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Brighton Beach

Pat Singer Is the Mother of Brighton Beach

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By Tanya Paperny Published February 22, 2013, The Jewish Daily Forward

Pat SingerLocated on the main stretch of Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach Avenue, among numerous Russian delis, Russian-language bookstores and a shuttered Russian travel agency, the Brighton Neighborhood Association stands out. Its window is one of the few on the block with signs predominantly in English, and it’s one of the few storefronts near the elevated tracks of the B and Q trains that doesn’t actually sell anything.

This doesn’t stop people — and definitely not elderly Russians — from strolling through the glass front door, unannounced, on a regular basis. Some mistake the office for a thrift store and start lifting up, one by one, the porcelain and enamel elephants, gifts from friends and other tchotchkes on the desk of Pat Singer, founder and executive director of BNA, a not-for-profit social service agency in Brighton Beach, a neighborhood that stretches for one mile along the Atlantic coast.

Singer has to break into her limited knowledge of Russian to shoo them away: “Not magazin, this office! Not for sale, nooo! Get your hands off my desk!”

Singer, the granddaughter of Jewish immigrants from Odessa, is a community leader in this predominantly Russian-speaking neighborhood: “I’m called ‘the Mother of Brighton Beach,’ but I’m a bad mother, because I can’t communicate with my children.”

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

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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

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 during Hurricane Sandy, to a festive Purim party at Tatiana restaurant on Brighton Beach Avenue as part of the UJA-Federation’s Post-Sandy Community Outreach Program. The program provides emotional and spiritual help to members of the Jewish communities in Brooklyn and Staten Island who have been seriously affected by the hurricane.  The free program, which is offered in both English and Russian, is unusual because it combines pastoral with psychological counseling. Read More »For Sandy victims in Brighton Beach, Purim story has a double meaning

Obsessions, From Street Food to Rooftops

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Exerted from NYTimes, Oct 3, 2014 In “Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food”(Brandeis University Press), Ms. Silver, an accomplished food writer inspired by the replacement of Mrs. Stahl’s knishery in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, by a Subway sandwich shop, explores the origins and evolution of the “pillow of filling tucked into a skin of dough.” Her book brims with nostalgia (including the lyrics to the Samuel J. Tilden High School… Read More »Obsessions, From Street Food to Rooftops

Pieces of Pictures

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By Victoria Gold

I was born in nineteen fifty one in Brighton Beach Brooklyn, NYC. Brighton was a magical and mystical place to grow up. What more could a kid want than to be surrounded by the ocean, Coney Island and New York City?

The Gold family lived surrounded by the bracing smell of fresh ocean salt-water air. The overhead deafening sound of the elevated subway could not deter the pleasures of growing up by the ocean. Living by the beach opened my childhood eyes to all the wonderful beauties and diversities that growing up in the Big Apple in the fifties and early sixties offered.

Until I was eight we lived on Brighton Fourth Street in one of the multitudes of six-floor brick apartment buildings that encircled the boardwalk and Brighton Beach Ave. The assortment of buildings spanned lengthwise from Ocean Parkway through to Manhattan Beach and widthwise from the Boardwalk to Brighton Beach Avenue where you met the elevated train. During Brighton’s heyday, some of these buildings were mighty and grand. When my family moved to Brighton, most of the six floor apartment buildings were erected between the turn of the twenty century and the nineteen thirties. The architecture of a few of the buildings were extraordinary. Even today in 2015, a few buildings stand out as art deco icons.  Having intricate art deco engraving on the lobby doors and windows with fancy brickwork under the windows that simulated elaborate window shades.
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Brooklyn, the Most Jewish Spot on Earth

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By Hilary Danailova January 2018 A dozen years ago, I moved from a Park Slope brownstone to a rent-controlled apartment south of Kings Highway in Brooklyn. It turned out to be next door to the Ocean Avenue building where my grandmother, Shirley, had spent her first married years. “Tell me,” she demanded over the phone, her Brooklyn accent undimmed by 20 years in Florida, “is it one of those units with a sunken… Read More »Brooklyn, the Most Jewish Spot on Earth

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