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July 1, 2016 / 25 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

Black Man Beats Up a Jew in Crown Heights

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

(JNi.media) An African American man, unprovoked, attacked a Jewish man who had been sitting on a bench on Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Tuesday at noon, Crownheights.info reported. According to the same report, the attacker was apprehended by the local Shomrim with the help of bystanders.

The assault took place on Eastern Parkway between Kingston and Albany Avenues. The Jewish man, in his 40’s, was talking on his cellphone when the black man “suddenly began pummeling him,” according to Crownheights.info.

Several bystanders immediately tried to capture the assailant, who was fleeing the scene, and finally stopped and took him down at the intersection of Eastern Parkway and Albany Avenue. A team of Shomrim volunteers arrived shortly thereafter and notified police.

The suspect admitted of his own free will that he had assaulted the Jewish man, explaining that he only recently “took crack.” The report suggests he, indeed, looked to be under the influence of drugs. Police officers took him into custody and said that they were taking him for psychiatric observation.

The victim declined medical attention, according to Crownheights.info.

JNi.Media

Kapparot ‘Sacrificial Chicken’ Ritual Gets Green Light in New York

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

The much-embattled Jewish ritual of using a purchased, donated live chicken as a “kapparah,” or sacrifice with which to absolve one’s sins before Yom Kippur has been given a green light in New York.

The purchased chicken is returned to the organization after completing the prayer and is then ritually slaughtered and donated to the poor for food. In some communities money has replaced the rite where chickens have become unavailable or where politics have made the issue so unpalatable that it community leaders no longer have the energy to cope with the fallout.

State Supreme Court Justice Debra James decided against a petition by The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos, ruling there was insufficient evidence to prove the ritual a public nuisance, the New York Post reported last week.

The lawsuit was filed this past July and named several rabbis, synagogues, the New York Police Department and New York City as well. It accused the NYC Health Department and the NYPD of aiding and abetting in the ritual by blocking off streets and sidewalks, and not enforcing city and state health and animal cruelty laws.

Various animal rights organizations, including PETA at one point, have annually made the same attempt.

Rabbi Shea Hecht, chairman of the board of the Chabad-Lubavitch-linked National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education (NCFJE), told JewishPress.com in a phone call on Sunday the organization is greatly relieved the judge upheld the ancient custom.

“We are very happy and proud that the Judge held up our Constitutional rights, which are based on freedom of religion, and has allowed us to keep this ancient minhag (custom). Although we recognize that this issue is not over,” he added, “we are thankful to God that we have the opportunity to carry out this important mitzvah to its fullest measure.”

The ritual is carried out as follows:

The live chicken is held above one’s head, and then slowly moved around in three sets of three circles as the petitioner recites a prayer that speaks of the “shadow of death… foolish sinners, afflicted because of their sinful ways and their wrongdoings.”

At no time is it considered permissible to handle the bird roughly, nor is it permissible to torment or upset the bird in any way, which itself is considered the separate sin of tza’ar ba’alei chaim (causing distress to a live creature of God).

The prayer (a brief excerpt follows) goes on to urge repentance, and describe how to expiate one’s sins on the day before Yom Kippur.

“They cry out to the Lord in their distress; He saves them from their afflictions. Redeem him from going down to the grave; I have found expiation [for him]… This is my exchange, this is my substitute, this is my expiation. This rooster/hen shall go to its death and I shall proceed to a good, long life and peace.”

Hana Levi Julian

Banners in Brooklyn: ‘Death to Israel, Death to the USA’

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Banners stretched across streets in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn read, ‘Death to Israel, Death to the USA’ but the activists who raised them are aiming at the White House.

A grassroots campaign is underway in the interracial neighborhood to urge Democratic Congresswoman Yvette Clarke to vote against the proposed Iranian nuclear deal.

Some 30 Crown Heights synagogues and community organizations emailed their members expressing deep concern with the deal.  The opponents hung several 20-ft banners across Kingston Ave, targeting the agreement.

One of the anti-Iran banners read “Death to Israel. Death to the USA,” a quote from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in the days following the agreement.

Other banners read “Deal gives billions to terrorists.”

All the banners included Clarke’s phone number and asked community members to call her office and urge her to vote ‘NO!’

The Congresswoman represents the third-largest Jewish district in the country.

Approximately 25 percent of her district is Jewish, and includes the heavily Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods of Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush and Kensington.

An estimated 500 constituents have called the Congresswoman about the issue in the last 24 hours, according to a local source.

Social activist Yaacov Behrman, who helped coordinate the grassroots campaign, told Jewish Press.com, “Although she is under tremendous pressure from the White House to support the deal, still, I believe Yvette will vote against it. The congresswoman cares deeply about the safety and security of the United States and Israel.”

Hana Levi Julian

Wave of Hate Crimes against Jews in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg Area

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Two violent anti-Semites attacked a 65-year-old Jew in Williamsburg, Brooklyn Monday night in the latest of a wave of hate crimes, CBS-New York reported.

The attackers were teenagers, one of them a girl. They punched the man in the face, leaving him with bleeding while they laughed. A neighbor told CBS that he heard the victim’s screams and ran to help, when the attackers fled.

Late Sunday night, a young Orthodox Jew was hit in the head with a glass bottle, and in another incident, surveillance cameras showed two Hareidi Jews being struck by paintballs. Several minutes later, a paintball hit another Jew.

Police said that the paintball and glass bottle attacks were not linked.

Rabbi David Niederman of the United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg told CBS:

Basically people start thinking, ‘Can I allow my child to be out even during the day?’ And even adults, at night it’s scary.

No kidding?

It is questionable if anti-Semitism really is not on the rise in the United States. It really is the same as it was 100 years ago, but more overt instead of covert.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

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

Rabbi Binyomin Klein, Member of Secretariat to Lubavitcher Rebbe, zt’l, 79, Passes Away

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Rabbi Binyomin Klein, 79, long-time aide and member of the secretariat of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, zt’l passed away on Friday morning in Brooklyn, New York. He will be remembered as the “Rebbe’s Ambassador” to Israeli officials.

Rabbi Klein also served on the boards of several major governing bodies of Chabad, including Machneh Israel, the social service arm of Chabad-Lubavitch.

Rabbi Klein was the liaison for Israeli diplomats, political, military and other leaders from Israel who came to see the Rebbe. During the 1977 visit of Prime Minister Menachem Begin, the Rebbe introduced Rabbi Klein to the Prime Minister as “my general.”

Rabbi Klein was born in 1935 to Menachem and Rochel Klein. His mother died in childbirth and he was raised by his father, who headed the Jerusalem Chevra Kadisha, the Jewish burial society. As a teen he studied in the Chabad Torat Emet school in Jerusalem. In 1956 he traveled to New York to study in the court of the Rebbe.

After his marriage to Laya Schusterman, the couple moved to Australia where Rabbi Klein was among the founders of Yeshiva Gedolah of Melbourne, Australia and New Zealand. In 1963, the Kleins returned to the United States where Rabbi Klein joined the Secretariat of Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Rabbi Klein spoke little about his work in the Rebbe’s office. He was beloved by so many who interfaced with him as they corresponded with the Rebbe. He was also the person with whom many others spoke as they brought their precious tzetlach, their notes and letters to the office in “770” to be handed sometimes immediately to the Rebbe as he sat in his office just a few feet away.

Upon occasion, Rabbi Klein would tell a visitor to wait for a response, rather than the more common written or telephoned reply that often came later — hours or even days later. Despite his high position, One of the Rebbe’s main secretaries, he never forgot a face; he was also unfailingly courteous, gentle and kind.

Rabbi Klein kept long hours, often returning home at 2 a.m. Yet his home was famous for its hospitality, open always to guests and visitors. It was a second home to countless young women who came to Crown Heights as they began to learn about Judaism and return to their roots. It was here that they found a welcome place for meals, a listening ear, some good advice.

The funeral passed by Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway late Friday afternoon before Rabbi Klein’s body was brought to the Old Montefiore Cemetery in Queens.

Rabbi Klein was laid to rest near the resting place of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, zt’l and that of the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, z’tl, in the Chabad-Lubavitch section of the cemetery.

Baruch HaDayan HaEmes. May his memory be for a blessing.

Hana Levi Julian

Borough Park Crowned NY City’s Baby Capital

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

The NY Post on Monday sounded the alarm on the city’s birth rate, which, according to the paper, is the lowest since 1936.

The numbers are truly troubling: half the city’s babies belong to foreign-born moms, mostly Asians; almost 6 out of every 10 mothers are on Medicaid; and some 40 percent of all new mothers are unwed.

In that gloomy scene, one group shines through with a robust birthrate and a sound family structure–you guessed it, Orthodox Jews. In fact, Borough Park, one of the city’s half dozen bastions of Orthodox Jewish life, was dubbed by the Post “easily the city’s baby capital,” with a birth rate of 27.9 per 1,000 residents. A whopping (and hopping) 5,458 babies were born in Borough Park in 2013, kein ein hora.

Upper middle class Bayside, Queens, received the dubious honor of having the city’s lowest birthrate: 652 babies in 2013, 5.5 per 1,000.

“Our community is making up for the rest of the city,” grandfather of six and also Borough Park Assemblyman Dov Hikind told the Post, adding, “In our community, having children is fundamental. They are our most precious resource.”

The richest and the poorest New Yorkers apparently share the lowest birthrate citywide, with 55 percent of African American women opting for abortions. 2013 saw only 12.7 babies per 1,000 in the black community.

One upside to this sad state of promulgation is that fact that the city’s teen birthrate has dropped a full 10 percent from 2012 to 2013, marking a 37.6 percent decline since 2004.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/borough-park-holds-highest-birth-rate-in-nyc/2015/04/28/

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