occur, Israel must have been in so long a period of peace with her surrounding Arab neighbors, that Israel has no profound border defenses, and no one can even understand why an attack against Israel would be mounted by the nations named Gog and Magog. Chernoff, using the standard sales tool (2Cor. 2:17) of creating a sense of danger to make his product seem more necessary, is both teaching error and committing fraud. The idea he might be too low of acumen to discern he is teaching error and committing fraud is small comfort in regard to those misled or harmed by his errors. In sum, a congregant in my Manhattan synagogue who saw David Chernoff’s short-lived TV show responded to my inquiry if she had seen the show with, “Oh, yeah – that cute, boring guy.”
David Chernoff is strictly low voltage.
Complicating this low voltage problem is a clear lack of ethics.
Chernoff had named his above mentioned TV show, Messianic Judaism Today – which was already the title of the UMJC’s regular newsletter. I was in the room when David Chernoff was informed by his TV show staff that the UMJC was already using the title, and taking it for the TV show would be a copyright violation, as well as ethically just plain wrong, and Chernoff’s response was, “So what?” He told all in the room, if the UMJC wanted to do something about it, they knew where to find him. So much for ethics. There are worse stories. There is no room to tell them here.
And, since March 1999, when Chernoff kept his rabbinic office and standing by illegal and unethical non-response, flight – and then use of influence to evade sound processes – David Chernoff has been holding a stolen office and stature; as has his co-criminal, Joel Finkelstein, who passively watches Chernoff harm me for his own benefit, and neither says or does anything as Leviticus 5:1 require him to do. Every day he has acted as a leader, ever dollar he has earned as a rabbi or spiritual teacher or speaker, has been stolen, since it is all “fruit of the poisonous tree” coming from his illegal and anti-ethical activities outside Constitutional order and accepted due process.
CURE LOW-VOLTAGE BY STANDING NEAR DIMMER BULBS
“Sworn in by a fool, and vouched for by a scoundrel – I’m a lawyer at last.” – John Grisham’s The Rainmaker
What is Chernoff’s solution to his low-voltage problem?
The same solution all fascist regimes use: find people of high ambition and low acumen or a personal pathology that renders them susceptible to bribery or manipulation, and make those people your closest authorities, highest in rank under The Leader; finally, make the Leader the direct and only source of benefit or loss. Every under-leader must be directly dependent on “The” Leader for career and social standing. This pattern reached a kind of absurd crisis when Chernoff fomented the election of his then main long-term subordinate, Bob Cohen, as MJAA President. Bob Cohen – who was forced to resign from his rabbinate in disgrace due to long-term adultery while a sitting Executive and ordained rabbi – was considered at the time a well-meaning person of universally-known-as-unremarkable acumen and abilities. Rabbis from the Northwest, whom I personally newly recruited into MJAA affiliation, attended the MJAA Business meeting in which Bob Cohen was elected President, and asked me directly, “Bob Cohen? There are so many other, much more qualified people than Bob Cohen! Why on earth would anyone vote for Bob Cohen as President?” I told them the truth: Bob Cohen was the candidate on “the slate” of choices the present Exec Committee recommends to the voters – because Bob Cohen was a reliable place-holder for David Chernoff, who is always in some seat on the Executive Committee, and who really runs things from behind the curtain. Despite the entirety of the MJAA and IAMCS being often embarrassed by Bob Cohen’s – let’s call then antics – for years, he was elected MJAA President anyway, simply because everyone had been made to know that was what David Chernoff wanted.
“There is no way around David Chernoff in the MJAA.”
And everyone knows it.
If your interests cross those of Chernoff, or someone he values more than you – “You should just leave the MJAA.”
David’s father Marty Chernoff taught the following thing to me directly during my training period under him: it is a precept I rejected as unsound from the moment I heard it, because it was anti-Biblical. “The most important quality in any under-leader you appoint, Bruce, is fierce loyalty. They must be fiercely loyal to you, personally, as the leader.” I knew Marty had suffered betrayals by former close friends that engrained that view into him through trauma; so, took it with a pound of salt, and moved on.
Yet, let us be clear: the Scriptures teach the first qualities for leadership appointees are, (i) to be without gross flaw, (ii) to be a person of truth, (iii) one who hates wrongful gain, (iv) with courage and compassion, and (v) not given to addictions.
Personal loyalty is not even directly mentioned in Scripture.
It is hinted in one verse (1Chronicles 12:38), but framed within a political context larger than the one fallible human being.
WHAT ABOUT THE UNION OF MESSIANIC JEWISH CONGREGATIONS (UMJC)
“The vision” in the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC) is different than the MJAA.
Since the UMJC evolved its sales-pitch as being the anti-MJAA, its goals are different.
The UMJC founding leaders have advanced degrees.
They see the MJAA revivalists as a bunch of under-qualified, dancing children leading a Movement that should be led by intelligent adults.
So – the UMJC has focused on education and institution-building.
The MJAA’s core idealists considered such focus as “the death of every revival in history.” As soon as man lays his hands on things God’s Spirit is doing, the Spirit is grieved away, and it becomes a “dead” thing spiritually. Liturgy is “dead liturgy.” Seminaries are “dead seminaries because of ‘intellectual pride.’” This, of course, in precept clears the way for low-acumen, uncertified leaders.
The chief rabbi of the MJAA’s rabbi organization at the time of Chernoff’s trial impending, was reported as not even able do his own aliyah at a pulpit. He exited his post eventually, confessing to me directly what he had said to David Chernoff, which Chernoff had staved off for a while to keep one of his friends in the post of power: Solomon admitted to me in his office, “I don’t know how to do all this judicial stuff – and I don’t have the time for it, either.” He was just a Southern good ol’ boy who loved to laugh, and had a good sized southern Pentacostal-style assembly in which everyone knew his non-Jewish wife was the real brains of the outfit. The IAMCS Rabbi’s ordination certificates had almost no Hebrew text on them because virtually none of the “rabbis” spoke Hebrew. A Manhattan Senior Vice President of a huge international corporation who was my congregant visited the MJAA Rabbi’s gathering at the MJAA Conference, and came back dismayed, telling me “It was like sitting around with a bunch of guys from the local auto repair shop.”
Such is the stuff of which fascist regimes are made.
As a matter of pure sales technique, to get people to book into your organization rather than the other, you have to show not only that you are in some manner, “good” – but that the alternative is, if not “bad,” at least not “as good.”
The MJAA and UMJC arguments for “betterness” (sic) vary, depending on which organization is yours.
If you are MJAA, the vision is “revival.”
This should mean, according to Chernoff hero, Charles Finney, God’s Spirit descending on entire geographic locations in a way that causes mass-awakening to “sin, righteousness, and (eternal consequences via) judgment.” (John 16:8)
Since the Spirit of God appears to have been chased away – since the one “revival” thing only the Spirit of God can do has ground to a virtual halt (the coming of masses to repentance and faith) – and the cause appears to be relentless and unrepented sinning in the highest echelons of the largest associations – “revival” has been morphed into an effort to stage loud, colorful, dancey parties with lots of loud music and shouting, and as many numbers as can be packed into any given room – and photo-ops with famous people. These – at least – look like revival – even if less than 1/4 of the people in the room are actually affiliated with Messianic Judaism in any way at all. Most of the high number photo ops were when Christian Headliners or Israeli Politicians were brought in to speak: non-Messianics came flooding in from the countryside to hear the famed speaker and made the room appear jammed with Messianics– as they did when Pat Robertson of CNN spoke at an MJAA Conference – and then the crowds of falsely-reported nature disappeared again. But the photos were forever.
The MJAA has been hijacked by a small Chernoff-centered cadre with an agenda not reflective of the mission of the Alliances on paper. Non-revivalists are not welcome into the leadership – they can attend to lend fat to the numbers of attendees at events – but keeping them from influence is an ongoing, relentless effort during election seasons.
Since they are non-profit corporations formed under law for specific purposes for which they solicit and spend charitable funds ––– this means they function illegally –– and have done so for some time since they were first hijacked between 1979 to the late 1980’s.
Alleging on paper to be a “big roof” inclusion-organization under which all Messianic Jews in America can affiliate, the MJAA is instead, an exclusivist organization, with only one stripe (Pentecostal) of Two Testament believer actually welcome into the Alliance in equally enfranchised manner. Non-Pentecostals are deliberately kept at the margins and out of the government loop. This is in direct defiance of the MJAA on-paper, legal purpose: and has never been legally altered.
There is no genuine “due process” available to handle all these inequities, much less harms done by empowered leaders, in the Messianic Movement’s largest organizations.”
The network you see represented above is not, in any sense, in existence as it is implied to be – or as it is directly told and sold to candidates for membership in the sphere represented above.
There Is, in fact, more of a “mafia” structure running the show.
There is a boss. He really runs things, and does pretty much whatever he wants.
In the MJAA, it is David Chernoff.
In the UMJC, there are sub-fiefs, ruled by Dan Juster Rich Nichol, Stuart Dauerman, and others.
In these spheres, there are “made” guys and mere citizens.
The “made” guys can do pretty much anything to anyone, and almost never be touched.
The mere citizens do not have the network of accountability implied above in art, nor sold directly in words. If any citizen’s interests cross those of a “made” guy – they are socially and vocationally either beaten into submission, or “whacked” – killed off socially and vocationally.
This is done under the excuse that the victim has “not supported the ‘unity’ of the MJAA” – but that rubric has been warped into an excuse to ruin anyone who calls any action of policy by any of the powers-that-be into question. Dissent – on any substantive level – is treated as capital treason; and social/vocational death is the penalty.
The Executive Committees are mere figureheads: they are showpieces playing to the crowds, and not the real power when genuine decision-making is done.
Everyone around for any measure of time knows this. Jonathan Bernis, President of Jewish Voice Television and long-time MJAA Executive put it this way,
“There is no way around David Chernoff in the MJAA: he sees the world in black and white: you are either for him or against him; and if he thinks you are against him, he comes after you.”
Bernis knew for a long time the Chernoff crew had been forging Executive signatures onto corporate documents, and publishing things with Bernis’s name on them counted as “unanimous” with them without his permission, or even consultation; but, like all MJAA underlings to the Chernoffs – did nothing. Bernis, like everyone else, knew the price for crossing the Chernoffs. As was said by the narrator in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, “We just did what we wanted and took what we wanted. If anybody complained, they got beaten up so badly, they never said a word again.”
You read above earlier what Jeff Bernstein said about what he knew his fate would be, if the Chernoffs would hear of him having any positive interaction with those under the Chernoff ban.
My and my wife’s attempts to bring to trial Joe Finkelstein, David Chernoff, Joel Chernoff, Jamie Cowen, and those acting in collusion with them was not a “division” (grab for power outside due process). “Division-making” is the “go-to” accusation flung at anyone who dissents with the Chernoff powers-that-be, much the same way in which President Bill Clinton’s inner circle counter-accused those investigating Clinton for perjury as “unpatriotic” and “degrading the Office of The Presidency.” It seems, in fact, to be the only way to look at dissent that Marty Chernoff engrained into his son, David. Accusing people of “division-making” when they dissent instantly changes the topic from an action or policy of a leader, into an instant referendum on the spiritual nature of the questioner.
Joe Finkelstein tried for over an hour to lie his way out of all the sins in which he was caught red-handed, to which he eventually confessed to every single charge as being true. He did this in the presence of David Chernoff’s brother, Joel. (See attached Confession PDF) Finkelstein was never pastorally handled for his multiple extremities of dishonesty during due process. It was ignored and he was promoted into higher offices for which he was Biblically directly disqualified. So it goes for politically useful underlings in fascist regimes. The Executive crimes at the heart of this matter committed in various distribution and combinations by Finkelstein, David Chernoff, Dottie Solomon, Jamie Cowen, Russ Resnick, Rich Nichol, Elliot Klayman, and others were:
- forgery of signatures on corporation documents,
- publication of false documents to influence elections and corporate business,
- Sadism (deliberate infliction of harm for personal pleasure)
- Mass Perjury (lying while in official judicial proceedings)
- Concealment of Officers Driving & Manipulating Illegal Process
- High Promotion of Disqualified Persons for personal political advantages
- Slander on a Mass Scale
- False Witness on a Mass Scale (through much of the entire Executive Level)
- Manufacture of False “Evidence” In Process (proved false on the spot)
- Perversion of Justice mechanisms of Alliance to insulate self and cronies from accountability for abuses of office.
- False witness about the law itself by lawyers (Cowen & Klayman) .
- And more …
The above unrepented and covered-up offenses rose and still rise far above the standard Scripture installs for holding leaders accountable. “Let those elders continuing in sin be disciplined in such a way as teaches the other elders among you to revere God.” (1Tim. 5:20)
There was no punishment or accountable processing of sins in this manner.
There was protection of cronies, and assassination of accusers who were not in the innermost circle.
Again – that is not the MJAA on paper – that is the fascist system that exists in reality.
The on-paper structure gets mere lip-service, for appearance’s sake; and the operations are ridded with criminal mishandling to make sure those in power stay in power. Fraud to the Members. One rabbi said he witnessed valid ballots for a non-slate candidate being thrown in the trash during counting, and walked out of the counting room, knowing the Presidency had been stolen from the real winner (not hearsay, witness said so to me directly). And more.
HOW FASCISM FINDS ITS SUPPORTERS
A virtual nobody in national and international Messianic Jewish affairs in the late 1990’s, a local leader named Mike Stepakoff in Southwest Florida, suddenly leapt into prominence during the initial phase of the Chernoff corruption case, by launching on the MJAA Rabbi’s Listserve (auto-distributing email network) repetitive, unconditional proclamations of Chernoff’s innocence, and God being “with” Chernoff and “not with” Chernoff’s accusers ––– despite being a rabbi and attorney, Stepakoff never having made one phone call, email, or text to Chernoff’s accusers to get their side of the story (which is both lawyerly and Biblical kindergarten: see Proverbs 18:17). It was the most shameful ambition-driven, toadying public flattery-for-ambitious-benefit I have ever witnessed, as well as open opportunism: using the judicial situation of a Plaintiff against a power holder as a stepping stone to personal benefit and aggrandizement – and it was done on the Rabbi’s Listserve, in the presence of all the MJAA’s ordained clergy. What was the message the clergy got in the MJAA/Chernoff reaction to Stepakoff’s outpouring without due-diligence response? Stepakoff was rewarded with instant prominence for stating quickly, without research, evidence, testimony, or any other results of due diligence that David Chernoff was totally righteous and his accuser were totally satanic. That is how fascist regimes function. Praise the regime, and get patronage. That was the lesson the MJAA’s rabbis got from that season of the Stepakoff-Chernoff interaction: the exact opposite of Scripture’s 1Timothy 5 mandate.
If you are “a made guy,” no one can touch you, no matter what you do.
Steal. Lie. Swear false oaths. Commit acts of sadism.
As long as you are “made” – you are safe.
And no “made” guy will “rat” on his or her bosses or other “goodfellas.”
If you are hurt by a “made” guy – there is no help for you.
If you blow the whistle on a “made guy” you get beaten to a bloody pulp.
You are alone.
Add Stepakoffs to Finkelsteins, Solomons, Wolfs, Cowens, Resnicks and Klaymans – and you wake up one day to find the Alliances built by previous generations with their blood, sweat, and tears have been morphed into petty fascist regimes, and the actual non-profit corporations as described in their Corporate Documents, Constitutions, and By-Laws have been put into non-operational comas, so their masquerading replacements can rule in their stead.
If the MJAA functioned the way they are required to by law – the Chernoffs and their “revival” vision might not define and control it.
Marty Chernoff said to all his generation, “The MJAA is a chosen tool of God for End Time Jewish Revival.”
Privately, Marty Chernoff told his close staff (I was there in an Elders & Deacons Meeting), “If the MJAA doesn’t go the way we want it to, we’ll just leave it and form our own organization.”
To the Chernoffs, they either rule it – or leave it.
But they tell everyone else, “be loyal to the MJAA.” I was exhorted by Jeff Lowenthal, one of Chernoff’s underlings, not to quit my job as the MJAA Fundraiser when I discovered serious hypocrisy and non-support of the MJAA among its Board, by Lowenthal saying to me, “Bruce, you have to think of the MJAA as Messianic Judaism. There is no other game in town. Where are you going to go?” This was said to me when I found out Lowenthal and his fellow affluent MJAA co-Executives were giving virtually nothing to the MJAA financially: and when I confronted them about it, they all said the same thing: “The MJAA is so badly run financially, giving to it would be a waste of my money.” Yet, they had hired me to go out and find people who did not know what they knew, and convince them the MJAA was a great place to donate their funds. I trust I need not point out the moral dissonance in this for you. (See Luke 11:46 for Messiah’s view of such conduct.)
As a further demonstration of David Chernoff’s unfitness to serve as a spiritual leader – when my wife (then, fiançée) and I were “ratted out” to David by one of his elders who was confronted by me about the hypocrisy of the above situation, and my statement I was considering resigning because of it – David Chernoff’s called me to a meeting in his home office, and his direct words to me were, “It is not your place to question the ethics of those above you: your job is to go out and raise money for the MJAA.” My wife and I walked out of his home, and instantly – while still on his lawn – said to each other, “We’ve got to get out of here.” That day was the end of David Chernoff’s access to my wife and me as any kind of leader.
So – the Chernoffs must either run it – or they run from it.
If they are questioned, they commit social and vocational murder in response.
Is this only my view?
Rabbi David Levine of Budapest Hungary and Jacksonville, Florida said of the Chernoff Family, “I can sum up the Chernoffs in one sentence: ‘All that I see, I own.’”
Joel Chernoff put the cultic frame as clearly as anyone ever has: “Do you want all your troubles to go away? Then, no matter what David (Chernoff) does, just keep affirming him.”
That, my reader, is called, being “above the law.”
David Frost sealed Richard Nixon’s downfall by getting Nixon to say one sentence on camera when he was asked about his cover up of his criminal activities: “It’s not a crime, when its ‘The President’ who does it.”
No matter what David Chernoff does, just keep affirming him?
Lie. Slander. Perjure. Foment illegal activities by ministers and non-profit officers?
Keep affirming? As the main spiritual leader of our generation?
Only next to Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker and Ariyeh Deri.
UMJC CORRUPTION TO MATCH THE MJAA’S
I was a life-time MJAA-context member and minister and musician – but when MJAA corruption surfaced, I was approached by the UMJC leaders Rich Nichol and Paul Saal, and courted for movement to the UMJC. Rich Nichol stated to me directly, “I might be wrong, Bruce but – with our structure and our people, this could never happen in the UMJC.” It turned out, he was dead wrong – about the UMJC and even himself. It is a great irony that the UMJC – desiring so deeply to see itself as the “anti-MJAA” – actually showed itself to be of the entirely same species. As follows.
- A UMJC vice-president, Jamie Cowen – now trading as “James S. Cohen” in Israel – secretly colluded with Joel Chernoff to torpedo the case against David Chernoff. Cowen lied in official vetting to get into the case, pretending to be a disinterested lawyer there only to observe and report if MJAA due process was sound – Cowen watched all the Stalinesque judicial misconduct (described above) by the MJAA committee in Atlanta, and falsely reported to the UMJC and IMJA that the MJAA had given the Complainant against David Chernoff “full due process.” (See Cowen Email here.) When confronted, Cowen admitted his report was a lie, but excused it by saying, “If we (the UMJC) don’t validate the MJAA process, there is going to be a war – and I am not going to let that happen.” Cowen’s admitted, predetermined plan was to let the MJAA destroy Finkelstein’s and Chernoff’s victims “for the sake of the peace (between the MJAA & UMJC).” In other words, he was lying for what deemed a good reason. The fact he was killing innocent people’s careers and quality of life by so doing was of no concern to him whatsoever. He was giving the Chernoffs what they wanted, to prevent “a war” between the MJAA and UMJC. If that meant innocent people got harmed – so be it.
- Russ Resnick, UMJC General Secretary, officially witnessed Cowen’s string of false answers in August 2000 denying any interest, any bias, any contact with the Chernoffs, to get admitted to the process, and yet – when sent a copy of Cowen’s 25 September 2000 fax that admitted Cowen had a many biasing interests, had a predetermined plan, had been colluding with Joel Chernoff, and had lied both in Cleveland when questioned, and after Atlanta in September when reporting ––– Resnick refused to come forward per Lev. 5:1 and state what he knew and had seen and heard; and even under compulsion, while verifying Cowen’s false answers were all exactly the ones Cowen’s accused had pointed out were the exact opposite of his official answers, excused Jamie Cowen’s long array of direct falsehoods with a vague statement that Jamie had explained his answers in a way that satisfied Resnick: but Resnick would not say what Cowen’s excuses were. [See Resnick’s Interrogatory here. Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 ] Thus, Resnick permitted Cowen to get away with perjury and malicious harm.
- Elliot Klayman, the UMJC Judiciary Chairman with an LL.D. from Harvard Law School, no less – oversaw and assisted an attempt to extort from the Complainant against Jamie Cowen a completely barbaric trial process, in which the non-UMJC Complainant against Jamie Cowen would have to sign away all rights to all access to any of the records of the proceeding against Cowen before it began – or no such trial of Jamie Cowen would take place. However, the UMJC officials and Cowen would all have as much assess as they pleased. [See Klayman Doc Here.] The really horrific thing about Klayman’s and the UMJC Judiciary’s conduct was that Cowen (a) asked for this out-of-order favor specifically because Cowen was afraid if there was a record of what he said and did, it would leave him open to being criminally prosecuted, tried in civil court, or disciplined by the Bar Association as a lawyer for misconduct; and (b) Cowen made this request to the UMJC Judiciary by “employing a common and often used and well-known legal tool called, ‘interlocutory appeal’ which allows a ruling in a trial to be challenged before the end of the trial ––– and this was the very thing Cowen had told Bruce Cohen “did not exist in any form in correct due process” ––– and on the basis of that legal statement, told Bruce Cohen if he did not withdraw his already filed Appeal with the IMJA, the UMJC would block Cohen’s Manhattan synagogue from Membership in the UMJC. This was the very false point of law about which Cowen had lied in voir dire, and Cowen was now using what he said didn’t exist to get his friends in the UMJC Judiciary to do him a favor to insulate him from accountability for his long train of lies and misconduct, including directly lying about the law to manipulate an intra-Body trial. Chairman and expert Elliot Klayman is most responsible here, having permitted and ratified barbaric violations of legal norms on his watch, under his direct responsibility.
- When Jamie Cowen contacted Rich Nichol, UMJC Executive and director of the New England Messianic Jewish Council, and complained about being the subject of an ethics complaint, Rich Nichol told Cowen in an email he sent to Bruce Cohen by mistake (God’s sense of humor and justice combined), that it did not matter to Nichol what Cowen was accused of. Nichol assured Cowen he had Nichol’s unconditional backing, and Nichol was totally uninterested in facts of guilt or innocence. (See Nichol Email here.) When Nichol was called and confronted about this email, his unbelievably casual and flippant response was, “Well – what can I say? These are my guys, and I’m with them.” (the exact same language as the actual Mafia! Who are are “with” are the boss and members of your “crew” who you will never “rat out” and never, ever hold accountable for harm they do to anybody but another “made guy” in The Mob.) Nichol tried to excuse his outright lying to cover for his crony by quoting Joel Chernoff, to whom he had also, it turned out, spoken: “Rich, we are a small and troubled Movement; we don’t need something like this (a scandal with the Chernoffs at the center).”
- The entire UMJC Judiciary participated in and permitted the Cowen Cover Up. The pre-trial attempt to extort from the Accuser of Cowen a binding legal waiver of any access to evidence or records was rejected by the Accuser as being against all norms of sound process, creating “a secret trial,” creating an anti-Biblical conviction of “unequal weights and measures” rather than “one law for the high and the low, the mighty and the poor, the (UMJC) citizen and the (non-UMJC) sojourner” as Scripture commands. It further created an endless “he said, she said” condition, with the Cowen and his UMJC friends able to go out of the trial and say anything they wanted, and the non-UMJC Accuser having no access to any proof one way or another. Because the non-UMJC Accuser refused to be extorted into this unethical trap ––– the UMJC name-called him “having a bad spirit, and being uncooperative with judges” – and threw out the case against Cowen.
- Resnick and Cowen’s conduct in this matter was so overtly “misleading” and “problematic” (Bar Counsel Ltr. 23 July 2007, E.Herman, Esq.), that the Washington DC Bar Association’s Assistant Bar Counsels comes as close to calling a fellow-laywer a liar as she can, and does call Resnick one later) ––– and the Jewish Assistant Bar Counsel attorney said after reviewing the files and meeting with Cowen’s accuser, “A trial of Cowen would probably be a waste of our time, because Cowen and all his friends will lie, and we’ll never get to the bottom of this. Just look at what his pal, Russ Resnick has done so far!“ That is the UMJC’s “testimony” as “people ‘of the truth'” (whom Yeshua called His crew) that Cowen and Resnick made on the Jewish attorneys in the Washington DC Bar Counsel’s Office: evasive, problematic, and liars. Basic believing standards per Yeshua the Messiah are, “Let your ‘yes’ mean only ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ mean only no: anything other than that comes from evil.”
The IMJA has shown no interest in these horrific violations of the IMJA Constitution by the UMJC’s leadership cadre.
HOW TWO-TESTAMENT JUDAISM CAN GO FORWARD
We must differentiate between unworthy people and worthy ideas.
As an example, the American democracy is not a vain enterprise, merely because Benedict Arnold and Joseph McCarthy were once power holders in its cause. The American Revolution and Constitution are no less worthy because the roster of their supporters has, from time to time, included perverse and evil people.
The same can be said of the Biblical nation of ancient Israel – and the reborn modern Jewish State as well.
Two-Testament Judaism is no vain enterprise, merely because it is at present controlled by people low of either acumen or conscience.
A deceased former congregant of mine, Kevin Kersey, a long-time active Jewish Two-Testament man of faith, upon seeing these clouds gathering back during the late 1990’s, once said, “The Messianic Jewish Movement doesn’t need more revisions. It needs another revolution.” His wife, Ronita Price Kersey, was the first person I remember using the word “hijacked” in regard to the Alliance. It was an apt observation.
What do you do when your aircraft is hijacked by people intent to changing its course from its on-paper destination?
“Let’s roll,” was the famed reply on Nine-Eleven.
By God – you take the vessel back.
THE FUTURE WITHOUT GOD’S SPIRIT
Since Scripture makes it plain, “the Spirit gives life,” and “when the Holy Spirit arrives, it is He who convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment” ––– as well as saying clearly, “God is of too pure vision to look approvingly upon evildoing” ––– if widespread sinning is standard operating procedure in the highest echelons of the IMJA, MJAA, and UMJC, we cannot look forward to God’s Spirit being involved in their conferences, operations, or ministries. With what does that leave us?
A marketing competition between clubs looking for members.
Who gives the best benefits to members?
Who looks most like they are “blessed” (have more than others)?
Who is God “with” based on who has the most people and stuff?
Who gets the best photo-ops with Israeli politicians and Christian headliners?
It becomes all about appearance.
It all gets reduced to sales techniques. (2Corinthiahs 2:17)
And “daily God was adding to the assembly those who were being saved,” becomes mere ink on the pages of Acts chapter two. “When the Spirit of God comes, He will convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.” (John 16:8) Human beings are not capable of causing dead spirits to come to life: only “the One True God and The Messiah He has sent” can do that. (John 17:3) If He does not lift His “mighty hand and outstretched arm” – slaves remain slaves in Egypt, and slaves remain slaves to sin’s results.
The great End-Time Revival will not happen without the Spirit of God.
And God will not participate with long-term, unrepented wickedness in high places.
SUCCESS AT MURDER DOES NOT PROVE GOD IS “WITH” YOU
Just because a leader with more power than the person accusing him can succeed in murdering his accuser, does not mean God is “with” the murderer.
In the present IMJA sphere – if you “succeed” in killing off someone, the sphere interprets that as, “Well, God must be with the killer – because if he was with the victim, He would have prevented the victim from being killed. He would have blessed him.”
Anyone remember the warning God gave Abel that Cain was coming for him?
Anyone remember how John the Baptist escaped beheading by a spoiled brat to please a dancing prostitute?
Anyone remember how all those 1st-century Christians weren’t eaten by lions in the Colosseum, because God was more “with” them than their Roman abusers?
It is time for the Messianic Movement to grow up.
The Lord said, “Vengeance is mine.” Vengeance, in Hebrew, is na-kaym.
The visitation of avenging harm is only a free prerogative of God.
Justice in Hebrew is mispaht.
It is entirely different from vengeance.
The Lord has put justice into human hands to enact.
“What does the Lord require of you? Micah cried out. “To do justice.”
Not to admire justice.
Not to sit back and excuse oneself from obligatory action by saying spiritual-sounding, anti-Scriptural things like, “Just let the Lord bring you justice.” The Lord, in Scripture, has not made Himself the source of justice: he has made human concern for it, and action in regard to injustice, the source of righting the wrongs humans do to other humans.
The Lord chides through the prophets, “Go plead the case of the fatherless and the widow.” Go, rescue the oppressed from the hands of the oppressor mightier than he.”
We cannot “exchange evil for good, and darkness for light.”
“There shall be one law for you, and the sojourner with you; in justice, you shall not honor the presence of the mighty, nor deride the presence of the poor; you shall not know faces in justice, and you shall not tilt justice toward either the mighty or the poor; but with absolute impartiality, you shall deal appropriate justice.”
Until the IMJA, MJAA, and UMJC live up to this most basic of precepts for the safety of citizens in their spheres, they will not be dwelling places The Most High will be leading His people by His spirit to choose for their spiritual homes.
RECOGNIZING WHERE WE ARE
Our generation is presently wandering in a moral Sinai, while mere footsteps from our own version of The Promised Land.
God let the entire original Sinai generation – except for two people – pass away in the journey, without reaching the destination. It remained for their children to go in.
That may be the 1968 to early-2000’s generation’s destiny.
I dearly hope not.
May Heaven do as best pleases Heaven.
May God send every presently unrepentant sinning leader “the repentance that leads to eternal life.”
May God send the MJAA and IMJA rank-and-file the courage and resolve and energy to rise up to make things right again. The vessel has been hijacked on our watch. We are the ones responsible to take the vessel back.
May God save and help every honest servant of the Two-Testament Jewish re-awakening in our era, and beyond.
RabbI Bruce L. Cohen, 28 February 2017
Founding Rabbi, Congregation Beth El of Manhattan
Former MJAA Development Chairman
Former MJAA Minister-at-Large
Former IAMCS Yeshiva Instructor (teacher of rabbis)
Former MJAA Conference Musician’s Chairman
Former MJAA International & Regional Conference Speaker
Former MJAA International Envoy to Israel, South Africa, Russia, & Barbados
And too many other MJAA/IAMCS/Beth Yeshua service portfolios to mention.