Short Takes

Election Notebook: The Politics Of School Closings

Assistant Managing Editor
Now that alternate-side parking has been suspended on almost every conceivable festival, mass or fast day, there is a new front in the battle for religious political muscle in New York: School closings. Muslim community groups, backed nearly unanimously by the City Council, are pressing for days off in honor of two of their holidays, which would be in addition to closures on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, Christmas and Easter.

For Yeshiva Teachers, Austerity 101

Assistant Managing Editor
School’s out for the summer, but for hundreds of area haredi and chasidic yeshiva teachers, the school’s been out of cash for months. Community agencies dealing with the impact of the recession say instructors and other yeshiva staff are among the hardest hit, many of them going without a paycheck since winter. “It’s never been this bad,” said Miriam, a teacher at Machon Academy in Queens, who withheld her last name for privacy. “We always had times when the money was late, but not like this.”

Last Jewish Comic Standing

Assistant Managing Editor
Roy Schaeffer has some advice for newlyweds: Never lease a ring. And if you’re intent on hiring an au pair, you might want to wait until you have kids. His parents like to tell a knock-knock joke that ends: “It can’t be Roy because he never visits.” In true Jewish comedy style, 10 people who haven’t given up their day jobs kvetched about relationships, overbearing parents, work and money troubles and a general lack of respect Monday night at The Jewish Week’s 11th annual standup standoff.

Holiday Humor

Assistant Managing Editor
If you're still in a High Holy Days state of mind, there's a place to turn on cable TV. “On the Jewish New Year, I get a migraine from my mother,” says comedian Caty Lazarus. “On the secular New Year, you get a hangover from champagne or vodka”

Nadler Seeking Retraction On Israel Bashing

Staff Writer
Insisting he wasn't present while a witness slammed Israel during recent Judiciary Committee hearings, Rep. Jerrold Nadler is demanding a retraction from the New York Post for a column that claimed he sat by idly. "Was Jerry Nadler afraid of being booed live on C-Span if he'd raised an objection?" Eric Fettman had pondered in a June 23 op-ed.

UJA-Fed Programs Gain In Budget Passed By City

Staff Writer
Preliminary reports on the city budget passed Tuesday night suggest good news for programs under the UJA-Federation network after the City Council restored $213 million in spending that had been cut by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The restored funding, an annual ritual between the mayor and Council, will provide more day-care slots and improved mental health programs at federation agencies that contract with the city, said Ron Soloway, the organization's top lobbyist.

Tolerance For Tourists

Staff Writer
After providing sensitivity training to some 3,000 students, teachers and law enforcement officials over the past 18 months, the Simon Wiesenthal Center's New York Tolerance Center will open its doors to the public next week. But don't hop in a cab yet. Although the center (which strives to educate the public about respect, understanding and responsibility) is being promoted by the city's tourism bureau, NYC & Company, visits are by appointment, and only on Mondays. The center will organize groups of 30 to undergo a two and half-hour experience.

Drive-By Swastikas In Brooklyn

Staff Writer
Police in Brooklyn are looking for vandals who painted swastikas on numerous cars in the Midwood area early Friday, apparently from a moving vehicle. The swastikas were painted on the street-side of the vehicles, said Chaim Deutsch, president of the Flatbush Shomrim Volunteer Security Patrol. That, he said, indicated that the vandals were likely riding in a car.

Pataki In Spain: We Must Eradicate Anti-Semitism

Staff Writer
Offering New York's bias crime law as an example, Gov. George Pataki told delegates to the international Conference on Anti-Semitism and Intolerance in Cordoba, Spain, on Wednesday that the world must step up its efforts to confront a rising tide of hatred against Jews. "Anti-Semitism must be specifically targeted because of its unique and tragic history," Pataki said in his opening address. The governor was tapped by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to represent the United States at the conference held by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Two Nabbed In Queens Graffiti Threat

Staff Writer
Two 20-year-old Queens men were charged last week with scrawling "Kill All Jews on July 14" around a Fresh Meadows block. James Connolly said in a statement to police that he took a marker from another man and wrote the message on one car. Also charged was Anthony Larosa, who has a prior record for graffiti and criminal mischief. Both men live in the vicinity of 164th Street and Jewel Avenue, where cars, bus shelters and a mailbox were defaced with slogans and swastikas.
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