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June 1, 2016 / 24 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘New York’

Jewish Grassroots Groups Seeking Support for Lower East Side Landmark Status

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

(JNi.media) Historian Joyce Mendelsohn, author of “The Lower East Side Remembered and Revisited,” Elissa Sampson, who teaches Urban Geography at Cornell University, and many other scholars and groups on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, are advocating for the creation of an historic district whose boundaries will extend roughly from Delancey to Canal Streets, between Forsyth and Essex Streets. Although the legendary Lower East Side where a million Jewish immigrants thrived in the first half of the 20th century reached all the way up to 14th Street, the group suggests that, unfortunately, the blocks north of Delancey Street have lost their architectural integrity due to rampant development.

Friends of the Lower East Side (FOTLES) and Lower East Side Preservation Initiative (LESPI) are all-volunteer grass roots organizations dedicated to preserving the social, cultural and architectural legacy of the historic Lower East Side. They say they have been successful in gaining a landmark designation for the neighborhood’s significant historic relics, such as the Bialystoker Home and Center and the Seward Park Library. But they say there is a need to designate the complete Lower East Side/East Village Historic District, because although several other neighborhood buildings are already protected by individual landmark designations, you can only tell the full story of immigrant life on the Lower East Side by also preserving their neighboring tenement buildings.

The list of groups and individuals endorsing the initiative is very long, and includes the National Trust for Historic Preservation, New York Landmarks Conservancy, Victorian Society New York, Angel Orensanz Foundation, Art Loisaida Foundation, Congregation Kehila Kedosha Janina, and the Museum at Eldridge Street. They ask friends of the Lower East Side everywhere to add their name to the list of supporters, at the online contact page for Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan.

The letter the groups sent Srinivasan states:

“Manhattan’s Lower East Side is recognized as America’s iconic immigrant neighborhood with unsurpassed architectural, historical and cultural significance to our city, state and nation. Its great variety of age-old tenements, institutional and commercial buildings not only enrich the streets with architecture based on human scale and beautifully crafted ornament, but have given the community and its residents a cohesive and stable environment with a strongly identifiable sense of history and place.

“The only way to effectively preserve the historic streetscapes of this vital neighborhood is through New York City historic district designation. Therefore, we call upon the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission to landmark, without delay, the historically intact areas of the Lower East Side below Houston Street. We request that the LPC first target the Preliminary Proposed Lower East Side Historic District shown in the attached map (see below).

Landmarks of the LES

Landmarks of the LES:

Allen Street

1. Federal House, 143 Allen Street

Bialystoker Place (Willet Street)

2. Bialystoker Synagogue, 7-13 Bialystoker Place

Bowery

3. Edward Mooney House, 18 Bowery 4. Citizen’s Savings Bank, 54-58 Bowery 5. 97 Bowery 6. Bowery Bank of New York, 124 Bowery 7. Bowery Savings Bank, 130 Bowery 8. Germania Bank, 190 Bowery 9. Young Men’s Christian Association, 222 Bowery 10. Bowery Mission, 227 Bowery

Broome Street

11. Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue, 280 Broome Street

Canal Street

12. Manhattan Bridge Arch and Colonnade 13. S. Jarmulowsky Bank, 54-58 Canal Street 14. Loew’s Canal Street Theater, 31 Canal Street

East Broadway

15. Jewish Daily Forward, 173-175 East Broadway 16. Seward Park Library, 192 East Broadway 17. Bialystoker Center and Home, 228 East Broadway 18. Isaac Ludlum House, 281 East Broadway

Eldridge Street

19. Eldridge Street Synagogue (Museum at Eldridge Street), 12-16 Eldridge Street

JNi.Media

Former Long Island Nazi Camp Town Sued for Discrimination

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

(JNi.media) According to the bylaws of the German American Settlement League, which owns much of the land of Yaphank, Long Island, some 65 miles east of NY City, homeownership in this quiet hamlet is restricted to people of “German extraction.” According to a lawsuit filed on Monday in federal court in Central Islip, the GASL, which founded Yaphank as a summer camp for American Nazis in the 1930s, “has excluded non-whites from its membership, recreational programs, and summer homes in favor of new residents with German ancestry” since its incorporation in 1937.

Philip Kneer and Patricia Flynn-Kneer, who are looking to sell and move out of Siegfried Park, Yaphank, say in their lawsuit that the GASL rules violate the Fair Housing Act. According to the NY Times, which broke the story, the couple, both of German descent, in 1999 joined the community and accepted its rules, but as the years had gone by, they became troubled by their life in what amounts to a relic of the Nazi era, and In 2006, after the birth of their second child, they decided to sell and move out.

“You feel like a caged animal here,” Kneer told the Times. “It’s terrible for everyone — for the kids, for us and even for our dogs.”

From the early 1930s, Nazis from all over the eastern seaboard spent their summers at Camp Siegfried, parading down Adolf Hitler Street, waving Nazi flags and displaying swastikas armbands.

GASL president Robert Kessler, referring to the Nazi rallies the locals used to hold in his remote hamlet, told the Times, “Most people don’t even know any of this happened here; it hardly comes up.” The lGASL intends to discuss changing those embarrassing bylaws Kessler called “antiquated,” but previous attempts to change the rules were voted down.

Mrs. Kesslers said she felt betrayed by the Kneers, who suddenly moved out of the neighborhood on Friday and hit the town with a lawsuit. She told the Times with tears in her eyes, “They were like our grandchildren.”

During the war, the town was on the FBI’s list for vigilant monitoring, and after Hitler’s fall, the federal government seized the town’ land. Eventually, following a lengthy legal battle, the GASL got the land back and converted the Nazi summer camp into nice co-op homes.

According to the Times, the [Siegfried Park,] Yaphank community of 45 families remains “almost entirely white.”

JNi.Media

American and Canadian Jews Flying on Aliyah in Face of Terror

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Sixty-five Jews from 13 states and Quebec, Canada are scheduled to set foot on their home around 7 a.m. Wednesday.

The Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah flight will carry passengers whose ages range from 10 months to 83 years, along with five men and women volunteering in the Israel Defense Forces as “lone soldiers” without family in Israel.

The new olim are from Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Maine, Maryland, Ohio and Quebec.

Nefesh B’Nefesh Co-Founder and Executive Director Rabbi Yehoshua Fass said:

We are truly inspired that despite the extremely difficult times Israel is currently experiencing, Olim are undeterred and are still making Aliyah.

Their choice to leave a comfortable life and move to Israel, and even more so in these times, is an important contribution to Israel’s strength and national morale. We are proud to accompany each immigrant through the Aliyah process and will use all means at our disposal to ensure their successful absorption and acclimatization to Israeli society.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Abbas Blames US for Stealing His Thunder at UN General Assembly

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas no longer plans to drop a “bombshell” in his speech scheduled for Wednesday.

And he’s blaming the United States for that.

Abbas religious affairs adviser Mahmoud Habbas told reporters in New York on Monday that his boss had “difficult talks” with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry over the weekend. The two allegedly discussed the threatened “bombshell” in the address that Abbas plans to deliver on Wednesday.

According to reports quoted by various international media, some Abbas aides claimed the PA leader had planned to announce a PA state “under Israeli occupation.” Such a unilateral move would be another violation of the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords, in addition to those he has already committed, but one the United Nations could not fail to act on.

In an interview with Palestine TV on Sunday, Abbas said he raised three points with world leaders on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly: the ongoing tensions at the Temple Mount, Israel’s “failure” to implement agreements with the PA and revival of Israeli-PA peace talks.

It is unclear at this point exactly what Abbas will say in his speech on Wednesday. Various Palestinian officials are giving statements to media in the Arab world and abroad, including in New York. But given the current political climate and the fact that Abbas is barely tolerated in his own territory, let alone in the halls of the Arab nations with whom he must parley in order to survive, it is likely he will keep his cards close to his chest until he steps up to the podium, if only for his own survival.

Hana Levi Julian

New York Jews Dumping Clinton for Sanders

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

New York Jews are losing their taste for Hillary Clinton and are moving towards Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, according to a new Siena College poll.

A majority of 54 percent of Jews in New York view Clinton as “unfavorable,” slightly more than the state average of 51 percent. If primary elections were held today, Clinton would come out on top but only with a plurality of 45%, compared with 24 and 23 percent for Biden and Sanders respectively.

Among Jewish voters, according to JPInsider, registered Democrats would give Clinton only 36 percent of their votes. Biden would win 31% of the Jewish vote, and Sanders would pick up 25 percent.

Clinton is in a tailspin and cannot dig her outsell of her deepening e-mail scandal hole, which makes Sanders look more appealing. Biden still has not announced if he will run, and if he does throw his hat in the ring, he will grab support from those who so far have backed off because of his procrastination.

Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said:

For the first time ever, Hillary Clinton is under water with New York voters, facing her worst favorability rating ever in her adopted home state. Her favorability rating has seen a net drop of 21 points since July.

However, Clinton is the choice of New York Democrats

On the Republican side, Jews favor Marco Rubio.

Statewide, the Siena poll showed that a majority of Democrats want Biden to run for president.

Trump still leads the Republican field, with a commanding lead of 34% compared with only 14% for Carson and 11% for Bush.

Greenberg added:

Biden runs best against the three leading Republican candidates, and he runs stronger against each of the three than does Clinton with Democrats, Republicans and independents.  Though Sanders has a bigger lead against Bush than does Clinton, she has bigger leads than Sanders against Carson and Trump.

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Heathrow Goes Kosher

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Kosher meat and dairy sandwiches now are available at four Heathrow Airport terminals, according got Kosher Today.

The London international hub offers kosher food at the White House Smith stories in terminals 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Kosher food increasingly is available at major international airports, and travel experts said that the London airport can support kosher fare, just as travelers in American airports have gobbled up kosher food from New York to Boston and Florida.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Kapparot ‘Sacrificial Chicken’ Ritual Gets Green Light in New York

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

The much-embattled Jewish ritual of using a purchased, donated live chicken as a “kapparah,” or sacrifice with which to absolve one’s sins before Yom Kippur has been given a green light in New York.

The purchased chicken is returned to the organization after completing the prayer and is then ritually slaughtered and donated to the poor for food. In some communities money has replaced the rite where chickens have become unavailable or where politics have made the issue so unpalatable that it community leaders no longer have the energy to cope with the fallout.

State Supreme Court Justice Debra James decided against a petition by The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos, ruling there was insufficient evidence to prove the ritual a public nuisance, the New York Post reported last week.

The lawsuit was filed this past July and named several rabbis, synagogues, the New York Police Department and New York City as well. It accused the NYC Health Department and the NYPD of aiding and abetting in the ritual by blocking off streets and sidewalks, and not enforcing city and state health and animal cruelty laws.

Various animal rights organizations, including PETA at one point, have annually made the same attempt.

Rabbi Shea Hecht, chairman of the board of the Chabad-Lubavitch-linked National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education (NCFJE), told JewishPress.com in a phone call on Sunday the organization is greatly relieved the judge upheld the ancient custom.

“We are very happy and proud that the Judge held up our Constitutional rights, which are based on freedom of religion, and has allowed us to keep this ancient minhag (custom). Although we recognize that this issue is not over,” he added, “we are thankful to God that we have the opportunity to carry out this important mitzvah to its fullest measure.”

The ritual is carried out as follows:

The live chicken is held above one’s head, and then slowly moved around in three sets of three circles as the petitioner recites a prayer that speaks of the “shadow of death… foolish sinners, afflicted because of their sinful ways and their wrongdoings.”

At no time is it considered permissible to handle the bird roughly, nor is it permissible to torment or upset the bird in any way, which itself is considered the separate sin of tza’ar ba’alei chaim (causing distress to a live creature of God).

The prayer (a brief excerpt follows) goes on to urge repentance, and describe how to expiate one’s sins on the day before Yom Kippur.

“They cry out to the Lord in their distress; He saves them from their afflictions. Redeem him from going down to the grave; I have found expiation [for him]… This is my exchange, this is my substitute, this is my expiation. This rooster/hen shall go to its death and I shall proceed to a good, long life and peace.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kapparot-sacrificial-chicken-ritual-gets-green-light-in-new-york/2015/09/20/

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