Zabar’s Kashrut Alert
The Zabar’s book review in this past week’s issue of The Jewish Press, while very interesting and well written, was missing one important fact. Not all products sold at Zabar’s are kosher. Also, the store itself is open on Shabbos. The cafe and deli are not supervised, and only certain products carry kosher certification. So for the benefit of Jewish Press readers – let the buyer beware!
Support Needed for Jewish Women Entrepreneurs
The efforts of NERA, the year-old organization supporting Orthodox female tech entrepreneurs, are commendable. I am grateful for The Jewish Press’s coverage of the group (“Women Supporting Women Entrepreneurs” by Bracha Halperin, Aug 19).
NERA recognizes the unique obstacles faced by Orthodox Jewish women who wish to be entrepreneurs. Because of their unfortunately low current numbers, they tend to lack a like-minded support group and network, both so crucial to business success. By teaching Orthodox women about raising venture capital and legal issues for startups and creating an accelerator program for them, NERA is doing a real service to help advance this group of women as entrepreneurs. NERA’s backing from today’s most important technology companies, including Google and Microsoft, highlights how helpful the organization is.
According to a recent World Economic Forum report, women started 49 percent of new startup businesses in the United States in 2021, up from 28 percent in 2019. As promising as that is, women face particular challenges in launching successful businesses. According to Crunchbase, only a measly 2.3 percent of venture capital funding goes to startup companies run by women. Not surprisingly, therefore, only a similarly low rate of women-led businesses have made more than $1 million, much lower than the success rate for businesses run by men. In addition to gender biases in the workplace, Inc. reports that 48 percent of female entrepreneurs lack the crucial mentorship all business founders need.
At the same time, it is important to recognize the important benefits to society of women-run businesses. Such businesses provide greater financial independence, cultural integration, and power to the women who lead them. Additionally, when women run businesses, they can bring a different vantage point to longstanding products or services where women’s interests have long been overlooked. As Caroline Criado Perez documents in her book Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, too many everyday products are designed and tested with men in mind rather than women, which is why smartphones are often too big for women’s hands and women are more likely to be seriously hurt in car crashes. Women-led businesses can help correct such inequities. Jewish-run businesses can similarly address the particular needs of the Jewish community, such as lighting for Shabbat that complies with halachic requirements.
The Orthodox Jewish community would therefore be well served to support female entrepreneurs in the community. In addition to the groundbreaking efforts of NERA, it is crucial to also inculcate entrepreneurial values and skills at a younger age in the community. These values and skills range from financial literacy to problem solving, communication, goal setting, teamwork, cultivation of curiosity, and resilience. I personally am grateful to have had the opportunity to work on these skills in 4th grade at SAR Academy when I and fellow students cultivated a market for and sold a sports game, yielding a nice profit. I have further had the fortune to be able to take advantage of the various business clubs at SAR High School as a stepping stone to start my own successful sneaker-reselling business in 10th grade. To accomplish this, I had to draw on all of the foregoing skills and then some. The Orthodox Jewish community would be well served to support girls in high school and even earlier by providing them with the opportunity to hone their entrepreneurial skills and expose them to business opportunities.
Just as NERA signifies the ninth verse of Eishet Chayil and a woman’s devotion to her family, including through entrepreneurship, by keeping her candles burning late at night, it is equally important to heed one of the later verses in King Solomon’s song: “Kamu banei’ah va’yasheruah” – that a woman’s children rise up and acclaim her. What better way for Jewish children to acclaim their entrepreneurial mothers than by learning to be like them?
New York, N.Y.
President Joe Chamberlain?
Concerning “If Iran’s Already Nuclearized, Why Make a Deal?” by Eyal Zisser (JewishPress.com, August 25): As a student of history, I have often questioned what was going on in the mind of Neville Chamberlain. As the Prime Minister of Great Britain, he signed the Munich Peace Agreement in 1938. He promised it would provide “Peace in Our Time.” He trusted Adolf Hitler, who said he had no further territorial ambitions. Soon after, however Chamberlain saw Germany take over the rest of Czechoslovakia. Then Hitler demanded part of Poland, and when Poland refused, the Nazis invaded and devastated Poland. This was followed by the invasion and takeover of Norway, Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, and France.
What I find remarkable is that even after Chamberlain was replaced by Winston Churchill, Chamberlain still did not comprehend what Hitler was up to. He wanted to make peace with Germany that would let Germany keep its conquered territory and make England reduce its military. It was only Churchill’s parliamentary skill that kept Chamberlain from making a return to the prime minister’s office. Clearly, Chamberlain looked the other way and refused to consider what was very unpleasant.
Now I see a very similar response from President Biden with regard to Iran. Iran is a hateful dictatorship supporting terrorism in neighboring countries and developing nuclear weapons in secret in violation of the JCPOA which it signed. It is also developing long-range missiles to deliver its nuclear weapons anyplace in the world.
Although Iran lied repeatedly about its compliance with the JCPOA President Biden wants to return to a new agreement which it is likely to lie again. Recently, Iran has embarked on a new policy of sponsoring the murder of American leaders such as Mike Pompeo (former Director of the CIA and Secretary of State) and John Bolton (former National Security Advisor). Still, the president wants to maintain the course.
Lastly, while this agreement is legally a treaty and must be approved by the Senate, the president is extending his presidential powers and ignoring required Senate approval.
How Not to be Serious About Crime
In The Jewish Press lead editorial last week (“Governor Hochul Got Lucky This Time, But the Bail Laws Still Have to Be Changed”), you wrote, “It’s time for Governor Hochul to get the attention of soft-on-crime district attorneys, judges, and legislative leaders in Albany in ways that only a serious governor can.”
It’s astonishing that Governor Hochul has not yet gotten “the attention of soft-on-crime district attorneys, judges and legislative leaders…” since she recently allocated $10 million for counties to create threat assessment teams to combat domestic terrorism.
According to NYPD crime data, there had been 816 shootings this year by August 1. Most of these incidents were by street thugs, not domestic terrorists. How is preventing one person from shooting 20 people of greater urgency than preventing 20 people shooting 20 people? Hochul said, “My number one priority as Governor is keeping New Yorkers safe…” Which New Yorkers is she referring to? The only New Yorkers safe these days are the criminals – safe from prosecution!
Why do some Democrats think that everything can be solved by throwing more money around? We have the tools – judges and prosecutors – to make New York safer. We just need to remind judicial personnel what their jobs are – and remove those that aren’t doing them!
Make Those Who Can Pay, Pay
President Biden wants Uncle Sam to forgive the first $10,000 in outstanding college loans – sounds great. Senate Majority Leader Schumer wants to eventually raise it to $50,000. TANSTAAFL – There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Or in this case, a student loan. Too many elected officials promise so-called “free” stuff from Washington. They believe that it will help grease the wheels of reelection. There are millions of American parents who saved and sacrificed to put their children through college. Many students worked at part time jobs to attend college. Others worked full time during the day to afford attending undergraduate, graduate or law school classes at night. Some first attended less expensive community colleges and later transferred to four-year colleges. Millions benefited from being able to attend college on student loans. This has given them access to the middle class.
How many students then stuck Uncle Sam with the bill? Despite being successfully employed for years at well-paying jobs, there are several hundred thousand former students with ample incomes who refuse to pay off their student loans. Taxpayers are left with billions of dollars in uncollected debt. Now Biden wants Washington to just write off several hundred billion dollars in outstanding student loan debt.
Colleges and universities that are tax exempt have endowments worth over $800 billion. Why don’t they contribute to reducing their own graduating students’ debt instead of loading it on taxpayers? It is estimated that Biden’s forgiveness program will cost taxpayers $330 billion over the next ten years. Collecting some of these outstanding debts from those who can afford to pay is only fair. Uncle Sam faces $30.4 trillion in long-term debt. Why not deny federal and state tax refunds to those deadbeats holding good paying jobs, who look for a free ride at our expense? The White House and Congress can introduce appropriate legislation to assist in collecting these outstanding debts from those who can afford to pay.
Great Neck, N.Y.