Machne Menachem

Severe Health and Safety violations in Spritzer’s operation of Camp

Posted in Motion by machnemenachem on May 17, 2009

, New York 11213

March 28, 2001

(By Hand)
Honorable I. Leo Glasser
United States District Judge
225 Cadman Plaza East
Brooklyn, New York 11201

Re:       1. Severe Health and Safety violations in Spritzer’s operation of Camp
2. Board of Directors Meeting Tonight

Camp Machne Menachem, Inc., v. Hershkop et al
97 Civ. 2550 (ILG) (ASC)

Dear Judge Glasser:

I am writing to bring to the attention of the Court information we defendants have recently received which confirms our worst fears about plaintiff Spritzer’s shockingly bad operation of the Camp. Inasmuch as the Court is now deliberating on our motion to determine who are the lawful directors and given that this is a non-profit corporation, the Court has the right and the authority to take into account information regarding Spritzer’s actual operation of the Camp. The information herein proves that Spritzer is unfit to run the Camp. As documented below, Spritzer has shown a complete and utter disregard for the health and safety of the campers and staff; and this information is in addition to the previous evidence submitted to this Court showing Spritzer’s “ineptitude” (to put it mildly) in running the Camp.

Attached hereto are some documents which defendants were finally able to secure (no thanks to plaintiffs Spritzer et al., who tried to keep all of this material secret). These documents are communications from the State government, (namely, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Occupational and Industrial Safety, and from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Food Safety) to plaintiffs “Spritzer and company”. These documents are powerful evidence of the gross negligence and extraordinary carelessness of the plaintiffs in their operation of the Camp. In these documents the State government pointed out serious problems involving the very health and safety of the campers and staff at the Camp. Did plaintiffs correct these problems? No. Instead, plaintiffs carried on as if nothing was wrong and acted without concern for the resultant danger and harm to which they exposed the campers.

The first thing to note is that plaintiffs were already notified of serious problems at the Camp back in 1996(!!), almost five years ago, and yet plaintiffs have apparently done nothing since 1996 to remedy the situation. [See exhibit #4 – letter regarding Order to Show Cause, from the summer of 2000, referring to problems in 1996 which were totally ignored by plaintiffs.] It is clear from a review of the attached exhibits that plaintiffs ignored all these various governmental orders and pleas to correct these problems.

What were some of these problems? Well, they were building code violations so serious that the State issued vacate orders requiring that the premises be vacated – including therein even the infirmary, the shul, and the dining hall.

As if the building code violations and the numerous “vacate orders” were insufficient proof of plaintiffs’ gross negligence, there are also extremely serious problems concerning the food storage and preparation so bad that simply reading about them can make one sick and disgusted. Worse than reading the problems, is the fact that the campers were actually fed food prepared under such sickening conditions. I refer the Court to the “Inspection Report” by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services, where we find items such as the following:

rusted cans of food room previous year on shelves; hamburger patties kept at 62 degrees Fahrenheit (H); a food freezer in disrepair; /see exhibit # 104; insects and webbing, and paint peeling from floor mixer in the meat area; 108 lb., dirty bag of food spilling onto floor, and the inspector notes that only differ pointing this out to the cook, did the cook “voluntarily” dispose of the bag; old food, mold, rust, dirt and insects on various kinds on the food preparation surfaces; [see exhibit # 10b l; presence of insects and rodents; fly strips in food areas and where food prepared; numerous carcasses there; bug zapper above mixer; numerous rat droppings in food storage room; rat burrows near kitchen; debris on ground; holes in floors throughout; etc., etc. /see exhibit # 10b]

Now, plaintiffs were issued a number of Orders to Show Cause and only after they ignored those, did the State issue the vacate orders. It is incredible that plaintiffs took (practically) no steps to remedy the situation. There does not appear to have been any attempt by plaintiffs to discuss the situation with the State or merely to set timetables for accomplishing the necessary repairs.

Incredibly, plaintiffs allowed the situation to exist and to endanger the campers during the summer camp season. However one would have expected some action after camp ended. A perfect time for correcting these various matters was before the cold winter set in – i.e., during September and October 2000. But again it is clear that plaintiffs did nothing to correct the serious violations involved herein at that time or since.

Viewed in the worst light the actions and inactions of “Spritzer and company” are criminal. Perhaps the best that can be said for plaintiff “Spritzer and company” is that they were unable to run a Camp and did not know how to comply.

I want to assure the Court, that we defendants are prepared to take the steps necessary to remedy these violations and to bring the Camp into compliance with the health and safety requirements of the State. We are prepared to cooperate with the appropriate authorities in seeing that the rules and regulations that ensure the campers’ health and welfare are stringently observed. Spritzer, on the other hand, has amply demonstrated that he will not observe the health and safety regulations. Thus the differences between the choices presented to the Court could not be starker, and the consequences for the campers and the community of the Court’s choice could not be more important.

With respect to the main issue of this case, namely who are the lawful directors of the Camp (1), I have enclosed herewith an affidavit from Mendel Hershkop and Shmuel Heber, of May 10, 1999. [Attached as exhibit # 12] That affidavit was attached to my motion of May 1999 in which I first moved to have the Court determine who are the directors of the Camp. In their affidavit the aforesaid defendants stated that:

We are directors of Machne Menachem, Inc., (“the Camp’). Neither of us have been by an arbitration or signed an agreement to arbitrate by the Beth Din regarding the directors of the corporation, nor have any of us ever resigned, nor has there ever been a meeting of the directors dismissing any of the other directors.

As per this affidavit, I was never dismissed, and the aforesaid defendants, Mendel Hershkop and Shmuel Heber, and I are still the directors. The plaintiffs have never submitted any evidence to the contrary.

We have been awaiting this Court’s ruling patiently, and we expect when it comes it will spell out who the lawful directors are, and will thus put an end to Spritzer’s seemingly interminable litigation (2). Naturally, we will continue to await the Court’s decision with the utmost patience and respect for the Court’s deliberations.

Naturally, we wound prefer a resolution by this Court as soon as possible. But frankly, time is short, and the new camp season will quickly be upon us. Preparations for the camp season must take place now. As evidenced in the attached exhibits from the State government, matters have escalated to such a degree that we may soon have no choice but to take some action to protect the Camp and its campers. Therefore, we respectfully ask that the Court rule on the motion to determine the lawful directors as soon as possible.

I want to alert the Court, that we directors of the Camp have called for a special meeting of the Board of Directors of the Camp (viz., Machne Menachem, Inc.,) for the evening of March 28, 2001, and that at that meeting, the Board will consider and vote on a resolution to remove Spritzer as a director. [See exhibit #13, copy of letter/notice of special meeting.] We have notified all the directors and we intend to proceed tonight, March 28 (3).

Also I must reiterate a prior request that in the interim, this Court re-new and/or extend its previous Order prohibiting Spritzer’s attempted sale of the Camp, etc., as specified in the Order of November 14, 2000 (4). Further, I ask that the Court require Spritzer to immediately return all items taken from the Camp, and that he desist from using the Camp property for his personal, business, or other non-camp purposes.

Thank you for your consideration of this letter.

Sincerely yours,
Yosef  Goldman

cc:        The Honorable Judge Chrein and all parties


(1) As I was about to complete this letter, I received in the mail, a letter from plaintiffs’ attorneys dated March 27, 2001. That letter is filled with numerous misrepresentations. I would have to respond by a separate letter in order to address all the misrepresentations and incorrect statements there. But one matter must be immediately addressed. In his letter, plaintiffs attorney Schwartz makes the incredible claim that this Court had already dismissed the defendants’ motion to have this Court determine who are the lawful directors but Schwartz deliberately conceals that this Court speaking to Schwartz himself (at the last Court appearance herein on November 11, 2000) the Court said it would consider the defendants’ motion and even if it had previously denied the motion, the Court would re-open it. [A copy of the relevant pages of the transcript are attached hereto as exhibit #111 But concealing matters and misleading others seems to he a regular feature of Schwartz’s law firm’s practice – See the scorching findings of two Federal Judges concerning Schwartz’s firm’s underhanded practices in misquoting and misleading the courts, in exhibits #14 and # 15. As an interesting aside, Schwartz in his letter finally concedes what we have said throughout – that the real issue of this case has always been who are the lawful directors of the Camp – and by implication the letter concedes that plaintiffs’ original allegations of “violence” and “conspiracies” were a sham.

(2) The implicit threat of which is made explicit in Schwartz’s letter of March 27, 2001.

(3) I note that in Schwartz’s letter of March 27, 2001, he states that “Having failed to gain control from the court, and having failed to purchase the plaintiff’s interest in the camp, the plaintiffs are now concerned that the defendants will now start taking steps …to assume control…” This sentence reveals so much about plaintiffs and the misleading way they present every aspect of this case. Incredibly, despite all these years of litigation, plaintiffs have apparently learned nothing. Plaintiffs still conceive of the Camp as a profit-making corporation in which plaintiffs supposedly have an “interest” which can be bought and sold. Mr. Schwartz, when will you and your client, Spritzer, once and for all admit that Spritzer has no “shares” in the Camp and he has no “interest” in the Camp? There are no shares. There are no shareholders. There are no private “interests” that can be bought or sold! Furthermore, Schwartz just assumes that Spritzer has the automatic right to “control” of the Camp. Well, in fact, Spritzer has no such right. There is much more that could be said about this and other false and misleading statements in Schwartz’s letter – but in the interest of brevity, and relying on the discernment of the Court, I will stop here for now.

(4) But for our obtaining information concerning Spritzer’s attempted sale of the Camp and this Court’s timely intervention to stop it, there would be no Camp at all. Therefore Schwartz’s alleged “concerns” about registration appear totally disingenuous and cynical.

Letter to judge goldmanLetter to judge goldman

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