CUFI Press Relations Contact in Rabbi Impersonation Scandal

A few days ago it was reported by Bruce Wilson, Max Blumenthal, and Sam Stein that a PR firm employed by John Hagee Ministries had succeeded in getting YouTube to remove videos featuring clips of Hagee’s controversial sermons. The PR firm was 5WPR, and 5W’s Senior Vice President Juda Engelmayer is listed as the contact for Hagee’s Christians United for Israel’s press relations.

Meanwhile, 5WPR has also been involved with defending a firm called Agriprocessors, which is the USA’s largest producer of Kosher meat. Agriprocessors has come under fire for a range of issues following an immigration raid on one of its plants, but the firm received supportive comments on a critical blog in the name of Morris Allen, a Conservative Rabbi with expertise in ethical kashrut practices. However, the Rabbi had not made the comments – and, as the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports, one of them was traced back to Engelmayer’s apartment.

The JTA tells us that an intern has confessed that he sent the comment from Engelmayer’s apartment without his knowledge during a get-together; however, it also reports the president of 5WPR as saying that “A senior staff member failed to be transparent in dealing with client matters. He has taken full responsibility”. Other fraudulent postings came from IPs belonging to 5WPR.

The blog to which the comments were posted is Failed Messiah, which writes critically about ultra-Orthodox Judaism and the theocratic right in Israel.

The Jerusalem Post adds the detail that 5WPR’s clients

include McDonald’s, pornographer Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild, Pastor John Hagee and a slew of right-wing Jewish organizations.

Gawker has more fun with the story.