Archive for the tag 'jewish'

The burning of the chametz. Source: Dudy Tuchfeld / Flickr

The burning of the chametz. Source: Dudy Tuchfeld / Flickr

Beginning next week, in advance of the Jewish commemoration of Passover, there will be special Sanitation collections for residents who live within Community Board (CB) 15. You can find out if you live within the boundaries of CB15 by clicking on this link.

Next Monday, April 14, all of CB15 will receive regular garbage and recycling collection. You should place all your garbage out for collection on Sunday evening, April 13, after 5:00 p.m. Recycling and regular garbage need to be separated.

For your convenience, a public Dumpster will be located at the following locations on the morning of Monday, April 14, and will be removed before nightfall:

  • James Madison High School Sports Field on the south side of Quentin Road between East 27th Street and East 28th Street
  • In front of 2810 Nostrand Avenue, corner of Kings Highway and Nostrand Avenue

Burning Chametz

People in charge of burning Chametz (food deemed unkosher for Passover), either in front of a home or a synagogue, must ensure that the fires are small and controlled so that the Fire Department does not need to be called to respond to an “out of control fire.” Here are some rules that must be observed for the burning of chametz.

  • All fires must be supervised by a mature, responsible adult
  • No paint thinner, aerosol cans, sprays, lighter fluid or any other flammable liquids are to be used to ignite the fire. These items have caused accidents and are extremely dangerous
  • Water, fire extinguishers, or sand should be readily available at the site of the chametz burning
  • Do not burn chametz enclosed in aluminum foil
  • Chametz should be put at the curb in plastic bags. This will eliminate the necessity for retrieving and washing out garbage cans
  • Do not park cars on smoldering embers

Your cooperation in following the schedule and observing these safety precautions will expedite the pickup. The chametz burning should end at 11:36 a.m., Monday, April 14.

Source: FSSP via Twitter

Source: FSSP via Twitter

A new group has launched with the goal of expanding the services of shomrim, or Jewish civilian patrol, into a broad swath of Gravesend.

Community Safety & Security (CSS) is an affiliate of the Sephardic Community Federation, and is working on a recruitment drive to bring volunteers to the well-established Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol, which could begin patroling the area.

The borders of the area under consideration are Avenue I to the north, Avenue Y to the south, Coney Island Avenue to the east and McDonald Avenue to the west.

“CSS is a new organization that will work to keep our communities safe by establishing initiatives to help reduce crime and increase public safety. We hope to work with the public, law enforcement and community watch groups to achieve these goals,” said Avi Spitzer, executive director of the Sephardic Community Federation.

Spitzer said they already have a core group of volunteers, and hope to build up operations and activities over time. Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz has offered to help the group identify potential sources of funds for their project. CSS is headed by Jack Cayre, the scion of developer and real estate magnate Joseph Cayre.

CSS is not formally affiliated with Flatbush Shomrim.

Flatbush Shomrim Executive Coordinator Bob Moskowitz said that they have not started patrolling the new area, nor have they made a decision on whether or not they will.

“It’s under consideration right now. It’s not a done deal. There’s a lot of logistics involved,” Moskowitz said. “I’d like to help them out, but we have to look at it and see if we can do it. But we can’t help every community that asks us to. Right now it’s still up in the air. If it’s something that’s doable, we’d love to.”

Spitzer said the goal of CSS’s effort right now is to bolster shomrim’s manpower with volunteers from the proposed coverage area, which would provide the resources needed for patrols.

Flatbush Shomrim was founded in 1991 by now-Councilman Chaim Deutsch. Shomrim volunteers patrol the neighborhoods in marked and unmarked vehicles, calling 911 when they see an emergency, monitoring the activities of people they believe to be suspicious, and calling for other volunteers if they feel the need. They can often be the first to respond to a scene of a low-level incident, where they can make a citizen’s arrest if necessary.

Community shomrim patrols have also been the source of controversy. Critics say they can sometimes be overzealous in their duties, inflame ethnic tensions and, at times, an obstacle to police investigations within the Jewish community. Some patrols receive taxpayer funds and resources through the offices of elected officials.

If you’d like to volunteer for shomrim patrols, contact CSS at (347) 781-4679 or by email at CSS@SephardicFederation.org

A previous Kings Bay Y Purim Carnival (Photo by Erica Sherman)

Let the Purim festivities begin! The Jewish holiday is just around the corner, kicking off Saturday evening and ending on Sunday. Celebrating the story of Esther, who rose to become queen of Persia, and who foiled the evil Haman’s plans to eradicate the Jews, it’s a time for the children of Israel to boogie down with food, drinks and costumes – as well as gifts to the needy.

To help you find your party, here’s a list of local Purim events this weekend, with some for the kids and families, and some for adults eager to cut a rug to celebrate their people. L’chaim!

Purim and Costume Party At Congregation Israel of Kings Bay Saturday, March 15, 8:00 – 3903 Nostrand Avenue - The party kicks of with the Megillah reading at 8:20 p.m., followed by celebration at 9:00 p.m. Hamantashen, graggers, Purim bags, prizes and raffles! Donations suggested. Call (718) 934-5176 for details.

Purim Party at Chabad of Sheepshead Bay Saturday, March 15, 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. – 1315 Avenue Y - A kids Purim party with Megillah reading, magic show, free cotton candy and popcorn. Admission: $5/child, free for adults. For more information, call (718) 934-9331.

Purim Carnival at Kings Bay YSunday, March 16, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – 3495 Nostrand Avenue – A community celebration with free hamantashen, giveaways, kosher food, music and fun. There will be rides for children, carnival games and other entertainment. Admission: free. Contact: Alina at 718-648-7703 ext. 224 or info@kingsbayy.org.

Purim Celebration at Shorefront Y - Sunday, March 16, 2:00 p.m. – 3300 Coney Island Avenue - Costume contests, delicious treats and kid’s activities. There will also be a performance of “A Poppy Seed Purim,” a lighthearted musical of the Biblical story of Esther. Admission is $8 per person, and free for kids under three. Call 718-646-1444 for more information.

Purim Party w/Circus Entertainment at Chabad of Kings Highway Sunday, March 16, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – 815 Kings Highway, third floor - Amazing acrobats, hot dogs and hamantashen, live music and face painting. Come in costume for this celebration! Admission: free w/RSVP or $5 at the door ($10 for families). Call (718) 998-5394 to RSVP.

Western-Style Purim - Sunday, March 16, 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. – Produced by Chabad of Sheepshead Bay, hosted at S.L.C. Social Hall, 805 Avenue T - A western-themed party, where attendees will help “rustle up all the Haman bandits.” Guests should come in Western attire, enjoy a buffet dinner, a reptile show, live music and Megilla reading. Admission: $36/adults, $15/children. Call (718) 934-9331 for reservations. Must RSVP by March 13.

Purim Night Out for Young Professionals & Parents - Sunday, March 16, 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. – 10007 4th Avenue – Leave the kids at home, or, for free, with Kings Bay Y’s child caretakers, and go party your ‘tashen off. Kings Bay Y is organizing this night out at Cats Club in Bay Ridge. Admission gets you two glasses of wine, valet, discount on future drinks, live DJ and finger foods. Admission in advance: $40/person, $70 for couple. Admission at the door: $45/person, $80/couple. For more info or to reserve, contact Angela at (718) 648-7703 ext. 223.

Rabbi Menahem Zarkh leads the memorial service in prayer.

Rabbi Menahem Zarkh leads the memorial service in prayer.

Local survivors of the Nazi atrocities during World War II braved frigid weather to gather with family and friends and commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day yesterday.

Organized by the Be Proud Foundation, about 35 Southern Brooklyn members of the Russian-American Jewish community came together for prayer and remembrance on the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp by Soviet troops, when 7,000 remaining prisoners were freed. The day is recognized worldwide in memory of all victims of the Holocaust.

“A lot of relatives of mine died and survived the Holocaust,” said Ruslan Gladkovitser, a member of Be Proud Foundation’s Board of Directors who put the event together. Gladkovitser said his grandmother and aunt were among those killed by the Nazis. “So we celebrate the survivors, and make a memory.”

The service took place in Russian, Hebrew and Yiddish, with local rabbis leading the service in prayer and discussing the importance of remembering the struggles of Jewish people.

Rabbi Avrohom Winner of the Chabad of Manhattan Beach led the Yiddish portion.

“I said thank God we are alive, life is continuing,” he told Sheepshead Bites after the event. “Our gathering is something that represents our victory over our enemies, who have tried to kill all the world’s Jews.

Rabbi Menahem Zarkh of Nevsky Yablokoff Memorial Chapels spoke to the crowd in Russian, discussing the need of the Jewish people to be ever vigilant in the modern world. He noted that Jews still have many enemies, particularly Islamic extremists in Israel.

The Holocaust Memorial Park at Emmons Avenue and West End Avenue became the city’s first public memorial to the Holocaust when it was dedicated in 1985, and the permanent memorial was completed and dedicated in 1997.

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A fraylichen Chanukah!

The Shorefront Y (3300 Coney Island Avenue) ushered in the festival of lights with a community celebration this past Sunday, December 1. Hundreds of community members attended the free event that celebrated the Jewish holiday, and featured fun, food and entertainment for all.

There was an incredible puppet show, children’s book readings in a custom-made Dr. Seuss reading room, and arts and crafts. Children’s Scholastic books were also on sale to help raise money for the institution’s special needs children, seniors and early childhood programs.

Check out the photos below, courtesy of the Shorefront Y.

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A Stipula fountain pen. Source: Wikipedia

A Stipula fountain pen. Source: Wikipedia

A Jewish writing group is forming at the Beth El Jewish Center of Flatbush, 1981 Homecrest Avenue at the corner of Avenue T. The group will function according to the principles of the New York Writer’s Coalition, encouraging the exchange of creative ideas and constructive criticism.

All are welcome to participate. The group will meet Monday evenings at 8:00 p.m. in the synagogue’s daily chapel. Participants are requested to bring a pad or notebook and a pen.

For more information, call (718)-375-0120.

Last year's Chanukah Extravaganza. Source: Kings Bay Y / Facebook

Last year’s Chanukah Extravaganza. Source: Kings Bay Y / Facebook

The largest Chanukah event in Sheepshead Bay is slated for this Sunday, November 24 at the Kings Bay YM-YWHA holds its annual Chanukah Extravaganza for the entire community. The festival will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. inside the Y’s main building, 3495 Nostrand Avenue between Avenue U and Avenue V.

Featuring a fun-filled array of activities for the entire family, in addition to a symbolic menorah-lighting ceremony, the program will include a holiday performance, presentations from various Kings Bay Y programs and a special toddler area.

“The Festival of Lights is all about celebration and community,” said Leonard Petlakh, executive director of the Kings Bay Y. “This event gives families the opportunity to come together as a community, have a great afternoon and see what the Kings Bay Y has to offer.”

The Chanukah Extravaganza is free and open to the public. Community leaders and local businesses will be participating.

2012 Chanukah Extravaganza coverage on Sheepshead Bites
2011 Chanukah Extravaganza coverage on Sheepshead Bites
2010 Chanukah Extravaganza coverage on Sheepshead Bites

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Ben White (Source: BenWhite.org.uk)

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) has asked the interim chancellor of CUNY to take “strong and immediate action” following Brooklyn College’s official “support” of its second anti-Israel lecture this year.

In a letter to William P. Kelly, who was appointed interim chancellor in July, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz expressed his outrage over Brooklyn College’s decision “to once again support a lecture that freely gives a podium to a divisive point of view without making any attempt to provide a balanced dialogue.”

The Nov. 14th event features British journalist Ben White, author of “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide.” White has likened Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the Holocaust, and in 2008 he came to the defense of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when the leader said “Israel must be wiped off the map.” White was invited to speak by Students for Justice in Palestine, the same group that hosted anti-Israel academic Omar Barghouti in February.

“Publicly funded institutions do not have the right to spew hatred without permitting an equal response. Universities that accept government funding do not have the right to make a large segment of their own community feel uncomfortable or unwelcome on a campus where they are supposed to feel secure,” he said.

The lawmaker said that Brooklyn College’s sponsorship of the lecture is the antithesis of a college’s mission to encourage intellectual growth and free range of thought. “It is disgraceful and arrogant, and as a member of the Legislature I am appalled that I have been forced to take Brooklyn College to task for a breach of conduct not once, but twice, this year.”

He said that until recently, the idea that Brooklyn College would promote anti-Semitism was “beyond preposterous,” especially to its many Jewish students and faculty and the area’s many Holocaust survivors. “The president of Brooklyn College, Karen Gould, apparently doesn’t mind creating controversy and perhaps she even enjoys it. To those of us who help keep CUNY in business, however, this is unacceptable,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said.

This home was on the market for $14 million last year, the borough’s highest price tag. (Source: Rich Caplan/nestseekers.com)

People with very deep pockets are shelling out serious dough to buy homes in Gravesend, breaking records for the most expensive properties in all of Brooklyn. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that homes in the community are sought out by observant Jews looking to live close to the neighborhood’s synagogues and community centers.

Gravesend, which has traditionally been a diverse, middle-class neighborhood, is seeing whopping spikes in some home sales, with some selling for more than $10 million. The Journal accounted for the huge price tags on homes and why it is happening now:

Brokers said prices hinge not only on how big a house is, but also on its proximity to area synagogues and Jewish community centers. They say it isn’t uncommon for buyers to purchase relatively modest or outdated houses in order to tear them down and build new residences that allow for easy walks on the Sabbath.

At present, the highest-priced listing in the area, according to real-estate listing website StreetEasy.com, is a seven-bedroom house on Ocean Parkway with an asking price of $8.99 million. The house was initially listed for $14 million in 2012, and if it had fetched that price it would have been one of the most expensive homes to ever sell in Brooklyn.

A number of homes in Gravesend have already been among the most expensive to ever sell in the borough: One house on Avenue S sold for $10.25 million in 2011; another on the same avenue sold for $11 million in 2003; and one on East 2nd Street went for $10.26 million in 2009.

Avi Spitzer, the executive director of the nonprofit Sephardic Community Federation, explained the phenomenon in an email to the Journal.
“Today Gravesend is the heart of the largest Sephardic Jewish community in the United States. The community has grown because we have built schools, synagogues, facilities and social service agencies to serve the community’s needs,” Spitzer said.
The Journal also elaborated on the history of how Gravesend became a hotspot for the Sephardic Jewish community and what the most in-demand blocks are:
Mr. Spitzer said the city’s Sephardic Jewish community moved from Manhattan’s Lower East Side to Bensonhurst, which borders Gravesend, in the early 1900s, and migrated to Gravesend in the 1940s. Approximately 30,000 Sephardic Jews live in the neighborhood, he said, and many more live in adjacent neighborhoods such as Midwood.
The most in-demand blocks in the neighborhood are concentrated in a small, tree-lined enclave from Avenue S to Avenue U, between McDonald and Coney Island avenues.

Ocean Parkway is the main thoroughfare running through the area.

While some price tags are skyrocketing, the median price for homes in Gravesend, $465,000, is still below the Brooklyn median, $495,000.

Still, it is remarkable how factors unrelated to geographical beauty and the architecture and size of homes can have minimal importance in driving a dwelling into multi-million dollar status.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Click to enlarge

There will be at least two — count ’em, two — Sukkot events for the community this Sunday, both of which promise tons of food, entertainment, music, dancing, and much more.

  • Congregation Israel of Kings Bay: Congregation Israel of Kings Bay invites the Jewish community to their annual Simchas Bais Hashoava, a celebration — and in this case, a pizza party — held during the intermediate days of Sukkos. The party will be held September 22 at 7:30 inside Congregation Israel of Kings Bay, 3903 Nostrand Avenue, corner of Voorhies Avenue. For information, call (718) 615-1549 or (718) 934-5176. The event is free, although a donation is suggested.
  • Chabad of Sheepshead Bay: Chabad of Sheepshead Bay invites the invites the community to join them at their Annual Sukkos Street Festival, featuring a 4D theater, arcade games, laser tag and U:launcher (Ed. — Whatever that is), pony rides, face-painting, popcorn, hotdogs, and more. All the fun takes place September 22 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on East 14th Street between Avenue X and Avenue Y. Be sure to stick around for the magic show at 4:30 p.m. To learn more, including prices, click to enlarge the flier above, or go to www.chabadsheepsheadbay.com.

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