Parnassah Expo To Feature Extensive Women’s Program

February 26th, 2015

Capture[COMMUNICATED CONTENT]

As the legendary Parnassah Network grew to encompass all of the Parnassah needs of Klal Yisroel, it became apparent that a division was necessary to cater exclusively to women, speaking directly to their unique position and challenges.

 

The Women In The Workforce division, ably coordinated by Tova Herskovitz, LSW, strives to meet the needs of working women at every stage of their career. From fresh seminary graduates to accomplished CEO’s seeking similarly successful frum women with whom to network, to talented mothers who have taken a hiatus from the working world to raise their growing families, Women in the Workforce offers a high level of support and professional education for every woman.

 

Working women continue to blend roles and expectations, conflict and coordination, balance and fulfillment in their many obligations. For frum women, the challenge can be even greater.

 

At the core of WIW is an executive committee of women successful in their respective fields. These professionals in fields such as law, media, accounting, nonprofits, consulting and more give up of their time and expertise to shape the direction of the organization in a manner that would prove beneficial to Jewish women everywhere.

 

As the date for the highly anticipated Parnassah Expo draws near, plans are in place for an intensive regimen of workshops and networking opportunities for women at every stage of their career. Women in the Workforce is commandeering an entire ballroom at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center for its programming, through which every woman seeking to maximize her parnassah will find invaluable tools and guidance.

 

A full lineup of speakers  and workshops are scheduled for both March 17 and 18 of the Expo. Presentations will include relevant topics such as  work/ life balance, legal issues pertaining to female employees, technology tools, time management skills, and viable career options for frum women.

 

Attendees at the Expo will be able to access and connect with many outstanding women. Among those presenting and attending will be Rebbetzin Faigie Horowitz, Touro College career services, Leah Zagelbaum, Director of Communications Agudath Israel of America; Rivka Sender of Hasevivah; Mrs. Chanie Jacobowitz, Director of Community Affairs at Beis Medrash Govoha; Chaya Fishman, founder and director of The Jewish Woman Entrepreneur; Janette Levey Frisch, employment/ HR attorney, and Estie Rand, consultant and coach Strand Business Consulting.

 

By bringing a diverse group of women together and providing a varied and dynamic schedule of events, the program for women at the Expo will be beneficial to every attendee in whatever stage they find themselves and within whatever field they work.

 

The Parnassah Expo will take place at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison, NJ on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 17thand 18th. For more information or to register as an attendee, please contact info@womeninworkforce.com or visit womeninworkforce.com or call 732-746-0305

Marathon Bombing Suspect: Not Enough Minorities in Jury Pool

February 26th, 2015

tsarLawyers for the Boston Marathon bombing suspect asked a judge Thursday to dismiss the indictment against their client or suspend his trial, saying there weren’t enough minorities and younger people in the jury pool.

The move by lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev came just days before opening statements and testimony are set to begin in his federal death penalty trial.

In their written motion, Tsarnaev’s lawyers say the selection process has undermined the required random summoning of potential jurors. They also say the process violated Tsarnaev’s constitutional right to have a jury that represents a “fair cross section of the community.”

The defense said 1,373 people, summoned from a population of about 5 million in eastern Massachusetts, were originally given numbers based on a random pool order list. New numbers were later assigned, based on when the jurors reported to court to complete written questionnaires.

The defense argues that the reordering undermined the randomness of the selection process and pushed certain groups — including blacks, people under 30 and people who live in Boston — down on the list and made them less likely to be chosen for the jury. Only about half of the 1,373 people summoned were considered based on their written questionnaires or questioned individually.

“This re-ordering, apparently based on non-random factors such as arrival time, had systemic effects on the order. The re-ordering was not random and had nonneutral effects on cognizable groups,” they wrote in their motion.

For example, a statistician hired by the defense found that the reordering of prospective jurors, on average, pushed the number of black jurors back 43 positions in the order of selection and moved potential white jurors up by three positions. Prospective jurors who live in Boston were pushed back 25 positions, and those under 30 moved back 13 slots, the defense said.

The statistician, comparing the reordered jurors to their original order, found there were no prospective black jurors among the first 94 people in the new order. He said there would have been five potential black jurors if the court had kept the jurors in their original order.

The defense also argued that the process violated the constitutional cross-section requirement by allowing people over 70 to opt out of jury service. Tsarnaev’s lawyers said nearly 96 percent of people over 70 who were summoned as potential jurors opted not to serve.

They also argued that the process did not identify enough prospective black jurors. They said although black people make up 6.14 percent of the population eligible for jury service, they make up only 4.25 percent of the list of names drawn for jury selection.

A spokeswoman for prosecutors declined to comment. The judge did not immediately rule on the request.

Tsarnaev, 21, is accused of carrying out twin bombings at the 2013 marathon. The explosions killed three people and injured more than 260.

Opening statements in the trial are scheduled for March 4.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers have argued repeatedly that the trial should be moved out of Massachusetts because of the emotional impact the bombings had in the state and because many people have personal connections to the case. They’ve been turned down three times by Judge George O’Toole Jr. but last week argued before the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court has not yet issued its ruling.

(AP)

GOP May Need House Dems To Help Resolve DHS Funding Impasse

February 26th, 2015

senFor all the talk of Republican House Speaker John Boehner being trapped by the quarrel over funding the Homeland Security Department, he holds a potential escape key, if he’s willing to use it: cooperative Democrats.

Aides say he doesn’t like it, but Boehner sometimes relies on Democrats to help pass measures that many — and sometimes most — Republicans oppose. They include the January 2013 resolution to the “fiscal cliff” showdown, which 151 House Republicans opposed. The Democrats’ 172 “yes” votes saved the measure, averting tax increases on most U.S. workers.

And last year the House raised the federal debt ceiling with 193 Democratic votes and only 28 Republican votes.

House Democrats also supplied crucial votes for big budget deals in 2011 and 2014, when 66 and 67 Republicans voted nay. And they provided most of the votes to send federal aid to Superstorm Sandy victims and to renew the Violence Against Women Act.

The bipartisan strategy carries political risks. A House speaker who defies his party’s wishes too often can lose his post.

GOP Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona said Wednesday that Boehner would be “on very thin ice” if he tries to use mainly Democratic votes to pass a Homeland Security funding measure that doesn’t restrict President Barack Obama’s control of immigration policies.

Boehner, who has a knack for navigating the House GOP’s serpentine currents, has survived such threats before. Two-dozen Republicans voted against his re-election as speaker last month, which was more of a slight embarrassment than a genuine scare. His track record doesn’t guarantee a happy end to the Homeland Security debate. But it suggests his options aren’t as limited or dire as some people suggest.

The House voted last month to end Homeland Security funding on Saturday unless Obama reverses his order to protect millions of immigrants from possible deportation. After Democratic filibusters blocked the bill in the Senate, the chamber’s Republican leaders agreed this week to offer a “clean” funding measure, with no immigration strings attached.

If it advances, Boehner will face unsavory choices. They include defunding the Homeland Security Department in an era of terrorist threats, or passing a “clean” funding bill with lots of Democratic votes and GOP defections.

Some Republicans prefer the second option. House Democrats “will give Boehner some votes,” predicted Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who spent eight years in the House. “It gives his 30 or 40 die-hard guys a place to go.”

Graham was alluding to a hard core of ideological conservatives who defy House leaders on many topics. Their numbers range from about 25 to 80, depending on the issue, lawmakers say.

House conservatives sometimes denounce GOP leaders for cutting deals with Democrats. But even their friends say it’s partly political theater.

They talk of an unofficial “hope yes, vote no caucus,” which secretly counts on Democrats to pass important measures, such as debt limit hikes. Die-hard conservatives say they can’t publicly support such bills without inviting primary election challenges from the right.

Republicans hold 245 House seats, to the Democrats’ 188. Two seats are vacant.

Boehner can lose up to 28 Republicans and still pass a bill with no Democratic help. But defections often run much higher on contentious issues, and many Republicans have vowed to do whatever it takes to undo Obama’s deportation orders.

Thirty House conservatives sent a letter to Boehner and other Republican leaders this week urging them to “stand firm against these unlawful executive actions” by Obama.

House Democrats are lying low, happy to watch Republicans struggle. They’ve not publicly promised to help Boehner pass a funding bill, but there’s little doubt they would if Obama approves the final measure.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said Wednesday he has spoken with House Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer, and “they’re just waiting to see what’s going to happen.”

For now, House Republicans don’t want to talk about relying on Democrats to resolve the impasse.

“I certainly wouldn’t like that to happen,” said Rep. Bill Flores of Texas. “We are the majority, we have the responsibility to govern.”

Democrats might embrace Republican goals, Flores said, “but they should not be the people that get us over the threshold.”

(AP)

Porush: Shas Is Not a Chareidi Party

February 26th, 2015

porMK (Yahadut Hatorah) Meir Porush slammed the Shas party, which he insists is not a chareidi party. His words serve to confirm accusations made by Shas leader Aryeh Deri, that Yahadut Hatorah has begun going after Shas voters. This by the way was confirmed by Moshe Gafne, who said this time around, they are going after any votes possible.

Porush was in Bnei Brak on Wednesday night 6 Adar at the opening of the party’s election headquarters in the Torah city.

He stated that while Shas continues to claim to be the party which really looks out for the underprivileged, Porush stated it is not so and only Yahadut Hatorah turns to the chareidi tzibur and concerns itself with these issues. Interestingly, Yated Neeman and Hamodia only report a portion of Porush’s criticism but the latter’s HaMevaser quotes his address without deleting portions.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Brooklyn: Greenfield Secures Pay for Special Education Providers

February 26th, 2015

gfCouncilman David G. Greenfield has long been committed to ensuring that non-public school students and special education providers receive their fair share from the Department of Education (DOE). After hearing from several parents and providers concerned about a sudden rate cut for Oral Transliterators, Councilman Greenfield immediately reached out to the Department of Education and was able to secure a guarantee from the DOE that rates would remain unchanged for the remainder of the academic year.

Oral Transliterators or Oral Interpreters provide an important service for deaf and hard of hearing students. In the classroom, Oral Transliterators support their students by mouthing and gesturing communication from the classroom teacher to the student. Over the past few weeks, Councilman Greenfield’s office received numerous complaints about the Department of Education’s decision to cut rates for Oral Transliterators from $40 per hour to $20 per hour. This decrease in wages came without prior notification. In addition to the drastic pay cut, Oral Transliterators would have lost out on pay for services they had already provided but hadn’t submitted invoices for. Oral Transliterators were troubled by the across the board decrease in rates because they had agreed to provide services to their students with the understanding that they would receive $40 per hour for the period of services indicated in the child’s related service authorization or RSA. Parents of children with special needs were deeply disturbed by the DOE’s decision because it would make finding suitable providers even more difficult as there is a limited number of qualified Oral Transliterators.

After contacting top DOE officials, Greenfield was told that the DOE agreed that all Oral Transliterators with approved RSA assignments with start dates earlier than March 1, 2015 will continue to receive $40 per hour for the full term of their students’ RSA up to June 30, 2015.

“I am pleased we were able to get the Department of Education to reverse their decision and restore the pay rate of Oral Transliterators. While there is a small number of Oral Transliterators in comparison to other related service providers, this pay cut would have had a large impact on these providers and their families,” said Councilman Greenfield.

Since taking office in 2010, Councilman Greenfield has been a leading advocate for students with special needs and their providers. Most recently, Councilman Greenfield helped approximately one hundred families obtain RSA’s for their children after the DOE failed to assign students to agencies that would provide related services in a timely matter. Parents or providers needing assistance navigating the Department of Education are encouraged to contact Councilman Greenfield’s office at (718) 853-2704.

(YWN Desk – NYC)

LISTEN: Yahadut Hatorah’s Official Election Jingle [Arranged By Ruvi Banet, Starring Shlomo Cohen And Eli Herzlich]

February 26th, 2015

התקבצו חרדים זה לזה, זה למען זה ואמר זה לזה. התקבצו גדולי ישראל זה לצד זה, ואמר זה לזה. כאיש אחד בלב אחד כולנו מצביעים, ג’ ג’ כולנו מאוחדים. גזירות קשות המתגברות, לא עת לחשות, יהדות התורה בחירה היא לדורות.

New US Intelligence Assessment Says Cyber Threats Expanding

February 26th, 2015

hack Saboteurs, spies and thieves are expanding their computer attacks against a vulnerable American Internet infrastructure, chipping away at U.S. wealth and security over time, according to the latest U.S. intelligence appraisal of the top dangers facing the country.

In its annual worldwide threats assessment released Thursday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence says that a catastrophic destruction of infrastructure is unlikely, but it nonetheless placed cyber attacks above terrorism on the list of dangers facing the nation.

“Cyber threats to U.S. national and economic security are increasing in frequency, scale, sophistication, and severity of impact,” the assessment says. “Rather than a ‘Cyber Armageddon’ scenario that debilitates the entire US infrastructure, we envision something different,” it said. “We foresee an ongoing series of low-to-moderate level cyber attacks from a variety of sources over time, which will impose cumulative costs on U.S. economic competitiveness and national security.

Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are the top nation state cyber threats, the intelligence assessment found.

The assessment said officials are increasingly concerned that cyber attackers will seek to change or destroy crucial data in a way that could undermine financial markets and business confidence.

More broadly, the assessment surveyed an increasingly uncertain world, with more terrorist safe havens than at any time in recent history.

“Unpredictable instability is the new normal,” James Clapper, director of national intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

(AP)

BINA Reception This Sunday to Benefit Brain Injury Survivors

February 26th, 2015

CaptureThe annual Brooklyn reception for BINA Stroke and Brain Injury Assistance, the only Jewish organization providing guidance and assistance to stroke and brain injury survivors, will take place this Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 7:15 p.m. at the Toras Emes hall at 1904 Avenue N in Brooklyn.

Rabbi Herschel Zolty, Rosh Yeshiva Mirrer Yeshiva and Rav of Bais Medrash of Flatbush, will open the program at 8:00 with Divrei Bracha, followed by a personal and gripping account by a TBI (traumatic brain injury) survivor of the many twists and turns in his journey to recovery following a devastating and life-altering brain injury.

A brain injury can happen to any person of any age at any time, and every member of the family is affected in its aftermath. BINA has assisted thousands of families in the United States, Canada, Israel and Europe dealing with the upheaval of stroke and brain injury resulting from falls, car accidents, strokes, aneurysms, brain tumors and other neurological conditions.

BINA’s comprehensive system of rehabilitation referrals, case management, crisis intervention and caregiver support services allow brain injury survivors and their families to access the best possible level of care while on the long road to recovery.  Educational events presented by leading experts in the field are also conducted for both professionals and the community.

In the words of Rabbi Yaakov Bender, Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshiva Darchei Torah, “BINA’s guidance and assistance can allow (brain injury) survivors to achieve the best possible outcome while receiving rehabilitation services. The BINA organization is doing fantastic work for people who would otherwise have nowhere to turn.” Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski attests, “To the suffering patient and family, things may appear hopeless. BINA brings back hope, and a variety of vital services to enable (them) to make an optimal adjustment to this new reality.”

With the help of concerned individuals, BINA can ensure that no need goes unmet for brain injury survivors in our community. Please join us this Sunday and make a real difference in the lives of these families.

For more information, contact BINA at 718-645-6400 or info@binausa.org, or go to www.binausa.org.

Israel State Comptroller Releases his Report on the Housing Crisis

February 26th, 2015

shapiraState Comptroller Yosef Shapira did not spare the criticism in his comprehensive 294-page report released on Wednesday 6 Adar pertaining to the nation’s housing crisis. Shapira warns that if drastic actions are not implement, the current situation may lead to the elimination of Israel’s middle class and deliver a major blow to the economy. Despite statements from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his coalition partners to the contrary, the report states the prime minister and his coalition did little to address the growing problem, which is blamed on poor planning, poor government and simply ignoring the needs of Israel’s middle class.

Perhaps a bit of relief for PM Netanyahu comes in the fact that the housing crisis began in 2008, during the tenure of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, whose administration was no less incompetent. The report speaks of Olmert’s decision to curtail the Israel Lands Administration, a decision that was approved by the cabinet in 2007. It spoke of the Olmert administration’s lack of vision with its five-year streamlining plan.

However, the current prime minister is blamed for not stopping it and taking the actions required to reverse the trend. Shapira explains that the only actions taken by the Netanyahu administration remains by and large on paper and does not reach the implementation stage.

How Much Do Israelis Spend on Rent?

So one may ask just how much of one’s salary does one have to spend for rent? According to the report, 21% of an average salary went to paying rent back in 2008. That figure increased to 26% in 2012 and it now rapidly moving in on 30%. During the same time period, 2008-2013, housing prices increased by 55%. Rent however only increased by 30%. However it is significant to point out that monthly wages during the same time period did not increase in line with housing prices.

What is clear is that the cost of renting has increased around the country. In the Krayot, rentals have increased by 42% from 2008-2013. In the north, that figure stands at 30%, the Sharon region 49%, the south 43%, the center 47%, Gush Dan 47%, Haifa 41%, Tel Aviv 54%, Yerushalayim 40%, and on the average, 46%.

How Many Salaries Does it Cost to Buy an Apartment?

· Back in 2008, during the Olmert administration, one needed 103 monthly salaries to buy an apartment.

· That number increased to 137 by 2013.

· Today, that figure stands at 148 monthly salaries.

· For comparison sake, the average in the US and UK is 65 monthly salaries.

What Causes the Shortage?

If one takes the years between 2002 and 2012, there were shortage of 53,000 housing units between housing starts and the number of households. Shapira also stated there is a significant lack in a range of apartment sizes.

The apartments are getting larger for in 1980, 42% of apartment starts were three rooms of less (2 bedrooms and 1 living room) while in 2008, that number drops to 6%. This is a contributory factor to the increase in the cost of apartments- they are simply larger and therefore more expensive. He views the sharp reduction in the number of smaller apartments unfavorably.

After completing the portion of the report that slams Olmert, the report shifts to the summer of 2010, a year after the Netanyahu-led government was formed. He blames the prime minister of failing to realize and act to stop the rapidly increasing cost in housing.

The report cites the government red tape, foot-dragging, a lack of coordination between authorities and ministries, poor planning, a lack of implementation of government decision as some of the major causes for today’s worrisome reality.

Yahadut Hatorah was ready with its video response, stating the housing crisis is a key issue for the party amid a realization many chareidi couples are living in storage rooms, in storage rooms in underground garages and in garbage sheds.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Mayor de Blasio Defends Metzitzah B’peh Agreement

February 26th, 2015

debMayor Bill de Blasio is defending New York City’s tentative agreement with members of the Jewish community over Metzitzah B’peh.

Health officials have linked 17 cases of infant herpes since 2000 to the ancient ritual of sucking blood from the wounds of the infants.

The new deal no longer requires the circumcisers to obtain signed consent forms before the rites.

De Blasio said Wednesday the old policy of obtaining signed consent forms was “unenforceable” and offended some community members.

He also vowed that the city would stop any “wrongdoing” and prevent any mohel who gives a child herpes from continuing to administer the rite.

(AP)

VIDEO AND PHOTOS: Suspicious Fire Destroys Unoccupied Home On Park Avenue In Monsey

February 26th, 2015

m4[VIDEO & PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]

Early Thursday morning, at approximately 1:57am, while patrolling neighborhoods in the Monsey section of the Town of Ramapo, Police Officer Daniel Jacaruso of the Ramapo Police Department saw and smelled smoke in the area of Saddle River Road. He searched the area and found a fully engulfed house fire at 3 Park Avenue, Monsey, NY. He noticed that the flames were quickly spreading toward 5 Park Avenue. Officer Jacaruso attempted to get to the front door of 5 Park Avenue, but the flames and heat from the fire next door prevented this. He therefore ran around to the rear of the house, banged on the back door, and woke up three elderly occupants whom he assisted to safety.

The Monsey Volunteer Fire Department responded to extinguish the fire, and Hillcrest FD responded on mutual aid. Rockland Paramedics and Faist Volunteer Ambulance stood by at the scene of this incident. Orange & Rockland Utilities arrived and shut the gas flow to 3 Park Avenue as flames were shooting from the gas regulator at the front of the residence near the foundation.

Ramapo Police tell YWN that the home was unoccupied and the cause of the fire is unknown. Rockland County BCI Arson Unit and Ramapo PD Investigations Unit are investigating the cause of this fire.

m1 m10 m9 m8 m7 m6 m5 m4 m3 m2

(Chaim Shaprio – YWN)

EU Deal on Passenger Data Stalls in Threat to Terror Fight

February 26th, 2015

planeDelays in setting up a European Union-wide system using air travel information to fight terrorism could lead to a patchwork of schemes that lets suspects slip through the net, officials warned Thursday.

EU leaders early this month called for the urgent adoption of an efficient European Passenger Name Record system to help halt the flow of fighters heading to Syria and Iraq.

But with legislation on hold in the European Parliament for two years now, more than a dozen countries have started looking at developing their own systems.

“Diversity can only benefit those who would do us harm,” said British Conservative lawmaker Timothy Kirkhope, who is pushing legislation through parliament against strong privacy concerns. Many lawmakers oppose allowing great quantities of personal data to be swept up and kept for up to five years.

PNR collects 19 pieces of information including travel dates, itinerary, ticket information, or contact and credit card details. The system could oblige air carriers to hand over details to authorities for use in cases of terrorism and serious transnational crime.

The EU has agreed PNR deals with the United States, Canada and Australia but in four years has not be able to agree on sharing data among its own members. Britain is the only EU country with a functioning national system. France, for example, is developing one that is slightly different.

The EU’s Latvian presidency is convinced that one PNR is better than 28.

“It’s more efficient, with much better security and fundamental rights safeguards,” said Zanda Kalnina-Lukasevica, parliamentary secretary at Latvia’s foreign ministry.

The European Commission, which has provided funds for developing national PNRs, is also concerned the systems might not match up.

(AP)

NYS Police Arrest Four NYC Men for Criminal Trespass at Homowack Hotel – ‘Skver Shtetel’

February 26th, 2015

hwOn Saturday February 21, 2015 New York State Troopers arrested four New York City men for Criminal Trespass.

Wurtsboro Troopers responded to a trespass call at the old Homowack Lodge in Phillipsport on Saturday afternoon. Upon arrival to location Troopers located four males from New York City in the building with camera’s and smoke fire works filming. Awad Ramy, of Woodside, Noah Vasquez, of Elmhurst, Adam Luchansky, of Manhattan, and Armando Davila, of Corona, were all arrested by Troopers and transported to SP Wurtsboro for processing. All four men were charged with Criminal Trespass 3rd and Possession of Fireworks. All four men were arraigned in Town of Mamakating Court and are due to reappear at a later date.

In August of 2007, YWN had reported that thousands of Jews from all walks of life had gathered at the Homowack Lodge to celebrate what was called an “historic founding of a new heimishe Skver Shtetl in upstate New York”. Hundreds of Rabbonim, Admorim, Roshei Yeshivos and Dayonim were attendance as well. Founded more than 50 years ago by the Skver Rebbe ZATZAL, New Square Shtetel – located in Spring Valley – has reached its population limit; so about 10 years ago, New Square askanim started searching for a suitable location on which to build a twin community to the current shtetl. The Homowack Hotel was chosen for this.

Those plans were cancelled a few years later, and the property was once again sold.

According to Abandoned Playgrounds, the defunct Homowack Lodge was one of the many Borscht Belt summer resorts in the Catskills that are now abandoned. The resort resides near the Homowack Creek, where it derives its name. The history of the Homowack Lodge is scarce, when it opened was probably in the 1920’s or after and its decline ran through the 1970’s through possibly the 1980’s, like with the Grossinger’s Resort.

The Homowack Lodge in its prime offerend many things to do such as physical activities like tennis, bowling and swimming. It also offered relaxing things like a theater stage to watch performers, a cocktail lounge and regular lounge.

The eventual decline and extreme decay of the Homowack Lodge increased over the years. An incident that occurred in 2009 of the lodge being used as a girls camp with a new name Machne Bnos Square, cause much controversy. The town of Mamakating had cited numerous violations and tried to have the camp shut down, it was not until the New York State Department of Health intervened that the camp was closed. The campers and staff were endangered by the toxic mold, exposed wiring and insulation, and there were fire safety violations.

(Chaim Shapiro – YWN Sullivan County Newsroom)

German Jewish Leader Warns Against Wearing Yarmulka

February 26th, 2015

yarmGermany’s top Jewish leader suggested on Thursday that Jews shouldn’t wear a Yarmulka in areas with large Muslim populations but also said that hiding isn’t the right approach to concerns about anti-Semitism.

Security worries among European Jews have been stoked by recent attacks in Paris and Copenhagen. Jews in Germany generally feel safe, though security measures need to be evaluated frequently, Josef Schuster, the head of the Central Council of Jews, told rbb Inforadio.

One of Schuster’s predecessors last year suggested that Jews in Germany should make sure they’re not recognizable as Jews.

“I think hiding is not the right way” of dealing with worries about anti-Semitism, Schuster said. However, he added that it’s right to ask whether, in areas with high Muslim populations in Berlin and elsewhere, “it really makes sense to identify oneself as a Jew by wearing a kippa, for example, or whether it’s better to wear different headgear there.

“That is a development that I didn’t expect five years ago and is a little alarming,” Schuster said, adding that Muslim groups should do more to counter anti-Semitism among young people.

On Tuesday, Germany’s interior minister met with Jewish leaders and reassured them that their safety is a top priority.

(AP)

TODAY- Flatbush: Council Member Chaim Deutsch to Hold Important Two-part Community Symposium on Counter-Terrorism & Safety Awareness

February 26th, 2015

deutCouncil Member Chaim Deutsch invites residents to participate in a two-part Community Symposium featuring presentations by the NYS National Guard, the NYC Office of Emergency Management, NYPD and FDNY. The NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services will also be in attendance to answer questions. These seminars will discuss how our community can meet the growing challenges involved in countering terrorist threats and attacks that could impact our security.

In the wake of events overseas and here in our City, Council Member Deutsch has asked these agencies to send their experts out and educate the public on both preventive and responsive safety measures. All parents, educators, school administrators (from public and non-public schools), clergy, congregants, and staff at community centers and agencies are encouraged to attend these events to learn more about protective measures that can be taken.

The topics to be addressed will include: Attaining an awareness of current threat trends and patterns; how to forestall or prevent a disaster; gaining awareness on counter-terrorism; what is an active shooter, and how to react in an emergency situation; and learning fire-safety strategies. The conferences will educate us on how to maintain high vigilance in our schools, houses of worship and community centers, and how to take the necessary steps to heighten our security awareness. These events will help local institutions to be safeguarded from threats and acts of hostility and violence.

The two-part Symposium will both be held at James Madison High School, located at 3787 Bedford Avenue, in Brooklyn [between Avenue P and Quentin Road]. The first event will be on Thursday, February 26th – 6:00 PM, the second event will be held on Tuesday, March 3rd, also at 6:00 PM.

“As Chair of the NYC Council Non-Public Schools Subcommittee and a member of the NYC Council Public Safety Committee, I am especially involved in the security concerns of my constituents and our schools, which may be most vulnerable,” said Council Member Chaim Deutsch. “I encourage you to join me at these events to learn more about some pre-emptive measures we can take towards protecting our children and families.”

(YWN Desk – NYC)

Yishai Regarding Gush Katif: We Mustn’t Permit a Second Disaster

February 26th, 2015

yishaiMembers of the Yachad party on Tuesday, 5 Adar visited Yishuv Nitzan and its residents who were expelled from Gush Katif by the government in the 2005 Disengagement Plan. Yishai said “Every child in Israel must come here and see the memorial to Gush Katif to see the terrible tragedy that occurred with his own eyes”.

A number of residents of the community joined the Yachad delegation, expressing support for the new party. Also present was Rav Yigal Kirschenzeft, a Chabad shaliach and one of the veterans of Gush Katif, who briefed the Yachad delegation on the educational institutions and the status of the expellees. The rav explained that even today, some of the former Gaza residents do not have a permanent home.

The visitors saw a video and received an explanation regarding the shuls and religious institutions uprooted in the expulsion. When the saw the portion of the N’vei Dekalim shul being evacuated, some of the visitors had tears in their eyes.

Yishai, who was the head of Shas, objected strongly to the government plan and broke from the government as a result. Some of those present reminded Yishai of his visit to Gush Katif shortly before the expulsion.

Amital Bareli, number six on the Yachad list, spoke of the need to return to Gush Katif. “We came here to express our feelings. Not just feelings of solidarity with the residents and all they have endured since the expulsion, but to connect with the residents who one day hope to return to those places from which they were expelled. While for some it appears a distant dream, for us, we are confident B’ezras Hashem with a herculean effort we will abolish the disengagement law and return to Gush Katif and Northern Shomron”.

Rabbi Kobi Yakir, a candidate of the party who was active in the struggle to prevent the expulsion commented as the end of their visit. “We see the expulsion, the pain and destruction and it is clear that in these days that the only right wing that is relevant is one based in Torah. ימין ה’ רוממה. Only if we settle the land in a torah way can we succeed. This is the way of Yachad and all who believe in H’s mitzvos of inheriting and building of Torah in Eretz Yisrael”.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Rav Kaduri’s Condition Reportedly Critical

February 26th, 2015

tehillAfter undergoing emergency brain surgery in Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital on Wednesday night 6 Adar, Mekubal Rabbi David Kaduri was placed in a medically induced coma. The rav is now listed in critical condition.

As was reported earlier,  the rav fell down a flight of stairs when leaving beis medrash on Wednesday morning.

Doctors report “he is hanging between life and death at this time”.

The tzibur is asked to be mispallel for Rav Meir David ben Sara Shadra bsoch kol cholei yisrael. ( הרב מאיר דוד בן שרה שדרה )

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

OU: We Support “Student Success Act” to Improve Equitable Services Distribution for All Students

February 26th, 2015

oulThe Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, declared its support for the Student Success Act (H.R.5), sponsored by Representative John Kline (R-MN) – which is to be considered on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives starting Wednesday.

The legislation will reauthorize and revise the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which funds local public school districts for specific purposes, such as remedial reading, teacher training, speech and occupational therapy.

While school districts are mandated by law to deliver ESEA services to all students, including those in non-public schools, too often they fail to implement these programs. The text of H.R. 5 includes recommendations from the Orthodox Union that will improve the ESEA’s distribution of equitable services for all students.

In a letter to Chairman Kline and Subcommittee Chair Todd Rokita (R-IN) of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, the leadership of the Orthodox Union expressed its appreciation for the provisions within H.R. 5, which would “ensure the participation of private school students and teachers in the programs funded under the ESEA.”

“The revisions to the ESEA provided within H.R.5 will better protect access for low-income and learning-challenged students in non-public schools,” said Nathan Diament, Executive Director for Public Policy for the Orthodox Union.

“The Orthodox Union has worked with Representatives and Senators on both sides of the aisle for many years to improve ESEA for all American children — including those in non-public schools — and we are pleased to support the Student Success Act for the reauthorization of ESEA. We urge all the members of the House of Representatives to support H.R.5 and pass it today,” added Mr. Diament.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

Police Raid Ohd Yosef Chai Yeshiva & Arrest One Talmid

February 26th, 2015

raidPolice during the night (Tuesday-Wednesday, 6 Adar) raided the Ohd Yosef Chai Yeshiva in Yishuv Yitzhar. A 17-year-old talmid was taken into custody. He was taken to Shai (Shomron-Yehuda) Police headquarters and questioned on suspicion of slashing the tires of a military vehicle that was bringing supplies to border police housed in Yitzhar.

Honenu attorney Adi Kedar is representing the youth, with whom he spoke during the predawn hours. The youth denies the allegations leveled against him. Honenu issued a statement decrying the tactics used by police, questioning why they must storm into a yeshiva in the middle of the night.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Border Police Prevented an Infiltration Jezreel Valley Community

February 26th, 2015

mishBorder police during the morning hours arrested a suspect who tried to break into Yishuv Rom-Ohn, which is located in the Chevel Tanachim in the S. Jezreel Valley. The suspect was carrying two knives, screwdrivers, flashlights, cellular telephones and burglars’ tools. Officials appear if his motive was criminal or terror but police are leaning towards criminal. He was taken into custody and transported to Ariel Police in Shomron.

In response to a report of a sentry of seeing a suspicious image approaching the community, border police from the Jenin district were activated and they responded immediately.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)