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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

Freier Scores Historic Victory In Brooklyn Judicial Primary

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Attorney Rachel (Ruchy) E. Freier last week won the highly contested Democratic primary for Civil Court judge in Brooklyn’s fifth judicial district. She is the first Orthodox woman from a chassidic background to win a primary for a judicial position.

Endorsed by The Jewish Press, Ms. Freier essentially ran against the Jewish political and organizational establishment.

“She had an overwhelming outpouring of support from the entire district,” said communal and political activist Rabbi Shlomo Braun.

“There was a feeling among the people who voted for her that she would certainly be an outstanding asset,” he added. “She has the proper judicial temperament for being a judge, and her background encompasses understanding, humility, common sense, and good moral judgment.”

In an Aug. 12 editorial The Jewish Press announced it was “enthusiastically” endorsing Freier, noting that in addition to being a successful attorney she serves as director of Ezras Nashim, the first all-female volunteer EMT corps, which responds to emergency calls from women, and was the founder of B’Derech, a GED program for chassidic young men.

“Ms. Freier’s activism,” the editorial stated, “stems from her admiration for Sarah Schenirer, the pioneer of the Bais Yaakov movement. Her election to the civil court would be an inspiration to all frum girls, from chassidic as well as non-chassidic backgrounds.”

Jewish Press Staff

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

Mayer Herskovic Accused of Leading Beating of Brooklyn Black Gay Man [video]

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

Mayer Herskovic, a Hasidic man who is on trial for his role in an assault on gay African-American Taj Patterson that left the latter blind in one eye, was accused on Wednesday by the victim of being the “ringleader,” the NY Daily News reported. Herskovic is looking at 25 years in prison for his role in the attack. His DNA was found on the heel of Patterson’s sneaker, which was found on the roof of a nearby building.

Police presented security camera footage showing a large group of Hasidic men converging on a street corner.

Patterson, 25, testified in Brooklyn Supreme Court that on Dec. 1, 2013, around 4:30 AM, following a birthday party, he was walking home to Fort Greene through Williamsburg, and was chased on Flushing Ave. by three Hasidic men who screamed “something negative” at him. Moments later, Patterson testified, as many as 17 more Hasidic men joined the attack.

“They threw me to the ground, dragged me on my knees, told me to ‘stay on the ground you [expletive].’ I was kicked in the face and saw a flash of white,” Patterson told the court.

He testified that he was pinned down against a chain-linked fence and was kicked and punched by his assailants. “That same individual who stood in the middle of the three men kicked me in the face, the ringleader,” said Patterson. But he was not able to identify Mayer Herskovic as one of the assailants to police or to Judge Danny Chun. He was, however, able to punch the alleged leader and break his glasses, the defense found out during cross-examination.

Patterson has undergone three surgeries to treat facial fractures and severe retinal damage that’s left him blind in one eye.

Charges were dropped against two Hasidic men who had been indicted in 2014, and two other men, Pinchas Braver and Abraham Winkler, pleaded guilty to unlawful imprisonment and were sentenced to 150 hours of community service and a $1,400 fine.


Israel to Compete at World Baseball Qualifier in Brooklyn, NY

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Israel is to be represented next month at the international qualifier for next year’s World Baseball Classic in Brooklyn, New York, against Brazil, Britain and Pakistan.

A number of players from the Major League will represent the Jewish State, including former All-Star pitcher Jason Marquis, former Mets infielder Ike Davis, and Craig Breslow, a player for the Red Sox in their 2013 World Series title.

If Israel qualifies for the WBC, the roster will likely include the greatest collection of Jewish ballplayers on one team in the history of the game, ever.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Frank Seddio For Kings County (Brooklyn) Democratic County Leader

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

In the Democratic primary election on September 13, The Jewish Press endorses attorney Frank Seddio for Democratic district leader in the 59th Assembly District in Brooklyn.

For years he has served as Brooklyn’s Democratic county leader – county leaders are chosen by their district leader colleagues – and has been a larger than life presence on the Brooklyn political scene. He and his family have been key to the remarkable renaissance the borough has enjoyed in recent years.

He has been a stalwart ally of the Jewish community, staunchly supporting the reelection of Judge Leon Ruchelsman, who enjoys a stellar judicial reputation, and the elevation of Judge Noach Dear to the Supreme Court bench, as well other Jewish candidates.

He has served as a judge on the Surrogate’s Court and continues as a successful practicing attorney. He was recently elected president of the Brooklyn Bar Association. From his perch as county leader he has met with much success in bringing Brooklyn’s various political delegations together for the common good. He is also widely lauded for his accessibility and loyalty.

Editorial Board

Crown Heights Jews Remember: Prayers for Yankel Rosenbaum, z’l, Hope for Peace

Friday, August 19th, 2016

Exactly 25 years after a young Australian Chabad-Lubavitch rabbinic student was stabbed to death on a Brooklyn street for the crime of being Jewish, his brother, Professor Norman Rosenbaum returns to the site to recite prayers marking the attack.

Rosenbaum is to attend private memorial prayers at the scene of the attack on his brother, Yankel Rosenbaum, at 10 am Friday (Aug. 19) at Brooklyn Avenue and President Street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Earlier this week the professor reunited with Carmel Cato ahead of the event to denounce violence of all forms, and to discuss healing between the two communities.

Cato’s son Gavin, 7, was struck and killed in 1991 while fixing his bike, by a car driven by a Jewish man that careened on to the sidewalk after being hit by a bus. His cousin Angela, also 7, was injured but survived.

The accident sparked three days of rioting in Crown Heights, between August 19-21. In less than an hour, mobs roamed through the streets, egged on by screaming anti-Semites who coined the battle cry, ‘No Justice, No Peace.’

Yankel Rosenbaum was the first casualty; an Italian man who was mistaken because he “looked like a Jew” was hauled out of his car next and beaten within an inch of his life. A bearded family man was chased down the street and into his apartment building, up the stairs and trapped against a wall, where he too was beaten by a mob, because he was a Jew. Gangs roamed the streets of Crown Heights for three days, until finally police were allowed to rein in the chaos.

But those who lived in the neighborhood have never forgotten the rage and fear that gripped the streets. Leaders of every community in the neighborhood were summoned to the office of then-Borough President Howard Golden to form what later became the Crown Heights Coalition, led by Rabbi Shea Hecht and Dr. Edison O. Jackson. The group spent 10 years reaching out to all members of all communities in the neighborhood, sharing each others’ culture codes and building bridges where lines of communication didn’t exist.

The effort paid off with increased funding for community projects and a new look for the neighborhood, community leaders more committed to mutual efforts where city hall is concerned and better cooperation with the NYPD.

“Things aren’t perfect,” said Chana L., a Jewish Crown Heights resident who spoke with JewishPress.com late Thursday night, “but the situation is better than it was. Our hope is to build on that and keep improving from there.”

Hana Levi Julian

Hasidic Men Sentenced to ‘Diverse Community Service’ Picked Chai Lifeline

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

The prosecutor in the case against Pinchas Braver, 22, and Abraham Winkler, 42, who last May pleaded guilty to unlawful imprisonment related to the brutal beating of gay black man Taj Patterson in Williamsburg on December 2013, recommended to the court that, as part of their plea bargain, the two men perform 150 hours of community service in a “culturally diverse neighborhood outside of where this unlawful imprisonment took place.” But, according to the NY Daily News, the two men’s attorneys told Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun Tuesday that they would like to serve those hours at the very Jewish-identified Chai Lifeline, a volunteer-based non-profit organization headed by Rabbi Simcha Scholar, which cares for children suffering from serious illnesses.

Judge Chun told the defense attorneys that “the people have concerns with the organization, under the plea the community service was to be in a culturally diverse atmosphere.”

A short debate ensued over whether or not Chai Lifeline qualifies as a culturally diverse facility, and whether it really is far enough outside Williamsburg to suit the apparently educational goals of the recommended community service.

The judge finally delayed the sentencing by one week, to give the prosecution a chance to check out Chai Lifeline.

The Chai Lifeline website features images of mostly religious Jewish children and adults, which is just fine, and the burgeoning charity organization, with multiple regional offices in the United States and affiliates in Canada, England, Israel, and Belgium, and its huge Camp Simcha in Glen Spey, NY, should only be praised for the holy work it has been performing since 1987 — but culturally diverse it probably isn’t, nor need it be.

The parties will return to the court room next Tuesday for the sentencing.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hasidic-men-sentenced-to-diverse-community-service-picked-chai-lifeline/2016/08/11/

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