Pre-K On Sunday? Orthodox Groups Divided On New UPK Options

Changes like allowing schools to open six days a week called a good first step by some, unreasonable by others.

Staff Writer

The de Blasio administration announced rule changes aimed at making it easier for Jewish schools to participate in its signature free universal preschool program. But Jewish organizations are divided on just how helpful these changes will be.

While Agudath Israel of America, an umbrella organization for chasidic and black-hat Orthodox groups, said the new rules represent “meaningful changes,” the Orthodox Union called the changes “cosmetic.” 

The city's new rules will allow preschools to operate six days a week. But would they want to? Michael Datikash/JW

Gauging Possible Fallout From Bibi’s Speech

Looming congressional address already exposing partisan fault lines on Israel.


Washington — The controversy over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress next month is worrying pro-Israel Democrats about its possible impact on the 2016 elections. Even more worrisome, some Democrats say, are the voter trends underpinning the current tensions.

Tensions surrounding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech could affect Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2016. Getty Images

Clinton, At Saban Forum, Endorses Obama’s Middle East Policy

Likely presidential contender pushes back against perceived U.S.-Israel tensions.


Washington — From the drive for Israeli-Palestinian peace to nuclear talks with Iran, Hillary Rodham Clinton is endorsing President Obama’s Israel-related positions.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, with Haim Saban. Peter Halmagyi

Will L.I. Elect The Next Eric Cantor?

With no Jews in the House, Blakeman and Zeldin face uphill battles as Israel emerges as key issue.

Staff Writer

It’s Israel — not the economy — stupid.

That’s emerging as one of the key mantras in Long Island’s 4th Congressional District race where a Republican Jewish candidate is hoping to win a rare open seat.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. Getty Images

Judge Calls For Re-Vote In Embattled Ramapo

Cites ‘egregious’ ballot errors, confusion at polls in suburb known for large chasidic Jewish population; town to appeal

Staff Writer

Last week, the suburban town of Ramapo held a referendum aimed at lessening the political influence of the town’s growing contingent of Orthodox and chasidic Jews. This week a judge invalidated the ballots and called for a new election.

Images from a pamphlet in favor of Ramapo's referendum.

Results Signal Anger At — And Among — Orthodox Jews

Rare ballot initiative seeks to curb political influence of Rockland's growing charedi community.

Staff Writer

Update, Sept. 30, 11:25 p.m.: According to The Journal News, amid claims of voter confusion and fraud, a judge has ordered the Rockland County Board of Elections to impound all referendum vote ballots. No official results will be released before Oct. 10. 


A page from a mailing from a group calling itself “Vadd [sic] Lihatzulas Monsey” (Committee to Save Monsey) urging a yes vote.

Chasidic Pol Concedes After Absentee Ballot Count

Aron Wieder, first ultra-Orthodox Jew to run for a state legislature, loses by razor-thin margin.

Staff Writer

Aron Wieder, believed to be the first chasidic candidate in the U.S. to run for a state legislature, conceded yesterday night in an assembly race so close that it came down to the absentee ballots.

The 40-year-old Spring Valley resident lost by 61 votes, The Journal News reported, less than 2 percent, in a three-way race for the Democratic nomination for a rare open seat in the New York State Assembly’s 98th District.

State Sen. David Carlucci, Aron Wieder and E. Ramapo soccer players at the Haitian Unity Parade in May. Courtesy of Aron Wieder

Whither Jewish Clout In Corridors Of Power?

Amid declining Jewish caucus in Congress, rising concerns over communal influence.


Washington — From 31 in 2009 to a likely 19 in January, the unofficial Jewish caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives is shrinking fast.

Clockwise from top left, John Yarmuth, Nita Lowey, Jerrold Nadler, Henry Waxman, Brad Sherman and Howard Berman. Via house.gov

Sophie Masloff, Pittsburgh’s First Jewish Mayor, Dies At 96


Sophie Masloff, the first Jewish mayor of Pittsburgh as well as the first female to lead the city, has died.

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