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.
After nearly 60 years of helping Jewish refugees find better lives in New York, an agency that at its peak aided some 50,000 clients in one year is expected to shut its doors this summer as a result of a dwindling case load and difficulty in competing for social service contracts.
The New York Association for New Americans was founded in 1949 as part of the Jewish community’s efforts to absorb tens of thousands who fled persecution and chaos, mostly from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The refugees were brought to America by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.
When Anna, a 93-year-old Holocaust survivor who lives alone in the Bronx despite numerous health problems, couldn’t leave the house one recent afternoon, she dialed the number she knew best in hopes of getting a hot, kosher meal delivered.
Inside the front door of Viktor Bash's apartment at the Arlene and David Schlang Pavilion in Brownsville, Brooklyn, are two pages of detailed safety instructions to be used in the event of an emergency.
In the fifth-floor hall hangs a notice that a Dec. 4 tenants' meeting has been canceled. The federally subsidized housing project's management recently distributed detailed instructions about the city's new recycling laws.
A few weeks ago, Gov. George Pataki traveled to Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park to symbolically "sign" a measure requiring insurers to cover the cost of treatments for infertility: a measure of great interest to the Orthodox Jewish community.
H. Carl McCall would do away with closed-door decision making in Albany if elected governor and work with members of Congress on a "New York strategy" for advocating policy on international issues, he told The Jewish Week.
"I'm not going to approve policy issues or budget measures that have not been subject to legislative hearings and public scrutiny," said McCall, addressing the power of the governor, Senate majority leader and Assembly speaker to decide virtually all state business in secret.
The trouble began when they spotted a rodent in the hallway, claim Rafael and Devorah Streicher, but after being escorted by police from the Days Inn in Catskill, N.Y., the Brooklyn couple began to smell a rat.
The Streichers and three of their five children checked into the motel, about two hours from New York City, on a Friday last month en route to visit their son at a nearby summer camp. The following afternoon, the Orthodox family watched as housekeepers packed up their cholent pot and other belongings and sent them to another hotel.
In a historic partnership, dozens of local paramedics and technicians from the Hatzalah Volunteer Ambulance Service are being trained by Magen David Adom to field emergency calls in Israel in the event of a major war.
"We have told Magen David that we are ready to go when you need us the most," said Chevra Hatzalah president Heshy Jacob, who hopes to have 60 volunteers trained and ready before the High Holy Days.
If the black-Latino coalition forged in last year's mayoral race holds together this year, it could spell trouble for state Sen. Eric Schneiderman. The two-term Democrat is facing former Councilman Guillermo Linares, the first Dominican-American elected to public office here, in September's primary for a district that includes areas of northern Manhattan and the Bronx.
With African-American gubernatorial hopeful Carl McCall on the ticket and Latinos running in several local races, minority turnout could bode well for Linares.
With his stinging critique, Judge Guston Reichbach placed himself at the center of a fierce debate in the Orthodox community over how best to police th
Special to the Jewish Week
At the sentencing Tuesday of a bar mitzvah tutor and social worker convicted of sexually molesting two boys in Brooklyn, a New York State Supreme Court Judge lashed out at the offender’s Orthodox community for “a communal attitude that seems to impose greater opprobrium on the victims than the perpetrator.”