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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Williamsburg’

My Tanta Shirley’s Enterprise

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

On the seventh day of Pesach, in the early hours of the morning, a great light went out in our world. My aunt, “Tanta” Shirley (Shaina Esther bas Menachem Mendel) Szmerkes, returned her special soul to God.

She was born to Russian Immigrants who came to America to make a better life for themselves, and her mother, Sarah Chana, and father, Menachem Mendel met and started out their lives in what is now called Spanish Harlem.

They opened a fruit store, and it supported their growing family – three daughters and one son. The depression hit them and in a short while they lost everything. Then Shirley’s mother took very ill and all the siblings were left pretty much out in the streets, fending for themselves. One sister married very early, and another suffered an infection that was neglected and went to her heart, so a City agency put her into foster care for the rest of her childhood. Shirley’s baby brother was born severely premature and was left with major learning disabilities.

Shirley was in school most of the day, but did not have much of a home to come to and had to rely on kind people who took her in to share their food and shelter.

As she grew up, she met her husband, Irving Yizchak Yosef, who came to America from the Holocaust, having lost his parents and all his siblings from the city of Bialystock, Poland. He miraculously escaped from a concentration camp and ran into the forest, where he wandered and barely survived until the war ended.

Shirley and Irving had a lot in common, as both had survived their devastating childhood years, and were determined to rebuild their lives together.

Irving worked for Meal Mart, driving their tractor trailers and delivering meat to the frum communities of New York City. Shirley was a loving mother to her three sons, and sent them all to the Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalyim on the Lower East Side, from preschool through high school.

Once the children were grown, my aunt decided to give love and care to many lonely, elderly Jewish women in Williamsburg.

My aunt would rise very early in the morning and go from apartment to apartment, delivering fresh milk and bread. She made sure they each had a hot meal from the Williamsburg Meals on Wheels program. If there were no cars available, my aunt would pick up the hot meals and schlep them in her shopping cart to all her shut ins.

One good deed lead to another, and she started bathing and dressing those same shut ins, going to doctor appointments with them, helping them with their banking – any need that required the help of a healthy woman with two healthy legs.

My dear aunt Shirley truly wanted to go on doing what she was doing for years on end, but Hashem in His infinite wisdom decided that her time was up. She was sick for one year exactly, in and out of the hospital, and her biggest sorrow was that she couldn’t keep caring for all the people that needed her.

She had no interest in worldly assets. She was happy with very little, by choice.

I know that my Tanta Shirley will be a Melitz Yosher (defender in Heaven) for Klall Israel, and surely she will beg the Aibishter to hasten the coming of Moshiach.

Spider-Man Makes Exodus from Williamsburg for Passover

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Williamsburg, New York Haredim have finally convinced Columbia Pictures to halt filming of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ in order not to cause parking problems during the Passover holiday.

“We expressed the importance for Spider-Man to pass-over filming during Passover and they have answered our call,” City Councilman Stephen Levin wrote on his blog. “Reducing the amount of parking the production uses will … allow everyone celebrating the opportunity to safely enjoy the holiday.”

Filming the movie during the Passover holiday would have caused several streets to be closed to parking.

Columbia will move its equipment on Friday, and Levin happily responded, “Thank you for letting my people park.”

Satmar Couple Killer Charged in NY

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Julio Acevedo, who had been arrested in connection with a car crash that killed a Stamar husband and wife and their unborn baby was charged Thursday with criminally negligent homicide, as well as three counts of assault and leaving the scene of an accident. Acevedo’s driver’s license was suspended.

Acevedo was arraigned in state Supreme Court in Brooklyn and was ordered held without bail.

State Supreme Court Judge Stephen Antignani granted an order of protection to the livery driver in whose car Nathan and Raizy Glauber were sitting at the time of the crash.

Acevedo had been brought to New York from Pennsylvania earlier on Thursday, after surrendering to police in the parking lot of a Bethlehem convenience store.

Acevedo is accused of speeding down a Williamsburg, Brooklyn street at 60 mph past midnight last Sunday, and crashing into a car service carrying Nathan and Raizy Glauber to a hospital.

Both husband and wife, 21, died on Sunday. Their son, delivered by cesarean section, died Monday. His mother was seven months pregnant and was thrown from the car, the NYC medical examiner’s office stated.

The car service came to a stop sign, and not clear if the driver stopped.

The driver was knocked unconscious in the crash.

Satmar Couple Killed in Motzei Shabbat Car Crash; Unborn Baby Survives (Video)

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

A hit-and-run driver killed a 21-year-old Satmar couple around midnight Sunday as they rushed to the hospital because of a problem in the mother’s seventh month of pregnancy, and the  baby was delivered but in serious condition.

Based on image by James Keivom/New York Daily News

Based on image by James Keivom/New York Daily News

Doctors said the baby, “Tinok ben Raizel.” probably will survive. Already termed a “miracle baby,” he will be named after his father, according to friends of the family.

The tragedy has stunned the Satmar community in Williamsburg, where Nachman and Raizel Glauber were expecting their first child. Raizel complained that she could not feel her unborn baby’s movements, and the couple hired a cab to rush them to the hospital.

They never arrived alive.

A BMW crashed into the taxi and fled the scene, leaving the couple dead and the cab driver injured but in stable condition.

The impact of the crash threw Raizel out of the vehicle. Rescue workers had to cut open the cab in order to extricate the father, and only afterwards did they notice the mother lying under a parked tractor trailer. Medics rushed her to the hospital, where doctors delivered the baby boy from the womb of the mother, who was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

The young Glaubers were buried Sunday afternoon.

Police are searching for the hit-and-run driver.

Chemicals Thrown in Face of Williamsburg Rabbi Who Supports Sex Abuse Victims

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Rabbi Nathan (Nuchem) Rosenberg was walking on Roebling Street in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn when a man came up behind him, according to Rosenberg, tapped him on the shoulder, threw a liquid in his face, and ran away.

Rosenberg claimed that the liquid was bleach, although that is not yet confirmed.  He was treated at a local hospital and released. According to a report in the New York TimesRosenberg had a corneal abrasion and burns around one of his eyes.

Rosenberg is well-known in Williamsburg as an advocate for child sexual abuse victims in the tightly-knit Satmar Hasidic community. He runs a hotline and has a websitethat provide information, in Yiddish, for protecting children from sexual abuse.  The Satmar community has just been through an especially traumatic sexual abuse trial which ended in the conviction of a community member, Nechemya Weberman.  Weberman, 54, was found guilty of 59 counts of sex abuse against a child.

The vast majority of the rabbis of the Williamsburg community backed Weberman from the time of his arrest, and many in the community still support him despite the conviction.  They continue to claim Weberman is innocent. Rosenberg, however, sat through the entire Weberman trial to show support for the victim.

Although some initially believed that the attack on Rosenberg was related to the Weberman conviction, a police department spokesperson said that the chemical attack was unrelated to the verdict. The police department confirmed that Rosenberg had been the victim of chemical burns, but were not yet able to identify the chemical.

There was an eyewitness to the attack who claimed he saw a man throw the liquid in the rabbi’s face and then run away.  ”It happened so fast,” Primo Santiago said. “Out of the corner of my eye I saw [Rosenberg] walking down the street, and the other guy ran from the fish store and threw the bleach.”
The Daily News reported that Rosenberg’s attacker was the son of a man whom Rosenberg has accused of abusing boys. This theory was supported by several accounts in various blogs serving the Williamsburg community.

According to the website of the International Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault, headquartered in Skokie, Illinois, Rosenberg’s alleged attacker was Shalom (Solomon) Shnitzler.  Schnitzler’s Famous Fish Market is located on Roebling Street, the site of the attack. On the day of the Weberman verdict, Rosenberg posted on his blog that Rabbi Schnitzler sexually abuses boys.

According to numerous reports, Rabbi Rosenberg has been attacked several times for his work on behalf of sexual abuse victims in the Orthodox community.  Some who criticize Rosenberg claim that he sometimes names as sex perverts people with whom he has business disagreements.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/chemicals-thrown-in-face-of-williamsburg-rabbi-who-supports-sex-abuse-victims/2012/12/12/

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