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October 27, 2016 / 25 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Borough Park’

Historic First: Chassidic Woman Elected to be NY Civil Court Judge

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

The Hon. Judge Rachel “Ruchie” Freier made history this week as the first Chassidic woman ever to be elected to take the bench in New York Civil Court. The founder of Brooklyn’s Ezras Nashim all-female ambulance service, Chasdei Devorah and the B’Derech program for at-risk teens turned in a stunning electoral victory in Brooklyn’s Borough Park and Flatbush neighborhoods.

Judge Freier-elect is replacing Judge Noach Dear in the 5th Judicial District Civil Court, State of New York. Dear was recently promoted to State Supreme Court, the main trial court of New York.

As an attorney, she is licensed to practice law in New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia, with more than 30 years’ experience in the field of law. Freier specializes in commercial and residential real estate law, and until her election as a judge maintained offices in Brooklyn and Monroe, NY. She also shares space with her husband and children in a family-run real estate business.

Freier has served as a community board member in Borough Park in addition to founding numerous nonprofit organizations, and after also becoming a licensed EMT in 2012; she eventually earned a New York State license as a paramedic as well. As a lawyer, she has served as a volunteer attorney at the NYC Family Court and is a member of various Bar organizations.

The new judge ran a widely popular campaign, appealing to people across the spectrum with her history of working hard “from the ground floor up” to reach her goals, and persevering without cease until she has achieved the objectives she has set for herself.

A wife and mother of six, Freier attended Touro College to earn her B.A. at age 30, after having given birth to her first three children. That took six years, during which she gave birth to another child, and twins. Working as a legal secretary, she then started law school, and began observing court cases “in vivo” during the summer months.

In a 2015 interview with The Jewish Press, Shreier cited the strong support of her husband and her mother as major factors in her success, and noted that her “family always came first.”

Brooklynites in the 5th District clearly were able to relate to those priorities, as well as to her strong desires to help others get what they need, even when it meant putting in time and hard work of her own to do it.

Hana Levi Julian

HSBC Bank Robbed During Sabbath in Borough Park

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

A savvy robber who clearly understood the customs of the Orthodox Jewish community waited until late Friday night before breaking into a Borough Park bank to pull off a heist.

The neighborhood is always quiet Friday and Saturday as the mostly Orthodox Jewish community observes the Sabbath.

The thief broke into HSBC Bank on 13th Avenue and 44th Street – in the very heart of the shopping district in the large Brooklyn Chassidic neighborhood – via a rooftop hatch.

Holes were cut in a chain-link fence at the back of the building. Bank workers found a ladder propped against the building at 8:30 am Monday morning, along with the open rooftop hatch, police said.

The thief cut a hole through the ceiling of a vault, and stole safety deposit boxes filled with customers’ jewelry and other valuables, police sources said.

The robber also took $280,000.

Authorities are still trying to figure out how the thief managed to break in without being caught on surveillance camera.

Before employees left work on Friday the bank’s alarm had been broken. Officials suspect the two events are related, sources said.

Neighbors were stunned when they saw the police tape surrounding the building, and many told the newspaper they found the incident deeply disturbing. “It makes me feel insecure,” one said.

Hana Levi Julian

NYPD Caught in Crossfire While FBI Probes Mayor De Blasio’s Business Contacts

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

The New York Police Department’s top brass — as well as those in the lower echelons — are being questioned by the FBI in a probe that extends all the way to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The investigation developed as the result of two-year-old corruption probe that began with the 20-year head of a union representing NYC corrections officers, and a second individual who retired in 2014 as the police department’s top uniformed official.

The federal agency is now also focusing on two members of the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn who apparently have ties to the mayor, according to local sources. The specific allegations against the two are unclear.

Both allegedly raised a large amount of money for de Blasio’s mayoral election campaign and served on his inaugural committee in 2013. Neither has been charged with a particular crime, according to The New York Times.

In order to put the pieces together, FBI agents have questioned police officials from the very top of the food chain all the way down to a detective in Brooklyn’s 66th precinct, The New York Post reported Tuesday. That precinct is located in the heart of the deeply Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park.

The list of those questioned included police department chiefs, inspectors, captains and other police officials. A union head for top brass said members have been and still are cooperating with the probe. All have been told they are not the targets of this investigation; but if wrongdoing is uncovered, they could face administrative charges or dismissal. In such cases, “wrongdoing” can include acceptance of gifts, free meals or vacations and similar favors.

The investigation is being conducted with prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan.

At least police detective has declined so far to answer questions before a federal grand jury that began hearing evidence in the case.

Police Commissioner William J. Bratton told reporters at an unrelated news briefing Tuesday that the unnamed officer has been stripped of his badge and weapon, and placed on modified assignment until the investigation wraps up.

Hana Levi Julian

Neo-Nazis Vandalize Borough Park Talmud Torah

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

In the wee hours of Monday morning, one or several neo-Nazi vandals broke into a children’s yeshiva in the Brooklyn Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park.

The vandals spray-painted vicious obscenities and swastikas in various glaring colors on the walls and floors of hallways and numerous classrooms in the school.

They also spray-painted a bright blue swastika with the word “NAZI” above it in big bold letters on several hallway walls.

The incident took place at the Talmud Torah of Rachmastrivka on 38th Street between 13th and 14th Avenue. Rachmastrivka is a Chassidic dynasty named after the town of Rachmistrivka, Ukraine. It is an offshoot of the Chernobyl dynasty dating back to the 19th century.

Police and members of the Shomrim neighborhood civil patrol recorded the damage and collected evidence, then launched an investigation into the attack.

At present, much of the population in the neighborhood is on vacation and has gone “to the mountains” – meaning, they have traveled north to bungalow colonies and summer camps in New York State’s Catskill Mountains. For the children of those who have not, however, the school runs a day camp in the lower floors of the building.

Following the vandalism, New York City police have placed a mobile unit at the site to prevent further incidents.

Hana Levi Julian

Will ‘Knockout the Jew’ be Labeled Hate Crime in New York? (VIDEO)

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Sucker punching someone on the streets with the goal of knocking out the victim while a friend videos the assault so that you can achieve YouTube notoriety is the trendy crime of the moment known as the “Knockout Game.”  Sometimes it is simply known as “Knockout the Jew” or a “Polar Bear Attack” because the victims are predominantly either Jewish or just Caucasian.

The attacks have been taking place sporadically over the past several years, in cities such as Philadelphia, Syracuse and Washington, D.C.  Three people have died as the result of these attacks.

But in New York City, the numbers of reported attacks has been increasing dramatically recently, with at least seven taking place since October.

In a disproportionate number of those attacks in New York City the victims have been Jewish. Those victims have included a 12 year old boy and a 78 year old woman.  The attacks have taken place in areas of the City with the largest concentrations of Orthodox Jews, such as Borough Park or the Midwood and Crown Heights sections of Brooklyn.

Some people, including several Jewish City Council members, are calling for increased penalties for people found guilty of perpetrating the crime. The Rev. Al Sharpton spoke out against the violent trend on Saturday.

“If someone was running around talking about knocking out blacks, we would not be silent,” Sharpton said. “We cannot be silent,” CBS reported.

The New York City Hate Crimes Task Force is involved in investigating the phenomenon.

The attacks have pitted those who believe the matter needs to be downplayed or it will only result in increased “copycat” attacks, and others who are incensed that the attacks are being trivialized as a mere “game” and not a serious crime that has led to entire neighborhoods living in fear.


One attack which took place this past Friday, Nov. 22, is important for several reasons.

First, the victim, a 24 year old Orthodox Jewish man, was able to recover quickly from the attack. Second, the alleged perpetrators were quickly apprehended, and third, the individual identified by the victim as the aggressor was charged by the police on Saturday with assault as a hate crime and aggravated harassment, according to CBS local news in New York.

However, the District Attorney’s office apparently charged the individual arrested, 28 year old Amrit Marajh of Brooklyn, with misdemeanor assault, harassment and menacing charges.  Marajh was released on $750 bail later the same day. “I didn’t knock out no Jew!” Marajh yelled as he was escorted from the 66th Precinct in Brooklyn following questioning, a website covering New York City criminal information reported.

The victim was walking down 18th Avenue in Borough Park, very early in the morning after leaving work.  He was surrounded by four men and punched in the face. The victim was wearing a kippah.

NYPD officers were nearby in an unmarked police car, commissioner Ray Kelly said Friday afternoon, which is how they were able to apprehend the alleged perpetrators so quickly.

One possible reason given for the seemingly sudden upsurge in the number of attacks is that initially victims were not reporting the attacks as the perpetrators did not steal anything, making it even less likely that they could be apprehended.

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has asked anyone who has been victimized by this crime to come forward and report it.

The video is of the 24 year old victim who identified Amrit Marajh as his attacker.



Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Jewish Toy Store Owner Donates $10,000 Worth of Toys to Sandy Victims

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Toys to Discover, a Jewish-owned toy store on 18th Avenue in Borough Park gave away over $10,000 worth of toys to children affected by hurricane Sandy.

On the weekend of November 18, owner Yonasan Schwartz handed out over 600 packages of toys to Brooklyn and Long Island children whose homes were heavily damaged or destroyed by the epic storm.

In an interview with JTA, Schwartz said he “decided… to do a little sharing” after witnessing the destruction, handing out gift packages including two types of building blocks, Jewish children’s books, colorful children’s bandages, Jewish figurine toys, and kitchen play sets.  The total value of each package was approximately $150.

Schwartz told JTA he had planned to hand out 500 packages, but quickly put together another 100 after requests from Seagate and Far Rockaway showed more children were in need of some cheer.

Schwartz said he would continue to offer deep discounts to anyone coming into his store and saying they were affected by the storm.  He expressed his hope that the new toys would fill the holes in the children’s hearts left by the loss of their old toys.

Malkah Fleisher

NY Jewish Boroughs Voted Romney

Monday, November 26th, 2012

An analysis of a recent New York Times article examining the presidential voting trends of all the New York precincts determined that almost all Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods voted for Republican candidate Mitt Romney over Democratic incumbent Barack Obama.

According to an article by Front Page Mag, Romney won over 90 percent of the Jewish votes in Borough Park, Williamsburg, Flatbush, Crown Heights, Manhattan Beach, Belle Harbor, Howard Beach, Kew Garden Hills, Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay.

The article noted that support for Romney was irrespective of the level of income of the neighborhoods.

Malkah Fleisher

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/ny-jewish-boroughs-voted-romney/2012/11/26/

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