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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Borough Park’

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.

FRIDAY, NOV. 22 ATTACK

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.

 

 

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.

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.

Frum Democratic Candidate Promising to Turn Republican

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

This has to be a first in American politics: a candidate who vows to leave his party, if need be, even before the elections!

According to the NY Post, Simcha Felder, Democratic challenger in the New York State Senate for the 17th Senate District (including parts of Borough Park, Flatbush, Midwood, Kensington and Sunset Park), says he will caucus with the Republicans and vote for Republican Dean Skelos as Senate majority leader.

Felder, whose late father Rabbi Harry Felder was spiritual leader of Beth Aaron Congregation in Borough Park, was adamant on his promise that “I said I would caucus with any party that will allow me to deliver the most to the 17th Senate district and its constituents.”

Republican David Storobin squeaked by Democrat Lew Fidler in a special election to replace former Senator Carl Kruger (D), who was convicted of bribery.

Felder, running against incumbent Republican State Senator David Storobin, is also deputy comptroller for budget and accounting of the City of New York (appointed by Comptroller John Liu).

The Jewish Press has endorsed Simcha Felder for the NY Senate.

Borough Park Shomrim Nab Bank Robber

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

A bank-robbing bandit was no match for a group of boychiks from Brooklyn, being arrest after an armed spree thanks to the assistance of the famous Hasidic Shomrim.

Entering a Brooklyn bank on Wednesday wearing a red skeleton mask and black gloves and brandishing a gun, suspect Kevin Crawford, 20, demanded $4,000 in 20 dollar bills and wished teller Maria Masallo “Happy f—king Halloween!”

The masked robber was soon followed by witnesses, only to be caught and held by Borough Park Shomrim volunteers, unarmed civilian patrollers from the Orthodox Jewish neighborhood whose mission is to thwart burglary, vandalism, mugging, assault, domestic violence, nuisance crimes, and anti-Semitic attacks.

Crawford allegedly held up the Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburg on Tuesday, making off with $1,960.

On Wednesday afternoon, he held up the Emigrant Savings Bank on Myrtle Avenue in Fort Greene, shouting curses at the teller.  When she did not immediately respond, he fled.

Stolen 3-Foot Menorah is Returned to Rabbi in Borough Park

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

A silver menorah stolen from a rabbi’s Brooklyn home was returned.

The 3-foot menorah belonging to Rabbi Yehezkel Zion was stolen last week from the family’s Borough Park home.

The suspect, Denis Ildatov, is Jewish and wore a yarmulke, white shirt and black pants to make it easier for him to slip in and out of the homes of his Orthodox Jewish neighbors, WPIX-TV reported

In addition to the $10,000 menorah, Ildatov allegedly took other religious items.

Authorities say that Ildatov also may be responsible for several other break-ins in the area. He has been charged with three burglaries.

Technology Can Save Lives, Even in Borough Park

Monday, May 21st, 2012

I, for one, was glad to read the distinction the Asifa organizers were making, between “good” and “bad” technology, meaning, of course, that there’s no such thing as an inherently wicked technology, only wicked people who take it to dark corners.

That was a sober and responsible approach to the issue, and I was impressed by the quickness with which the organizers responded to the potential pitfalls of being portrayed as Luddites, which does not befit a nation of scholars and questioners.

A story in Sunday’s NY Daily News reveals an altogether different angle of the same issue. Apparently, modern technology may end up saving a Haredi neighborhood from some of the internal conflicts it has been slow to resolve by itself.

Leiby Kletzky, a Hasidic Jewish boy, was kidnapped in 2011 on his way home from day camp in Borough Park, Brooklyn. Part of his body was found in the Kensington, Brooklyn, apartment of one Levi Aron, 35.

Now, according to the News, New York State will give $1 million to a Jewish nonprofit organization which will install 150 high-tech security cameras around Borough Park and Midwood, as part of the Leiby Kletzky Security Initiative.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Borough Park) said, “We can’t bring Leiby back, but we can make sure there are no other Leibys with God’s help.”

I believe this is a way in which technology will compensate for the Haredi community’s inner conflict regarding the issue of informing on “unzere menchen,” our own people, to the authorities. There’s no need to debate this issue any longer, when the cops already have the whole thing on tape, thank you very much.

It’s the biggest mass installation of cameras outside Manhattan, officials contend. That’s a lot of barn doors being closed well after the horses have left, but I don’t knock it. Better late than never.

It’s probably going to make life in Borough Park a whole lot more stressful, I suspect. Folks are going to be extra stiff around businesses, synagogues and schools, where those 150 cameras will be positioned.

It’s not Divine Supervision, but, it gets pretty close.

In the end, I think it was courageous on the part of the people of Borough Park and Assemblyman Hikind, to accept that their neighborhood deserved to be protected, even at the price of suffering a little ridicule.

And that was the positive spirit of last night’s Asifa in a nutshell.

Bill Thompson Courting Orthodox Jews in Quest of Mayoral Post

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

The NY Post reported that Mayoral hopeful Bill Thompson has been “surprisingly successful” in seeking the Orthodox Jewish vote in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Democrat, who supported Thompson for Mayor in 2009, said “Thompson’s definitely a favorite in the Jewish community, no question about it.”

Thompson’s rival in the Mayoral race, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who is Jewish, is not cutting it, apparently, with his co-religionists across the river.

Thompson told The Post, “I’ve established relationships in the Orthodox community across the city. I’m getting a pretty positive reception. It isn’t a question of whether you’re Jewish or not.”

He added: “It is a question of leading the city; it’s a question of services to communities.”

Bill de Blasio, who represented Borough Park in the City Council for eight years, is also in the running for the city’s top job.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bill-thompson-courting-orthodox-jews-in-quest-of-mayoral-post/2012/05/08/

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