Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stolen Car with Torah Scroll Worth $30K Found

A scribe who had recently repaired a valuable torah scroll had left the scroll in his rented car over the weekend, and when he returned to get his car, it was gone, along with the scroll inside.
Rabbi Benyamin Tamaiev was quite upset about the missing torah:

“I feel very bad. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep,” Tamaiev said.

Tamaiev leads a congregation which rents space in a synagogue on the 3700 block of 18th Avenue, right where Kensington and Flatbush meet. On Friday afternoon he arrived in the neighborhood in his rented 2007 Toyota Corolla, parked it on the dead-end side of Avenue I, and went to his congregation to celebrate the Sabbath. Tamaiev was careful to hide the key near the vault where the main ark is. Tamaiev was particularly careful because the valuable torah scroll was locked inside the car.

According to Tamaiev’s daughter Judy the scribe was planning on returning the scroll to its owners in Queens on Sunday.

“It was already fixed. He was going to deliver it on Sunday,” Judy Tamaiev said.

Unfortunately the car disappeared sometime on Saturday, and was reported stolen on Saturday night at around 6pm.

Apparently the thief also took money from the synagogue’s charity boxes. It is likely that the thief was not aware that there was a $30,000 torah scroll in the trunk of the car, in addition to five sets of tefillin, also worth hundreds of dollars.

“He feels like somebody died; like he wants to die,” Judy Tamaiev said. “Terrible.”

A $3,000 reward was offered for the safe return of the torah scroll, and on Monday the police received a tip that led them to the location of the stolen car, which was less than one mile from the car’s original location. The car, scroll and tefillin were all recovered undamaged by 3pm on Monday.
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hilkind, who had pleaded for the safe return of the scroll expressed relief that the torah was recovered unharmed.

“The safety and sanctity of a Torah scroll means a great deal to our community,” Hikind said in a news release. “The speedy recovery of this sacred scroll is a testimony to our ability to work together and the dedication of our extraordinary Police Commander Mike Dedo. Every last one of us will sleep easier tonight.”

Monday, January 28, 2013

Daniel Straus NYU Supporter

Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice
Institutes of advanced studies are found at some of the world’s most renowned universities. In the United States those at Stanford and Princeton come to mind, but in New York it is the Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law & Justice, established with the help of 1981 NYU alumnus Daniel Straus and his wife Joyce G. Straus, which sets the standard for high level research and scholarship.

The Institute for Law and Justice sees its mission as two-fold:

Although the academic focus is directed at issues touching on law and justice the institute seeks to draw academics, scholars and thinkers from a wide array of backgrounds, including the social sciences and the humanities, and from all over the world.

Research and delving deep into issues is not looked at as the pristine purview of  academics cloistered in their ivory towers. On the contrary, the Straus Institute is determined to integrate top quality academics and intellect with community service and dedication to the public good. This mission fits perfectly with the general mission of NYU: that is to be “a Private University in the Public Service.”

Each year the Straus Institute identifies an issue or issues which are of vital concern to society and uses that issue as its annual theme. When the theme is defined then a large portion of the Fellows in the Institute are directed to work in these areas. This is done with the goal of having the Fellows make an important contribution from the University to the general society, thus fulfilling its mission.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Busses Back to Bringing Babes in Brooklyn

Brooklyn Bus Routes Making a Comeback!

Not just ‘babes’ but anyone else who has been missing several key bus routes which were cut during the  lean years beginning in 2010, can now rejoice in their imminent return and restoration.

Seven bus lines in the borough are slated for resurrection, announced the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and some new routes are going to be created in Northern Brooklyn and Downtown, in addition.

Beginning as of January 6 commuters were able to partake in “one-seat service” from the IKEA in Bushwick on the B57; more convenient rides between Bay Ridge and the “People’s Playground” on the B64; and a re-established connection between Prospect Park and Downtown on the B48.

The following routes will experience an improved service:

•    B4- Full-time service is coming back; for those interested in traveling between Bay Ridge and Sheepshead Bay, this is great news.
•    B39- Coming back is the daytime route of the run between Williamsburg and Manhattan.
•    B24- On the weekend this line will take you from Williamsburg to Queens and back.
•    B69- Have something to do in Kensington over the weekend? This route between Downtown and the hottest neighborhood in Brooklyn is coming back!

So what happened? Did the MTA get some moolah from a long lost cousin? Nah. MTA officials say that they have been saving money through cost-cutting and passenger fares.
“[The service increases] are paid for with increased revenue generated by additional ridership on the MTA system, as well as savings from the MTA’s continued rigorous efforts to contain costs,” a press release issued last summer said.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Music Collective Releases Benefit Album to Help Occupy Sandy

All Funds Raised by "The Storm is Passing Over" will go to help Hurricane Sandy Victims
Produced in only two weeks, Kensington’s Mason Jar Music released “The Storm is Passing Over” to help raise funds to benefit the work Occupy Sandy is doing to help people harmed by October’s ravaging storm, Hurricane Sandy.

The goal of MJM is to “Preserve Analog Principles in a Digital Age,” and works hard to retain the techniques and other special qualities of the not-so-long-ago past. In the case of “The Storm is Passing Over” MJM gathered together some of today’s best independent folk singers to record fifteen classic American folk songs dealing with ‘storms.’

Money raised from the sales of the album will go directly to Occupy Sandy, which is a leading organization doing relief work for many of Sandy’s victims in and around New York City and the tri-state area.

Included among the folk artists participating on the album are Roseanne Cash, Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck, Town Hall, Tift Merritt, and more.

Recorded in just 14 days during December, some of the artists performed from the comfort of their own homes which were in locations around the world, including Nashville, Portland and Paris. Most of the artists however came to the Kensington recording studio of MJM, collaborating with  co-founders Dan Knobler and Jon Seale.

For a donation of only $5 visitors to can receive a digital download of this heartfelt album knowing that all of their money will be used to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.