Last week, New York State political pundits were stunned to discover that Governor Cuomo decided to veto two bills that would have made it difficult for the Village of Kiryas Joel in Orange County to annex a significant amount of land. The decision was heralded as a victory for the Satmar community as well as for all those who feel that the opposition to the growth of the village was unfair and probably unconstitutional.
Known affectionately as “Rabbi Murray,” Rabbi Mordechai Maslaton zt”l was a warrior and a leader who singlehandedly changed the face of the Sephardic community. He was the rov of Congregation Emek HaTorah, as well as a beloved father, mentor, and guide.
State Senator Simcha Felder is not happy.
In his role as the representative in Albany for several key districts in Brooklyn, Felder sees his job primarily as being an advocate for struggling families with children.
“My priority since coming into office,” he says, “is to help parents with the costs that they incur to provide education for their children.”
If you’ve ever traveled up Route 17 to the Catskill bungalow area, chances are you’ve passed by the village of Bloomingburg. But if you blinked, you may have missed it. Just off exit 116, Bloomingburg is a small rural town with a total population of 420 as of the 2010 census. Main Street of Bloomingburg has only one traffic light and most of the residents live in old farmhouses. The area, which is primarily agricultural, is reported to be struggling economically, with 17% of the families living below the poverty line.
The events that unfolded this past weekend in Williamsburg have shocked and horrified the world at large, but especially our community. While most New Yorkers were watching the snow fall gently across the city, a young husband and father in Williamsburg was struggling with evil assailants. He was eventually abducted and murdered in a dramatic and terrifying encounter that began just a few short blocks from his home.
Whenever there is unrest and tension in the world, there is also fear of matters spiraling dangerously out of control. Thus does the Jewish community in Ukraine sit by anxiously as they watch developments unfold in their country which sits at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.
ZAWADKA, POLAND JULY 1942
The Jews of Poland are being massacred en masse. In a town called Frystak, 1600 people are marched to the city limits and then shot, their bodies tossed into a mass grave. Frieda Gersten and her eight-year-old son Leon (Moshe Aryeh) manage to escape the roundup. They trek door to door along the countryside, desperately begging local farmers to take them in.
The city of Los Angeles is 2778 miles away from New York, and if one were to decide to drive that distance it would take about 41 hours nonstop. Culturally and weather-wise, the two cities are as different as night and day. In fact, the media sometimes describes them as rivals.
Yet none of that stopped the Jewish community of Los Angeles from becoming personally and actively involved in helping the victims who were devastated by the effects of Hurricane Sandy. As the fallout from the Hurricane continues to haunt communities on the East Coast for three-plus weeks with no end in sight, the far flung yet vibrant Los Angeles kehilla is sending its message loud and clear: “You are not alone! We are here to help!”