Sunday, May 31, 2009

Someone needs to learn their Alef Beis 

From The Jewish Press


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Senior scuffle results in two arrests in Kiryas Joel 

Aaron Solinsky wasn’t going to take it anymore.
Police say the 70-year-old got so mad at Usher Neuman for repeatedly blocking a walkway with his parked car that he began yelling at his 66-year-old nemesis – then hurled his walker and two metal lawn chairs at Neuman.
Neuman retaliated, sending Solinsky to the hospital with a black eye and bruises to his face and right side, according to state police investigators in Monroe.
The scuffle took place at 1:30 p.m. Monday in front of Neuman’s home.
The result, aside from bruises, was a felony assault charge against Neuman and a misdemeanor menacing charge against Solinsky.
Both men are also charged with criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor.



Thursday, May 28, 2009

A happy and enriching Shavuous to all 


Berry Weber music video 

From the video stills it seems apparent that he has hit some pretty tough times.



Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Markey Bill And Beyond: If The Rabbis Really Cared ... 

For years I was a proud, card-carrying member of Agudath Israel of America, a leading haredi communal organization; sadly, I have allowed my membership to lapse. But I, like many others, do not feel that I left the Agudah. Rather the Agudah has left us.

The Agudah has come out in opposition to the Child Victims Act, known as the “Markey Bill” in the New York State Legislature (its lead sponsor is Queens Assemblywoman Marge Markey). The bill would allow victims of childhood sexual abuse recourse toward obtaining justice against their abusers by providing a one-year “window” in which to file a civil lawsuit at any
age, and would extend the statute of limitations for pressing criminal charges from age 23 to 28.

Many survivors of child abuse have been waiting for years in shame, pain and agony, hoping that one day our religious leaders would hear their cries and address their plight. Survivors were just beginning to feel empowered and accepted after recent media attention and political and communal statements calling attention to their suffering.

Courageously, some survivors were able to speak out, and there were those who traveled to Albany last month to lobby for passage of the Markey bill. Orthodox Jews stood together with Catholics and Protestants, blacks and whites, to support survivors of child abuse and to ensure protection for children in the future.

But we were deeply disappointed to learn, on the bus ride home, that the Agudah and Torah Umesorah, the National Association of Hebrew Day Schools, whom parents expect to promote child welfare and school safety, had come out against the bill.
One survivor of abuse from 29 years ago, a friend of mine, wondered aloud: “Does it take a situation where the children or grandchildren of the religious leadership are molested before they will finally start doing the right thing?”

The Agudah is concerned with yeshivas and other institutions becoming financially insolvent due to lawsuits, should Markey pass. But the only lawsuits that could possibly win are those against yeshivas that knowingly harbored molesters, not the vast majority of innocent institutions. Are we to believe that yeshivas that would enable the abuse of innocent Jewish children are, in the words of the Agudah and Torah Umersorah, the “lifeblood of our community?”

On the one hand, the Markey bill is not necessarily an absolute litmus test of whether the rabbis care or not about victims of sexual abuse. But the fact is that Agudah’s denunciation of the Child Victims Act marks the first time that the current gedolim (Torah sages) have acknowledged the problem of sexual abuse — and then only to focus on the institutions they are afraid will be financially hurt by it. As I have heard repeatedly from those who have suffered, this leads survivors of abuse to feel that the rabbis care more about the financial safety of their institutions than the physical, emotional and spiritual safety of the children. Survivors of abuse wonder why the rabbis remained silent for so many years about this issue.



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Chaptzem Newscast - The one and only Heimishe newscast - Episode 10 



Monday, May 25, 2009


Sent in by a Chaptzem reader

One of the greatest of our tannaim was Resh Lokish, the gemorah states; he committed every Aveira in the Torah. The question that begs to be asked is why does the gemmora tell us of his past? I think the torah is trying to teach every generation that there is a concept of teshuva, No matter what we have done in the past, there is a avenue in which a torah Jew can change, grow and aspire to reach, we are capable of change, and the torah shares us the story to help a person who has lost his sense of direction do teshuva.

It seems that our generation want s to forget this concept, we live in a time when the concept of “Ein bayis asher ein bo mess” is so applicable. There is no family that is not affected by kids at risk, it can be a son, daughter, nephew, brother or sister, we all know a family member that is affected by this issue. Yet the biggest issue that many of us feel and share is that no matter what we try to do to make a change, we still are labeled and victimized by our past.

We try to make a difference, we try to change, even though its been a hard and painful process we have gone through, few truly understand the pain we feel and walk around with, We almost don’t want to even change, because we feel that no matter how much change we do, we will walk around with the shame and hurt for eternity. Its almost easier not change. But we want to, we want to be accepted, and not labeled.

It says in Pirkei Avos , “ don’t judge someone till you have reached his place” how can the frum people and our Rabbonim judge me and my fellow Mivakshim if they never went through the abuse, pain, hurt, embarrassment and bitter life that we experienced????

There is no frum Kehilla that is not affected by these issues. It is a problem that has exploded in every frum community around the world. Parents cry their hearts out for a Yeshua, suffer in silence because they are afraid to talk to a Rov or yeshiva, for then they will be labeled and can potentially hurt, jobs, school placement and of course shidduchim. It’s easier for the community to sweep it under the carpet than figure out what they have done wrong. It’s easier to blame the kid or parents!

I have gone to 7 levayos of youth at risk in the past 3 months, AD MOSAI????

According to studies, well over 80% of youth at risk have been abused! Do we wonder why the kid goes off? Do the Rabbonim understand what a kid who have been abused walks around with; do they understand the weight that kid now has on his shoulders? Perhaps its time for our lay leaders to say, perhaps it’s not the kid or parents?

Perhaps the concept of Aish Dos, (A program started by Rabbi Shraga F. Mendolwitz to guide and educate melamdim) needs to be implemented into our community. To guide Rabbayim and teachers into not only knowing how to teach but how to understand the kid, his fears, pains and to be able to guide him but most important build him.

Our Kehilla is blessed with b”h Gedolai Torah, Rabbonim and lay leaders, But do they understand Addiction? Addiction is the number one issue that faces our youth. It’s what we call the failed solution, before the drugs, alcohol and gambling, there was a problem, but because of the pain, and not knowing how to deal with it we find a band aid, something to make us feel good even it’s only for a few mind altering moments. Do they know how strong that pain is? It’s easier for them to say I am a bum, not frum, than see I am a member of Klall Yisroel, and I have been crying out for help. Perhaps it’s been your attitude that has pushed me further away. I am a good person, I am a sensitive person and I would give my shirt off my back to help you, yet my addiction caused me to do things that I would never do if I was healthy, Are you going to hold that against me????

This issue is near and dear to my heart as I struggle with these issues well over a year after I have made positive changes in my life, I work with Youth at Risk on a daily basis, Yet I am victimized by my past. Will I need to become rich or super frum, talk yishivish to get accepted?? Will you see past my mistakes and see the person who is caring loving and a true asset to Klal Yisroel?

The reason why the person running a 12 step meeting (therapy group for addicts) must be a former user and addict, is because to understand the addict, to understand the pain, one had to have experienced it.

Speaking recently to a askan from a Agudah Yisroel, I asked him why was their organization not doing more to deal with this issue which is claiming so many Yiddish neshomos? He responded, Verbatim, Agudah is a solution based organization, the problem with youth at risk, is there is no solution so we don’t put in time or to much energy!!! YES THERE IS A SOLUTION, DID THE GEDOLIM GIVE UP ON RESH LOKISH???

I hope this letter gives you an opportunity to see my pain, and yet my hope, dreams and aspiration. May this letter better educate you about our struggle and hopes for a better tomorrow.


Yisroel S.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Frum man plays on television game show 



Saturday, May 23, 2009

Jewish Rabbi: No Congruity between Judaism, Zionism 

Speaking to FNA on the sidelines of a conference dubbed 'Palestinian Forum; the Responsibility of Nations' in Tehran, Rabbi Aren Kohn said that the Jewish religious leaders have made extensive efforts in the international arena to separate Zionism and Judaism.

"We have explained in different places of the world that Judaism and Zionism are completely different and they have no congruity, through our publications and brochures."

"Additionally, we do our responsibility by holding public forums in different countries of the world and making speeches in these forums," Kohn added.

He pointed to the Palestinian forum in Iran and described it as valuable.

"We have gathered here to pursue a very profound goal which includes efforts to help the oppressed Palestinian people through cooperation of the different world communities and utilization and application of the thoughts and ideas of view-holders," Kohn added.



Friday, May 22, 2009

Boro-Park P.S. 160 on Fort Hamilton Parkway closed due to Swine Flu 

The Mayor’s Office has just advised Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) that P.S. 160 located in the heart of Borough Park at 5105 Fort Hamilton Parkway will be closed effective immediately due to the spread of the N1H1 (Swine Flu) virus. Classes will be suspended for five days beginning Monday, May 25, 2009. The decision to close P.S. 160 was made after school officials noticed a high absentee rate among the student body.


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 'Uncommon Economic Indicators' written by Chaptzem, the only Heimishe blogger to make the transition from cyberspace to print.


Gadgets help Jews observe Sabbath 

In a hi-tech world, Orthodox Jews observing the Sabbath face a problem using modern gadgets because they're not allowed to do any work. An Israeli company has recently come up with some ingenious solutions.

Cheri Tannenbaum’s fingers do the talking her lips can’t. 35 years ago, she started having problems with speaking and walking. Doctors diagnosed her with dystonia or neurological movement disorder. Today she can’t talk and struggles to get around.

For many years she felt her handicap most acutely on the Jewish Sabbath. When her family would set off for the synagogue, she’d be left behind because, according to Jewish law, she can’t use transport to get there.

But then scientists, rabbis, and engineers in Israel got together and designed a scooter that is 'Sabbath-proof.' When the key is turned, an existing electrical current is set in motion, and as the wheels turn on the ground, they pick up speed.



Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rabbi Yehuda Levin speaks out against gay marriage to 20,000 Hispanic Evangelicals 


Dicci Clothing in Boro-Park to say goodbye 

Dicci Clothing store on Thirteenth Avenue in Boro-Park will very soon be closing their doors for good. During its brief existence, the high-end couture boutique of Boro-Park was the target of vandalism and criticism. The store is currently selling off its inventory at 80% off. Special extra discount to wives of 'Askonim'.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yeshiva Boys Face No-Visa Charges 

Two Israeli yeshiva students in Canada were arrested on drug charges, which were then downgraded to “crossing without a visa.” They are out on bail, awaiting trial.

The story, told to Arutz-7's Shimon Cohen by the brother of one of the students, began shortly after the recent Passover holiday, when the two decided to go to the U.S. to visit relatives. Shortly before their departure, they were told that they would need visas to cross the Canadian border into the U.S., but they decided to try to sneak across the border through a forest. Instead of “landing” in their destination of New York, however, they found themselves in Vermont.

A local guard discovered them and alerted police, who set off in pursuit of what they thought were drug smugglers, who have become a plague along the forested Canadian-Vermont border.

The boys were caught after a short chase and were placed in jail. “They were thrown into a dungeon-like cell for days without even being questioned as to whether they were carrying drugs,” the brother said.

The prison authorities then took the initiative of calling Rabbi Levi Kanelsky, of the European humanitarian organization Aleph, whom they knew as someone with contacts with hareidi-religious Jews. Aleph, with wide experience in helping Jewish prisoners incarcerated throughout Europe, made contact with the boys and with their families in Israel and was able to convince the Vermont authorities that the boys were not involved in drug smuggling.

The local police would not let them off scot-free, however, and decided to charge them with “illegal entry into the United States.” This seemed to indicate that they would soon be expelled back to Canada or Israel. In the meanwhile, they spent the ensuing two weeks in jail, provided with tefillin and kosher food by the local Chabad chapter.

At the end of the two weeks, however, the boys were informed that because of the heavy caseload in the local courts, their trial had been postponed until the end of this year. The boys were faced with the choice of either spending the next several months in prison, or putting up $20,000 bail each and remaining with relatives.

Last week, the boys' relatives arrived with the money, and they are now out of prison – forbidden to leave the United States until their trial is over.



Tuesday, May 19, 2009

United Community Services of Boro-Park hosts Councilman David Weprin upon his campaign for NYC Comptroller 

The Executive Board of United Community Services of Boro Park hosted Rabbi Yonah Metzger, Chief Rabbi of Israel who gave a blessing for success to Councilman David Weprin upon is running for New York City Comptroller.
UCS Board Members Rabbis Shaule Wassertail, Ben Barber, Mayer Chaim Greenbaum, Councilman David Weprin, Rabbi Yonah Metzger Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Shlomo Torn Executive Director UCS, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Shagalov Executive Director of UCS, Rabbi Yerachmiel Zalmanov Board Member.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Hatzalah Paramedic’s vehicle stolen in Boro-Park 

A Hatzalah Paramedic’s vehicle was stolen last night in Boro Park. If you see a 2006 black Chevy Impala (newer model) with license plates CUE2420 please contact 718-387-1750 or 347-739-6926.

This vehicle was stolen from the intersection of 20th Ave and 54th Street in Borough Park and is equipped with lights and sirens as well as thousands of dollars of life saving equipment.


Good samaritan warns neighbors about potential tickets 

A good samaritan warns his neighbors not to double-park during alternate side parking times because they will be ticketed because the street (55th Street and 16th Avenue) is considered a school block.



Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pomona, rabbinical college to face off in federal court 

The village and developers of a proposed rabbinical college will be in federal court Wednesday to air their sides of a lawsuit charging discrimination against Hasidic Jews.

U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Karas will hear both the village's argument for why Congregation Rabbinical College of Tartikov's lawsuit should be dismissed, and arguments by Tartikov's lawyers for continuing the case.

This will be the first court appearance since Tartikov filed the lawsuit July 10, 2007, in federal court in White Plains.

In the interim, both sides have presented written arguments, but Judge Karas apparently wants to hear more from the parties, as well as to have an opportunity to question the attorneys.

Tartikov initially stunned the village of 3,000 people by informally proposing the development of housing for 1,000 or more students and their families on 130 acres off Routes 202 and 306.

Since then, Paul Savad, a Nanuet attorney representing Tartikov, has said that the intent was to build for only 250 students. He said the larger number represented a maximum build out for planning purposes.

Savad could not be reached Friday at his office or cell phone number.

Another Tartikov attorney, John Stepanovich of Virginia Beach, Va., said the lawsuit's target was the village's zoning.

He said Tartikov sought "a meaningful application process, and we believe it cannot occur without judicial intervention and supervision by the federal court."

Village Attorney Doris Ulman said the village could not have discriminated against Tartikov because the organization has not filed an application for its project.



Saturday, May 16, 2009

Maybe someone should let them know what Shabbos is 


Friday, May 15, 2009

Kalever Rebbe!? 

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader

Please let Google know that you are outraged at their misassociation of this image and the information beneath it. It is truly an embarrassment of a tzadik.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Even MBD loves getting metziahs at Costco 

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Time to say Kaddish for the non-Orthodox 

The [Conservative and Reform movements are] suffering from -- pick your poison -- malaise, failure of nerve, lack of transparency and inclusivity, hemorrhaging of members. The situation is said to be so bad that Rabbi Norman Lamm, the chancellor of Yeshiva University, told the Jerusalem Post this week that we should say Kaddish for both the Conservative and Reform movements.

"The Conservatives are in a mood of despondency and pessimism. They are closing schools and in general shrinking," he said.

"The Reform Movement may show a rise, because if you add goyim to Jews then you will do OK," added Lamm, referring to the Reform Movement's policy, starting in 1983, of recognizing patrilineal descent.

The National Jewish Population Survey of 2001 found that of the 46 percent of US Jewish households belonging to a synagogue, 33% were affiliated with a Conservative synagogue, a 10% fall from the 1990 survey. In contrast, the Reform Movement was up from 35% to 38% and Orthodox Jews rose from 16% to 22%. Two percent were affiliated with the Reconstructionist Movement and 5% with "other types" of synagogues.

Sociologists familiar with US Jewry believe that similar trends continue.

"Reform is out of the picture, because they never got into the picture, and the Conservatives are getting out of the picture," Lamm said.

"The future of American Jewry is in the hands of haredim and the modern Orthodox. We have to find ways of working together."



Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Chaptzem Newscast - The one and only Heimishe newscast - Episode 9 



Monday, May 11, 2009


Regular customer Yossi Rubinfeld (above) shows off the kosher eats from Heimeshe Coffee Shop while filling his tank at Rio gas station.

It's a fill-up with a schmear.

A gas station in one of Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish communities is offering up more than just candy and soda -- it's also peddling hearty stews, bagels with lox, challah and homemade gefilte fish for commuters hankering for an old-country nosh.

"People fill up on gas and fill up on food at the same time," said Sam Kay, 50, as he munched on goodies at Rio gas station in Borough Park. "It's good, Jewish and tasty."

Rio is on 14th Avenue and 38th Street in Borough Park, a neighborhood heavily populated by Hasidic Jews. In 2005, a new owner bought the station and transformed one garage bay into the Heimeshe Coffee Shop.

Its proximity to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway makes it a convenient pit stop.

"We get a lot of the same people every day," said manager Asher Haliva, adding that the cholent -- a stew of potatoes and beans -- is particularly popular.

The gefilte fish is made on site from ground whitefish mixed with eggs and seasoning, which is boiled and served with sliced carrots.

The station also sells shakshuka, a Middle Eastern medley of fried eggs and tomato sauce, and an array of pastries from Ostrovitsky's, a well-known kosher bakery in Midwood.

Customer Esti Babiov, 34, said the gas station is ideal for her community.

"Where else can you fill up your car and get kosher heimish [home-like] food while you're waiting?" she said.

Business usually picks up Thursdays and Fridays, when customers grab delicacies for Saturday, when the gas station is closed for the Sabbath.

"You'll have a guy who comes Thursday night. He can pop in and get himself a good cholent, a cold drink, and be on his way," said Yossi Rubinfeld, 30, who frequently pulls into Rio in the morning before going to work -- but not to buy fish.

"In the morning, I don't need heimish food. I need an apple danish and a coffee," he said.

"The gefilte fish is for the afternoon."



Deadbeat employer owes child support 


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Shliach Tackles Suicide Rate 

A dramatic increase in the suicide rate among Jewish youth has prompted a Bondi rabbi to organise a seminar on suicide prevention. Rabbi Mendel Kastel said he was concerned about an “alarming number of cases” of suicide in the past six months and has set out to educate the Jewish community on how to recognise when someone is at risk. He said many people were not aware they could have a positive impact on someone contemplating suicide.

“A lot of the time it’s only afterwards that you realise the signs, and it’s very important to be able to read these signs,” he said. “If someone repeatedly says things like, ‘I just want out, I can’t take it anymore’, or if they’re generally not interacting with others, they could be signs that they are thinking of taking their life.”

As the chief executive officer of The Jewish House, Rabbi Kastel was recently trained in suicide prevention by Linda McGregor of Lifeline NSW, who will speak at the seminar. “Everything you say to them is crucial, but it’s very important to let them talk you through it and travel the journey with them,” Rabbi Kastel said.



Saturday, May 09, 2009

Rabbi Sentenced To 30 Years For Molesting Daughter 

A Hasidic rabbi, convicted by a federal jury of molesting his daughter over a seven year period, has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.

Israel Weingarten, 59, of Monsey, who represented himself at trial, was found guilty in March of five counts of transporting his daughter in foreign commerce for the purpose of sexually abusing her during the spring and summer of 1997.

The convictions followed a week-long trial. Weingarten could have received up to 50 years’ in prison.

Weingarten’s daughter is now 27. She is one of seven Weingarten children. Her six siblings, ages 13 to 23, support their father. She testified that she had been molested by her father while living with her family in Hasidic communities in Belgium, Israel and New York.

Weingarten claimed that he had been falsely accused by a daughter who had rebelled against a strict upbringing.

The young woman had testified that she had come forward with the charges against her father at the urging of her mother who was battling Weingarten in a custody dispute. She said she had tried to forget everything that had happened to her as her father had warned her that would never be able to prove that he had molested her.

In 2003, she told the FBI that she had been molested since the age of 9.



When He Talks Hats, Basic Black Is Only the Beginning 

Bruno Lacorazza’s fur felt hats come in black, black or black.

But there the uniformity ends as Mr. Lacorazza, 47, Colombian-born hatter to the Lubavitch Hasidim and other Orthodox Jews who keep their heads covered, arrived in Brooklyn from Miami last week with cartons of exciting new styles retailing for about $125, along with the classics.

For Wolf Greenbaum of Feltly Hats in Williamsburg, Mr. Lacorazza pulled out a homburg, which is favored by many Hasidim — “pious ones,” in Hebrew. At first glance it looked like every other homburg, black and round. But Mr. Lacorazza had a surprise. “You see this finish?” he asked, running his hands over the fuzzy rabbit fur. It was, he announced, his new, more textured finish — “peach.”

Mr. Greenbaum was unmoved. But he liked Mr. Lacorazza’s next offering, a fedora with an asymmetrical “dimensional” brim. “But instead of three inches in the front and two and seven-eighths on the sides,” Mr. Lacorazza explained, “it’s two and three quarters on the sides!”

“This good, this leave,” Mr. Greenbaum conceded.

Mr. Lacorazza, in a white guayabera and one of his own black fedoras, wasn’t finished. “But you need to place me an order,” he said.

Black may be the new black (and the old black) in Crown Heights, Williamsburg and Borough Park. But if you thought that Hasidic hats all look the same — black brim, black crown, black band and bow — you would be wrong. Mirroring the subtle but significant differences among their Orthodox Jewish wearers, there are big differences in the hats when you know where to look, and last week Mr. Lacorazza, who visits New York a couple of times a year, pointed them out.



Friday, May 08, 2009

Hasidic high schools give up the fight 

Since 1952, Montreal’s Hasidic Yeshiva Toras Moshe high school has taught the ways of God and the Talmud to the exclusion of nearly everything else. Only five hours a week are dedicated to non-religious study. It has completely ignored several ultimatums from Quebec’s Education Ministry to change its curriculum and, by doing so, has become the poster child for reasonable accommodation run amok.

Now, however, it looks like Toras Moshe may be altering its ancient syllabus once and for all. You might call it peer pressure: two other Hasidic schools that have been fighting to keep their curricula intact recently announced that they will conform to Quebec’s education standards, and it looks like Toras Moshe may not be able to hold out on its own.

The Education Ministry recently gave Toras Moshe, as well as the Belz and Skver schools, until the fall to conform to provincial accreditation norms—meaning they must teach a minimum number of hours of non-religious subject matter. Belz and Skver, which are subsidized by the Quebec government, have both agreed to meet the government requests. Toras Moshe, which isn’t subsidized, hasn’t.

However, the school is in discussions with the province and will likely conform to the law once Belz and Skver have done so. School officials didn’t return calls, but a community spokesperson told Maclean’s that change is coming. “When the other two schools are settled, Yeshiva will begin negotiations,” he said. “Toras Moshe wants to come to a deal. I don’t know how, but we’ll do it.”

Alex Werzberger, a graduate of Toras Moshe and the ad hoc spokesperson for Montreal’s 17,000-strong Hasidic community, isn’t happy about the development. The Hasidic community, he points out, has managed to get this far without changing. “If it ain’t broke,” he says, “don’t fix it.”



Williamsburg fears street hole an accident waiting to happen 

Stalled construction has left Williamsburg residents fuming over a gaping hole at a busy intersection - where they say no work has been done since August.

The city dug up the street at the corner of Flushing and Franklin Aves. two years ago to upgrade water and sewer pipes and streetlights. A 40-foot hole in the ground has sat dormant for eight months - and neighbors say it's disrupted local businesses, snarled traffic and created rodent problems.

"Customers are complaining all the time," said Jake Friedman, general manager of Hatzlacha Supermarket on Flushing Ave., who said he has lost business because shoppers can no longer park near the store.

"It's a real mess. I don't know how people can run a city like this."

Neighbors also expressed concerns that the site - where they say protective netting has ripped or fallen down - poses a risk of accidents, noting there is a Jewish girls' school on the block.

"Children are climbing up on the fence every day," said Mordechi Held, who lives on Franklin Ave. "One day a kid will fall in." Held added, "It's causing traffic for the whole block. ... It's causing all kinds of rats and all kinds of insects."

The project was held up because connecting two water mains was more complicated than expected, said city Design and Construction Department spokesman Craig Chin. An engineer is currently designing a connection for the water mains.

"Once we [finish the design], which should be in the next few weeks, we can reduce the size of the trench area and make it safer for the pedestrians and the kids going to school," he said. He said the project will wrap by summer's end.

Isaac Abraham, a Hasidic community activist and City Council candidate, said the street work has dragged on too long already. "It is absolutely a disaster for pedestrians as well as motorists," he said.



Thursday, May 07, 2009

Sign on the entrance to Boro Park OB/GYN on 15th Avenue and 60th Street in Boro-Park 

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader

Their web-site however states that all deliveries are performed at Maimonides.


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Boro-Park community leaders support Brad Lander for City Council 

Boro-Park’s best and brightest were strategizing for Brad (Boruch) Lander for City Council. After the official word got out that Dov Hikind will be endorsing him, the domino effect happened, and all community leaders and activist from Boro-Park are supporting Brad (Boruch) Lander.


Picture info:
From Left to right

Menashe Silber – MASBIA
Brad (Boruch) Lander
Ezra Friedlander - The Friedlander Group
Yeruchim Silber – MJGC
Pesach Greenberg – Yad Efraim
Rabbi Bernard Freilich
Yakov Daskal – Shomrim
Rabbi Yitzchok Fleischer - Bobov Bikur Cholim


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Yoily and Moishe go to Hollywood 


Monday, May 04, 2009

Salamo Arouch, Jewish boxer, dies at 86 

Salamo Arouch, a Greek-born Jewish boxer who survived the Auschwitz death camp by fighting fellow prisoners in bloody exhibitions staged by their Nazi tormentors and who returned decades later as a consultant on a film about his captivity, has died. He was 86 and had lived most of his life in Israel.

Weakened by a stroke 15 years ago, he had been in declining health since late last year, according to his daughter, Dalia Ganon. She gave no precise cause of his death, which occurred April 26 at a geriatric hospital near Tel Aviv.

Arouch's harrowing series of win-or-die bouts during the final two years of World War II was immortalized in 1989 in "Triumph of the Spirit," the first major motion picture filmed on location at Auschwitz. The film, along with Arouch's inspirational postwar speeches, became part of his legacy in Israel. It has been shown to hundreds of Israelis preparing for visits to the site of the infamous Nazi camp in Poland.

Arouch was a young middleweight boxing star in his native Salonika, Greece, when German forces seized him along with about 47,000 other Jews from the city in 1943 and sent them in boxcars to Auschwitz's gas chambers and labor camps.

When a German officer asked whether any of the new inmates were boxers, Arouch was pushed from the line by acquaintances, he recalled in a 1990 interview with People magazine.

The officer asked whether he was ready to fight.

"I was very scared," Arouch said. "I was exhausted from being up all night, but I said yes."

The bouts were to amuse the officers and the rules were simple: "We fought until one went down or they were sick of watching. They wouldn't leave until they saw blood."

Defeat meant almost certain death. "The losers would be badly weakened," he said. "And the Nazis shot the weak."

Arouch, who weighed about 135 pounds in the camp, fought at least twice a week, often against much larger men. His deft footwork, which earned him the nickname the Ballet Dancer, helped him remain undefeated. By his count, he won 208 bouts in the camp and fought to two draws.



Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Satmar Hasidim and the race for the 33rd 

From Courier Life


Saturday, May 02, 2009

Cops shoot panhandler after he stabs officer with screwdriver in subway 

A screwdriver-wielding panhandler stabbed a cop and tried to take another's gun in a Brooklyn subway station Thursday, prompting both officers to shoot, officials said.

The suspect was wounded three times and a 16-year-old bystander was grazed in the leg by an errant bullet as mayhem erupted on a Crown Heights platform crowded with rush-hour commuters.

"Kids were screaming, 'He's got a gun!' Everyone was running and hysterical," said witness Lee Beckford, 40, of Brooklyn.

The violence erupted at 3:40 p.m. when suspect Stephen McKenzie, 32, tried to bum a cigarette off plainclothes cop Tyrone Barrionuevo, part of a team dispatched to the Utica Ave. station to watch for pickpockets.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said McKenzie has a long history of psychiatric problems and lives in a shelter near the station.

After aggressively demanding a cigarette, McKenzie started cursing at the 26-year-old Barrionuevo, who has been on the force for 15 months.

"Are you a cop?" McKenzie reportedly asked.

"Yes, I am," Barrionuevo responded, pulling out his badge, a police source said.

Without warning, McKenzie drew a sharpened screwdriver and plunged it into the cop's left shoulder and leg, the source said.

McKenzie allegedly attempted to stab Barrionuevo in the chest, but the thrust was blocked by the cop's bulletproof vest, Kelly said.

The officer's 27-year-old partner, Alfonso Villacres, raced to help, whacking the 6-foot, 240-pound McKenzie with a baton, Kelly said.

McKenzie then turned on Villacres, wrestling him to the platform and trying to grab his gun, sources said. During the tussle, two shots went off before Villacres could break free.

"Both officers fired their weapons," Kelly said. A total of five shots were fired in the chaos.

McKenzie was hit twice in the chest and once in the hip. He was in serious condition at Kings County Hospital.



Friday, May 01, 2009

Renowned rabbi advises students 

Junior Josh Abrams stands over a table in the basement of Hillel, knees bent slightly to lower his eyes to the man seated beside him.

The seated man is much older, with a dark gray beard that falls to his chest. A wide-brimmed black hat covers his long gray hair, and he wears a black jacket, tied at the waist like a robe, covered with shiny blue paisley patterns. He holds Abrams' hand in one of his and squeezes his cheek with the other, speaking quietly into the student's ear.

Abrams, along with about 100 other students, met with the Kalover Rebbe Moses Taub Wednesday at Hillel. Rebbe is a Judaic title that denotes the leadership of a certain sect or group. Taub is the leader of the Kalov Hasidic Jewish sect and he said he has spent the past 30 years traveling across 50 countries and meeting with students to discuss their Jewish religion and heritage.

"I come to bless them and to encourage them," Taub said. "Part of uplifting them is to help them find things that they may have lost."

The rebbe said he helps Jewish students regain the most important parts of their faith.



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