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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chaptzem Blog reader Assemblyman Dov Hikind to help unravel Kosher Gym sale mess 

The following post was sent to us by Assemblyman Dov Hikind's office

we've been following your blog....

please post....
We're trying to help. Dov's assigning someone in the office to handle complaints and work on it.
thanks
charni


HIKIND LAUNCHES KOSHER GYM CONSUMER HELPLINE

“The proposed sale of the Kosher Gym has spawned rumors, misinformation, and allegations,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn). “Consumers have a right to air their grievances on blogs, in forums, etc. Kosher Gym’s clientele should feel they have someone to turn to who will be proactive in examining the purported deficiencies in service-oriented goals.

“I have therefore set up a Kosher Gym Consumer Helpline to explore and address client complaints. We are urging those who have encountered difficulties with Kosher Gym practices to contact our office via email at: hikindd@assembly.state.ny.us or to call my office 718-853-9616. We intend to evaluate complaints, and thoroughly survey the issues involved to protect the consumer.”

11 comments

Truck hits a subway bridge in Flatbush 

Truck hits the subway bridge at Avenue P and East 16th Street in Flatbush.

 

11 comments

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

CHAPTZEM EXCLUSIVE - Accused child molester Yona Weinberg not allowed to live at home due to order of protection 

According to a source close to accused child molester Yona Weinberg, an order of protection has been issued for Mr. Weinberg's children protecting them from their father. The source says that Yona is no longer allowed to live at home or be around his children due to an order signed by a Judge. The source also says that the Judge originally wanted to up Yona's bail to $250K after two more children came forward accusing him of molesting them, but after pleas from Yona's lawyer decided not to.

7 comments

Everyone loves Lipa! 


5 comments

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Out of the Inbox - A Plea to Frum Businesses 


Sent in by a Chaptzem reader

I feel a bit saddened for the principals of the Kosher Gym. I know Yehudah and Ori personally from my days as a member and from when my wife was the graphic designer for the gym's magazine, Frum & Fit. I have only known them to be men of integrity and mevakshei Da'as Torah. That said, I would like to use this whole episode as an example of the changing world and its effect on the state of Frum Business today.

I am not a Rav and I won't even pretend to know whether the internet is a wonderful Bracha or a Ma'aseh Satan. Certainly, Lashon Hara and Motzie Shem Ra are serious business, especially when it affects the livelihood of others.

But the point I am trying to make is not a question of right or wrong. It is the Metzius. The fact that a pedestrian has the right of way will not heal his injuries when he is hit by a car that runs the light. No, it's not fair that individuals and businesses can be maligned so easily on blogs that allow anonymous comments. It's all irrelevant really. This is the world we live in in 2008. Conversations are happening and you cannot control them. The best thing to do is to try to bring the conversation into your house. To be transparent. To engage your customers. This is the cost of doing business in the 21st century.

The backlash about the Lipa ban also proves this to be true. Lipa is now a bigger celebrity than ever. Instead, it was Da'as Torah that came out wounded. There was an effort by kannoim to control the conversation but in the internet age it cannot be controlled anymore. Instead, Da'as Torah was the victim. I believe the same holds true with the Slifkin issue from a few years back. I am not arguing right or wrong (I don't have the Pleitzus). I am just looking at the facts on the ground.

The takeaway is that frum businesses have to pay attention to what is happening. This has been going on already for several years in the secular world and is now starting to show up here as well. All it took was a blog post from an influential blogger named Jeff Jarvis called "Dell Hell" to get the blogosphere buzzing in a way that was quite damaging to Dell Computer. Their eventual response was to join the conversation with a blog of their own and invite - yes, invite people to come talk about Dell in a way that was very candid and not always pleasant. But you know what? It's a strategy of transparency that more and more companies are finding to be effective at really building customer loyalty.

J-Biz owners, WAKE UP! You cannot get away with angering your customers for all that long. You must start engaging them in a way that builds enthusiasm for your brand and company. Remarkable customer service, satisfaction, elation is necessary now more than ever. The value that you give your customers is necessary now more than ever. Your transparency is necessary now more than ever. Contract or no contract, you cannot get away with charging fees for fine print or nickel and dimeing your customers for items and services that should be free. If your customers complain about something - it is a blessing - you now have a new insight into satisfying them. How much money are you spending on marketing when the most effective thing to do is to keep the ones you have happy and feeling value from what you give them and the way that you treat them?

If it is expensive to put in a security system to catch "cheaters", then take away their reason to cheat. If it is too difficult to run a business where frum people are too demanding, then it is time to get out of the business. I am not talking to KG Fitness, I am talking to everyone who does business in the frum community. Wake up before it is too late and you find yourself on the next blog.

Michael Szpilzinger
http://ocnm.weebly.com

15 comments

Monday, July 28, 2008

Better call for home delivery 

Thanks to the repeated spray-painting, no longer will we see men bent over reading the Times on the way to Shul Shabbos morning.


11 comments

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The hypocrisy of anti-Kiryas Joel magazine article being defended by professional women 

There are many issues that plague the Chasidishe community today in general, and Kiryas Yoel in particular. Children leaving the fold because they are not being accepted, loved and understood is one of the major deficits with a community that will not accept change. Parents and educators must, and will more sooner then later, realize that there are too many people out there that are ready to accept their precious children just the way they are, if they are not willing to.

However, the greatest hypocrisy is when a group of people from the outside come to Kiryas Yoel's defense. These are people who have not been born or bred in Kiryas Yoel and have never experienced any of the trials and tribulations common to the children of Kiryas Yoel. Even more so, the women that have come to the rescue of Kiryas Yoel's honor, not only are they not of the Chasidic persuasion, but they are professionals with higher education degrees, which is unheard of in Kiryas Yoel and still very uncommon even for Chasidim in general.

The fact that these professional women have taken matters into their own hands to defend Kiryas Yoel's honor without any official post to do so, is as insulting as the magazine article with Gitty Grunwald. Kiryas Yoel has always been a private and insular community with no interest of outside attention or proselytizing.

The fact is Kiryas Yoel will seem eccentric to outsiders no matter what. A thousand positive spin articles will not change peoples' minds that Kiryas Yoel is a village filled with extremist Chasidic relics. The best that such a community can do is to live their lives the way they like and ignore any negative outside attention. Bringing in the press, the way these outsider women have, only serves to weaken the community and open it up to even more ridicule.

16 comments

Hasidic women address Kiryas Joel runaway story 


A recent New York magazine story about a young woman exiled by Kiryas Joel inspired Hasidic women, including Rachel Freier, left, Eve Friedman, center, and Rachel Schmidt, to speak to the media about the community and the Hasidic lifestyle. Shots taken at Freier's Woodbury bungalow.

Some of the Hasidic women read the story about Sterna "Gitty" Grunwald soon after it came out in New York magazine. Others read it after hearing about it from friends.

The reactions were similar.

"Sadness for Gitty," said Rosalie Sentor.

"Tremendous pain that this happened," said Eva Friedman.

The five women, all of whom live in New York City, joined two local women from the "haredi," or ultra-orthodox Jewish community, to respond to what they say was a biased depiction of Kiryas Joel and Hasidic life.

"Everything written was a total distortion," Friedman said.

Many Hasidim share the values and customs of Kiryas Joel residents, so an attack on the Orange County village is seen as an attack on all Hasidim, the women said.

"People have been calling me from our (non-Hasidic) community and asking me if everything Gitty said about Hasidic women is true," said Chana Burston, a Lubavitcher with a Chabad mission in Monroe.

The leaders of Kiryas Joel long ago decided to remain silent when faced with such secular attacks on their culture. But that decision was made before the Internet and when the secular interest in Kiryas Joel remained confined to Orange County, said Rachel Freier, a local attorney who arranged the interviews with most of the women.

A story last year in the Times Herald-Record about villagers who vandalized a young woman's car after she wore immodest clothing, as well as a story about the village in one of New York's premiere magazines, drastically raises the stakes for the village's silence, Freier said.

"The repercussion of not responding at all can be so damaging," she said.

http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080727/NEWS/807270328

3 comments

Attention Askanim - Treifene billboard hung on 13th Avenue on Shabbos 

What is this billboard doing on 13th Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets?

At approximately 10:15 AM on Shabbos morning a crane was hoisting this billboard for installation. Appropriate for 13th Avenue? I think not!

Incidentally, the company that placed this billboard is OTR Media which is a Frum company.

Story and picture sent in by a Chaptzem reader

17 comments

Saturday, July 26, 2008

We love you Lipa! 


14 comments

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bocher collides with 66 Precinct Police car injuring a Police Officer 

At about 4:45 AM a bocher driving a minivan towards 14th Avenue collided with a speeding Police car. The Police car, from the 66th Police Precinct, was speeding down the Avenue when the two collided. Upon impact the Police car swung around and smashed into a parked car. The Police officer driving the car rolled himself out of the vehicle and onto the floor and requested an ambulance. In less than two minutes three Police patrol cars and Hatzalah arrived at the scene. The Police officer was treated by Hatzalah and taken to the hospital. The bocher driver was swarmed by Police officers who did not let anyone go near him. Police officers arrived with polaroid cameras and began photographing the Police cruiser from all angles. An ESU truck and an undercover unit soon showed up and took over the accident scene.

7 comments

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just a regular day at the Kosher Gym 

You mean you wanted treadmills that work too? Complaints, complaints, complaints!

15 comments

The letter writing campaign has begun - Letter sent to the Attorney General about the Kosher Gym 

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader

VIA CERTIFIED MAIL

Office of the Attorney General
120 Broadway, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10271

RE: Kosher Gym Business Practices

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to your office in connection to the dis-honest and deceitful business practices that are apparently the common standard of the Kosher Gym. I signed a 1 year membership on or about September 30, 2006. When I signed the contract I was specifically told that my contract will expire on September 30, 2007. When I signed the contract I paid the required amount and the balance of approximately $13 was charged to my credit card on a monthly basis. In October after my contract period was over I noticed a $31 charge to my credit card from the Kosher Gym. I immediately called them to inquire about this charge. I was told that the contract that I signed required me to notify them if I do not wish to renew. I requested a copy of the contract and informed them that I do not wish to continue my membership at this time. After our phone conversation, I mailed a letter to the Kosher Gym informing them in writing that I do not wish to continue my membership. I also contacted my credit card company to inform them that the Kosher Gym was no longer authorized to place any charges on my credit card. Roughly a month later I received a call from an attorney that the Kosher Gym retained to collect $494.15 from me. I informed the attorney that I cancelled my membership and do not owe this balance. I called Kosher Gym and spoke to Josh Gould and was informed about the contract I signed in September 2006. I told him that I have never received the contract I requested and that I wrote a letter to cancel this membership. He replied that they never received my letter and if I want a copy of my signed contract it would cost me $15. I responded that this was deceitful practices and I would contact my attorney to resolve this matter, to which he responded “if you are trying to get tough with me I will hang up” and he hung up the phone.

I am requesting that the Kosher Gym’s practices are fully investigated. I would assume that they are targeting many unsuspecting customers in a similar manner. I would like this matter resolved in writing before I am forced to spend my hard earned money to retain an attorney.

If you have any questions or need any additional information regarding this scam, please feel free to contact me. I can be reached at (917) xxx-xxxx.

Your prompt attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.

Very truly yours,




cc: The Kosher Gym
Better Business Bureau Serving Metropolitan New York, Inc.
1010 WINS Consumer Action Squad
NYC Department of Consumer Affairs

10 comments

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Outrageous and Disgraceful! - Threatening letter from the Kosher Gym 

This letter from the Kosher Gym was sent in by a Chaptzem reader. The arrogance and blatant abuse of power portrayed in this letter is unbelievable. After reading this letter no further proof is needed as to who is in the wrong here. Utterly disgusting business habits which quite possibly may be illegal and against Halacha. If any Beis Din has actually read this and authorized it they are as guilty as the Kosher Gym. This is not business and this is not Yiddishkeit, this is strong-arming and terror!

Click on the images to enlarge and read
  

45 comments

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Yep, another letter from the soon-to-be Non-Kosher Gym - Don't call them 'Shvartzes' 

The truth is there will not be very many changes besides a demographic shift in the clientele and the advertising might feature female models running on treadmills. Also the gyms name will possibly change from KG Fitness to something else. The corporate name will remain the same.

We hope that the change will even provide you with better service.

The gym will keep the genders separated, and nobody is going to force members to come on the Jewish Sabbath.

The letters sent out were a courtesy to the Jewish members so they would not be shocked if after the changeover is complete they notice billboards with images they are not used to.

The current owners did not want a situation to arise where angry members come in and yell at non-Jewish workers about advertising not meeting their religious standards and wondering why images not fitting these standards are being used by a Jewish gym.

To avoid misunderstandings it needed to be known that the owners would not remain Jewish, but the gym atmosphere and rules would still stress the values of modesty and privacy.

It also was a courtesy so that problems that have started to arise since non-Jewish customer service and security personnel have been hired don't continue on with the new ownership.

Many of the female Jewish members include insults like goy, shiksa, or call the worker Jay "shvartzer" in their emails when upset or use Yiddish and Hebrew phrases that the current non-Jewish workers don't understand or find hurtful and future ones would not like as well.

It needed to be known that this would need to be tempered in the future as the new owners would probably not tolerate racial epithets which for cultural reason might not be viewed as hurtful by some members, but are seen as very serious in general society.

I've included a FAQ file about the move for your convenience.

Thanks,
Kristi Olney
Member Care Manager
Customer Center [Texas]
Healthstar/ KG Fitness Systems
kristiO
Member Service Center
1-888-824-2331

13 comments

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wasting taxpayer money 

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader

Dahill Road Between Fort Hamiltion Avenue and 18th Avenue was dug up and completely redone (new sidewalks, curbs, sewers, streets and paving) within the last couple of years. Why have they scraped the street for repaving? It doesn't look like it needed it. A rebuilt street like that should last 20 years before it is done again. It seems we have a case of politicians getting money for their districts and spending it needlessly to further their interests. If there is so much extra money going around I would have preferred that the politicians would give it back to their district in the form of a property tax rebate to offset the recent increases.


17 comments

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A NaNach dancing on the roof of the NaNach van 


5 comments

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Lakewood, NY 


0 comments

Friday, July 18, 2008

Guess who just became ehrlich and fair?! - Another letter from the Kosher Gym, OY Vey! 

Below is yet another letter sent out by the Kosher Gym where they once again flip-flop and change-up their tactics of how to make everyone's complaints go away instead of dealing with it appropriately and fairly. Hey Kosher Gym, stop blaming everyone for your loss. You invested badly, treated your patrons even worse and haven't stopped whining for a moment. Get your act together and do the right thing. If people don't want to be a part of the new Non-Kosher Gym, just let them go. It is unfair and unwise to keep people prisoner against their will. If in fact the gym will now be better than before then everyone will come running back in droves anyway. Stop threatening, stop crying and stop besmirching the Frum community.


Here's the letter;

Rabbinical Audit and Oversight Board


Dear ,

Unfortunately the situation has gotten out of control. Blogs are "popping up" all over with all kinds of allegations about Kosher Gym's business practices.

There is a massive Chillul HaShem going on by people alleging all types of things about the gym and its' shareholders.

It's a Chillul HaShem because they are saying for all to see (including the non religious, and non-Jews) that a place called Kosher Gym, run by religious Jews are a bunch of crooks, and other types of slurs and allegations.

Initially, we responded on the "chapsem" blog, then they did not publish some of our comments, so we created our own blog.

We were wrong to answer on the "chapsem" blog, and wrong to create our own as those of you who have seen it, know that it furthers the Chilull HaShem by us pointing out members actions.

Any blog that contains slander or Lashon Horah on anyone is a Chillul HaShem and we regret participating in that.

Effective immediately, we are removing any comments on our blog as it is Chillul HaShem. We are publicly asking Chapsem to remove our comments as well.

In order to properly address the allegations and minimize the Chillul HaShem that exists on the blogs that some people have as to our business practices, policies and "strong handed tactics" we are creating a Rabbinical Audit and Oversight Board.

Initially, our idea was to Ask Mechon L'hoyrah or Bais Din of America to provide this Rabbinical Audit and Oversight Board. However, we realized after reading the blogs that some non religious cynics would say that "we paid them off". Even though both are of the most respected Bataei Dinim in North America.

Kosher Gym to a large extent is a community institution by virtue of the diversity of the members that belong to it. Therefore, our decision is to allow the community to create its own Rabbinical Audit and Oversight Board. That way each group of people can feel they have "their Rabbi" on the panel.

This Rabbinical Audit and Oversight Board will have uninhibited access to all of the records, employees, memorandum, pictures and anything they request. The purpose is not to judge any specific cases people have against the gym that the gym has against members, as that would be an abuse of their time.

Rather the Rabbinical Audit and Oversight Board will come to a ruling as to how each type of case and claim is to be handled and the procedure. Most importantly to everyone they will decide if Kosher gym's policies were within the keeping of the Halacha or not.

Once the Rabbinical Audit and Oversight Board has concluded its findings, the gym at the shareholders expense will publish the ruling in all the local papers.

If you would like to have your Rav be part of this Rabbinical Audit and Oversight Board, please discus it with and if the Rav agrees please contact Susan Kaefer via email SusanK@kgfit.com or by fax to 718-233-2718

Time is of essence, as everyday that goes by increases the Chillul HaShem, so please reply immediately.

If we are not able to get enough of a response to have a minimum of 5 Rabbonim, we will ask Mechon L'hoyrah or Bais Din of America to provide this Rabbinical Audit and Oversight Board.

We hope this will bring closure to this issue in the torah way.

The Shareholders.

21 comments

The Concord Hotel in Monticello, NY during demolition 

 

0 comments

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Open letter to Chaptzem readers - The Jewish Press weighs in on the Kosher Gym issue 

The following is a letter that was sent to us by Moshe Klass of The Jewish Press

It seems that there is alot of misinformation here. I did some investigating for the Jewish Press of the issue at hand. We are considering a story about this. The issue is how current customers would be affected by the change. There is the tznius issue and the entertainment issue.

As far as the tznius goes, as the gym will remain seperate for men and woman, there shouldn't be a concern of how woman dress in front of other woman. If there is a concern than we already have a problem. Many of the frum clients are not dressed in the gym modestly.

Entertainment - They insist that there will be TV's attached to each machine that can only be listened to with headsets. I don't have to beleive them, we'll see if this is true or not when the change happens.

Caveat - I can see a legitimate complaint, that with non jews joining, some will feel uncomfortable. Some specifically went here instead of Curves let's say (which is woman only) for this reason.

I can't speak to their business practices, as I have a very negative view of how all fitness places including KG work (fine print, credit card charges...)

They also are not helping themselves with some of their responses on this site and their own, they come off heavy handed.

If anyone has firsthand information that is different, they can contact me, but only with a real name and phone number.

Thanks
Moshe Klass
mosheklass@aol.com
718-330-1100 ext 352

45 comments

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

You too can own the Kosher Gym! 

Here is another letter sent to us by a Chaptzem reader that says he received from the Kosher Gym

As you probably know by know the gym is in the process of a change of ownership. We have received many emails, noted "blogs" and posters being hung with incite the public with inaccurate information.

We want to share with you our perspective, responsibility and response to the public outrage about the gym being sold to a corporate entity.

We want to start by explaining to you that owning this gym has been very challenging. An environment exists at the gym where "members feels as if they own the gym and does as they please", making management and enforcing policies extremely difficult. Then when we do enforce things we become the "bad guys".

Over the past 5 years we have poured over four million dollars into the gym in order to improve it, and give members what they want, from a small gym with shared hours for men and women that had a bunch of old and broken equipment to what it is now, where each gym has full time hours and is twice as large as the old one.

Regardless, most of our members has continually complained, whether we've had 3 simultaneous front desk receptionists to greet them, full time courtesy floor trainers, full day babysitting, marble clad locker rooms, expensively finished workout areas, and top of the line equipment. And certainly, everyone wants a lower price and constantly bargains over everything.

We have really had enough dealing with our thousands of members "AKA owners" who no matter what we do are unhappy, be it too hot or too cold, gym being too big or two small, music to loud or too low, TV's on or TV's off, the list doesn't end.

What has really "broken the camels back" is in taking our members to Bais Din over issues that we have determined are actions and violations of the agreement they signed, which have caused us significant monetary damages.

Instead of going to Bais Din in order to determine the truth, they have decided to launch a campaign against the gym that we are extorting money from them - calling us crooks and all kinds of other derogatory names - before going to Bais Din.

We challenge any of these people who have received these hasmonah's, and who claim we are wrong and extorting them, to go to Bais Din and see who's wrong before slandering the gym and its principals. If the gym loses in Bais Din as they are so confident, then the gym will be responsible for all their legal and bais din fees, and then if they want to make public the ruling of the Bais Din, that's fine too.

In fact if we are happy publicize any case that goes to Bais Din in the media at our expense. Whether we win or lose!

Once we determined that we wanted to relieve ourselves of the gym, we looked for a fitting company to acquire the gym. Our primary concern was a company that would operate the gym as a men's and women's only club, as that is primary what sets us apart from other gyms.

We are currently in the final stages of a deal with a national fitness chain to acquire the gym, who will maintain the gym as a separate club.

I understand that many of you are "outraged" at the "chillul HaShem" we are creating by selling to a corporate entity. Below you will find a detailed list of concerns that I have addressed.

After conversations with our Rabbinical Advisory Board, and out of our deep respect for those of you who want to maintain the gym in a manner that will benefit the community, and keep the gym at a high standard of Yidishkeit, we are putting our sale on temporarily hold for a 2 week period. This period will allow a buyer or group of buyers the chance to consider the possibility of acquiring the gym instead.

We are not looking to "let anyone down" by our sale, rather, it as become too much for us to deal with anymore. Certainly a frum ownership would be a better service to the community.

If you are serious about exploring this possibility, please send an email within the next 7 days to Susan Kaefer at susank@kgfit.com. Please do not send emails with any other issues as she will ignore them. There is a department that already handles that.

52 comments

Everyone reads Tanya 

Kashered and sent in by a Chaptzem reader

From Glamour Magazine

5 comments

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Kosher Gym to reopen as Metro SportsMed 

A sign at the Kosher Gym corroborates a previous post that the Kosher Gym has been sold.


6 comments

Out of the Inbox - Grabbing up subsidized houses 


Sent in by a Chaptzem reader

It seems that housing in Lakewood has become the hot topic of today. While everyone is murmuring about it, I as a longtime Lakewood resident, feel that I have a unique perspective on the subject.

In the last couple of years I have seen so much new housing come to Lakewood. There are some good things about that and some bad. I will start with the good. More housing means cheaper housing, which means being able to learn longer. More housing means better housing, which means being more comfortable. More housing also means more people, which means a better community.

Now for the bad. More housing means more unwanted elements in town, which means crime goes up and quality of life goes down. More housing means less sacrifice to live there, which means weaker quality of learning.

Those are only some of the problems. There are however other ones that are much less discussed. Here is one. More housing means more business opportunities. People buying houses on the cheap and flipping them for a great profit. The houses are bought up by rich out-of-Lakewooders and sold at higher cost to Lakewood Kollel families. So, instead of these richer people donating to help people sit and learn in Yeshiva, they are rather taking the money away from them by making a huge profit off of them.

The real kicker is that when there is subsidized housing made available to the yungerleit who can't afford housing, these 'investors' come in and buy up a whole bunch of units at the subsidized rates and then once again resell them at a highly inflated rate to the yungerleit. The problem is two-fold. Not only are they grabbing up the houses, but they are also raising the price of housing and rentals at the same time. I can't think of a bigger achzurious that these people could do than to take away these houses from poor learning families just for a few more dollars.

11 comments

Monday, July 14, 2008

Kosher Gym to be sold to a national fitness company 

This letter was sent to us by a reader who says it was sent to him by the Kosher Gym.

Please read this entire letter - we don't want any misconceptions or false rumors.

For many years Kosher Gym has been controlled by the same shareholders, and our goal has always been to meet the health and fitness needs of the community.

We, the shareholders of the gym, are in negotiations to sell our shares of Kosher Gym to a national fitness group that focuses on gender specific clubs.

Regardless of who owns the gym, the gym will remain separate for men and women with full time hours for both genders.

This sale will effect our members in someways, hopefully for the best as follows:

Club Hours:
The club will be open 7 days a week (including Shabbos): You'll be able to workout as close to Shabbos as permitted and come as early as permitted after Shabbos. The gym will always be open for you!

Improved Management:
Having a team of skilled managers and a large customer care center, as well as more resources the group will be able to better manage and improve the club.

There will be a transition period that will be starting within the next few month. Please remember anything that you see that "doesn't seem kosher" isn't, and is not being done by the current shareholders.

This will include a change in the graphics used in ads, postcards, billboards and other media sources that may not meet the modesty constraints of our faith..

Staff may not be as modestly dressed as you have been used to and the music and programming may not be on an acceptable standard.

To those of you who do keep the Laws of our faith properly, we apologize in advance and recommend that you bring you bring your own entertainment, or just don't look.

We want to clarify so there are no misunderstandings:

The gym will now be like any other gym, including Bally's, NYSC, Empire, etc. The only difference will be is the club will remain a Separate club for Men and Women.

Your memberships will stay active and not change as you will continue to be a member of Kosher Gym. The only difference will be who the shareholders are.

Should you have any concerns, please send an email to info@kgfit.com we will do our best to reply to all emails within 4 days.

Most importantly we hope that you will keep in mind that the group which is acquiring the gym is run by non-Jews, who have little or no experience in working with Jews. Please behave in a way that is fitting of a Kiddush Hashem and not G-d forbid a Chillul HaShem.

The Shareholders

51 comments

Sunday, July 13, 2008

If no answer we will make you feel better 

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader


11 comments

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Attah maivin?! 


2 comments

Friday, July 11, 2008

New Missionary Center in Flatbush 

A New Missionary Center has opened at 1684 East 18th Street, between Kings Highway and Quentin Road, to ensnare the Russian Jews of Flatbush. Ironically it is next door to a Chassidishe Shteibel. It is the Chosen People Ministries.


9 comments

Hillcrest firefighters put out suspicious New Square fire 

Hillcrest volunteer firefighters tonight doused a fire believed deliberately set to a flatbed trailer holding construction debris.

A 12-foot landscaping trailer went up in flames shortly before 9:11 p.m., when volunteer firefighters received the call, Fire Chief Chris Kear said.

The trailer had wood sides and contained windows and other wooden construction debris, he said. The trailer was behind the Chevra Radis boys school at 100 Roosevelt Ave., Kear said.

"Someone decided to light the fire," Kear said.

Kear said the department called in the Rockland Sheriff's Department Bureau of Criminal Investigation's arson unit to investigate and document the blaze.

Kear said about 30 firefighers and three firetrucks responded to the densely populated community, where many houses - some with businesses - and schools are built close together.

"The call came in as 'unknown,' " Kear said. "You never know. We presume the worse in New Square because of the potential."

The Hillcrest Fire Department has responded to numerous nuisance fires in the community, many set to large trash cans and garbage bins. Police and firefighters have suspect the fires were set by young people.

http://lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080710/NEWS03/807100453/-1/newsfront

0 comments

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Traffic Cop parks on sidewalk and blocks driveway 

    

9 comments

Pomegranate Kosher Supermarket takes Brooklyn by storm 

Story and picture sent in by a Chaptzem reader

After two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in leased property, the new Pomergranate Kosher Supemarket will be opening at the corner of Coney Island Avenue and Avenue L. It is supposed to be a state of the art Kosher food shopping emporium. The Irving Tire Shop was relocated to make way for parking. The rumor is that Moisha's (Binik's) Supermarket and Glatt Mart are quaking in their boots anticipating the opening of this behemoth.


38 comments

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Coney Island Nathan's hot dog eating contest 

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader

   

8 comments

Take your pride for a ride - Show your solidarity with Lipa 



Buy one for your car

16 comments

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Out of the Inbox - Response to Mishpacha article on Woodburne - Too little too late 


Sent in by a Chaptzem reader

Hi, I just finished reading the Mishpacha Magazine's article on Woodburne and its history as a hang-out spot. The article relays some investigative information about problems of mingling from a couple of years back and how it was solved by assuring the town altogether. It further points out how nowadays the 'askanim' are more understanding of the situation and have found ways to provide 'kosher' outlets to would-be hanger-outers.

This situation reminded me of a very unfortunate situation where sadly the wrong techniques and interventions have been employed at the wrong time.

A patient is taken into the hospital complaining of pain in his side. The doctors immediately run the full gamut of tests and let the man know that he has cancer. But, they point out that with immediate treatment there is an eighty-five percent success rate for complete recovery. The man says that he does not believe that he has cancer and goes home. A month later he comes back with worse pain. The doctors again run tests and tell him that they now have to remove one of his kidneys because the cancer has spread. The man now begs and pleads with the doctors to run the treatment that they had previously suggested so that he can save his kidney. The doctors tell him that by now that he has finally come around to believe that he has cancer he has wasted too much time and his organ can no longer be saved. But, they tell him, with the removal of his kidney he has a ninety percent chance of living at least twenty more years. The man says that he wants to first think about it, maybe there is still a way to save the kidney.

The exact same is true with Woodburne. Moiray VeRaboisay, you have procrastinated so long with this Woodburbe situation that you have already lost the kidney. Please stop thinking about the kidney. Think hard and find a way to really address the problem before the whole body goes.

Those teenagers that used to hang-out in Woodburne are no longer there since you ran them out of town. They are now unfortunately renting apartments somewhere on a hidden dirt road and are getting high with other teenagers. It is way too late to make separate bowling for teens, they no longer care about bowling or your so-called self-righteous 'kosher' outlets. It is now time for you to get down on your knees and beg for forgiveness for branding them as outcasts. Only by accepting these teenagers for who they really are, without any condescending undertones, can we ever even hope to bring them back to Yiddishkeit.

24 comments

Monday, July 07, 2008

Traffic Cop blocks busy intersection 

An inconsiderate and legally ignorant Traffic Cop stopped for a red light right on the crosswalk, blocking the intersection and endangering people's lives by making them go around him. Where's a Traffic Cop when you need one?
 

2 comments

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Ramapo gives new formerly Hasidic Jewish female cop the Sabbath off 



A newly hired town police officer has been given Friday nights to Saturday evenings off to accommodate her religious beliefs.

The special work schedule afforded Officer Baile J. Glauber has raised concerns among other officers, said Officer Dennis Procter, the department's Police Benevolent Association president.
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"I hope the town is not going to give special treatment to one individual for religious observances and not give other officers the same opportunities," Procter said. "We all can't always make temple or church or spend weekends with our families."

Glauber, an ultra-Orthodox Jew who married under the Hasidic beliefs, graduated last month from the Rockland Police Academy. She completed the six months of physical training and educational classes to become a police officer.

She asked for the Sabbath off.

A memo dated June 27 to Glauber from Police Chief Peter Brower states, "I have been advised by the Town Attorney, Mike Klein, to modify your current work schedule in order to permit you to maintain the Sabbath Observances."

Brower assigned Glauber to work Sunday to Thursday on the 4 p.m. to midnight shift, which began June 29. She is still a probationary officer and undergoing field training with a more experienced officer.

Glauber, who is divorced and has a child, was nominated for hiring in February by the Town Board. She had worked for the Sheriff's Department Traffic Safety Board before becoming a Ramapo police officer.

She graduated in June 2007 from Rockland Community College.

Glauber could not be reached for comment. She had declined to discuss her background and the police academy training after the June graduation ceremony.

http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080706/NEWS03/807060335/1019

32 comments

Matisyahu to perform at concert to benefit AIDS people 


8 comments

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Free air and plates removal 

Interesting sign seen at West 11th and Washington Streets in Manhattan.


5 comments

Friday, July 04, 2008

Accident on McDonald Avenue 


4 comments

Talk about double-parking in Boro-Park 

 

3 comments

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Police Moving Violation Trap in Flatbush 

There is a daily Police Moving Violation trap in the Mobil station on the corner of Avenue P and Coney Island Avenue. They hide in the Mobil station facing westbound traffic on Avenue P, scanning all the cars for Cell Phone talkers and seatbelt violations. They are usually there in the afternoon hours. At night, they aim their floodlamps into the cars so that they see better. Beware and save yourself a ticket.


21 comments

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Beard Show 


5 comments

Waterfalls cause traffic jams on the BQE 

Drivers stop and stare at the artificial waterfalls on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway causing major traffic backups and much wasted gas. A little bit of bad planning on Bloomberg's initiative to help the environment.

 

17 comments

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Jewish Press responds to a Chaptzem Blog post 

A Chaptzem reader sent a follow-up e-mail to The Jewish Press about an ad of theirs that we posted.

This was the eloquent response from the editor of The Jewish Press.

"Do you hunt for typos or other errors in other newspapers, or is it just us? These things happen -- often in headlines as well as articles or announcements, and in publications with editorial staffs that dwarf ours."


A quote quite becoming of 'America's Largest Independent Jewish Weekly'.

23 comments

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