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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘flatbush’

Days after Reward Offer, New Brooklyn Knockout Attack Reported

Monday, December 9th, 2013

A New York City councilman tweeted about a new knockout attack days after a Jewish council offered a reward for information leading to the arrest of attack perpetrators.

A 20-year-old woman was hit in the back of the head and fell to the ground while walking in the Flatbush section on Saturday afternoon, according to Councilman Chaim Deutsch.

“Working with the NYPD — they are investigating. Remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity,” Deutsch said in a tweet Saturday night.

In the so-called knockout game, attackers try to knock out someone with one punch. Nearly one dozen such attacks have taken place in the Brooklyn borough of New York City since September, most directed at identifiably Jewish people, according to reports.

The attack on Saturday came less than a week after the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York announced a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction, or a finding of delinquency, of individuals responsible for the reported “knockout” assaults in New York.

Other incidents of knockout attacks have occurred in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., as well as other U.S. states, according to reports.

Flatbush Jews Form Civic Advocacy and Political Coalition

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Just weeks after a few Orthodox Jewish activists came out with plea a for creating a coalition of various community activists that would solidify the Jewish community’s voter base, a newly formed Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition of leading Roshei Yeshivot, Rabbanim, and community activists, was announced Thursday morning. The coalition, as noted in the press release, was formed to coordinate efforts by disparate segments of the Jewish community in Flatbush, to foster the growth and development of one of the fastest growing Jewish communities in the country.

The FJCC plans to address many of the civic and communal challenges that face the Jewish residents of Flatbush, including safety, zoning, quality of life concerns and emerging political issues. According to the organizers, the FJCC will also pursue the important goal of registering new voters, and encouraging everyone to vote in both the primary and general elections.

“Due to the recent citywide redistricting, it is more important than ever that our community’s voice is heard through a strong voter turnout,” said Josh Mehlman, one of the organizers. “It is imperative that we register and vote in the upcoming elections, which will have a significant impact on our lives for years to come. Elected officials pay particular attention to communities with large voter turnouts; many of our concerns will be directly affected by our participation in the electoral process.”

“Our goal is unity, because when we speak with one voice, it is a powerful and effective,” Mr. Mehlman added.

The Orthodox community in Brooklyn, which counts some 200,000 household, currently has only 3 Orthodox elected officials in government: Councilman David Greenfield, State Senator Simcha Felder and Assemblyman Dov Hikind. Another open seat in the newly drawn 48th council district, which is highly contested in this year’s election, might get an Orthodox Jewish representative if the Russians split their vote among their three candidates and Chaim Deutsch emerges victorious in the primaries and in the November general election.

The FJCC already has more than 50 members from major shuls and yeshivas, including a group of well-known community leaders. The committee in formation includes: Avi Schron, Shimon Lefkowitz, Avi Schick, Menachem Lubinsky, Chaim Scharf, Leon Goldenberg, Abish Brodt, Elly Kleinman, Peter Rebenwurzel, Chaskel Bennett, Yechiel Landau, Yussie Zalmanowitz, Yanky Arem, Pinny Rand, Aaron Tessler, Dr. Simon Friedman, Rafi Treitel, Shmuel Kairy, Mendy Pomerantz, Yitzchok Fuchs, Lenny Wassner, Avrohom Poznanski, Ephraim Fruchthandler, Dudi Spira, Sruli Berger, Dr. Seymour Edelstein, Victor Shine, Ephraim Nierenberg, Avrohom Tikotsky, Dr. Israel Zyskind, and Josh Mehlman.

Many additional community activists are expected to join this growing coalition.

Hikind Joins Bloggers to Accuse Greenfield as a Phony Blogger

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

“I’m not insinuating that David is the only person that uses the Dov Gordon pen name, but as it pertains to politics, he is far and away the only person writing about inside baseball,” Stefanie Fedak, Greenfield’s former chief of staff, told the CityandStateNY website.

Greenfield laid off Fedak 18 months ago, and now Fedak is spilling the beans.

Greenfield confirmed Fedak’s version, according to a source close to the city councilman and who was quoted by CityandState.

However, an official statement from a spokesperson for Greenfield staged to the website, “Your story is a vicious lie being spread by an obsessed and disgruntled former staffer who was fired nearly two years ago. The Clintons have Vince Foster nuts, President Obama has his crazy birthers and Councilman Greenfield has lunatics who think he writes daily news columns while maintaining a very public 70-hour-a-week work schedule. All of these conspiracy theorists should be institutionalized.”

“Dov Gordon” is a frequent blogger for Yeshiva World News.

State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, far from a close friend of Greenfield, alleged that Yeshiva World’s coverage of him “mean-spirited” and “degrading.”

“You can criticize me; that’s not the issue, we can all be criticized at times,” Hikind said in an interview with the website’s Nick Powell. “This is way beyond that … this is someone with an agenda. … One of the most interesting things is, there’s one person who’s always very popular with Dov Gordon: David Greenfield.”

So who is Dov Gordon?

CityandState searched but did not come up with a final answer.

Powell wrote, “City & State searched public records for people named Dov Gordon, but was unable to identify anyone with that name who admitted to writing for Yeshiva World.

“A report by journalist Ross Barkan refers to a Dov Gordon as the spokesperson for an organization called Save Flatbush, which ran an ad in the Jewish newspaper Hamodia condemning the City Council’s proposed redistricting of south Brooklyn.

“The report, including an interview with this Dov Gordon, was posted on Barkan’s blog in February, two months after Pete Appel had speculated whether Greenfield might be Dov Gordon. City & State sent an email to Save Flatbush asking if the Dov Gordon that worked for the organization also wrote for Yeshiva World, but received no response.

“The Flatbush Jewish Journal also posted a letter to the editor from someone named Dov Gordon in late January. The letter criticizes unnamed elected officials for failing residents in a redistricting process that had allowed the community to be divided up.”

A View of Observant Judaism by a Non Observant Jew

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

I must say that I am both surprised and disappointed at the negative comments about David Brook’s op-ed column in the New York Times. And they weren’t few. They were many. The Forward, DovBear, Failed Messiah, and the many people who commented in the New York Times itself – all of them could not have been more upset about a positive article dealing with Orthodoxy.

I am upset too. Not by the article, but by all the negativity – some of it venomous! It is almost as if the entire column was some sort of a made up lie by an Orthodox cheerleader.

The fact is however, that David Brooks is not Orthodox. Nor is he a cheerleader. He is a respected journalist reporting on his impressions of a community which he is not a part of. Mr. Brooks took a tour of a Pomegranate, a ‘luxury’ kosher food store in the Midwood section of Flatbush a large mostly Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn. His guide was my old (…well maybe not so old) friend from Chicago, Rabbi Dr. Meir Yaakov Soloveichik.

The article was very positive. Brooks describes rather well what it means to be an Orthodox Jew living in the modern world. He explains quite nicely the primacy of Halacha in our lives even among the upscale Orthodox Jews who shop at a store like Pomegranate.

Expanding on his encounter with Pomegranate – he makes Orthodox Jews look like role models for all… suggesting that one could do a lot worse than following our ‘countercultural’ model. For example he quotes Rabbi Soloveichik on the Jewish approach to marriage:

“Marriage is about love, but it is not first and foremost about love,” Soloveichik says. “First and foremost, marriage is about continuity and transmission.”

He seems to praise our “deeper sense of collective purpose”:

They are like the grocery store Pomegranate, superficially a comfortable part of mainstream American culture, but built upon a moral code that is deeply countercultural.

He ends with the following paragraph:

All of us navigate certain tensions, between community and mobility, autonomy and moral order. Mainstream Americans have gravitated toward one set of solutions. The families stuffing their groceries into their Honda Odyssey minivans in the Pomegranate parking lot represent a challenging counterculture. Mostly, I notice how incredibly self-confident they are. Once dismissed as relics, they now feel that they are the future.

I think he’s got that right. Even if one looks only at the statistics he cites one can see a very bright future for Orthodox Jewry versus other denominations. At least in terms of population growth:

Nationwide, only 21 percent of non-Orthodox Jews between the ages of 18 and 29 are married. But an astounding 71 percent of Orthodox Jews are married at that age. And they are having four and five kids per couple. In the New York City area, for example, the Orthodox make up 32 percent of Jews over all. But the Orthodox make up 61 percent of Jewish children. Because the Orthodox are so fertile, in a few years, they will be the dominant group in New York Jewry.

British historian Arnold J. Toynbee must be rolling in his grave. This is how he explained our survival: The Jewish people are an ancient relic of a dead past. (He was corrected by Dr. Eliezer Berkovits who successfully challenged him on that notion.)

I felt really good about this article. But it did not take long for all the naysayers to come out of the woodwork – bashing it.

It’s not that any of the claims they were making against it weren’t true. Many of them are. In fact these problems are discussed right here fairly often.

No one screams louder than I do about the miscreants in our midst. Indeed these people are the cause of so much hilul HaShem – it is a wonder how any objective person could ever say anything positive about Orthodoxy. And no one complains more about how some of the more extreme segments of our world could use some serious tweaking.

Nor is Orthodoxy uniformly observed as one might erroneously conclude from this article. Indeed, there are Hasidic, Yeshivish, Lubavitch, Modern Orthodox, and Sephardi communities whose lifestyles are in most cases quite different from each other. Additionally each one of these has their own subgroups. And just like the non observant world, socioeconomic conditions play a very important part in how any of us live.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/a-view-of-observant-judaism-by-a-non-observant-jew/2013/03/13/

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