“Behind Bars” Mitzvah Rabbi Hangs It Up

Rabbi Leib Glanz resigns in wake of scandal

Rabbi Leib Glanz, the jail chaplain who catered -- literally -- to the whims of Jewish inmates incarcerated in New York City's Tombs, has followed erstwhile Correction Chief Peter Curcio out the door.

When the story broke last week that Glanz had arranged (and Curcio had signed off on) a 60-guest bar mitzvah for the son of conman Tuvia Stern to be held in the correctional facility, it was only a matter of time before Glanz was forced to resign. That time came yesterday, The New York Post reported.

Diners at the feast were furnished with knives, a prison no-no, and allowed to keep their cell phones, another no-no. And Stern was so pleased with the party that Glanz put together, he later had a modest engagement party for his daughter in the same jail.

Besides helping to throw lavish parties, Glanz has regularly brought in "sodas, salmon, roast chicken, roast beef, mashed potatoes, vegetables, cakes, condiments" for his fellow Jews; threw an annual picnic for "all the top brass, and only the Jewish inmates are allowed to cook and serve the food, and then they are allowed to sit at the table and eat like invited guests," after which "other inmate workers . . . come and clean up the place, which usually consist of the black or Hispanic inmates."

Glanz, it turns out, is the only city-chaplain rabbi not approved by the Chaplaincy Committee, as is required by a city labor contract. Rather, Glanz was appointed in 2000 to his position at the request of then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

And whenever someone tried to question the favors Glanz did for his flock, they were told that "the rabbi has 'juice'" with Correction Department brass.

Curcio's resignation on Monday came after a weekend of questioning by the Department of Investigations looking into the party at the behest of Mayor Bloomberg. Curcio had been considered a leading candidate to move to his department's top spot before the Post broke the story.

"Clearly, this is not something that should have taken place," Mayor Mike Bloomberg noted when the news broke last week.

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