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October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘New York’

Gov. Cuomo in Solidarity Tour in Israel, Rejects Abbas’ Invitation

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo started out his top-billed solidarity in Israel Wednesday with a visit to President Reuven Rivlin and a rejection of an invitation to take a side trip to Ramallah.

“Our message is simple and it is clear: We stand with Israel and we support Israel,” he said. “Everyone wants the killing to stop, but at the same time, Israel must have the right to defend itself. That is the message we will convey.”

With 81 percent of the state’s Jews having expressed preference for Cuomo in the 2010 pre-election polls, he is going for broke in the re-election campaign and does not seem too worried about the Arab vote.

“I think that the governor is choosing to be reflective of only one constituency in this conflict,” Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, told The Wall Street Journal.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian Authority’s ambassador to the United Nations, where it is a permanent observer, was ambassador to the U.N. of Palestinian’s permanent observer mission, wrote a letter protesting the solidarity trip. “The responsible action would be to visit the Palestinian people and their leadership too and to see firsthand the wider context of this conflict,” he wrote.

Thanks, but no thanks. The governor’s officials deftly explained that the invitation was received too late to allow for a change in his schedule.

Quick thinking.

He would have a hard time explaining to Jews his “solidarity trip” by visiting Ramallah and would have an equally hard trip explaining to Mahmoud Abbas how much he supports Israel.

The governor did not directly reject the Palestinian Authority invitation but stated, “This trip is to show solidarity with Israel, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Republican State Sen. Dean G. Skelos, who also is on the tour, was more direct and declared, “Why would I want to go there and give any credibility to Hamas?”

Cuomo stated after the trip was announced, “New York has always had a special relationship with Israel. As Hamas and other terrorist organizations continue to threaten Israel, now is the time to deliver that message of solidarity in person.”

He has visited Israel three times, once as U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and he met with Yasser Arafat.

That was then.

The governor and senior New York legislators set up a photo-op, complete with American, New York and Israeli flags before he left the El Al terminal at JFK Tuesday night.

The itinerary for the governor’s trip includes the usual – a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and a visit to the Western Wall.

Cuomo also will visit with Israelis who were under bombardment from Gaza missiles in the war.

Funeral Held in Miami for Murdered Rabbi

Monday, August 11th, 2014

A funeral for murdered Brooklyn Rabbi Yosef Raksin was held in Miami Sunday, the day he was shot and killed on his way to synagogue in what police said was an attempted robbery. Approximately 300 people attended the ceremony and eulogies.

Following the funeral Sunday at the Bais Menachem Chabad synagogue, where Rabbi Joseph Raksin was headed when he was shot by two assailants on Saturday morning, the body was taken to the airport. A funeral and burial will take place Monday afternoon in Brooklyn.

Hundreds of men, women and children attended Sunday’s funeral, the Miami Herald reported. Raksin had arrived on Thursday in Miami for a week-long visit with his daughter and her family. Rabbi Raksin, 60, is the father of six and a leader in the Crown Heights community.

Police said he was shot several times following an altercation, though witnesses told NBC reporters that there was no altercation and the assailants were African-American males. Raksin was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center, where he died.

Miami-Dade police have said they do not believe the murder was a hate crime, rather a robbery gone bad. Members of Miami’s Jewish community are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Raksin’s assailants.

Raskin’s daughter Shuly Labkowski told local media outlets she believes her father was targeted because of his religious affiliation. “I believe it was a hate crime,” said Labkowski. “[He was killed] simply because he’s a Jew.”

A nearby synagogue, Torah V’Emunah, was the target of vandalism on July 28, with swastikas and the word “Hamas” spray-painted on the front pillars.

Photo Essay: Israel Supporters Rally in NY

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Israel supporters expressed their support for Israel on Sunday, July 20, 2014 on the streets of Manhattan. In sharp contrast to Palestinian “rallies” that have been marked with attacks on Jews, Synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses, Sunday’s gathering expressed a strongly-held view without descending into violence.

All photos courtesy of Zohar Lindenbaum

Pro-Israel Protesters in Manhattan, July 20,2014.

Pro-Israel Protesters in Manhattan, July 20,2014.

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Poster reads, "I have no other country, even if it is burning."

Poster reads, “I have no other country, even if it is burning.”

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New Jewish Ambulance in Brooklyn ‘For Women Only’

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Sometimes, a woman just feels more comfortable if she is surrounded by women at certain vulnerable times. Even if her husband is with her.

Now for the first time ever, a new emergency medical service for women only, by women only, has begun ambulance service in the Boro Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.

The neighborhood is home to a high concentration of Chassidic Jewish families, where most women do not feel comfortable being treated by men in the ambulances, even Jewish ones.

And up to now, the Jewish Hatzoloh emergency medical service has refused to allow women to serve on its crews, even under really awkward circumstances when pregnant women are in labor or actually about to give birth. Many women have complained about that situation for years. Qualified Jewish religious female emergency medical technicians (EMTs) have offered to work on Hatzoloh ambulances as well, but all have been turned away.

Finally, someone has done something about it.

“It was a real challenge to establish this organization, said founder Rachel Freier. “But all the volunteers underwent extensive training and we are on our way. The women are being treated by women, so they feel more comfortable.”

So far, the organization is operating with 40 volunteers who are fully trained. Due to lack of financial resources, however, the group does not yet have its own ambulance, so they have reached an agreement with a private ambulance company.

Jewish Carpenter Sues NYC Over Alleged Anti-Semitism

Monday, May 12th, 2014

A Jewish carpenter is suing New York City’s Housing Authority (NYCHA) after allegedly being threatened and insulted with anti-Semitic epithets while working for the city.

Manhattan resident Mitchell Imberman, age 60, had trouble for years with men working under him, according to papers filed in a federal lawsuit in the Brooklyn District Court. The problems began in 2009 at Bushwick Houses, the New York Post reported Sunday.

Imberman alleged that one employee said, for example, “I don’t like taking orders from a Jew supervisor.” A second worker was fired after months of leaving numerous threats on Imberman’s cell phone, court papers allege.

His superiors added to the abuse when he asked for their help, Imberman charged.

In the lawsuit he said he was called a “filthy Jew,” a “dumb kike” and other obscenities. His tools were stolen, swastikas were painted on walls where he was assigned to work, and feces were placed on his chair.

Imberman is still employed by the Housing Authority and is seeking unspecified damages in compensation for the abuse. The NYCHA refused to comment in response to requests by the New York  Post and The Associated Press.

Former Head of 92nd Street Y Commits Suicide

Monday, May 12th, 2014

The former executive director of the famed 92nd Street Y died last Friday after hanging himself in his home in Seagate, an oceanfront community in Brooklyn, New York.

Sol Adler, 60, was found shortly before 11 a.m. by his wife Debbie, police told reporters on Saturday.

In 2012, Adler had been fired from his position after an anonymous letter sent to the board of directors accused him of a long-term relationship with his personal assistant.

At the time of his dismissal, after 20 years of leading the Y, Adler’s salary was $430,000 per year. His son-in-law, an ex-convict and a director of facilities at the Y, was also fired under suspicion of taking kickbacks from vendors. A number of other employees also were purged as well “for engaging in and failing to report suspected in appropriate behavior,” according to a letter to staff written by the board at the time.

The 92nd Street Y doubled its programs and brought in more than $80 million during Adler’s tenure as executive director. Police said there was no question of homicide in his death.

Ex-Met Council Chief Rapfogel to Plead Guilty in Financial Scam

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

William Rapfogel, the ousted leader of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty in New York, reportedly will plead guilty for his role in a scheme to steal more than $7 million from the social service agency.

Rapfogel, who had served as CEO and president of the Met Council from 1992, was scheduled to enter a guilty plea in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Wednesday morning.

David Cohen, Rapfogel’s predecessor at the council, is also scheduled to plead guilty for his role in the scheme, according to The New York Times, citing people familiar with the case.

Rapfogel has agreed to pay substantial restitution, the newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources. The plea agreement is confidential.

Rapfogel was fired in August 2013 after financial irregularities were discovered in an investigation initiated by the Met Council’s board of directors. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the state comptroller’s office then opened a probe.

He was arrested in September and charged with grand larceny and money laundering.

Rapfogel had served as CEO and president of the Met Council from 1992.

“I deeply regret the mistakes I have made that led to my departure from the organization,” he said following his ouster by the social service agency.

Rapfogel allegedly inflated the Met Council’s health insurance payments by several hundred thousand dollars a year and then split the proceeds with politicians who supplied grants to the agency.

Rapfogel hosted an annual breakfast that draws many influential political figures.

The Met Council provides employment services, crisis intervention, emergency food and other programs for poor Jewish households.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ex-met-council-chief-rapfogel-to-plead-guilty-in-financial-scam/2014/04/23/

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