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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘NY’

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.

One in Five NY Jews Live in Poverty

Friday, June 7th, 2013

A new report shows that 20 percent of Jewish households in the New York metropolitan area are poor, a figure only marginally lower than the rate in the general population.

The report released Thursday by UJA-Federation of New York found more than 560,000 people living in 200,000 poor or near-poor Jewish households, a figure that represents a doubling of the number of people living in poor Jewish households since 1991, despite only a 14 percent increase in the Jewish population. The report also found nearly half of children in Jewish households live in poor or near-poor conditions.

Among all residents of the New York area, some 25 percent live in poor households, the report said.

“The sheer scale of Jewish poverty in the New York area is immense, and the Jewish community has a sacred responsibility to care for those in need,” said John Ruskay, UJA-Federation’s executive vice president and CEO.

The report found that the largest group of poor Jewish households in New York is Russian-speaking seniors, followed by Hasidim and non-Russian-speaking seniors.

Though the report acknowledges that contemporary American poverty does not typically result in “extreme deprivation,” it does note that 14 percent of poor and 9 percent of near-poor say they cannot make ends meet.

“In the most affluent society in history, this should not be acceptable,” the report said.

The report defines poor households as those earning less than 150 percent of the 2010 federal poverty guideline.

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Words Of Thanks

I am a resident of Sea Gate and a victim of Sandy.

Our community was hit hard. No house was spared, and while some sustained more damage than others, all our basements were flooded and had to be completely demolished, with everything torn out and disposed of. The magnitude of this disaster cannot be fathomed unless you experienced it.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the New York City sanitation and police departments for their wonderful work. To Shomrim and Hatzolah and all the many individual volunteers who joined in the cleanup and recovery efforts: there are no words.

We are so grateful. May Hashem repay all of you.

Machi Spitzer
Brooklyn, NY

Two Very Special People (I)

Naomi Klass Mauer’s yahrzeit tribute to her mother, Irene Klass, and her husband, Dr. Ivan Mauer, was beautiful and moving (“Two Years Ago – Two Very Special People,” op-ed, Nov. 30).

I was privileged to know them both, and she captured their essence perfectly.

Barbara Gilor
(Via E-Mail)

Two Very Special People (II)

Naomi Klass Mauer’s article about her mother and husband was very touching.

Irene Klass was the embodiment of chesed and creating a Jewish household. Ivan Mauer was very smart and loved opening up a sefer or book, digesting it, and sharing it at the Shabbos table. Though his wit was sharp, his heart was soft.

Naftali Armon, Esq.
New York, NY

Halacha And Female Kosher Supervisors

There was something very crucial lacking from “The Mashgiach Wore a Dress: The Fight over Opening Kosher Supervision to Women” (news story, Nov. 30) – namely, what the halacha on this matter happens to be.

I would therefore like to note the opinion of Reb Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, who clearly writes in Igros Moshe (Yorah Deah 2:44, 45) that a woman may not serve as a mashgiach for kashrus. The prohibition has nothing to do with the idea being “new,” as Emunah chairwoman Liora Minka maintains, nor does it have anything to do with the halachos being beyond the comprehension of women.

Of course we should assume that the people involved are all working l’shem shamayim. However, I do not understand why Minka is ready to take her female kashrut supervisors case all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court. If the Chief Rabbinate says it is not in accordance with halacha, why is she seeking government intervention? Does she honestly believe she knows better than the Chief Rabbinate or Reb Moshe? It seems there is another objective here

Max Weiss
(Via E-Mail)

U.S. Support For Israel

I was fascinated by Walter Russell Mead’s front-page essay last week (“Why Americans Support Israel”). Like many of my fellow Jews, I have always feared the existence of widespread latent anti-Semitism in America and especially its coming to the fore in times of economic crisis.

In some ways this fear was largely irrational inasmuch as there has never been a country as hospitable to Jews and their religious practices as the United States. Professor Mead seems to point to American traits of realism and fundamental honesty as underlying the broad support in this country for Israel.

Perhaps it takes European-style sophistication for Israel to always be perceived as wrong.

David Perlmutter
(Via E-Mail)

Polish Court’s Ruling On Shechita

I view the anti-ritual slaughter decision in Poland as an ominous sign (“Polish Court Rules Against Ritual Slaughter,” news brief, Nov. 30).

While it is true that the elected government sought to protect both Jewish and Muslim religious slaughter, and it was a court that disallowed it, I am afraid the prohibition will nevertheless gain traction throughout Poland. The court found that exempting religious slaughter from the general stunning requirement in order to accommodate religious practice was arbitrary and therefore unconstitutional.

Since stunning is usually a means of ensuring the humane treatment of animals during the slaughtering process by eliminating the possibility of pain, the court ruling effectively declared and underscored that religious tenets that prohibit stunning during animal slaughter are inhumane. That does not bode well for kosher slaughter.

Shimon Geller
Los Angeles, CA

Rice And Libya

Re “Some Questions for Ambassador Rice” (editorial, Nov. 30):

While I do think Ms. Rice is not really responsible for her misleading statements concerning the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, I also think she might be able to shed important light on how she herself was initially misled and whether there was a larger cover-up of the failure to provide protection to American personnel there.

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

The Problem With Rice (I)

I don’t know how those members of the Black Congressional Caucus who labeled criticism of UN ambassador Susan Rice racist and sexist got away with it (“In the Matter of Susan Rice,” editorial, Nov. 23).

She was being challenged because she created a false impression to the public at large, claiming the death of the American ambassador in Libya was not the result of a terrorist attack.

It is indisputable that she did so, though whether she did it knowingly is not yet known. I fail to see any connection to her race or sex in such criticism. I have no doubt that if a white male official did the same thing, he would be similarly criticized. Are those aforementioned members of Congress suggesting otherwise?

Gilbert Rosenberg
(Via E-Mail)

The Problem With Rice (II)

President Obama came into office with a plan to create more balance between America’s relationship with both Israel and the Muslim world. Political reality, however, got in the way and soon forced a midcourse correction. Susan Rice came to office with him but, relatively immune to politics, she remains an unconverted true believer.

I don’t know how much discretion she will have as secretary of state as far as Israel is concerned or how much President Obama will rely on her advice. I do know that at the very least she presents an unacceptable risk.

Rose Ellen Blatt
(Via E-Mail)

The Jewish Vote (I)

I found Rabbi Steven Pruzansky’s front-page essay last week (“The Jewish Vote: Same Old, Same Old”) very illuminating. It certainly got me thinking.

I agree with him that cold logic should have drawn most Jews to the Republican Party in the past few election cycles. As he demonstrates quite eloquently, in terms of values and issues we generally are more compatible with Republicans than with Democrats. However, I think it must also be stressed that American Jews continue to worry about their future as a very small minority and are more comfortable with a political party that is seen, rightly or not, as protective rather than merely tolerant of its citizens.

Lawrence Hyman
(Via E-Mail)

The Jewish Vote (II)

The same week Rabbi Pruzansky penned a sour grapes column following the Democratic Party’s sweep of the Jewish vote, an important story was taking place across the ocean. Israel was fighting a defensive war against Hamas, and President Obama demonstrated real leadership.

Contrary to the fears of many Orthodox Republican voters, the president expressed strong support for Israel. As international pressure grew, he insisted that the conflict would be best resolved by local stakeholders, firmly guiding Egypt into a mediator role. Regretfully, Hamas survives to fight another day. But even if we dismiss the record amount in military funding Obama has allocated to Israel in his first term, two words sum up the countless Israeli lives that were saved last week: Iron Dome.

And while Hamas insists on claiming victory, we should be confident that if the truce is broken, President Obama will continue to stand by Israel. A hakarat hatov is in order.

Sergey Kadinsky
Flushing, NY

The Jewish Vote (III)

Rabbi Pruzansky writes: “Based on our race, status, education, employment, etc., Jews should be voting for Republicans but rarely do in significant numbers.” In other words, Jews should vote for Republicans, but they actually vote for Democrats; hence they must be voting based on irrational or misguided thinking.

Now, there are interesting features of Jewish voting patterns that merit examination, but I think the essential incongruity of the Jewish vote is somewhat overstated by Rabbi Pruzansky and others. Consider the exit polling regarding those factors – race, status, employment education, etc. – that Rabbi Pruzansky believes would make any Jew into a Republican Jew.

Most Jews are white, and it’s true that nationally the white vote went overwhelmingly to Romney (59 percent vs. 39 percent). However, Jews are among the most educated groups, and while more college graduates voted for Romney nationally (51 percent vs. 47 percent), in New York, California, Massachusetts and New Jersey, the college-educated vote went very heavily for Obama, more so than could be accounted for merely by the number of Jews in the electorate. Moreover, nationally Obama decisively won the vote of those who had done post-graduate study (55 percent to 42 percent).

Events in the West

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Events in the West: This Shabbos YICC in the Pico-Robertson area of L.A. hosts Professor Isaiah Gafni, a leading Jewish historian, as its scholar-in-residence… The West Coast OU Torah Convention in L.A. is scheduled for December 20-23.

Kosher News: Nature Valley Dark Chocolate and Nut Trail Mix Chewy Granola bars bear an unauthorized OU… Wegman’s gluten-free double chocolate brownie cake mix has an OU – but it is OU-D… The CRC in Chicago reports that packaged barley has been found to have three types of bugs. They have created a process for you to rid other brands of this. Geffen barley is the only barley that doesn’t require the process.

The Jewish Press in Stores: If you don’t see The Jewish Press where you expect to see it, ask the cashier where your favorite newspaper is. Stores sometimes move the papers in order to set up a display.

Super Storm Benny was created to assist Jewish families in communities on the East Coast facing catastrophic destruction from Hurricane Sandy. You can participate in the rebuilding by donating appliances, kitchen equipment, baby gear, furniture, computers, bed and bath supplies, siddurim, Chumashim, and toys. All products should be new and in their original packaging. The deadline is Sunday, November 18. A 40-foot truck will drive across the country with the donations. You can also donate via credit card by visiting www.TeamBenny.net, or by sending a check to Ladies Bikur Cholim, 444 N. Detroit St., Los Angeles, CA 90036. Super Storm Benny is sponsored as a zechus for a refuah sheleimah for Binyomin Chaim ben Faigie Sarah.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Births: Moshe and Tzirel Regal, a son (Grandparents Rabbi Yossi and Sari Naiman)… Baruch and Ruchi Giberstein, a daughter (Grandparents Shlomo and Gila Giberstein)… Shai and Chana Samet, a son… Eric and Sarah Abitbol of NY, a son (Grandparents Alan and Etti Lowy; Sonia Rosenberg)… Yaakov and Rivki Tangy, a daughter (Grandparents Avraham and Tzafi Vickman)… Rabbi Jason and Lauren Weiner, a son (Grandparents Sidney and Marcia Teichman)… Jeffrey and Rina Barak of Encino, a daughter (Grandparents Dr. Mark and Michelle Barak)… Shlomie and Ruti Hauer of Monsey, NY, a son (Grandparents Shmuli and Goldie Hauer; Great-grandmother Frida Berger)… Shloimie and Aliza Zeffren of Teaneck, NJ, a son (Grandparents David and Mira Zeffren)… Rabbi Moshe and Nava Adler, a son (Grandparents Benny and Audrey Adler; Great-grandmother Lilly Adler… Yisroel and Miriam Wohlgelernter in Israel, a daughter (Grandparents Dr. Daniel and Eileeen Wohlgelernter; David and Judy Hager)… Rabbi Shmuel and Elkie Einhorn, a son.

Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvahs: Jake Garfinkel, son of Marty and Candice Garfinkel… Justin Hanelin, son of Jonas and Cari Hanelin.

Mazel Tov – Bas Mitzvah: Elisheva Gofman, daughter of Yasha and Nancy Gofman.

Mazel Tov – Engagements: Shoshana Gres, daughter of Jerry and Debbie Gres, to Yosef Caplan, son of Jeff and Gale Caplan of Agoura, CA… Naftali Trainer, son of Rabbi Label and Lori Trainer, to Rochel Pollak of Valley Village, CA.

Mazel Tov – Wedding: Saadua Liberow to Rebecca Kukurudz.

Congratulations: To Abbas Restaurant on its grand opening on La Brea.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvah: Eli Zadik, son of Yossi Zadik and Anne Bakar.

VALLEY VILLAGE, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Birth: Chaim and Samantha Hirsch of Hollywood, FL, a son (Grandparents Yisroel and Corinne Blumenstein).

Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvah: Alex Silberstein, son of Adam and Taaly Silberstein.

Mazel Tov – Engagements: Rochel Pollak, daughter of Rabbi Yehuda and Devora Pollak, to Naftali Trainer of L.A… Alisha Tal, daughter of Avi and Julie Handelman, to Yochanan Zomer of Yerushalayim.

DENVER, COLORADO

Mazel Tov – Birth: Rabbi Danny and Sara Wolfe of Albany, NY, a son (Grandparents Mike and Cindy Wolfe).

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Mazel Tov – Births: Mordy and Golda Fast of Yerushalayim, a son (Grandparents Steve and Ruth Fast)… Yona and Ariella Margolese, a daughter (Grandparents Melech and Chani Genauer).

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

A Mother’s Words Recalled

Re Rabbi Akiva Males’s Nov. 9 op-ed, “A Small Jewish World”:

Whenever my mother, Irene Klass, a”h, would hear someone referring to the Jewish world in those terms she would quickly say, “No it’s not a small world; the Jewish world is a connected world.”

As I read Rabbi Males’s article I could almost hear her reflecting once again on how indeed we are all connected, whether with regard to the Israeli army, or through our prayers, or through so many other examples.

As my mother’s yahrzeit will be in two weeks, reading the article and almost hearing her comment made me smile.

Naomi Klass Mauer
Brooklyn, NY

Editor’s Note: The writer is associate publisher of The Jewish Press.

Obama’s Victory (I)

While I found myself agreeing with your editorials during the past four years criticizing much of President Obama’s agenda, I applaud your editorial last week titled “Our Best to the President.” It demonstrated quite clearly that your opposition was based on an honest analysis of the facts and not on the unfortunate preconceptions about the president that continue to motivate many in our community.

Rachel Lobell
(Via E-Mail)

Obama’s Victory (II)

I would hope that the fact that most Americans don’t seem to agree with your anti-Obama editorial stance through the course of his first term in office will have a sobering effect on your future commentary.

The Jewish Press and the conservative Republican agenda will have to change in order to be relevant.

Sylvan Brown
(Via E-Mail)

Obama’s Victory (III)

I would not take Obama’s winning nearly 70 percent of the Jewish vote to mean that most Jews don’t care about Israel, as I hear many in our community saying. I interpret it to mean that the concerns of most American Jews about Israel are met by Obama’s having greatly enhanced American defense cooperation with Israel and his commitment, made even at the UN and to Arab audiences, to “always have Israel’s back.”

It would be more accurate to say that most American-Jewish support for Israel does not necessarily include an insistence on its complete retention of the West Bank.

Jordan Goodman
(Via E-Mail)

Obama’s Victory (IV)

I hope I’m wrong but I think President Obama is still dedicated to creating some daylight between Israel and the United States. This does not mean Obama has any intention of abandoning Israel but rather that he feels it is in America’s interest to convince the Muslim world that we are concerned about its needs as well.

He can’t, however, give something to the Arabs without taking something from the U.S.-Israel relationship. It’s simple mathematics.

Elyakim Meisner
Jerusalem

Obama’s Victory (V)

I keep reading about concerns that President Obama will now retaliate against Israel because of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s transparent support of Mitt Romney. I think this is a sophomoric view of how governments make decisions.

The president’s position on the spread of nuclear weapons in Iran and elsewhere; on the way Muslim nations in the post-Arab Spring era line up in the international arena; on how to best approach the world’s leading oil suppliers; and on battling the continuing growth of terrorist activity will hardly be driven by the personal relationship he has with Netanyahu.

Brian Wolin
(Via E-Mail)

Obama And Sandy (I)

I am amazed at people like reader Harold Miller (Letters, Nov. 9). Why can’t they just take “yes” for an answer? Mr. Obama came to town, rallied the victims, announced details of government aid, and left.

The man is the president of the United States and has a country to lead and, as was his perfect right, a campaign to run. Was he required to personally hand over the aid? Did he have to surrender precious time before the election to satisfy the nitpickers?

Bernard Safier
New York, NY

Obama And Sandy (II)

President Obama was treated better by the media in the aftermath of Sandy than President Bush was after Katrina because the Louisiana victims were mostly minorities while Sandy devastated middle class whites.

Both the victims of Sandy and the victims of Katrina deserved better but to the liberal mind only minorities merit our sympathy.

Letters To The Editor

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

The Presidential Election

Thumbs Up On Editorial (I)

Congratulations on a well-written endorsement of Mitt Romney (“Mitt Romney for President,” editorial, Oct. 26).

Given a free hand if re-elected, Obama would, in my opinion, do a “Jimmy

Carter” – only worse, since the stakes have been considerably raised since then. In 1980,

the mullahs were holding a few dozen American hostages. Currently, they threaten the region and the world with the ghastly specter of a nuclear holocaust.

I trust the future of both the U.S. and Israel with Romney, not Obama.

Myron Hecker
New City, NY

Thumbs Up On Editorial (II)

I think you were right on point in your endorsement of Mitt Romney for president and in your concern that Israel will have a lot to lose if President Obama is reelected.

However, if Obama should be reelected, I sincerely hope to look back a year from now and say that you and I were very wrong.

Ruth Greenberg
(Via E-Mail)

Thumbs Down On Editorial (I)

You wax so eloquent in opposing the reelection of President Obama yet fail to appreciate how your opposition to Obama and support of Romney really amounts to nothing more than a logical leap.

Early on in the editorial you acknowledged that “there are those who can and do point to several pro-Israel actions President Obama has taken as being indicative of fundamental support for the Jewish state on his part. Indeed, some of those actions are unprecedented.”

Yet you then followed with, “HHowever, we believe it is clear that Mr. Obama came into office determined to significantly altered downward the decades-long special relationship between the U.S. and Israel….”

To be sure, you draw on the president’s personal history and general statements about foreign policy over time, which you interpret as supporting your theory. But it is just a theory and not necessarily more valid than the theories of those who see some of the president’s pro-Israel actions as leading to a contrary conclusion.

Noam Blum
(Via E-Mail)

Thumbs Down On Editorial (II)

I find it difficult to understand how you can so casually dismiss some of the significant things President Obama has done for Israel, which, as you noted, “have included supporting Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system; backing Israel during the controversies over the Goldstone Report and the Gaza flotilla fiasco; and opposing the Palestinians’ efforts for a unilateral declaration of statehood….”

As they say, these are not small potatoes.

I cannot deny that your arguments against the president raised some questions. But I believe that despite the absolute demonization of Obama that has become so commonplace in much of the Orthodox community (at least The Jewish Press made its case against the president without resorting to calumny, hyperbole and unsubstantiated rumors and innuendo), Romney represents more of a wild card in terms of Israel than does Obama.

Michael Gross
Los Angeles, CA

Get Out And Vote

Your editorial in support of Gov. Romney for president was well reasoned and persuasive. However, it represents only half the equation. Knowing that President Obama must be defeated is important. Equally important, though, especially for Jewish voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, is acting upon that knowledge and showing up to vote next Tuesday, November 6.

The outcome in any one of those states may be so close that the vote of any single reader could determine the outcome in that state. In turn, that state could decide the national election.

May each reader of The Jewish Press exercise his power to affect our destiny. While we must all pray and say Tehillim for Israel, it is also essential to vote to remove Obama from office.

Mark Fishman
Fairfield, CT

Don’t Sit This One Out

The upcoming presidential election is the most crucial one of our lifetime. (Yes, we always say this, but this time it really is true.) Anyone paying attention to current events is aware of the runaway $16 trillion deficit spending by the federal government, and the debt with which our children and grandchildren will be burdened. Under Obama, taxes are sure to rise – for those who still have jobs.

And to those who have joined the entitlement culture and like the status quo – trust me, the money is running out.

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