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Chaptzem Blog!

The Official Chaptzem WebLog -- The One and Only Heimishe News Center.

Updated: 2018-02-23T11:41:17.778-05:00


Swastikas Carved Into Car Windows In Ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn Neighborhood


The NYPD is searching for the person or people who carved swastikas into the side of two cars in Borough Park, Brooklyn.The vandalism was found just before midnight Wednesday on 52nd Street in Borough Park in a predominately Orthodox Jewish neighborhood.A Lexus and a Ford were both damaged with the hate symbols etched into the front passenger side windows of each car.The cars were located on a

How One Polish Woman Crafts Stunningly Intimate Photographs Of Hasidic Life


On the coldest day of the year, the Polish photographer Agnieszka Traczewska stands in a snowbound forest an hour's car ride from Krakow. Dressed in thermal pants and a black scarf, Traczewska has lost track of time in her quest to get a shot of her usually reclusive subjects. Traczewska leans in. Crouches. Shoots.By the end of the day Traczewska, a Krakow-based documentary producer and

Rare letter from Einstein thanks American who helped Jews escape Nazi Germany


In 1939, Albert Einstein wrote "thank you notes" to a few people for helping Jews to escape Nazi Germany, and while historians only knew about two of those letters, a third surfaced here in Chicago.Nearly 80 years after it was penned on June 10, 1939, Enid Bronstein is sharing the letter Einstein wrote to her father, David Finck. A finance man in New York, Finck never met Einstein, but attracted

Swastikas Discovered at Polish Embassy in Israel


Swastikas and obscenities were found drawn around the entrance to the Polish Embassy in Israel on Sunday, one day after Poland's prime minister made comments suggesting there were "Jewish perpetrators" of atrocities during World War II.The graffiti, scrawled in black marker on an outdoor bulletin board and on gates at the embassy, in Tel Aviv, included the words "Polish" and "murderer," along

Rabbi skips town after charges laid for multiple sex offences: Winnipeg police


A rabbi well known in Winnipeg's Jewish community has been on the lam since October after being charged with sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching, CBC News has learned. Police believe that Rabbi Yacov Simmonds, 42, has been hiding out somewhere in the United States after a warrant was issued for his arrest on three counts of sexual assault, three counts of sexual

East Brunswick rabbi accused of prostitution


An East Brunswick rabbi, who previously served time for inappropriately touching a young boy, is now accused of having sex with a 17-year-old Lancaster, Pennsylvania, girl. The rabbi and two people from the Bronx, New York, are facing charges related to human trafficking and prostitution, officials said. Rabbi Aryeh Goodman, 35, is charged with one count of engaging in prostitution with a

The Truth Does Not Matter at UMass Amherst


If you’re a lazy and dishonest high school student looking for a college where you can cheat on research papers without consequence, UMass Amherst is the place to be. In particular, you should attend classes in the school’s Department of Communication, where filmmaker Sut Jhally is a professor. In Jhally’s classes, you can hand in papers that falsify what other people have said. But instead of

Israel slams Polish PM for WWII 'Jewish perpetrators' remark


Israeli politicians accused Poland's prime minister of anti-Semitism Saturday for equating the Polish perpetrators in the Holocaust to its supposed "Jewish perpetrators," setting off a new chapter in an angry dispute over Poland's new bill criminalizing the mention of Polish complicity in the Nazi-led genocide. Yair Lapid, head of the centrist opposition Yesh Atid party, said Israel should

The Secret Jewish History Of General Tso’s Chicken


There are two hidden truths about China's General Tso, whose ill-advised military incursion into Japan put the miso in misogyny and the saké into "for heaven's sake.The first is that he had a speech impediment. The second is that he was a coward. This latter character flaw was resented by the rank and file, who would regale him with cries of, "General Tso's chicken."In response, the general

Why I went from Catholic schoolgirl to Hasidic Jewish wife


Growing up in a Catholic family in East New York in the '90s, Yehudit Chervony, nee Yomaira Tamayo, didn't even know what a Jew was. Now, she belongs to a strict Hasidic sect in New York."I would drive through Williamsburg and I remember thinking, 'What language is that?' I thought they were Amish," says Chervony, 34.As the daughter of two immigrants from Latin America, she dutifully attended

Bklyn Yeshiva to Pay Massive Fine for Operating in “Unsafe” Building


Yeshiva Kollel Tifereth Elizer, a yeshiva based in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, has agreed to pay a $22,500 fine for holding religious services in a building deemed "unsafe" by NYC. In a report Saturday, the New York Post said that, according to the New York Department of Buildings, Yeshiva Kollel Tifereth Elizer Director Rabbi Abraham Low pleaded guilty in December, and has agreed to

The Business of Saving Jewish Lives, One Kidney at a Time


Avi Shafar, a 40 year old man from Teaneck, New Jersey, went to Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx recently — and donated his kidney to someone he had never met.Immediately after the transplantation, within a couple of seconds, the kidney was functioning — just as it should — for Ariane Mann, a 42-year-old woman from Los Angeles who had suffered from renal (kidney) failure as a result of Type 1

Mother and daughter skipped crashed Russia flight for Judaism seminar


A Jewish woman and her daughter who had tickets for a flight that crashed near Moscow skipped it to extend their participation in a Jewish studies course, they said.Taliya Samanina and her eldest daughter, Malka, were scheduled to return Sunday from the Russian capital to their home city of Orsk aboard Saratov Airlines' flight 6W703, which crashed shortly after taking off, killing all 71

Accused Sex Abuser Malka Leifer arrested to face extradition


Police in Israel have rearrested Malka Leifer, after secretly keeping tabs on her for a month and then claiming that she been misleading legal authorities. She is suspected of "obstructing court proceedings under aggravated circumstances, in the fabrication of evidence and impersonation," the Justice Ministry and Police revealed in a statement released to The AJN. Israel Police spokesman Micky

Antwerp man filmed destroying 20 mezuzahs, harassing Jews


A 24-year-old refugee, believed to be Muslim, was briefly detained by Belgian police for anti-Semitic hate crimes, including the destruction of at least 20 mezuzahs in Antwerp, local Jews said.In recent weeks, the same man was filmed in Antwerp destroying at least 20 mezuzahs, religious objects containing a parchment with biblical text inked on it that Jews affix to their door frames, and

Iceland to receive 1st resident rabbi in recent history


The Chabad hasidic movement is sending emissaries, a rabbi and his wife, to Iceland, an island nation with 250 Jews where ritual slaughter of animals is illegal and circumcision is poised to be outlawed as well.Rabbi Avi Feldman, 27, of Brooklyn, New York and his Sweden-born wife Mushky are slated to settle with their two daughters in Reykjavík, the world's northernmost capital city, later this

Developer claims anti-Semitism blocked Monroe housing project


For 16 years, Highview Properties D.H.F. has gone through a rigorous review process to build a subdivision in the town of Monroe in Orange County, but just as the developer got a key land-use approval, the project stalled.The town imposed a moratorium on pending developments. More restrictive zoning was implemented. Routine administrative approvals were denied.The impetus for the delays, Highview

Poland’s Jews fear for future under new Holocaust law


Even on a clear day, history hangs over Warsaw like smog. Flattened during the Nazi German wartime occupation and rebuilt during communist rule, what Poland’s capital may lack in architectural charm it makes up for with a litany of monuments, statues, plaques and shrines dedicated to collective suffering and individual sacrifice. One lesser-known memorial is a small plaque on the wall of the

Kosher food and Shabbat at the Olympics thanks to Chabad


Though the Jewish community in South Korea is small, Jews visiting the country to compete in or watch the Winter Olympic Games won't have to skimp on kosher food or Shabbat programming.The country's Chabad emissary is setting up a pop-up restaurant in PyeongChang County, the site of the 2018 Winter Olympics. During the Olympics, which start tonight (Feb. 9), the temporary eatery will serve three



A new documentary about altruistic kidney donation is shining a fresh light on New York's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community few have ever seen before. Titled Match Made in Heaven, the film tells the heartwarming story of how two Jews from opposite sides of the world formed a bond literally through blood and greatness of spirit. As 68-year-old New Jersey native David Solomon resigned himself to

Antwerp police: Alleged car-ramming attempt not a hate crime


A Belgian watchdog group on anti-Semitism said the near-ramming of a Jewish father and son in Antwerp was a racist attack, but police said the suspect was inebriated and was charged merely with reckless driving.In a statement Monday, the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism, or LBCA, said its lawyers have initiated a criminal court case against the driver who on Saturday narrowly missed with his

Jackson shul approved, first synagogue for Orthodox Jews in town


After years of privately gathering in living rooms or walking to a Lakewood synagogue to pray, some of the township's Orthodox Jews will soon have a shul of their own. The planning board Monday night unanimously approved plans for a synagogue on East Veterans Highway. The action concluded a relatively quick deliberative process — in contrast with the months-long hearings and pitched legal

Polish president to sign Holocaust rhetoric bill and refer it for judicial review


President Andrzej Duda of Poland said he would sign a controversial bill limiting rhetoric on atrocities committed in his country during World War II, but added that he would refer the measure for review by a constitutional court.Duda made the announcement at a news conference Tuesday in Warsaw about the bill passed by the lower and upper houses of the Polish parliament. It criminalizes blaming

Israeli Father Of 4 Killed In West Bank Stabbing


An Israeli father of four was fatally stabbed in the West Bank settlement of Ariel.Israeli security forces are searching the area for the Palestinian assailant in the Monday afternoon attack, the Israel Defense Forces spokesman said. An IDF officer who identified the attacker began to pursue him in his vehicle and hit him, but the attacker still was able to flee, according to the IDF.The

Man held in Belgium after car nearly rams Hasidic man, son


Police in Belgium arrested a man who is suspected of trying to ram with his car an Orthodox man and a child on a street in Antwerp. The incident Saturday morning was filmed by security cameras. It shows a black Seat Ibiza car swerving sharply while speeding on Isabellalei, a central street in Antwerp, toward the alleged victim and a boy, who is the man’s son, according to the Antwerp-based