COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS

New Express Bus Stop Coming to Avenue R and Nostrand Avenue

Councilman Chaim Deutsch announced that, in a major victory for Sheepshead Bay residents, a new B44 SBS bus stop will be coming to Avenue R and Nostrand Avenue.

For more than four years commuters have been advocating for this additional bus stop along the express SBS route that begins on Shore Parkway in Sheepshead Bay and ends in Williamsburg. Since taking office, Deutsch, along with Assemblymember Helene Weinstein, has been at the forefront of this effort, leading the charge to petition the MTA and the Department of Transportation to implement the change. The distance between the two stops nearest to Avenue R is more than a mile, the largest gap between any two SBS stops in Southern Brooklyn.

In addition to the bus connections, Nostrand Avenue at Avenue Ris home to several medical facilities and a plethora of small businesses, many of which service the large, local senior population. The lack of expedient B44 service has had a significant impact on seniors, and people with disabilities in particular, who often find themselves waiting in inclement weather for the slow local buses for 20 to 30 minutes, even as near-empty SBS buses sail by every few minutes. When the SBS B44 route was originally implemented in 2013, several concerns were raised about bus stops that had been included in as a Limited (express) stop, but were removed from the SBS route. Deutsch successfully advocated at the time, along with Councilman Jumaane Williams, to include Avenue L back into the express route.

“I am thrilled to have been able to successfully advocate for the installation of an SBS B44 stop at Nostrand Avenue and Avenue R, the culmination of years of effort. I must commend newly appointed MTA President Andy Byford, who has put his money where his mouth is in truly listening to feedback from the community,” said Councilman Chaim Deutsch.

Senator Martin Golden Calls on the Governor to Use Speed Cameras the Right Way

Senator Martin J. Golden blasted the governor’s Executive Order allowing the City Council to circumvent State Law and reinstituting the school zone speed camera program.

“People need to understand that this Executive Order is a 30-day solution to the speed zone school program problem.
A short-term solution is no solution at all. The Executive Order allowing the City Council to circumvent the Legislature is likely in violation of State Law. There will be a ticket issued, and someone will sue saying it is illegal. The State will lose, there will be confusion, and that will cause distraction to the fact our children will still not have the protection of speed cameras,” Golden said.

Senator Golden added, “Once again, I am calling on the Governor to do the right thing, the right way. Just call the Legislature back to complete the business on this life-saving issue. We need to reinstate and expand the school zone speed camera program. The Governor has an opportunity to really lead, rather than hide behind the Mayor and the City Council.”

Agudath Israel Hails Efforts
to Provide Kosher/Hallal Food
for Public School Students

Agudath Israel of America joined elected officials and other advocates at a City Hall press conference earlier today announcing a $1 million pilot program to provide kosher and halal meals to students in public and private schools.

The pilot program was announced by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Councilmember Chaim Deutsch, who spearheaded the effort. Agudath Israel has long been concerned that thousands of schoolchildren, both Jewish and Muslim, are unable to partake of school lunches. Many of these children either go hungry or bring inferior food from home while their classmates enjoy a full nutritious lunch.

Representing Agudath Israel at the press conference was Rabbi Yeruchim Silber, Director of New York Government Relations. Rabbi Silber thanked Speaker Johnson, Councilmember Deutsch, and the other elected officials and advocates behind this effort. He called for the pilot program to be expanded further, and for the state legislature to pass Assembly Bill 7231 introduced by Assemblymember DavidWeprin, which would provide kosher and halal options in public schools.

“We strongly support these various efforts to provide kosher and halal options to public school students” said Rabbi Silber. “No child should have to choose between their religion anda nutritious lunch.”

Free Backpack Giveaway by Met Council Gives Needy Kids an Edge in School

As the new school year starts, many children are outfitted with new clothing or even have shiny new supplies to take with them to school. For hundreds of thousands of needy New Yorkers, however, these things are just not an option. That’s why Met Council, America’s Largest Jewish Communal Social Safety Net, distributed over
1,800 backpacks to students last month – the largest distribution of free backpacks in Met Council’s history.

“I’m proud that we at Met Council are expanding our many different programs for struggling New Yorkers,” said Met Council’s CEO David G. Greenfield. “This past Pesach we gave out more food, this summer we gave out more free kosher lunches, and now we are giving out more free backpacks than ever before. Putting a child on equal footing with their classmates is something so important for developing children. It really makes all the difference in the world to a child that can start school with a brand-new backpack full of supplies. It gives that child confidence, and more importantly, the dignity to succeed.”

By partnering with eleven of its sixteen associated Jewish Community Councils (JCCs) across the city, Met Council provided backpacksfilled with quality school supplies for children who have been served as crisis and domestic violence clients.

The backpack distribution took place at the same time as Met Council’s Rosh Hashanah food distribution. Met Council provides kosher food to more than 100,000 needy New Yorkers at seventy distribution sites across New York. This comes on the heels of Met Council’s successful free lunch program at the end of the summer that distributed 5,000 free kosher lunches in New York.
Met Council, the largesttzedakahin New York, and has ten different programs dedicated to helping over 225,000 New Yorkers in need each year.

State Senator Simcha Felder Wins Reelection

On September 13th, State Senator Simcha Felder easily defeated challenger Blake Morris in the Democratic primary in New York’s District 17.

District 17 covers Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Borough Park, Sheepshead Bay, and Sunset Park. Felder has represented the district since 2012.

After his victory Senator Felder issued the following statement: “The people have spoken loud and perfectly clear, they are voting on the issues that matter to them –
safety and security, quality of life, and education. I thank everyone in the 17th Senate District for coming out to vote today. Your confidence and support are truly humbling. I will continue serving you and all New Yorkers faithfully.”

Dov Hikind Thanks President Trump for Shout Out During Rosh Hashanah Call with Jewish Leaders

NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind thanked President Donald Trump last month for the kind recognition that the President personally gave him during the White House’s annual Rosh Hashanah call.

“President Trump has been a genuine friend to the Jewish people and to the State of Israel,” said Hikind. “As promised, he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel; he abolished the terribly dangerous Iran Deal, which threatened not only Israel and the rest of the Middle East, but alsothreatened American interests and world peace. And more recently, he took the steps necessary to remove the last known Nazi war criminal living in the United States.

“I am truly grateful to our President for these things, as the Jewish people should all be, and I’m honored that the President recognized me today on his call for the work I’ve done with regard to deporting this Nazi.

“My office was filled this afternoon with Holocaust survivors who the President thanked for being on the call. You can only imagine how important this call was to them. After everything they’ve been through, they can go into this coming Jewish New Year knowing that not only is their country now free of Nazis, but it was the work of President Trump – a President who cared enough totell them how honored he was to be on the phone with them. This was a phone call that they will tell their grandchildren and great grandchildren about over the holidays – a call they deserved and will never forget. President Trump just made a real difference in their lives.”

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Lotties-Kichen

Ahi Ezer Yeshivah Rejoices Over New Renovations, Active Student Learning, and its Yom
Ha’Azmaut Celebration

For generations, Ahi Ezer Yeshiva has epitomized educational excellence in our community as it tirelessly works to transmit our Sephardic heritage. This year, the building is undergoing exciting renovations. Cheerful colors, a clean atmosphere, an elegant lunchroom, a brand new library and a modernized science lab are just some of the changes that students are enjoying.The yeshivah extends a special thank you to school administrator Jesse Mizrachi and board members, Bunny Escava, Aslan Bawabeh, Albert Ayal, and Eli Levy for their support of this project.

As children enter the Ahi Ezer Early Childhood Center, they embark on a journey of discovery through the world of Torah and General Studies. The Early Childhood program prides itself on its commitment to student achievement. Highly skilled teachers provide an atmosphere that is conducive to developing a strong sense of self and that encourages each child to attain academic and social success. A multi-sensory approach to education spans all content areas: Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Life Skills. Each child is empowered and challenged to meet his or her individual potential and develop a solid foundation for learning.

In warm and nurturing classrooms, Ahi Ezer Yeshivah children are immersed in an integrated program of both Limudei Hol and Limudei Kodesh. The love of Torah is highly valued, as is tefillah, misvot, middot, haggim, and Sephardic customs. During free time, preschool children enjoy socializing and playing in the outdoor state-of-the-art playground as well as the indoor gym.

Recently, the yeshivah hosted a spectacular Yom Haatzmaut celebration. Delicious barbecue was enjoyed on the front patio amidst proudly flown Israeli banners and flags. The children danced and rejoiced with their teachers and their smiles said it all. The school looks forward to its next special occasion!

Yeshivah of Flatbush High School Student Esther Harary Recognized in Congressional Art Competition

A big congratulations to Esther Harary, a Yeshivah of Flatbush High School student who was one of twenty-three runner-ups in a Congressional Art Competition. Her artwork will hang on the wall in Congressman Don Donovan’s office. The submissions were judged at a college in Staten Island and evaluated for visual impact, creativity, design and craftsmanship. Judges noted the passion that went into each painting, collage, and photograph and how difficult decisions were to reach. Esther, who took a selfie with Congressman Dan Donovan after receiving her award, should be very proud of her accomplishment!

Chief Justice Richard Bernstein Astounds Students at Hillel Yeshiva

Every morning, observant Jews all over the world begin their prayers by thanking Gd for their ability to see. Because Richard Bernstein has been blind from birth, he cannot include this part of the liturgy in his morning recitations. Richard, can, however, express his gratitude for having been able to build a vibrant and productive life. During his 41 years, he has filled his resume with jaw-dropping accomplishments: Richard is a triathlete, a lawyer,and a Michigan State Supreme Court Justice!

Because of his astounding story, The SAFE Foundation’s Project SAFE School Program brought Richard Bernstein to address close to 200 high school students at Hillel Yeshiva.

Richard spoke of the way society has changed in its treatment of those with disabilities. Fifty years ago, he said, those with disabilities were isolated, but now their strengths are integrated and valued in the workforce. He stated, “Last November, unequivocally, and with great enthusiasm, the state of Michigan showed that they want a severely disabled person not just to work amongst them, but to be their Supreme Court Justice and make decisions that are going to ultimately effect the rights they have and how they live.”

Richard believes his nomination shows that the people trust in someone who can understand struggle.

While he is a seasoned athlete, one of Richard’s main messages is that our physical bodies are delicate and are subject to breaking down, but our spirits can overcome those limitations and soar.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call our confidential, toll-free hotline, 24/7
at 1-866-569-SAFE (1-866-569-7233).

Good News for Commuters!

Beginning this summer, the F express train will be returning to Brooklyn! When theprogram is fully implemented in Fall 2017, F express service will run during every weekday rush hour from
Jay Street-MetroTech to Church Avenue in both directions. This will save riders in our neighborhoods as much as 15 minutes on their daily commutes.

The F is the longest local line in the entire city, with a commute time of well over an hour just to get to Manhattan for many people. Restoring this F express service is a first step toward addressing that problem and restoring transit equity to southern Brooklyn.

Readers can thank Councilman David Greenfield for this new development! Those who have questions about the F express, can call his office at (718) 853-2704.

Israel Guard Provides a Safe, Secure, and Perfect Vacation

Given the heightened securityrisks in the region, many people hesitate to use a GPS in Israel to navigate to unfamiliar destinations. Consider an alternative! Israel Guard provides professionally trained, English-speaking, courteous guards as escorts during your stay. They will respect your privacy at an affordable rate so you can maximize your time in Israel without ever feeling anxiety. Whether you require a guard for one day or for a full trip, Israel Guard is up to the task.

The company was established in order to fulfill the needs of individuals and families amidst these turbulent times. Its mission is to provide clients with the highest level of personal and professional security services.

Israel Guard is the brainchild of Efraim Fink of Teaneck, New Jersey. It all began duringa family trip to Israel to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of Efraim’s son at the Kotel. The celebratory ten-day trip had been planned with meticulous attention to every detail. An exciting, enlightening and spiritually enriching itinerary had been forged, featuring visits to Israel’s   holy and historical sites.

Yet despite his great joy and nachat, Efraim realized something was amiss. With ever increasing vigilance and growing concern, he found himself looking around and studying his surroundings, hoping to keep his family out of harm’s way, lest danger be lurking nearby. Compounding Efraim’s fears for his family’s safety were the newspapers he read daily, describing in detail yet another act of terror. Realizing it was incumbent for him to take responsibilityfor his family’s safety and well-being, Efraim sought a solution to his travel safety concerns. Thus the concept of Israel Guard was born.

Spurred to action, Efraim returned to Israel and researched the available options. Much to his surprise, he discovered very few that existed. Ultimately, he was able to sign a contract with the largest security provider in Israel, the same provider that handles security for Israeli diplomats. They agreed to open a new service, providing security to visiting Americans.

Now people can visit Israel and enjoy peace of mind, secure in the knowledge that, with Hashem’s help, they and their loved ones will be well protected. Each Israel Guard  is a consummate professional. Fully trained and licensed, they can also serve in the capacity of driver.

For further information please call 888.870.0004 or email info@israelguard.com.

Lottie’s Kitchen:
Providing Badly-Needed Nourishment to Patients and their Families

Hospitals are filled with family members who have suddenly been catapulted out of their comfort zone and thrust into a nightmare of fear. They spend hours with their loved one, the patient, never even noticing their own needs. Until Lottie’s Kitchen interrupts the proceedings. A sympathetic volunteer arrives at the door bearing a mouth-watering, hot meal. The caregiver, who hadn’t even realized until that moment that he was fasting, is revived like a drooping flower after a heavy rain. Revitalized now, the family member is able to, once again, care for the patient who is depending on him.

One evening, Yaakov receives a routine call asking for a contribution to Ezer Mizion’s Lottie’s Kitchen. As usual, he gives a large donation and promptly forgets about the call – until the next day, when his son takes a tumble. Ambulance sirens. A scary X-ray machine. And finally the doctor’s serious face. The leg is badly broken. Lunch? Supper? These are not on Yaakov’s radar at all – until a Lottie’s Kitchen volunteer brings him a meal and he begins to cry. “I just gave a donation last night. But I never realized what it meant to be alone in the hospital, scared and weak with hunger. It’s really true that everything you do comes back to you. It’s really true!”

Two other sets of parents look on in wonder.

“Were the meals ordered from a take-out place?” they whisper to each other.

“They’re so nice looking. Probably expensive.”

“You’re so worn out. Maybe we can get one just for you.”

“We have so many medical expenses now. We can’t afford it.”

To the couples’ astonishment, meals magically appear for them, too, and their names are added to the daily Lottie’s Kitchen roster.

“Magic” doesn’t really happen magically. It happens because of all of you who have supported Lottie’s Kitchen. Each year, 81,600 hot meals, 83,200 sandwiches and 13,000 slices of cake are delivered to hospital wards, ERs and patients’ homes. Our files are filled with thank-you notes that rightly belong to you. Each year, thousands say, “We never could have made it through without Lottie’s Kitchen.”

This year’s event will be held on July 7 at the exquisite home of Frieda & Joey Franco. See you there!

For further info: 718 853 8400      www.ezermizion.org

5225 New Utrecht Ave, Bk NY 11219

 

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