Are Scaled-Down Yeshivas A Bargain?


Assistant Managing Editor
Forget the sports teams, the debating club, or the science lab. Get used to a more crowded classroom, with only one teacher. And if there are any computers, they won’t be state-of-the-art. Welcome to the low-cost, no-frills yeshiva, an idea whose time may have come in this era of financial struggle, and one that could be a reality as soon as next year. The Orthodox Union says 135 existing schools in North America are in discussions about creating new, discount full-time Jewish education for $6,500 per year, or less than half the current average of $15,000.

Jewish Groups Posting Latest Swine Flu Data

Assistant Managing Editor
Jewish community organizations have been posting up-to-the-minute information about the swine flu epidemic this week, and as of Monday there were no known cases of the virus reported by any Jewish school or institution. As word of the outbreak spread last week the Secure Community Network sent out a memo and materials Monday provided by the Centers for Disease Control to hundreds of Jewish institutions, including federations and Jewish community centers. SCN has an existing partnership with the CDC and the Department of Homeland Security.

A Jewish Lifeline In the Economic Downturn


Assistant Managing Editor
In a junior congregation room at the Young Israel of Woodmere, on Long Island, they are greeted warmly at the door and don blue nametags. Some linger by the refreshments; others schmooze in the center of the room. The bold make their own introductions, while the more reserved wait for the formal program to begin. It looks like a singles mixer, but the more than 100 people — men and women, young and middle-aged — are seeking matches of a different sort. They are job seekers, casualties of an economic downturn that has hit the Jewish communal world particularly hard.

As Need Soars, New Help Centers To Open Here

Assistant Managing Editor
With Jews throughout the New York area reeling from the effects of the economic downturn, UJA-Federation of New York is poised to launch a nearly $7 million initiative to provide assistance where it is most needed. Taking the rare step of dipping into its own endowment to meet skyrocketing needs for everything from rent subsidies to mental health and legal services, the charity will create seven one-stop centers throughout the city where people can get a variety of social services under one roof.

More Kosher Soup Kitchens Planned


Assistant Managing Editor
When people enter the Masbia soup kitchen in Borough Park, they approach a wooden podium of the sort used by a maitre d’. But no reservations are required at Masbia, currently the city’s only kosher soup kitchen, and clients are simply asked to sign their name before filling their dinner plates. While in the past they may have been asked to present a letter of reference from a rabbi or community leader to show that they are in need, these days that restriction has all but fallen by the wayside.

State Fiscal Mess Could Shut Nursing Homes


Assistant Managing Editor
Nursing homes and geriatric centers run by UJA-Federation of New York could be so badly hit by the cuts in state Medicaid spending announced this week by Gov. David Paterson that their future may be threatened, a UJA-Federation official warned this week.

UPDATE: Chabad Calls On Worldwide Emissaries To Have Courage in Wake of Mumbai Attack

Assistant Managing Editor
As they mourned a rabbi and his wife murdered by terrorists in Mumbai, officials of the Chabad Lubavitch worldwide outreach movement were encouraging their emissaries in other parts of the world to stay strong and continue their mission. "You know how to face adversity and challenges," said Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky at a press conference in Crown Heights Brooklyn that was televised around the world. " Keep strong and continue to forge ahead with courage and fortitude in the service of our people and mankind to make this a better place to live for all."

Triple Threat


Assistant Managing Editor
When an elderly immigrant client walked into the offices of the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush this week, she was told the case worker who was to attend a city benefits hearing with her would not be able to do so. The worker has been laid off, one of seven employees at the agency affected by a 20 percent cut in city funding.

Smooth Sailing

Staff Writer
As word of the carnage in London spread last Thursday, Anthony Weiner was faced with a quandary. Proceeding with his campaign schedule for the day would demonstrate what he would later call "the aplomb" of citizens of England, Israel and New York in the face of terrorism. But on such a dire day, was it proper to hold a press conference on post-Olympics planning and an endorsement photo op with Brooklyn elected officials?

Speaker Trying To Make Noise

Staff Writer
It's 7:30 on an ordinary morning on the campaign trail, and Gifford Miller is at the 18th Avenue F station in Borough Park doing ordinary things like handing out fliers, trying to spend a moment or two with passers-by as they rush to catch their train. Each time he's wished good luck, the speaker of the City Council replies "You're my luck." An aide remarks about what a good line that is. After a while, Miller does something out of the ordinary when he bursts into song: "Kol od balevav, pnima, nefesh yehudi homiya ..."
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