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Bruce Ticker
Bruce Ticker

Around Our Community
Bruce Ticker

Previous Features

Mazel Tov

Kaiserman summer day camp honored?
The JCCs Kaiserman Branch Summer Day Camp has received the Maine Line Times' Readers' Choce Award for Best Summer Day Camp on the Main Line. Camp staff who helped make this possible are camp director Chris Gari, assistant camp director Susan Reisenbach; K'ton director Liz Sussman; kadimah director Rachel Kaufman; and Keshet director Lori Hummel.

BZ-BI rabbi receives honorary doctorate?
Rabbi Ira Stone, spiritual leader of Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel in center city Philadelphia, was to receive an honorary doctorate of divinity at the Jewish Theological Seminary at a special academic convocation on Nov. 17. Rabbi Stone was honored for more than 25 years of religious leadership.

The Improper Bostonian
Boston has its own version of Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan.
Hundreds of Jews who turned out for a civil rights march on Oct. 30 were rewarded with an Israel-bashing tirade by Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner.
?Our Palestinian brothers and sisters are essentially prisoners of war," Turner told the hostage audience, as reported by The Boston Jewish Advocate.
Turner is a veteran rabble rouser with a long history for shaking things up. The Boston Phoenix reported that his tactics have antagonized other city councilors.
The Oct. 30 march was organized to support the Voting Rights Act and commemorate the 1965 march in Selma, Ala., that was led by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Turner, who is African-American, has pressed hard to help black Bostonians, as he should.
Though Turner found time to advocate for the Palestinians, Robert Trestan of the Anti-Defamation League told the Advocate that Turner "didn't have anything positive to say about the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act."
Trestan is the New England ADL's civil rights director.
Richard Glovsky, ADL education director, added, ?I fear that he hasn't had enough exposure to events in the Middle East. We need to have a meeting with him because the greatest antidote to prejudice is education."
Will Turner grant them a meeting? Does he even care? If ADL reps are able to see Turner, here's some questions they might pose:

  • How do the Palestinians rate the moniker "prisoners of war?"
  • Is he at all concerned about Israeli victims of terror?
  • Given the realities, no matter who he believes to be right or wrong, how does he propose to rectify the conflict?

Bias-Incident Watch

Ohio?"Aryan Alternative? shakes up Shaker Heights
Jews and their neighbors in Shaker Heights, near Cleveland, received unwanted newspaper deliveries on Monday, Oct. 17, when they discovered the Aryan Alternative delivered to their homes along Shaker Boulevard and surrounding streets, The Cleveland Jewish News reported.
The white supremacist tabloid, published in Kirksville, Mo., contends that Jews started both world wars and includes discussion of "hanging Jews."
Shaker Heights Police Chief Walter Ugrinic told the Jewish News that the newspaper's distribution is not illegal, but he planned to send copies to the FBI's terrorism task force because of the newspaper's threatening tone. 

Upper West Side?Bloomy campaign poster defaced
A campaign poster for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was defaced with a scrawled 4-inch red swastika Saturday night, Oct. 29, on Manhattan's Upper West Side, The New York Daily News reported.
Sources told the News that the poster was on a Bloomberg campaign vehicle parked on Columbus Avenue and 67th Street, and campaign workers subsequently replaced the vandalized poster with a new one. The scrawler was spotted defacing the poster by a passerby in a taxi at 7 p.m. The passerby phoned 911, but the vandal fled before police arrived, according to the News.

Manhattan?Creepy scrawlers
A few blocks from Penn Station, someone scrawled ?stop the war? and ?Israel? with a black magic marker in two elevators in a building at West 33rd Street near 10th Avenue between 10:50 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 21, police reported in a news account in The New York Post.

Brooklyn, Borough Park?Family terrorized
A Hasidic family of three was terrorized by a group of teenagers on Friday, Oct. 21, when they were pelted with eggs and heard anti-Semitic comments, police told The New York Post.
The 47-year-old man, his wife and their child were assaulted when they left a Sukkot celebration on East 92nd Street before they fled, according to the Post.

Brooklyn?Suspected vandal caught
A 43-year-old Brooklyn man was charged with criminal mischief and making graffiti after video cameras caught him carving a swastika in his own Gravesend apartment building, according to The New York Post.
The Hate Crimes Task Force approached Hamid Choudry of West 2nd Street after the building owners caught on film the vandal they suspected was behind a spree of anti-Semitic graffiti in the vicinity, police told the Post. The video is suspected by police of showing Choudry in a building elevator carving the swastika on Oct. 10 and 11, the newspaper reported.

Philadelphia?Captive audience
For the sake of full disclosure, the flap described below directly involves me. On Nov. 7, I e-mailed the following memo to Cheryl Ransom-Garner, commissioner of the city's Department of Human Services, where I am employed. Copies were sent to other DHS managers and union representatives. It reads:
?Dr. Cleora Levetter made an inappropriate comment in my presence shortly before 10 a.m. this morning. She said that someone put up or built ?a concentration camp in Palestine."
?At the time, I was standing in front of her secretary's desk distributing reports. Dr. Levetter was standing in front of her desk talking about world events to a secretary. I had to walk past Dr. Levetter to get to her secretary's desk, so she knew I was there and she well knows that I regard this kind of talk as insensitive at best to Jewish people and possibly downright anti-Semitic. She has already been on the receiving end of two EEOC complaints from me.
?I could hear her discussing world events for a few minutes. As she expressed sympathy for the rioters in Paris - she said she was glad to learn of other people protesting their conditions - she subsequently made the comment above. I shot her a look and she did not say anything. She appeared very calm.
?Please deal with this."
Levetter is a senior manager at DHS. I currently hold a clerical job where I frequently deliver reports to her secretaries. I previously filed two complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission because of Israel-bashing posters placed on a bulletin board controlled by Levetter.
One poster compared the events in ?Palestine? to past racism in Alabama. Another poster referred to the ?Berlin wall? in Israel. 
Then-Commissioner Alba Martinez refused to tell a union official what she was doing about the initial episode, in May 2002, so I subsequently filed one complaint with the EEOC against the city. The EEOC claimed that this was a freedom-of-speech issue. I learned that at least a dozen other employees, mostly Jewish, filed complaints.
I filed a second complaint in 2004 when another anti-Israel poster was found on the same bulletin board and after I had reason to believe that I was subject to retaliation. Among other episodes, on Sept. 30, 2003, Levetter slammed a door in my face when I sought to see her on DHS business. The EEOC again ruled for the city for the same reason. I did not appeal either decision because I could not afford an attorney.
Everything was quiet for the last several months. Levetter was even polite to me. Then, on Nov. 7, she surprisingly made the ?concentration camp? crack. My boss is planning a meeting with me to discuss the matter. I do not expect take any form of legal action this time.
Of course, I likewise have freedom of speech. 

Brooklyn Man Beaten and Robbed Inside Synagogue
A 57-year-old Hasidic man was severely beaten and robbed of $4,000 inside a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, synagogue shortly before 3 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, according to reports in The New York Post and The New York Daily News.
Mier Rosen, a father of 12 and grandfather of 30, had walked a few doors down from his home on Bedford Avenue to the Brei Mordchi of Cleveland synagogue to take a mikvah before attending morning prayers when a robber lurking on the premises hit him in the head with a lead pipe and robbed him before fleeing. He was listed in serious but stable condition at a local hospital at the time. 

Temple Tantrums - From Boca to Brooklyn
Due to our own deranged brethren, it is getting dangerous to attend holiday services. Of course, we must emphasize that these "deranged brethren" barely represent a tiny minority of the Jewish people.
In Boca Rotan, Fla., a 79-year-old man was arrested for shooting and seriously wounding another congregant in front of their synagogue in the midst of Rosh Hashanah services. In Brooklyn's Williamsburg section, black-coated Hasids rumbled inside a synagogue during Shmini Atzeret services.
Marc Benayer was arrested on Oct. 4 for allegedly shooting Jonathan Samuels, 44, outside the Chabad Weltman Synagogue and even fired into the temple's day care center where a 2-year-old was slightly injured by fragments from a shattered window, according to media reports. Both had just left services.
Police told newspapers that the shooting was rooted in a failed romance. Authorities said Benayer was angry because Samuels reportedly helped Benayer's former girlfriend, Marta Pinto, 52, to acquire a restraining order against him in addition to a legal agreement forcing him to sell his share of a jointly owned home. Samuels, who runs a business in Pompano Beach, is Pinto's employer.
A arrest report from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office said that Benayer called Samuels "the mastermind, the engineer of my destruction."
According to The Forward's account, Pinto was also attending services with her current boyfriend and 15-year-old daughter and, because she was uncomfortable with Benayer's stares, Pinto and her companions left early, the sheriff's office said. At 1:45 p.m., Benayer asked Samuels to speak with him and they went outside when, according to the sheriff's department, Benayer pulled out a gun and shot Samuels twice in the back as he attempted to flee. Benayer was charged with attempted first-degree murder and Samuels is expected to fully recover, according to The Forward. 
Up north, thousands were involved in a brawl inside the Yetev Lev Bikur Cholim synagogue on Rodney Street, police and witnesses told The New York Post. It was the latest chapter in the conflict between two brothers who both claim to lead the Williamsburg Satmar congregation.
The scuffle featured punches, slaps and beard-pulling. At 8:30 a.m., shouting and shoving matches ensued between the hundreds of worshippers and fights spilled out into the streets. The Post quoted a police source who said "there were a couple thousand people in the streets." Police shut down several blocks in the community.
The faction backing the elder brother, Aaron Teitelbaum, was reported to have bus up to 800 people in from upstate Kiryas Joel and tried to force their way into the shul, the Post reported. Teitelbaum's brother, Zalman, was chosen by their father, Moshe Teitelbaum, grand rebbe of the ultra-conservative Satmars, to lead the Brooklyn congregation. Aaron Teitelbaum continues to lead a congregation in Kiryas Joel.

Brotherhood in Queens
Thierry Delisha, 32, is an Orthodox Jew from Canada and Hossam Abdala is a Muslim who emigrated from the Middle East to Brooklyn.
Back in August, Delisha took a cab to LaGuardia for his return flight to Toronto and left a suitcase in the taxi. That suitcase contained diamonds worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The cab driver, Abdala, discovered the suitcase and made sure to seek out Delisha via a business card also left in the cab.
Delisha's diamonds were returned to him and made certain to properly reward Abdala.
Following up on the episode, The New York Daily News recently reported that the Taxi and Limousine Commission planned to honor Abdala. TLC Commissioner Matthew Daus said, ?We are going to name him the TLC driver of the year at this year's Driver Recognition Ceremony. He set a fine example for other drivers to follow."

Quirky Corner

Impeach Chelsea?
Now Chelsea Clinton is being censured for lying to a reporter about her apparent romance with Marc Mezvinsky, son of former U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky of Penn Valley.
The New York Post went into a journalistic snit-fit on Nov. 11 when its gossip page known as ?Page Six? led off with an item headlined, "Here's an earful for Chelsea."
Right off the bat, the miffed reporter wrote, ?WE won't call her a big, fat liar because that would be rude - but Chelsea Clinton did lie to us."
The reporter, who is not identified, explained that last May Chelsea denied she was romantically involved with Mezvinsky, yet her supposed real current flame was spotted with another woman three months later. ?So it wasn't a total surprise yesterday to read in the (New York) Times that at a dinner gala at the U.N. on Tuesday?" Marc Mezvinsky was playfully kissing Chelsea Clinton behind the ear." The Times also saw him stroking her arm, and referred to the couple as "lovebirds."
"As they used to say back in the Monica Lewinsky era, everybody lies about sex."
Let's get this straight: Chelsea Clinton does not hold office, is not running for office and is involved in nothing in which she might be remotely answerable to the public, and they're upset that she won't talk about her personal life.
There was no byline topping this item, but the entire page is credited to Richard Johnson, Paula Froelich and Chris Wilson. Incidentally, "Page Six" appeared on page 14. Huh?

Queasy rider
I. Lewis Libby, who practiced law in Philadelphia long ago, helped The New York Times fill an inside news page with a ridiculous photo - that of Libby in the driver's seat of his car on his way to work.
Obviously, the Times photographer had joined the media crowd camped out in front of Libby's pad as we see on television so often when the subject of a Beltway scandal is leaving the house for work. The Times published photos of both Libby and Rove leaving for work a few days before Libby was indicted for allegedly covering up the cover-up of White House lies for selling the war in Iraq.
Respected daily newspapers normally have trouble finding space for valuable news stories and photographs, and that pair of photos may well have trumped some good material in the editors? choice for filling that page. Just what was so newsworthy and compelling about those pictures?
During a scandal several years ago, the late television host Johnny Carson transformed a similar scene into a recurring skit as Carson responded to reporters? questions through the driver's seat window of his car. The sight of these photos in the Times was just as funny.

Send your comments and suggestions to Around Our Community Editor Bruce S. Ticker at community @ Bruce Ticker is the editor of Crisis: Israel. A Voice for Diverse Commentary.