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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

Brooklynites to Protest Vandalizing of Jewish Beastie Boy’s Brooklyn Park

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

A Brooklyn Heights playground named after late hip hop group Beastie Boys’ star Adam Yauch was vandalized with swastikas and the words “Go Trump!” on Friday. Yauch, who was Jewish, died of cancer in 2012 at the age of 47.

Tweeted photos show the swastika and slogan that were spray-painted on the playground equipment. Parents reported the vandalism to Democratic State Senator Daniel Squadron on Friday, and his staff notified the Parks Department and police, according to a Squadron spokesman, who said that Parks Dept. employees scrubbed the equipment on Friday night.

Two police officers were stationed in the park on the night between Thursday and Friday, but, apparently, were not aware of the vandalism.

Adam Nathaniel Yauch (1964 – 2012) was an American rapper, musician, film director, and human rights activist. He was best known as a founding member of the Beastie Boys. He was also known by his stage name, MCA, and the pseudonym Nathanial Hörnblowér. His father had been raised a Catholic and his mother was Jewish. Yauch was a practicing Buddhist.

State Senator Squadron sent out an email inviting New Yorkers and the media to join him on Sunday at the Adam Yauch park on State Street (between Columbia & Willow Place), at 11:30 AM, “to stand against hate in our backyard, our city, and our country.”

Squadron will be joined by Beastie Boys member Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Public Advocate Letitia James, City Councilmembers Stephen Levin and Brad Lander, elected officials, community and faith leaders.


Senator Boxer Wants to Abolish Electoral College

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca) who is retiring in January 2017 has introduced he last bill, and it’s a big one. Boxer’s legislation, submitted on Tuesday, will abolish the Electoral College, leaving the choice of a president up to the popular vote.

“In my lifetime, I have seen two elections where the winner of the general election did not win the popular vote,” Boxer said in a statement. “When all the ballots are counted, Hillary Clinton will have won the popular vote by a margin that could exceed 2 million votes, and she is on track to have received more votes than any other presidential candidate in history except Barack Obama.”

“The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately,” Boxer insisted, stressing that “every American should be guaranteed that their vote counts.”

Boxer’s bill requires an amendment to the US Constitution (number 28), and three-fourths of the states would be needed to ratify the bill within seven years — should its pass in Congress.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, to Sophie (née Silvershein) and Ira Levy, Barbara Boxer has been the junior Senator from California since 1993. In October 2002, Boxer voted against the joint resolution to authorize the use of military force by the Bush Administration in Iraq. In June 2005, Senators Boxer and Russ Feingold (D-WI) cosponsored Senate Resolution 171 calling for a timeframe for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq.

President Elect Donald Trump is the fifth person to win the presidency while losing the popular vote. The most recent was George W. Bush in 2000. The other three times all took place in the 19th century. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, 63 percent of Americans would get rid of the electoral college.

“In 2012, Donald Trump tweeted, ‘The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy,'” Boxer said in her statement. “I couldn’t agree more. One person, one vote!”


An Anti-Israel Food Coop Grows In Brooklyn

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

When Brooklyn’s Park Slope Food Coop (PSFC) was founded in 1973, it had a worthy mission: to make healthy and affordable food available to everyone who wanted it.

But PSFC appears to have lost its way. In April, it suspended four loyal, long-time members for a whole year – three of them members from the Coop’s inception. The reason? Allegedly, the four disrupted a meeting. But in reality, they were singled out from among hundreds of Coop members who vociferously objected to a hateful and bigoted anti-Israel presentation at a Coop meeting aimed at getting the Coop to boycott an Israeli company called SodaStream.

This wasn’t the first time an anti-Israel boycott was proposed at the Coop; the membership had already considered and soundly rejected one in 2012. But the Israel-bashers were persistent, this time displaying inflammatory anti-Israel photos at a Coop general meeting. The photos weren’t verified, they had no context, and the boycott proponents did not even establish their connection to SodaStream.

Members at the meeting reported that not only was Israel viciously attacked; Jews were, too, with outrageous and incendiary comments like “Jews are aggressive toward black children.”

The four suspended PSFC members were no doubt passionate and vocal in their objection to this anti-Israel boycott effort, and they had good reason to be: A boycott of Israeli products such as SodaStream would violate New York State law and could subject the Coop to liability.

New York’s Human Rights Law prohibits boycotts based on national origin, among several other protected categories. The law doesn’t require evidence of a formal boycott campaign; it’s enough if there’s a pattern of conduct that commercially disadvantages members of a protected class –which describes the anti-Israel vendetta at the Coop.

Boycotts that protest unlawful discriminatory practices do not violate the Human Rights Law, but that exception couldn’t possibly apply to a boycott targeting SodaStream, a company that exemplifies fairness and peaceful Jewish-Arab coexistence.

When the SodaStream factory was located near Maale Adumim – an area in Judea under Israeli control as per the 1993 Oslo Accords that likely would be included as part of Israel in any future peace deal – approximately 500 Palestinians worked at the factory alongside Israeli Jews, receiving equal pay and treatment. The factory even had a mosque for Muslim employees.

The Coop was targeting SodaStream for one reason only: It’s an Israeli company and the boycott promoters are hostile to Israel, which is precisely what the law is aimed at addressing.

Recently, New York State made its prohibitions against anti-Israel boycotts even stronger. Last June, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order to prevent state agencies and authorities from engaging in or promoting “any investment activity that would further the harmful and discriminatory Palestinian-backed Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in New York State.”

The Coop isn’t a state entity but it does receive both state and federal benefits. In addition to the federal money it receives from the food stamps that some customers use, the Coop has been authorized by the state to operate as a non-profit tax-exempt organization. The Coop thus doesn’t have to pay taxes derived from the revenue it collects. Given these benefits, it is difficult to believe that New York State would indulge a Coop decision to target and discriminate against Israeli companies, including SodaStream.

These kinds of liability concerns prompted the GreenStar Food Coop in Ithaca to reject a boycott of Israeli products. GreenStar’s legal counsel wisely concluded that the boycott could render GreenStar liable under the Human Rights Law.

The four members’ vehement rejection of PSFC’s anti-Israel boycott efforts made sense for a second reason: Targeting and boycotting the one Jewish state in the world – and the only thriving democracy in the Middle East – flies in the face of the Coop’s own Mission Statement.

PSFC purports to be committed to “oppose discrimination in any form,” to “make the Coop welcoming and accessible to all,” and to “lead by example” and educate about such topics as “cooperation and the environment.”

The four members, together with hundreds of others who also opposed a boycott of the environmentally friendly SodaStream, strongly reacted because they believed the Coop should stay out of a complicated political situation and remain an accessible place for everyone.

The absolute injustice of the Coop’s suspension of its four loyal members led the Zionist Organization of America to intervene and urge the Coop to reinstate the members immediately and stop promoting discriminatory and potentially illegal practices targeting Israel.

But the Coop has disgracefully stayed silent, keeping in place the harsh punishment, which is directed against not only the four members but also all the members of their respective households who have not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Everyone in the community – especially our public officials – should be calling on the Park Slope Food Coop to stop indulging a group of Israel-bashers who seem obsessed with singling out and discriminating against Israel, in violation of public policy. Instead, the Coop should stick to its mission to make healthy and affordable food available to everyone who wants it.

Susan B. Tuchman and Morton A. Klein

America Prepares to Vote in Brooklyn, NY

Monday, November 7th, 2016

America is gearing up to vote for a new president on Tuesday, and already by Monday polling stations were in place, ready for the expected flood of voters that candidates are hoping will come to cast their ballots.

In the Midwood section of Brooklyn, polling places are squirreled away, cheek-and-jowl, in every corner of the neighborhood.

On a leafy dead-end street, the Board of Elections has managed to tuck in a polling place in the basement of a residential building on East 17th Street and Avenue I, next to a tony housing project where a security manager in an outside booth eyes unfamiliar people.

Brooklyn Public Library polling place for 2016 US presidential election, on East 16th Street between Aves I and J in Midwood section of Brooklyn, New York.

Brooklyn Public Library.

A second polling place for neighbors to cast their ballots is located barely a block away in the Brooklyn Public Library on East 16th Street between Avenues I and J.

Election booths have been set up in many libraries, public schools and even one in a church, said a local source who requested anonymity.

New York photographer DS Levi is among those tracking down the local action on Election Day for JewishPress.com.

Hana Levi Julian

Brothers Beaten and Cursed by Anti-Semites in Marine Park, Brooklyn

Saturday, October 15th, 2016

Two brothers on their way home from synagogue between prayers were attacked and beaten by a gang of three men during the holy day of Yom Kippur in the Marine Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, JP Updates reported late Thursday.

The two brothers, one age 23 and the other a bit younger, were attacked at the intersection of East 66th Street and Avenue U by men yelling “F— Jews” and other anti-Semitic slurs. Both were wearing traditional Jewish garb at the time.

According to New York Police, the suspects fled after beating their victims, and the two young men made their way back to synagogue, where security personnel called NYPD and the Hatzolah emergency medical response service.

The older victim sustained bruises and other injuries, including a laceration on his mouth. He was treated at the scene. His younger brother, however, was evacuated to a local medical center; he sustained injuries to his eye and mouth.

NYPD Precinct 63 responded to the synagogue and also sent officers to the scene to collect evidence. The Hate Crime Task Force is now leading the investigation, according to NYPD spokesperson Lee Jones, who said it is being classified as a “possible anti-Semitic attack.”

Hana Levi Julian

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/historic-first-chassidic-woman-elected-to-be-ny-civil-court-judge/2016/09/14/

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