Archive for the tag 'judaism'

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It’s hard to believe that summer isn’t even officially over, and yet Rosh Hashana will be upon us this week.

To that end, Kehilat Moshe of Sheepshead Bay, under the leadership of Rabbi Shlomo Segal, invites all to usher in the spirit of the High Holiday season with a Selichot service and concert, this Saturday evening, September 20 at 8:30pm.

The concert, featuring the beautiful violin and piano music of the High Holy Days, will be held at 2801 Emmons Avenue between East 28th Street and 29th Street. No fee is required but you must RSVP by emailing kehilatmoshe@gmail.com or calling (347) 850-4170.

israel

The following is a press release from the offices of Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz:

A large crowd of Brooklynites young and old, cheering and waving Israeli flags, united in Asser Levy Park in Brighton Beach [Wednesday] night for an emotional and music-filled concert/rally in support of Israel.

The event was co-sponsored by Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), Zionist Organization of America, RAJE, DaNu Radio, American Forum of Russian-Speaking Jewry, Kings Bay Y, Jewish Community Relations Council of NY, JCH of Bensonhurst, Shorefront JCC, Hadassah, Emunah, One Israel Fund, Jewish Press, JCC of Canarsie, Jerusalem Chai, Coalition for Israel, Simon Wiesenthal Center and COJO of Bensonhurst.

In addition to Assemblyman Cymbrowitz, the array of notable guest speakers included Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; Michael Miller, CEO of JCRC-NY; Assemblyman Dov Hikind; IDF Brigadier General Ari Tesler; Andrew Gross, Political Advisor to the Deputy Consul General; Morton Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America; Leonard Petlakh, Executive Director of the Kings Bay Y, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, Rubin Margules, President of the Zionist Organization of America Brooklyn Region; and Eugene Shkolnikov, Russian-American philanthropist and board member of the Kings Bay Y.

Speaker after speaker took the stage and described why the concert/rally was so important.

“As so many around the world gather to condemn Israel’s right to defend itself from terrorists, it is imperative that we all stand together to show our support for the people of Israel,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said. “Israel uses painstaking restraint not to harm citizens. We finally need to tell the world: Enough,” he said.

Rubin Margules, President of ZOA Brooklyn Region and chief organizer of the event, said, “We put this event together because it was important to show our support, to be counted and to stand together for the people of Israel.”

Morton Klein, President of ZOA, said, “What would America do if 80 percent of its citizens were forced to run into bomb shelters twice a day from rocket fire from Mexico or Canada? That’s the situation in Israel where over six million of the eight million Israelis are given 15 seconds to run into bomb shelters due to the 3000 missiles launched by Hamas. The world now condemning Israel for Arab civilian deaths is a diplomatic Kristallnacht.”

Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents said, “Hamas exists to kill. Israel sometimes has to kill to exist.”

Assemblyman Dov Hikind said, “”Thank G-d there are no sirens going off on 5th Avenue or 13th Avenue. Americans don’t know what it’s like to run for cover.”

A line-up of internationally known Israeli musicians performed free of charge. They had the crowd singing along to favorites like “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav (Jerusalem of Gold)” and swaying along to “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Performers included Galit Burg Michael, Benny Elbaz, Sandy Shmuely, Ron Eliran and Gershon Veroba.

Throughout the evening the crowd vocalized its support with frequent shouts of “Am Yisrael Chai (The People of Israel Live!).” At the end of the night, with the moon shining as bright as the crowd’s spirits, community and Jewish leaders danced the hora onstage and led everyone in “Hatikvah (The Hope),” Israel’s national anthem.

One familiar song performed by Ron Eliran, “Kol Ha’olam Kulo,” based on a quote by Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, seemed to sum up the exuberant mood. The song’s message speaks of the importance of moving forward with confidence despite prevailing uncertainty: “All the world is a very narrow bridge. The most important thing is not to be afraid.”

fastpeace

With the Israeli-Palestinian conflict raging in the Middle East, and tensions in Brooklyn’s Jewish and Arab communities running high, the Kings Bay Y (3495 Nostrand Avenue) is setting table for inter-faith unity at a “Fast for Peace” dinner event tonight.

Initiated by the Kings Bay Y’s Teen Department with the help of families and the Y’s board of directors and staff, the event will recognize both Ramadan and Shabbat with prayers led by an imam and rabbi. A Shabbat/Iftar dinner and celebration will follow.

“With the situation going on in the Middle East, it is important to show the friendship and solidarity that has existed and continues to exist between members of southern Brooklyn’s Jewish and Muslim communities,” said Leonard Petlakh, executive director of the Kings Bay Y.

The program begins at 7:00 p.m. Although the flier above notes that RSVPs must have been made by July 22, the staff told us this morning that seats are still available. You can call Angela at (718) 648-7703 ext. 223 or email info@kingsbayy.org to reserve a seat.

Captain Chell. Photo by Erica Sherman

Captain John Chell. Photo by Erica Sherman

The next meeting of the Manhattan Beach Community Group (MBCG) will be Wednesday, May 21 at 8:00 p.m. inside Public School 195, 131 Irwin Street at Hampton Avenue.

Members and attendees will discuss the anti-Semitic graffiti that was discovered earlier this month on several properties on Exeter Street.

Guest speakers — Captain John Chell of the 61st Police Precinct and Alexander Gurevich, Esq., Office of the Brooklyn District Attorney — will talk about how the NYPD handles these crimes and what punishment is meted out to criminals involved.

There will additionally be updates on Traffic Committee proposals, Build it Back and NY Rising monies allocated to Manhattan Beach.

The meeting is taking place at the same time as a seminar by the Department of Finance about insurance issues (flier to come on this site shortly). For those concerned about missing one meeting or the other, MBCG said they have booked the DOF to attend their June meeting to go over many of the same issues.

The MBCG encourages members of the community to attend and participate in their monthly civic meetings. For more, contact MBCG at (718) 200-1845 or manhattanbeachbrooklyn.org@gmail.com, or visit www.manhattanbeachbrooklyn.org.

vandals

The New York Police Department has released footage from a neighbor’s surveillance camera that appears to show four teenagers believed to be responsible for spraying anti-Semitic graffiti in Manhattan Beach this weekend.

Graffiti depicting a swastika-like icon and messages including “F-ck Jews” were found scrawled on homes, a tree stump and construction site on Saturday morning. The NYPD is investigating the incident as a hate crime, and has released the surveillance video as they seek help from the public in identifying the vandals.

The video appears to show four teens in hoodies walking down Exeter Street. They make two brief stops within the camera’s range, lighting up their marks with a cellphone or flashlight as they quickly scribble their hate-filled messages and move on.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website, or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Here’s the video, via ABC News:

graffiti-mb

Anti-Semitic messages and swastikas were found painted on several properties on Exeter Street in Manhattan Beach over the weekend, and police believe the perps were five white teenage males.

The graffiti was discovered on homes, a tree stump and a construction site early Sunday morning, according to a message sent by the Manhattan Beach Community Group.

JPUpdates reports that surveillance video captured the five suspects spray painting the Exeter Street home of Victor Popovsky:

“We are not going to tolerate this nonsense. Not in this neighborhood and not anywhere else,” said Popovsky, a physics teacher at PS321 in Park Slope.

The teenagers sprayed swastika on a tree and lamp post, as well as hate graffiti at a constructs site.

Council member Chaim Deutsch was seen on the scene Sunday afternoon trying to remove the graffiti with no success. “Words of hate and graffiti of hate will not be tolerated, in this community or in any other neighborhood,” Mr. Deutsch told JP. “As a son of holocaust survivors I take these incidents very personal.”

“We need to educate our youth of what such hate graffiti means,” Mr. Deutsch added.

Deutsch told the outlet that the NYPD is investigating it as a hate crime.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz has called for those responsible to be punished for their actions:

“The appearance of hate graffiti in two predominantly Jewish neighborhoods this weekend — here in my district in Manhattan Beach and also in Borough Park — reminds us that we can never educate people enough about anti-Semitism and the dangers of intolerance.

“Whether the graffiti was motivated by hatred, anger, boredom or ignorance the result is exactly the same: it makes residents feel uncomfortable and frightened to be in the place they call home. This is unacceptable under any circumstances, and particularly in neighborhoods where many Holocaust survivors sought refuge.

“The person responsible for this crime must be punished to the fullest extent that the law allows, and all of us must continue to speak out swiftly and decisively against any act of hatred that takes place in our community.”

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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