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August 31, 2016 / 27 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘york’

Endorsements For The September 13 New York State Primary Elections

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

It is imperative for Brooklyn readers to not only vote in the upcoming primary elections but to get family, friends, and neighbors to vote as well.

Most of the candidates The Jewish Press endorses below are being challenged by candidates politically beholden to Councilman Charles Barron, who is notorious for making grossly anti-Semitic comments and who has been condemned for them by no fewer than 12 independent communal groups.

We cannot stand by and allow his influence to grow. The candidates we have endorsed are capable, bright, personable, and enthusiastic, and have shown they work well with the Jewish community and all the many other ethnic and religious communities that comprise or will comprise their districts.

In the coming weeks we will be meeting with other candidates running for elected office and more endorsements will follow.


New York State Senate

Roxanne Persaud for New York State Senate in the 19th Senate District which includes sections of Sheepshead Bay, Canarsie, Bergen Beach, Flatlands and Mill basin.
New York State Assembly

Tremaine Wright for New York State Assembly 56th Assembly District which includes sections of Crown Heights and Williamsburg.

Steve Cymbrowitz for New York State Assembly 45th Assembly District which includes sections of Sheepshead Bay, Midwood, Gravesend, Brighton Beach, and Manhattan Beach.

Jamie Williams for New York State Assembly 59th Assembly District which includes sections of Mill Basin, Marine Park, Bergen Beach, and Canarsie.

State Committeeman/Woman/District Leader

Olanike Alabie for State Committeewoman/District Leader 57th Assembly District, which includes sections of Crown Heights, Prospect Park, and Clinton Hill.

Dilia Scach for State Committeewoman/District Leader 46th Assembly District, which includes sections of Sea Gate, Bay Ridge, Fort Hamilton, and Bath Beach.

Charles Ragusa for State Committeeman/District Leader 47th Assembly District, which includes sections of Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Mapleton.

Sue Ann Partnow for State Committeewoman/District Leader 59th Assembly District, which includes sections of Mill Basin, Marine Park, Bergen Beach, and Canarsie.

Editorial Board

Graduation Gift: York Jewish Student Awarded £1,000 for Suffering from Anti-Semitism

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

Zachary Confino, 21, a Jewish third year Law student and president of the Union of Jewish Students at York University in the UK, received an apology and payment of £1,000 from the University of York Students’ Union after two years of battling anti-Semitism from students while studying at the university, The Telegraph reported.

Although the nature of the anti-Semitic abuse is not specified in the apology, the report says that “It is understood that Mr Confino, who narrowly missed out on a first class degree and had suffered with stress, had been racially abused and bullied.”

A spokesperson for the University of York said in a statement, “The University of York acted as mediator to resolve a long-running complaint brought by a student against the University of York Students’ Union. This involved an apology by the Students’ Union to the student and a token payment of £1,000.”

Joint statements had been signed with both the Jewish Society and the Islamic Society on campus.

Confino’s experience caught the attention of the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who called on government to intervene to stop the rise of “poisonous hate” on campuses. In a letter to Confino, Lord Williams said he had written to Jo Johnson, the universities minister, because of the “muted” official response so far to rising anti-Semitic behavior. Williams described anti-Semitic incidents in a growing number of universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, the London School of Economics and York.

Williams added: “Anyone concerned (as I am) about Islamophobia here and elsewhere needs to be scrupulously alert to the risk of scapegoating and demonizing other religious communities, especially Jews; and anyone with even the least bit of historical sense ought to hear the echoes of past bigotry and violence towards Jewish people in Europe.”

The former Archbishop of Canterbury also said he was “dispirited” by the failure of Christian chaplains at York to support Mr Confino. “You’d expect a more simply empathetic engagement,” he wrote.

Zachary reported that one York student posting on Facebook compared Israelis to Nazis, but when he raised this with the Students Union, he was told that there was nothing the Union could do. Zachary says he has received hateful anonymous messages online, as have other Jewish students. One message said, “Hitler was onto something.” He has been called a “Stupid Israeli [expletive]” and a “Jewish [expletive].”

Zachary told The Tab that the attacks on him escalated about five months ago, after he had launched a campaign against a play put on by the Palestinian Solidarity Society. According to Zachary, his communications with the Students Union bordered on the absurd: “We entered into a debate on what is and what isn’t anti-Semitism with people who clearly don’t understand what Jewish hate is,” he said. “It’s adding insult to injury. I’m experiencing anti-Semitism and then getting told it isn’t anti-Semitism.”


New York Is Right To ‘Counter-Boycott’ Anti-Israel Boycotters

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Pundits and commentators Sunday proclaimed New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order “unconstitutional” and “McCarthyite.” Such verdicts are wrong, and somewhat ironic given the McCarthyite aspects of the BDS movement itself.

The executive order Cuomo signed Sunday declaring a New York State counter-boycott against businesses that single out Israel for commercial, artistic, academic, and cultural boycott, divestment and sanctions sends a strong message that New York stands opposed to the broader campaign to delegitimize, demonize, and discriminate against the nation state of the Jewish people, and to efforts that undermine any reasonable prospect of a negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel is far from perfect—and I and other supporters of Israel have been critical of its flaws—but it has internal mechanisms for addressing its imperfections. There is no legitimate reason for singling it out for the kind of external discrimination represented by BDS.

It is important to understand that there is no such thing as a generalized BDS movement. If there were, it would target first the worst human rights offenders and those regimes which permit no dissent or access to justice. But the so-called BDS movement does not target Iran, China, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, Cuba or other such offenders (indeed many advocates seek to increase ties with Iran, Cuba, and China despite their horrid record on human rights). The BDS campaign that is the object of Cuomo’s executive order targets only one nation: the democratic nation state of Israel which, despite being subjected to terrorist attacks virtually on a daily basis, has a free press and an independent judiciary. No country faced with comparable threats has had a better record on human rights, compliance with the rule of law, and of efforts to reduce civilian casualties in armed conflicts.

Israel has also offered to end the occupation—as it did in Gaza—on numerous occasions in exchange for peace based on a two-state solution, but those offers have not been accepted by the Palestinian leadership, or by hardliners like Omar Bargouti, one of the leaders of BDS, who declared “I am completely and categorically against binationalism because it assumes there are two nations with equal moral claims to the land.”

One of BDS’s core components—the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott (“PACBI”)—encourages participants to disassociate from Israeli cultural, artistic, and scientific institutions—and to blacklist individuals who are deemed too supportive of Israel. I recently learned that I feature on this blacklist when Omar Barghouti refused to debate me in front of the Oxford Union.

The PACBI guidelines endorse boycotting individuals who cross the BDS “picket lines” by cooperating with Israeli academic institutions or blacklisted individuals. They also encourage the boycott of all cultural and academic institutions or artists that promote “Brand Israel,” including for example the singer Matisyahu. Even more egregiously, PACBI calls for the boycott of institutions that promote “normalization projects” which do not sufficiently emphasize the injustice of the occupation, even if those projects aim for Israeli-Palestinian dialogue and reconciliation. The BDS movement also implicitly opposes a two state solution by explicitly endorsing the so-called Palestinian right of return, which would in effect unwind nearly 40 years of negotiations, and destroy Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

In short, BDS is an anti-Israel and anti-peace tactic with which New York State should refuse to be complicit, and which thoroughly merits targeting by counter-boycott measures such as those passed in over a dozen states across the country, also including California and Florida.

If properly interpreted and enforced, Cuomo’s executive action would not undermine freedom of speech. The law would only impact those companies that refuse to do business with Israeli or pro-Israeli institutions and individuals. BDS activists would still be free to advocate bigotry—and that’s what singling out the nation state of the Jewish people for boycott is—in the marketplace of ideas. But in much the same way that businesses today are not allowed to refuse to serve someone because of their ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion, so too would businesses that engage in BDS activities face economic consequences for discriminating on the grounds of nationality or political expression.

In some ways, Governor Cuomo’s anti-BDS executive action mirrors those of several states which refused to do business with North Carolina when that state passed legislation that discriminated against the LGBTQ community. It also emulates the counter boycotts of the 1930s against the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.

Moreover—and contrary to the shrill claims of the pro-BDS punditry—there is longstanding precedent for anti-boycott regulations. Since the mid 1970s, for example, the U.S. has enforced a number of anti-boycott laws through the Export Administration Act (“EAA”) and the Executive Administration Regulations (“EAR”). Among other provisions, the EAA and EAR penalize individuals and companies that participate in boycotts based on race, religion, sex, national origin or nationality. They have been repeatedly applied to companies participating in the now-defunct Arab League boycott of Israel, and to boycotts targeting other U.S. allies.

To call such regulations McCarthyite is to insult the victims of real McCarthyism who were punished for their ideas, speeches, and associations, not for their actions in refusing to do business based on national origin. Yes, there will be a list of companies that discriminate against Israel, just as there are lists today of store and building owners who refuse to do business with, for example, African-Americans, LGBTQ, or Muslims. There will have to be proof that a business engaged in a discriminatory boycott by singling out Israeli entities, or individuals based on their national origin, or political convictions, and a process for challenging inclusion on any list.

The only McCarthyist blacklist is that which has been complied by BDS enforcers—a list I am proud to be on—of supporters of Israel and of those who seek to “normalize” relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

To be clear: Governor Cuomo’s executive order should go no further than this. No one, not even the most rabid BDS-activist should face legal recriminations for expressing an opinion that is supportive of BDS, or for encouraging others to participate in BDS activities. Political speech—even bigoted, misguided political speech—is clearly protected by the constitution. I am confident that New York State officials and courts will construe the governor’s order to apply only to discriminatory business activities and not to speech or advocacy.

So applied, Governor Cuomo’s counter boycott will promote political, artistic, and cultural freedoms by imposing economic sanctions on those BDS bigots who are seeking to suppress such freedoms by discriminating against Israeli, and pro-Israeli advocates, artists, cultural figures, and businesses.

Alan M. Dershowitz

Remembering a Community’s Selfless Response to Hurricane Sandy

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

With the coming of the New Year I can’t help but think of the past year’s highlights. While many memorable events occurred in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s Jewish community in 5773, one in particular stands out for me: our response to Hurricane (later named Superstorm) Sandy.

In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy pounded America’s East Coast. Numerous communities in New York and New Jersey were devastated by flooding. Although Harrisburg experienced strong winds and heavy rains we were, thankfully, spared the fury of our temperamental Susquehanna River.

Our feelings of relief, however, were cut short when we learned just how badly other communities had fared. We soon heard of Jewish communities whose very infrastructure – schools, synagogues and homes – had been destroyed by the storm. To make matters worse, many of the areas most affected by Sandy were left without power for weeks after the storm.

Very quickly, Jewish relief organizations sprang into action to assist those who had lost everything. News stories abounded about ad-hoc aid centers, soup kitchens, and food and clothing distribution points that had been set up in Jewish day schools and synagogues.

It did not take long before Harrisburg’s diverse Jewish community found itself directly involved in the relief effort.

In a short span of time our shul, Kesher Israel Congregation, raised and distributed thousands of dollars to help fund those relief organizations actively assisting families most affected by Sandy.

The teens of the local Jewish Federation’s Bnei Tzedek group collected an incredible amount of canned goods, batteries and flashlights for Jewish families left without power in the Far Rockaway section of New York.

The Federation here also organized a clothing drive to help families of all backgrounds left without belongings in Sandy’s wake.

Perhaps most impressive, however, was our community’s rapidly assembled relief mission to Staten Island, New York.

In a wonderful statement of unity, a group of volunteers spanning Jewish Harrisburg (and beyond) spent Wednesday, November 14 in Staten Island helping hurricane victims in a hands-on fashion. Starting at 4:30 a.m. our group met at our JCC to load our bus with an abundance of supplies and clothing our community had donated for the hurricane victims.

Our group of relief volunteers represented the diverse nature of Harrisburg’s Jewish community. From an excited bunch of 7th graders in our local Jewish day school to a hard-working volunteer in his eighties, our group also spanned all ages. Once in Staten Island, we worked through the Young Israel, which had become one of the command centers assisting area residents hit by the storm.

In the days following Sandy, families of all religions, backgrounds and circumstances who had been devastated by the storm reached out to the synagogue for assistance. Upon our arrival we handed off our collected goods and the synagogue’s relief coordinator found appropriate jobs for each member of our group. In one way we all put in a hard day’s work assisting families, both Jewish and non-Jewish, whose homes had sustained damage ranging from flooded basements all the way to total loss. As a result of our efforts, Harrisburg’s Jewish community gained national attention.

What prompted our relatively small Jewish community out in Central Pennsylvania to be so generous with funds, resources and time? While a number of factors certainly played a role, I believe there is one that cannot be ignored.

The Jews of Harrisburg can honestly identify and sympathize with flood-stricken families, synagogues, and schools. As Harrisburg is nestled along the banks of the Susquehanna River, we know all too well what it means to suffer the effects of a hurricane. Having been through something of this nature on several occasions (my congregants report that the worst was Hurricane Agnes of 1972), our collective reaction was that of understanding, empathy and a sincere wish to be part of the relief effort.

In the months since Hurricane Sandy I have received many thank-you notes from people who were assisted by our community. I would venture to say, however, that those of us who did our best to help others in their time of need were ourselves, on a different level to be sure, very real beneficiaries of that relief effort.

Rabbi Akiva Males

Israeli GetTaxi Launches New York Limo Service

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Israelis and taxis in New York — not exactly news, except that this story is not about Israelis driving taxis, but offering a hi-tech solution to taxi-starved New Yorkers.

On Thursday, GetTaxi Ltd. announced the launching of its new taxi hailing app in New York City, after many delays, partly due to resistance from the taxi union and the Taxi and Limousine Commission. The company now serves busy urbanites in London, Moscow, Tel Aviv and New York, Globes reports.

“We realized that we might not be necessary,” says GetTaxi VP marketing Nimrod May. “It’s easy to hail a cab in Manhattan. You stand at the curb and hundreds of cabs are driving around to pick you up. In contrast, at rush hour, when you need a cab, it’s hard to find one. This is where we enter the picture.”

Smart man. Anyone who spent quality time fighting over a cab at a Manhattan street corner should grab the new app.

GetTaxi, which was banned from using the noun Taxi in NYC, will operate under a special label, “G-Car,” offering a reservation service for limousines in collaboration with the city’s current fleet operators.

“When we founded the company, we dreamed of offering our users an app that would work in every territory and in every language in the world, and we’re pleased to see our vision materializing. We’re pleased to bring GetTaxi’s innovative technology and good, convenient, and state-of-the-art user experience to the residents of and many visitors to New York,” GetTaxi cofounder and CEO Shahar Waiser told Globes.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Jewish ‘Leading Mayoral Candidate’ Needs your Help to Get on Ballot

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

The following is an email sent by NYC mayoral candidate  Ceceilia Berkowitz sent last night to her (handful of) supporters, pleading for help in the remaining days left to get on the ballot for an independent run for mayor:

Hi Friends, Colleagues, Neighbors, Friends, and Citizens,

As a leading 2013 Mayoral Candidate in New York City, I wanted to share with each of you the Youtube.com video of a Mayoral Forum I attended at Columbia University’s Teachers College in New York City on June 30th.

I wanted to show my commitment to the Arts & Culture, my strong and sophisticated and well-educated political views, and how important it is for New York City and its stakeholders (each one of you) for me to get on the ballot for our November election.

The only requirement to be on the ballot is to obtain 3,750 signatures via a signature drive. Some of you have seen in the news that Elliot Spitzer did a last minute signature drive. This costs anywhere between $20,000 and $500,000 if professionally done.

It can also be done with volunteers. At St. Peter’s University today, I met with Former Mayor of Bayonne Joseph Doria, who said he knew my father Dr. Berkowitz, from his business in Bayonne. He advised me to gather over 100 signature gatherers for shifts between now and August 12th, in order to secure our position on the ballot. We also need volunteers who can assist us with recruiting more petitioners, and others who are interested in this management and leadership building activity.

It is truly a privilege to have such a dedicated, talented, and sophisticated list of friends and contacts. I hope some of you can assist us with this, whether you are part of churches, synagogues, clubs, associations, universities, or other organizations in the NYC Metro area and beyond.

Would you be able to help me out with the signature drive, just to get the 3, 750 signatures to get on the ballot? If so, I copied my political strategy firm, Nino at Savi Political Consulting who flew in from Washington, DC to help me with this election.

I have had reoccurring severely sprained ankles from a previous injury at work in late 2010, so I cannot get all the required signatures on foot myself. In addition, I was robbed by my first fundraising firm, Apa Firm and Anastasia Apa, which the NYPD police told me was considered larceny, so I could not raise enough money afterwords.

Due to City Hall scheduling processes at 100 Gold St., I could not yet get an appointment yet from my good friend for almost two years, Mayor Bloomberg, to potentially borrow or receive enough funding for a signature drive. My credit also was stolen at work in 2006 and this identity theft was already proven in court with an affidavit -I hired some credit repair firms in Staten Island, and it will take one year to fix.

So since I have been a victim of theft and robbery, perhaps I could ask you all to assist me with a signature drive? I can perhaps give you all some compensation in pay expenses / prizes.

I think it would be great for NYC to have a younger, up and coming mayor, as they do in other cities and in Jersey City.

I just met at St. Peter’s Univ., where I taught MBA Finance this summer Mayor Doria of Bayonne and Dean of Education / former Director of HR, and he suggested to ask community groups to assist.

I also took on and hired (for pay in the future, assuming it is possible), Laurens Hunt, who is a long time member of your club and Now NYC, and who is vested in Hudson County Jersey City government with over 10 years of work experience and a graduate degree.

So we have a good and up and coming team, and NYC may need us this November if we can get on the ballot.

I am asking each of you to help do your part to email me and let me know how you can assist with recruiting signature gatherers. If you are too busy to help, perhaps you can donate $10 online to our political campaign, which will enable us to pay for commuting expenses for our volunteers who may have to work long shifts in the next week.

Also, if any of you is interested in cosigning a loan, and I can negotiate the terms and why it is good for you, please contact me.


Right now, we are most looking for team building activities with people of good leadership skills, interns and volunteers to help with signature gathering, and finance interns and employees who want to fundraise for some pay.”

Jacob Kornbluh

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-leading-mayoral-candidate-needs-your-help-to-get-on-ballot/2013/08/08/

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