Vice President Al Gore, making his first campaign trip to Brooklyn's Orthodox community, found himself at odds with supporters on several key issues: including private school vouchers and freedom for convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.
Gore said Pollard should be granted clemency by the president only if the Justice Department recommends it.
It apparently was the first time Gore has addressed the issue as he raises campaign funds for his 2000 Democratic presidential nomination bid.
Democratic State Assemblyman Dov Hikind says he wants to be a congressman. A Republican congressman. Hikind, a lifelong Democrat with a penchant for endorsing Republican candidates, said this week he is seriously considering throwing his hat into the ring on the Republican line for the Ninth Congressional District seat being vacated by longtime Democratic Rep. Charles Schumer, who represents parts of southern Brooklyn and Queens.
I’m excited about it,” Hikind said. “I will definitely make a decision by next week.”
Rabbi Mahir Reiss, a respected Brooklyn businessman and Orthodox Jewish philanthropist credited with resolving international Jewish religious disputes, was sentenced to 27 months and fined $6.3 million for his role in an international money-laundering scheme involving a Colombian drug ring. In handing down the sentence, U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein on Wednesday based his decision on whether the 48-year-old Reiss knew that the illegal money he was laundering involved drugs. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Dunst contended Reiss knew.
As a retired administrative assistant, Joyce Hawtof doesn’t have a lot of money to invest.
But this week, she was considering paying into a fund with other pro-Israel activists to buy a $28,000 mobile home for a West Bank outpost.
“I think it’s the right thing to do to help our brothers and sisters,” said Hawtof Tuesday in a phone call from Shdema, one of the stops on a three-day tour of east Jerusalem and West Bank communities intended to draw American money.
A prominent Orthodox rabbi and psychologist has been intimidated into quitting as head of a just-formed task force dealing with rabbinic sex abuse of minors, organized by Assemblyman Dov Hikind this week.
Dr. Benzion Twerski told The Jewish Week Wednesday that he was quitting the task force because “I was prosecuted in the street for daring to join such a venture.”
Did the haredi rabbis go too far this time?
That’s the question being asked in some circles after a ban issued by 33 fervently Orthodox rabbinic authorities forced the cancellation of a major charity concert slated to feature chasidic singing sensation Lipa Schmeltzer this week at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
In a dusty warren of offices on 42nd Street near Grand Central Station (where a plastic-covered album of yellowing client photos sits on a desk and there isn't a computer in sight) 80-something Dan Fields and his 35-year-old grandson Joseph Speyer are talking about that most elusive of elixirs: the chemistry of love.
Devout Jews and Muslims here, particularly in Queens and Brooklyn, are like next-door neighbors who see each other every day yet remain strangers. But for a quick hello as they enter the same apartment building or rub elbows at the local fruit stand or discount store, most members of these communities have virtually nothing to do with one another.
Thanksgiving leftovers are still in most of our refrigerators, but Benny Wechsler is already worrying about Passover.
Months before the first seder, Wechsler is usually squirreling away funding from state and city sources for his program, the Kosher Food Network of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, so that when he has to buy the holiday provisions that his program distributes to more than 50,000 families for Passover, he has the money saved up.
This year, though, for the first time, Wechsler isn’t able to put that money aside.
One of these days, probably in the dark of winter’s early evening, Rabbi Regina Sandler-Phillips, a “fast approaching 50” native of Manhattan, with a large knit kipa atop her closely cut gray hair, will walk up the front stairs of a Jewish funeral home on the edge of Borough Park.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.