By SAM SOKOL
NEW YORK CITY (JTA) – Michael Cohen, a former attorney and fixer for Donald Trump, reported to start his three-year term on Monday at a prison called “federal Jewish heaven.”
Cohen will serve his time at FCI Otisville, a medium-security prison about 70 miles northwest of New York City with a reputation as the lockup of choice for Jewish criminals.
Some reasons why: It serves kosher foods such as matzah ball soup, gefilte fish and rugelach, in part because of its “proximity to New York’s sizable Jewish population.” Also, Otisville holds Shabbat dinners and Passover seders, according to Larry Levine, who served an 11-year sentence in 10 prisons before setting up the Wall Street Prison Consultants group.
It was Levine who told MarketWatch that Otisville is “federal Jewish heaven.”
This document lists some other kosher foods and beverages offered there, including beef cholent, seltzer and stuffed chicken.
Cohen was convicted of, among other things, carrying out the president’s hush money payments to two women who say they had affairs with him, violating campaign finance laws in the process.
Before heading to jail on Monday morning, in an apparent dig at Trump, Cohen told reporters that “there still remains much to be told and I look forward to the day when I can share the truth.”
Other Jewish inmates who have passed through the facility include businessmen Sholam Weiss and Kenneth Ira Starr. Bernie Madoff’s lawyer asked that the Ponzi schemer be sent there in 2009, but instead Madoff was funneled to a prison in North Carolina.
Cohen has previously cited his father’s experiences as a Holocaust survivor to explain why he turned on Trump, his one-time mentor and employer.