Mishnah Berurah Tiferet
The Orthodox Jewish Chamber
of Commerce Celebrates Opening
of New Wall Street Office
On Tuesday, March 7th, the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its new Wall Street office in New York City. Governmental and corporate officials as well as Orthodox community leaders joined Founder and CEO Duvi Honig outside of 44 Wall Street. “This is an amazing milestone,” said the Vice President of Public Policy and Business Development Odeleya Jacobs. “This new prestigious office will serve as a base for our myriad activities in the corporate world, as well as on the national and international public policy stage.”
The OJC seeks to unify Jewish community businesses and interests. “Instead of offering parnassahin the form of handouts, the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce helps people build successful careers,” Chairman Morty Davis proclaimed. Through a variety of programs and professional seminars, like J-Biz Expo and Business Conference, Parnassah Coach, Women in the Workforce and the newly launched Small Business Alliance, the OJC does what it can to enable Jewish community members to succeed. Exercising its sizable influence in public policy, they lobby on behalf of Jewish businesses. Their new office in the heart of the Financial District will be essential in this aim.
Other speakers at the ribbon cutting ceremony included Manhattan Deputy Borough President Aldrin Bonilla; Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services Rachel Van Tosh; New Jersey Assemblyman Raj Mukherji; New York City Councilman David Greenfield; Israeli Economic Minister to North America Inon Elroy; and Deputy Director of New York State’s Empire State Development Marvin Schechter.
Following the speeches, attendees enjoying a buffet spread sponsored by Reserve Cut Steakhouse. Everyone in the room felt energized and motivated to continue promoting Jewish individuals and businesses. There was also a profound feeling of gratitude at having coming this far and having achieved such influence in the world. “All I can say is ‘Hodu l’Hashem ki tov.’ We can clearly see the yad Hashemguiding us and empowering us at every step,” said VP Odeleya Jacobs.
Magen David Yeshivah High School’s Senior Heritage Trip
On February 28th, the seniors of Magen David Yeshivah High School embarked on a Jewish Heritage trip to Poland and Israel. Students had the opportunity to experience Poland, the country in which the Holocaust took place, and feel the grief of our ancestors as they walked through concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Majdanek. They visited the graves of esteemed Rabbis and of children whose lives were cut short by the Holocaust. In this way, a monumental and horrific event in Jewish history was made tangible. Students returned from this inspiring trip with a newfound understanding of the horror our Jewish brothers and sisters went through. Many felt they’d gained a new understanding on life.
After an emotionally taxing five days in Poland, the students switched gears and headed to Israel. For Jews who’d survived the Holocaust, Israel was a land of opportunity and the student of MDYHS could see why. In Israel, the students took Jeep tours, visited the Kotelat night, and spent a spiritual Shabbat in Sefat. By the time the students arrived home, they’d had experiences sure to last a lifetime. All of them felt grateful to have attended the Jewish Heritage trip.
Greenfield Inspects NYC Investment
in New Ohel Headquarters
Councilman David Greenfield got a
first-hand look at the new Ohel headquarters on Avenue M, which was partially paid for with a $4 million grant he secured over the last few years.
Ohel CEO David Mandel led the Brooklyn Democrat on a tour of the construction site that will house all of Ohel’s services in one location.
“Ohel is the premier social service organization in our community and is recognized for its expertise throughout New York,” Greenfield said. “I am proud to have funded such a significant portion of the Ohel’s brand new campus so that Ohel can serve an even greater numbers of people with even more services.”
OHEL has been serving Brooklyn’s communities with individual and family support since 1969. Specific services OHEL offers include preventive care, foster care, adolescent residential programs, domestic violence counseling, substance abuse and addiction programs, abuse programs, school-based mental health services, a Helpline, and numerous other programs to support communities that are too often neglected.
The facility is expected to be complete by the end of this summer.
Heritage Fair at Yeshivat Keter Torah
On March 6th, Yeshivat Keter Torah of Eatontownhosted their first Heritage Fair for parents and students of grades 6, 7, and 8. The lobby was decorated with Middle Eastern furniture, Arabic music was piped into the P.A. system, and the aroma of Middle Eastern cuisine permeated the air.
The evening was the culmination of many weeks of hard work. The project began back in January, when students interviewed a grandparent or great-grandparent who came to the U.S. from the “Old Country.” The boys had an opportunity to learn about their individual family’s heritage – about family customs and occupations, how holidays were celebrated and what life was like in the Old Country. The interview helped the boys to connect with their past and to understand the privilege of being the next link in their family’s heritage. Students’ families originated from Syria, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Yemen, Russia, Poland, Austria, France, and Russia.
The boys were asked to find out how their ancestors came to this country and what route they took. This information was displayed on a mural in the front lobby, in the form of large maps of the Middle East and Europe. The route that each boy’s ancestors took from the Old Country to America was visibly traced. If the family had traveled by ship, the family’s name was indicated on a ship. If they came by plane, their family name was noted on an airplane
The next part of the project tasked students with choosing a family artifact and getting information about it. The boys summarized this information into a paragraph, which was captured in individual Lucite picture frames. Original artifacts, which were also cherished family heirlooms, were displayed in theBetMedrash. Some of the artifacts included: a besamimbox from Syria, megilotfrom both Syria and Morocco, an army release certificate from Israel, a menorahfrom Morocco, a shofar from Yemen, a life preserver from Egypt, and a siddur with an inscription from Hacham Ovadia Yosef, zt’l.
Finally, the students went through the process of filling in their own family tree. These family trees hung in the front lobby.
The Heritage Fair was enjoyed by all and plans are already underway for next year’s event!
New Text Message Hot Line Established to Report Hate Crimes
In recent weeks, as series of anti-Semitic attacks and bomb threats have rocked the Jewish community. Jewish day schools have been a particular target. Gov. Cuomo has pledged to protect our religious institutions, saying: “Make no mistake: When you attack our Jewish community, you attack all New Yorkers. And I vow that we are doing everything in our power to catch those responsible for these anti-Semitic attacks.”
In an exciting development, Gov. Cuomo earmarked
$25 million dollars of the state budget for these purposes, intending to invest it in the security of New York’s religious schools and daycare centers. “Children should not be under threat because of their school’s ideology, beliefs or mission,” he said.
Gov. Cuomo emailed Community Magazineto let us know of a new initiative through which citizens can report hate crimes. Via a new text hotline established by the state, New Yorkers can report any foul play they witness. These reports will help officials gather evidence and bring criminals to justice.
If you have been a victim of or witnessed a hate crime, text HATE to 81336 to report the incident. In the case of an emergency, call 911 immediately.
In a press conference at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage, the Governor urged New Yorkers to “come together with one voice, as one force. We will find the perpetrators of these hate crimes and they will stop,” he said. In addition to the 24/7 tip line, Gov. Cuomo is creating a special police task force and granting a $5,000 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to the capture and conviction of people who commit hate crimes.
Councilman David Greenfield, whose 2016 law guaranteed a free security guard for every Yeshiva in New York City, commended the Governor for his efforts. “I am thrilled,” he said. “Especially in this time of heightened
anti-Semitism and increased attacks on religious institutions, the security of our children must be paramount.”
Through heightened vigilance and socially conscious citizenry, Gd willing, these hate crimes will cease. The old “see something, say something” adage certainly applies in this case. Be sure to text HATE to 81336 if you are the victim of or witness to a hate crime.