Fired Rabbi's Backers Vow To Keep Fighting

Staff Writer
Freed from a lawsuit that sought to undermine their authority, trustees of The Jewish Center of the Hamptons have voted to fire their rabbi against the wishes of a large segment of the congregation. But supporters of Rabbi David Gelfand, whose contract expires in June, say they will keep up the fight.

Israel On Your Coffee Table

Staff Writer
If you like conversation pieces that express your Zionism as well as interest in space and geology, consider this: The Bonham's Natural History Auction, to be held here April 11, will feature a quarter-pound chunk of a meteorite in the shape of Israel. It may not qualify as objet d'art, or take on the religious aura of the recently auctioned grilled cheese sandwich with the Virgin Mary's image, but the rock has some historic significance, says its owner, Darryl Pitt.

Shearith Israel Rebuilds

Staff Writer
After two decades and several development plans, the nation's oldest Jewish congregation has won approval to rebuild its Upper West Side community center, despite the disapproval of many neighbors.

Hynes At War Against ‘Renegade’ Crown Hts. Patrol

Assistant Managing Editor
Likening a chasidic patrol group to the violent Crips and Bloods street gangs, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes has taken the rare step of ordering a grand jury to investigate the April 14 beating of an African-American man in Crown Heights, an incident in which he says members of the patrol group may be involved.

Unlikely Defenders For Muslim Prisons Chaplain

Staff Writer
Blasting "Zionists in the media" and "terrorists" in the White House earned the city's top prisons chaplain a two-week unpaid leave Tuesday after Mayor Michael Bloomberg (saying there was no evidence he was inciting prisoners) declined to fire him. But Jewish leaders didn't have a problem with Imam Umar Abdul-Jalil keeping his job, despite the recently emerged comments attributed to him in a speech to Muslim students in Arizona last April. And a Jewish chaplain who works closely with the imam on Rikers Island is defending his reputation.

Touching Down In Borough President's Office

Staff Writer
Story Includes Video: 
  Growing up in the 70s, Scott Stringer's icons included Bella Abzug, Robert F. Kennedy: and Joe Namath. Playing touch football on a sandlot team in Washington Heights, he once dreamed about being the first Jewish Super Bowl MVP. But the family business took him in another direction. His mother, Arlene, was a City Council member, his father Ronald, a politically active lawyer who served as counsel to Mayor Abraham Beame. Abzug, who served in Congress and ran for mayor, was a distant cousin.

Tuition Hikes A Concern In Tax Credit Fight

Staff Writer
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who may hold the key to a state education tax credit, sent the strongest signal yet on Tuesday that he will support the measure. Silver said he was "sympathetic" to the proposal, but reportedly is concerned that a tax break for parents might be meaningless if private schools hike their rates or lower scholarships in response.

Borough Park Battle Over School Plan

Staff Writer
Faced with a proposed high school they believe will harm the character of their neighborhood, Borough Park leaders called on the city this week to instead send more intermediate school students to the underutilized facility slated to host the new academy. A plan by the Bloomberg administration to house the Kingsborough Early College School at the 16th Avenue site of the Montauk School (an intermediate school capable of accommodating double its current enrollment) has drawn sharp protest from the area's dominant fervently Orthodox community.

Silver's Tax Credit Tightrope

Staff Writer
Rarely do people have to speculate on where Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver stands on an issue of keen interest to Orthodox Jews. But when it comes to mounting pressure to push through some form of tax relief for parents who pay private school tuition, Silver has said little publicly as observers and activists try to predict his eventual position. Silver, an opponent of tuition vouchers for private schools, recently said he does not accept the position of opponents that tax credits are a back door or stealth voucher program.

City Council And Beyond?

Staff Writer
Jessica Lappin laughs when asked about her plans for higher office.
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