In 1993, when a delegation of Jewish leaders and elected officials visited Israel on a trip sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, William Rapfogel found himself in frequent conversation with Rick Lazio.
A former Suffolk County prosecutor who had just been elected to Congress, Lazio had a lot to say about Israel and the Mideast peace process.
The United States must not use foreign aid as leverage against Israel to thwart an arms deal with China, Hillary Rodham Clinton told The Jewish Week in a wide-ranging interview last week.
"I don't think this should be a political football in the foreign aid debate," the first lady said in an hourlong meeting with editors and staff at the paper's Manhattan offices. "We have to take the attitude that we need to be using quiet diplomacy and use whatever intelligence we have available to persuade Israel of our position."
Over the past few months, Hillary Rodham Clinton has been quietly visiting Jewish communities that have traditionally supported more conservative candidates, seeking to address concerns about her record on Israel and other issues.
The forays into areas of Brooklyn and Queens were described by one source as a "mini-listening tour" intended to offer the first lady and Senate hopeful a "different perspective" on Jewish issues than those of some of her longtime Jewish associates, who have ties to the dovish Americans for Peace Now and Israel Policy Forum.
In attacking radical Independence Party activist Lenora Fulani as anti-Semitic this week, Hillary Rodham Clinton has taken a step forgone by three previous Democratic Senate candidates: two of whom are Jewish.
As City Councilman Noach Dear contemplates a second bid to win one of the nation's most heavily Jewish congressional districts, incumbent Rep. Anthony Weiner is making inroads in Dear's political backyard.
Angered by Dear's siding with the police after the controversial shooting of a disturbed Borough Park man in August, some of his former supporters are now backing Weiner for re-election.
As Gov. George Pataki intensifies his efforts to be seen as a moderate Republican on the national stage, Jewish activists seeking passage of bias crime legislation are hopeful he will make an unprecedented push for such a bill.
Although the bill has been stalled in the Republican-controlled state Senate for years (while the Assembly has repeatedly passed its version) Senate Democrats are preparing to push for a vote on the measure in early April.
Acting on a tip from an Orthodox community source, narcotics detectives from the Brooklyn District Attorney's office raided a Midwood apartment last week and confiscated 66 marijuana plants, worth an estimated $50,000.
After executing a search warrant, the detectives arrested Leopold Ostreicher, 35, at the scene and charged him with felony possession of marijuana, a first-degree felony punishable by two-and-a-third to seven years in jail. Ostreicher, who has lived in the seventh-floor apartment on Ocean Parkway for two years, told authorities he is an interior designer.
A Manhattan real estate broker claims she is being denied more than a quarter-million dollars in commission from the $20 million sale of a building for the Abraham Joshua Heschel School, according to a suit she filed recently in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Although the Upper West Side academy is not named in the $1.2 million suit, an apparent agreement to shield the seller, developer Harry Macklowe, from commission and court costs could end up costing the school millions, just as it is about to launch an extensive capital campaign to fund a new high school.
With Democrat Al Gore's presidential candidacy surging, the Republican National Committee and its Jewish support group are hoping to erode his support among Jews and whites by linking him to the Rev. Al Sharpton.
"Al Sharpton is a racist anti-Semite with blood on his hands," said Chris Paulitz, a spokesman for the RNC in Washington who is gathering information on controversial Sharpton statements on behalf of national chairman Jim Nicholson. "He is the David Duke of the Democrat Party. Why has Al Gore and most of the Democrat Party embraced this hate-monger?"