With Our Thanks:

-Former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
-Former NY City Councilman Michael C. Nelson

Councilmembers: -Darlene Mealy, Stephen Levin, Chaim Deutsch, David Greenfield

-Jim Goldman, Charles Diker, Lloyd Handwerker, Hon Alice Fisher Rubin, Lowell Rubin, Raoul Felder bhs-logo2

Organizations & Civic Causes

By Sarina Roffe
Just as the Brooklyn’s Jews are diverse in the lands of ancestral origin, languages, and cultures, so too are the causes they embrace. Following the Jewish concepts of Tikkun olam, making the world a better place, and chesed, acts of loving-kindness, many Brooklyn Jews have historically joined with co-religionists around the world, establishing organizations to address a variety of important causes. These causes have included civil rights, women’s rights, health issues, the rights of immigrants and refugees, and the pursuit of Zionism, to name just a few. Brooklyn Jews have made significant contributions to the human welfare of those less fortunate, whether Jews or all humanity, through organizational life. In the 1930, many Jews supported radical politics, debating varieties and policies of communism, socialism, Labor Zionism, religious Zionism and Yiddishism. In contrast, in the early 21st century, many Orthodox and Hassidic Jews support socially conservative4 causes.

Brooklyn Jewish women  have  been active in charitable and volunteer organizations, supporting  groups such as Hadassah, B’nai Brith, ORT, Youth Aliyah, AMIT, Na'amat,  (formerly, Pioneer Women), the  National Council of Jewish women, ) to name a few.

During World War II, the Sephardic community formed a women’s league to support soldiers from their community who were deployed overseas.

In the 1960s and 1970s, many liberal Brooklyn Jews embraced the American Civil Rights Movement and the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. Some travelled to the southern US to work as activists for the cause. Anti-Semitism was still prevalent in the United States, and many Jews felt that fighting for equality for blacks would lead to equality for all, including Jews. High school and college students joined marches and protests. Activist Jewish students formed Students for a Democratic Society at Brooklyn College, protesting and taking over the college’s administrative offices in the 1960s.  Author Melanie Kay/Kantrowitz was one of many civil rights activists from Brooklyn and she continues her activism as a strong supporter of feminist causes. In 1990, she acted as a founding director for Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, a progressive Jewish organization focused mostly on anti-racist work and issues of economic justice.

Zionism in its many varieties has been an important Jewish cause that many Brooklyn Jews debated and supported, especially during the first half of the 20th century. The Blue Boxes of the Jewish National Fund appeared in homes, organizations and shops, as Jews collected spare coins to buy land in Eretz Israel and planted trees to green the land. In the latter 20th century other fervently supported causes included the religious rights of Jews in the Former Soviet Union.

Brooklyn is also the home or birthplace of many federal elected officials (US Senators, Charles Schumer, Barbara Boxer, Bernie Sanders, and Norman Coleman) and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Through organization life, Brooklyn Jews have been heavily involved as activists and advocates of important political issues, especially where it concerns human rights, equality and religious freedom.

PHOTOS: 5,200 Rabbis and guests attend largest dinner in NYC

Originally published on the Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Credit: Adam Ben Cohen / Chabad.org

Rabbis are seen in this photo among their colleagues at a banquet at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in the Brooklyn borough of New York on November 23, 2014. They are among 5,200 rabbis and guests from over [more …]PHOTOS: 5,200 Rabbis and guests attend largest dinner in NYC


originally published in Community Magazine

New Brooklyn Museum committed to revealing the unknown stories of heroism and faith that withstood the horrors of the Holocaust.

The joy of Adar abruptly turned to terror on Shabbat morning, 8 Adar, 5703 (February 13, 1943), when German officers stormed the synagogue and threatened [more …]THE KLEINMAN FAMILY HOLOCAUST EDUCATION CENTER

Luna Park Set to Host Large Sukkot Spectacle

By Francesca Norsen-Tate, Religion Editor – Brooklyn Daily Eagle 10/7

This group of children enjoyed last year’s Sukkot at Luna Park. Photo courtesy of Luna Park

Jews around Brooklyn find innovative, fun ways of celebrating the joyful festivals. This year, Brooklyn’s famous amusement park at Coney Island will be transformed into a Sukkot Spectacle. [more …]Luna Park Set to Host Large Sukkot Spectacle

New program bonds Israeli and American Jews in Brooklyn Heights

IAC-Shishi Israeli Program to Combine Tradition, Music

By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Singing and sharing a meal together is a universal joy. A new program coming to Brooklyn Heights will celebrate song cuisine and togetherness as it is experienced in Israeli culture.

IAC-Shishi Israeli, a new program of the Israeli-American Council [more …]New program bonds Israeli and American Jews in Brooklyn Heights

Program Nurturing Jewish Identity Expands Throughout Brooklyn

By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor – Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Yehudit Feinstein-Mentesh photo courtesy of Israeli American Council/New York Office

Keshet, a successful and well-known educational community afterschool program for Israelis in Brooklyn, is expanding with the support of the Israeli-American Council (IAC) and will be renamed IAC-Keshet Programs.

IAC-Keshet is an afterschool Hebrew [more …]Program Nurturing Jewish Identity Expands Throughout Brooklyn

For Sandy victims in Brighton Beach, Purim story has a double meaning

By Francesca Norsen-Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Rabbi Josh Minkin (in foreground) holds the microphone, while colleague Malka Shagaraeva wears the crown. Photo courtesy of the Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services

The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services on March 17 treated the Brighton Beach community, which was seriously affected [more …]For Sandy victims in Brighton Beach, Purim story has a double meaning

Metropolitan Council delivers food to families for Purim

By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Volunteers Ashlee Davis, Jennifer Smith and Joey Canoro (left to right) prepare food packages for delivery. Photo courtesy Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty

The Purim holiday which took place this past weekend was a lot more festive for hundreds of people in Brooklyn, thanks to the Metropolitan Council [more …]Metropolitan Council delivers food to families for Purim

Mikvah is the first to open in brownstone nabe

By Natalie Musumeci The Brooklyn Paper

The first mikvah ever in Park Slope finally opened after more than five years of construction.

The three-story William and Betty Katz Center for Jewish Life, on 15th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, was celebrated with a grand ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, drawing dozens of observant Jews and [more …]Mikvah is the first to open in brownstone nabe