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July 4, 2015 / 17 Tammuz, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia’

Anti-Semitic Vandalism in Chicago and Philadelphia

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Religious leaders, political officials and community members gathered in a Philadelphia suburb to denounce anti-Semitic vandalism at a Jewish family’s home, where “Move Jew” was spray painted on the home’s garage door.

“It was shocking,” Samantha Raker, who lives at the Yardley Pennsylvania home with her father, Michael, said at the rally.

In Chicago, a synagogue and more than 10 nearby residential garages were vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti.

Congregation Atereth Yehoshua and the garages in the heavily Jewish neighborhood of West Rogers Park were defaced over the weekend with slurs that included a Star of David accompanied by the words “F**k U,” according to Fox 32, a Fox News affiliate.

On Monday, Chicago’s Department of Streets and Sanitation painted over the graffiti.

Emergency Stop for US Airways from Israel to Philadelphia

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

A US Airways flight from Tel Avi to Philadelphia was forced to make an emergency stop in Rome on Saturday due to a mysterious odor in the plane.

Two passengers and all 14 crew members – including four pilots — reportedly began vomiting and suffered from red eyes.

It is not yet clear what caused the crew members and passengers aboard US Airways Flight US 797 to become ill.

Three flight attendants were taken by ambulance to an on-site clinic at Fliumicino Airport, said airline spokesperson Martha Thomas.

Other affected crew and passengers were treated at the clinic for nausea and irritated eyes as well.

fficials said a malfunction in the ventilation system of the Airbus A330 which carried 129 passengers may have been the cause of the problem.

An investigation has been launched, the spokesperson said.

Jewish Federation to Join 76ers for ‘Jewish Heritage Night’ [video]

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

The Philadelphia 76ers’ annual Jewish Heritage Night will be presented for the first time by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia on Monday at a game with the San Antonio Spurs at 7:00 p.m. (EST).

During the first quarter, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia officials Naomi Adler and Bernard Newman will accept the Sixers “Heroes Among Us” award. Proceeds from the 50/50 Raffle, presented by SugarHouse Casino, will benefit the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

At halftime, a special rendition of the HaTikvah, will be sung by Ashley Colabella, and local Jewish war heroes Sol Goldstein, Bernie Lens, Allan Silverberg and Alan Vogenberg of the Fegelston-Young-Feinberg Post 697 of the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S. will be honored at center court for their service.

Kosher food will be available, but there will not be a booth for Aliyah.

Speaking of aliyah, wouldn’t it have been nice if the 76ers and the Federation had hosted an Israel night last February,when Miss Israel, Yityish Aynaw was introduced to the Philadelphia 76ers during their practice, as in the video below the picture of Miss Israel?

Miss Israel during at surprise visit to a 76ers training exercise last February.

Miss Israel during at surprise visit to a 76ers training exercise last February.

At 91 Harvey Pollack Is Still NBA’s Leading Scorer

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Fittingly, Harvey Pollack was the one who scribbled the number 100 on the most famous photograph in basketball history: Wilt Chamberlain holding the piece of paper signifying his astounding point total in a 1962 game for the then Philadelphia Warriors.

After all, Pollack is basketball’s ultimate numbers and public relations man.

But the scrawling is hardly Pollack’s sole legacy in a nearly seven-decade career in basketball. He was the first to track a player’s blocked shots, rebounds, minutes played and dunks. The term “triple-double” for a player netting 10 or more points, rebounds and assists in a game — Pollack’s doing. These days he even charts which NBA players sport tattoos.

Pollack is the Philadelphia 76ers’ director of statistical information, a paltry title for the unofficial historian of all things throughout the National Basketball Association’s existence.

“The word ‘legend’ doesn’t appropriately describe Harvey,” NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver tells JTA. “He’s really the heart and soul of the 76ers, a walking encyclopedia of NBA history and a testament to the family nature of this league.”

Pollack, vigorous at 91, remains a Philadelphia courtside fixture, scrupulously keeping each game’s statistics without so much as eyeglasses to assist. Pollack, in fact, predates the NBA, going back to the Warriors’ Basketball Association of America debut in 1946.

Not even Philadelphia’s basketball-orphan status during the 1962-63 season — the Warriors moved to San Francisco and the 76ers had not arrived from Syracuse — could interrupt Pollack’s 68-year tenure in pro basketball: That season he handled public relations for NBA doubleheaders.

He’s on a T-shirt streak, too, never wearing the same one twice and nearly all donated to the cause. When a reporter visited this month, Pollack was on T-shirt day number 3,817. With pride he says the Guinness Book of World Records people told him he’ll own the record — actually no one sought it pre-Pollack — as soon as the streak actually ceases.

Like his work streak, that’s hardly imminent.

The native Philadelphian has outlived his wife of 58 years, his four siblings, three basketball arenas, the many newspapers for which he wrote and even Chamberlain. He’s at his 76ers office daily and works every home game, a must greet for referees and opposing coaches, players and trainers. Non-game nights he attends movie screenings and theater performances and visits restaurants for a society column he has penned for decades.

Lara Price, a 76ers executive, says Pollack goes to nearly every concert — most of them rock and roll — at the Wells Fargo Center, the team’s home. When seats aren’t available, he unhesitatingly nudges the arena’s owner, Ed Snider, for tickets.

Pollack is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and several others, but the ultimate tribute may have been the 76ers presenting fans with a Harvey bobblehead a few years back.

He’s loved sports since growing up with his immigrant parents, Louis and Rebecca, both dressmakers, on Dauphin Street, in the northeast section of Philly, not far from where he now makes his home. The family lived a few blocks from Shibe Park, home of the Philadelphia Athletics, and Pollack and his friends would sneak into the baseball games there with youth groups admitted for free.

But basketball has been Pollack’s preferred sport since his senior year at Temple University, when he served as the hoop squad’s manager and started logging statistics the coach hadn’t thought to keep.

“They call me the last of the Mohicans because I’m the only one left in the league since [the NBA] started,” he says. “There’s no clone of me hanging around, so I’m one of a kind.”

Israel Promises to Keep Consulate in Philadelphia

Friday, December 13th, 2013

The Foreign Ministry has notified Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter that its consulate offices in Philadelphia will remain open following reports that they were to be closed.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman sent to the mayor a copy of the letter via Mid-Atlantic Regional Consul General Yaron Sideman, who was attending a board meeting of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia at the time.

“Today’s announcement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs is tremendously exciting for the City of Philadelphia, our Jewish community, and the Consulate General. I want to thank Minister Liberman for his decision,” Nutter said in a press release.

“It would have hurt – just the civic pride, if nothing else – but really the service provided by the Consul General’s Office is also critically important” he added.

Local leaders and Congressmen conducted a campaign to keep the Consulate open, including as direct appeal by Mayor Nutter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres while on a trade mission in Israel last month.

Free Tay-Sachs Screenings at Philadelphia’s Einstein Center

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia is offering free Tay-Sachs disease screenings to those of Irish descent until the end of May.

The screenings, which involve a simple blood test, are free to those who are at least 18 years old and have at least three grandparents of Irish descent.

Screenings will take place at the following locations and times:

— Thursday (today), 4-6:00 pm at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, 559 W Germantown Pike, East Norriton;

— Saturday, April 20, 9:30-11 a.m. at the office of Dr. John L. Sabatini, PC at 301 Oxford Valley Road, suite 905A, Yardley, Pa.; and

— Monday, May 13 from 12:30 pm till 2:30 pm at the IrishCenter of Philadelphia (Commodore Barry Club) at 6815 Emlen Street, Mt. Airy, Pa.

Tay-Sachs Disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that can be passed on to children when both parents are carriers of an altered gene. Babies born with Tay-Sachs disease appear normal at birth, and symptoms of the disease do not appear until the infants are about four to six months of age when they begin to lose previously attained skills, such as sitting up or rolling over. Children then gradually lose their sight, hearing and swallowing abilities. These children usually die by the age of five.

In the past, Tay-Sachs was often thought of as a Jewish genetic disorder due to its large presence among Ashkenazi Jews. But, cases of Tay-Sachs have been identified in the Irish population in Philadelphia over the last few years, according to the Lansdale Reporter.

Dr. Adele Schneider, director of clinical genetics at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, and her team at Einstein are conducting a study to find out just how high the carrier rate is among people of Irish descent. The study, the only one done in the Irish population since DNA testing for the gene mutation has been available, aims to screen 1,000 people, and is funded by the Albert Einstein Society and the National Tay-Sachs & Allied Diseases Association of Delaware Valley.

Philadelphia’s Burqa Crisis

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Philadelphia, the city where I live, has quietly and unassumedly become the capital of the Western world as regards female Islamic garb as an accessory to crime.

By my count, the Philadelphia region has witnessed 14 robberies (or attempted robberies) of financial institutions in the past six years in which the thieves relied on an Islamic full-body cover. They took place in January 2007, June 2007, May 2008, November 2009, October 2010 (two), February 2011, June 2011, December 2011, January 2012, March 2012 (two), and April 2012 (two). The most violent attack took place on May 3, 2008, when Police Sergeant Stephen Liczbinski was killed with an AK-47 in a shoot-out following a successful robbery using burqas; the police then killed one of the criminals.

First, a tutorial on Islamic coverings, all of which tend to be called veils in English but fall into three main categories. Some (the abayahijabchadorjilbab, or khimar) cover parts of the body, especially the hair, neck, and shoulders, but reveal the face and identity of the woman; some cover the face (the yashmak) but show the body shape; and some hide the whole body, including the identity and gender of the wearer. The latter – our topic here – is better described as a full-body cover than a veil: it in turn has two types, those that cover the person entirely (the chadari or burqa) or those with a slit for the eyes (the haik or niqab).

As the Middle East Forum’s David J. Rusin points out in his detailed survey of Philadelphia burqa crimes, Muslim garb holds two great advantages over other forms of disguise: First, many full-body covered women walk the streets without criminal intent, thereby inadvertently providing cover for thieves; the more full-body coverings abound, the more likely that these will facilitate criminal activity. Second, the very strangeness and aloofness of these garments affords their wearers, including criminals, an extraordinary degree of protection. As in other cases (three purchases of alcohol in Toronto state liquor stores by a 14-year-old boy in a burqa; Muslim women not checked at Canadian airports), clerks so fear being accused of racism or “Islamophobia” that they skip state-mandated procedures, such as requiring niqabis to show their faces and establish their identities.

To their credit, some banks no longer allow head coverings. For example, a PNC Bank office in Philadelphia boasts a front-door sign stating: “The safety of our employees and customers is our foremost concern. We request that you remove any hats, caps, sunglasses or hoods while inside this financial institution.” Such policies should reduce burqa bank robberies.

But as banks become harder targets, Islamic garb presents a more general danger to soft targets. For example, in the Philadelphia area, assailants donned Islamic garb to rob a real estate office in 2008 and commit murder at a barber shop in 2012.

Not fatal but equally horrific, was the Jan. 14-15 abduction and rape of a 5-year-old child in Philadelphia. A niqabi signed Nailla Robinson out from the Bryant Elementary School pretending to be her mother taking her to breakfast. Investigators believe the two walked a few blocks to where a man awaited them. Nailla then disappeared for nearly a day and was only found the next morning shivering half-naked in a park by a passerby. Last week, the police arrested Christina Regusters, 19, an daycare center employee with prior contact with Nailla. The fourteen charges against her include kidnapping, rape, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, and criminal conspiracy.

The usual two factors noted above were critical to this crime’s commission: the spread of full-body gear (Nailla’s mother, Latifah Rashid, wears Islamic garb, meaning the abductor could plausibly pretend to be her) and the Bryant school staff deferring to a niqabi (completely ignoring the many rules pertaining to the escorting of a child from school).

This survey of Philadelphia’s crisis prompts several reflections: First, almost any Western city at any time could have Philadelphia’s problems. Second, this is deadly serious issue, involving violent robberies, rapes, and murders. Third, as full-body Islamic covers spread, criminals increasingly depend on them. Fourth, government workers need to surmount their timidity and apply normal procedures even to those wearing full-body covers, even in liquor shops, airports, and elementary schools. Finally, this problem has an obvious solution: ban the niqab and burqa in public places, as the national governments in France and Belgium have recently done.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/philadelphias-burqa-crisis/2013/02/25/

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