Saturday, March 31, 2007

Mugger set free by cops in Boro-Park

An Asian man tried to rob a Heimishe guy on 14th Avenue in Boro-Park. When people realized what was happening they began to surround the mugger. The crowd cornered in the mugger and waited for Police to arrive. Two Police Officers arrived, one of them was Asian. The Asian Police Officer spoke to the perp for a couple of minutes and then let him go free, refusing to make an arrest or a report of any kind.


Friday, March 30, 2007

Tapes reveal a potty-mouth judge

Is it the judge’s chambers or a chamber pot?

When it comes to foul-mouthed prattle, Gerald Garson’s robing room should have been called the blue room, prosecutors showed last week.

As they mire through the nearly endless video surveillance footage taken from the former jurist’s private sanctuary, prosecutors learned much about the bribes the jurist allegedly received.

But they seemed to have learned more about Garson’s thoughts on Jews and overweight women.

“Let me tell you something about this job,” the divorce court jurist explained, according to the transcripts of the surveillance footage provided to the press, “One of the greatest things about this job is that I don’t know what the f—k I have tomorrow until I get here.”

“I don’t give a sh-t either,” he said, laughing.

His words are not exactly comforting words to all of those petitioners who came before him before he was arrested on bribery charges back in 2003.

But that’s just a small, relatively clean sample of what is on the surveillance footage and in the transcripts, where Garson allegedly calls Orthodox Jews “Yammy Bops” and refers to at least one woman a “cuchita banana.”

However, it wasn’t the focus of the probe into Garson’s activities to determine just how foul-mouthed the man can be when he felt that the spotlight wasn’t focused on him.

The secret cameras were put in place to catch Garson accepting bribes, which he was seen doing on at least one occasion.

The video surveillance picked up Garson soliciting a check – presumably for the campaign of another civil court judge — from attorney Paul Siminovsky who had several cases in front of the jurist, as well as accepting cigars from him for allegedly giving the attorney “pointers” on how to handle clients and other jurists.

“This is an all day sucker,” he said, laughing at the cigars. “I feel like Groucho.”

On the same surveillance reel, Garson was seen and heard calling an Orthodox Jewish judge a “Yarmulke…a yammy bop.”

“He has the reputation of being a pretty sharp guy,” Garson said. “He’s a yammy. They don’t go to bars, they have arranged marriages.”



Thursday, March 29, 2007

FDNY slash puts Victory on life support

The FDNY will no longer send emergency ambulances to Victory Memorial Hospital — a decision that could doom the beleaguered hospital, days after local pols crowed that they had saved the troubled medical center’s emergency room.

The surprising move goes into effect on April 1, and means that all 911 calls coming from Southwest Brooklyn on routes previously directed to Victory will now be routed either to Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park or Lutheran Medical Center in Sunset Park.

The announcement raised the blood pressure of local officials who are questioning the sanity of taking Victory’s three ambulances off the road while Southwest Brooklyn emergency rooms are already at full capacity.

“This is insane,” said Councilman Vince Gentile (D-Bay Ridge), “Victory still has a working emergency room, certified EMTs, and working ambulances, and until that changes, I do not see why they cannot still provide ambulance service to Southwest Brooklyn.”


Companies immune from suit in dismissals

Securities companies that disparage employees in required dismissal forms cannot be sued for the statements, the state's highest court ruled Thursday in a decision affecting one of the state's biggest business sectors.

In a 4-2 ruling, the Court of Appeals said that employers cannot be sued for libel based on comments they make on U-5 termination forms filed with the National Association of Securities Dealers. The decision answers a question on New York law posed by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a case brought against MetLife Inc.

In 1997, MetLife hired Chaskie Rosenberg to work in its All-Boro Agency in Brooklyn. Rosenberg and most of the staff were Hasidic Jews whose focus was selling insurance policies to the local Hasidic community.

The next year, the company began investigating improper sales practices at the office, including the sale of speculative insurance. Under such policies, an unrelated person pays premiums on a life insurance policy as a form of investment, expecting to collect when the insured person dies. The office was closed in 2000 and its employees were transferred to another office.

Following another audit, MetLife fired Rosenberg in April 2003, stating on the U-5 form that 'Rosenberg appeared to have violated company policies and procedures involving speculative insurance sales and possible accessory to money laundering violations,' according to court papers.

The NASD stores the forms on its online registration and licensing database used by regulators throughout the securities industry. While not available to the general public, certain information from the forms can appear indirectly on the NASD's 'BrokerCheck' program that allows investors to obtain information about securities dealers.

Rosenberg sued MetLife in federal court, claiming he was fired because of his religion and charging the company with defamation. He denies selling speculative insurance policies.

The lawsuit was dismissed, but Rosenberg is appealing.

Judge Victoria Graffeo, writing for the majority, said companies should not face suits over what they say on the forms because of their role in protecting investors.

'The form is designed to alert the NASD to potential misconduct and, in turn, enable the NASD to investigate, sanction and deter misconduct by its registered representatives,' she wrote. 'Accurate and forthright responses on the Form U-5 are critical to achieving these objectives.'

In 2005, the securities industry employed 171,000 people in New York City alone, according to a report by the state comptroller's office last year. While only 4.7 percent of the city's jobs are in the securities industry, Wall Street paid over 20.7 percent of the city's wages in 2005. --

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Sentenced till death!

Their love may have died, their house may be divided, but New York's most notorious battling couple is going to have to stay married - by decision of the jury.

In a divorce battle that has gotten more and more bizarre, Chana Taub asked a Brooklyn Supreme Court panel to dissolve her 21-year marriage to Simon Taub. Both listened in stunned silence Tuesday as the jury said they could not separate.

The squabbling spouses each immediately claimed the other was going to resort to murder to do what the court did not - end their wedlock.

"I'm scared. She could be hiring a hit man," said Simon Taub, 58, a millionaire sweater mogul.

"I'm very scared," said Chana Taub, 57. "He's told people he's going to get rid of me."

But in keeping them married, the six-member jury rejected Chana's stated grounds for divorce, that Simon had subjected her to "cruel and inhuman treatment."

The wacky case began two years ago, when Chana said she wanted out of the marriage and Simon refused.

Although most divorce cases are decided by judges, Chana Taub sought a jury trial because she said she thought she would get a fairer hearing.



Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Marketers, Gingerly, Bite at Parody Bait

AT a recent photo shoot in the garment district, Joshua Neuman was dressed all in white, except for a black bowler hat and black combat boots. He wore fake eyelashes on his right eyelid, and held a cane in one hand, a glass of milk in the other.

It was a homage to Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange,” with a twist. Mr. Neuman, the editor and publisher of Heeb Magazine, the 5-year-old quarterly magazine marketed to urban Jews in their 20s and 30s, also wore a fake beard and the type of fringed prayer shawl worn by Hasidim.

“It’s a bit of the old ultra-Hasidic violence,” he said. Then, he asked the photographer, David Neff, “Should I be stroking my beard?”

When it was introduced in 2002, the magazine, particularly its name playing on an anti-Semitic slur, drew headlines and the ire of the Anti-Defamation League. “When we started, we didn’t have advertisers and literally couldn’t give ads away, because people were freaked out by the name,” Mr. Neuman said.

So Heeb started running parody ads. Unbeknownst to Streit’s, the 82-year-old kosher foods company on Rivington Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Heeb published a full-page parody of Streit’s in late 2003.

“We were just goofing off,” Mr. Neuman said. But then, Streit’s got so much positive response from the ad that the company paid to run it in the next issue, and has been paying for ads ever since.



Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Thou shalt not make unto thee . . . matzo in a school bus.

That's what upstate New York police commanded a Hasidic Jewish group after they learned that a red-and-white school bus had been turned into a giant oven for baking Passover matzos.

With the Jewish holiday just a week away, cops in Spring Valley pulled the plug on the king-sized bus-oven, which belched smoke from the back yard of a residence owned by Rabbi Aaron Winternitz, who heads the 50-member Mivtzar Hatorah congregation.

"Smoke was coming from the stack and there was a working fire," Sgt. Lou Scorziello of the Spring Valley police said yesterday. "This is a tinderbox. There certainly was the potential for an explosion."

The rabbi uses a crank made from a converted exercise bike to mill the flour for the unleavened bread - pushing the peddles with his hands.

Matzos are the staple of the holiday, which commemorates God's mercy in sparing the Israelites from a plague that would have killed their firstborn and their subsequent freedom from slavery in Egypt.

During the weeklong holiday, which begins Monday night, observant Jews eat unleavened bread to illustrate how little time the Israelites had to let their bread rise as they fled Egypt.

Winternitz said the bus - complete with a smokestack, exhaust fans and a working fire - had been making matzos for about three years, and posed no danger to the neighborhood.

But village officials flattened him last Friday after a neighbor called about the smoke, and inspectors found illegal gas lines extending from the house.

Winternitz said it has been a while since the bus actually carried any kids to school.

Before the bus-turned-bakery landed in his backyard, Winternitz said someone else used it as a home and a carrier for a race car.

"School buses are made strong and safe," Winternitz said. "I understand the attention. It's something new that you never saw. Inventions are exciting. People are curious."

Winternitz said concerns that the oven was not safe were just a bunch of smoke.

The rabbi said the bus is used only during the Passover observance to make about 100 pounds of matzos - or two pounds per congregant.

But officials said Winternitz might have to give a little more time to his design.

Although he praised it as "creative," a village official said the bus was sitting too close to the house.

"If something happens, it could spread to the house," said Manny Carmona, the village building enforcement officer.

Carmona said he would not issue a summons if Winternitz provided "clear drawings and approval by a licensed engineer."

"It looks safe," Carmona said, "but you can't go on looks."


Rabbis say "no" to getting stoned on Pesach

In bad news for its religious Jewish supporters, an Israeli pro-marijuana party announced Tuesday that pot is forbidden on Passover.

Cannabis is among the substances Jews are forbidden to consume during the week-long festival, which begins Monday, said Michelle Levine, a spokeswoman for the Green Leaf party.

Biblical laws prohibit eating leavened foods during Passover, replacing bread with flat crackers called matza. Later injunctions by European rabbis extended those rules to forbid other foods like beans and corn, and more recent rulings have further expanded the ban to include hemp seeds, which today are found in some health oils - and in marijuana.

Green Leaf is a small political party that supports the legalization of marijuana. Although it is by no means a Jewish religious authority, the group decided to warn its observant supporters away from the drug on Passover.

"You shouldn't smoke marijuana on the holiday, and if you have it in your house you should get rid of it," Levine said. The edict was first reported in The Jerusalem Post.

But not everyone needs to give up their habit for the duration of the festival. The rabbinic injunctions banning hemp were never adopted by Sephardic Jews, who come from countries in the Middle East and North Africa. That means there is no reason they can't keep smoking marijuana, Levine said, except that it remains illegal, despite her party's best efforts.

Green Leaf contested the last three national elections but never won a seat, despite gaining popularity as a protest vote. According to Levine, the party has a large number of religious supporters.



Monday, March 26, 2007

Exclusive pictures of the three car accident

Story below

Photo credit: Royz

Three car accident in Boro-Park

A three-car accident involving a paraplegic couple took place at an intersection at 14th Avenue in Boro-Park. The first vehicle went through a stop sign and hit another car creating the triple car accident. Although there was damage to all the vehicles involved, no one was seriously injured. Police arrived at the scene a mere thirty-five minutes after they had been called. Yingerleit were helping the paraplegic couple to unload their car and move their things into a van so that they could go home.

Police: NY school bus refitted as oven turned out Passover bread

A full-size yellow school bus that had been converted into an oven, complete with smokestack, exhaust fans and working fire, was discovered by police after a neighbor said he smelled smoke.

The bus, in the backyard of a residence owned by a Hasidic Jewish congregation, was turning out flat, round loaves of matzo bread for Passover, which begins next Monday at sundown, said Sgt. Lou Scorziello of the Spring Valley police.

He said police found the bus bakery early Friday morning.

"It was up and running," he said. "Smoke was coming from the stack and there was a working fire."

He said the fire was fueled by gas from lines illegally extended from the house and none of the necessary permits had been obtained.

"There certainly was the potential for an explosion," Scorziello said.

He said the bus oven may have been in use for two or three years, but possibly just seasonally.

"The back door, the emergency door I guess you'd call it, that was the oven door," he said. "All the seats had been removed and the whole inside was an oven."

It was unmanned when police found it, but Aaron Winternitz, a resident of the house, eventually came outside. No charges were filed or tickets issued, the sergeant said, but the matter was referred to the local fire and building departments for violations.

A call to the house on Monday morning was answered by a woman who said neither Winternitz nor his wife were home and refused to give her own name.

Scorziello said records showed the house was owned by Congregation Mivtzar Hatorah, which is listed at the same address. The neighborhood is heavily Hasidic.

Link to video


Passover Makes Rabbi Into Kosher Cop

Rabbi Shalom Adler slips a thin net over his short red hair and black yarmulke. Another over his bushy beard. He pops in bright orange earplugs. A pair of bulky protective goggles cover his wire-framed spectacles.

Inspector Rabbi is now in service.

For the past several weeks, Adler, co-director of the Chabad of Pinellas County, has brought his rabbinical knowledge of Jewish dietary law to the Tropicana plant in Bradenton.

Adler, who works for the Organized Kosher certification company, inspects the production of a special run of kosher-for-Passover orange juice.

Year-round, most of Tropicana's products meet kosher standards. But to prepare for the eight-day Passover holiday, which begins April 2, the company takes it kosherization process several steps further, designating two separate assembly lines just for production of the juice.

Tropicana's moves underscore a broader push in the food industry to make more kosher foods available, particularly kosher-for-Passover varieties.

A decade ago there were about 60,000 kosher products available in supermarkets; today it's more than 100,000, reports Lubicom Marketing Consulting, a food industry tracker in Brooklyn, N.Y., that publishes the weekly newsletter Kosher Today.

Industry types attribute the surge in kosher goods to the outgrowth of the Orthodox Jewish community in the United States beyond the traditional base of New York in addition to a more health-conscious non-Jewish consumer base embracing kosher foods for a perceived nutritional benefit.



Sunday, March 25, 2007

Hotel stirs controversy

A Gatineau hotel's decision to comply with the requests of an Orthodox Jewish group is the latest controversy in the reasonable accommodation debate. The group booked 129 rooms in the Chateau Cartier Hotel over Passover, which begins April 2 this year. The hotel agreed to guarantee the group exclusive use of its gym for three days and will cover the windows of the pool area to hide scantily clad women. Hotel management stated the accommodation was first and foremost a business decision.


DeMayo gives his first State of Town

Liberty Supervisor Frank DeMayo gave his first State of the Town address this week since being elected in 2003.
DeMayo noted that a comprehensive plan review committee is in the midst of formulating a new master plan, old Route 17 toward Monticello in Ferndale is being prepared for commercial development, and a $100,000 Build Now New York grant has been secured for environmental and engineering studies to commence as part of an effort to create a shovel-ready site there by the town.
Other plans include improvements to Greibel Park with more than $100,000 secured from a state grant.
The supervisor acknowledged the development pressures being felt in White Sulphur Springs, where the comprehensive plan committee and Town Board are working to formulate ways to preserve the rural nature of the area. The Environmental Conservation Council was created to further address those issues.
DeMayo said there is also significant interest by the Hasidic community to develop in Swan Lake.
“While controversial, we must realize that the Hasidic community has as much right as anyone to move into this area. And, they are paying taxes.”



Saturday, March 24, 2007

Weiss's Bakery splits up

Weiss's Bakery in Boro-Park bakery which is owned by the two Weiss brothers is splitting into two. The bakery, which has been in the same location for many years and has two other branches in other areas, will be split down the middle. The brothers, which are partners, had a falling out and no longer want to have anything to do with each other. Wow, and they're not even Rebbishe kinder.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Read the new Chaptzem article in the Country Yossi Family Magazine

Make sure to pick up your free copy of the Country Yossi Family Magazine and read the brand new original article 'The Not So Silent Killer' written by Chaptzem, the only Heimishe blogger to make the transition from cyberspace to print.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Automated phone solicitations

Don't you just love running to the phone, almost tripping and breaking your neck on the way, and then when you finally grab it and pick it up you hear a loud pre-recorded voice with a grainy tone yelling in your ear about the GIANT sale that G & G Clothing has going on now? No?

Not only is this practice annoying, but it is illegal as well. An offending company can be sued up to $2000 per phone call.

If a machine calls your home, call their business phone number and let them know you will no longer patronize them because they annoy you.

Feel free to post the name and phone number of businesses that have done this to you.

We need to put a stop to this annoying and useless practice.

Here's one to start off with

G & G Quality Clothing - (718) 871-7841


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The swearing in, I mean affirming in of Rabbi Mendelsohn to the Canadian Army

Rabbi Reflects on His 'Very Historic Decision'

When I walked into the lobby of the Canadian War Museum last week Rabbi Chaim Mendelsohn was anxiously pacing the room–with good reason. Since he was installed as a Canadian Forces chaplain last week–the first Jewish orthodox chaplain in 60 years–the rabbi has been busy conducting media interviews.

In the two and half days since he was installed, he had conducted 18 interviews and more were on his schedule.

The aura of a busy man hung over him as we hurried to find a bench to discuss his new post.

"I knew it would be unique, just because I am the first orthodox Jewish chaplain in 60 years," he says.

"But to garner so much media interest actually surprised me."

There is even a homemade video of his swearing-in ceremony on YouTube.



Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Preeeeesenting Yehuda Schnaps, PHD, dancing fool

Wine sales soar ahead of Passover

Wine sales are beginning to soar prior to Passover as Israelis buy forty percent more wine in the month leading up to Passover than they do the rest of the year.

According to a poll released by Business Data Israel on Monday, results from 2006 showed that wine sales totaled 730 million shekels ($173,000,000). Israel produced 54 million bottles of wine last year, 4 percent more than the previous year.

Israel has 250 wineries in operation, including Carmel, Efrat, Binyamina, Barkan and Golan Heights, which account for nearly 85 percent of the grape harvest in the country.

Red wine controls 60 percent of the local market, and 51 percent of wine exports were shipped to the United States.

According to the report, Israelis prefer to purchase inexpensive wine, as 55 percent bought bottles of wine for 25 shekels ($6.00) or less.



Monday, March 19, 2007

Safe robbery in Boro-Park - Exclusive pictures

Two men forced their way into a basement apartment on 55th Street between 14th and 15th Avenues in Boro-Park at gunpoint. They then tied up the occupant with towels and made off with his safe which contained a large amount of cash. Police and Shomrim arrived at the scene. The complainant was taken into the precinct for questioning and to file a report.

'War of Roses' wife makes divorce plea to jury

The saying that good walls make good neighbors apparently doesn't apply to one Brooklyn couple.

With a court-ordered wall dividing their marital home, the pair featured in Brooklyn's real-life version of "The War of the Roses" are fighting it out in front of a jury because he refuses to give her a divorce.

Millionaire Simon Taub, 58, got the green light last year from the Appellate Division to use Sheetrock to separate the Borough Park home he once shared with Chana Taub, 57, his wife of 21 years, into his-and-her halves.

But he won't let her out of the marriage.

She claims she's terrified of him, accusing him of watching her every move and installing surveillance cameras in the wall and outside the house to track her.

Their legal battle began two years ago, when she filed for divorce, claiming "cruel and inhumane" treatment.

Last week, Chana began trying to convince a Brooklyn jury to grant her a divorce - armed with a broken phone, treadmill and TV remote she said he wielded as weapons against her.

"It was a very beautiful phone," the slight, blond mother of four told a rapt jury, showing a cordless headset, the battery dangling from a wire. "Mr. Taub threw it at me. It hit the wall behind me. He has a very violent temper."

"Very often, he tells me he's going to hurt me, he's going to poison me," she claimed, testifying he forced her to watch television TV shows depicting husbands killing their wives. Although most divorces are decided by judges, Chana Taub sought a jury trial because she said she thought she would get a fairer hearing.

Simon Taub said he doesn't agree with the divorce because he did nothing wrong. "He's not going to allow her to smear his name with claims that are totally untrue," said his attorney, Abe Konstam. "That's why he's fighting."

Chana said she has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting her husband, who made his fortune in real estate and manufacturing sweaters, to force him to give her "equitable distribution" of their millions in assets.

He brands her a gold digger.

The wall - which put the former lovebirds in a similar position as Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in the 1989 hit movie "The War of the Roses" - went up in December.

Simon Taub, who owns several homes in New York, stays in his half only on the weekends and lives full-time in a nearby apartment.



Sunday, March 18, 2007

Satmar case goes to Court of Appeals

The Court of Appeals has just accepted to hear arguments on the Williamsburg Satmar case by R' Ahron Teitelbaum. This new legal development leaves open the possibility of reversing the court's previous ruling that R' Zalman Leib Teitelbaum get the big Shul in Williamsburg. If the appeal goes in R' Ahron's favor he would end up with the big Satmar Shul in Williamsburg and would be the next Satmar Rebbe, thus demoting R' Zalmen Leib and leaving him without any Shul in America, possibly forcing him to move back to Israel to retake his former position there.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Leave marriage, divorce rules to rabbis, not government

Passing laws to regulate how Jews eat (Palm Beach and Broward kosher laws) was not enough. Now state Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, wants the state to regulate how Jews marry and divorce.

It's the business of rabbis and not the government. They have considerable power that they could use to force Karen Gruber-Colp's husband to hand over everything down to his last yarmulke. They choose not to do it and it is not for the courts or the state to enter this religious fray.

This is not Israel where the Orthodox Jews ("Taliban Lite") control the power of the state, so that they regulate Jewish marriages in a fashion that would embarrass the ayatollahs of Iran. This is not China where religions are required to get a license from the state.



Friday, March 16, 2007

New market hopes Rockaway has a taste for kosher food

The most difficult part about opening a kosher market in Rockaway was convincing suppliers to deliver to northwest New Jersey, said Yahav Amrani, owner of Carmel Market.

“The main problem is we’re the farthest point from New York City, and we’re the farthest they’ve ever come,” he said. “Each supplier came up with demands ‘to make it worthwhile for me to come that far.’”

No one would mistake the fast-expanding suburbs of Morris County for the boondocks. Still, with few synagogues and other outward signs of what many believe is a growing Jewish population, it is up to Amrani to convince kosher suppliers — and consumers — that there is a need for a kosher market.

“There’s nothing around our area,” Amrani said. “We used to go to Brooklyn and other people we know went to Monsey,” the heavily Jewish New York town, for kosher groceries.

Carmel Market is set to officially open Sept. 10 at 350 Route 46 East in the Boro Plaza shopping center. Rabbi Asher Herson of Chabad Center of Northwest New Jersey in Rockaway will take part in a dedication ceremony, which will include Amrani’s friends, family members, and other supporters. A clown, a keyboardist, and others were due to perform at the grand opening.

Carmel Market will carry “fresh products,” including glatt kosher meats, Middle Eastern fare, and items from Israel. Many of the foods the market will sell are unavailable in Morris, Sussex, and Warren counties.


Hit and run accident in Boro-Park

The green car was turning left from the left lane, another car was pulling out from the parking spot at the left, he hit the side of the green car and then just took off.

The man in the mini van is one of the witnesses.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

ADL: Anti-Semitic incidents declined in New Jersey

The number of anti-Semitic incidents in New Jersey declined for the second consecutive year in 2006, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s annual "Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents" issued on Wednesday.

Two hundred forty-four incidents were reported across New Jersey in 2006, with 166 incidents of vandalism and 78 incidents of harassment, representing an 8 percent decline from 266 reported in 2005. Thirty-eight of those incidents were in Bergen County, up from 29, and nine were in Passaic County, up from five. New Jersey ranks second in the nation in anti-Semitic incidents, behind only New York State.

"While we are pleased with the overall decrease in anti-Semitic incidents throughout the state, we are concerned with the fact that 71 incidents were reported at educational institutions, including our public schools and colleges," said Etzion Neuer, ADL’s regional director. "While the decreasing numbers in New Jersey reflect a national trend, they also show a continuing need to erase the persistent scourge of anti-Semitism, especially among our youth."

According to the audit, New Jersey experienced 166 incidents of anti-Jewish vandalism, down from 188 incidents in 2005, a decrease of 12 percent. This includes property damage, arson, and cemetery desecrations. Seventy-eight incidents of anti-Jewish harassment were reported for 2006, the same number as in 2005. This includes verbal intimidation, threats, and physical assaults.


Donate you ride

Showing his true colors.

Click to enlarge image


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Nadvorna Rebbe may lose East Scranton school

An offer of $500,000 for the former East Scranton Intermediate School is reason enough for Lackawanna County Court to deny its proposed sale to a New York City rabbi for $400,000, the rival bidder argues in court papers.

Madison School Properties LLC, a company led by businessman Paul Mansour, is challenging the Scranton School District’s petition to sell the closed Quincy Avenue school to Rabbi Alter Rosenbaum.

A hearing on the petition is scheduled April 23 before Judge Carmen Minora.

Under state law, school districts must receive court approval before disposing of property at a private sale to ensure the price is reasonable and a better offer could not be obtained at a public sale.

In its objection, Madison School Properties said the district’s petition is defective “on its face” since the company’s interest in buying the school for $500,000 “evidences that a higher offer could be obtained at public sale.”

The company said it “has offered and remains willing” to purchase the school for $100,000 more than the district would get under its contract with Rabbi Rosenbaum.

The School Board voted unanimously Aug. 28 to sell East Scranton Intermediate to the rabbi, the leader of a Nadvorna Hasidic community in Brooklyn.

He plans to use the property as a school for families who would relocate to Scranton from Brooklyn.

The board received the $500,000 offer from Madison School Properties a month later.

Mr. Mansour has said he is considering turning the school into apartments or condos.

Attorney Matthew Barrett, who represents Madison School Properties, said the company’s court filing speaks for itself.

“They filed their petition. We filed our objection. The hearing is April 23, and we’ll prepare for the hearing,” he said.

The district’s solicitor, Harry McGrath, said he anticipates filing a response before the hearing.

Efforts to reach Rabbi Rosenbaum and his attorney, Justin Sulla, were unsuccessful Tuesday.

If the court denies the petition to sell the school to Rabbi Rosenbaum, it is expected the district would then seek sealed bids for the property.


R' Mordche Dovid Unger's Parking lot


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Freilichen Peerem - Someone's having fun

Kosover Rebbe gives P'sak on CD copying

The Kosove Rebbe, HaRav Shragah Hager, gave a P'sak Halachah that it is muttar to copy CD's for any use, even for distribution, as long as there was no money made from it. He said that there was no such thing as intellectual property rights (IPR) in the Torah, and therefore there was no Issur to copy CD's unless if it were for profit, which would then be Hasogas Gevul. He went on further to laugh at the Jewish music producers' Am Haratzas with their trying to circumvent the Halachah by leasing the CD's rather than selling them. He said that this method was both useless and a joke.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Eden Palace disclaimer

Another disclaimer from Eden Palace.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Cell phones outlawed in Lakewood Kollel

A what? Yeah, that's right. Now Kollel Yingerleit in Lakewood will have to use a payphone to call their wife at work. HaRav Matisyahu Solomon has instated a ban on all cellphones in the Kollel. At a Schmooze to the Yeshivah he said that any Yingerman that was found carrying a cellphone would be thrown out of the Kollel immediately. He said that the recent tragedies that took place in the Yeshivah were a sign that improvement was needed and abolishing cellphone use by Kollel Yingerleit was a good start. I wonder what the next step of improvement will be.

Thief hits New Square Mikvah

A village man told Ramapo police someone stole $5,000 from his pants pocket while he was in a ritual bath yesterday.

The incident occurred at Congregation New Square's mikvah at 4:15 a.m., Ramapo police said. The mikvah, a ritual purification bath taken by Jews on certain occasions, is located at 13 and 14 Truman Ave. in the village.

Witnesses told investigating officers that they saw a man whom they didn't recognize in the mikvah area, Detective Sgt. John Lynch said.

"The guy claimed he was in the mikvah and left his pants out and someone took a couple of grand from his pocket," Lynch said.

The residents describe the stranger as Hasidic, 5 feet 8 inches tall, heavyset and about 30 years old, wearing gold-framed eyeglasses, black jacket, white shirt and black pants, Lynch said.

The witnesses told police that the man got into a gray Chrysler Pacifcia with New York license plates. There is only one exit and entrance to New Square by car - Washington Avenue.

Police issued an alert for the car.

"They felt there was a suspicious party in the area that they were not familiar with," Lynch said. "This is an assumption being made on their part that this guy had anything to do with it."

Lynch said he was awaiting more information from the man who reported the theft and others from the community before deciding how to handle the case.



Saturday, March 10, 2007

Yarmer Ruv spends Shabbos in Boro-Park

R' Yankel Miller, the Yarmer Ruv, spent this past Shabbos in Boro-Park. The comedian Rabbi, who happens to be a big Talmid Chuchem as well, left his Monsey enclave to grace Boro-Park with his presence. He Davened Shabbos at the Vizhnitzer Shul on 53rd Street and 12th Avenue.


Friday, March 09, 2007

Rabbi claims assault

ADELAIDE'S only orthodox rabbi claims he was assaulted by members of his congregation as they tried to evict him from a city synagogue in a dramatic escalation of tensions between the two parties.

Lawyers for Rabbi Yossi Engel sought a restraining order against board members of the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation after alleging two directors entered his office and started removing property. Locks were changed on a number of doors around the synagogue, including his office.

Police were called to the synagogue after the rabbi alleged two female board members pushed a door into him.

"The door hit me hard in the head and chest," Rabbi Engel told The Weekend Australian. "I am stunned at what has happened ... this is not the way adults behave."

Rabbi Engel has accused the AHC of a "smear" campaign. The restraining order was not required after lawyers for the AHC said they would allow the rabbi to work at the synagogue this weekend only. The matter will be heard in full on Friday.

AHC president Leon Zimmett said yesterday he was "not aware" of the actions taken by congregation board members.

The move follows Wednesday's District Court order that Rabbi Engel and his wife and children should leave the AHC-owned home they have lived in for eight years.

A three-week stay was ordered on the eviction from the family home.

The protracted dispute has illustrated a clear clash between the orthodox community's strict Halachic law and the wider legal system.

The AHC believes it is fighting a contractual dispute but risks exclusion from the orthodox Jewish community by moving to evict the rabbi without sanction from the community's highest ecclesiastical court, the Beth Din.

The Beth Din has attempted to mediate a resolution to the dispute and recently issued a seruv - a notice of contempt - against the AHC, the first time this has been done in the Australian orthodox Jewish community.



Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Schnoro-Park mobile


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What Hillary Didn't Do For New Square

Hillary says she wasn't involved in her husband's decision to pardon the leaders of the Hasidic New Square community despite her pre-election visit on site and her post-election White House meeting with them. Coincidentally, this Republican enclave voted almost unanimously for Hillary.

Hillary takes credit for what she didn't do and avoids responsibility for what she obviously was involved in. Some qualifications.


Chasidishe woman gets questioned by Police Officers


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Orthodox Jewish Community horrified by allegation

The Jewish Orthodox Community Council
(JOCC) is shocked by recent allegations that children
of the Chassidic
community were told not to pay attention to a female
police officer.
Without commenting on the alleged incident (due to
the reported
investigation), our position is clear:
The Talmud states: "DINA DMALCHISA DINA" the law
of the land is the law.
As equal citizens residing in Quebec, all members
of authority, both
female and male, are held in the highest regard and
the laws of the land is
respected. These values are taught to our children as
Any allegation to the contrary is unjust.



Monday, March 05, 2007

Chasidishe blogger Purim costume

Jacob Da Jew decides to dress up as a Chasidishe blogger for Purim. He found the right people to emulate.

Link to site

Mood is split on new daylight saving time

The new daylight saving time regimen, proposed by U.S. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., takes effect next week amid disagreement about whether it's a good idea.

Markey devised the new daylight saving time schedule -- three weeks earlier than in past years -- to save energy costs and give people more hours of sunshine, which he said he believes will brighten moods.

Although many are looking forward to more after-work daylight, others are dismayed at the sudden shift, which will mean more darkness in the early morning hours, the Boston Globe reported.

Complaints have come from farmers who work in the early hours and need the light, Orthodox Jews who pray before sunrise, runners who train before work and parents whose children will have to travel to school in the dim early dawn light, the newspaper said.

Some experts call Markey's plan for more happiness through daylight silly, but Markey told the newspaper he believes the new daylight saving time schedule will reduce crime and traffic accidents.


Illegal taxicab drivers are cruising for trouble

Steven Lootz is steering his gold Windstar minivan down a busy road through the Village of Kiryas Joel on a weekday afternoon looking for "pirates."

"The best place to stake them out is the shopping center," he says, while guiding his van down Acres Road, the main drag through the Satmar Hasidic village.

Lootz owns Village Taxi on Route 17M. For the past three years, he has tried to grow a business in an industry defined by heavy competition and thin margins.

"In the taxi service, you're either breaking even or just getting by," he says.

His competition these days includes a growing number of improperly insured or unlicensed cabbies that are undercutting his business. Police are cracking down on these operations in Monroe, a growing potpourri of New York City commuters, Hasidim and recent immigrants.

"Pirates, that's what we call them," Lootz says of the illegal drivers.

Most people know them as "gypsy cabs," a common feature in cities, where a mix of immigrant life and street hustle give rise to second economies. They operate out of regular vehicles, and charge just a little less than the legitimate cab services.

Their existence in Monroe reflects the influence of Kiryas Joel, a tiny village of more than 13,000 residents, where Hasidic women do not drive, and whose laborers, mostly immigrants from Eastern Europe or Central America, look for deals where they can.

The illegal drivers are mostly Latino, with some Russian-speaking drivers thrown in, Lootz says. They do 80 percent of their business inside Kiryas Joel, where few of the passengers are likely to rat them out to police, and where there is always a demand for rides.

"That's what spawned this industry," Lootz says of the demand created by Kiryas Joel.

"If you took KJ out of the equation, you'd still have (the illegal cabbies), but not to the extent you have now."

Cities such as Port Jervis, Middletown and Newburgh all have strict laws restricting these illicit businesses; Monroe does not.

But after years of random crackdowns, police have started a concerted campaign to shut the illegal cabbies down, and to create laws to stifle their numbers. That's because the number of illegal drivers, as well as complaints about them, are growing, said Monroe village Detective Jim Frankild.

"They don't possess the proper insurance; they don't have class E driver's licenses; and we're finding that a lot of the vehicles are registered in Pennsylvania," where car registrations and driver's licenses are less scrutinized, Frankild said.



Sunday, March 04, 2007

Alternate side parking suspended today

As per the bill passed by Councilman Simcha Felder, alternate side parking is suspended today, Purim day. However, tomorrow Shushan Purim, alternate side parking rules will return to normal and will be in effect. We ask all Shushan citizens touring New York City to please be mindful of this and be sure move their horse and buggy at the appropriate time.


Saturday, March 03, 2007

Drinking on Purim

As the director of an organization that helps teens at high risk for self-destructive behavior, Caryn Green never has a stress-free day.

Still, some are harder than others, and Green is expecting the daylong holiday of Purim – which begins tonight in the U.S. and Sunday night here – to be one of them.

"Purim is a time when, according to Jewish tradition, it's OK to drink till you're oblivious," Green, a transplanted Texan, says of the religious mandate to drink "until you cannot distinguish between Haman and Mordechai" – the holiday's villain and hero, respectively.

"A lot of rabbis even tend to supply alcohol to their students or tell them to bring their own bottle. A kid told me last night that he thought it was OK to drink on Purim until you throw up because it's just one time a year."

Green's counseling center in downtown Jerusalem works with nearly 1,000 troubled teens every year. She isn't the only one concerned with the general upsurge of drug and alcohol use among Orthodox Jews, a community that once saw itself as almost immune to these problems.

"There has always been the belief that Jews drink less than members of other communities, and although historically this may be true, we still have a problem," said Rabbi Tzvi Weinreb, executive vice president of the New York-based Orthodox Union).

Those who work with addicted Orthodox young people attribute the rise in substance abuse to several factors, including the community's increased affluence and exposure to the secular world through television and the Internet.

"The pull of the street is very strong; the atmosphere is very strong," says Rabbi Eitan Eckstein, founder of Retourno, an Israeli rehab center where 90 percent of the 80 in-house patients come from modern Orthodox or ultra-Orthodox homes.

Esther Ostroy, who facilitates the entry of overseas patients to Retourno, says foreign yeshiva (seminary) students with pre-existing problems find them exacerbated by an unfamiliar culture and newfound freedom in Israel.

"These kids are away from home for the first time. Their parents give them a cell phone and a credit card. But how many parents actually check the report to see exactly how their child is spending their money?" she says.


Simhas Poorhim

Wishing everyone a truly happy and safe Purim!


Friday, March 02, 2007

A gut Shaaaabbos


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Road rage blow up in Boro-Park

A Chasidishe man driving a Suburban stopped at a stop sign for a little too long. Behind him were two drivers for the Ateres Chaya 'valet parking'. They honked their horn to get the guy to move. He put his car into park, rolled down the window and let them know that he wasn't moving because they beeped at him. The man waited and they kept on honking. The valet parkers came out of their car and began to yell at him to move, but he ignored them. One of the valet guys then smacked the rear end of the Chasidishe guy's Suburban. At that point, the Chasid, weighing about three-hundred pounds, jumped out and got in their face. He shouted right into their nose, "You touch my car again and I'll take your head off!" Surprisingly the valet guys backed off. The Chasid still did not move until a Yingerman went over to him and let him know that the only people that he was hurting by this were the Yidden that were waiting for their car at the Chasunah hall.


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