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Types of Zionism – Wikipedia

Posted By on May 22, 2019

Political Zionism was led by Theodor Herzl and Max Nordau in Russia. This Zionist Organization approach espoused at the First Zionist Congress aimed at establishing for the Jewish people a publicly and legally assured home in Palestine, which among other items, included initial steps to obtain governmental grants from the established powers that controlled the area.

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Types of Zionism - Wikipedia

Beth Sholom Synagogue – Beth Sholom Congregation

Posted By on May 22, 2019

Shalom & Welcome!

Were overhauling our website to give our Beth Sholom Family a BRAND NEW beautiful online one stop shop for all things Beth Sholom!

Stay tuned for updates.

In the meantime, if you need any information about our upcoming programs and service times, please see our Shabbat bulletin below!

Dont forget to follow our Facebook page for updates too!

We hope to see you at shul soon!

The rest is here:

Beth Sholom Synagogue - Beth Sholom Congregation

Posted By on May 22, 2019

Today's Calendar

The Fire of Judaism

32nd day of the Omer Wednesday, May 22

Shahrit First Minyan - Followed by a Class Wednesday, May 22 at 6.30 am

Shahrit Second Minyan - Followed by a Class Wednesday, May 22 at 7.15 am

Shahrit Third Minyan - Followed by a Class Wednesday, May 22 at 8.00 am

Minha followed by Arbit Wednesday, May 22 at 6.30 pm

Simplifying the Sod with Rabbi David Bibi Wednesday, May 22 at 7.00 pm

Men's Torah in the City Wednesday, May 22 at 7.45 pm

33rd day of the Omer Thursday, May 23

Lag La'Omer Thursday, May 23

34th day of the Omer Friday, May 24

Candle lighting Friday, May 24 at 7.54 pm

The Fire of Judaism Join us Wednesday evening for a class by Rabbi Shlomo Farhi on the insights into the deeper meaning of Lag La'Omer, followed by a special candle lighting ceremony in honor of the great Sadikeem of our past.

Sponsors Welcome

Cooking for A Cause - Youth Join us for a fun night making classic dishes to fill the SBH Food Pantry!For Teens 9th - 12th Grade

Guest Chef: Paulette Jerome @theunmarriedwife

A Taste of Israel Souk Come by the synagogue all day Sunday, June 2nd during the Celebrate Israel Parade for our awesome Souk experience!

Grab lunch, fresh coffee, drinks & snacks all day!Got a craving for fresh shwarma, falafel, schnitzel or sabich? Pita Grill will be making your favorites on site.Craving a healthy and filling delicious salad? Pick up one of the many Ouri's Market salads options.Got a sweet tooth or need a salty snack? Come see what else we have in store for you!

Get creative and make signs to cheer on the marchers!Get festive with an Israeli themed face paint design or an intricate henna art.

Need to catch Minha? We'll have one every hour on the hour! read more...



Posted By on May 21, 2019

As we observe Jewish American Heritage Month, our Nation celebrates nearly 4,000 years of Jewish history and honors the numerous contributions of Jewish Americans to our country and the world. Rabbi Akiva, a great Jewish scholar, declared that a central principle of the Torah is to love thy neighbor as thyself. Jewish Americans have repeatedly demonstrated their dedication to this commandment, helping the downtrodden and pursue justice, sanctifying the name of God, and embodying the best of America.

During a Jewish wedding ceremony, it is customary for the newlywed couple to shatter a glass. This longstanding tradition commemorates the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and symbolizes that even during times of heightened joy, one should remember the painful losses Jews suffered throughout history. In the same way, all Americans bear a moral responsibility to stand alongside our Jewish communities and learn the lessons of tolerance that run through the tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people both long ago and, sadly, in recent times. Reflecting on these events steels our resolve that they never happen again.

Unconscionably, rates of anti-Semitic hate crimes have risen globally, and Jewish institutions have been vandalized and violently attacked. This past October, we mourned alongside our Jewish brothers and sisters following the attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in which 11 worshippers were killed, making it the deadliest attack against Jews in American history. Then, on the sixth-month anniversary of that horrific attack and on the last day of Passover, we grieved as the Chabad of Poway Synagogue was the target of yet another act of anti-Semitic violence, in which one worshipper lost her life and three others were wounded. As Americans, we unequivocally condemn the pernicious, baseless hatred that is anti-Semitism.

Our American tradition compels us to reject the source of anti-Semitism. Following the Revolutionary War, the Jewish community of Newport, Rhode Island, was unsure if the new American Government would grant them equal rights, given the persecution and expulsion the Jewish people had faced in so many times and in so many places. In response, George Washington penned his famous 1790 letter to the members of Newports Touro Synagogue, reassuring American Jews that, in the United States, their religious liberty would be protected. He further invoked the prophet Micah, hoping that the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. Since then, the unique American promise of religious liberty for people of all faiths has remained a proud hallmark of our Republic.

Today, we recognize the resilience of the Jewish community in the face of great adversity and celebrate the countless ways Jewish Americans have strengthened our Nation. We echo the words of President Washington and Rabbi Akiva and stand in solidarity with our American Jewish neighbors as we reaffirm our commitment to combat all forms of hate and anti-Semitism.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2019 as Jewish American Heritage Month. I call upon Americans to celebrate the heritage and contributions of American Jews and to observe this month with appropriate programs, activities, and ceremonies.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand thisthirtieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.

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Denial forms / Holocaust denial / History / Auschwitz-Birkenau

Posted By on May 21, 2019

The denial of the Holocaust and genocide take many forms, from simply ignoring obvious facts by manipulating the sources, through minimizing the dimensions of genocide, to trivializing and rationalizing genocide by analogy and claiming that it is an acceptable example of the kinds of things that happen in wartime.

The deniers of the Holocaust and genocide attack three facts in particular:

According to Professor Yisrael Gutman of the Yad Vashem Memorial Institute in Israel, the use of the term Polish concentration camps is a form of Holocaust denial. It is a conscious or unconscious way of changing victims into perpetrators and an attempt to blur the question of responsibility for the crime.

The aim of denying the existence of the gas chambers is, first, to negate the mass scale of the crime of genocide. The second aim is to make it easier to contend that people have always been killed on a greater or lesser scale throughout history, and that the things that the Nazis did during the Second World War were hardly exceptional, but rather examples of the kind of repression that always occurs during war.

The prime evidence for the deniers contention that there were no gas chambers in Auschwitz used to be an account by one of the Auschwitz guards, Sonderfhrer Thies Christophersen (transcribed in the presence of attorney Manfred Rder). Published in the form of a brochure titled Auschwitz Lge (Auschwitz Is a Lie) in 1973, Christophersens assertions became a classic of neo-Nazi propaganda. The SS man stated categorically that, as an eyewitness in Auschwitz, he never saw any gas chambers there. Christophersen also claimed that reports of cruelty in the camp were a lie, and that those who opposed Hitler during the war were traitors. Auschwitz, he asserted, was no death camp, but instead an ordinary industrial plant where internees were treated according to the regulations, and gas chambers the product of diseased imagination.

Since the end of the 1980s, genocide deniers have been appealing to more objective proofs, namely the results of chemical analysis of plaster samples taken from the walls of the gas chambers. Teams of pseudo-experts posing as tourists clandestinely gouge chunks of plaster from the walls of the gas chambers and later submit them to chemical analysis for the presence of hydrogen cyanide compounds. The quantity of these compounds is always, of course, too small to state that people were killed in the gas chambers. What is more, the deniers regard these analyses as clear proof that no one was killed by gas there.


Denial forms / Holocaust denial / History / Auschwitz-Birkenau

Facebook Search promotes Holocaust denial groups – Business Insider

Posted By on May 21, 2019

Mark Zuckerberg defended the presence of Holocaust deniers on Facebook this week despite widespread criticism, arguing that the company's algorithm will punish misinformation to restrict its circulation on the social network rather than deleting it outright.

But Facebook has still been prominently showcasing groups that promote Holocaust denial at the top of its search results, Business Insider has found.

If a user searches for "Holocaust" on Facebook, some of the top results are for user-created groups that falsely claim the Nazi murder of millions of Jews was fabricated. These appear on the first page of the search results, as well as on the dedicated Groups tab of the search results.

The prominence of these groups in Facebook's search results reveal a gaping hole in Facebook's defenses to stop the spread of falsehoods on its service and raise new questions about the effectiveness, and seriousness, of Facebook's policies.

In contrast to Facebook's search results, if a user searches for "Holocaust" on Google, the first-page results are a mixture of news articles, legitimate informational websites, and other results, none of which suggest the Holocaust did not occur. The same is true of Yahoo, Microsoft-owned search engine Bing, and privacy-centric search engine DuckDuckGo.

Reached for comment, a Facebook spokesperson said they made a mistake: "Our goal is for Facebook search results to be relevant and useful to people. That did not happen in this case and we have corrected the issue."

"We find Holocaust denial to be repugnant and ignorant," a spokesperson said earlier. "Mark [Zuckerberg] has made that clear - and we agree that we 'find Holocaust denial deeply offensive.' We don't allow people to celebrate or defend or try to justify the Holocaust. We also remove any content that mocks Holocaust victims or survivors."

Unlike other major search engines, the first page of Facebook's search results for "Holocaust" includes a group that promotes Holocaust denialism, "The Open Holocaust Debate." BI

On Wednesday, technology news site Recode published a wide-ranging interview with CEO Mark Zuckerberg. It came on the back a furor over conspiracy theory website Infowars' use of Facebook, and Zuckerberg argued that the company did not feel comfortable restricting the "voice" of its users, even if they were clearly wrong.

Instead, he said, Facebook penalized hoaxers and misinformation spreaders with its algorithm, which ensures that such posts get far less traction and views in the News Feed. Zuckerberg cited Holocaust denialism as an example of content that was penalized but not banned.

"I'm Jewish, and there's a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened," the Facebook founder said. "I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don't believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong."

But the News Feed is not the only way Facebook users can find and consume information on the social network. Holocaust denial groups rank highly in Facebook's Search results, mixed in alongside non-conspiracy-theorist groups.

The Groups search results for "Holocaust" includes two groups in its top ten promoting Holocaust denial material, "The Open Holocaust Debate" and "Holocaust Revisionism." BI

The groups vary slightly in their search ranking position from user to user. One such group, "The Open Holocaust Debate," has more than 1,600 members and frequently ranks in the top three search results. Billed as a "study group," its users frequently post anti-Semitic messages and deny that the Holocaust occurred.

Another in the top-ten results is the 1,000-member "Holocaust Revisionism," which has a description that reads in part: "many people are starting to wake up, and find out that the official story which we have been told about the Holocaust may not be 100% true ... the truth of the matter is that Hitler was a Zionist puppet from start to finish... and that the whole Holocaust thing was part of a Messianic agenda in order to fulfill a Sabbatean Frankist version of prophecy."

One of the posts in "The Open Holocaust Debate" disputing the existence of the Holocaust. BI

In an emailed statement, a Facebook spokesperson said that search results are unique to each user: "They're ordered algorithmically based on a combination of many factors. A few of the factors that determine what Groups appear in the Groups module on the search results page include relevance to what you type into the search bar, if you are connected to members of the Group and the activity level of the Group. "

However, Business Insider tested the "Holocaust" search with four different users, and Holocaust denial groups appeared highly every time indicating this is likely a widespread issue. For two of the users, "The Open Holocaust Debate" was ranked third, and "Holocaust Revisionism" was ranked sixth. For one user, the former was ranked second and the latter was ranked eighth. And for another, "The Open Holocaust Debate" was ranked sixth.

The spokesperson added that Facebook blocks Holocaust denial content in countries where it is illegal, and takes down groups if they "[devolve] into threats or statements of hate."

The prominence of Holocaust denial groups in Facebook's search results risk misinforming users seeking more information about the historic atrocity, especially as Facebook increasingly encourages the Groups feature as a way to make connections on the platform.

A recent survey by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany found that 11% of US adults were not sure if they had heard of the Holocaust and that 2 out of 3 Americans between 18 and 34 years of age could not identify Auschwitz.

While Facebook has begun taking greater steps to stop the spread of misinformation in its NewsFeed, it's not clear to what extent the company is policing the other corners of its 2-billion member internet service.

With its engineering resources and capital, Facebook should be capable of solving the problem with technology.

After all, no other major search engine promotes Holocaust denial material on its first page of results for "Holocaust."

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Facebook Search promotes Holocaust denial groups - Business Insider

Hasidic Rabbi Hillel HandlerMeasles Vaccine Antagonist The …

Posted By on May 20, 2019

On Monday night in Monsey, the Atrium was packed with ultra-Orthodox Jews.

The ballroom of the massive catering hall usually hosts lively Hasidic weddings. This week it welcomed hundreds of people from around the New York City area who had come to this suburb itself home to a large population of Haredim to hear from people who believe that vaccines are harmful, and that anyone trying to get you to vaccinate your child is in the pocket of pharmaceutical corporations.

But while the audience was almost entirely religious, only one of the speakers at the vaccine symposium was: Rabbi Hillel Handler, who has become something of a poster child for the minority of Hasidic Jews who are rejecting calls from within their community and without to vaccinate their children for measles and other diseases.

Its not Handlers first time entering the spotlight as a lightning rod for controversy: He has defended numerous unpopular people, ideas and practices over the years.

When something is unpopular or no one has the courage to say it, they come to me, Handler told the Daily News. If not me, who?

Handler did not respond to multiple requests for comment left with his family.

The national measles outbreak is now close to the largest since the creation of the measles vaccine. It continues to spread in the Hasidic communities of upstate New York and New York City due to frequent travel of Hasidic Jews to Israel, where there is an even larger outbreak occurring, as well as the high density of Hasidic neighborhoods and the near-daily social gathering of children in schools and places of worship.

Handler lives in Brooklyn, and is a member of the Satmar Hasidic group. His views on vaccines fall into the same pattern as many of his other opinions: They are far from not only the political mainstream, but from the consensus beliefs of most Hasidic Jews.

He has defended metzitzah bpeh, a rare practice of orally cleaning the circumcision wound during a bris ceremony, and which has been linked to several cases of herpes among infants in the New York City area.

Handler also believes that crimes of sexual assault should be dealt with by rabbis, not the police, and defended Rabbi Yisroel Weingarten, a New York rabbi who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for molesting his daughter.

Hes an extremist, and hes amoral, Shmarya Rosenberg, who blogged about the Hasidic world for years at his site Failed Messiah, told the Daily News. He appears to be a gun for hire in the ultra-Orthodox community.

Handler spoke in Monsey on Monday alongside secular saints of the anti-vaccine movement, including the disgraced British doctor Andrew Wakefield, who helped kickstart the modern anti-vaccine movement with a since-debunked study linking vaccinations to autism.

In his speech, Handler suggested that Hasidic Jews are being attacked in Brooklyn for simply sneezing on the sidewalk, and has falsely suggested that New York City mayor Bill de Blasio is targeting Jews because he is secretly German. (Handler, 77, is reportedly a Holocaust survivor.)

We Hasidim have been chosen as the target, Handler said on Monday, according to The New York Times. The campaign against us has been successful.

Handler also made several erroneous statements about vaccines and the diseases they are meant to protect against. Measles vaccines are safe for the vast, vast majority of recipients, and there is no link between vaccination and autism.

To be sure, Handlers views are far outside the norm in the Hasidic world. While some schools in Rockland County, the suburban county north of New York that is home to several large Hasidic communities, have vaccination rates that barely reach two-thirds that of the states average rate, others have vaccination rates at or better than national averages. Hasidic rabbis have repeatedly encouraged their constituents to get themselves and their children vaccinated.

Handler has played into concerns among Hasidic Jews that government agencies are anti-religious and are determined to disrupt their highly traditional, often socially insular communities.

In a statement issued Wednesday titled Nonsense and Insults at a Recent Monsey Gathering, Agudath Israel of America, the largest Hasidic umbrella group, called Handlers attack on de Blasio deeply offensive.

It is unfortunate that he was allowed to share his imaginings with others, the statement read.

Speaking to the New York Times on Tuesday, Handler appeared to walk back his opposition to vaccines somewhat.

I dont mind if someone takes a vaccine. Its not my business, he told a reporter. What am I, a fascist? Am I going to bring down the law?

Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter @aefeldman

This story "Hasidic Rabbi Hillel HandlerMeasles Vaccine Antagonist" was written by Ari Feldman.

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Hasidic Rabbi Hillel HandlerMeasles Vaccine Antagonist The ...

Outfitting Hasidic Women With Stylish, Yet Modest, Fashions

Posted By on May 20, 2019

Sifting through the crop tops and sheer blouses for sale at Junee, a boutique in Borough Park, Brooklyn, is an unexpected clientele: some of New York Citys most modest women.

Filled with bright colors and the latest fashions, the store specializes in outfitting Hasidic women, who follow a deeply conservative sartorial doctrine that, among other things, requires their elbows, collarbones and knees to always be covered, and if married, their hair to be hidden under a scarf or wig.

Junee and other stores like it have seen their sales rise in recent years because of a flood of new products designed to make modesty and fashion compatible. There are items like tape to tighten up a collar that sags toward impropriety, felt dots that muffle the provocative clack of pumps and cloth tubes that can extend a short sleeve into something more acceptable.

Womens undershirts are so popular among those wanting to cover their collarbones that entire shops have opened selling nothing but undershirts, also known as shells. Even dickeys, shirtless collars once the purview of only the nerdiest of nerds, are getting a second look. In Borough Park, one of the most heavily Hasidic neighborhoods in New York, dickeys are a hot item: Fitted into a sweater, they can make even a cowl neck look demure.

Tznius, or modesty, has taken on a renewed focus in recent years, Hasidic Jews and religious experts say, as the wider world encroaches on their insular community. In response, some Jews have ratcheted up their observance of tznius as a way to draw a brighter line and to spread their beliefs. The move parallels similar ones in Israel and London, where issues concerning modesty have come to the forefront.

There are inspirational hotlines offering testimonials from women who stuck close to modest ideals and were bestowed with miracles, like becoming fertile or seeing a daughter engaged. And there are songs written to teach little girls to play carefully so as not to expose a knee.

But alongside the religious goals comes a far more terrestrial desire: Stay godly, yes, but fashionable, too.

The general stress on tznius is an equal and opposite reaction to the crudeness of society, said Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America, a national organization of Orthodox Jews who adhere to a strict interpretation of religious law. Despite the ostensible feminist arc of our society, womens bodies are still being used to sell beer and attract people to television shows and movies.

Modesty is an effort by the community, he added, to not just allow that to seep into our lives, but see it as a sign that we should almost be more careful, and more circumspect when it comes to the way we dress.

Tip Top, on 13th Avenue in Borough Park, sells trim for extending hemlines and cuffs, including 500 different shades of black. Nechy Gottsman, a clerk, says her work is about more than selling fabric it is about doing a good deed, or mitzvah, by making modesty accessible.

More and more people are coming and following the rules because our store is here, Ms. Gottsman said.

Before the advent of one-stop shops like Tip Top, which opened the 13th Avenue store, its newest location, last year, the inconvenience of a trip to Manhattans garment district for the right shade of trim might have induced a woman to bend the rules.

Till now, they just went: Let it be what it is. So its short for a little while? Ms. Gottsman said. Now they really consider and they would just do everything to make the tznius happen.

Stores that specialize in so-called kosher clothing, where the right lengths and figure-obscuring shapes can be bought off the rack, have been around for decades in Hasidic neighborhoods. But bargain hunting is limited, and the risk of wearing the same thing as a friend feared by fashion-conscious women the world over is high.

The proliferation of new goods aimed at maintaining modesty, in particular shells, which are sold in a rainbow of colors at Hasidic specialty shops like Shell Station, allow women to find better prices and wider selections.

Its just easier to go into Macys and go into the rack and see this is cap sleeve and this is a three-quarter sleeve and this is no sleeve, and its not a problem, Susan Youngewirth, 36, said. Whereas before it would have been a whole hassle to go to the seamstress, buy fabric, add the fabric it was way harder. We did it anyway, but it was just more complicated.

At Treasures Forever, a basement-level shop on 47th Street in Borough Park that specializes in tznius accessories, sells long-sleeved and loosefitting nightgowns so that modesty can be ensured even in the privacy of the home. One rack holds heel sound-dampeners, sheer sleeves (too skintight to be appropriately worn as sleeve extenders, an accompanying label says, they are to be used as only a second layer of sleeves, under other sleeves) and a headband that a woman can attach to a cellphone, preventing a wig from shifting and exposing hair while on the phone. The stores business card doubles as a portable, skirt-measuring ruler.

Tznius, which is interpreted from biblical texts, extends beyond clothing to behavior, and also applies to men, who must remain covered as well, though the male Hasidic style of dress does not appear to be affected by the vagaries of modern fashion. Different sects also interpret rules differently.

Unlike other strictly religious communities, like the Amish or the Mennonites, integrating secular style is largely permissible for Hasidic women, said Ann D. Braude, the director of the womens studies in religion program at Harvard Divinity School.

Its an accommodation that allows you to participate in some ways in mainstream fashion, while still maintaining the requirements of modesty, she said.

Businesses that have capitalized on this idea have hit a sort of commercial and religious sweet spot, Professor Braude said.

Youre promoting fashion and religion at the same time; youve got everything. she said. Youre promoting internal virtue and external appearance and profit. Its really a kind of a business for all seasons.

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Outfitting Hasidic Women With Stylish, Yet Modest, Fashions

Proposed Fur Ban in New York Pits Animal Rights Advocates …

Posted By on May 20, 2019

[What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox.]

As Corey Johnson, the speaker of the New York City Council, urged his colleagues on Wednesday to ban the sale of fur in the city, he argued that it was the moral thing to do.

But the proposed ban, backed by animal rights advocates, has met an unexpected challenge from a diverse set of opponents, including black pastors and Hasidic leaders. They say a prohibition would fly in the face of centuries of religious and cultural tradition.

Black ministers have staged protests, saying that for many African-Americans, wearing furs is a treasured hallmark of achievement. Hasidic rabbis point to the many men who wear fur hats on the Sabbath. And fur shop owners and garment manufacturers have raised alarms over the potential loss of jobs and an attack on an industry with a deep history in New York.

With the Council holding a hearing on the proposal on Wednesday, the deep dissension was evident outside City Hall. Protesters yelled, Put people first, and counterprotesters responded, How many animals have to die?

Each side had celebrity power: The anti-fur movement was represented by Tim Gunn, the Project Runway style guru; the pro-fur crowd had Safaree Samuels, a rapper and television personality, who was wearing a lynx coat that he said he had bought for the event.

The bill being considered by the Council would ban the sale of fur garments and accessories, but it would allow the sale of used fur garments and new apparel using fur from older garments. Violators would be subject to fines of $500 to $1,500, and any money made from selling banned fur would be subject to forfeiture. The bill would not ban wearing fur.

Los Angeles is the largest city in the country to have banned the sale of fur; other cities include San Francisco and West Hollywood. But New York City is the largest fur retail market in the United States, according to FurNYC, a trade group representing 130 fur retailers in the city. The 150 fur businesses in the city create 1,100 jobs and produce $400 million in revenue per year, according to the group.

Maria Reich, 43, chief executive of Reich Furs, a Manhattan-based manufacturer of fur coats, said a ban on fur sales would have a drastic impact on the 20 or so people she directly employs and an additional 30 contractors she uses to create her pieces.

The morale is down. They are scared, Ms. Reich said of her employees. These are people who have a craft and have been working in this industry for 30 or 40 years. They dont know what they will do next, and they have families to support.

Reich Furs is on West 30th Street, in what is known by those who frequent the area as the Fur District. The company was started in the 1940s by the grandfather of Ms. Reichs deceased husband. The business is in its fourth generation of family ownership.

Theres a political agenda. If this ban happens, the leather industry will be attacked, the meat industry will be attacked, Ms. Reich said. Theres a slippery slope. Are politicians going to tell us what to do, what to wear and what to eat? Its a little bigger than fur.

Dan Mathews, a senior vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an advocacy group, said the citys fur-making tradition should not impede a ban.

Once in a while, we just take a look around and decide that certain practices should not be part of our modern society, he said, and electrocuting and skinning animals alive for a luxury product is something that just turns peoples stomach, and thats why its going by the wayside.

The bill was introduced by Mr. Johnson, the Council speaker and an enthusiastic animal lover who, in 2017, co-sponsored a bill that led to the ban of circuses using wild and exotic animals in the city. At the hearing on Wednesday, he called the fur industry brutal and pointed to the cruel treatment of animals raised or killed for their pelts.

Mr. Johnson played a video showing animals living in cages and then being electrocuted or having their necks broken. The evidence of cruelty in the fur industry is overwhelming, he said.

Local furriers should diversify and embrace innovations in the fashion and garment industry that can take the place of fur. There is no such thing as ethical fur, or ecological fur, or excellent welfare fur, Mr. Johnson said.

But it was unclear how much support the bill has in the City Council or when Mr. Johnson might seek to bring the measure up for a vote. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that he supported the underlying idea of a ban, but added that he was concerned about the effect on workers in the fur industry.

I think if something happens here there has to be some sense of how to phase it in, in a way that really does try and protect some jobs, Mr. de Blasio said in March.

Councilman Chaim Deutsch of Brooklyn said that he opposed the ban for several reasons, including that many Hasidic Jewish men wear hats made of fur, known as shtreimels or spodiks.

If we ban fur and then you have people that are still out there wearing it, considering the fact that hate crime in New York City is on the rise, people will be targeted on the streets, saying, Why are you wearing this if theres a fur ban? Mr. Deutsch said.

In its current form, the bill includes an exemption for fur items worn as a matter of religious custom, but Mr. Deutsch was nonetheless wary.

Today theyre going to ban fur, tomorrow our pants are going to start falling down because theyre going to ban leather, were not going to have belts, he said. Were not going to have shoes. Once you start with one thing, where does it end? What is next? We cant eat chicken? We cant eat meat?

For Mobilizing Preachers and Communities, a group of mostly black pastors who have come out against the ban, the opposition is more secularly based.

In our culture, fur is a sign of status, achievement, that weve made it against all odds, said the Rev. Johnnie Green Jr., the pastor of Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem, who leads the group of pastors opposing the ban. Show up to any black church on a Sunday in the winter, and you will see a heap of mink coats.

To ban the sale of fur in New York City, but allow it to be sold in Westchester, is culturally insensitive, he added, referring to the suburbs north of the city.

Mr. Green owns a mink coat that hits below the waist and says he likes to wear it when he travels and on special occasions. I wear it because I like the way it looks, he said. I like what it represents. I like the style.

The pastor dismissed the argument against animal cruelty. Im more concerned about saving black lives, he said. When the activists are more concerned about saving black lives than black minks, let me know.

Mr. Samuels, the rapper, is known for his affinity for furs. My stylist let me know about it and I was like, a fur ban in New York City? How could they do that in one of the fashion capitals, if not the fashion capital, of the world? he said.

Asked for the price of his new coat, he turned to his stylist. How much was this one, Messiah?

Fifty five, came the reply.

Fifty-five thousand? he asked.


Furs are expensive, Mr. Samuels concluded. Its an expensive habit.

J. David Goodman contributed reporting.

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Proposed Fur Ban in New York Pits Animal Rights Advocates ...

B’nai b’rith | Definition of B’nai b’rith at

Posted By on May 20, 2019

[ buh-ney brith ]SHOW IPA



an international Jewish organization, founded in New York City in 1843, which institutes and administers programs designed to promote the social, educational, and cultural betterment of Jews and of the public at large.

From the Hebrew word bn brth sons of the covenant UnabridgedBased on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Random House, Inc. 2019

B'nai B'rith

/ (bne bri, br) /

a Jewish fraternal organization founded in New York in 1843, having moral, philanthropic, social, educational, and political aims

from Hebrew ben brth sons of the covenant

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

B'nai B'rith

Jewish fraternal organization founded in New York City in 1843, Hebrew, literally "Sons of the Covenant," from bene, state construct of banim, plural of ben "son," + brith "covenant."

Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010 Douglas Harper

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B'nai b'rith | Definition of B'nai b'rith at

Page 11234..1020..»