Archive for the tag 'judaism'

Cymbrowitz welcomes Holocaust survivor Zipora Yakuboff to the podium. (Source: Cymbrowitz's office)

Cymbrowitz welcomes Holocaust survivor Zipora Yakuboff to the podium. (Source: Cymbrowitz’s office)

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz spent this past Sunday with kids from across the community who wrote essays and poetry, did performances and created art to recognize the lessons of the Holocaust.

The ceremony, held at Kingsborough Community College’s Marine Academic Center, is the culmination of the pol’s annual contest, attracting hundreds of students from public and private elementary, middle and high schools across the district. Approximately 350 entries were received this year.

(See photos and coverage from previous years here, here and here.)

“It is imperative that we never forget the lessons of those who survived the Holocaust, as well as the tragic lessons of those who did not survive,” Cymbrowitz said, according to a press release. “In an era in which some historians are trying to rewrite history and deny that the Holocaust ever happened, we need to hear these stories and preserve them. We need to pass these stories on to future generations to remind people of what can happen when hatred is allowed to grow.”

The ceremony exhibited all of the creative displays made by students. There was also musical performances by the Edward R. Murrow High School Madrigal Chorus, Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Winds. Holocaust survivor Zipora Yakuboff shared her story of loss, courage and eventual escape from a Nazi death camp.

The Amity School took home first-place for high school students, and top honors were also given to Prospect Park Yeshiva, Midwood High School and Bay Academy.

See photos of some of the displays.

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.

Source: Indy Trendy Skits/Flickr

The following is a press release jointly issued by Councilman David Greenfield, State Senator Simcha Felder and Councilman-elect Chaim Deutsch:

Following yet another ‘knockout’ assault targeting an innocent pedestrian this past Saturday, Councilman David G. Greenfield, Senator Simcha Felder and Councilman-elect Chaim Deutsch are calling on the NYPD to drastically increase its presence throughout the community, especially during Shabbos, which is when two of the most recent attacks targeting Jews have occurred. This request includes additional officers, temporary lighting at trouble locations and other measures to help prevent these attacks and catch the person responsible should another assault occur. In addition, the elected officials are reminding the public to be especially vigilant and aware of their surroundings at all times and to immediately report any suspicious activity to the NYPD.

The request for additional NYPD patrols and other measures comes after a young Jewish woman was punched in the head and knocked to the ground by an unknown young black male while waking near McDonald Avenue and Avenue M in broad daylight on Saturday afternoon. In response, Councilman Greenfield and Councilman-elect Deutsch met with officers from the 66th Precinct in Boro Park on Sunday to discuss the NYPD’s ongoing response and investigation into the series of unprovoked attacks, which now total approximately a dozen in Brooklyn over the past two months.

“More aggressive measures on the part of the NYPD are needed to stop this wave of brutal attacks targeting innocent victims. It is especially disturbing that people of all ages have been assaulted recently, including several elderly women. In addition, two of the recent attacks have occurred in our community on Shabbos, adding to the concern that the community is being targeted by these cowardly individuals. As a result of my meeting with NYPD officials, I am confident this pattern is being taken seriously and that we will have the resources necessary to finally put an end to this baseless violence,” said Councilman Greenfield.

“The recent ‘knockout’ attacks in our community are unacceptable and must be acted upon immediately. Inflicting violence on unsuspecting people is a cowardly act and a crime that must be punished to the fullest extent of the law. As a strong and united community, we need to show those responsible that these heinous crimes will not be tolerated. We cannot allow anyone to create unnecessary fear. We should walk the streets with our heads held high and not worry that anyone is being targeted. I have spoken with the NYPD and been assured that they are taking all necessary steps to bring these perpetrators to justice,” said Councilman-elect Deutsch.

“It is deplorable that people are still being terrorized by these knockout attacks. Every person has a right to feel safe walking in their neighborhoods, without worrying whether or not they will be bashed in the head for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The best thing people can to do to protect themselves from these heinous attacks is to be cognizant at all times of their surroundings. This means not being distracted by electronic devices and to also trust their instincts. Most importantly, if you are a victim of an attack or any crime, report it to the authorities immediately. Don’t allow yourself to be victimized twice by remaining silent,” said Senator Felder (D-Brooklyn).

As a result of the attacks, Deutsch, who founded Flatbush Shomrim 20 years ago in response to street crime, Greenfield and Felder are reminding the public of the following safety tips to help avoid becoming a victim of this senseless pattern of street violence, which has occurred in neighborhoods around Brooklyn, including Boro Park and Midwood. Residents are reminded to always be alert while walking around and to be cautious of suspicious individuals or large groups. Whenever possible, do not walk alone and try to use well-lit and populated areas with a lot of foot traffic. Always know your location in case you need to call for help, and do not hesitate to contact 911 if necessary.

“One of the great things about living in our communities is the safety that we all enjoy and take for granted. By coming together and working with the NYPD, we will reclaim our streets and ensure that residents can once again walk around the neighborhood without constantly looking over their shoulders,” said Councilman Greenfield.

“We stand together as one community of peace and harmony. Violence and hate crimes of any time are not acceptable. We must continue to join together to fight such vicious crimes so that we can continue to live without fear,” added Councilman-elect Deutsch.

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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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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.

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.
Photo by PayPaul

Photo by PayPaul

This evening marks the first night of Sukkot, and observant Jewish families across the community are erecting booths – called a sukkah – where they will gather, eat and (in some cases) sleep for the next seven days.

Some neighbors, however, are irked by one storefront congregation’s sukkah, which bulks out into the middle of the sidewalk.

Congregation Bnei Shelomo Vyaffa at 1305 Gravesend Neck Road has set up a sukkah that takes as much as two-thirds of the sidewalk, leaving less room for pedestrians to slip by.

Reader PayPaul sent us the following e-mail, expressing his displeasure:

Could this Jewish Temple on Neck Road and East 13th Street shown some more tact and respect towards their neighbors by informing them in advance of their installation of a Sukkot tent that blocks the sidewalk considerably in front of their East 13th Street entrance? They could have at least apologized for the inconvenience in advance. That would have gone a long way in ameliorating any upset people.

You and others have to see it for yourselves. I even asked them about it. First they claimed to have a permit and then changed their story to say the 61st precinct told them it wasn’t worth the time as it would take too long to process. Meanwhile I know their next door neighbor is very upset over it. Imagine some elderly or handicapped people trying to get by this obstacle?

Another person took to Reddit to say the same:

It’s that time of year again! Sukkot. My friend took this picture of a Sukkot Tent outside of a business in Brooklyn. I live in Midwood so I see these everywhere but it’s usually on residential property and not always out on the sidewalk like this.

I know that certain laws have variances and loopholes for religious observance but I’m not sure this qualifies as legal. IT’s a pretty unsafe obstruction! My dad used to get tickets because he had a SIGN on the Sidewalk by the Curb. This just can’t be legal can it?

Anyone have more info on the issue?

We reached out the Department of Buildings to find out if there are any regulations concerning this. They said they do not oversee the construction of structures this small, but that we should reach out to the Department of Transportation to see if they have any policy’s regarding the sidewalk use. We haven’t yet heard back from them.

We could not find contact information for the congregation to seek their input.

Until we hear back, we ask our readers to remember that New York City’s greatness is predicated on its diversity. The city government makes occasional, understandable exceptions to accommodate the various religious, ethnic and cultural needs of its residents. Sometimes, a balance needs to be struck between meeting those needs and the needs of the bustling masses at large.

It’s not for us at Sheepshead Bites to say whether this sukkah is too large, or poses a danger to those with disabilities (in fact, I’m more bothered by the garbage against the utility pole, which, if it were not there, would give far more space for passersby). If neighbors are bothered by the structure, we hope they continue to politely press the issue with the congregation, and in the future the congregation look to make adjustments to address those concerns.

Who knows? Sukkot is a holiday in which those who celebrate are encouraged to invite neighbors and friends to their sukkah for food, drink and celebration. Maybe if you politely mention your concerns, you’ll be invited inside for a drink, and then it won’t seem large enough.

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Photo by Lisanne

Source: restlesspilgrim.net

Sheepshead Bites wishes all of our observant readers a L’shanah tova.

Have a terrific Rosh Hashanah, and a happy, healthy new year.

For those interested in learning more about Rosh Hashanah and Jewish traditions, you can check out this website.

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Israel got some love on Nostrand Avenue last Sunday, and nearly 5,000 neighbors and children partied in the streets in honor of the Jewish nation.

It was another successful year for Kings Bay Y’s Annual Israel on Nostrand Avenue Celebration, a joyous festival celebrating all things “Land of Milk and Honey,” which took place in front of the institution’s headquarters at 3495 Nostrand Avenue.

Featuring rides and entertainment, a petting zoo, arts & crafts, live musical, magical and dance performances and booths from community organizations and local artists, the Israel on Nostrand event is one of Sheepshead Bay’s largest street festivals, and never fails to draw a tremendous, energetic crowd.

Check out the photos of the event, generously provided by our friends at the Kings Bay Y and photographer Ken Brown.

Kings Bay Y’s Israel on Nostrand Celebration 2013 photo gallery.

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