Sarina Roffe, interviewed May 30, 2012, Brooklyn Borough Hall: My most favorite memories from growing up as a Jew in Brooklyn are playing street ball and street games with the Italian neighbors that I had growing up in Bensonhurst. I used to live on 69th Street between 21st Avenue and Bay Parkway, and all of the kids, and all my cousins would go to the Marboro Theater, and we would go for matinees… Read More »Growing Up In Bensonhurst
Eli Miller, 79, New York City’s senior seltzer man, hoisted crate after crate of seltzer — weighing 70 pounds apiece — into his van and then draped himself over them.
“I’m running on fumes — the reason I work is, I just can’t stay home,” said Mr. Miller, who has been delivering seltzer in Brooklyn for more than a half-century.
He can afford to retire, but that would mean his customers, many of whom have been with him for decades, might have to resort to store-bought seltzer.
“I don’t want them to have to drink that dreck you buy in the supermarket,” he said, using the Yiddish term for dirt. “So I guess I’ll retire when Gabriel blows his horn.”
Mr. Miller said that when he began delivering, on March 10, 1960, there were perhaps 500 seltzer men in the city, and a half-dozen seltzer bottlers. Now he can count his delivery competition on one hand, and they all fill up at the last seltzer factory in the city: Gomberg Seltzer Works in Canarsie.
By Adam Cohen My family grew up in Brooklyn including my parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and both sets of grandparents. I was dubbed a first generation New Jerseyan by many of my family members. As you could imagine, we spent a lot of time in Brooklyn. My parents would take my sister and I into Brooklyn on a whim and show us where they grew up, met, and dated. They… Read More »Memories of Sheepshead Bay
Submitted by Adam Cohen, October 1, 2013 – firstname.lastname@example.org My family grew up in Brooklyn including my parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and both sets of grandparents. I was dubbed a first generation New Jerseyan by many of my family members. As you could imagine, we spent a lot of time in Brooklyn. My parents would take my sister and I into Brooklyn on a whim and show us where they grew… Read More »Sheepshead Bay
Out of the Lower East Side and its creative constraints Clever chefs like Moshe Wendel and Itta Werdiger Roth are bringing kosher into the 21st century at eateries like Pardes, Mason & Mug, Blossom and Reserve Cut BY MICHAEL KAMINER / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2013, 2:00 AM When the Lower East Side’s last kosher restaurant closed last month, “oy veys” could be heard all the way to the Bronx.In… Read More »Kosher Food is Busting Out
1012 Avenue I, Brooklyn
The Young Israel was established on December 6, 1921 and held its first Synagogue Shabbat Services on March 3, 1922. In its many years of existence, we have been active on several fronts. The Young Israel was instrumental in providing assistance in rescue efforts for our suffering brethren during the Holocaust, financial aid during the early years of our beloved State of Israel and in its wars of existence, and support to our brothers behind the Iron Curtain. Here at home, we have been the leading Congregation in the community – the force behind the creation of the local Mikveh, the Gemilut Chassadim Organization and the Greater Flatbush Eruv. We have also assisted local Yeshivot, Rabbinic Courts and the needy of our community. In addition to being open all day, every day, we have provided a myriad of services to our membership, including religious and educational enrichment, youth and outreach programs and social activities.
published in Brooklyn Eagle Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams recently hosted Jewish community leaders and representatives from city agencies, including the New York City Police Department, Fire Department and Department of Sanitation, for a pre-Passover community open dialogue in the courtroom of Borough Hall. The forum was an opportunity to discuss preparations for the holiday and ways to advance collaboration. “We need to work in collaboration, not isolation, which was… Read More »Borough President Eric Adams Hosts Pre-Passover Community Open Dialogue
Submitted by Roberta Ann Afflitto
At a time when I was experiencing loss and sadness, I moved to Coney Island. It took me a while to make friends, but when I did – every day became an adventure. We would walk down Surf Avenue, moving to the uplifting sound of the carousel. We’d ride it and attempt to catch the golden ring to earn another ride. The aromas of grilling hot dogs and French fries made us quicken our steps to reach Nathan’s. The crunch of that first bite gave our tastebuds a salty, yummy treat. Then on to play games such as skeetball.
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 to wipe out the entire community.
The Jewish community of Djerba, a sunny island off the Tunisian coast, had flourished for over two millennia, but during the Second World War, Nazi Germany occupied the island, putting the lives of its Jewish population in immediate and grave danger.
The officers demanded from the community an exorbitant bribe of 50 kilograms (110 lbs.) of gold in exchange for the right to live. They warned that if the gold was not handed over within three hours, the community members would all be killed. Rabbi Khalfon Moshe Hakohen, the revered rabbi, immediately instructed the people to bring their gold in order to save the community. The rabbi’s illustrious disciple, Rav Rachamim Hai Havitah Hakohen, broke the wall in his house to take his life’s savings which had been hidden inside the wall. Many others did the same, bringing all the money and jewelry they owned. Still, it was not enough to pay the extortionate bribe.
Seeing there was still a shortfall, Rav Khalfon rode by car – although it was still Shabbat – to the Hara Seghira community in the small Jewish Quarter to collect the outstanding amount. Even the golden bells decorating the Torah scrolls were removed in a desperate attempt to save the Jews’ lives. The Germans collected 42 kilograms of gold, and agreed to give the Jews until Sunday to come up with the balance. On Sunday, the Jews were prepared to deliver an additional eight kilograms, until the joyous news arrived – Allied forces had invaded Tunisia, driving the Nazis out of the country.
The Jews still had the eight kilograms, and they were now faced with the question of how it should be returned. Was it to be distributed proportionately among the community, or should the Hara Seghira receive its portion back in full? This question was addressed by Rav Rahamim Hai Havitah Hakohen in his work Simhat Kohen, where he discusses the halachah in great detail (he ruled that it should be distributed proportionally).
This remarkable story, and the concern for strict compliance with halachic minutiae even under the most trying circumstances, is just one example of how Jews continued to show unwavering loyalty to the Torah during the dark days of the Holocaust.
This heroic fealty to faith during World War II is now being memorialized by a new initiative – the Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center (KFHEC), which is set to open in Boro Park next year.
From Pre-War Glory to Post-War RenewalRead More »THE KLEINMAN FAMILY HOLOCAUST EDUCATION CENTER