Archive for the tag 'judaism'

The official Ocean Avenue address of Merkaz, which is also Fetman's home address and an organization under his control, through which he allegedly embezzled the funds. (Source: Google Maps)

The official Ocean Avenue address of Merkaz, which is also Fetman’s home address and an organization under his control, through which he allegedly embezzled the funds. (Source: Google Maps)

The chief financial officer of Manhattan-based nonprofit Aish HaTorah, Jacob Fetman, of Midwood, was charged yesterday with embezzling more than $237,000 from the international Jewish outreach organization through another non-profit under his control.

According to District Attorney Ken Thompson’s office, Fetman routed the organization’s donations through three separate Aish bank accounts that he controlled. From November 2010 to August 2013, he allegedly transferred $922,931.74 of that money to a bank account for Merkaz, a religious organization whose official address is shared with Fetman’s Ocean Avenue home, and which he runs, according to prosecutors. Merkaz is not a part of Aish in any way.

He then bounced some of the money back to Aish – $685,454.43 – a net loss to the organization of $237,477.31, said Thompson’s office.

Aish is one of the largest international outreach organizations in the world, with 30 branches on five continents. Established in 1974, it encourages Jewish people to reconnect with their faith and culture. The organization operates seminars, produces events for Jewish singles, provides education and training to local faith groups and publishes Aish.com, a leading website for Jewish-related lifestyle and religious content.

Fetman, 45, served as the organization’s CFO for 17 years. Fetman was terminated when Aish officials discovered the banking irregularities.

“This defendant abandoned his duty to safeguard Aish HaTorah’s finances and allegedly stole $237,477 in charitable donations from this venerable non-profit organization. He will now be held accountable,” said Thompson in a press release.

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.

As a reminder, Alternate Side Parking rules are suspended today and tomorrow. All other regulations, including parking meters, remain in effect. Schools are closed today and tomorrow, and there will be regular curbside garbage collection citywide.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

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.

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