Category Archives: Opinion

Op Ed: Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS & American PR Firms

OPED logo(By Ronn Torossian). A few months ago, first lady Michelle Obama tweeted “Our prayers are with the missing Nigerian girls and their families,” and posted a photo of herself holding a piece of paper with the message “#BringBackOurGirls.” Similarly, at the end of March, when Russian leader Vladimir Putin sent in troops and tanks to invade the Ukraine, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki posted a smiling photo of herself, with a thumbs-up holding a sign that read “#United-For-Ukraine@State-Dept-Spox.” Read more »


Op-Ed: Bibi’s Visit Soothes His Demographic

shai franklin(By Shai Franklin). Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in New York and Washington last week, for a visit that overall was successful in media strategy and diplomatic outreach. No tour de force, but certainly no major gaffes. His visit was not really about achieving results in Washington or at the United Nations, but about laying down markers back in Israel and in the West Bank.

Supporters of Netanyahu’s politics and policies should be very satisfied with his U.S. trip. Read more »


Op-Ed Re: El Al Flights: The Insolence of a Few

OPED logo(By Avrumi Weinberger). Most people are decent and rational. But some unfortunately are not. Sometimes, the self centered actions of a few can cause much heartache to many and lead to very undesirable and far-reaching repercussions. Such was the case last week on an El Al flight when a number of Orthodox Jews asked their female neighbors to switch seats due to religious concerns not to sit near members of the opposite gender. Read more »


What Would A Partisan Shift In Control Of The Senate Mean For Jewish Issues?

the capitol(By Dmitriy Shapiro for JNS/Washington Jewish Week). As the Republican party pushes to retake the majority of the U.S. Senate in the upcoming November midterm elections, which would give it control of both houses of Congress, a partisan shift in power may significantly affect a broad range of foreign policy and domestic social issues that are prioritized by American Jews.

Midterm elections in the Senate and House of Representatives have been historically difficult for the party holding the presidency.

Read more »


Op-Ed: The Two Candidates for NYS Senate District 20

OPED logo(By: Yosef Hershkop) Today, Tuesday September 9, 2014, is primary day in New York State. Our community will elect its next NY State Senator to represent District 20.

It is very important for everyone to vote.  If we don’t vote, it’s as if we don’t exist. When it comes to funding for social services that can help our community and yeshivos, creating policies that are reflective of our needs, and diplomatic and Read more »


Op-Ed: Time To Stand Up For Religious Freedom

OPED logo(Yitzchok Ben-Shmuel). A bakery in Colorado, a photographer in New Mexico, and a florist in Washington state, what do these businesses have in common? They are some businesses that have been sued for refusing to serve same gender “weddings” on religious grounds.

Until recently I thought that in New York we might be safe; after all we were promised that the bill to redefine marriage would include protection for religious liberty. Read more »


Op-Ed: If You Don’t Vote, Stop Complaining: It’s That Simple!

ezra friedlander head(Ezra Friedlander). It seems that everybody has an opinion these days, especially about politics. Everyone seems to know just how we should run our city, our state, and our country. Some express their opinions in shul, others in conversations, and still others on blogs, WhatsApp, or Twitter.

They spend hours debating and pontificating on the evils of our political establishment. But they won’t do the one thing that would have the most impact. They don’t turn their feelings into positive action. They don’t vote. Read more »


EDITORIAL: What If That Yarmulke Were A Keffiyeh?

As activists, headed by Rev. Al Sharpton, marched and protested against the NYPD and City officials over the killing of Eric Garner, a new report revealed a spike in anti-Semitic attacks against members of the Jewish community.

But while the NYPD rushed to calm tensions with the black community, promising to reform the Police Department’s practice of arrests, the City’s elected officials, as well as police brass, have done very little to wind down the increasing fear of many in the Jewish community of the spike in hate crime attacks. Read more »


Reb. Nachman Caller: Open Letter To Residents Of Town Of Thompson Re: Catskills Casinos

OPED logoThe following is an open letter to all of the residents of the town of Thompson in Sullivan County from R’ Nachman C. Caller Esq., a summer resident of the town of Thompson:

I am writing to highlight what I believe to be an untapped opportunity and to make a proposal to the Residents of the Town of Thompson and Sullivan County.

Read more »


Analysis: Aleichem’s ‘Yinglish’ Embodied Blending of Two Worlds for Jewish US Immigrants

In a column published by the Jewish Voice and Herald of Rhode Island, Rabbi James B. Rosenberg, rabbi emeritus of Temple Habonim in Barrington, analyzes the work of classic Jewish writer Sholem Aleichem (Sholem Rabinovitch, 1859-1916), who popularized the Yiddish-speaking “old world” in America and is probably best known as the man whose literature inspired “Fiddler on the Roof,” the 1964 Broadway musical and subsequent 1971 film that – 50 years after its creation – still endures in both the Jewish and national mindset.

Read more »


Op-Ed: International Relations Can Survive Without Borough Presidents

OPED logo(By Ronn Torossian). In the aftermath of the debate about whether Mayor DeBlasio should reimburse NY taxpayers for paying for his personal trips comes the all-important news that Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer flew to Israel this week for a 2-day solidarity visit.

Stop the presses. Read more »


Op-Ed: Andrew Cuomo At Home In Israel

OPED logo(By Shai Franklin). New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent solidarity mission to Israel was just that. It was not a trade delegation or a diplomatic errand. It brought a forceful, unambiguous and personal declaration of support to the people of Israel. The Governor did not take sides in Israel’s coalition disputes, or weigh in on the best course for achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace. Read more »


Op-Ed: Amidst Grief and Tears, Gratitude To Law Enforcement & Public Servants

OPED logo(By Rabbi Abe Friedman). The last 36 hours have been exceptionally trying for the Jewish community as word came of two separate situations, each one of which could qualify as are every parent’s worst nightmare.

Almost simultaneously, we heard of the horrific blaze that decimated a Sullivan County bungalow and of five teenage boys who were reported missing in Ulster County. In the first case, the results were heartbreaking, as we learned of the death of a three year old in the fatal bungalow fire.

Read more »


Op-Ed: Another Unilateral Cease-Fire, What’s Next?

OPED logo(By Shai Franklin). Israel has destroyed the easiest targets in Gaza, including major tunnels, rocket stockpiles, and command sites. Getting the rest will be very bloody for both sides, and Israel would have been damaged goods coming into next month’s UNGA opening, just when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs to be making his case on Iran, and how the May/June breakdown of talks with the Palestinians was not Israel’s fault. Read more »


Op-Ed: Israel Doesn’t Have A Right To Defend Itself, It Has The Duty To Defend Itself

OPED logoImagine your country, any country in the world, would have a terrorist organization that’s sole purpose is to wipe you off the map, and it’s capable of doing it. It’s proven that it can do it. Imagine those terrorists are bombarding you with rockets and mortars. They’re seeking to destroy you in every way possible, building underground tunnels to transfer weapons — and their carriers — into your country. Sending suicide bombers to your bus stations to kill the largest amount of civilians possible.

Read more »


EDITORIAL: Not The Time to Tear, Not The Time To Speak

Photo/Dov Lenchevsky, Courtesy of Ah Blick.

Photo/Dov Lenchevsky

As Jewish people across the globe are still in pain, mourning the murder of the three innocent teens, the Grand Rabbi of Satmar, Reb Ahron Teiltelbaum shlit”a claimed in a speech to his followers on Wednesday that the bereaved parents are to blame for sending their sons to learn in a yeshiva placed in the West Bank settlements, places that are inhabited by “predatory animals.” Read more »


Op-Ed: Our Hearts are Aching…How Can we Ever Overcome?

OPED logoBaruch Dayan Emet. HaShem Yikom Damam.

Blessed is the Judger of truth. May G-d avenge their blood.

To say that the past 12 hours have been a rollercoaster of emotions, feelings, fears, denial, hate, and mourning wouldn’t be doing this day justice. If I try and explain to you the places my mind has rushed to, since finding out about the brutal murder of my three brothers, I would take your whole day and yet would not even be able to utter a word that describes the pain. Read more »


Once A Unifying Cause, Israel Now Divides Jewish Communities

Israeli-flag(AP) Israel was once a unifying cause for generations of American Jews, but that has changed recently and for the time being, Israel is bitterly dividing Jewish communities.

Jewish organizations are withdrawing invitations to Jewish speakers or performers considered too critical of Israel, in what opponents have denounced as an ideological litmus test meant to squelch debate. Some Jewish activists have formed watchdog groups, such as Citizens Opposed to Propaganda Masquerading as Art, or COPMA, and JCC Watch, to monitor programming for perceived anti-Israel bias. They argue Jewish groups that take donations for strengthening the community shouldn’t be giving a platform to Israel’s critics. Read more »


Kornbluh: A New Mayor, A New Era For Small Businesses

jacob city hallMayor Bill de Blasio’s executive budget presentation on Thursday included a significant change of policy that may have gone diluted in the news.

The new budget, the first presented by mayor de Blasio, included a drop of 8% in projected small-business fines revenue. Tickets issued by the Department of Health, as part of the grading system implemented during the Bloomberg administration, is projected to drop a whopping 44 percent — a decline from $54 million in FY2012 to $30 million in FY2015.

Read more »

Op-Ed: Response To Ari Hart’s Op-Ed in The Jewish Week By An East Ramapo Board Member

OPED logoThe following is an Op-Ed by Harry Grossman in response to Rabbi Avi Hart’s Op-Ed in The Jewish Week:

As we allow how sefira beards to grow, remembering why the 12,000 pairs of students of Rabbi Akiva died, I find myself saddened by the motzei shem ra being perpetrated by Rabbi Ari Hart and Uri L’Tzedek against the Jewish members of the East Ramapo School Board. For the record, my name is Harry Grossman, I was appointed to the Board a couple of months ago, and while I have been called many things in my life, I have NEVER been called Chareidi (maybe I’ll use that as a Purim costume next year?). Read more »


Op-Ed: Forget The Past; It’s Too Heavy To Carry

(Isaac Kornbluh – London, UK). Let me share with your readers some motivational thoughts to ponder on, following a beautiful and uplifting YomTov, which has albeit left us all with piling on unwanted weight.

It is a known fact the obesity is the root of most diseases which can almost be prevented by leading a disciplined and healthy lifestyle. I will not go into any medical particulars as I am not a doctor but what I will share with you is a very practical and sustainable lifestyle which will rejuvenate your mind and body.

Read more »


Rabbi Shmuley Explains ‘Why Pollard and Rubashkin Are Rotting in Jail’

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach rips into the broader Jewish Community: And here you have the reason why inmates like Jonathan Pollard and Sholom Rubashkin, amid their inexcusable crimes, can be given highly prejudicial and outrageously lengthy sentences. The Jewish community, embarrassed at Jewish wrongdoing, rarely raises its voice in unified protest against punishments which, in both cases, are widely viewed by legal experts as discriminatory and excessive. Read more »


Gestetner: I Am of the 7 Million Who Signed Up for Obamacare

Yossi GestetnerThe Obama administration is boasting that 7 million people signed up for an Affordable Care Act (ACA) plan; or what some call Obamacare. My wife and I signed up late last week for a Bronze Plan which is one before the bottom in the 5-rung system of Catastrophic, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum health plans available in New York.

Since we cannot afford healthcare, we enrolled in one of the cheapest plans within the Bronze category. Many hospitals, excluding local community hospitals, do not accept this plan. It apparently fails to cover many procedures, and the plan has annual $12,700 deductibles and co-pays if we actually need care. Read more »


EDITORIAL: A New Star – A Greenfield – Is Born In Monsey

michael greenfieldActivists, volunteers, community leaders and elected officials in the upstate area of Rockland and Orange County are all praise of Monsey’s own resident Michael Greenfield – the twin brother of NYC Councilman David Greenfield – for his outstanding effort throughout the search efforts for Peretz Sontag.

In a sense, the term “his outstanding effort throughout the search” undercuts his involvement. He essentially kept the search going day after day. He energized people on the ground; he coordinated efforts between the local Chaverim volunteers and the volunteers of United Search and Rescue, as well as Brooklyn South Safety Patrol (Borough Park Shomrim) and the volunteers from multiple agencies out of Kiryas Joel. As the week dragged on, a sense of helplessness started to set-in among some volunteers, but Michael in his daily emails to the group, said the search will go on. He lined up forces, including private planes and helicopters, to get the job done. Read more »


Op-Ed: Creating Affordable Housing and Tax Breaks For The ‘Struggling Class’

nachman callerThe 2nd in a series of articles addressing the struggling class in our community.

By: Rabbi Nachman Caller

As I wrote in my previous column, the major issue facing the majority of the nation and our community in particular is the plight of the struggling working class. Due to the high cost of health care, putting food on the table and housing expenses those who fall into this middle income bracket often find themselves struggling to make ends meet. Unlike those in the lower income brackets, there are few tax breaks or government assistance programs to help cover constantly rising living expenses. Read more »

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