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December 17, 2014 / 25 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

Another Arrest In Rapfogel Case; Alleged Theft Now $7 Million

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Authorities charged the owner of a New York insurance company with helping William Rapfogel, the former chief of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, steal more than $7 million from the organization.

The owner, Joseph Ross, was arrested and charged with a litany of crimes, including first-degree grand larceny and money laundering, according to The New York Times. The scheme, in which Rapfogel allegedly pocketed more than $1 million for himself, spanned more than two decades, according to the criminal complaint.

Ross’ company, Century Coverage in Valley Stream, N.Y., allegedly inflated invoices to Met Council. The illicit money was divided between Ross, Rapfogel and another person, the complaint said.

Rapfogel was fired from his post in August and arrested in September. At that time, the complaint listed $5 million as having been stolen. The new higher number suggests that authorities now believe the scheme involved even more money.

Ross did not enter a plea and was released on his own recognizance.

Brooklyn Hebrew charter school gets F in N.Y. evaluation

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

A Brooklyn academy touted as the model for a national movement of Hebrew charter schools received an F on its New York City Department of Education Progress Report.

The Hebrew Language Academy Charter School, which opened in 2009 and has 450 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, is one of 23 New York City elementary and middle schools to get an overall grade of F for the 2012-13 school year.

The progress report letter grade, issued to all city public schools annually since 2007, is intended as an overall measure of student progress, performance, school environment and success in closing the achievement gap, according to a guide published by the city’s Department of Education. An F lands a school on a city watch list and makes it subject to possible closure.

“As frustrating as it is to be wrongly branded this way, we know anyone looking at HLA holistically — not on the narrow basis of how one out of six grades performed on one test — will see it as a great school,” Sara Berman, the chair of HLA and of the Hebrew Charter School Center, a network of Hebrew charter schools, said in an emailed statement to JTA.

Robert Tobias, the former executive director of assessment and accountability for the city Department of Education, reviewed the academy’s progress report at the charter school center’s request and concluded that the grade does not accurately reflect the overall quality of the school. He also noted that the test-score data is based on only two grades.

Kim Nauer, who researches education at the New School, also criticized the evaluation, telling JTA that the grading system is not “not nuanced enough” and “openly confusing.”

Bloomberg First to Receive ‘Jewish Nobel Prize’

Monday, October 21st, 2013

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be the first recipient of the $1 million Genesis Prize, which is being called the “Jewish Nobel Prize” and will be presented by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in May.

The Genesis Prize Foundation was established in 2012 by the Genesis Philanthropy Group, a consortium of mega-wealthy philanthropist-businessmen from the former Soviet Union, including Mikhail M. Fridman, Pyotr Aven and German Khan, the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel, and the Jewish Agency.

The prize, which will be given out annually, is awarded to an accomplished, internationally renowned professional from anywhere in the world who is a role model in his or her community and who can inspire the younger generation of Jews worldwide, according to the foundation’s website.

Bloomberg was chosen from more than 200 nominees world-wide because of his “track record of outstanding public service and his role as one of the world’s greatest philanthropists,” according to the prize committee, the New York Times reported Sunday.

The Prize committee, chaired by Israeli Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, also includes Elie Wiesel and two retired Israeli Supreme Court justices.

‘Jew in the City’ Announces Top 10 Orthodox Jewish All Stars

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Nobel Laureate Robert Aumann are among ten individuals who have been named 2013 Orthodox Jewish All Stars by Jew in the City, the organization dedicated to re-branding Orthodox Jews and Judaism to the world through digital media.

The awards will be presented on November 24 in New York City. The date coincides with the Thanksgiving and the Festival Hanukkah.

This year’s All Stars are a diverse group that also includes Sarah Hofstetter, who was promoted last week to CEO of leading advertising firm 360i in the United States; Ari Pinchot, co-executive producer of the new film,  Lee Daniels’ The Butler; Na’ama Shafir, the first Orthodox female professional basketball player; and Joseph Shenker, chairman of Sullivan and Cromwell, one of the leading U.S. law firms.

Rounding out the list are  Rama Burshtein, writer, director and producer of the awarding-winning film  Fill the Void and the first Hasidic woman to make a film for general audiences; Anne Neuberger, the Director of the National Security Agency’s Commercial Solutions Center; Issamar Ginzberg, a marketing guru who was named one of Inc. Magazine’s Top 10 Entrepreneurs and who is the grandson of prominent Hasidic rabbis; and Dr. Laurel Steinherz, Director of Pediatric Cardiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering and co-founder of Camp Simcha, a camp for Jewish children with cancer.

“There is a common misconception that being an Orthodox Jew means you don’t have many career options,” said  author Allison Josephs, who founded Jew in the City six years ago to break down myths and misconceptions about religious Jews and observant Judaism.

De Blasio Intervened to Save Anti-Israeli Protester from Jail

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Bill de Blasio intervened in in charges against a teacher at his daughter’s school and who protesting Israel’s policies in Gaza in 2004 and helped him avoid a jail term, The New York Daily News reported Sunday.

Documents that now are available show that while de Blasio, leading candidate for mayor, was a city councilman, he turned to the Manhattan District Attorney to help Steve Quester, a first-grade teacher, avoid going to prison on charges that he and another dozen demonstrators blocked traffic.

Yair Lapid Tells US Jews They Are Safer than in Israel

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Israel’s Finance Minister Yair Lapid, fresh from having scolded ex-pats for living in Berlin, told New York Jews Monday afternoon that they are safer living in the Big Apple than they would be in Israel.

Lapid certainly did not intend to encourage Jews to stay in America, but that one little sentence packed enough ammunition to undo weeks or months of hard work by anyone encouraging aliyah.

Even worse, Lapid made his remarks at the 92nd St. Y in Manhattan, which The Jewish Press’ Lori Lowenthal Marcus has exposed time and time again for hosting outright anti-Zionists, as reported here, here and here.

Lapid was speaking at the annual meeting of the international Monetary Fund in New York and was interviewed by Charlie Rose, who asked him why Israel does not divide Jerusalem for a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

“It isn’t always possible to assume that everything is rational. Israel was founded as a refuge for the Jewish people, but today it isn’t a safe place. It is safer to be Jew in New York,” Lapid said.

To be fair, he continued, “I want to live in a country that is not just a place, but also an idea, and Jerusalem is the heart of the idea. There may be practical considerations, but a country cannot exist without an ethos, and Jerusalem is an ethos.

“I like Tel Aviv; I live in Tel Aviv, but our right of return is Jerusalem. We did not return after 2,000 years for Tel Aviv, but for Jerusalem. Jerusalem will not be divided. It will continue to be Israel’s capital.”

Two points for Zionism.

When Lapid said that Israel is not as safe as New York, it is difficult to know what he was referring to. Subways? Murder rate?

No doubt, he was thinking of terror. And how many people have been killed by terrorists in Jerusalem this year?

Zero.

And last year? Off hand, zero.

Have there been terrorist attacks? Yes, dozens if not hundreds. Rock throwing and firebombing are attacks carried out with the intent to murder. Lapid would be correct to say that more Jews in Israel are injured by rocks every year than they are in New York or ever the entire United States.

Let’s say they were attempted murders. And how many actual homicides were there in New York last year? If you answered 414, you were right, and that is 20 percent less than in 2011.

Israel recorded 159 murders in 2012, with a total population that is approximately 15 percent less than that of New York City.

Lapid, as usual, did not define what he meant by “safer.” He likes platitudes and slogans without content. That is how got elected.

But besides the question of whether he has his facts wrong, how could he make such a statement – that New York is safer then Israel – after berating Israelis in Berlin for leaving the homeland?

Lipid, visiting in Budapest, wrote on his Facebook page last week, “I am in Budapest. I came here to speak before parliament about anti-Semitism and to remind them how they tried to murder my father here just because Jews did not have a country of their own.

“So forgive me if I am a bit intolerant of people who are prepared to throw away the only country that the Jews have because Berlin is more comfortable.”

Lapid says Berlin is more comfortable than Israel. New York is safer.

By the way, Lapid emigrated to Los Angeles in 1997 to manage a TV production company

Here is a personal note to the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization that promotes aliyah to Israel: Don’t invite Yair Lapid.

Police Nab Sabbath Observant Drug Traffickers

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Criminals who observe the Sabbath forgot that Torah also commands not to endanger others, but New York City narcotic agents have now made sure they can’t do so after arresting them on charges of multiple crimes, from illegal possession of narcotics to illegal possession of a weapon, according to CBS news.

The drug ring was comprised of five Brooklyn men who operated out of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.

Police reportedly seized around 900 doses of heroin, as well 335 oxycodone pills, cocaine, Xanax, Suboxone and Klonopin from the group during their initial arrest in April. They also found a sawed-off shotgun and ammunition.

The name of the NYPD sting operation that led to the drug bust? Only After Sundown.

Though cavalier about New York’s drug laws, the group was scrupulous about observing the Sabbath. Text messages from members of the gang show them alerting their clientele of their weekly sundown-to-sunset hiatus.

“We are closing 7:30 on the dot and we will reopen Saturday 8:15 so if u need anything you have 45 mins to get what you want,” they wrote in a group text-message to clients.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/police-nab-sabbath-observant-drug-traffickers/2013/09/12/

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