As holiday quiet hung over the Bronx neighborhood of Pelham Parkway early Monday morning, one of the few places bustling with activity was Congregation Sons of Israel on Cruger Avenue.
There, shouts of “Siman Tov U’Mazel Tov” echoed as a packed room celebrated dual milestones: The bar mitzvah of one congregant and the 90th birthday of another. After back-to-back aliyot, the two joined Rabbi Moshe Fuchs and other congregants in song and dance that harkened back to another era.
It’s considered kosher but not proper. But for those who have a happy Orthodox marriage yet need a little something extra on the side, a new Web site promises to arrange that. And without the guilt.
A recent addition to the sometimes bizarre Jewish blogosphere is pilagesh.
(JTA) Rep. Anthony Weiner is asking the MTA to reconsider its decision not to hire an Orthodox Jewish man who said he was rejected for a police job after refusing to sign a waiver agreeing to work on Shabbat. Harvey Silver, a policeman for nine years for the city’s Health and Hospitals Corp., filed a discrimination suit in Manhattan Supreme Court in June against the Metropolitan Transit Authority and other agencies.
Weiner, a Brooklyn Democrat, said the MTA probably had violated at least two articles of the state Constitution protecting freedom of religious practice.
Jerusalem (JTA) — A CNN producer who was kidnapped in the Gaza Strip was freed a day after he was seized in Gaza City by four armed men who approached the car in which he was traveling. Palestinian Authority officials, perhaps concerned that the kidnapping could be seen as an indication of their inability to keep Gaza secure if Israel carries through on its planned withdrawal next year, are believed to have been involved in negotiating the release of Riad Ali, an Israeli Druse.
Lawyers for New York City have asked federal Judge Sterling Johnson to recuse himself if there is a new civil trial in the shooting of Gidone Busch in 1999. In a rare ruling last month, Johnson vacated a 2003 jury verdict in favor of five police officers involved in the incident that led to Busch’s death, calling it a “miscarriage of justice.”
Call it a Brooklyn Jewish version of the red-state, blue-state chasm.
As the borough’s Orthodox community continues to thrive and spread, liberal Jews are looking for a voice, as well as reaching out for new blood.
A bold step in that direction is the Institute for Living Judaism in Brooklyn, which will kick off a series of lectures, workshops and support groups next month.
Some Orthodox Jews in Borough Park received a letter last week purportedly from a Democratic state Senate candidate revealing that she is a “lesbian American.” But the letter, reminiscent of New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey’s announcement last summer that he is “a gay American,” was fraudulent, said Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a supporter of Diane Savino.
The letter claimed that Savino would be a “strong voice for gay rights” and that she favored same-sex marriages.
In case daily reports of the carnage in Israel and the Palestinian-controlled territories wasn’t stark enough in the abstract, hundreds of mock coffins lined up in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Tuesday offered a gripping visual aid.
“It is shock therapy,” said Yehezkel Landau, a native New Yorker now living in Israel and founder of Open House, an Arab-Israeli peace project in Jerusalem, as he surveyed the exhibit. “It helps us appreciate the qualitative and quantitative cost of this needless war we are suffering through.”
State Comptroller H. Carl McCall, making a rare foray by an American official into disputed Mideast territory, called “incredible” his visit Wednesday to the West Bank community of Beitar Ilit. McCall, who was on a three-day visit sponsored by State of Israel Bonds. spent the morning at the settlement of 17,000, which is about a 35-minute drive from Jerusalem.
After arresting seven members of a Borough Park family early Tuesday morning, authorities charged two of them with dealing narcotics. Dror Hershowitz, 25, and his wife, Mora, were to be arraigned Wednesday for allegedly trafficking narcotics from the basement of their home on 41st Street, said a spokeswoman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes.