Heavily Democratic New York may not be a battleground state in this or any other presidential election, but as the Republicans roll into town for this week’s convention, the newly minted New York regional director of the Republican Jewish Coalition is thinking well beyond November.
For Greg Menken, exchanging business cards is as important as gathering votes or checks.
Amid a tale already bristling with competing allegations of victimization — one by New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey and another by a former aide — the ambitious and rapidly expanding Touro College is also depicting itself as a bystander in the unfolding saga at Trenton’s statehouse.
Two weeks after federal officials indicted a Texas-based nonprofit foundation and its officials for aiding terrorism, plaintiffs in an $875 million lawsuit are alleging that the group laundered “tens of thousands of dollars” through the Madison Avenue branch of Arab Bank.
Ever since the Nov. 21 arrest of 42 teens on drug and alcohol charges at a wild party thrown by a Livingston, N.J., yeshiva student, there has been a buzz around The Lockers.
“It’s being blown out of proportion,” one New Jersey teen opines, “but I’m glad that it is. If it weren’t, there would be no lesson learned, people would keep doing it.”
Another teen seems exasperated. “I know I’m sheltered- but imagine like … being a 14-year-old freshman and getting arrested. Pretty scary!”
With the mayoral race in its infancy, the two leading candidates are making early pitches for support among chasidic voters.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg paid a visit last week to the grave of the late Lubavitcher rebbe, while a likely challenger, Democrat Fernando Ferrer, prominently featured a photo of himself with Williamsburg chasidim on his campaign Web site.
In Ferrer’s case, the move backfired when two men in the picture objected, saying the photo implied an endorsement, highly premature at this stage.
Watching last week’s Veterans Day parade on Fifth Avenue, Rabbi Irving Elson was filled with emotions. One of them was anger.
“So many people didn’t give a second look,” he recalled later that day. “They didn’t even stop talking on their cell phones.”
Rabbi Elson conceded that he might be oversensitive, having just returned from a second tour in Iraq.
On the 33rd floor of the Grand Hyatt Hotel Tuesday night, Sheldon Silver’s mood transcended that of the Democratic crowd in the ballroom below. Silver, the state Assembly speaker, was elated that he had held onto his majority in the state’s lower house, and even gained a seat, as staff members and politicians in his suite noshed kosher deli sandwiches and checked off names and districts on a large chart.
He’s visited Israel several times and was the first state comptroller to invest state pension funds there. And he has been as staunch a supporter of Jewish causes as he has been an ally to top Jewish elected officials and community organizations.
But on Tuesday, Democrat H. Carl McCall’s effort to win over the Jewish community was about as successful as his overall, uphill battle to unseat Republican Gov. George Pataki.
The Girl Scouts of the USA won’t be scoring any Brownie points with supporters of Israel Sunday.
The organization has banned its uniforms and symbols from this year’s Salute to Israel Parade, citing guidelines against “political” activities. The march takes sides in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, the group claims.
But at least one troop leader says she and her charges will defy the ban, and quit the Scouts if they continue to “turn their backs” on Israel.
Eyes peeled to a display terminal and wearing headphones, Shmuel Sherman looks like he is enjoying a video game or surfing the Net during a recent late-period class at Yeshivah Derech HaTorah in Brooklyn.
But Shmuel and the rest of his sixth-grade class at the Midwood yeshiva are engaged in an intensive and personalized reading experience.
“I was reading a story about Nellie Bly,” the 11-year-old reports as he logs off.