Community Board 15 will meet tomorrow, November 29, at 7:00 p.m. at Kingsborough Community College’s faculty dining room (2001 Oriental Boulevard).

On the agenda are three zoning items, two for special permits to enlarge their homes at 1860 East 23rd Street and 2257 East 14th Street, and one for a variance to permit the construction of a house of worship at 2085 Ocean Parkway.

Aside from that, the Community Board will hear residents’ concerns, and local elected officials will give updates on their efforts to represent their constituents.

It might seem obvious to those of us that live in Brooklyn’s southern stretches, but research has confirmed it: New York is populated by more Russian Jews than any other place in the world. But putting a number on that population – here and in the country as a whole – remains an elusive task.

Harvard University recently hosted a conference to examine issues of Russian-speaking Jewry, but the event appears to have led to more academic squabbling than certainty.

Some speakers at the event claimed that the nation was home to as many as 800,000 Russian-speaking Jews, while others put it at less than 500,000.

“By any account, the number of Russian-speaking Jews in the United States now probably exceeds those of Russia and Ukraine combined,” said Sam Kliger director of Russian community affairs at the American Jewish Committee. Kliger believes previous studies underestimated the population. “New York today is populated by more Russian Jews than any other place in the world.”

Keep reading, and weigh in on what it means to be a Russian-speaking Jew.

Map announcing the undoing of most of the B36 in Coney Island. Courtesy of Allan Rosen (Click to enlarge)

THE COMMUTE: In Part 1, I discussed the success of the 1978 Southwest Brooklyn bus route changes, and why this is how the MTA should do its bus route planning. In Part 2, I showed how the MTA is on the wrong track. This week I show the future direction the MTA must take to avoid destroying the local bus system, the path it is currently on, as well as relating my experiences in Operations Planning.

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After a refreshing four-day break, we’re back, energized and ready to bring you some news.

It was a good break, too; one of the rare ones where I cut any tethers to e-mail, phone or other means of contact. If you’re like me, that’s a huge leap, and one that’s somewhat daunting and uncomfortable until you finally allow yourself to let go.

And let go I did, after a day of walking towards my computer, stopping, turning around and walking away. Or picking up the phone and beginning to open the mail app, before finally balking and chucking it to the other side of the room.

Why is it so hard to let go these days? Why is it such a challenge to disconnect?

Well, regardless, I finally did it, and enjoyed a nice weekend  of friends and family, bumping around New York City, eating out and watching movies (if you’re interested, J. Edgar had great acting and makeup, but, like many Eastwood productions, needed a bit more editing).

What did you do for your Thanksgiving break?

Photo by ShadowLock

From the photographer:

“… looking northeast from Sea Isle Apartments (Nostrand between Ave Z & Voorhies). The attached houses are part of the 2600 block of Haring Street. In the distance is Kings Bay Coop (2965 Avenue Z).”

Sheepshead Bay sure do dress up pretty when she wants to.

Photo by Andy Baum

Photo by Robert Fernandez

"Q Train" (pastel on paper, 22 x 30) by Nigel van Wieck

What more appropriate way is there for the MTA to help inaugurate the first weekend of the 2011 Christmas shopping season than with [cue dramatic music]

W  E  E  K  E  N  D  !

S  E  R  V  I  C  E  !

C  H  A  N  G  E  S  !

If you must travel on the Q line north of Prospect Park, and transferring to the N or R, and schlepping around on shuttle buses isn’t your thing, then, in the parlance of our times, you are S.O.L.

The changes, according to, beginning at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow morning, are as follows:

  • 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, Nov 26 – 28
  • No Q trains between 57 St-7 Av and Prospect Park

For service between:

  1. 57 St-7 Av and Atlantic Av-Pacific St, take the N or R instead.
  2. Atlantic Av-Pacific St and Prospect Park, use free shuttle buses instead.

For those of you venturing out on the rails tomorrow and Sunday, travel safely and enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend.

Footnote: For more of  Nigel Van Wieck’s amazing paintings, check out his website,

Click to enlarge

CompStat reports are produced by the New York Police Department on a weekly basis. We summarize the week’s statistics for the 61st Precinct reports every Friday. The 61st Precinct is the police command responsible for Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Kings Highway, Homecrest, Madison, Manhattan Beach, and Gerritsen Beach.

Photo by Boris Shekhman