New York

For Brooklyn Shul, Deal Or No Deal?

03/09/2007
Assistant Managing Editor
Though not particularly religious, Boris Karasik enjoyed going to the Orthodox Mapleton Park Jewish Center in the seven years since he arrived in Brooklyn from Belarus. At the Bensonhurst shul, he could hear a sermon in Russian and recite the Kaddish for lost relatives. But the former Red Army officer, who fought the Nazis and wears his medals proudly on his chest, could also swap war stories with other immigrants over a bottle of cognac.

Textbook Precision

02/09/2007
Assistant Managing Editor
In full presidential-campaign mode, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton came well prepared to the Northeast AIPAC dinner last week, armed with a speech that touched all the right bases. The former first lady, a Democrat who hopes to be the first female president, blasted Iran’s “pro-terrorist, anti-American, anti-Israeli rhetoric” as well as that country’s ambition to be a nuclear power and the Holocaust conference convened by its president, which she termed “beyond the pale of international discourse and acceptable behavior.”

Kolko Scandal Now Criminal

12/15/2006
Assistant Managing Editor
For David Framowitz, the world became “a little safer” this week. That’s because Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, who 48-year-old Framowitz says sexually abused him 36 years ago, was arrested last week on unrelated but similar charges. “I’m very, very relieved that justice is finally being done,” Framowitz said Monday in an interview from Israel, where he now lives.

A CAIR-Free Coalition

04/02/2008
Assistant Managing Editor
After Uria Ohana, an Israeli-born Lubavitcher chasid, was attacked recently in Brooklyn by teens who allegedly stole his kipa and shouted at him in Arabic, the local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations denounced the crime in no uncertain terms. “This act is not representative of our community,” said Faiza Ali, the group’s community affairs director at a press conference at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall. “We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community. A bias attack on Jews is an attack on all people.”

Koch On Call For Bush

10/08/2004
Staff Writer
When it comes to rallying the Jewish vote, former Mayor Ed Koch has emerged as the Bush-Cheney campaign’s weapon of mass discussion. Koch, a Democrat, is on a tour of speaking engagements at Jewish venues in battleground states, making the case for Republican President George W. Bush’s re-election. His schedule this week called for debating New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a supporter of Democrat John Kerry, in suburban Philadelphia, then traveling to Florida. An Ohio trip was also in the works.

New Challenge For Rego Park Shul

10/01/2004
Staff Writer
Seeking a strategy for survival in a changing demographic landscape, members of the Rego Park Jewish Center may soon look to a mechitza as the answer to their prayers. The 65-year-old Conservative congregation, which has lost more than half its members in the past five years, is considering a shift to Orthodoxy to remain viable.

Fallout Over Rutgers ‘Satire’

04/30/2004
Staff Writer
Organized by the campus Hillel chapter, a coalition of students at Rutgers University is planning to take control of a campus humor publication after it ran a widely panned satirical Holocaust cartoon on its cover. “Students on a grassroots level have to step up and take charge,” said Andrew Getraer, Hillel director at the state-funded college in New Brunswick, N.J.

The Perils Of Passover

04/16/2004
Staff Writer
Leaders in Orthodox neighborhoods will organize centrally located, controlled fires for chametz burning next Passover, hoping to avoid incidents like the one in Brooklyn last week in which five people were burned. Amid unusually blustery weather on April 5, a fire company in the Borough Park section reportedly put out 125 dangerous fires set by residents partaking in the ritual of incinerating non-leavened food on the eve of Passover.

Spiritual Aid For Fast-Breakers

09/24/2004
Staff Writer
Fasting on Yom Kippur is one of the most widely observed rituals among Jews. Based on recent surveys, more than half nationally and as many as 72 percent locally will abstain from eating this Saturday. But for those unable to partake in the fast because of medical reasons, having a meal on the Day of Atonement can be a difficult, guilt-ridden process. That’s particularly true in the case of those recovering from eating disorders, for whom a day without food may lead to a relapse, but who might not consider their illness severe enough to forgo the fast.

Race In NY Now Seen Tightening

09/24/2004
Staff Writer
With Sen. John Kerry’s lead in New York dwindling to single digits according to two new polls, the heavily Democratic state may emerge as a surprise battleground in the final stretch of the election. And if Jews, who have made up as much as 17 percent of likely voters here in recent races, support Republican George W. Bush as heavily as some believe, they could play a larger role than usual in deciding how the state’s 31 electoral votes are cast.
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