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December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘New York’

‘Rickshaw’ Sukkah Makes the Rounds in New York

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

The holiday of Sukkot commands Jews to live in “booths” — commemorating the temporary dwellings their ancestors inhabited while wandering the desert for 40 years. Though many Manhattan apartments measure only slightly larger than those original booths, unless the apartment roof is retrofitted with twigs from Central Park, it doesn’t quite qualify as a sukkah.

Thankfully, one Chabad Lubavitch yeshiva student in Brooklyn has taken it upon himself to ensure that all New Yorkers can experience the holiday.

Levi Duchman, 21, is the inventor of the pedi-sukkah, a rickshaw bicycle with a mobile sukkah attached to the back.

While small, each sukkah meets all the halachic requirements. During the days before Sukkot and during Chol HaMoed, Duchman says he spends 12 hours a day on the pedi-sukkah, pedaling around Brooklyn and Manhattan to let New Yorkers step inside to say a blessing.

“It’s the best thing to see people’s reactions, and to give people in New York the opportunity to get involved with the holiday,” Duchman said. “We get a lot of smiles and pictures, and lot of positivity, even from the police.”

Sometimes people ask to take a ride in the sukkah, and he obliges for short trips.

Duchman built his first pedi-sukkah five years ago. He rented a pedicab and worked overnight with his younger brother to create something that hopefully wouldn’t fall off and block Manhattan traffic. The sukkah stayed put, and today there are over 50 of his bikes spread across 15 states and over five countries.

The bikes have come a long way. Duchman now works with a manufacturer to create an easy-to-assemble pedi-sukkah. He even created a “menorah cycle” for Chanukah, and a “mitzvah cycle” affixed with a banner that encourages others to lay tefillin and light Shabbat candles (because it’s never a bad time to ride a bike and do good deeds).

Between the cost of the materials and the pedicab itself, one bike goes for nearly $2,000. But Duchman charges exactly what it costs him.

“It’s not a business,” he said. “It’s a way to spread awareness. Baruch HaShem.”

Israeli Girl Molested at Chabad 770, Arrest Made

Friday, October 10th, 2014

New York police have arrested and charged a non-Jewish janitor at the Chabad 770 headquarters with molesting a young Israeli girl who was sleeping in a stairwell.

The incident provoked complaints of the lack of sleeping facilities for Jewish tourists who are essentially homeless.

The girl who fended off her attacker with screams is visiting from Israel for the month. She was sleeping in a stairwell leading to the women’s section of “770” when the attacker, of Hispanic descent, began to molest her.

Shomrim security officials tracked down the suspect, and the young woman was able to identify him in lineup.

Crown Heights Info reported that many women pay an organization that is supposed to provide housing and eating facilities for visitors, but young Jewish women have been seen roaming the streets with their luggage but without a place to stay for the night. Some of them sleep on benches in synagogues.

Pro-Arab Peacenik Assault Jewish Leader after NY Nets-Maccabi Game

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Leonard Petlakh, the head of a Jewish Y in Brooklyn, was hospitalized for a broken nose Tuesday night after being punched by a pro-Palestinian protester following the exhibition basketball game between the NBA’s Nets and Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Petiakh’s 14-year-old and 10-year-old sons were with their father at the time of the attack while exiting the Barclays Center arena following the Nets’ 111-94 victory.

“The last thing I remember is this guy screaming ‘Free Palestine’ and then a really strong punch,” Petlakh told JTA. “To get bloodied in front of your kids, it really crosses all the red lines.”

The assailant ran away and Petlakh sought medical care and required eight stitches. He reported the incident to the police, who are investigating the attack as a hate crime.

Prior to the game, a reception was held to raise funds for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.

Fans verbally sparred inside the arena as the game was ending when pro-Palestinian protesters began shouting slogans and a pro-Israel fan grabbed a Palestinian flag from one of the protesters, according to Petlakh.

As the crowds spilled out of the arena and onto the street, one of the protesters took a swing at Petlakh.

The Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which sponsored the protest rally, condemned the attack.

“If something happened after the game, which would have been several hours after the protest ended, it had nothing to do with us or the demonstration,” JVP said in a press release. “(We) express our horror at the injuries that Mr. Petlakh suffered.”

Brooklyn Coffee Shop Owner Sorry He Called Jews ‘Greedy Infiltrators’

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

A Brooklyn coffee shop owner has apologized for calling Jews “greedy infiltrators” on social media,” as reported here earlier this week.

Michael Avila, owner of The Coffee Shop in the Bushwick neighborhood, offered “deep and sincere apologies” on Monday to anybody he may have hurt with his rant published last week on his sites. The rant reportedly went viral.

He told DNAinfo New York that his mother’s best friend, who is Jewish, and other friends showed him how he could better choose words to make his point and not offend.

In the rant, Avila said that he wanted his neighbor to sell his building, “BUT NOT be bought out by Jews.” He said Jews “function via greed and dominance.”

He said in his statement to DNAinfo New York, “If I could go back in time, out of my love for Bushwick (as it always was) my post would have looked more like the following — ‘I believe it is wrong for any persons to buy real estate and then dislocate people from their homes for the purpose of self-service.’ ”

Avila also removed his social media sites on Monday.

After ‘Pig Restaurant’ Scandal, Netanyahu Goes For Seafood

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Originally published at Jewish Business News.

Fresco by Scotto, the non-kosher Manhattan Italian restaurant picked by Prime Minister Netanyahu and his patron, Casino Magnate Sheldon Adelson, for their get together following Bibi’s UN Assembly speech this week (See Bibi, Sheldon, Doing Traif Italian Lunch After UN Assembly Speech), has become the focal point of a raging storm in Israel’s Haredi newspapers.

After all, those newspaper argued, a prime minister so vociferous on the rights of Jews to a variety of territories and security guarantees could spend some time concentrating on the obligations of those same Jews, at least when he’s dining in public.

They dubbed it “The pig restaurant” scandal, even though, according to the NY Post, Bibi had veal chops.

Now the daily Maariv has revealed that after his lunch at the pig joint, Netanyahu was the guest of honor at a dinner with a group of Jewish billionaires at the Chart House, a sea food joint offering crabs, calamari and shrimp, which are all on the don’t list in Leviticus.

And while the pig lunch with Sheldon could pass for a private affair—just a meeting of a man and his sugar daddy—the Chart House gig was as official as they come. Present were Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer and his wife, Netanyahu’s chief of staff Ari Harow, and Netanyahu’s man in New York Ze’ev Rubinstein.

The tycoons munching on forbidden crawlers included Mort Zuckerman, Morad Zamir, Daniel Levi and Israel Schwartz.

Maariv noted that one of the billionaires at the table was Spencer Partridge, who gained notoriety a while back over the “Bibitours” scandal – he airlifted Netanyahu and his family around North America on his private jet, which the Israeli AG investigated for a while. Now the case was closed and so the friendship can be renewed over a plate of Shrimp.

A reader criticized my coverage of Bibi’s pig lunch, calling it “hate speech.” I suppose she will have something to say about this piece, too. I don’t believe I’ve advocated outright hatred for Bibi – but I did question his judgment. Manhattan is packed with quality kosher restaurants, every one of which would have been delighted to close for a day and feed just Bibi and his deep pockets.

It’s not a crime for Israel’s prime minister to eat traif in public, but it’s certainly in bad taste. Even when the meal is delicious.

PM Netanyahu’s Remarks to Jewish Federation Leaders in New York

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Jewish Federation leaders on Tuesday, in New York, with the following remarks:

“Every time I come to the UN I try to tell the truth as it is. But here’s a picture I didn’t show in the UN yesterday. This is an impending execution. But this isn’t ISIS, this is Hamas. And during the recent fighting in Gaza, right around the time that ISIS was doing its grisly deeds, Hamas executed dozens of Palestinians just to impose fear and force the population of Gaza into submission.

It’s true there are some differences between Hamas and ISIS – for example ISIS beheads people and Hamas puts a bullet in the back of their heads. But to the victims, and the victims’ families, the horror is the same.

The point I was trying to make yesterday and I’m making today is that we are faced with a world-wide network of militant Islamists, groups and regimes. It’s not that they have a common war-room. They have war-rooms against each other because all of them wish to dominate first the region in which they are in and then ultimately the entire world. But they all share this fanatic ideology; they all have not only unbridled ambitions but also savage methods. And the more they have the capability to realize their ambitions, the more they’ll unleash their pent-up aggression against our common civilizations.

This is the point that I think is most important – We all support the efforts led by President Obama to stop and defeat ISIS, there’s no question that that has to be done. But to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is, as I said yesterday and I’ll say it again, is to win the battle and lose the war. We have to stop ISIS, defeat ISIS, but we have to prevent Iran from getting the capability to produce nuclear weapons.”

Bibi, Sheldon, Doing Traif Italian Lunch After UN Assembly Speech

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Republished from Jewish Business News.

After telling the UN General Assembly on Monday, or, rather, educating them about the strong similarities between the Hamas and ISIS (although Hamas is not known for chopping off as many heads – they prefer to execute their victims lying down on the ground), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed for a much deserved lunch in Midtown Manhattan, at Fresco by Scotto, accompanied by thirty, count them, 30 security guards, The NY Post reported.

The Post’s Page Six says Bibi, and his small army, attended a small lunch hosted by Las Vegas and Macao casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Only five people actually dined, but the restaurant was turned into a high security bastion against terrorism, as “every single customer at the restaurant had to go through a metal detector,” while Netanyahu and his Israeli and American guards looked on.

Sheldon Adelson has been Netanyahu’s sugar daddy for years, and even started a daily newspaper in Israel devoted mostly to supporting the prime minister, no matter what. Adelson has invested enough in the daily, Israel Today, to push out of the way all the rest of Israel’s dailies. Mostly because he gives away the paper for free.

With this much unconditional love, Sheldon certainly deserved to have lunch with his fair haired boy when he’s in town.

“The entire block was closed,” a source told the Post, adding, “There were even Secret Service men on the roof.”

Netanyahu had the veal chop.

If you’re a fan of kosher dining, you’d probably be better off waiting on the sidewalk with the gorillas (who are vegetarian, we’re told). The first item on the Fresco by Scotto lunch menu is their delightful meat & cheese antipasto, which adds the sin of prosciutto di parma to the mortadella, mozzarella, sweet and spicy sausage, provolone and capicola. The whole thing for $37, recommended for two or more.

OK, so now you know, the king of Israel eats traif. But really good, traif.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bibi-sheldon-doing-traif-italian-lunch-after-un-assembly-speech/2014/09/30/

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