Short Takes

West Side Shul Hit With Swastika

12/24/2004
Staff Writer
A vandal painted a two-foot high, black swastika on the outside of Shaare Tzedek, a Conservative congregation on the Upper West Side last weekend. The police department’s Bias Crime Unit was investigating the incident, according to the shul and the Anti-Defamation League. The vandalism was noticed around 12:30 p.m. Sunday, and took place sometime after the building closed at around 5:30 p.m. Saturday night. “People are always shocked when this kind of thing happens, and kind of scared,” said Lolita Pogrebitskaya, the shul’s office manager.

Vandals Strike In Queens

03/18/2005
Staff Writer
Vandals painted anti-Semitic graffiti on the side of a yeshiva and a Hatzolah ambulance in Belle Harbor, Queens, last weekend. The words “Heil Hitler” were discovered Saturday morning on the side of the Merkaz Hatorah yeshiva on Beach 129th Street, and a swastika and “death to the Jews” was discovered on the ambulance later that day. “The irony and ugliness of such graffiti on a volunteer ambulance is stunning,” said Joel Levy, New York regional director of the Anti-Defamation League.

Mayor’s Race Goes International

03/18/2005
Staff Writer
The selection of Mayor Michael Bloomberg to lead the U.S. delegation to the Yad Vashem dedication Tuesday in Jerusalem was a helpful election-year gift from President George W. Bush, and apparently a thrill for Bloomberg, too.

Does West Side Stadium Have A Prayer?

03/04/2005
Staff Writer
Looks like Mayor Michael Bloomberg can use all the help he can get to win approval for a stadium on the West Side. While hosting a group of organizers of Tuesday’s Siyum HaShas celebration, Bloomberg noted that the event was an “amazing celebration of having a great love of study,” then asked the crowd to put in a good word for him with the Almighty.

Suit-Plagued Arab Bank To Shut N.Y. Branch

02/11/2005
Staff Writer
Facing dozens of plaintiffs who allege that it finances terrorism, the Jordan-based Arab Bank announced Tuesday that it is closing its New York operation. The multimillion-dollar federal lawsuits against the bank claim the Madison Avenue branch acted as a conduit for funds from Saudi Arabia to be transferred to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers as compensation.

Scoring Big With Israeli Tech

02/04/2005
Staff Writer
Israeli high-tech prowess may not be the first thing on anyone’s mind as the Eagles meet the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX on Sunday. But those headsets the coaches wear to communicate with their staff will be using technology developed by one of a growing number of Israeli firms that are making their mark on telecommunications here.

Leaders Meet Envoys From Tsunami Region

01/14/2005
Staff Writer
Representatives of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations met Wednesday morning with diplomats from the four countries hardest hit by the Dec. 26 tsunami disaster.

Jack Newfield, Crusading Columnist

12/24/2004
Staff Writer
Jack Newfield, a columnist driven by commitment to social justice and political accountability, died Monday at 66. The cause was cancer. Newfield was a supporter of Israel and also wrote extensively on matters regarding black-Jewish relations. Growing up in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, he attended a school that was 75 percent black, and traveled in the South as a young man to demonstrate for civil rights in the early 1960s. He was once incarcerated with Michael Schwerner, who was later murdered in Mississippi.

Getting A Bump From ‘Juno’

02/27/2008
Assistant Managing Editor
Barry Louis Polisar wasn’t up for an Oscar on Sunday night, but his work made a brief appearance in the 80th Academy Awards broadcast. The scene from Best Picture nominee “Juno” included the harmonica solo from “All I Want Is You,” a song Polisar wrote 30 years ago that is featured in the film’s opening credits. A singer and writer of children’s books and music, Polisar was thrilled when approached by “Juno” director Jason Reitman for permission to use the song after he stumbled across it on iTunes.

Easing Their Pain

04/05/2002
Staff Writer
They are among hundreds of victims of Palestinian terrorism, but there was something about the tragic story of the Bloombergs of Ginot Shimron that prompted Rabbi Moshe Drelich to act. “You start with one family at a time,” said the rabbi, assistant principal of SAR Academy in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. “You save the world one neshama [soul] at a time.”
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