The Strange Case of the Nephew of the Board Chair of the 92nd Street Y

Thomas Kaplan is the chair of the 92nd Street Y's board of directors. He is devoted to gaining control of the Orthodox conversion process and saving panthers. His 32-year-old nephew Guma has gone crazy, and he's tangled up in it.

It's a super-complicated story, but what you need to know is this: Kaplan and his 32-year-old, multimillinaire Israeli nephew, Gumo Aguiar, had been funding the efforts of a shady ultra-Orthodox rabbi named Leib Tropper as he attempted to gain control of the Orthodox conversion process. Except Tropper's plans were derailed when a tape was discovered showing him trying to "sexually coerce" (yeah, we don't know what that means either. Rape? BJs?) a prospective convert. Aguiar is a former evangelical Christian who moved to Israel in 2007 with his wife and three children; his relationship with Kaplan is now strained over the little matter of $2.55 billion in proceeds from the sale of a natural-gas venture, and he had taken to leaving threatening voicemails for Kaplan and trying to gain custody of his kids. Because of his erratic behavior, Aguiar's family had him committed to a mental hospital. Anyway, give this Tablet Magazine chronicle a read. Super rich Jews! Rabbis! Sexual coercion! Mental hospitals! It's all there.

[Pic: Guma Aguiar, right, posing with Texas Governor Rick Perry (!?!?!?!?) in Jerusalem, via AP]