Chasidic leaders in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, were scrambling this week to find homes for some 40 residents evicted from their apartments Monday night: the latest, and most ironic victims of an expanding, politically charged probe of alleged safety violations by local developer Chaim Ostreicher.
The homeless chasidim, from seven families, were doubled up in the homes of other families and sheltered in local synagogues on an emergency basis. But community leaders stressed this was only temporary.
Next time, it could be a Sefer Torah with elephant dung dabbed on it.
That vision is what the head of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations says motivated him to denounce the “Sensation” exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art this week and, as he said in a press release, “support those civic leaders who have questioned whether public funds should support this exhibition.”
What next? As Mayor Rudolph Giuliani basked in his smashing election victory, New Yorkers, a famously demanding bunch, already were considering what they expected of his second term.
For Jews, at least, it appears that more of the same will not be enough.
For all their enthusiasm for the huge drop in crime during Giuliani’s first four years, Jews appear to be more adamant than most among the growing constituency calling on Giuliani to make education his priority this time around.
Jewish Week stories invoked in closing arguments in Brooklyn assemblyman’s federal corruption case; judge narrows charges
by Lawrence Cohler-Esses
Defense attorney Benjamin Brafman launched his summation this week in the Dov Hikind federal corruption trial. One of his first targets was The Jewish Week. “The evidence is incontrovertible this case began with a series of articles in The Jewish Week,” he told the jury. “Are they fair? Or are they simply an organization that didn’t like chasidim, or an Orthodox organization?”
One side painted the charity and the assemblyman as partners in a complex web of corruption, deceit and political manipulation.
The other side cited their partnership as the instrument that lifted up the lives of hundreds of thousands, Jews and non-Jews, helping them find jobs, housing and training.
The battle of the heavyweights may be over, but the race for cash continues. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's stunning departure from the race against First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton transforms what was expected to be the most expensive U.S. Senate campaign in history into a race against time for Giuliani's replacement, the relatively unknown Long Island Rep. Rick Lazio.
"The key question is now how quickly he can ramp up his fund raising," said Sheila Krumholz, research director for the Center for Responsive Politics, a campaign watchdog group, of Lazio.
Down by five points with 17 seconds left in the game, the New York Knicks staged one of the most amazing comebacks in basketball history.
On that historic Nov. 28, 1969 night, the Knicks, with small forward "Dollar Bill" Bradley, scored six straight points, stunning the Cincinnati Royals, 106-105, and set an NBA record for most consecutive victories in a season.
With the New York Police Department facing mounting criticism following the brutal attack on Abner Louima and the fatal shooting of Amadou Diallo, a diverse group of city religious leaders came together last year to express their concern to city government officials.
Had it been in the theater of war, it would have amounted to a surprise attack. After all, it's not every day that a celebrated general comes to a yeshiva that educates Russian Jewish youth deep in the heart of Brooklyn. And it's rarer still when that general drops a bomb, so to speak.
The junior high students of the Be'er Hagolah Institutes didn't know what hit them.
As the "Sensation" storm raged last month, the fact that a Catholic mayor was accusing the Brooklyn Museum's Jewish director of promoting Catholic bashing was noted but not highlighted.
Now with the controversy being decided in Manhattan Federal Court, Jewish involvement in the affair is being scrutinized further, even as it becomes clearer that the city's Jewish community has split along political lines.