Rabbi Alex Miller Visits TAL Academy in Belle Harbor

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Rabbi Alex Miller, the Menahel of YDE in Brooklyn, visited Torah and Language (TAL) Academy last month. TAL Academy is a state-of-the-art school for children with language-based learning challenges.  

Approximately one out of every 59 children in the U.S. struggles severely with language-based learning, which includes dyslexia. As the community expands, the need for a school that addresses these learning issues becomes more apparent. TAL is a unique school that is exclusive to children who struggle with language and reading. The school intends for all their students to become proficient in both English and Hebrew reading. To that end, TAL has a dual curriculum where students learn both English reading and Hebrew kriah 

Rabbi Miller visited the facility and discussed the program with Mrs. Sara Taib, the principal of TAL, and Rabbi Aryeh Dachs, Executive Director. He expressed that he was impressed with the professionalism of the program as well as the bright aesthetic, which understandably contributes to a positive experience for the students. He commented that an institution like TAL is vital for the community.  

After the tour, Rabbi Miller spoke to the boys and girls. He told them a story with an important and practical lesson – prayer makes an important impact and is our most important weapon against the enemies of Israel.    

 

A Community Member’s Experience with Shmira 

One night my son Ronnie stayed at school after hours for some extra studying. His scooter was parked in a fenced-off area, but unbeknownst to him, the fence is unlocked after 6pm, and his scooter was stolen. Fortunately, an Apple AirTag was discreetly attached to the scooter. Using the iPhone’s “Find My” app, I could pinpoint the scooter’s location. Realizing that the police might not prioritize this theft, I reached out to Shmira for help.  

 

Rahamim Levy, a volunteer at Shmira, took charge of our case. He advised me to submit a police report, which would allow Shmira legal latitude to recover the scooter if found. He also informed me that our predicament was not unique – there had been a recent spate of similar thefts. But his confidence in recovering the scooter, backed by Shmira’s impressive track record, was reassuring. 

 

I invited Rahamim to track Ronnie’s scooter using the “Find My” app. For a while, the scooter remained indoors, beyond legal reach. But Rahamim’s patience paid off. Once the scooter was on the move, he tracked it to a local park. A Shmira team was swiftly dispatched and they successfully retrieved the scooter!  

 

In an unexpected twist, the scooter was with a 12-year-old boy who had bought it from the actual thief. He immediately surrendered the scooter, and Shmira decided not to pursue the matter further with the police. Grateful for the leniency shown by Shmira, the boy offered information about the perpetrator. 

 

Rahamim personally delivered the scooter to my home on the same day. This experience was not just a testament to the effectiveness of modern technology in safeguarding our possessions, but a heartening example of the strength and empathy within our community. Shmira demonstrated empathy, resolve, and bravery. I’m very grateful for Shmira’s commitment to improving the quality of life of our community.  

 

Sincerely, 

Ralph Tawil 

 

Orange Balloon Release  
Magen David Yeshiva High School released orange balloons as a symbol of solidarity with the Bibas family. May the Bibas family, and all of the hostages, be released immediately.

MDY continues to pray, hope, and campaign with our brothers and sisters in Israel. MDY students and faculty expressed their gratitude to Mrs. Barbara Azrak for her vision and foresight in organizing this meaningful event.   

 

COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS  

SBA Assistance Available for New Yorkers Impacted by September Flooding 

Victims of the September flooding in Brooklyn can now access low-interest relief loans from the federal government. 

The loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available to residents and businesses in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, Manhattan, and Long Island that were impacted by the flooding in late September. 

More than eight inches of rain fell in Brooklyn, and six inches of rain fell in Manhattan and parts of Nassau and Westchester counties during the historic September rainfall. 

“With residents and businesses still feeling the impact of September’s heavy rainfall, we appreciate the Small Business Administration offering our community some financial relief in the form of low-interest disaster loans at a time when we’re seeing some of the highest interest rates in decades,” said Rep. Nicole Malliotakis.  

Using the loans, homeowners can receive up to $500,000 to repair their primary residence, while homeowners and renters can obtain $100,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. 

Business owners can get up to $2,000,000 for the replacement of property, inventories, machinery, equipment, and other physical losses. 

Additionally, businesses and non-profits can access Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2,000,000 to provide necessary working capital until normal operations resume after a disaster. 

Applications for disaster loans may be submitted online using the MySBA Loan Portal at lending.sba.gov. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, can dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services. 

Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. 

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is February 2, 2024. The deadline to return economic injury applications is September 4, 2024. 

 

Mayor Adams Meets with Jewish Community Leaders  

Last month, NY Mayor Eric Adams held a rally with religious leaders at City Hall calling for unity, peace, and safety. 

They addressed what the mayor says is a 250 percent rise in ethnically motivated hate crimes and anti-Semitic acts over the last two months, impacting numerous Jewish communities. 

“In this moment of high tension around the globe, it is more important than ever that we stand together as one, united against the rising tide of hatred and religious intolerance, we’re seeing it and we’re feeling it,” Adams said. 

The mayor said that New Yorkers will not live in fear. 
 

House Speaker Mike Johnson Opposes NY Yeshivah Regulations 

Johnson meeting with religious leaders from New York. 

House Speaker Mike Johnson vowed to oppose New York State’s curriculum mandates on yeshivot, telling a group of rabbanim who met with him, “I’m with you 100 percent.” 

 

Freedom of religion is “our first freedom; it’s clearly the first one listed in the Bill of Rights in our Constitution,” Mike Johnson said. “And the reason the Founding Fathers put it there is because they understood [that] next to our life, the most important value we have is the right to the free exercise of our religion. And the government is trying to take it away.   

 

“And so I want to tell you, you have the strongest advocate you could possibly have in the speaker’s office. I’m with you 100 percent.” 

 

The regulations, which are tied up in litigation, would require all private schools in the state to prove they are providing a secular education “at least substantially equivalent” to that offered in public schools. 

 

If a school does not qualify as substantially equivalent, it “shall no longer be deemed a school which provides compulsory education.” Children attending these schools would be deemed truant, which could result in the parents being fined or jailed. 

 

It is unclear exactly what steps the federal government could take to challenge a state education law, but yeshiva supporters expect to hold a meeting in Washington next month to strategize on potential steps.