New York

'First Step' Toward Education Credit

Staff Writer
It wasn't quite what they were pushing for, but the coalition seeking a tax cut for parents of private school students is welcoming the break that will put $330 per child back in parents' pockets next year. The break will apply to all families earning under $110,000 with school-age children, in a plan negotiated by both houses of the Legislature. "This is an important first step in empowering families to make the educational choices they want for their kids," said Nathan Diament, director of public policy for the Orthodox Union.

Satmar Brothers Seek 'Self-Fulfilling Prophecy'

Staff Writer
Calm prevailed in Williamsburg this week as the shiva for Satmar Rebbe Moshe Teitelbaum ended, and two of his sons continued their rivalry over the reins of the sprawling chasidic movement. Both Aaron and Zalman Lieb Teitelbaum received visitors in Williamsburg, including numerous elected officials, after Aaron left his fiefdom in upstate Kiryas Joel and his followers declared that he was the new rebbe. Denied access to the main Satmar synagogue on Rodney Street, Aaron's faction set up a huge tent for thousands to join him for outdoor services.

Jewish Task Force To Aid Israeli Arabs

Staff Writer
American Jews must play a greater role in improving the lives of Israel's 1.2 million Arab citizens, members of a newly created task force of communal organizations that met in Manhattan last week agreed. The task force will work to raise awareness of the socio-economic disparities that confront the minority population and steer funding to organizations that address those differences.

Satmar Feud Escalating

Staff Writer
As the world's largest chasidic sect mourns the death this week of the Satmar Grand Rebbe Moshe Teitelbaum, the bitter, litigious (and sometimes violent) feud between two of his sons shows no sign of cooling. In a flurry of courtroom motions, rabbinic rulings and shoving matches on Tuesday and Wednesday, the dispute rapidly shifted from designated succession toward a new struggle between two men, each claiming he is now the new rebbe.

Both Sides Faulted In Boro Park Melee

Staff Writer
Borough Park community leaders are calling for a full investigation of the incident Tuesday night that led hundreds of people to block 16th Avenue, scuffling with police and lighting fires. The situation deteriorated rapidly after an elderly man from a prominent Orthodox family, Arthur Schick, was arrested in a traffic stop. In the course of the evening hundreds of people mobbed the streets, with police helicopters hovering above and cops in riot gear lining the sidewalks. Besides Schick, two others were arrested. Two police officers were reported injured.

Hynes At War Against ‘Renegade’ Crown Hts. Patrol

Assistant Managing Editor
Likening a chasidic patrol group to the violent Crips and Bloods street gangs, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes has taken the rare step of ordering a grand jury to investigate the April 14 beating of an African-American man in Crown Heights, an incident in which he says members of the patrol group may be involved.

Unlikely Defenders For Muslim Prisons Chaplain

Staff Writer
Blasting "Zionists in the media" and "terrorists" in the White House earned the city's top prisons chaplain a two-week unpaid leave Tuesday after Mayor Michael Bloomberg (saying there was no evidence he was inciting prisoners) declined to fire him. But Jewish leaders didn't have a problem with Imam Umar Abdul-Jalil keeping his job, despite the recently emerged comments attributed to him in a speech to Muslim students in Arizona last April. And a Jewish chaplain who works closely with the imam on Rikers Island is defending his reputation.

Touching Down In Borough President's Office

Staff Writer
  Growing up in the 70s, Scott Stringer's icons included Bella Abzug, Robert F. Kennedy: and Joe Namath. Playing touch football on a sandlot team in Washington Heights, he once dreamed about being the first Jewish Super Bowl MVP. But the family business took him in another direction. His mother, Arlene, was a City Council member, his father Ronald, a politically active lawyer who served as counsel to Mayor Abraham Beame. Abzug, who served in Congress and ran for mayor, was a distant cousin.

Tuition Hikes A Concern In Tax Credit Fight

Staff Writer
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who may hold the key to a state education tax credit, sent the strongest signal yet on Tuesday that he will support the measure. Silver said he was "sympathetic" to the proposal, but reportedly is concerned that a tax break for parents might be meaningless if private schools hike their rates or lower scholarships in response.

Borough Park Battle Over School Plan

Staff Writer
Faced with a proposed high school they believe will harm the character of their neighborhood, Borough Park leaders called on the city this week to instead send more intermediate school students to the underutilized facility slated to host the new academy. A plan by the Bloomberg administration to house the Kingsborough Early College School at the 16th Avenue site of the Montauk School (an intermediate school capable of accommodating double its current enrollment) has drawn sharp protest from the area's dominant fervently Orthodox community.
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