New York

Hate attacks up in New York as shul gets bomb threat

By Ellen Tumposky, January 6, 2011

Jews were the most frequently targeted minority group in hate crimes in New York State in 2009, according to a report issued by state officials.

Anti-Jewish hate crimes rose by 15 per cent over the previous year and represented more than a third of hate crimes committed in 2009 in the state, the report issued last week by the Criminal Justices Services Division revealed.

The report came as a synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan said it had received a letter on December 30 threatening to blow up the shul on New Year's Eve.

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Jewish security team nab Craigslist car thief

By Jennifer Lipman, January 4, 2011

Members of an Orthodox Jewish security force in New York helped catch an alleged car thief by setting up a sting operation.

Valsyl Lazoryshyn is believed to have stolen a car after its owner advertised the vehicle for sale on the website Craigslist.

After being fooled by Mr Lazoryshyn, who drove the car away during a test drive, the owner decided to contact the Shomrim.

The Brooklyn branch of the Jewish security group helped by arranging a second car sale at which he could pose as a prospective buyer.

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New York rabbi fights US Army beard ban

By Jennifer Lipman, December 20, 2010

A rabbi hoping to become chaplain to US troops has run into a problem as plain as the hair on his face – his beard.

According to the army’s strict regulations on appearance, anyone serving the military must be clean - shaven, but Chabad rabbi Menachem Stern has a long black beard.

Rabbi Stern was refused a job as a military chaplain last year after he claimed it would contradict his religious beliefs to trim it.

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Orthodox nurse wins payout after job cut for Shabbat observance

By Jennifer Lipman, December 20, 2010

A Jewish nurse who lost a job offer after she refused to work on Shabbat has won more than £25,000 in compensation.

Before she took the job at the hospital in New York, Alisa Dolinsky, who is Orthodox, told her potential employers that she would not work on Shabbat. However, she offered to work on Saturday evenings and Sundays.

But in response to her request, the hospital retracted the job offer.

Ms Dolinsky, 34, said: “They told me if that's the case, if you can't work on Shabbat, we can't offer the job."

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Catholic sues Jewish store in crucifix row

By Jennifer Lipman, December 14, 2010

A Catholic woman has begun legal action against a Jewish-owned business because she claims she was banned from wearing a crucifix at work.

Jamie Errico was fired from her sales job at watch store Concepts in Time in Manhattan last year.

However the 41-year-old is now alleging that she was discriminated against by the Orthodox owner Saul Jemal, because other staff members were permitted to wear kippot or necklaces with the star of David on.

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Bernard Madoff's son Mark found dead in suicide

By Jennifer Lipman, December 13, 2010

The eldest son of disgraced fraudster Bernard Madoff has been found dead after committing suicide at his New York home.

Mark Madoff, who was 46, was found hanged on Saturday. The New York City medical examiner has ruled his death a suicide.

After his father was arrested in 2008, Mr Madoff claimed not to have known anything about the multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.

However criminal investigators have continued to explore the possibility that he and other family members, including younger brother Andrew, were involved.

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Court orders Orthodox woman to be cremated after three month battle

By Jennifer Lipman, December 7, 2010

The body of a 105-year-old Jewish woman from New York who died three months ago will finally be removed from a mortuary after a judge ruled that she could be cremated.

Ethel Baar, who died on September 11, began following Orthodox Judaism late in life, and her great-nephew James Pollak said that she had wanted to be laid to rest in accordance with Orthodox tradition.

But in 1999 she also stated in her will that she wanted her body to be cremated, which is against halachah.

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Haringey recruits head

By Robyn Rosen, December 2, 2010

A Londoner who has been teaching in New York will be the first head of the cross-communal Haringey Jewish Primary, one of the new government-funded free schools, which is set to open next September.

Joint project leader Peter Kessler says Jo Sassienie was chosen for her "innovative attitude, her deep commitment to cross-communal Jewish education and her outstanding track record".

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Chanucah miracle as new dreidel record set

By Jennifer Lipman, December 1, 2010

In what could be termed a Chanucah miracle, a group of Jewish students have broken the world record for spinning a dreidel.

Students at Yeshiva University in New York successfully attempted to spin 618 dreidels simultaneously in an event they called the “Dreidel-Palooza”.

The current record for the Chanucah game was set in 2005, when a group in New Jersey spun 541 dreidels at once.

The result is expected to be confirmed quickly by the Guinness Book of World Records
The festivities also helped raise money for a scholarship fund.

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On the fifth floor is our Sefer Torah, and a goat

By Paul Berger, November 26, 2010

The fifth floor of a yeshivah in Queens is about the last place you would expect to find a typical Samarkand courtyard with Persian rugs, clay urns and a goat staring out from behind a chicken wire fence.

"When I look at it, I am surprised myself how one man did it," says Aron Aronov, the 72-year-old founder and curator of the Bukharian Jewish
Museum.

Mr Aronov's collection, which includes handwritten prayerbooks, a 400-year-old Sefer Torah, and hundreds of colourful shawls and robes, spills out over three rooms and a hallway.

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