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August 29, 2016 / 25 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

Brooklyn Yeshivas In The 1930s (Part II)

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

(Unless otherwise indicated, all quotes are from “History of Brooklyn Jewry” by Samuel P. Abelow, Scheba Publishing Company, Brooklyn, 1937.)


This month we continue the discussion we began in our last column concerning yeshiva education in Brooklyn circa 1937.


Yeshivah of Flatbush[i]

The Yeshivah of Flatbush was founded in 1927 by Joel Braverman. The Flatbush of 1927 was drastically different from the Flatbush of today. Then there were no kosher restaurants, no stores that were closed on Shabbat, no men or boys wearing yarmulkes in the street, and only a few Orthodox shuls.

Braverman “was born in 1896 in Balta in the Ukraine to a well-respected, educated family that made sure that his education consisted of both limudei kodesh and general studies. By the time he was a teenager he had become an ardent Zionist, and at 16 immigrated to Palestine where he resumed his studies in the Mizrahi in Jerusalem.”

In 1916 he immigrated to America. Shortly thereafter he enrolled in NYU and pursued “degrees in both education and business administration, while simultaneously teaching Hebrew school in the afternoons in Stamford, Ct. At the young age of 25 he became an assistant principal in a small Hebrew School on Long Island and a year later, in 1922, he became the principal the Talmud Torah of the Avenue N Jewish Center in Flatbush.”

In 1927 a group of Flatbush baalei batim asked Braverman to become the educational director of what was to become the Yeshivah of Flatbush. It was not an easy task to convince parents to enroll their children in this new Jewish day school. Indeed, in the early days when Braverman and other community leaders would try to make their case for the school, “there were people who yelled at them in Yiddish, saying “What do you want, to make for us a ghetto? We had a ghetto in der heim, we don’t want a ghetto in America!”

Despite such opposition, the Yeshivah of Flatbush opened that year with 22 children, four teachers for two classes – a kindergarten and a first grade. Joel Braverman was the moving force behind the development of the school. He modeled its curriculum after the coeducational Tarbut schools in Poland, Romania, and Lithuania. All limudei kodesh subjects were taught in Ivrit B’Ivrit. A number of the teachers who taught these subjects were recruited from Eretz Yisrael over the years. The secular education was designed to rival the best available in public schools, and experienced teachers were recruited from the public school system.

Braverman did his best to imbue his students with a love for Israel and strong Zionist ideals. He also encouraged regular synagogue attendance on Shabbos at the Junior Congregation minyan that met in the basement of the yeshiva building.

Braverman worked tirelessly to improve the school with much success.

Samuel P. Abelow writes, “[I]n 1936, its register reached the total of three hundred and seventy pupils. The school is in session from 9 A. M. until 3.45 P.M. The classes range from the kindergarten through the highest grade of the elementary schools. The English department is chartered by the Board of Regents so the regular school subjects are taught. Since the attendance in a class is limited to twenty-two, it is possible for the teachers to give the pupils individual and intensive work. Those children who do not live in the neighborhood of the school as well as those who desire it are served with lunches by the school at a nominal cost.

“The popularity of the Yeshivah forced the authorities to seek larger quarters. For that reason, they decided to erect a modest building to cost about $60,000 on Coney Island Avenue, between Avenues L and M. In addition to the regular classroom facilities, the building will have a large outdoor playground, an attractive roof garden and a completely equipped gymnasium. The corner-stone of the new building was laid on June 9, 1936, and it is expected that the building will be completed by October 15, 1936.

“The officers of the Yeshivah of Flatbush in 1936 were: President, Samuel K. Charnoff; vice-presidents, Jacob Kestenbaum, David Carmel, Mrs. Maurice L. Katz; treasurer, Abraham Usherson; recording secretary, Joseph Greenberg; financial secretary, David Kamerman; executive secretary, Joel Braverman; Rabbi Wolf Levy, chairman of the Hebrew department; Rabbi J. A. Dolgenas, chairman of the English department; Max Kupfeld, principal of the English department, and Mr. Braverman, principal of the Hebrew department.”

By 1948 enrollment was over 620 students. A high school was opened in 1950, and its first class graduated in 1954. The present high school building located on Avenue J opened in the fall of 1964.

Joel Braverman did not get to spend much time in the magnificent high school building he built because a year later, in 1965 he suffered a stroke. He passed away on February 5, 1969. He and his wife never had children.

Other Brooklyn Yeshivas and Talmud Torahs

Abelow also wrote about other Brooklyn Jewish schools.

“Brooklyn has other Yeshibot. There is one in the Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, which was under the supervision of the principal, Dr. Zuckerbrau, until September, 1933, when Rabbi Moshe Berman became the principal. The school is open for boys only. It was established in 1928. Hebrew is taught from 9-12 A.M. and English, from 1-4 P.M. The chairman of the Board of Education is Rabbi Nachman Ebin. Abraham Mazer is the president, and A. B. Kramer is the vice-president of the institution. The school is graded according to the elementary school curriculum of the City of New York. In 1935, through the efforts of State Senator Philip M. Kleinfeld, the school, called Ohel Moshe, obtained a charter from the Board of Regents of New York State.

“A new school was built on Ocean Parkway near Neptune Avenue, called the Talmud Torah Ahavath Israel. The Jewish Centre of Kings Highway on Avenue P and Twelfth Street has a fine Talmud Torah building. Almost every synagogue conducts a school. Talmud Torahs in the neighborhood of the Sons of Israel School are located at 83rd Street and 23rd Avenue; 75th Street, between 18th and 19th Avenues, and 63rd Street and 20th Avenue.

“According to Rabbi Ebin, Brooklyn Jews do more for Jewish education than the Jews of Manhattan. While one may travel for miles in Manhattan without seeing a Hebrew school, he said that it was unusual to go far in Brooklyn without seeing at least one Hebrew school.”

* * * * *

Yeshiva education in Brooklyn circa 1937 was in its infancy compared to what it is today. This is not surprising given the size and demographics of the Jewish community of Brooklyn in 1937 compared to today. Orthodoxy is now a vibrant force in Brooklyn, something that was far from true in 1937. Therefore we owe a big debt of gratitude to those who laid the foundations for the vibrant and varied Jewish educational institutions we have today.



[i] The material about Joel Braverman and the founding of the Yeshiva of Flatbush is based on “Remembering Joel Braverman, AH” (http://www.scribd.com/doc/81318490/Remembering-Joel-Braverman-A-H).

Dr. Yitzchok Levine

Bernie, Barney, And Other Brooklyn Jewish Old-Timers

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders (class of 1959) and my late father, Barney Schulte (class of 1932), both graduated from Brooklyn’s James Madison High School. Press accounts about Sanders and Madison have overlooked the fact that it was a nationally ranked academic and athletic high school between its founding in 1927 and the 1960s.

Four Nobel laureates were Madison graduates: Stanley Cohen (class of 1939, medicine), Robert Solow (class of 1940, economics), Gary Becker (class of 1948, economics), and Martin Perl (class of 1941, physics).

Other distinguished Madison Jewish graduates include Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), former senator Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), Marvin Miller, the first president of Major League Baseball’s players union, singer-songwriter Carole King (born Klein), sports and entertainment entrepreneur Sonny Werblin, and Sandra Feldman, the former head of the American Federation of Teachers.

Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), a graduate of Wingate High School (class of 1958), is a third Brooklynite currently serving in the U.S. Senate alongside Sanders and Schumer.

Madison’s four Nobel laureates matches Manhattan’s Stuyvesant HS for second place among American high schools in producing winners of this prestigious international prize. Ranking first with eight laureates is my alma mater, Bronx High School of Science. Unlike Bronx Science, Stuyvesant, and Brooklyn Tech, which can draw their student bodies from the five boroughs, Madison has always been a neighborhood high school.

As of 2016, the Nobel contingent from New York City public high schools stands at 42 (37 of them Jews). Thirty-one of the laureates won in the three natural-science categories – physics (14), medicine (12) and chemistry (5).

In total, 11 Jewish-American laureates graduated from a Brooklyn public high school. The seven from schools other than Madison are Jerome Karle, Paul Berg, and Arthur Kornberg (Abraham Lincoln HS); Arno Penzias and George Wald (Brooklyn Tech); Isidor Isaac Rabi (Manual Training); and Eric Kandel (Erasmus Hall).

Dr. Kandel, the Nobel Laureate in medicine in 2000, has written eloquently in a Nobel autobiography about his family’s escaping from Nazi Austria after Kristallnacht in November 1938 when he was nine years old, and arriving in Brooklyn in April 1939:

My last year in Vienna…fostered the profound sense of gratitude I came to feel for the life I have led in the United States…[As] the Yeshivah of Flatbush…did not as yet have a high school[,] I went instead to Erasmus Hall High School, a local public high school in Brooklyn that was then academically very strong…. I applied to Harvard College and was one of two students out of my class of about 1,400 to be admitted, both of us on scholarships!… Even though I was thrilled by my good fortune, I was apprehensive about leaving Erasmus, convinced that I would never again feel the sheer joy I had experienced there.

In fact, when Dr. Kandel was a student in 1940s, Erasmus was one of the finest academic high schools in the country, as is demonstrated by its fourth-place position –behind Bronx Science, Stuyvesant, and Forest Hills HS in Queens – in producing semifinalists in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, the nation’s venerable research competition for high school seniors.

Former New York Times reporter Joseph Berger’s 1993 book The Young Scientists: America’s Future and the Winning of the Westinghouse documents that 11 of the top 15 producers of semifinalists between 1942 and 1990 were New York City public high schools, and three other Brooklyn schools – Midwood, Brooklyn Tech, and Lincoln – ranked in this elite grouping. (For the last 18 years the contest has been sponsored by Intel.)

Like the Kandel family, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn and his wife, Chaya Mushka, escaped from Nazi-occupied and Vichy-controlled France, arriving in Crown Heights in June 1941. The future Seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe also felt immensely grateful to his new homeland, and he used his electrical engineering training to work at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II. (His father-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the Sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, had been rescued by the American government from Nazi-occupied Warsaw and arrived in New York City in March 1940.)

Mark Schulte

Anti-Zionist Mob Invades Brooklyn Museum to Protest Nuance and Humanism

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

On Saturday, a Brooklyn Museum exhibition of 11 photographers about the lives of Israelis and Arabs on either side of the “green line” was hijacked by a large group of local leftists, including several Arabs, to protest the museum’s chummy relationship with the real estate industry and to somehow push Arab refugees and displaced NYC tenants into the same metaphorical sack.

The exhibition, “This Place,” at the Brooklyn Museum, explores the complexity of Israel and Judea and Samaria, “as place and metaphor,” through the eyes of twelve internationally acclaimed photographers, none of whom are Israeli or PA Arab. The organizers have all but admitted that while they could have their pick out of hordes of Israeli photographers eager to participate, not one PA Arab photographer agreed to join the project, and so, it appears, the Israelis didn’t get to show their stuff either.

“The exhibition challenges viewers to go beyond the polarizing narratives and familiar images of the region found in mainstream media,” goes the Brooklyn Museum presentation. “The result is a deeply humanistic and nuanced examination that reminds us of the place of art, not as an illustration of conflict, but as a platform for raising questions and engaging viewers in a conversation.”

Settlement / Photograph by Nick Waplington at Brooklyn Museum

Settlement / Photograph by Nick Waplington at Brooklyn Museum

Can’t have that, right? And so, as Rebecca McCarthy reported in Hyperallergenic, a group calling itself the Decolonial Cultural Front and Movement to Protect the People, on Saturday crowded the exhibition space (which is a great way to make fewer than 100 people look like a Bernie Sanders-size crowd), led by one Amin Husain, a part-time lecturer at the New School, an Arab-American lawyer, artist and activist with a BA in Philosophy and Political Science, and a JD from Indiana University Law School – Bloomington. Husain, says his bio, practiced law for 5 years before leaving law for art, and is now an editor of Tidal Occupy Theory magazine and producer of Tidal on the Waves show on WBAI Radio.

Amin Husain enlisted his group of several dozen leftists to stage a protest “in response to displacement — both in Brooklyn and Palestine.”

The protesters say the exhibition is backed by funders who also support the Israeli military (which is code for Jews), and other pro-occupation elements in Israeli society, particularly those that preference Jewish identity over those of the country’s other cultural and ethnic groups. Can’t have that.

The group also targeted the museum’s role in gentrification and displacement of people of color in Brooklyn. And protested the fact that the museum stands on Native American land. The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape people, who mostly lived in New Jersey, also used to hunt in the forests of Flatbush Avenue. Bridge and Tunnel folks.

Isn’t it fascinating that the left recognizes the right of Native Americans to lands they were displaced from two centuries ago, but is deaf to the plight of the Jews who have returned to lands from which they had been displaced two millennia ago? One woman, standing in front of a banner that read “Decolonize This Place,” cried out: “We stand with our comrades to amass indigenous resurgence and fight for decolonization.” But wasn’t the Zionist endeavor, in essence, the decolonization and liberation from centuries of Arab and Ottoman occupation?

When white people decolonize their oppressors, does it count as liberation, or does it automatically constitute an occupation?

Jamila — Prepared to receive their released relatives outside, Ofra Prison Office of Social Affairs, eastern Jerusalem / Photograph by Wendy Ewald at Brooklyn Museum

Jamila — Prepared to receive their released relatives outside, Ofra Prison Office of Social Affairs, eastern Jerusalem / Photograph by Wendy Ewald at Brooklyn Museum

The protesters also expressed their concerns with the “artwashing” with nice photographs what Israel is doing to the Arabs. The term is reminiscent of “pinkwashing,” which is what the gay left is accusing gays who praise Israel’s stellar record in the treatment of LGBT people. Sure, they’re nice to their homos, but that don’t mean they don’t drink the blood of Arab children, now, does it? Never mind that the life expectancy of an openly gay person in Arab society is until dinnertime.

The group also came prepared with stickers bearing the Arab names of locations covered in the photographs, which shouldn’t have been difficult to Google, and they posted those stickers over the labels for each photograph, because only one culture matters when it comes to Israel, the culture that invaded the area back in the seventh century.

Amin Husain used the “human microphone” shtick, the most annoying gimmick ever, to declare that “the days in which art and artists are instrumentalized to normalize oppression, displacement and dispossession of any people are over. We are watching you.”

Mob censorship is the most effective tool of repression, which enables relatively small groups to temporarily dictate to others what is proper and improper for them to do, say, or experience. It works with every kind of mob, on the left, with well-organized pro-Palestinian students drowning out Israeli speakers on campus; with Donald Trump supporters who drown out the opposition, including poor Senator Ted Cruz who couldn’t put in a word edgewise in such an encounter; in talkbacks, in Facebook conversations. We are in the era of the activist mob, and our civilization is a lot like the ocean that keeps absorbing billions of tons of poisonous human refuse, until, at some point, it will surely die.

Now, there’s a tortured analogy we could support.


Brooklyn Yeshivas In The 1930s (Part I)

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

(Unless otherwise indicated, all quotes are from “History of Brooklyn Jewry” by Samuel P. Abelow, Scheba Publishing Company, Brooklyn, 1937.)


Today Brooklyn is fortunate to have a large number of yeshivas and Bais Yaakovs that span the spectrum from Modern Orthodox to haredi and chassidic. Jewish parents thus have a wide range of educational choices for their children. The situation in the 1930s was considerably different. There were, of course, fewer yeshivas, and hence parental choice was much more limited.


Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin

Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin (or Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin) was established in 1904 as Yeshiva Tiferes Bachurim. It is the oldest yeshiva in Kings County. At the suggestion of Rabbi Meir Berlin (Bar-Ilan) it was renamed in memory of his brother, Rabbi Chaim Berlin, the chief rabbi of Moscow who had moved to Jerusalem in 1906. (Rabbi Bar-Ilan lived in the United States from 1913 to 1923.)

In 1937 the yeshiva was located at 1890 Prospect Place. “Thousands of boys have gone forth from its portals to practice and to spread the teachings of the Bible, the Prophets, the Talmud, and of the leading rabbis in Israel. The history of the organization has been a struggle for funds and for public sympathy. Within the last few years, this struggle has been an intense one. Many a time did the instructors spend payless weeks, because it was not possible for the officers to collect the dues or the donations that were promised to meet the yearly budget of $60,000. [Nearly one million dollars today.]

“When the yeshiva was organized, the parents had to be coaxed and cajoled into enrolling their sons. The parents feared that the curriculum would be too severe and impossible for American children. They also feared that the secular work of the children would suffer. Time and experience proved these fears to be groundless. Besides the hundreds of graduates who have become lawyers, doctors, rabbis, and cultured gentlemen, the graduates of the yeshiva are feeding such movements as the Adas Bnai Israel and Young Israel. The English department of the yeshiva has sustained itself. The graduates distinguish themselves in the high schools and do very well in college.”

[This last paragraph says much about the attitude of parents during the first part of the twentieth century regarding the importance of yeshiva education. Many parents resisted sending their sons to a yeshiva because they felt attending yeshiva would hinder their sons’ ability to integrate into American society. They felt that sending their children to public school was the way to accomplish this. They failed to realize that without a proper Jewish education their children most likely would reject traditional Judaism.]

“The cost of maintaining the yeshiva is very large. During 1932, the total expense was $49,699, of which amount $36,510 went for instruction. The income for the year was $41,431. The institution ran at a deficit of over $8,000. This meant hardship for the instructors and the children. Nevertheless, the teachers and the staff carried on.

“The faculty consisted in 1933 of the principal, Isidore K. Zwickel, and the following teachers: Abraham Kaplan, M. Ahlich, Joseph Wahrman, Samuel Kaplan, David Kalawitz, Solomon Tanrubsky, Abraham Guslik, Ben-Zion Wienokur, Hyman Rivlin, Ben Zion Tepper, Michael Shranpulski, Eleazar Bzdondsky, and Meyer Franim.

“The success of the institution is due to a large extent to the officers who work unselfishly for the cause of Judaism. They derive no material profit from their labors which they give during their leisure moments. They give not only time but money for the development of the institution. Similar to other institutions, the Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin has several very active auxiliaries: the Ladies’ Auxiliary, Parents’ Association, Women’s Welfare and Social Club, and an Alumni Association.”

Dr. Yitzchok Levine

Sanders Condemns ‘Disproportionate’ Israeli Gaza Attacks, Clinton Blames Hamas, Iran ‘Constant Incitement’ [video]

Friday, April 15th, 2016

Hillary and Bernie locked horns, clashed, yelled and smashed into each other almost literally last night in Brooklyn, NY. There were cheap shots and there were deep cuts. It can be safely said that the behavioral gap between the Democratic and Republican debates have narrowed significantly, so neither side can claim the high ground any longer. As to the portion of the debate in which we were most interested, US-Israeli relations, we must agree Hillary made us feel a little safer. Sanders started off from the point of view of B’Tselem and J Street, while Hillary at this point is a little to the right of J Street. After last night’s debate, if you’re a Democrat who cares about Israel, we advise you to buy an industrial size laundry clip, put it on your nose and vote for Bill’s wife. Not because we endorse her, we really really don’t, but she scares us a little less than Bernie does.

And now, to what they actually said last night about how they’d like to finally bring peace to the region…

Blitzer: Senator, let’s talk about the U.S. relationship with Israel. Senator Sanders, you maintained that Israel’s response in Gaza in 2014 was, quote, “disproportionate and led to the unnecessary loss of innocent life.”


What do you say to those who believe that Israel has a right to defend itself as it sees fit?

Sanders: Well, as somebody who spent many months of my life when I was a kid in Israel, who has family in Israel, of course Israel has a right not only to defend themselves, but to live in peace and security without fear of terrorist attack. That is not a debate.


But — but what you just read, yeah, I do believe that. Israel was subjected to terrorist attacks, has every right in the world to destroy terrorism. But we had in the Gaza area — not a very large area — some 10,000 civilians who were wounded and some 1,500 who were killed.

Heckler: Free Palestine!

Sanders: Now, if you’re asking not just me, but countries all over the world was that a disproportionate attack, the answer is that I believe it was, and let me say something else.


Sanders: And, let me say something else. As somebody who is 100% pro-Israel, in the long run — and this is not going to be easy, God only knows, but in the long run if we are ever going to bring peace to that region which has seen so much hatred and so much war, we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity.


Sanders: So what is not to say — to say that right now in Gaza, right now in Gaza unemployment is s somewhere around 40%. You got a log of that area continues, it hasn’t been built, decimated, houses decimated health care decimated, schools decimated. I believe the United States and the rest of the world have got to work together to help the Palestinian people.

That does not make me anti-Israel. That paves the way, I think…

Blitzer: … Thank you, Senator…

Sanders: …to an approach that works in the Middle East.


Blitzer: Thank you. Secretary Clinton, do you agree with Senator Sanders that Israel overreacts to Palestinians attacks, and that in order for there to be peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel must, quote, end its disproportionate responses?

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Clinton: I negotiated the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in November of 2012. I did it in concert with…


Clinton: President Abbas of the Palestinian authority based in Ramallah, I did it with the then Muslim Brotherhood President, Morsi, based in Cairo, working closely with Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli cabinet. I can tell you right now I have been there with Israeli officials going back more than 25 years that they do not seek this kind of attacks. They do not invite the rockets raining down on their towns and villages.


They do not believe that there should be a constant incitement by Hamas aided and abetted by Iran against Israel. And, so when it came time after they had taken the incoming rockets, taken the assaults and ambushes on their soldiers and they called and told me, I was in Cambodia, that they were getting ready to have to invade Gaza again because they couldn’t find anybody to talk to tell them to stop it, I flew all night, I got there, I negotiated that.

So, I don’t know how you run a country when you are under constant threat, terrorist tact, rockets coming at you. You have a right to defend yourself.


That does not mean — that does not mean that you don’t take appropriate precautions. And, I understand that there’s always second guessing anytime there is a war. It also does not mean that we should not continue to do everything we can to try to reach a two-state solution, which would give the Palestinians the rights and…

Blitzer: … Thank you…

Clinton: … just let me finish. The rights and the autonomy that they deserve. And, let me say this, if Yasser Arafat had agreed with my husband at Camp David in the Late 1990s to the offer then Prime Minister Barat put on the table, we would have had a Palestinian state for 15 years.


Blitzer: Thank you, Senator, go ahead — go ahead, Senator.

Sanders: I don’t think that anybody would suggest that Israel invites and welcomes missiles flying into their country. That is not the issue.

And, you evaded the answer. You evaded the question. The question is not does Israel have a right to respond, nor does Israel have a right to go after terrorists and destroy terrorism. That’s not the debate. Was their response disproportionate?

I believe that it was, you have not answered that.


Clinton: I will certainly be willing to answer it. I think I did answer it by saying that of course there have to be precautions taken but even the most independent analyst will say the way that Hamas places its weapons, the way that it often has its fighters in civilian garb, it is terrible.


I’m not saying it’s anything other than terrible. It would be great — remember, Israel left Gaza. They took out all the Israelis. They turned the keys over to the Palestinian people.

Clinton: And what happened? Hamas took over Gaza.

So instead of having a thriving economy with the kind of opportunities that the children of the Palestinians deserve, we have a terrorist haven that is getting more and more rockets shipped in from Iran and elsewhere.

Blitzer: Thank you, Secretary.


Sanders: I read Secretary Clinton’s statement speech before AIPAC. I heard virtually no discussion at all about the needs of the Palestinian people. Almost none in that speech.


Sanders: So here is the issue: of course Israel has a right to defend itself, but long-term there will never be peace in that region unless the United States plays a role, an even-handed role trying to bring people together and recognizing the serious problems that exist among the Palestinian people.

That is what I believe the world wants to us do and that’s the kind of leadership that we have got to exercise.

Clinton: Well, if I — I want to add, you know, again describing the problem is a lot easier than trying to solve it. And I have been involved, both as first lady with my husband’s efforts, as a senator supporting the efforts that even the Bush administration was undertaking, and as secretary of state for President Obama, I’m the person who held the last three meetings between the president of the Palestinian Authority and the prime minister of Israel.

There were only four of us in the room, Netanyahu, Abbas, George Mitchell, and me. Three long meetings. And I was absolutely focused on what was fair and right for the Palestinians.

I was absolutely focused on what we needed to do to make sure that the Palestinian people had the right to self-government. And I believe that as president I will be able to continue to make progress and get an agreement that will be fair both to the Israelis and the Palestinians without ever, ever undermining Israel’s security.


Blitzer: A final word, Senator, go ahead.

Sanders: There comes a time — there comes a time when if we pursue justice and peace, we are going to have to say that Netanyahu is not right all of the time.


Clinton: Well…

Blitzer: Secretary.

Clinton: … you know, I have spoken about and written at some length the very candid conversations I’ve had with him and other Israeli leaders. Nobody is saying that any individual leader is always right, but it is a difficult position.

If you are from whatever perspective trying to seek peace, trying to create the conditions for peace when there is a terrorist group embedded in Gaza that does not want to see you exist, that is a very difficult challenge.

Blitzer: Senator, go ahead.

Sanders: You gave a major speech to AIPAC, which obviously deals with the Middle East crisis, and you barely mentioned the Palestinians. And I think, again, it is a complicated issue and God knows for decades presidents, including President Clinton and others, Jimmy Carter and others have tried to do the right thing.

All that I am saying is we cannot continue to be one-sided. There are two sides to the issue.

Blitzer: Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Secretary.

David Israel

Candidate Kasich Uses Matzah Factory Visit to Sermonize on ‘Blood of the Lamb’ [video]

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

Republican presidential hopeful and Ohio Governor John Kasich visited Haredi Brooklyn on Tuesday, including stops at a Jewish bookstore, a school and a shmura matzah bakery. There, at the matzah bakery, where 18 minute discs of unleavened dough are hand-made with the proper spiritual intent by kosher Jews, for the crowd that wouldn’t touch a machine-made matzah on Passover, there is where cultures and religions clashed.

“It’s a wonderful, wonderful holiday for our friends in the Jewish community – the Passover,” Kasich told reporters after his tour of the matzah bakery, holding a box of precious, fresh “shmura matzah” in his hands. Then he proceeded, quite naturally, into a mini sermon about the connection between the Passover blood and the blood of you-know-who.

“The great link between the blood that was put above the lampposts (he meant the doorposts, or mezuzahs to you and me) — the blood of the lamb, because Jesus Christ is known as the lamb of God. It’s his blood, we believe …”

That was it. At least that’s all that the YouTube clip allows us to see of the Kasich visit’s Christian sermon part.

Publicist Ezra Friedlander tried to soften the blow for the press, as JTA’s Uriel Heilman, who was quite stunned by the blood of the lamb thing, described it.

“He’s very knowledgeable and he takes his religion very seriously,” Friedlander told Heilman. “In context, I thought it was appropriate.”

According to Heilman, Kasich also emphasized his points by shaking the box of shmura matzah, turning it into “shvura (broken) matza.” Considering how much these things cost on the week before the seder, he probably didn’t understand why folks were ogling him like he was using a Fabergé egg to hammer in a couple of nails.

At the bookstore, according to Heilman, Kasich told a group of young religious men, “You know who I like? Joseph. You guys like Joseph? You study Joseph? What do you think about Joseph? Did you hear the most important thing Joseph said to his brothers?” And the governor provided the answer, saying Joseph told his brothers, “My brothers, you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.”

In other words, Kasich, a Roman Catholic turned Anglican, was actually implying for the benefit of his potential Jewish voters, that even though you people crucified you- know-who, it’s all good in the end.

A very knowledgeable man.

David Israel

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hsbc-bank-robbed-during-sabbath-in-borough-park/2016/04/12/

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