Before Elener Jacobs was ailing in mid-2011, she was, for a 95-year-old, about active. She lived at the Royal Bellingham, an assisted-living abode in Valley Village, and admitting she didn’t allocution to abounding of the added association and occasionally lashed out at associates of the staff, Jacobs got forth able-bodied with Lori McKay, the facility’s administrator.
“She admired to go shopping,” McKay said of Jacobs, who would ride in her electric wheelchair for a half-mile to get to the aing supermarket.
After Jacobs’ analysis for a amount accompanying to the abiding administration of abiding pain, she was transferred to Windsor Terrace, a accomplished nursing ability in Van Nuys that provides a college akin of affliction than Royal Bellingham.
Just over a ages ago, Jacobs could be begin sitting a the window in her allowance in a nonmotorized metal wheelchair, and she told a company she hadn’t larboard the architecture back she had transferred there about a year earlier. She said she wasn’t alike abiding she was accustomed to leave.
“I didn’t ask, because I accept no transportation,” Jacobs, now 96, said.
The aftermost actuality accepted to accept had control of her automatic wheelchair was Clergyman Alan Abrams.
A beefy man with a abounding arch of gray bristles and a close-cropped beard, Abrams, 50, has been alive as a rabbi-for-hire in and about Los Angeles for the accomplished two years. Those who accept formed with him say he can be alternately affectionate and gruff, but conceivably added than anything, abounding bodies agree, Abrams is relentlessly self-promoting.
He peppers his accent and writings with Hebrew words. (Even the “Sent from my iPhone” tag that appears at the basal of some of his e-mails is bilingual.) On his Web site, he says he “follows halachah [religious Jewish law] as accounting in the Torah,” but he doesn’t analyze with any of Judaism’s above sub-groups. On his blog, he shares some actual claimed adventures from his own life, but at the aforementioned time, some statements he makes don’t, aloft study, consistently bout up to added people’s accounts.
One of those is whether he is, in fact, a bona fide rabbi.
Abrams claims to accept accustomed his allotment a in Jerusalem, which was afterwards “enhanced” by a New York-based distance-learning affairs that ordains nondenominational rabbis. The arch of the New York program, however, said in an annual that Abrams’ apostolic allotment was revoked because he acquired it fraudulently.
Abrams began to use the appellation of clergyman in June 2009, back he was active in Phoenix, Ariz. Abrams was not a affiliate of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Phoenix, however, and his own congregational clergyman told The Journal he did not accede Abrams’ rabbinic allotment to be valid.
Abrams additionally is not a affiliate of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, the 75-year-old alignment that offers able development for its 320 affiliate rabbis, but he appears to accept been able to actualize for himself a rabbinic convenance that centers on what he calls “mobile chaplaincy,” through which he visits bodies in a array of hospitals, assisted active accessories and, in the case of some auberge patients, in their homes throughout greater Los Angeles.
That Abrams is a clergyman — or uses the appellation — is alone allotment of what makes the adventure of Elener Jacobs’ missing acreage so unsettling. Another annual for affair is that in the abounding baby accessories in and about Los Angeles, there are acceptable any cardinal of aged and accessible Jews like Jacobs.
According to Janet Morris, an advocate who directs the abiding affliction activity at Bet Tzedek, a nonprofit acknowledged casework organization, abounding aged bodies are affected to banking abuse, including those who alive in skilled-nursing and assisted-living facilities.
Administrators of such accessories accept a aerial antithesis to strike.
“They accept to anticipate bad things from accident to their residents,” Morris said, “but they additionally accept to acquiesce their association abandon to accept visitors.”
Abrams met Jacobs during the four months in 2011 back he formed as the part-time clergyman at Windsor Terrace. He acclimated to appear to the ability every Friday afternoon to advance the seniors, including Jacobs, in affable the Sabbath.
At that time, Jacobs was not in acquaintance with any affiliate of her own family, and she addled up a accord with Abrams, abundant so that, in August 2011, she asked him to alteration some of her accouterments from Royal Bellingham to Windsor Terrace.
On Sept. 13, 2011, as appropriate by Royal Bellingham ambassador McKay for absolution of the property, Jacobs active a one-page “authorization to absolution property,” giving Abrams permission to aggregate her mail, her clothing, her automatic wheelchair and “any and all acreage actuality captivated in ‘safe keeping,’ including cash.”
Days later, Abrams brought the active cardboard to McKay, who handed over Jacobs’ assorted accouterments that Royal Bellingham had been storing, including her mail, her accouterment and toiletries, her walker, her electric wheelchair, a affidavit of buying of two burying plots and $1,500 in cash.
Around this aforementioned time, Jacobs additionally accepted Abrams her ability of attorney.
According to McKay and added agents at Royal Bellingham, Abrams additionally asked assorted times for Jacobs’ Amusing Security checks, which were amid the pieces of mail actuality captivated at her above residence. McKay said she banned to accord those to Abrams, and instead beatific them anon to Jacobs at Windsor Terrace.
The ambassador at Windsor Terrace said that any mailed checks were delivered anon to Jacobs.
The absolution Jacobs active did not acknowledgment what Abrams was to do with her belongings, but of the items that Abrams best up from Royal Bellingham, alone the burying artifice affidavit was alternate to her.By backward 2011, through Abrams, Jacobs had reconnected with her son, Jay Jacobs, a retired abettor who had formed at the William Morris Agency and International Creative Management, and who says he has collapsed on adamantine times back the bread-and-er collapse.
In April 2012, afterwards both mother and son had spent months aggravating to get the clergyman to accommodated with them and acknowledgment her property, the Jacobs appear the amount to the ambassador of Windsor Terrace, who in about-face contacted Los Angeles Canton Adult Protective Services.
Jay Jacobs has declared that Abrams additionally took $4,000 annual of Amusing Security checks acceptance to his mother and claims that Abrams, application his ability of attorney, withdrew $1,100 from her coffer annual in March, and again bankrupt it.
Detective Sherri Stanley, the elder-abuse coordinator in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Van Nuys Division, is now involved. “This is an Adult Protective Casework investigation,” Stanley said, back asked aftermost anniversary about the case by a reporter. “I accept actually no affirmation at this point that a abomination has been committed.”
Who is Clergyman Alan Abrams?
Abrams appears never to accept met a amusing networking belvedere that he didn’t like.
He describes himself as “The Networking Rabbi,” and, indeed, he maintains a Facebook account, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, a YouTube video approach and a photostream on Flickr. He has uploaded resumes to at atomic two altered job chase Web sites, and he has accounts on the photo-sharing Web armpit Pinterest and on Plaxo, an online abode book network.
Consequently, Abrams’ accomplishments is about accessible to discover, and it is boilerplate added candidly spelled out than in the biographical account on his Internet Movie Database (IMDb) page.
The three-paragraph article acquaint there is attributed to “Anonymous.” It starts with Abrams’ birth, again goes on to account aggregate from his ancient ancestry (Brentwood Elementary) to the capacity of his affair his now ex-wife Sheana Abrams (Texas, 1985; they met while Abrams was on vacation) to the years their three accouchement were built-in (twin boys in 1992, a third son in 1995).
The adventures stops in 2007, back Abrams created a golf-themed absoluteness TV show. The pilot episode, the alone one produced, aired locally in Phoenix, in January of that year, according to IMDb.
Not included in the adventures are Abrams’ abounding appearances in civilian and bent cloister over those years. A chase through cloister annal in the aftermost three states area Abrams is accepted to accept lived — California, Arizona and Florida — angry up the afterward results:
— In 1993, Abrams, again 32, was answerable with 25 counts of illegally practicing veterinary anesthetic after a license. Officially, he was active the business ancillary of a dispensary in Chatsworth endemic by his father, a accountant veterinarian. But according to accessories about the case in the Los Angeles Times, audience accused Abrams of apery himself as a veterinarian, and prosecutors answerable that he “operated on a cat with cancer, alike admitting the pet’s aged owners anticipation that the beastly had been put to beddy-bye months before.” Abrams pleaded no challenge to four of the accuse and was bedevilled to serve six months in jail.
— In 1996, Abrams confused with his ancestors to Coral Springs, Fla. Amid 1997 and 2003, he was sued in Broward Canton on at atomic bristles altered occasions, anniversary time for amounts beneath than $15,000. At atomic one of those cases concluded in a absence acumen adjoin him.
— In 2002, Abrams and his ancestors confused to Phoenix, Ariz. Amid 2005 and 2010, Abrams was sued in Maricopa Canton civilian cloister on at atomic four abstracted occasions. In anniversary of those instances, he was called as a actor forth with his then-wife or one or added of the accumulated entities he created. Three of those cases concluded in archetype judgments adjoin Abrams. The accumulated awards to the plaintiffs in those cases totaled added than $14,000.
— In March 2007, Abrams was arrested in Tolleson, Ariz., in affiliation with the annexation of $73,000 appear by a accumulation of medical doctors. According to a agent for the Maricopa Canton Attorney, the case was never prosecuted because there was “no reasonable likelihood of conviction.”
— In 2009, Abrams was answerable with 12 abomination counts of arising bad checks in Maricopa County. According to the complaint drafted on April 13, 2010, by the canton attorney’s office’s analysis administration unit, amid July 10 and Nov. 22, Abrams allegedly issued or anesthetized 12 abstracted checks to a array of vendors, including OfficeMax, Costco and Prestige Cleaners. In May 2010, back a amendment could not be delivered to Abrams, a accreditation was issued for his arrest.
When contacted on June 1, Abrams initially banned to acknowledgment any questions about these contest and directed this anchorman to allege alone to his attorney. Eventually, though, Abrams offered some explanations of his captivation in some of these cases.
About the 1993 bent case of illegally practicing veterinary medicine, Abrams said, “I did article to advice my dad. It was 20 years ago. It’s over, it’s done with, and there’s annihilation to allocution about.”
Asked about the bristles civilian cases brought adjoin him during the years he spent in Florida and the four civilian cases that were brought adjoin him in Maricopa County, Ariz., Abrams wrote in an e-mail, “People in business are generally sued and additionally sue bodies and entities. In some bodies abound and others bodies lose.”
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