Dear Matzav Readers,
It’s with great pain and sorrow that I’m forced to share with you a tragedy that took place this past Shavuos.
Please note: If you’re reading this letter on Matzav, it’s not considered Loshen Hora in any shape or form as I was actually advised by Gedolim to share this information with the public and that I have an obligation to do so.
For those of you that know me and for those of you that only heard of me, I’m sure you can agree that all of 15 events that took place with Hashem’s help the last 4.5 years was done with my best intentions, and although were not always perfect as I anticipated but as my loyal customers that have been with me from the beginning will attest and said to me many times “Heshy, you’re getting better and better with each program”! Or as my grandfather said to me the last time he came “you’re 99% perfect keep up what you’re doing and you’ll be 100%”!
On a side note I do take great pride in these compliments since I did not come from a catering or event planning family that would have given me the experience from the get-go, instead I learned from each program how to improve and make it better the next time. I say B’H we reached that level of 99% perfection and I’m working tirelessly toward the 100% goal.
One of the challenges that come with organizing programs is not knowing which Shabbos or Yom Tov will succeed and which will fail. For example; Shabbos Nachamu & Shabbos Chanukah I B’H always sell-out and the program actulaly became now a regular for families that come to us year after year, but say Shabbos Hagodel, Mid-winter break etc. may come with a struggle which means that I think twice before I commit and unless I’m given a Simcha or a family event to start the event with and secure enough rooms I don’t jump to organize them.
To my surprise, Shavuos and Succos will never sellout as these are Yomim Tovim that mostly belong to well-established organizations that have the monopoly and have been doing them for 20+ years with repeat customers year after year not allowing for any newcomers as I learned the hard way.
This year I was approached by a chef that I have used in the past, to do a Shavuos program. I rightfully declined and did not agree to even look into it. The chef however was being persistence and felt that this year when it’s a 3-day getaway plus the fact that he had done a beautiful Pesach program with many customers inquiring about Shavuos he was convinced that we should do it as a partnership which I said to him ok. Little did I know is that finding the right hotel last minute will not be an easy task so the chef suggested that he knows of a rundown hotel that was recently acquired by Yossi Zablocki and partners called the Hudson Valley and that he will speak to him to see when the renovations will take place. I was not happy with the idea as I personally was swindled by him for close to 15k when he took rooms from me at a program I did and refused to pay me even after I tried taking him to Bais Din, he argued that he doesn’t have to go to Bais Din since he made an Aliyah and that he can choose to go to a Bais Din of his choice in Isreal!
I realized that it was a learning experience for me and that I have to just move on and make sure that this doesn’t happen again. Now that the idea of working with him again was introduced to me my stomach was turning and I said no I will not work with him! The chef again reassured me that Yossi will be a mentch since he also cooks for him and to quote the chef “Yossi has too much to lose by screwing you again since I’ll not work for him again”. I put down the phone and within minutes the phone rings and Yossi calls me that he will give me $2,500.00 if I take the Hudson Valley. Now I said that this is something I can look into since I’ll be getting some of my money back so the deal was made verbally that I’ll sell the rooms in Hudson Valley.
Fast forward, the bad reviews online for the Hudson Valley did not give me a chance to sell the idea that the place is being renovated, the bad odor was still fresh with many customers that were at the Hudson Valley so the idea the chef had suggested was not working out. Yossi seems to have known that this will never sell as he also did not have permits to use the main kitchen he therefore approached me with another brainstorm, bring your customers to my program in Honors Haven and you’ll get your $2500 plus commission and it will still be your program with use your chef, Hasgocha, speakers etc.
Working tirelessly to fill the rooms I started receiving phone calls from 100’s of potential customers asking me how can I be there with Yossi when he was caught numerous times not keeping a kosher kitchen in the hotel, with stories of prior customers enough to make you sick I was probably better off just canceling the whole idea and just focus on my Shabosim which I already do well with. To think that a frum person would even think of not serving Kosher food and get away with it because his majority of customers were old and frail survivors or Jews that did not come from an upbringing that would know the difference of Kosher or not was beyond my comprehension and I therefore informed the Chef that I don’t see it working. Again the chef reassured me that he will not work there unless his Hashgocha will be there to supervise and that I have nothing to worry about.
Fast forward again Yossi was not happy with having such a strict Hashgocha and tried everything he could to stop it but of course, we would not have any of it so the Mashgiach we chose was there.
I sent Yossi a list of all the customers, sent him the payments I collected and the ones he needed to charge their card and this is when things turned ugly.
For some reason, he had a change of heart with regards to paying me the $2500 plus commission, he also now wanted me to cancel some speakers and advised me that he did not make any money on this program. Again I tried to help him by asking the Mashgiach to work with us by reducing his fee, I paid out of pocket for those speakers he didn’t want for them to stay home although they were planning a Yom Tov with the program.
On my way to the hotel on Friday afternoon, after sitting in traffic for 2.5 hours with crying kids Yossi insisted that I send him more money for the customers that he already collected from me or he will not check in any of my customers, and since he also doesn’t trust me he wants me to wire him money and not by credit card.
I asked him why he’s doing it to me? His claims were that by him taking on my customers he’s at a loss plus he now wants to charge me for coming too as I’ll cost him a room that he’s not willing to lose money on top of the Mashgiach 2 rooms that I insisted have to be there.
My wife sitting in the car heard the conversation, and as you can imagine was horrified and refused to be in the same hotel with a man that now stole my money twice and needless to say she was upset with me for even trusting that he will come through. My plans had to be changed and instead we joined another program last minute.
Here is why I’m sharing this information and what you can do to help.
First, let’s understand what happened when a disabled single mother with her kids, a family of orphans that just lost their mother with the youngest not event 2, elderly couples and other customers that have been in traffic for close to 3 hours were told that I didn’t pay for them and that he needs to collect another payment from them. Some customers were sponsored others used their savings to have a nice Yom Tov yet to find out that they are not given a room. They were waiting for 4 hours and he wasn’t going to give them their room. While all this is happening one my customers (lets refer to him as AA) called me and asked me if it’s true that I didn’t pay him for any rooms so I said to him I’ll send you copies of all the wires and payments which I did so you can see for yourself, yet Yossi insisted it never took place and took double payments from everyone.
Being that I was no longer going to come for Shavuos he now used it against me by saying that if he was wrong I would have been there and the fact that I wasn’t coming to the program was just making him look right.
AA took the time on Motzei Yom Tov to take all my payments and match it to the customers and prove to him that it had to go into his account since no one else has that same name, he came up with an excuse by saying it didn’t hit his account only on Sunday and he really didn’t know that the payments were sent. I must say that AA, as well as the other customers, were surprised to hear that since a quick-pay shows up right away in your account and the credit card charge was done a week earlier and had been marked on a shared doc as “paid” by Yossi himself.
What can we do?
Now I would like to ask for the public to assist me as I’m no longer able to fight it on my own. People have come forward with similar stories that happened to them and how Yossi got away with it just for the fact that could. Being that he also used to practice law at some point I guess he knows how to outsmart the system which is why I didn’t even try to sue him for the 15K, but now that he ruined cold-blooded the Yom Tov for so many and has not shown any remorse in fact just the opposite is true when he tried to get my customers to sign that I stole money from them so he can have me arrested (just to show how low Yossi can go).
I ask that all of you that can share with me their experience from now and the past, Mashgichim, chefs and anyone that dealt with him and got robbed or witnessed the customers getting robbed by him serving non-kosher food to please come forward and let it be known that we as Klal Yisroel will not stand for a bully anymore.
While I’m on the subject of hurting others I would like to share with you another none god-fearing Jew and again I’ve heard many stories from people that he tried to swindle out of money for marketing that he did not do.
Over the past few years, a character by the name of “Kosher Guru” aka Gabriel Boxer from Five Towns NY has claimed to fame with videos for new products in the kosher industry. His approach to marketing has been used in many kosher supermarkets that wanted to get noticed and used his services. I too tried and his service but it did not produce any results and in fact, not a single (known to me) customer came through him, but since he tried I allowed him to come for a free Shabbos.
After the incidence I had with Yossi when he refused to pay me 15K when I had just started my business and nothing I tried getting him to pay worked I decided to reach out to the people that work with him. Kosher Guru was one of them. He refused to get involved although it was all black on white how Yossi showed up on Shabbos knowing I won’t be able to ask him to pay for the rooms he sent me yet Mr. Boxer chose to not even try to speak to him. In return, I advised him that he’s no longer welcomed to join our programs for free. Mr. Boxer started acting like an animal by making comments on my ads saying “stay away” and other inappropriate comments (PS he also claimed that I owe him 100k for liking an ad on my account) which I just ignored, until today when he sent me a link to a blog he posted on his website saying things that are untrue and very hurtful with regards to what happened Shavuos, and of course pointing the finger at me for what Yossi did. To think of him as a low-life is probably an understatement.
I’m reaching out to you to please if you have any idea how to stop these 2 from continuing to bully and to steal money from people, or if you have been a victim to these 2, please do reply so we can all be as one voice against bullies and Ganovim.
Please share this email with as many contacts and by doing so I” give you a Brocha to be Matzliach with all you do and see only Nachas from your kids.
PS if you have any doubts about any of this information I shared please reach out to me for the documents with all the facts.
Phone: (917) 297-5644
Email: [email protected]