The Syrian Jewish community, based in Brooklyn and the seaside town of Deal, N.J., acted swiftly this week to control the fallout from money-laundering allegations against four prominent rabbis — charges that could put some of its major institutions under scrutiny.
In the course of his long political career, Anthony Weiner became accustomed to eager inquiries when he walked into a Jewish senior center without a wedding ring.
“They all want me to meet their granddaughters,” the rail-thin, youthful politician told me as we walked into one such senior center on Brooklyn’s Ocean Avenue years ago. “And, they want to know what I’ve eaten today.”
As they explored common ground during a busy mission to New York this week, an international delegation of rabbis and imams found it easy to agree on one thing: They wanted to see the Yankees beat the Orioles Monday. And thanks to a walkoff homer by Hideki Matsui, they got their wish with a 2-1 Yankees victory.
Now that alternate-side parking has been suspended on almost every conceivable festival, mass or fast day, there is a new front in the battle for religious political muscle in New York: School closings.
Muslim community groups, backed nearly unanimously by the City Council, are pressing for days off in honor of two of their holidays, which would be in addition to closures on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, Christmas and Easter.
To Jewish Democrats, the defeat of Minnesota’s Norm Coleman, the last Jewish Republican in the Senate, is proof that GOP should stand for the Gentiles-Only Party. Matt Brooks of the Republican Jewish Coalition is having none of it. The Philadelphia native, 42, who has been national director of the group for 19 years, says there are still plenty of prominent Jews in the party ranks and, if he can help it, plenty more to come.
Q: What was your reaction to the court decision ending Coleman’s suit for a recount?
School’s out for the summer, but for hundreds of area haredi and chasidic yeshiva teachers, the school’s been out of cash for months.
Community agencies dealing with the impact of the recession say instructors and other yeshiva staff are among the hardest hit, many of them going without a paycheck since winter.
“It’s never been this bad,” said Miriam, a teacher at Machon Academy in Queens, who withheld her last name for privacy. “We always had times when the money was late, but not like this.”
More than 70,000 Jewish kids will go to camp this summer, against the backdrop of a major economic crisis, a swine flue pandemic and growing security concerns. Jerry Silverman is CEO of the Foundation for Jewish Camp, which serves the interests of 150 nonprofit sleepaway camps across North America. A native of Tulsa, Okla., Silverman, 50, has a background in the apparel industry, but fell in love with Jewish camping through his five children. He spoke to N.Y. Minute about the challenges facing modern Jewish camps.
Rabbi Allen Schwartz recalls Chaim Regensberg as a family man who hosted fundraisers in his Upper West Side home for charities in Israel or for Congregation Ohab Zedek, where he was an active member.
“I always thought he was an honest guy, upright in all areas,” said Ohab Zedek’s rabbi, who has known Regensberg for about 10 years. “But something happened, he got in over his head and instead of coming clean immediately, it got worse.”
Federal grants for upgrading security will go to 68 applicants in New York State this year, and 75 percent of those are potential Jewish targets.
Sites in New York State received almost a third of the $15 million distributed nationwide for 2009 by the Department of Homeland Security. All but seven are in New York City.
The Jewish Community Relations Council, which assists Jewish organizations applying for the funds said there were a total of 138 applications in New York. The list of approved grants will not be publicized.