More Israelis Denied Visas, Queens Pol Says

Rep. Grace Meng asks State Department to explain reports of a steep decline in approvals since 2007.

Staff Writer

A Queens congresswoman who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee said this week that she is investigating reports that the State Department has significantly reduced the number of visas granted to young Israelis during the last year.

Rep. Grace Meng: “We want to know the exact numbers.”

The London Jewish Community: Just Fine, Thank You!

Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 

I left London this past Tuesday morning after a long weekend and wonderful Shabbat there, and landed in Madrid this afternoon, preparing to meet up with the Conference of Presidents mission here.  If anyone asks you what London and Madrid have in common besides both being in Europe, the answer is that, right at this moment, they're both cold and wet! 

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

Freak Storm Paralyzes Jerusalem

Four killed, thousands of homes lose power as snow covers Israel and its neighbors over Shabbat.

Israel Correspondent
Story Includes Video: 

JERUSALEM - On February 9, 1969,  an epic nor’easter dumped 20 inches of snow on Queens, where I grew up.  I remember not going to school for a week or more because the city of New York hadn’t managed to removr the snow in the aftermath of the “Lindsay snowstorm.”

Snow began falling in Jerusalem on Thursday. By Saturday night, up to 20 inches covered the ground. Michele Chabin

Guarding The Public Trust

Story Includes Video: 

The more things change, the more they stay the same…

Though the Torah is, by anyone’s definition, an ancient document, its “cast of characters,” if you will, often portray sensitivities that are strikingly relevant to contemporary concerns.   One area in particular in which this is evident is in the responsibility of those in leadership positions to be worthy of the trust that others put in them, particularly with regard to fiduciary duty.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

Walk For Israel: From Jamaica Estates To Indonesia

Queens activist supports Zionist in most populous Muslim country.

Staff Writer

Karen Hochberg, who founded a Memorial Day weekend march for Israel in her Jamaica Estates neighborhood a dozen years ago, now coordinates larger-scale marches around the world for the nonprofit group Afikim to honor Israel’s anniversary.

Karen Hochberg

How Leon Met Joanna

Jewish Week Online Columnist

“My mom encouraged me to join JDate,” says 33-year-old Leon Smulakowski, an amateur weight-lifter, who can break an apple in two with his bare hands. 

The last day of his subscription to the dating site – he was going to cancel – he saw Joanna's profile. “It was her beautiful smile that attracted me,” says Leon.  He messaged her.

Joanna Sirlin and Leon Smulakowski, married June 12, 2011.

Redistricting Shakes Up Jewish Map

Communities shifted to new House districts, but voting power seen intact.

Assistant Managing Editor

The new map for congressional districts in New York represents a fairly substantial shakeup of the local Jewish political map, which will put some members’ outreach and coalition-building skills to the test.

For example, Rep. Edolphus Towns will likely need a Russian-speaking liaison to reach out to what he hopes will be new constituents in Brighton Beach, who are currently in Jerrold Nadler’s district.

A map of Brooklyn and Queens created by the JCRC shows vacancy created by Rep. Gary Ackerman’s decision not to seek re-election.

Man Charged With Queens Swastika Spree

Swastikas at shul, public libraries in Queens neighborhood seen as malicious attack rather than kids’ prank.

Assistant Managing Editor


The Queens district attorney has charged a 40-year-old man with hate crimes, alleging that he is the vandal behind last week's swastika spree.

A swastika was promptly removed from outside of Tifereth Israel building. (Photo by Michael Datikash)

In Defense of Halloween


It’s Nov. 1, and two buckets piled high with tempting goodies sit on my kitchen counter.

‘A Lulav And Etrog Shuk’

Staff Writer

One of New York City’s busiest — and briefest — shopping centers made its annual appearance this week.

Between Sunday, the day after Yom Kippur, and Wednesday, erev Sukkot, a stretch of several blocks along the south side of Main Street in Queens’ heavily Jewish Kew Gardens Hills neighborhood, became a pre-holiday bazaar. At wooden tables set up along the street, Sukkot supplies went on sale.

Available were Four Species sets and materials for family sukkahs. And, in once-a-year storefronts, ready-to-assemble sukkahs themselves.

Photo By Michael Datikash
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