New York

Democrats’ Orthodox Push

Assistant Managing Editor
When the National Jewish Democratic Council convenes in Washington for its annual conference next week, organizers will be hoping for a larger share of kipot in the audience.

Satmar Slugs It Out

Associate Editor

Like the sukkah being dismantled on the sidewalk in front of his Williamsburg shul, the Satmar rebbeís family and empire are in ghoulish disarray.

Rebbe Moshe Teitelbaum, 91, has been in and out of hospitals because of strokes and ailments.ìHe has good days and bad days,î a relative told a confidante, but the good days retreat faster than wintry daylight.

New JCC Site Reflects Staten Island Growth

Assistant Managing Editor
With great fanfare, the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island officially opened its new, $42 million center in Sea View this week, a bustling complex that showcases the borough’s rapid Jewish growth. The 115,000-square-foot facility is now the third site on the island operated by the JCC, which has 2,800 member households. But the new building’s amenities dwarf those of the other locations, as well as those at many JCCs in North America.

Partisan Clash At JCRC Breakfast

Assistant Managing Editor
With New York’s congressional delegation overwhelmingly Democratic, it’s not unusual to hear partisan snipes at a Republican administration at the annual Jewish Community Relations Council legislative breakfast. But the tone and tenor of Sunday’s address by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, which was followed by a rebuttal by Republican Chris Shays of Connecticut, was unusually strident, and left some guests of the organization – strictly nonpartisan, by law – reeling.

ADL Looks On Bright Side

Staff Writer
New York streets were more dangerous for Jews in 2006 than the previous year. Twenty-three people reported being physically assaulted for being Jewish, a jump of more than 50 percent from the previous year. It was also a banner year for vandalism, with 165 people on the receiving end of swastikas and other graffiti, up nearly 10 percent. The region’s most heavily Jewish area, Brooklyn, saw a 33 percent jump in anti-Semitic incidents, with a grand total of 67, and three of five boroughs saw an increase in incidents.

For Brooklyn Shul, Deal Or No Deal?

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

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

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

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

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.
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