Cuomo Dodges Questions about Promises to Satmar Rebbe Zalman Teitelbaum to Keep Hands off with Education

Cuomo dodges questions about endorsement deal with Satmar Rebbe

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday did not refute reports that he assured a prominent rabbi he would keep his hands off yeshivas in exchange for an endorsement — instead pointing to his lack of control over the state Education Department.

The department is currently reviewing a long-delayed city Department of Education probe of whether 30 yeshivas have been meeting minimum requirements for secular education, a 3-year effort in whichofficials were blocked from visiting half the schools.

Asked about reports  that he had essentially told Satmar Rebbe Zalman Tietelbaum not to worry about the matter last week, Cuomo wouldn’t address the question head on.

“The State Education Department will enforce the law, but it’s not the governor’s responsibility. I have no control of the state Education Department,” he told reporters following a press conference at the Tappan Zee Bridge, which has been renamed for the governor’s father, Mario Cuomo.

City officials punted their probe to the state because the state Education Department has ultimate oversight over what’s taught in non-public schools.
Advocates had complained in 2015 that many yeshivas were violating the state requirement that they provide a secular education equivalent to what students get in public schools.

To read the remainder of the article click here.
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Yaffed Sues State, Cuomo Promises to Leave Education Untouched and Tish James Joins Cuomo Ticket- Education in NY?

Group sues state over yeshivas

GROUP SUES STATE FOR GREATER YESHIVA OVERSIGHT — POLITICO’s Madina TouréAn organization seeking to reform curricula in yeshivas is suing the state over legislation that, in the group’s view, protects the schools from proper oversight. The organization — Young Advocates for Fair Education, also known as Yaffed — filed the suit on Monday morning in Brooklyn federal court. It named Gov. Andrew Cuomo, state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa as defendants. Lawyers from the firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan are representing Yaffed pro bono.

“Ultra-orthodox yeshivas, by our estimates, receive hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars each year,” said Naftuli Moster, Yaffed’s founder and executive director, at a press conference in Manhattan announcing the lawsuit.”This is clearly a problem and a problem that elected officials in New York have known about for decades and instead of improving the situation, the state allowed one lawmaker, Simcha Felder, who represents the interests of yeshiva leaders, to hijack the state budget process to ensure inclusion of an amendment that exempts ultra-Orthodox yeshivas statewide from having to provide a proper secular education,” Moster continued.

Felder, a Democratic state senator from Brooklyn who has been caucusing with Senate Republicans since he was elected in 2012, was accused of holding up the $168 billion state budget earlier this year until the state acquiesced to his request for yeshivas to be exempt from curriculum requirements. He provides the Senate GOP with a key 32nd vote. The final budget gave the state Education Department the authority to address the issue for bilingual teaching for a greater number of hours, a requirement that yeshivas fulfill.

The group contends that the state’s action flouts the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which bans the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion” or “prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

“The carve-out in the Felder Amendment is actually defined in a way that only those ultra-Orthodox yeshivas are included within that carve-out,” said Eric Huang, lead counsel for Yaffed. “These are defined by the fact that they’re nonprofits, that they have a bilingual program and that their education program is marked by very long days.” Read more here.

Isn’t this Rich? Cuomo will Let his Ultra-Orthodox Donor Contingent Run Circles Around the Law and Nixon Will Not.. We Call that SCRUPLED, not anti-Semitic…

 

Cynthia Nixon calls on Andrew Cuomo to apologize for campaign mailer calling her soft on anti-Semitism

(JTA) — New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon called on her primary opponent, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to apologize for a mailer paid for by the state Democratic Party that questioned her support for issues important to Jewish voters.

Cuomo, who heads the state Democratic Party, has said that he had no knowledge of the mailer and said through a spokeswoman that the language was “inappropriate.”

“I am the mother of Jewish children,” Nixon, who is raising the children of her first marriage as Jews and attends Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in Manhattan, said in a statement late Sunday.

Nixon questioned how Cuomo could not know about the mailer and called on him to apologize, urging him to record a robocall to go out to voters apologizing for “calling me an anti-Semite,” The New York Times reported.

The mailer was sent Saturday, five days before the primary, to some 7,000 Jewish households.

“With anti-Semitism and bigotry on the rise, we can’t take a chance with inexperienced Cynthia Nixon, who won’t stand strong for our Jewish communities,” it said.

The mailer also said that Nixon is “against funding for yeshivas,” supports “BDS, the racist, xenophobic campaign to boycott Israel” and has been “silent on the rise of anti-Semitism.”

In an interview Tuesday with Times reporter Lisa Lerer, Nixon said of the mailer, “I thought it was disgusting and cynical and really surprising that Andrew Cuomo’s New York state party would stoop to this kind of fear-mongering and lies. To use this in this nasty and untruthful way — it’s really Trumpian.”

She added that she thinks Cuomo knew about the mailer despite his denials.

“I think he’s a micromanager and it’s his Democratic Party,” said Nixon, an actress who gained fame on the hit TV show “Sex and the City.” “The idea that he did not know about it is patently ridiculous.”

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah and her wife, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, issued a joint statement Friday saying that the charge that Nixon was soft on anti-Semitism is “a baseless lie.”

A poll released before the issue of the mailer went public showed Cuomo leading Nixon by 63 percent to 22 percent.

Meanwhile, the New York Post reported Tuesday that a Cuomo campaign official had pitched a story to a reporter at the newspaper about Nixon’s opposition to Israeli settlements and her support of the BDS movement against Israel a day before the mailer was delivered.

The email pitch included excerpts of news reports from 2010 detailing how Nixon was among about 200 American celebrities — including many Jews — who signed a letter supporting a boycott by Israeli actors, directors and playwrights of a new theater in the West Bank settlement of Ariel.

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

If You are Latino, if You are Black if you are LGBTQ – Tish James’ List of Financial Backers Should Steer You in ANY OTHER Direction

A NOTE TO THE JAMES’ SUPPORTERS WHO THINK THEY ARE GETTING SOMEONE LOOKING OUT FOR THEM. THE ONLY ONES SHE CAN LOOK OUT FOR ARE THOSE WHO CONTRIBUTED HEAVILY TO HER CAMPAIGN… AND IT IS NOT YOU. – 12.9.18

Whatever we know, or don’t know about what Ms. James believes in, or did, her donor pool tells us everything we need to know about what causes she will support and who will be prosecuted for their crimes.

To the Latinos and Blacks, your schools in East Ramapo, New York (and Lakewood, New Jersey) have been destroyed because money and Federal Funds goes to Yeshivas and not to public education. It goes to supporting a non-substantially similar education. While having a minority candidate represent your interests may feel like a victory, she will be beholden to her contributor base first and that has nothing to do with her color but the color of the hats of those who donated heavily to her campaign.

To the LGBTQ community, you are an abomination to the ultra-Orthodox Jews supporting the James campaign. You are a violation of the laws of G-d, right or wrong. Ms. James will ultimately need to placate her financial backers. Your humanity and dignity is not a top priority for those wanting to preserve an insular and highly religious way of life. The two simply cannot go hand-in-hand.

Please voters, look to Ms. James’ greatest sources of financial campaign support to decide for who to vote on election day. A James win is nothing more and nothing less than a win for the Ultra-Orthodox communities of Williamsburg, Crown Heights, Ramapo, Kiryas Joel and all of the other communities inhabited for the most part by the ultra-Orthodox Jewish donors to her campaign.

“At the end of the day, members voted for who they know.”

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who is running for state attorney general, talks on the campaign trail about wanting to be New York’s first openly gay statewide elected official. Yet despite being a slight favorite in the latest Siena College poll, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, one of Maloney’s primary rivals, is winning more LGBTQ support.

James just released a letter signed by more than 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer New Yorkers involved in politics, all backing James – including New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. Perhaps the only LGBTQ group backing Maloney’s campaign is the Victory Fund, which seeks to elect LGBTQ people.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who is running for state attorney general, talks on the campaign trail about wanting to be New York’s first openly gay statewide elected official. Yet despite being a slight favorite in the latest Siena College poll, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, one of Maloney’s primary rivals, is winning more LGBTQ support.

James just released a letter signed by more than 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer New Yorkers involved in politics, all backing James – including New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. Perhaps the only LGBTQ group backing Maloney’s campaign is the Victory Fund, which seeks to elect LGBTQ people.

Education in New York, Substantially Similar? Likely… Not Happening Under Cuomo

PHOTOS: Gov. Cuomo Visits Satmar Rebbe of Williamsburg, Promises Not To Interfere With Yeshiva Education

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo visited the Satmar Rebbe of Williamsburg at his home on Thursday night. Leaders of several community Mosdos attended the meeting.

According to a BeChadrei Chareidim report, the Governor reassured the Rebbe that he would not interfere in Yeshiva education. Orthodox Jewish Yeshivas in New York City have been under investigation in recent years over allegations from a group called YAFFED that the yeshivas provide an inadequate level of secular education.

To see the articles and photos click here.

 

There Will be “No Government Interference” with the Education within the Haredi (Satmar) Community

Dear Readers:

In the Hebrew and English papers it is being reported that the Satmar community has received confirmation from Governor Andrew Cuomo, along with Senator Simcha Felder that there will “be no interference in the education of Jewish children.”

You will find the Hebrew article first and below it a very loose translation.

http://www.bhol.co.il/news/937720

המושל הבטיח: “לא אתערב בחינוך”

ניו-יורק: הקהילות החרדיות מתאחדים סביב המועמדים שמתחייבים להשיג את התוצאות הטובות ביותר עבורם • בבית הרבי מסאטמר התארח מושל ניו-יורק אנדרו קומו שהגיע לגייס את תמיכת הרבי

 

החוגים והעדות מתאחדים סביב המועמדים שיביאו את התוצאות הטובות ביותר בשביל החרדים, זאת בהתקרב מועד הבחירות שיתקיימו בעוד שבועיים, לתפקיד הסנטור של המדינה. 

הסנטור החרדי שמחה פלדר, המייצג את תושבי השכונות ברובע ברוקלין, בורו פארק ופלטבוש, הגיע בשבוע האחרון לביקור אצל האדמו”ר מסאטמר במעונו בשכונת ויליאמסבורג לקראת הבחירות הקרובות, האדמו”ר ברכו בחמימות ואף הביע את תמיכתו הפומבית. 

בסוף השבוע הופיע בבית הרבי מסאטמר, מושל ניו-יורק אנדרו קומו. במהלך הפגישה, בה השתתפו ראשי החסידות ועסקני ויליאמסבורג, עלתה גזירות החינוך בארצות הברית. המושל הבטיח לאדמו”ר שלא יתערב בענייני החינוך במגזר החרדי. 

גם האדמו”ר מהר”א מסאטמר שיבח בחג הפסח האחרון את הסנטור החרדי ר’ שמחה פלדר, ואמר כי “זכות הרבים תלוי בו וזכות כל תינוקות של בית רבן תלוי בו ויש קונה עולמו בשעה אחת”. “אני יודע שהתקשורת תצא נגדך אבל זה הכבוד שלך בעיני כל העם היהודי לכל קהילותיו”, אמר הרבי

The following is a loose translation:

THE GOVERNMENT HAS PROMISED: “NO INTERFERENCE WITH EDUCATION:

New York: The Haredi Community are supporting the candidates that are promising the best results for that community. At the home of the Satmar Rabbi was hosted the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo who came to enlist the Rabbi’s support.

Also in Israel there is an expansion of gathering support for candidates for the local elections in New York who will best advance the  beliefs of the Haredi community. The people are being encouraged to garner support for centered around candidates who will bring about the best results for the Haredim, and the choosing of candidates for Senator who come closest to continuing and advancing, the best interests of the Haredi community within the State [of New York].

The Haredi senator, Simcha Felder, the representative of the inhabitants of communities of Borough Park and Flatbush, cam this las week to visit at the head of the Satmar in the community of Williamsburg because of the upcoming local elections and the head invited him (Felder) and promised his election support.

At the end of the week, Governor Andrew Cuomo was present at the Satmar Rabbi’s residence. During the meeting, there was also the participation of the head of the Chasidic and the representative of Williamsburg, and raised the issues of the interference of the education within the United States. The Governor promised that during his tenure, there would be no interference by his office with the Haredi education.

Also, all of the members of the US Satmar commity who spent last Passover with the Haredi Senator Simcha Felder understood and reiterated that “the greater rights [of the Jewish people] are depending upon him and the rights of all children of Israel are depending upon him at this hour. “I know that the media is sending out negative messages but this is the honor of yours on behalf of the entire Jewish world and all of its people” said the Rabbi.

 

Will Cuomo’s Replacement Protect Ultra-Orthodox Sex Crime Victims?

Kenneth-Thompson-picture-5

D.A. Kenneth Thompson, “Voice for racial justice” but not for molested children…

We would not want to celebrate someone’s demise. It would be purely awful of us. He leaves behind a wife and children, parents and siblings.

We offer our sincerest condolences to those who mourn his loss. We do not.

We can’t help but hope that his successor will do more, just a little more is something, to help the victims of sexual assault, suffered at the hands of Rabbis, and frankly Priests. We find ourselves praying, just short prayer, that his successor cannot be swayed by the power of the bloc of ultra-Orthodox voters and power brokers.  Perhaps he will meet these men again…

Kenneth-Thompson-picture-with-rabbis

Ken Thompson, Brooklyn District Attorney, Dies After Disclosing Cancer

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/10/nyregion/ken-thompson-brooklyns-first-black-district-attorney-dies-at-50.html?_r=0

Kenneth P. Thompson, the first black district attorney of Brooklyn and a voice for racial justice at a moment of tension between law enforcement and minority communities, died on Sunday from cancer, his family said. He was 50.

Mr. Thompson was elected district attorney in 2013 after campaigning on a platform of reform and racial justice, and unseating Charles J. Hynes, a fellow Democrat and a troubled incumbent who had served more than 20 years.

After being absent from his office for nearly two months, Mr. Thompson released a statement on Tuesday saying he had cancer. His office released a second statement on Sunday night, announcing his death and saying that his family had been by his side at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan when he died.

A former federal prosecutor who went on to have a successful private law practice, Mr. Thompson earned a reputation in office as one of the country’s most progressive district attorneys, creating a robust internal unit that reviewed questionable convictions and establishing a policy of not prosecuting most low-level marijuana arrests.

At a moment of heightened racial tension over police-related shootings, he chose to prosecute — and eventually won — the complicated case of Peter Liang, the former New York City police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man, Akai Gurley, in the stairwell of a housing project in 2014. After the trial was over, Mr. Thompson decided not to seek prison time for Mr. Liang, which enraged Mr. Gurley’s family and led to protests.

“The thoughts and prayers of our entire city are with District Attorney Ken Thompson, his family and his loved ones tonight,” Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, said in a statement on Sunday. “With a life and promise cut far too short, our city was blessed with but a glimpse of Ken’s unwavering commitment to justice and his unrivaled pursuit of a more fair system for all those he served.”

Born and raised in New York City, Mr. Thompson was the son of a police officer and lived in public housing in Harlem before moving to Co-Op City, a housing development in the Bronx. He attended the city’s public schools and applied to the Police Department, as his mother had, before choosing instead to attend the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. After his graduation, he obtained a law degree from the New York University School of Law.

On the advice of one of his law professors, Ronald K. Noble, a onetime Treasury Department official and the secretary general of Interpol, Mr. Thompson sought and found a position as a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn. In 1997, he was assigned the prestigious task of making the opening statement at the trial of Justin Volpe, a former police officer who eventually pleaded guilty to torturing a Haitian immigrant, Abner Louima, with a broken broomstick in the bathroom of a Brooklyn station house.

After leaving government service, Mr. Thompson went into private practice. His most prominent case was representing an African-born hotel housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, who accused the French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn of raping her in a Manhattan hotel room in 2011. Cyrus Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, eventually dismissed the case, and Mr. Thompson was criticized for his incendiary personal attacks against Mr. Vance and members of his staff.

Mr. Thompson had harbored ambitions for higher office, but, according to a friend who spoke on the condition of anonymity because Mr. Thompson declined to disclose the type of his cancer, learned he had an aggressive form of the disease this year. By the time he received the diagnosis, the cancer had already metastasized and was incurable.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo may now name a replacement for Mr. Thompson, who would have faced re-election next year. “A lifelong New Yorker, Ken was known as an effective, aggressive civil rights leader — and a national voice for criminal justice reform,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement on Sunday.

Mr. Thompson is survived by his wife of 17 years, Lu-Shawn Thompson; his children, Kennedy and Kenny; his mother; his father; his brother; and his sister.

 

To read the article in its entirety click here.