Rapper Kanye West told a Chicago radio station that he wants to take back the “ignorant compliment” he made about Jews last month during an interview on the New York City radio station WWPR-FM. West said, “Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people.”
In an interview last week with the Chicago radio station B96, West said, “I thought that I was giving a compliment, but it came off more ignorant. When I said this comment about Jews having money and blacks not having money, I think it was, like, a ‘ignorant compliment.’ ”
He added, “I don’t know how being told that you have money is, like, an insult.”
The original comments had raised the ire of the Anti-Defamation League, while Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan defended West and said he should not apologize.
Damaged Torah scrolls found by U.S. troops in Iraq’s intelligence headquarters were buried in a cemetery in New York on Sunday, according to Jewish law for disposing of unusable religious objects and texts.
More than 100 people, including Lukman Faily, the Iraqi ambassador to the U.S., attended the ceremony at the New Montefiore Cemetery in West Babylon, Long Island. “This is a statement by the government and people of Iraq that we are here to respect the heritage of the Jews,” Faily said.
Thousands of Jewish ritual items were discovered by U.S. troops in 2003, after the U.S. ouster of Saddam Hussein. U.S. troops found the items in the waterlogged basement of Iraq’s intelligence headquarters, and they were shipped to the National Archives, where experts set about restoring them.
An exhibit there on display through Jan. 5, is the first opportunity to see them.
The Union for Reform Judaism has sold off half of its headquarters in New York and is investing $1 million from the proceeds to overhaul its youth programming.
The sale of one of the union’s two floors at its midtown Manhattan headquarters closed on Wednesday; Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the movement’s president, announced the sale in his speech Thursday at the Reform biennial in San Diego. He said $1 million from the sale would be used to supplement major foundation grants awarded to the union to reshape its youth engagement strategies.
Among the new initiatives Jacobs announced are the expansion of the Reform youth movement, NFTY, the National Federation of Temple Youth, to include sixth through eighth graders; a new partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation to help make Reform institutions more open to people with disabilities; and a deepening of the union’s ties with Hebrew Union College.
Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein recalled the role of his rabbi and Jewish organizations in helping him realize he could succeed despite growing up in a working-class neighborhood.
“The only person I knew who put on a suit everyday was our rabbi,” Blankfein told a crowd of 1,700 fellow Wall Street insiders and guests Monday night at a $26 million record-breaking fundraising dinner for UJA-Federation of New York.
“Growing up [in public housing in the East New York section of Brooklyn], every family I knew struggled. I thought every Jewish father either drove a cab or worked in the post office. I didn’t know anyone whose father was a doctor, lawyer or other professional,” the Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO said upon receiving the Gustave L. Levy Award at the event at the Hilton New York.
“Today many of you may not know a Jewish family that is struggling, you don’t see them, but there are. There are thousands of families not more than three miles away from here.”
Blankfein credited his rabbi and his involvement in federation-funded afterschool programs and summer camp for helping him “to think about the world beyond East New York,” ultimately leading to his decision to attend college.
A New York restaurant deliveryman was awarded $900,000 for enduring 16 years of anti-Semitic harassment by three supervisors, a U.S. District Court jury in Brooklyn decided after four hours of deliberation
Adam Wiercinski sued the Mangia 57 restaurant in Manhattan, where he stated that one manager would pass gas in front of him and then joke that it was Zyklon B, which was used in the Nazi gas chambers during the Holocaust, The New York Post reported.
Wiercinski, whose father’s family died at the hands of the Nazis, said he had to explain what Zyklon B was to the jury because they were “very young.” “When I explain how it was used in the gas chambers, they were very serious. Everybody [in the courtroom] was silent,” he told the Post.
Supervisors also called him a “dirty Jew” and threw pennies at him while making anti-Semitic comments, and they docked his tips.
Wiercinski did not quit because he felt he was too old to get a new job.
Employees at the restaurant and caterer, which has three Manhattan locations, have denied the harassment took place, and the restaurant is expected to appeal the decision.
The point of this report is not that Wiercinski won his lawsuit.
The point is that in the United States of America, no would think that nearly seven decades after the Holocaust, someone in the capacity of a restaurant manager in the city of the Statue of Liberty, in the city attacked by Al Qaeda terrorists, would act like an ignorant Nazi guard at a death camp.
The departure of the head of the Kosher Law Enforcement Division of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has created a vacuum in which many consumers have charged that there are many incidents of misrepresentations of kosher foods.
KosherToday has learned that the Department is looking for a replacement for Rabbi Luzer Weis but that it has no plans to rehire the inspectors that were ousted in an ostensible budget move several years ago.
Sources say that while the Department is committed to staff the kosher division with an official, it hopes that some of the routine kosher law enforcement will be carried out by New York State health inspectors.
Observers note that the absence of the inspectors has allowed co-mingling of kosher and non-kosher items in aisles that are labeled as kosher. Some Orthodox Jewish organizations have been urging the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo “to put teeth back into kosher law enforcement.”
The fate of a tiny gold tablet in the possession of the estate of a Holocaust survivor and claimed by a Berlin Museum now is in the hands of seven judges on the New York Supreme Court.
The table, if it’s not a hoax, could be worth millions of dollars. It belonged to Holocaust survivor Riven Flamenbaum of Great Neck, New York and was inherited by his children. The history of the tablet is certain as far back as 100 years ago but may go back 3,200 years – or it may not.
German archaeologists discovered it approximately 100 years ago in the Assyrian city of Ashtur, in what is now northern Iraq, Long Island Newsday reported. It went missing after it has been displayed at the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin in 1934 until the end of the war, when the museum’s artifacts were inventoried.
It next showed up in the hands of Flamenbaum, a native Poland who obtained it by trading “either for two packs of cigarettes or a piece of salami,” according to one of his daughters, Hannah Flamenbaum.
After her father died in 2003, his son Israel told the German museum about the presence of the tablet, and it sued for its return. The lower court in New York ruled in favor of the estate, but an appeals court overruled the decision, and the New York Supreme Court concluded hearings on the case Tuesday. A ruling is expected in four to six weeks.
It is not known if the tablet is a forgery or not. His daughter Hannah said her father tried to sell it to an auction house in 1954 but was told it was a worthless forgery.
Her brother Israel disagreed with her account including of the estate and informed the museum of the tablet’s presence, setting off the legal war.
Hannah and a sister claim that so much times has passed since the disappearance of the tablet that the museum has no rightful claim.
Their lawyer says that if the tablet turns out to be true ancient artifact, it could be worth approximately $10 million.
Daniel Blatt, who produced “Raid on Entebbe” as well as a cult horror film and an epic science fiction movie, has died of cancer in Los Angeles at the age of 76.
Blatt was born in Rockland County, New York and practiced law after he earned his law degree, but he later switched to Hollywood, where he eventually was nominated for an Emmy Award for co-producing the “Raid on Entebbe” film that was aired on NBC in 1976.
He also produced the cult horror film ”The Howling” and the sci-fi mini-series “V: The Final Battle.”
In an interview with Luke Ford several years ago, Blatt revealed that his favorite work was Entebbe because “it represented the Jews reacting to victimhood in a positive way.
“I grew up in a very Jewish house,” he said. “Then after I was Bar Mitvahed, I said ‘enough of this’ and I moved away from it. And then suddenly to be brought back into this thing was almost like a gift, a circle that I’d completed…. It was coming back to my roots.”
His parents had fled the Nazis in 1934 after his father, a doctor at a Jewish hospital, noticed regulations for Jewish doctors after the Nazis took over the medical facility.
He told the interviewer, “I grew up in a household where persecution of the Jews was drilled into my soul overtly and inovertly.”
Asked if he started observing the Sabbath, Blatt replied, “Let’s not go that far,” but he said he visited Israel “a couple of times.”
He also produced “Common Ground,” about desegregation in Boston in the 1970s, “Kissinger and Nixon,” I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977) and “The Boost.”
Blatt produced episodes of the CBS crime drama The New Mike Hammer and concluded his film career this year with the Lifetime telefilm “Twist of Faith.”