As promised, we have compliled for arguments sake some heavily watched races that we were following on this site in creating our traditional “Winners and Losers” list.
The following are the winners and losers of the general election cycle in 2014:
It is crunch time in the heated and somewhat combative race between incumbent Assemblyman Dov Hikind and his Republican challenger R’ Nachman Caller, in the 48th Assembly District, that consists of Borough Park, Bensonhurst, Midwood and Flatbush.
For the first time in 32 years, voters in the district are being asked to choose between the popular incumbent and a respected challenger.
(By NY Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz). This week an anonymous U.S. official used a vulgar and disrespectful term to describe Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Even though the White House distanced itself from this utterance (which I won’t repeat here) and re-emphasized the close relationship between the U.S. and Israel, the damage was already done.
In a world where anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise and relations between the Obama Administration and Israel are perceived as being not quite as unshakable as during previous administrations, a misstep of this nature cannot be written off as merely salty.
(By David Polatseck). Alice Robb of The New Republic (TNR) recently interviewed Lynn Davidman, Professor of Modern Jewish Studies & Sociology at the University of Kansas (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119826/hasidic-jews-becoming-unorthodox-lynn-davidman-interview).
The interview was conducted in light of an upcoming book by Davidman, titled “Becoming Un-Orthodox: Stories of Ex-Hasidic Jews.” The book published by Oxford University Press is based on interviews Davidman claims to have conducted with 40 ex-Hasidim who left the Community.
(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.”
(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.
(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.
(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.
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
(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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
Imagine 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
The 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?).
(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.