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October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Crown Heights’

Samaria Activist Yossi Dagan Asked By Brooklynites To Talk About Israeli Resiliency and Terror on 9/11

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Samaria Regional Council Chairman Yossi Dagan spent Sunday evening after a day of “9/11″ ceremonies explaining Israeli survival skills and resiliency to a gathering of more than 70 residents in the upscale Basil’s restaurant in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Many of those who attended had their own history of trauma, with the violence of the recent 25th anniversary of the August 19, 1991 riots in Crown Heights more than just a passing memory.

The event, a memorial evening of solidarity, was appropriately dubbed “Resiliency In The Face Of Terror.”

The evening began with a moment of silence to honor the thousands of innocent victims who died as a result of the Al Qaeda terrorist attack on 9/11, and a short prayer in memory of the 3,000 victims by Rabbi Mendy Margolin.

Dagan arrived after having first paid his respects to the fallen at the site of the attack in Manhattan; the hijackers had also carried out simultaneous attacks at the Pentagon and — foiled by passengers in their attempt to reach the White House — crashing a fourth plane in a field in Pennsylvania.

“On this day I was humbled to visit Ground Zero to share my sympathy for the families and solidarity with the American people,” Dagan said. “Coming from Shomron (Samaria) and representing a community that suffers from terrorism I understand how difficult this is.”

Rabbi Yaacov Behrman introduced Dagan, saying, “We Americans can learn a lot from how Israelis persevere despite the threat of terror, and how they continue to live meaningful productive lives even after experiencing many horrific attacks.”

Clara Perez, general manager of Basil, told JewishPress.com that the restaurant made a special order of wine from Shomron in honor of the event. ” #BDS — ‘Buy Davka Shomron’,” she declared.

Dagan told the gathering that he came to the United States to participate in a series of events aimed at confronting the BDS movement on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.

“More than 35 members of Congress attended our conference against BDS and a Shomron Wine Tasting evening in the Capitol Building,” Dagan said.

“The Shomron (Samaria in Hebrew) is at the forefront of the battle for standing up to the haters of Israel. I was moved by the very warm reception of the Jewish community in New York who showed their support for Shomron, the heartland of Israel.”

Dagan said he also visited The Ohel – the resting place of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory – in order to pray for the safety and security for the people living in Shomron.

Hana Levi Julian

The Many Faces Of Election Season 2016

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Election season is all about unity. It is a time when all Americans, regardless of race, gender, or religion, gather to vote for individuals who will best represent their communities. Some of the candidates running for office are elected officials we’ve known for years. These politicians have become household names, making us feel both comfortable and safe. Then there are the candidates who come from nowhere, the candidates who reignite sparks of hope in all of our hearts, and make us believe that change is possible.

The election season in Brooklyn is no different. As a borough with one of the most eclectic mixes of ethnicities in all of America, voting for representatives is very important to its inhabitants. The parents of many of the Italian-Americans, Asian-Americans, Russian-Americans, Jewish-Americans, and African-Americans that will be voting in the Brooklyn polls were once immigrants, making voting incredibly symbolic. Many of the candidates themselves stem from diverse backgrounds, having parents who emigrated from all over the world. Brooklyn is a melting pot, and its elections prove it. Most of the candidates in the Brooklyn elections run to help their communities and its people in unprecedented ways. This is the American dream, and they have grabbed it by its horns.

Olanike Alabi

Olanike Alabi

“I have always been one who believed that politics is a vehicle to make a difference in the lives of people,” State Committeewoman Olanike Alabi told Patch.com. Alabi is running for reelection for State Committewoman/District Leader of the 57th Assembly District, which includes the neighborhoods of Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Crown Heights, Bed-Stuy, and parts of Prospect Heights. She is running against two opponents in the upcoming September 13th Democratic primary – male Democratic District Leader Walter Mosely and former State Department of Education official Martine Guerrier.

Alabi, the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, has worked really hard on behalf of her community. She is a pioneer in social justice reform and is a strong advocate for the labor movement. She gives back whenever she can. When she isn’t in the office you can find her volunteering at the Clinton Hill Brooklyn Public Library branch or at Teen Lift – a program serving inner city youth, by offering tutoring and assistance with college.

In 2006 Alabi was elected as the Democratic State Committeewoman of the 57th Assembly District. Ever since the election she has taken charge and instituted change. She has organized annual community food drives, has worked with spiritual leaders to assist citizens, and has funded legal clinics. Due to her incredible work she has received endorsements from New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, U.S. Representative Yvette Clarke, State Senator Jesse Hamilton, and many more prominent individuals. Alabi promises that if reelected she will go the extra mile to help her community’s elders and youth.

Dilia Schack

Dilia Schack

Not too far from the 57th Assembly District, Dilia Schack is perfecting her campaign for reelection for State Committeewoman/District Leader of the 46th Assembly District, which includes sections of Sea Gate, Fort Hamilton, Bath Beach, and Bay Ridge.

Schack is running against Coney Island community activist, Bigette Purvis, who will most likely be tough competition, even for a seasoned and well-known politician like Schack. Assemblywoman Pamela Harris has put her support fully behind Schack.

Schack recently lost her husband, Justice Arthur Schack, who was a renowned and beloved New York State Supreme Court Justice. Even though she is mourning the passing of her husband of 42 years, she is willing to set aside her emotional state to help her community’s constituents.

What makes a great politician lies in his/her dedication to institute change, and Charles Ragusa, State Committeeman/District Leader of the 47th Assembly District, says that he’s been changing his community for more than 50 years. Ragusa is once again running for reelection for a position which he was first elected to in 1982. However, Chinese-American Billy Thai might upend his reign.

Charles Ragusa

Charles Ragusa

Ragusa has been in the game for a long time, and recently he has proposed a plan to utilize Calvert Vaux Park, Kaiser Park, Marine Park and Jamaica Park for field biology programs. He says this would create jobs and educational opportunities for students. Ragusa told the Bensonhurst Bean, “Ecotourism provides a significant portion of the economy of other states, for example, Alaska, as well as for the nation of Costa Rica. New York City is sitting on top of a financial and educational bonanza that is literally at our doorstep.”

Linda Minucci

Linda Minucci

Linda Minucci, State Committeewoman/ District Leader of the 50th Assembly District, is working hard to hold on to her seat in the district leader position against Emily Gallagher, 32.

Minucci has held the position in the district, which includes sections of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, since 1984. Minucci has advocated for district subway riders and has battled against homeless shelters in Greenpoint Hospital. Minucci has many supporters in the district as evidence by her continued success in elections.

Molly Meisels

Hillary’s Muslim Adviser Huma Abedin Leaving Anthony Weiner

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Huma Abedin, longtime confidante and top campaign official of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is leaving her husband, former Congressman (D-NY) Anthony Weiner over his latest scandal involving explicit text messages.

Abedin released a statement saying, “After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband. Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life. During this difficult time, I ask for respect for our privacy.”

Abedin’s move came after a report in the NY Post Sunday showing inappropriate images Weiner sent a woman with his little son in the picture.

Weiner’s political career ended after he had sent explicit messages to a woman in 2011. The new messages were sent on July 31, 2015. The accompanying text suggests he included his son in the picture on purpose.

A protégé of then Congressman and now Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Weiner was elected to the New York City Council in 1991, defeating fellow Democrat Adele Cohen in the primaries by 195 votes after sending out leaflets (in Crown Heights) accusing her of ties to Mayor David Dinkins and political gadfly Jessie Jackson. In 1998 Weiner ran for Congress in Chuck Schumer’s 9th congressional district (Brooklyn), when his mentor was running for the US Senate.

Weiner was vehemently pro-Israel in Congress. In 2006 he tried to bar entry by the Palestinian Authority delegation to the United Nations, declaring they “should start packing their little Palestinian terrorist bags.” He accused Human Rights Watch, The New York Times, and Amnesty International of anti-Israel Biases. In 2007, Weiner and fellow NY Congressman Jerry Nadler fought a $20-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, saying they wouldn’t give “sophisticated weapons to a country that … has not done enough to stop terrorism,” seeing as 15 of the 19 hijackers on September 11 were Saudis. Weiner stood outside the Saudi consulate in DC, saying, “We need to send a crystal clear message to the Saudi Arabian government that their tacit approval of terrorism can’t go unpunished.” Weiner and other Congress members later criticized President Obama’s plan to sell more than $60 billion in advanced weapons to Saudi Arabia. Weiner said: “Saudi Arabia is not deserving of our aid, and by arming them with advanced American weaponry we are sending the wrong message.” He accused Saudi Arabia of having a “history of financing terrorism” and teaching “hatred of Christians and Jews.”

Despite all of the above, however, in 2010 Weiner married Huma Mahmood Abedin, a Muslim of Indian and Pakistani descent who was raised and educated in Saudi Arabia. Abedin had been a long-time personal aide to Hillary Clinton, and the wedding ceremony was officiated by former President Bill Clinton.

Abedin, 40, serves as vice chairwoman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, having served as Clinton’s deputy chief of staff when the latter was Secretary of State. In 2008 Abedin was traveling chief of staff for Clinton’s presidential campaign.

A profile in Nirali (Hillary’s Handler: Huma Abedin) relates that Abeedin, who was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, into a “very traditional family” with a Pakistani mother and an Indian father, moved at age 2 with her family to Saudi Arabia where her father started an institute devoted to religious understanding and her mother helped create a private women’s college. What the profile does not mention are the repeated allegations that Abedin’s mother and brother have been members or, at least, sympathizers of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the fact that Abedin’s 16 formative years growing up in Saudi Arabia are largely an unknown.

Vanity Fair pointed out in January (Is Huma Abedin Hillary Clinton’s Secret Weapon or Her Next Big Problem?) that the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, founded by Abedin’s late father, became the family business and was supported by the Saudi government. “Huma was an assistant editor there between 1996 and 2008. Her brother, Hassan, 45, is a book-review editor at the Journal and was a fellow at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies. … Huma’s sister, Heba, 26, is an assistant editor at the Journal.”

The contents of the Journal are consistent with Muslim tradition, including all the wonderful things it offers women. One 1996 article Abedin edited, headlined “Women’s Rights Are Islamic Rights,” states that single mothers, working mothers and gay couples with children are not really families. The same article says that an immodest dress “directly translates into unwanted results of sexual promiscuity and irresponsibility and indirectly promote violence against women” — the old “she was asking for it” argument.

In June 2012, five conservative congress members wrote to the State Department warning that the Muslim Brotherhood had infiltrated the highest levels of government, specifically citing Abedin: “Huma Abedin has three family members—her late father, her mother and her brother—connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations,” they wrote. But Senator John McCain denounced the letter saying it was an “unwarranted and unfounded attack” on Abedin. “I know Huma to be an intelligent, upstanding, hard-working, and loyal servant of our country and our government,” McCain vouched for Clinton’s closest aide.

How close? Vogue cited Clinton adviser Mandy Grunwald who said, “I’m not sure Hillary could walk out the door without Huma. She’s a little like Radar on *M*A*S*H. If the air-conditioning is too cold, Huma is there with the shawl. She’s always thinking three steps ahead of Hillary.”

The Clinton’s attorney of many years, Bob Barnett, said “Huma does make the trains run on time.”

Actress Mary Steenburgen, Hillary’s close friend, said, “I don’t know if it’s a chicken-or-the-egg thing—Hillary affecting Huma or the other way around—but together they work.”


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

Chabad-Lubavitch Yeshiva Boys to Finish Rabbinic Studies Before Military Service

Friday, August 12th, 2016

After four years of discussion an agreement on IDF military service appears to be on the verge of being signed between the IDF and the Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidic movement.

The agreement marks a new arrangement for the young men who turn 18 and typically go on to learn in “kvutza,” the movement’s rabbinic studies program at Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters in Brooklyn New York.

According to the new agreement, reported on the Voice of Heritage, after the boys travel abroad to attend a two-year rabbinic studies program, they are to be allowed to complete studies in Israel for two more years. After that time, usually at age 24, they will be required to determine whether they will study Torah full-time, or enlist in a modified military program. Those who decide to continue rabbinic studies will be asked again at age 26.

The agreement will also apply to 300 students who are currently under threat because their status has not yet been determined.

Chabad-Lubavitch leaders have been discussing the complex issue of military service for rabbinic yeshiva students with the IDF since 2012.

Only 15 percent of hareidi religious Israeli men are to receive a permanent exemption from military service, according to a report in the Hadarei Hahareidim website, and those young men are expected to devote their lives exclusively to Torah learning. The remainder are expected to respond to draft notices and serve in the IDF.

Since November 2015, at least 36 Chabad yeshiva students have joined the Intelligence Corps and are currently service in IDF special cyber units.

Up to now, Chabad yeshiva students travel abroad to attend rabbinic studies in the movement’s yeshiva at 770 Eastern Parkway in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York, regardless of what else is going on.

“When it is time to go to kvutza, they go,” one Israeli Chabad mother told JewishPress.com, asking not to be identified. “It’s not that they don’t want to serve. But they have to finish their studies first. That’s the most important thing.”

Until the agreement is signed, students who continue to travel abroad and those already in the yeshiva will be considered draft dodgers. Upon their return to Israel they will be required to enlist in the IDF for military service.

Hana Levi Julian

Two Brooklyn City Pools Still Offering Women-Only Swimming

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

Two public pools in Brooklyn will continue to offer women-only swimming hours, following a ruling by the city that it doesn’t constitute gender discrimination, News 1 reported.

The Commission on Human Rights reviewed the legality of separate swimming sessions intended to accommodate Orthodox Jewish women who otherwise would not use the pools, and decided to grant the exceptions.

The commission ruled that the Metropolitan Pool in Williamsburg and the St. John’s Recreation Center in Crown Heights will continue to offer limited hours once or twice a week, so Orthodox Jewish women may enjoy the pools without compromising their religious standards, which forbid bathing with men.

In man-on-the-street interviews, one New Yorker told News 1, “I’m kind of all for having a certain time in the day for women to swim and a certain time for men to swim and then another time for everybody to swim.”

But another New Yorker, less charitable, said, “They probably should get their own pool instead of making other people have to separate what is a public environment.”

The New York Civil Liberties Union called the ruling unfair. “It has all the earmarks of a religious exemption,” the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union told the New York Times. “People have every right to go swimming in a gender-segregated environment pursuant to their religious beliefs, but not on the taxpayer dime.”

However, the Parks department said in a statement that the women-only hours also accommodate women who have a “history of domestic violence or abuse, history of sexual violence or abuse, body-consciousness concerns.”

David Israel

Jews Walk to Synagogue in NYC’s 2nd Biggest Blizzard in History

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

Jews in New York City had to walk to prayers Saturday night in the second biggest blizzard ever to hit the city.

In Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the Jewish Haztolah emergency team was able to keep one Jew from becoming a New York City statistic. There were three deaths directly related to snow-shoveling: one on Staten Island and two in Queens, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters at a briefing late Saturday.

At around 7:45 pm Saturday night, the 51-year-old man was clearing the snow from his car when he stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest – but a bystander called Hatzolah.

Divine Providence intervened — and a Hatzolah volunteer happened to be standing only 50 feet away, also clearing his vehicle. He grabbed his equipment and raced over, calling for backup as he flew. Within seconds an ambulance arrived with paramedics and they whisked the man away – pulse restored – to a nearby hospital.

An emergency travel ban was imposed on New York City 6,000 miles of roads but is set to be lifted by 7 am ET.

More than two feet of snow fell on New York – and nearly everywhere else on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States over the weekend.

Nearly 7,000 flights have been cancelled in airports up and down the East Coast. Most of the approximately 4,500 cancellations on Saturday were at New York airports and those in the Washington DC area. Approximately 2,500 cancellations have come in for Sunday and the number is still rising. According to the FlightAware flight tracking service, cancellations have also started for Monday as well; hundreds of people had cancelled their flights by Saturday night. All major airlines issued waivers for the cancelled flights.

The travel ban on New York City streets imposed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also applied to Nassau and Suffolk counties and took effect Saturday at 2:30 pm Saturday afternoon, prohibiting all but emergency vehicles from being on the road. “When the snowfall reaches a certain rate, the plows cannot keep up,” Cuomo told journalists.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he was coordinating decisions with Cuomo. “We are making decisions regarding the roadways in the northern part of the state that lead into New York in conjunction with the governor,” Christie said.

By 4 pm Saturday, all outdoor subways in New York City had shut down due to the storm. Underground subway operations were to continue “as long as feasible,” De Blasio told reporters. Three hundred vehicles in New York City had been towed and there were 270 motor vehicle crashes in the city by midnight Saturday.

All the public libraries, zoos and major museums in New York City closed by 3 pm or earlier. Broadway shows were canceled. A Bruce Springsteen concert set for Sunday at Madison Square Garden was postponed.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jews-walking-to-synagogue-in-nycs-2nd-biggest-blizzard-in-history/2016/01/24/

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