Police Commissioner Howard Safir is getting diverse reviews in the Jewish community as his sometimes turbulent reign ends this week. The NYPD's first Jewish top cop, who was to step down Friday, is being roundly credited for reducing crime overall and placing a high priority on investigating bias incidents. But many Jewish leaders are faulting his reaction to recent incidents of police violence against unarmed civilians, claiming he has not done enough to address tensions between the department and minority communities.
Democratic congressional primaries in New York, when they do occur, often are low-key affairs, with little drama and predictable outcomes. But this season is seeing an unusual share of hot races, and they are becoming increasingly nasty. Facing serious challenges in four races of interest to Jewish communities are Reps. Anthony Weiner, Major Owens and Ed Towns in Brooklyn and Eliot Engel in the Bronx.
Jewish professionals are moving on several new fronts in their war against drug abuse with the opening of two new treatment centers, while an upcoming conference on at-risk teenagers in the Catskills is expected to draw as many as 500 participants.
Wanted: Politically astute and respected Jewish activists, able to spend long hours on a Democratic Senate campaign. Contacts in diverse segments of community, from Williamsburg to the West Side, essential. Access to wealthy donors a plus.
In a bid to bolster her support and widen her political base in the Jewish community after a disastrous week, Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate campaign is shopping for new advisers.
Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate campaign was in full-blown crisis mode this week, rounding up Jewish leaders, organizations and politicians to denounce a report that the first lady called a former aide to her husband a "f---g Jewish bastard" in 1974.
In an unfortunate twist, the unanimity of political opinion on behalf of the 13 Jews on trial in Iran is making it difficult to generate much publicity for their cause. Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and her Republican Senate opponent, Rep. Rick Lazio, signed a petition calling for the freedom of the so-called Shiraz 13, accused of spying for Israel and facing execution. So did members of the City Council from both parties and across racial and ethnic lines last week.
It's nothing new for one in a voluntary leadership position with a Jewish nonprofit group to take sides in a political race. But the endorsement of U.S. Senate candidate Rick Lazio by Meryl Tisch, president of the city's leading Jewish anti-poverty group, raised a few eyebrows last week.
Some who read the comments were surprised that Tisch made no apparent effort to distinguish her personal view from that of the Metropolitan New York Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty, a tax-exempt organization enjoined from endorsing candidates.S
How's Hillary Rodham Clinton faring with the Jewish vote? It depends on whom you believe. A Quinnipiac University poll taken between May 30 and June 5 showed no benefit for Clinton from the withdrawal of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a factor some predicted would return many of the popular Republican's voters to their Democratic roots. The poll placed Clinton at 44 percent of the Jewish vote, in a statistical dead heat with Suffolk Rep. Rick Lazio, at 37 percent, because of the large margin of error for poll subgroups.
The Police Department's Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating a post-Shavuot attack on a group of chasidic men on the Coney Island waterfront early Sunday morning.
"We're looking at it as a possible bias crime," said Police Commissioner Howard Safir on Monday.
But while the assailants, described by police as Hispanics, were said to have used anti-Semitic slurs during the attack, sources say the investigators are trying to determine whether the attack stemmed from a confrontation between the two groups, or a misunderstanding.
Upon entering the Loew's Hotel ballroom in Manhattan last week, some guests at the breakfast of the Metropolitan New York Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty were annoyed that an area surrounding the podium had been roped off, resulting in some tables being moved to the back of the room.
The accommodation was made out of security concerns for Hillary Rodham Clinton, a surprise addition to the list of high profile political figures that annually flock to the event.