Tuesday, September 22nd 2020   |

National

Deluged school’s heartache: ruined Torah scrolls and devastated communities

By BEN HARRIS

NEW YORK (JTA) — When Rabbi Avremel Okonov arrived Tuesday morning at the school he co-founded 10 years ago in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, the water in the basement had already receded from the high water mark. It only came up to his knees.

Everywhere he looked around his school, Mazel Academy, there was destruction. On the walls of the school’s lower level, which sits...

Young couple killed by felled tree during Sandy

Two Jewish victims of Hurricane Sandy were Jacob Vogelman and Jessie Streich-Kest, who have been described as “best friends,”  but not boyfriend and girlfriend. The two were killed instantly on October 29 by a falling tree and are pictured together in this 2007 photo. According to published reports, Vogelman had agreed to check on Streich-Kest’s father during the passage of Hurricane Sandy. Once there the two 24-year-olds from Brooklyn elected...

Jewish community bears brunt of Hurricane Sandy

By ADAM SOCLOF

NEW YORK (JTA) — Less than a year into her job at North Shore Synagogue in Syosset, N.Y., Rabbi Debbie Bravo sounded remarkably poised as she and her community face one of their most powerful challenges together: Hurricane Sandy.

Bravo’s land line was dead. When she picked up her cell phone Tuesday, she had just returned from the local police station.

“I have a child who takes...

At height of storm, Jews took to the Internet to share stories and make appeals

By BEN HARRIS

NEW YORK (JTA) – At 10 p.m. on Monday, as the full brunt of Hurricane Sandy was bearing down on the northeastern United States, filmmaker Sandi Dubowski posted an urgent online message. DuBowski’s elderly parents had declined to leave their home in Manhattan Beach, a neighborhood of southern Brooklyn that sits on a small peninsula flanked by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Sheepshead Bay on the...

Sandy spreading misery along the eastern seaboard

New Orleans residents have become quite adjusted to hurricanes and, sadly, so too have New Yorkers. While 2005, 2008 and 2012 brought Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Issac to the Big Easy, 2011 and 2012 have brought Hurricanes Irene and Sandy to the Big Apple.

Both New York and New Jersey suffered massive floods as the Atlantic Ocean swept into areas where water was already high due...

On the issues: Obama and Romney weigh in on abortion, Iran, Israel and more

By JTA STAFF

NEW YORK (JTA) — JTA reviews the positions of presidential candidates Barack Obama, the Democratic incumbent, and Republican challenger Mitt Romney on some issues of importance to the Jewish community.

ABORTION

Obama:

Obama says he is “committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose” and has suggested that the Supreme Court decision affirming abortion rights — Roe v. Wade — is “probably hanging in the balance” this election. Obama has...

Sports Briefs: ‘Turk’ defends title; Texas hoops assn. changes policy

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Argentina’s Carolina Raquel “The Turk” Duer defended her World Boxing Organization super flyweight title for the sixth time. Duer, 34, won a unanimous decision over countryman Marisa Portillo last Friday before more than 4,000 fans at an Argentina park — a record crowd for a Duer bout.

Showing the government’s increasing support for the fighter, the bout was announced in newspaper ads paid for by...

Conservative day school cancels charters for Scouting units

(JTA) — A Conservative Jewish day school will not renew its Boy Scouts charter because of the organization’s policy excluding gay and lesbian adults as leaders. The Golda Och Academy in West Orange, NJ, said in a letter to parents last week that the Scouts’ policy presents a “problematic image for many families.

“To exclude same-sex families from membership and adult volunteerism is in direct contradiction of school policies, which place...

ZOA cancels annual gala over tax issues

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Zionist Organization of America, which lost its tax-exempt status earlier this year, canceled its high-profile annual fundraising dinner. Due to legal restrictions, money raised above the costs of the dinner would have gone to an outside account. ZOA would not be able to access those funds until its tax-exempt status was reinstated, the Forward reported.

The event, which usually takes place in November or December, may be...

Empire Poultry fires CEO

(JTA) – Empire Kosher Poultry Inc. fired its chief executive officer allegedly after the aborted acquisition of another kosher poultry firm. Greg Rosenbaum learned Oct. 10 that he was out at Empire, the leading supplier of kosher poultry in the United States, the Washington Jewish Week reported Wednesday. The company, based in Mifflintown, Pa., went from near collapse to prosperity and expansion about a year after Rosenbaum arrived there in 2006,...