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October 28, 2016 / 26 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Connecticut’

NTSB Probe Finds Jordanian Pilot Intentionally Crashed Small Plane Near US Defense Contractor

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

Investigators for the National TransporTation Safety Board say the deadly crash Tuesday of a small plane, barely 200 yards from the corporate headquarters of U.S. defense contractor Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, Connecticut, was “an intentional act.”

The crash occurred as the plane was on its final approach to Hartford’s Brainard Airport.

Aaccording to a statement released Wednesday, the FBI is set to lead in the investigation of the crash of the twin-engine Piper PA-34 Seneca, with assistance from the NTSB. The plane — which had two sets of controls — hit a utility pole, snapped electrical wires, crashed on the road and exploded into a fireball around 3:40 pm on Tuesday.

A survivor told investigators the crash was no accident, according to The Associated Press, which quoted East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc. The man, flight instructor Arian Prevalla, 43, is hospitalized at Bridgeport Medical Center and was upgraded Wednesday from critical to fair condition.

Lt. Josh Litwin of East Hartford Police told media the survivor is being treated for burns and is expected to survive. He added that it is not yet known whether the student pilot or instructor had control of the plane at the time of the crash.

Prevalla is a flight instructor at the Hartford Jet Center, according to records and law enforcement.

According to the report, the student pilot presumed killed in the crash was identified as 28-year-old Feras Majdii Mohammad Freitekh. The Jordanian student entered the United States in 2012 on an M1 visa for flight school, and subsequently acquired an F1 visa for language school as well, CBS News reported. He was licensed and certified to fly a single-engine plane in May 2015.

Hana Levi Julian

Gene Wilder, Iconic Jewish Comedian and Actor, Dead at 83

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

An era has ended. Iconic Jewish comedian, actor and author Gene Wilder has passed away at the age of 83, his family said in a statement Monday.

The actor died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease at his home in Stamford, Connecticut. Although he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1989, he managed to beat the disease several years later with chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.

“We understand for all the emotional and physical challenges this situation presented we have been among the lucky ones — this illness-pirate, unlike in so many cases, never stole his ability to recognize those that were closest to him, nor took command of his central-gentle-life affirming core personality,” his nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman said in a statement.

“The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him “there’s Willy Wonka,” would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion. He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.

“He continued to enjoy art, music, and kissing with his leading lady of the last twenty-five years, Karen. He danced down a church aisle at a wedding as parent of the groom and ring bearer, held countless afternoon movie western marathons and delighted in the the company of beloved ones.”

Born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee to a Russian emigre father and a mother of Polish descent, both Jewish, Wilder began to study acting at age 12 — an occupation he took on after his mother’s heart attack, and the doctor told the young eight-year-old never to argue with her, but rather to try and make his mother laugh. He later earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in 1955. One year later he was drafted into the U.S. Armed Forces and served for the next three years as a paramedic at Valley Forge Army Hospital in Phoenixville, PA. He was accepted into the Actors Studio following his discharge in 1958, taking the stage name, Gene Wilder at age 26.

He cared for his third wife, acclaimed comedienne Gilda Radner, as she slowly wasted away from ovarian cancer and then for several years worked only sporadically after her death in 1989, deeply depressed. He last acted in 2003, winning an Emmy for his role as Mr. Stein on the TV sitcom “Will & Grace.”

Wilder helped found the Gilda Radner Ovarian Cancer Detection Center in Los Angeles, and Gilda’s Club support network, and with his wife Karen quietly donated to families whose were affected by the Sept. 11, 2001 Al Qaeda attacks on the United States.

He wrote a number of books, including a painfully detailed autobiography, but Wilder is best known for his work with Jewish director-producer-writer Mel Brooks and actor Richard Pryor. The actor brought tears of laughter to audiences with his performances in hit films like “The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” and “Stir Crazy.”

He is survived by his fourth wife, Karen Boyer, whom he married in 1991, and his nephew.

Baruch Dayan HoEmes.

Hana Levi Julian

‘Woman in Gold’ Helen Mirren Testifies for Holocaust Art Restitution Bill

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

British actress Helen Mirren testified in Congress Tuesday in support of a bill to make restitution easier for American heirs of Holocaust era victims, The Art Newspaper reported. Mirren starred in the 2015 British drama “Woman in Gold,” about Austrian-born Jewish American Maria Altmann’s court fight to recover her family’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I,” by Gustav Klimt (her late aunt modeled for the picture), which had been stolen by the Nazis.

Mirren told two Senate judiciary subcommittees in a joint hearing on the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act that “the very act of Nazi expropriation was not only unjust but it was inhumane.” She added, “Greed, cruelty, self-interest and domination will always be with us, it’s an easy option. Justice is so much more difficult, so much more complex. But we all dream of justice. We are incapable of changing the past, but fortunately we have the ability to make change today.”

“Restitution is so much more, much more than … reclaiming a material good,” Mirren said. “It gives Jewish people and other victims of the Nazi terror the opportunity to reclaim their history, their culture, their memories and, most importantly, their families.”

The legislation is sponsored by Republican senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas and Democratic senators Chuck Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. Other supporters of the bipartisan bill included president of the World Jewish Congress Ronald S. Lauder, and senators Al Franken (D, Minnesota), Chuck Grassley, (R, Iowa) and Orrin Hatch, (R, Utah).

Lauder, who purchased the Klimt painting after Altmann had sued the Austrian government to give it back, and won, told the Senators, “What makes this particular crime even more despicable is that this art theft, probably the greatest in history, was continued by governments, museums and many knowing collectors in the decades following the war.”

Today the Klimt painting is part of the permanent collection of the Neue Galerie, a museum of German and Austrian art Lauder co-founded in New York.

David Israel

US Jews Help IDF Soldiers Celebrate Hanukkah at Army Bases

Saturday, December 12th, 2015

Jonathan Benedek wrote this article for TPS.

The Tri-State Region branch of the U.S. non-profit Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) arranged  for hundreds of Israeli soldiers in the Givati Brigade to celebrate Chanukah a Hanukkah on their bases.

“During Hanukkah, sometimes they don’t get to go home and are instead in the field and on base,” Anat Chavkin, Director of the FIDF Connecticut/Westchester chapter, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “In order to bring Hanukkah to them, we try to arrange these activities to lift their morale.”

Chavkin added:

Usually, we sponsor a whole Hanukkah party for the brigade where there will be dancing. During the party, their commander will comment not only on the holiday but will share some words about the soldiers themselves to help motivate them.

We are also giving the soldiers in the brigade a lot of Sufganiyot doughnuts.

The Tri-State branch has taken the Givati Brigade under its wing through an FIDF program known as “Adopt-A-Brigade.”


“What really means a lot to them is that people from all around the world and in particular the United States think about them, share the same values with them and will always stand by them,” Chavkin added.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

American-Israeli Dies from Armon HaNatziv Terror Attack

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

A 76-year-old American-Israel died Tuesday morning from knife and bullet wounds in the deadly attack on a bus in Jerusalem’s Armon HaNatziv neighborhood near Talpiot two weeks ago. One of the terrorists was killed, and the second one was arrested. Both were from the adjacent Jabel Mukhaber neighborhood. The latest victim is former Connecticut school principal Richard Lakin, who was being treated Hadassah Ein Kerem. His death brings to the death from the attack to three. Lakin was principal at Hopewell School for 15 years before making Aliyah with his wife and two children. He will be buried on Wednesday. His sons posted on Facebook Tuesday morning:

Dad passed away this morning. He was 76 years old, and had eight grandchildren. He was butchered by Muslim terrorists who shot him in the head and stabbed him multiple times during an attack on Bus 78 in Jerusalem’s Armon HaNatziv neighborhood. After the attack Dad was rushed to Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital in Jerusalem where the incredible medical staff worked diligently around the clock for two weeks trying to save his life, but, alas, his injuries were too severe. ‘We love you Dad and will do our best to live respectful, loving lives and pass along ‘acts of kindness.’

Other victims of the stabbing and shooting attack are Haviv Chaim, 78, and Alon Goldberg, 51. Chaim’s wife Shoshana was one of 15 others who were wounded in the attack. She suffered serious wounds but is recovering.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Death Row Inmate: ‘Kosher-like’ is Not Kosher’

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

An inmate on death row at the Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut, has filed a hand-written lawsuit against the state claiming that that his right to practice freedom of religion is being violated — suddenly, after six years of incarceration.

Steven Hayes, 51, is claiming in his suit against the Connecticut State Department of Corrections that he is a practicing Orthodox Jew and is being denied kosher food, which he says he has requested since May 2013. (Hayes said he previously practiced Taoism, according to the Raw Story website.)

His Jewish status, however, seems to be rooted solely in his own belief; Hayes describes himself as a “self-converted Jew” and there are no claims of having a Jewish mother nor any documentation of any conversion according to Jewish law, which would mandate the necessity for him to receive kosher food. His knowledge of conversion apparently stems from discussions he had with a previous prison rabbi in the 1990s.

As is explained by the Jewish Prisoner Services International organization: “A Jew is one who has either been born Jewish or has been properly converted. One cannot become a Jew by simply declaring that he/she is Jewish, or by beginning to practice the Jewish faith.”

Regardless, Hayes says in his lawsuit, “This continuous denial of a kosher diet is a clear violation of my First Amendment right to freely practice my religion of choice, Judaism.” He also charges the Department with cruel and unusual punishment because he is forced to eat non-kosher food in order to survive. Hayes claims he has lost weight due to this issue, which prevents him from eating properly, according to reports published in the Hartford Courant and New Haven Register newspapers.

The inmate was convicted in 2010 for invading a home in Cheshire in 2007, where he assaulted and strangled a mother to death. He also attacked and murdered her two daughters, ages 11 and 17, tying them to their beds and then leaving them there while setting the house on fire. The children’s father, the lone survivor of the attack, was severely beaten but managed to escape. (Another man was involved in the crime as well.)

The prison kitchen has no strictly kosher certification, Hayes says in his lawsuit, and so he has asked for pre-packaged kosher food. Instead, he claimed, the kitchen staff told him the food served at the prison is “kosher-like.” But in his lawsuit, Hayes responded that “kosher-like is not kosher,” the Courant reported.

According to a separate report by the New Haven Register, Hayes has been consulting with and speaking with a prison rabbi. He has also asked for more time with the rabbi, the paper reported.

In addition, he has asked for $15,000 in punitive and compensatory damages for “intentional infliction of pain, suffering and resulting weight loss from the deliberate denial of a kosher diet.” Hayes also wants a trial by a judge. And a court order forcing the Department of Corrections to make sure pre-packaged kosher meals are provided to him – and to every other Jewish prisoner in the Connecticut penal system.

The attorney for Hayes, public defender Thomas Ullmann, says he is “happy he is finding some spiritual solace.” He adds, “This is what being on death row does. People are sitting in their cells, not doing anything, so filing federal lawsuits is the kind of thing that happens.”

The Department’s acting director of external affairs, Karen Martucci, says the lawsuit was referred to the Attorney General. A spokesperson from the A-G’s office, Jaclyn Falkowski, said in response to a query, “We are reviewing the complaint and will respond at the appropriate time in court.”

At least he’s not asking for a raise in his monthly salary. In fact, he may not even have a monthly salary. After all, he hasn’t had any tutoring from the Palestinian Authority terrorists sitting in Israeli prisons.

Rachel Levy

Nephew Of Conn. Governor Arrested at Yeshiva High School

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

The nephew of Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy was arrested for trespassing in a yeshiva high school in Stamford in an apparently drunken condition.

Kerry Mallory, an actor who appears in the new movie “The Wolf of Wall Street,” was arrested Monday on the property of Yeshiva Bais Binyomin, along with his girlfriend Courtney Wilson. Both apparently were intoxicated, the Stamford Advocate reported.

Police arrived at the all-male high school to find the couple in a classroom with students, who were afraid of him, police told the newspaper.

The couple told police they had a constitutional right to ask about the Judaism being taught at the school. They were escorted off school property but returned 25 minutes later, when they were arrested.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/nephew-of-conn-governor-arrested-at-yeshiva-high-school/2013/12/25/

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