Agudath Israel Dina D’Malchusa Legal Seminar Comes to Far Rockaway / Five Towns


agudah-seminarHave you ever had any of the following questions? As an experienced business owner, what should I be doing to be in compliance with all laws and regulations? When starting a business, what do I need to consider and do? As a small business owner or non-profit administrator, what are my labor and employment obligations to my employees? I earn income from business outside the United States – do I have any special filing responsibilities and/or tax obligations? As a board member of a yeshiva, shul or organization, what are my obligations to my organization? May I be at risk? What criminal law issues do yeshivos, shuls and other non-profits need to be wary of? Which contributions are tax deductible and when may I issue a receipt?

Continuing its broad efforts to educate the Orthodox community about the intricacies of the law of the land, Agudath Israel of America, in conjunction with the Far Rockaway/Five Towns community, will be hosting a Dina D’Malchusa legal seminar that will seek to answer these questions.

The seminar will take place at Nechama Liba Hall (Bnos Bais Yaakov), 613 Beach 9th Street, Far Rockaway, on Sunday, October 17, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Separate seating for men and women will be available. Breakfast will be served and three CLE/CPE credits will be available for attorneys and accountants in attendance. Those interested in attending the seminar should pre-register by calling 212-797-9000, ext. 335, or via e-mail by contacting

Eric R. Stern, Esq., will serve as chairman. Simcha B. David, Esq., CPA, and Joel Edelstein will serve as co-chairmen. VCorp Services is a primary sponsor of the seminar.

The seminar will feature concurrent sessions with separate business and nonprofit tracks. The business sessions are intended for anyone involved in the administration, ownership, or control of a for-profit enterprise of any kind. They will be geared for the professional as well as the layman and will be valuable for those who have long operated businesses as well as for those just starting out. The nonprofit sessions will be geared for administrators, officers, and board members of yeshivos, shuls, gemachs, and other charitable organizations and will feature new and timely topics that have not been discussed at prior seminars.

The format of the seminar will be as follows – it will begin with the plenary sessions:

The first plenary session, to be addressed by Sylvan J. Schaffer, Esq., Ph.D., a labor-and-employment lawyer at Jackson Lewis LLP in Manhattan, will detail many labor and employment-law issues pertinent to both business and nonprofits. Issues to be addressed include the laws pertinent to seeking, interviewing, and hiring employees; the differences between at-will employment and employee contracts; maintaining employee personnel files and employee handbooks; discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; minimum-wage and overtime issues; sick and personal days; different benefit plans for different employees; and employee reviews, discipline, and termination.

The second plenary session will discuss the fiduciary responsibilities of, and possible risks and liabilities to, administrators, officers, directors, and trustees of an organization, and will be addressed by Tomer J. Inbar, Esq., a partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP.

After a short break, the seminar will resume with separate sessions for businesses and nonprofits. The business track will first be addressed by Stanley P. Kupfer, Esq., an expert on legal compliance issues. Mr. Kupfer will detail the laws regarding the nuts and bolts of day-to-day business operations from the perspective of both New York State and federal law.

Topics will include business startup considerations; state and local licensing requirements; choosing entity names; the differences between a sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation, and S corporation; adequate capitalization of a business; observing corporate formalities; the need for and means of obtaining an EIN; business bookkeeping; accepting payments in cash; the handling of deposits and disbursements; common legal pitfalls and issues of personal liability; New York unemployment-insurance requirements; workers’ compensation requirements; disability requirements; employee compensation options (e.g., W-2 vs. 1099); operating a safe working environment; and employee privacy laws.

The business track will continue with a presentation by Chaim H. Leshkowitz, CPA, Esq., partner, Leshkowitz and Co., who will discuss the legal, accounting, and financial aspects of U.S. businesses conducting for-profit activities overseas and earning income from sources outside the United States.

The nonprofit track will include a discussion of criminal-law issues of which an organization must be cognizant, addressed by Mark D. Harris, Esq., partner, Proskauer Rose LLP; and developments and common scenarios regarding the laws of charitable contributions, receipts, and tax deductions, addressed by Jay A. Friedman, Esq., managing director and tax counsel, Goldman Sachs, Inc.

“This will be a very hands-on seminar useful to any business professional, business owner, service provider, yeshiva administrator and board members, shul officer, and nonprofit administrator, among others,” says Steven Schlachter, CPA, a Five Towns native and a member of the planning committee that helped organize the seminar.

Over past months, Agudath Israel has presented many conferences and seminars to yeshivos, gemachs, and shuls on an assortment of legal topics. Drawing hundreds of attendees, those seminars have included: gemach workshops in Borough Park and Lakewood; a community-wide legal seminar in Los Angeles; a tax conference for yeshiva administrators and their accountants in Flatbush; a seminar dealing with legal issues pertinent to shuls at Agudath Israel’s most recent national convention; nonprofit seminars in Cleveland and Chicago; and a legal compliance seminar for businesses in Flatbush.

{Noam Newscenter}



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