The ‘I-Deal’ Life
Regarding last month’s cover story, The ‘I-Deal’ Life, there was one person who you forgot to mention – my grandfather Charles A. Serouya. He started the first minyan class & Shaharit services in Deal. I remember he would make a dozen phone calls to recruit people to come, and I used to go with him at 4:30 a.m. to pick up about six or seven boys that went to public high school, and three or four adult men so they could attend his class at 5:00 a.m. and then pray Shaharit at 6:00 a.m.
I really enjoyed last issue’s cover story about the history of the Deal community. However, no mention was made of my parents Ralph, a”h, and Eunice Setton, who were true pioneers of today’s Deal community.
We moved to what is now considered “Boro Branch” in June of 1971. We were in fact the first SY residents of that neighborhood.
My dad was the volunteer hazzan back in the 70’s. Whenever a synagogue opened my dad was asked to come hazzan. We walked many a Shabbat morning to the Deal police station – almost three miles each way – when it opened for Shabbat services. When Deal Shul, Park Avenue Shul, West Long Branch Shul, and Cedar Avenue Shul opened their doors, my dad took the opportunity to become the traveling hazzan!
The Saka family has done a tremendous job with DSN and should be blessed! Social life in Deal began when I was around fifteen, when Rabbi Isaac Dwek asked us to form a group that became known as EXIT 105. We were the welcoming committee for anyone who moved into the Deal area. We would get a call from the rabbi and then we were set up to go as a group to visit a newcomer’s house, or we’d be asked to invite the newcomers to an event we had. Until today the founding members of that group are still close, and when we see each other we recall awesome memories of the early years of the Deal community.
It was so nice to read how one of our very own community members was recognized and honored for his hesed and accomplishments by being inducted into the Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame. (Joseph Shamie Inducted into the Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame). Joseph Shamie has made, and continues to make, important contributions not only to the Sephardic community, but to Brooklyn and the society at large. This is the type of person that we should have as a role model and we should strive to emulate. Congratulations Mr. Shamie!
Last issue’s article about the release of Jonathan Pollard was very informative. It seems to me that there is no doubt that Jonathan Pollard was guilty of passing classified information to an unauthorized recipient. So if that is the case, it seems right that he should have been convicted of a felony offense and sentenced to a term in prison.
However, this sentence is entirely disproportionate to similar crimes and convictions. He cooperated with the government in exchange for a plea deal that was reneged on in a fit of vengeance and murky circumstances. It is well past the proper time to release him already.
First Rabbi on the Moon
The article in last month’s issue about Rabbi Levi Ben Gerson, aka the RaLbaG, (The First Rabbi on the Moon) was very impressive for many reasons. It’s incredible that this great sage, who is already known for his commentaries on the Torah, was also an expert astronomer, physician, and mathematician. It is pretty incredible that he had such an unbelievable mind. And if you stop and thinks for a minute, you have to wonder – how in the world did the RaLbaG have the time to accomplish all of his works? It is amazing to think that this great sage’s invention (the Jacob’s Staff) was used by astronomers world-wide! The Community article gives us just a glimpse into the greatness of the minds of our sages who lived hundreds of years ago.
On Page 30 in last month’s cover story, the third paragraph should have read that Sammy Saka was asked by Mr. Morris Franco to assume the role of president of Hillel Yeshiva (not Deal Yeshiva, as was written). We apologize for the error.