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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XVIII • Number 26 • June 2 - 6, 2011 •


Modern glass and stone library branch set to open By MIAWLING LAM A new chapter in The Bronx’s storied history book will be written when the borough’s latest library opens it doors later this month. The new $17.7 million Kingsbridge Branch, located on the corner of Corlear Avenue and West 231st Street, will boast all the bells and whistles normally reserved for its Manhattan counterparts. The state-of-the-art, two-story facility will feature copious seating, a large collection of materials and bright and airy spaces, thanks to the building’s signature curtain glass wall. In a sign of the times, the building will also be equipped with free wi-fi, and users can surf the web using one of the library’s 38 desktop computers or 25 laptops. New York Public Library’s Bronx Center Network Manager Jane Fisher said the facility would even be the first branch in the city to boast a green roof. “The roof is actually planted with grass and other succulents that don’t need a lot of maintenance,” she said. “It will make the library more environmentally friendly and reduce energy costs.” Fisher said the building’s sweeping curtain glass wall along the front façade would also boost its green credentials by keeping the heat in the winter and the cool in the summer.

She said she was extremely excited about opening day—projected to be in mid-June—and that the community was “hungry” for the new premises. The new branch will replace the aging 52-year-old facility across the street. While some books and furniture will be transferred from the old building, Fisher said the collection would primarily be made up of new materials. “The setting is just gorgeous, and I think the community is going to thoroughly enjoy it,” she said. “It’s got a lot of space, and we have some comfortable seating along the curtain window so that people can actually sit back and enjoy a magazine, newspaper or book. “I know they’re going to love it and use, it and hopefully we’ll see even more in the way of public programs and reading and talking about books.” Despite widespread suggestions that pubic libraries are becoming obsolete with the influx of technology, Fisher dismissed the assertion that the Kingsbridge branch would be one of the last-ever branches to open in the city. She said several new branches are slated to open in other boroughs and believed that demand for public libraries will only continue to grow. “Our libraries are busier than ever and our computers are busier

than ever,” she said. “One of the trends that I think we’re seeing is that people come to the public library because they want to come to public spaces. “They don’t necessarily want to sit at home or sit in Starbucks. They want to come to public space and they want to come to the library and feel like part of a community.”

Councilman G. Oliver Koppell funneled more than $3 million of his discretionary money to fund the project and said he was eager to step foot into the new premises. “It’s a wonderful library, and it’s much larger than the existing library,” he said. “The old library across the street is just too small. It’s very

crowded, and it doesn’t have the capability of the kind of technology that’s in the new library.” Data obtained from the New York Public Library reveals that circulation is already up 22 percent this year. Last fiscal year, the library also recorded 15.4 million visits to its branches and 25.5 million hits to its website.

New $17.7 million library edifice graces West 231st Street and Corlear Avenue in Kingsbridge. It will be the first NYPL building to boast a green roof. The branch will open in mid-June.

Misguided U.S. policies must not put Israel in mortal peril By REP. ELIOT ENGEL For the past couple of weeks, much has been said about the Israeli/Palestinian peace talks and the United States’ relationship with Israel. President Obama made two speeches on the subject – first at the State Department, and then at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) convention in Washington. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also made two speeches – first at AIPAC and then to a joint session of the U.S. Congress. Since I have been one of the leading supporters of Israel in my 23 years in Congress, I

would like to offer my thoughts on the relevant issues. First of all, the only way that peace can be achieved is if both parties – Israelis and Palestinians – sit face to face and negotiate. There cannot be a peace plan imposed on the parties from outside, or a declaration of a Palestinian state from the United Nations. So far, the Palestinians have been unwilling to have face-to-face negotiations with the Israelis, using every excuse possible and demanding preconditions before they even sit down and talk. There cannot be any preconditions when it comes

to the final status issues. These core issues – borders, security, Jerusalem, refugees – can only be resolved across the peace table and with the signing of a peace treaty. Recently, the Palestinians claim to have united both the Fatah and the Hamas factions into one Palestinian government. The problem is that Hamas is a terrorist organization, labeled so by both the United States and the European Union. Hamas’ charter calls for the elimination of the Jewish state. Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with a terrorist organization whose

very existence calls for its destruction. Much has been made of President Obama’s remarks involving the 1967 armistice lines and the notion that negotiations would start with those lines but adjust them with land swaps. In my opinion, this is a terrible mistake. The 1967 lines were not only indefensible, but, once again, they insert another precondition. Mentioning the 1967 lines in the first place gives the Palestinians another excuse for not coming to face-to-face negotiations and unfortunately establishes another precondition that they

will hide behind to avoid talking directly to the Israelis. I agree with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he told the Congress that the question is not whether Israel will accept a Palestinian state. As the Prime Minister told Congress, “all six Israeli Prime Ministers since the signing of Oslo accords agreed to establish a Palestinian state.” The Palestinians have always refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. It will not be until the Arab world recognizes and accepts the fact that Israel is here to stay, as the homeland of the Continued on Page 19

Thursday, June 2, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Skate rink hearing tentative for August

By BRENDAN McHUGH The biggest debate surrounding the ice-skating rink in Van Cortlandt Park has been whether the community has had an adequate chance to discuss the project, but that will soon change. The Franchise and Concessions Review Committee will hold a public hearing to discuss the project on Monday, August 8, at 2:30 p.m. at 22 Reade Street, Manhattan. The date is subject to change, but the skating rink project is currently on the agenda. The FCRC needs to finalize all meetings at least 20 days prior to the meeting date. After the public hearing, the FCRC will vote on approval of the project, which, if approved, could have an ice-skating rink up and running by November. The committee is made up of two representatives for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and one each for the Law Department, the Office of Management and Budget, City Comptroller John Liu and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. At least five votes are required to approve a franchise. Prior to the FCRC meeting, Community Board 8 will hold its own meeting to vote on whether or not they should lend their support to the project. Community Board 8 needs to announce meetings only ten days in advance. It will be an emergency summer meeting, something the board votes to allow themselves to do for time sensitive issues. At May’s board meeting, a heated discussion broke out when the skating rink came up. The board was nearly split in a vote to just discuss the topic. A vote that will decide the level of support for the rink from the board may become even more tumultuous. By then, the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation will have chosen a winning bid from the proposals they received last week, and then all the information about the proposed rink will be available to the board. The issue over the last few months for some members of the community board has been that the parks department was not able to answer questions about the rink, such as public skate time, rental costs or food options, because the rink has gone through the request for proposal process. RFPs only set guidelines for potential bidders; but they do not give specifics in most cases. Either because of the lack of information or a lack of notice of meetings, some members of the community board have been uneasy over the project. In one parks committee meeting earlier this year, a parks department representative gave only three hours’ notice they would be attending the meeting to discuss the skating rink. While the last-minute decision was not meant to avoid the community, it was still seen as troublesome to members of the board. Three skating rink companies have been known to be interested in the project, but only one is known to have submitted a bid. One company said they chose not to, but another has not returned calls seeking confirmation or

denial of a bid. Ice Rink Events has been the only known bidder thus far. They said the site became complicated when the addition of permanent chillers was added to the project, but they still went forth with the bid. They have been working with the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy since 2010. The other bidders were not aware of the project until Mayor Bloomberg announced the project at the beginning of 2011. The parks department has the right to cancel the entire project if they feel they did not generate enough interest from bidders or if the available proposals are not adequate.

By MIAWLING LAM Millions of buildings will be forced to notify police whenever they install new security cameras under a Senate plan designed to streamline crime-fighting operations. State Senator Gustavo Rivera is on the case and will, this week, introduce the bill, dubbed the “Safe Streets Security Camera Registry Act.” Under the proposal, obtained exclusively by The Riverdale Review, security companies will be required to report to authorities each security camera they erect that looks out onto public places such as sidewalks, lobbies, courtyards and vestibules of apartment buildings. The bill seeks to create an online registry and database listing the location of all security cameras in New York City and the person or company responsible for maintaining the device. Currently, police officers routinely

collect information on security cameras manually by physically walking along the street and using their eagle eyes. Rivera said the legislation, which was drawn up as a direct result of conversations with local law enforcement officers, would streamline police operations. “The idea stems from the fact that it’s very common sensical to solve the issue [of officers having to manually log camera locations],” he said. “If there’s a corner where a mugging has occurred, police officers will only have to go to the registry. It’s meant to cut down on investigation times, help police officers solve crime and make our streets safer.” Rivera said the law would apply both to existing security cameras and to those that will be installed in the future. If it is passed, security companies will have to register their existing cameras within 90 days and within 30 days for any newly installed camera.

Del Pozo leaves 50th Precinct after 19 months

By BRENDAN McHUGH Over the years, when the commanding officer gets promoted to deputy inspector at the 50th Precinct, it’s only a matter of time before he is stolen away, and it’s no different this time. Effective Wednesday, June 1, Deputy Inspector Brandon del Pozo assumes command of the West Village’s 6th Precinct after 19 months at the 50th. He was promoted to deputy inspector in January. His replacement is Captain Kevin J. Burke, a 14-year veteran and the Washington Heights 33rd Precinct’s executive officer. “I’m just looking to build on Deputy

Inspector del Pozo’s gains,” Burke said, referring to the overall crime drop the 50th has had in the last few years. “But the upticks the command has had recently in burglaries—to get those under control will be a priority of mine.” Del Pozo is confident his replacement will fill his shoes effectively. “I’m certain that the precinct is being left in excellent hands, and I’m sure everyone will find that Captain Burke will be up to the task,” del Pozo said. “The 50th Precinct is truly one of the most special places in the city, and between the comContinued on Page 19






©2011 Wildlife Conservation Society Bob The Builder™ ©2011 Hit Entertainment Limited and Keith Chapman.

Rivera hoped the bill would become a model for other states to replicate. Despite his uphill battle in securing Republican support, the elected official said he was unfazed and believed the bill would gain enough traction among both parties. “I believe that an idea like this is bipartisan enough,” he said. “Public safety is something that both parties can agree on. It makes sense, and it’s just a way for police officers to have information and to solve crimes more quickly. I think it will be positive.” A draft of the legislation notes the security camera database will not impinge on people’s rights. “The registry will only alert the depart-

ment to the existence of privately-owned security cameras that observe persons in public places,” it states. “Nothing in this legislation will impinge upon the civil liberties of the people of the city of New York.” According to an analysis of crime reports conducted by amNY, nearly half of the city’s crimes are being captured on surveillance footage. The publication reported that of the 379 cases in the first four months of this year, more than 45 percent featured criminals caught on video. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has also previously been quoted as saying he is a “big proponent” of security cameras and wants his department to have more.

3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 2, 2011

Creation of surveillance camera database to streamline police work

Thursday, June 2, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... P.S. 81

The Kids Show, “P.S. 81 Goes to...the Beach,” is this Saturday, June 4, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, June, 5, at 1 p.m. The show features 170 students singing and dancing to beach-themed songs. Tickets are $10 at the door. Softball fans are invited on Friday, June 17, to watch P.S. 81 play against P.S. 24 in the two teams’ annual softball fundraiser from 3 to 7 p.m. in Seton Park. Tickets are $6, which includes food and soft drinks.

P. S. 24

Springfest is next Wednesday, June 8. Families are asked to contribute toward the basket raffle no later than this Friday, June 3, by sending their child to school with a new, unwrapped item priced at $10 or less that’s in keeping with the theme (baking, BBQ, sports and outdoor play, etc.) assigned to the child’s class. Each item will be included in the class basket.

Local Scholars

The University of Vermont in Burlington has announced that Luc W. Alicea received a B.A. in political science and Jordanna E. Gessler received a B.A. in political science. They were among 2,475 students awarded a variety of bachelor’s degrees during the college’s 207th commencement. More than 500 advanced degrees and were awarded by the UVM Graduate College and more than 100 M.D. degrees were awarded at the UVM College of Medicine. Chartered in 1791, UVM was the first college or university in the United States that did not give preference to a religious sect in its charter and the first to allow women to join Phi Beta Kappa. It is a small, comprehensive university that blends the academic heritage of a private university with service missions in the land grant tradition. Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, has announced that Risa Nacron, a psychology/education major, was named to the dean’s list for the spring 2011 semester. To achieve dean’s list distinction, students must be enrolled in at least four courses, maintain a GPA of at least 3.5 and carry no grade lower than a C- during their college career. Northeastern University is a global, experiential research university founded in 1898. Its rapidly growing research enterprise features three national imperatives: health, security, and sustainability. Northeastern is a leader in in-

terdisciplinary research, urban engagement, and the integration of classroom learning with real-world experience. In its distinctive cooperative education program, students alternate semesters of full-time study with semesters of paid work in fields relevant to their professional interests and major. Providence College in Rhode Island has announced that Gregory Pappas received a B.A. in psychology, Nicholas Winiarski received a B.A. in accountancy, cum laude, and Stephen Winiarski received a B.A. in English/creative writing, magna cum laude. More than 900 students from received undergraduate degrees during this 93rd commencement. Providence College is the only college or university in the United States administered by the Dominican Friars. It is a Catholic, liberal arts college with an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 3,900 students and offers degrees in 49 academic majors. Since 1997, it has been ranked among the top three regional universities in the north according to U.S. News’ America’s Best Colleges.

National Merit Scholarships

Several students who attend Riverdale schools were awarded National Merit Scholarships. From the Horace Mann School: Eric P. Singerman will attend the University of Chicago and plans to major in education and religious services. Matthew J. Zeitler will attend Northwestern University and plans to major in Marine Biology. Julia L. Goldberg will attend Tufts University and plans to major in a medical field. From the Riverdale Country School: Peter C. Hein will attend the University of Chicago and plans to major in economics. From the Ethical Culture Fieldston School: Harrison R. Weigel will attend the University of Chicago and plans to major in a science field. These students are among more than 2,900 winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities. Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among finalists in the 2011 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution. These awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship. Another group of Scholars will be announced in July, bringing the total number of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship recipients in the 2011 competition to approximately 4,800.

Chabad-Lubavitch of Riverdale invites the entire Jewish Community to enjoy our Shavuot program with Scholar-in-Residence



DAY 1 OF SHAVUOT – WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8 12:00am End Of Days: Utopia or Wasteland?

Will history reach its end looking like our best dreams, or our worst nightmares? Explore the Kabbalah’s approach.

1:30am War in Judaism – What do the Classical Jewish texts have to say?

Justifications for War • Protecting noncombatants • Non-conventional weaponry • Interrogation • Treaties

10:30am Radical Rabbis and Modern Mystics:

The impact and relevance of the teachings of the Baal-Shem-Tov for the contemporary Jew.

7:00pm Does G-d really care what I eat or when I do the lawn? Judaism’s strange preoccupation with the concrete.

8:30pm Can Judaism be hijacked by Fanatics?

Explore the nature and unique effectiveness of the safeguards built into the legal systems and communal institutions of Classic-Halachic Judaism.

Shavuot Wednesday & Thursday

June 8&9

DAY 2 OF SHAVUOT THURSDAY, JUNE 9 10:3am Recycling isn’t just for beer cans:

A Yizkor inspiration. Reincarnation, Resurrection, the Kabbalah and what it means to us here and now.

7:00pm The Cosmic Partnership: G-d, Humanity and why they need each other 8:30pm Innovative Preservation the thought of the Lubavitcher Rebbe We will explore the ideas that hold the key to this paradox.

ALL LECTURES ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AND FREE OF CHARGE We welcome the entire Jewish Community to all the lectures at Chabad Lubavitch Of Riverdale • 535 W. 246th St., Riverdale, NY 10471

To co-sponsor this event in honor or in memory of a loved one & for more information please call us at 718-549-1100 x10 or email:

Fear over Indian Point intensifies

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 2, 2011

By MIAWLING LAM At 36 years of age, you’d think Indian Point’s growing pains would have subsided. But following the catastrophic nuclear disaster in Japan, where a powerful earthquake and tsunami damaged four reactors and sparked global panic, concerns about Indian Point have intensified. More than 100 anxious locals gathered at the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club in Kingsbridge on May 25 to discuss whether the plant should be closed. Leading member of the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition Marilyn Elie advocated for the plant’s closure while New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance Executive Director John R. Durso Jr. vouched for the facility’s remaining open. At the center of the debate was the lack of an evacuation plan for residents living outside the 10-mile radius. Several residents spoke of their fears about the nonexistent levels of preparedness, with one even quipping, “How are we going to get away if something happens, because I don’t believe we’re going to be able to.” Currently, Indian Point’s evacuation plan takes into account only the 300,000 residents living within a 10-mile ring. There is no plan for those living outside that radius, including residents living in Riverdale and beyond. Elie, who is also a co-founder of the Westchester Citizens Awareness Network, has been lobbying for the creation of a 50-mile evacuation zone and called for practice routine drills. “Nobody would know what to do in an evacuation drill,” she said. “They’ll go


get their kids but where I live, children are supposed to be evacuated to reception centers outside the 10-mile radius. Nobody knows that.” The community activist, who lives two miles away from the plant, said she also had major issues about high levels of radioactive waste in the plant’s nuclear pools and its dubious containment, describing it as “sort of like a Kmart construction. “I’m not saying a tsunami is going to come up the Hudson River. I’m not saying there’s going to be an earthquake that’s going to be 9.0,” she said. “But do we need to take the risk? Is 21 million lives worth the electricity?” Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz also questioned the logistics of the current evacuation plan, saying it did not provide enough scope for people to make an informed decision. “You can’t evacuate The Bronx to go Manhattan on a workday. How is it physically possible to move people away from Indian Point in any semblance of an organized fashion if there was a disaster? I think...there’s no possible way to do it,” he said. However, the NYAREA leader defended Indian Point and said it boasts a stellar safety record, having received the federal government’s top safety rating for six consecutive years. “I believe that Indian Point is safe. I believe that Indian Point is effective, and I believe that Indian Point is sustainable,” Durso said. Durso warned that New Yorkers would pay at least $1.5 billion in higher energy costs over the next decade, and electricity customers could see their bills increase by 50 percent.




“The Library gives people the tools they need to move off the bread line and onto a bank line.” Anthony Suarez was able to move out of a shelter and find a stable job with the city thanks to the free resume help and job-search resources at the Bronx Library Center.


“The Library has been such a help. I never thought I’d learn to use a computer. God bless the Library!” Festus Udeugwu came to New York City three years ago. He takes free computer classes at the Morrisania Library so he can look for a job and keep in touch with his family in Nigeria.


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Thursday, June 2, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Law and Order at the Riverdale Y

Were you a Perry Mason fanatic? Do you ever miss an episode of Law and Order? Do you think you know who the guilty party is before the police do? If so, join our courtroom extravaganza Law and Order at The Simon Senior Center located at the Riverdale YM-YWHA on Friday June 3rd. We will present a special program with Aytan Adler entitled ‘Law and Order’. Feel the excitement as one of our fellow members play a DA, { defense attorney }, or a stone cold criminal. The program will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will be followed by a nutritious kosher lunch. This program is free and open to the community. The suggested donation for lunch is $2.25. For further information please call the Y at 718-548-8200 x224. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

Rotary Club to sponsor reading hour

Youngsters 3-12 years old are invited to participate in the Reading Program on Saturday, June 4, at the Kingsbridge Library, 280 West 231st Street, from 1 to 1:45 p.m. Readers will be grouped by skill level and encouraged to read, helped with pronunciation and word understanding, and for those without reading skills, interpret pictures. There is no charge for

participation. The Rotary Club of Riverdale is part of Rotary International and sponsors the library reading project as a local community service. Adult volunteers who are interested in participating are asked to contact Karen Pesce, Secretary: (718) 749-4469.

Tinnitus Support Group monthly meetings

If you experience or suffer with Tinnitus or would like to find out about Tinnitus, you are invited to a new Tinnitus Support Group that will meet the first Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. The meetings will take place at the Church of The Mediator, Conference Room, 260 West 231st Street, off Kingsbridge Avenue. The next meeting will be June 2. There will be no meetings in July and August. For more information, call Dr. Nabinet at 718-410-2301.

Chabad to Host Rabbi Yaffe as scholar-in-residence

Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale invites the entire Jewish community to enjoy our exciting Shavuot program with Scholarin-Residence Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe, on Shavuot: Wednesday & Thursday, June 8 and 9 at Chabad of Riverdale, 535 W. 246th Street, Riverdale, NY. Shavuot is the second of the three major festivals (Passover being the first,

and Sukkot the third) and comes exactly fifty days after Passover. The Torah was given by G-d to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai 3,323 years ago. Every year on this day, we renew our acceptance of G-d’s gift. On the first night of Shavuot (Tuesdaynight-Wednesday, June 7-8), it is customary to be awake the entire night studying Torah. This is the schedule of lectures given by Rabbi Yaffe: On Wednesday June 8 at 12:00am, End Of Days: Utopia or Wasteland? Will history reach its end looking like our best dreams or our worst nightmares? Explore the Kabbalah’s approach to these questions as well as some practical advice for us, now. (Don’t worry, we won’t be telling you to stock up on canned goods). At 1:30am, War in Judaism - What do classical Jewish texts say about: Justifications for War, Protecting noncombatants, Nonconventional weaponry, Interrogation and Treaties. Wednesday morning 10:30am, Radical Rabbis and Modern Mystics: The impact and relevance of the teachings of the Baal-Shem-Tov for the contemporary Jew. The revolutionary phenomenon of Chassidism: a combination of change and preservation. Explore how Chassidic thought sees some of the fundamental ideas of Judaism with new eyes. Wednesday evening 7:00pm, Does G-d really care what I eat or when I do the lawn? Judaism’s strange preoccupation with the concrete. At 8:30pm, Can Judaism be hijacked by Fanatics? Fanatic, intolerant, and violent iterations of Islam have profoundly affected us recently. These phenomena cannot significantly exist in Classical-Halachic Judaism. Explore the nature and unique effectiveness of the safeguards built into the legal systems and communal institutions of Classic Judaism. Thursday morning June 9, at 10:30am, Recycling isn’t just for beer cans: A Yizkor inspiration. Reincarnation, Resurrection, the Kabbalah and what it means to us here and now. Thursday evening at 7:00pm, The Cosmic Partnership: G-d, Humanity and why they need each other. At 8:30pm, Innovative Preservation - the thought of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The Lubavitcher Rebbe broke new ground in every conceptual and practical area of Judaism,

while remaining the strongest defender of the immutability of its traditions. We will explore the ideas that hold the key to this paradox. Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe is Dean of The Institute of American and Talmudic Law in New York, NY and Permanent Scholarin-Residence to Chabad at Harvard University. All are welcomed this Shavout to join our Scholar-In-Residence - Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe as we re-live and explore the defining moment in Jewish history from an unique and refreshing perspective, as we probe beneath the surface at what history means to the Jews as a people, past, present and future. Wednesday and Thursday, June 8 and 9, at Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale, 535 West 246th St. Riverdale, NY. All lectures are open to the public and free of charge. To co-sponsor this event in honor or in memory of a loved one & for more information, please call Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale: Tel: 718-549-1100 ext. 10. Email: library@chabadriverdale. org.

Flea market at St. John’s Church

St. John’s Church will host a flea market on Saturday, June 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The sale will be held at the Old St. John’s School located at 3030 Godwin Terrace in the Bronx. Clothes, jewelry, accessories and brica-brac will be sold at bargain prices. Free parking will also be available so get there early and snare yourself a great find. For more information, please call 71843-3003.

Brandeis honors study group leaders at closing meeting

The Riverdale Chapter of The Brandeis National Committee invites its members and their friends to its Annual Study Group Party and a delightfully entertaining musical presentation by Joey Pace on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 12:30P.M. in the Riverdale Temple, West 246 Street and Independence Avenue. The Study Group Leaders will be their honored guests. Bagels and light refreshments will be served and a boutique, “Jewelry,etc. by Pearl, Carol and Jessie” will be displayed for sale. Please make advance reservations by sending check for $12.00, payable to B.N.C., to Cecile Horwich, 5800 Arlington Avenue-10W, Riverdale, N.Y. 10471, by June 8th. Admission at the door will be $15.00.

Person on the street:


GARY NISSMAN: I think it’s totally ridiculous. It is infringing upon our rights and there doesn’t appear to be any more privacy. The government is getting too intrusive, and I think it’s really silly at this point. On the other side of the coin end I understand the argument, but it’s gone too far.

BARBARAVELEZ:Thisisnotadictatorship and I don’t tell Bloomberg when to have sex, so leave my cigarettes alone. I have common courtesy when in comes to smoking in public places, but I don’t respond well when strangers try and tell me what to do.

ANTHONY ZIRULLI: Well, being a nonsmoker, I feel when people smoke it’s really inconvenient. Second hand smoke is what bothers most people. When you’re running around in a public park and you have to smell other peoples’ smoke, it can be a real hazard.

SARAH RUTLEDGE GORMAN: I am in favor in the new law because when I am at the park I am either relaxing, running, or taking my baby for a walk and in none of those cases do I want to be inhaling smoke.

GEORGE KISHORE: I just think it’s silly. Why are we restricting people to do what they want to do in a public place? Especially something like smoking. We all know the wrong and rights of it and we can stay away from it. Sometimes smokers are a little knowing, but this is taking it too far. There’s too much stuff going on to be worrying about regulating smoking.

ELIZABETH PADIALLIA: I feel that God didn’t make our bodies for smoking in the first place, so I support the new law regulating smoking in public areas.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 2, 2011

How do you feel about the smoking ban in public parks?

Thursday, June 2, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Friday, June 3

beginners. All participants are encouraged to bring their own supplies. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

LAW AND ORDER 10:30 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue A special program with Aytan Adler entitled “Law and Order”. For further information please call the Y at 718-5488200 x224.

Van Cortlandt


Saturday, June 4 Kingsbridge

FLEA MARKET 9 a.m. Old St. John’s School 3030 Godwin Terrace Featuring bric-a-brac, clothing (new and used), etc. For more information, call 718-543-3003.


LEARNING SERVICE 9:30 a.m. Hebrew Institute of Riverdale 3700 Henry Hudson Parkway Shabbat Naso. Rabba Sara Hurwitz will lead the prayer service which follows a traditional prayer structure while delving deeper into key prayers. For more information, call 718-796-4730.


READING HOUR 1 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street Youngsters 3-12 years old are invited to participate in the reading program sponsored by the Rotary Club. For more information, call Karen Pesce at 718-549-4469.


FRENCH TRIBUTE CONCERT 2 p.m. Methodist Home 4499 Manhattan College Parkway Come enjoy the sounds of Sauenn Thorsteinsdottir and Alexandra Joan as they perform sonatas by Franck, Poulenc and Debussy. Free admission; call to reserve your seat: 718548-5100, ext. 231.


SOUNDS OF IRELAND 2 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street The uilleann pipes is the national bagpipe of Ireland. Hear the wonderful sounds of the uilleann pipes. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


CHORAL CONCERT 7:30 p.m. Christ Church Riverdale 5030 Henry Hudson Parkway A Great Evening of Music featuring our restored Austin organ and the Christ Church Choir and Friends performing Bach, Rutter, Langlais and traditional spirituals. Tickets are available at the door. Price: $20; Senior/student $15. For more information, please call 718-543-1011.

Sunday, June 5 Riverdale

OPENING RECEPTION 1:15 p.m. Ethical Culture Society 4450 Fieldston Road Opening reception for “Bricks, Buds, and Bridges,” an exhibit of photography by Larry Rosen which will be on display during the month of June. Sponsored by the Riverdale Art Association.

Bedford Park

CONCERT 3 p.m. Lehman College Lovinger Theatre The Orchestra of The Bronx, under the baton of Michael Spierman, performs the final free concert of its season. The program will include Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor featuring pianist Maxim Pakhomov and conclude with the composer’s monumental “Eroica” Symphony. For more information, visit or call 718-365-4209.

Monday, June 6 Spuyten Duyvil

KNITTING & CROCHET 11 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street A get together for knitters and crocheters at all skill levels to work on a current project, learn new techniques, or even to begin a new craft. A small supply of needles and year is available for

ON THE PLATE! 3:30 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue It’s time to snack! Join cooking wizard Jailin Acevedo as she guides you through baking, chopping, grilling, and melting is the quest for delicious treats. See what’s on the menu! All materials will be provided. For ages 12 to 18. For more information, call 718-543-5150.


ANIME NIGHT 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street Want to see the hottest new anime? Come check out what’s on screen at the library. Bring your friends, your pocky, and your anime and manga fandom! For ages 12-18. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Tuesday, June 7 Riverdale

SHAVUOT CELEBRATION 7:30 p.m. Congregation Shaarei Shalom 5919 Riverdale Avenue This service and study session will begin at 7:30 p.m. and be conducted by Rabbi Steven D. Burton and Cantor Ronald J. Broden. Festival morning services, including a Yizkor Memorial service, will be conducted on Wednesday morning, June 8 at 10:00 a.m. For more information, call 718-796-0305.


MEET THE AUTHOR 7:30 p.m. St. Margaret of Cortona 6000 Riverdale Avenue Featuring Dr. Astrid O’Brien, who will introduce her book, “A Mysticism of Kindness.” A reception and book signing will follow the talk. For info, contact Bob Stauf at 914-476-2284.

Wednesday, June 8 Kingsbridge

BUTTERFLY BOOGIE 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street Bugs aren’t gross—they’re great! After our giant cockroach puppet explains why insects are the coolest creatures around, The Tale of Flutterby and Piggle, an interactive musical performance, demonstrates the interdependence among plants and animals. Presented by the Central Park Zoo Wildlife Theatre. For ages 5 and older. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Friday, June 10 Riverdale

DISCUSSION 10:30 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Dr. Ilana Sasson will speak on “The Sephardim in Israel Today.” Dr Sasson holds a doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary in Neareastern and Ancient Biblical Languages. Her family traces their ancestral roots to Iraq and she will speak about the Iraqi migration and other Sephardic groups who migrated to Israel during the last century. There is no charge but reservations are recommended if you would like to stay for lunch at 12 noon. A hot kosher nutritious lunch will be served and the suggested donation is $2.25. For further information and reservations please call 718-548-8200 x223.

Saturday, June 11 Kingsbridge

FLEA MARKET 9 a.m. Church of the Mediator 260 West 231st Street The Church of The Mediator will be hosting a flea market to help raise money for the church. Any one interested in being a vendor can contact Mr. Larry Molatto at (347) 992-4361 or via email at

Tuesday, June 14 Riverdale

FATHER’S DAY LUNCHEON & CONCERT 11:45 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue The Simon Senior Center located at the Riverdale YM-YWHA is hosting a special Father’s Day Luncheon and Concert with entertainment by Joe Salvatore who will be singing and playing music of the past and present including the standard classics of Tony Bennett, the Andrew Sisters and Dean Martin. For further information please call 718-548-8200 x223 or 224.

By MIAWLING LAM Teacher layoffs, marriage equality and New York City’s taxi of the future emerged as the key constituent concerns following the latest town hall meeting. Three local elected officials convened at SAR High School on Riverdale Avenue on May 26 to address dozens of the public’s questions. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, State Senator Jeff Klein and Councilman G. Oliver Koppell headlined proceedings at the event, while Congressman Eliot Engel chimed in from Washington D.C. via speakerphone. Each panelist kicked off proceedings with a brief statement before the floor was opened up to the more than 100 residents who gathered at the school. Dinowitz spoke of the controversial plan to evaluate teachers based on questionable test scores, saying it was merely a front by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to weaken the teachers union. “You can’t just look at the reading scores, even though we know the scores aren’t great,” he said. “We also know that they cooked the books on those scores. How do you evaluate a teacher, how do you determine the future of somebody’s job and career based on data that’s not reliable? “To me, that’s not fair and it doesn’t make sense.” During his opening remarks, Koppell reiterated his commitment to saving 20 of the city’s firehouses and averting mass teacher layoffs. He also criticized the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission’s decision to select the Nissan NV200 as the “Taxi of Tomorrow.”

Koppell said the winning model was not wheelchair-accessible and that it should have been a requirement from the outset, a remark that drew rapturous applause. “I don’t think the RFP was as complete as it should have been, and I’m not happy with the choice because it’s not accessible,” he said. “We think it’s a matter of civil rights.” Koppell provided yet another of his glowing endorsements of local public schools, despite a comment by one person in the audience—a current teacher at DeWitt Clinton High School—that the schools are a “shambles” and a “dysfunctional mess.” “We have some very fine schools in my district,” Koppell said. “That doesn’t mean that there aren’t problems in some of our schools, but frankly, I disagree firmly with the idea that our schools haven’t improved over the past eight years.” The Q&A session lasted well over an hour and encompassed everything from rent control and rent stabilization to the budget blowout on the Croton Water Filtration Plant to the city’s scandal-plagued CityTime project. Local resident Jane Tom, who was slapped with a Department of Buildings violation for her 8-foot-by-8-foot shed, spoke of the lack of accountability for homeowners, while Riverdalian Myra Joyce drew loud cheers from the crowd when she asked about marriage equality. On the latter issue, Klein said he remained committed to seeing the bill through. “I’m hopeful that we can get the six votes that we need to make it a reality this year,” he said. �

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9 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 2, 2011

Town hall meeting rehashes old issues

Thursday, June 2, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


RKA fair showcases students’ talents

By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER Are color pictures more memorable than those in black and white? What cleaning products work best on everyday germs? Which fruit has the most juice? Ask students at the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy, who explored some practical issues in their classes this semester and shared their conclusions—and of course, their methodologies—in the form of graphic projects displayed at the school’s first-ever Academic and Arts Fair last Thursday and Friday. The fair was an opportunity for younger students to see what they can expect to achieve as they progress through the higher grades and an opportunity for teachers to get fresh ideas from their colleagues, Principal Lori O’Mara said. English classes featured analyses and original creative works based on students’ own experiences. Math classes produced displays with ominous-looking pages of proofs and equations showing real-life applications of geometry and algebra. One project detailed the use of math to locate a sunken ship. A business-oriented piece addressed product package design: Which is the

RCT stages ‘Little Mermaid’ By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER The curtain opened on the iconic silent silhouette of Ariel perched on a rock in the middle of the sea, but there wasn’t another quiet moment in this lively production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” by the Riverdale Children’s Theater. The cast belted out the show’s awardwinning tunes, and their glitzy costumes were integral to the ambitious choreography. As they glided smoothly across the stage on sneaker skates, they could have indeed been under the sea. The 41 troupe members alternated in the production’s six performances. On opening night, Sara Friedman as Ariel portrayed a range of emotions as she dealt with her dad, discovered her prince, toyed with her random collection of “human stuff” and skillfully conveyed the frustration of suddenly being unable to speak. Jharell Jerome, stately and subtle, was a natural as Prince Eric. Noah Parnes relished the role of Sebastian, and Harry Gale was a paternal, compassionate and comical King Triton. Naama Kobrin was not onstage for long as Carlotta, but her talent lingered. Rebecca Thaler played a mean and formidable Ursula, surrounded by sea creatures in wild headgear complete with flickering purple lights. The dancing and musical performance were captivating in “Under the Sea,” and the creative use of textiles was particularly pleasing in “Kiss the Girl.” The palace kitchen scene with “Les Poissons” was brilliant and hilarious. “Mermaid” is RCT’s second show. Productions are directed by Becky Lillie Woods with choreography by Krystal Hall Glass and musical direction by Eric K. Johnson. Anna Dropiewska came up with the costumes. The company is one of the first to perform this adaptation. Remaining shows are on Sunday, June 12, at 1 and 5 p.m. in the Lovinger Theater at Lehman College, 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West. For tickets, visit

best shape for an M&Ms box—a cylinder, sphere, pyramid or rectangle? The class considered surface area and volume as well as production concerns like stacking. The auditorium came alive when the seventh- and eighth-grade bands played pop and classic numbers. The RKA Dancers then rocked the stage with a playful modern piece performed by four accomplished seventh-graders followed by a 22-dancer merengue and a 5-couple bachata—both choreographed by high school students. The fair reflected ongoing work throughout the year by students in grades 6 through 12. “It’s part of the great stuff that’s always going on here,” Assistant Principal Stacy Miller said.




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11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 2, 2011




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Thursday, June 2, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



and being active! This camp is perfect for the player that likes or wants to try all sports! We offer two to seven week options. Each day includes working with a variety of sports including: basketball, soccer, baseball, football, martial arts, swimming, ultimate frisbee, hockey, dodgeball, all while incorporating coordination and stability exercises! For more information contact Charlie Schiller at (718) 548-8200 ext. 229 or

Jasa announces activities for June

Shaarei Shalom offers Shavuot Study & Celebration

Just in time for summer the Simon Senior Center located at the Riverdale YMYWHA is pleased to offer complimentary 4 week lessons with instruction on Tuesdays from 1-3pm beginning on June 7th. Learn to play this popular exciting game which is a great way to relax and good exercise for your brain. All seniors are welcome. Participants may register by coming in person to the SSC or calling 71-548-8200 x223 or 224.

Jasa Van Cortlandt Senior Center announces the upcoming special educational and recreational activities in June: Sunday, June 5, Make Up Day, featuring a ch oral performance by the Boricua College Chorus. Lunch served at 12:15 p.m. Menu: Chicken Chow Mein, brown rice, Oriental blend vegetables and dessert. Recommended contribution is $4. RSVP to office: 718-549-4700. Tuesday, June 14, Compassionate Care Hospice Presentation by Pricilla at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 15, 11 a.m., Book Talk with Francie Einenkel, NYPL librarian. Friday, June 17, Goldman Sachs Community Team Works Gardening and Picnic Event. Highlights of the day’s activities include: gardening, exercise, picnic lunch and entertainment by Rob Silverman, jazz pianist. Preregister for picnic lunch by calling the office at 718549-4700. Wednesday, June 22, Tour the Methodist Home, including refreshments and entertainment. Meet at 12;45 p.m. Preregister in the office or call 718-5494700. Sunday, June 26, Make Up Sunday, featuring delectable lunch of turkey with pastrami sandwich, potato and fresh green salad at 12:15 p.m., followed by entertainment by Roman Lankios, xylophone player extraordinaire. Recommended contribution is $4. Wednesday, June 29 at 5:30 p.m., Dinner and performance by Bronx Opera Ensemble. Menu will include: fresh fish, orzo, green beans and dessert. Recommended contribution is $4. Jasa Van Cortlandt Senior Center is located at 3880 Sedgwick Avenue. For more information, cal 718-549-4700.

Riverdale Y offers Sports Specialty Camp

The Riverdale Y is excited to offer a new Sports Specialty Camp for ages 7-12 this summer in conjunction with the YMYWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood. Our camp is not led by counselors or volunteers. Our specially trained coaches do what their title implies...COACH! Programs will take place at the Riverdale Y. From July 22nd through August 19th campers will spend two days at the outdoor facility at the Henry Kaufman Campgrounds in Rockland County. Ther Sports Specialty camp is skill based, so campers leave having learned and/or improved their skills in various sports throughout the day. Let us be your sports camp as you can rest assured that your child has spent the day developing their skills, sportsmanship, having fun,

The Jewish Festival of Shavuot begins on next Tuesday evening, June 7. Shavuot is one of Judaism’s three Pilgrim festivals; it commemorates the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses and the Israelites on Mount Sinai. Congregation Shaarei Shalom will be celebrating the festival with a special evening study session and festival worship services. Tikkun Leil Shavuot, the night of study that traditionally precedes Shavuot, originated with the kabbalists of 16th century Safed, Israel. They would study readings from the Tanach, the Talmud, and the Kabbalah all night long. Congregation Shaarei Shalom shall continue this great tradition as its evening of study this year will focus on the writings of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz on the Mitzvah of Torah study as the greatest of all mitzvot This service and study session will begin at 7:30 p.m. and be conducted by Rabbi Steven D. Burton and Cantor Ronald J. Broden. Festival morning services, including a Yizkor Memorial service, will be conducted on Wednesday morning, June 8 at 10:00 a.m. The study session and both services will held in the congregation’s sanctuary at 5919 Riverdale Avenue. The community is warmly invited to Join the Experience! For further information about the congregation, these services, membership, its Religious School, or any of the many adult program offerings, please contact the congregation at (718) 796-0305 or e-mail the congregation at: shaareishalo

Spring lecture series at St. Margaret

The Adult Education Committee of the Parish of Saint Margaret of Cortona will sponsor a Meet the Author evening as part of its continuing Spring lecture series on Tuesday, June 7 at Saint Margaret of Cortona, 6000 Riverdale Avenue in the rectory meeting room at 7:30 p.m., featuring Dr. Astrid O’Brien. Dr. O’Brien is a longtime resident of Riverdale, an active parishioner of Saint Margaret’s Parish and an Associate Professor at Fordham University. Participants will be introduced to the book entitled ‘A Mysticism of Kindness’ written by Dr. O’Brien. It is the story of a little known saintly woman Lucie Christie, which will inspire all to find a way to live a spiritual life in an often difficult and troubling world. A reception and book signing will follow the talk. More information is available by contacting Bob Stauf, Adult Education Committee Chairman, at 914-476-2284.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 2, 2011

Learn to play Mah Jongg

Thursday, June 2, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The Orchestra of The Bronx, under the baton of Michael Spierman, performs the final free concert of its season at the Lovinger Theatre, Lehman College, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 5. The program will include Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor featuring pianist Maxim Pakhomov and conclude with the composer’s monumental ‘Eroica’ Symphony. This free concert is presented by Lehman Stages and no tickets are required. Mr. Pakhomov’s credits include performances in Merkin Hall and Zankel Hall where he premiered his own arrangement of Stravinsky’s Petrushka for piano duo. His numerous solo appearances with the Orchestra of The Bronx include works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Saint-Saens, Bach, Brahms, Grieg and Beethoven. A two-time winner of the Bronx Council on The Arts’ BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) Award, Mr. Pakhomov maintains an active schedule as a chamber musician and the principal pianist of the Bronx Opera Company. The fully professional Orchestra of The Bronx includes some of the finest instrumentalists in the New York City area. Its soloists are chosen for their

facility and the depth of their artistry. The unique spirit and level of excellence of The Orchestra of The Bronx makes for some of the most exciting concerts presented in the tri-state area. Founded in 1972 as The Bronx Chamber Orchestra, the ensemble gave many outstanding concerts throughout the borough, from Riverdale to Mott Haven. In the late 1990s the organization began a metamorphosis, which has produced an even fuller sound and a wider range of repertoire. The Lovinger Theatre is located in the Music Building near the Paul Avenue gate of the Lehman College campus. For further information, visit www.bronxorchestra. org or call 718-365-4209.

Works of Larry Rosen exhibited at Ethical Society

The Riverdale Art Association announces Larry Rosen is artist of the month at the Ethical Culture Society for June. Larry Rosen has always has a keen interest in photography. Photography was his hobby many years ago and has become an interest again in the last few years. Larry enjoys walking through Riverdale and has spent many hours photographing the area. Wave Hill and the Spuyten Duyvil areas are great resources.

Bridges, buildings and flowers are of particular interest. Architecture and nature have a different perspective through the lens of a camera. Software applications allow the facility of enhancing digital photography with one’s interpretation of a view. Larry is a member of the Riverdale Art Association; he and his wife Robin have lived in Riverdale for forty years. The exhibit is titled “Bricks, Buds and Bridges”. The artist’s reception is Sunday, June 5th from 1:15 - 3 p.m. The Riverdale Art Association welcomes new members and visitors at all meetings. The next meeting is Tuesday, June 14th at Atria. 7 p.m.

collection of Fordham University. Another painting entitled ‘ My Sister and I’ is in the archives of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. He has received a certificate of merit form the assembly of the State of NY, the Riverdale B’nai B’rith Martin Richman Humanitarian Award and also a Distinguished Service award from Manhattan College.He has complied his narrative, paintings and poetry into a book about his reflections regarding the Holocaust called ‘ Reflections of the Soul’. There will be a reception for him at the Y on June 5 from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Riverdale YM-YWHA is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. For more information call 718-548-8200, ext 200.

Riverdale Y’s Gallery 18 welcomes Martin Spett

Sisters of Charity to sponsor workshop

Martin Spett will be our artist of the month at the Gallery 18 at the Riverdale Y. Mr Spett was born in Poland and survived a political prison in Krakow during World War II. His family went to Belgium and then resettled in the United States. Mr. Spett has lectured about his experiences during the Holocaust in elementary, middle, high school, colleges and other organizations for over 20 years. One of his paintings, ‘Reflections,’ depicts the Holocaust and is in the art

The Sisters of Charity of New York is sponsoring a workshop on Spirituality of Emotions. RSVP by June 7 for Tues, June 14 workshop. Explore how emotions are a powerful way to lead us to holiness and wholeness. Come at 5 p.m.; bring a sandwich; enjoy the beauty of the Mount Saint Vincent campus; meet other workshop attendees. RSVP by June 7 to Sr. Carol De Angelo, SC, 718-543-5166 or

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 2, 2011

Orchestra of the Bronx to perform at Lehman College

Thursday, June 2, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



Respect principled beliefs on Marriage Bill Courtesy of The New York Sun, Online Edition Mayor Bloomberg tried, in his speech last week at Cooper Union, to distance himself from the bigotry against religion that has infected the struggle for same gender marriage. “I have enormous respect for religious leaders on both sides of the issue,” he said, before asserting that “government has no business taking sides in these debates – none.” But elsewhere in his speech he suggested that “the question for every New York State lawmaker” is “Do you want to be remembered as a leader on civil rights?” Then he suggested that history has not remembered obstructionists kindly — “not on abolition,” he said. “ . . . not on civil rights.” And, he said, “it will be no different on marriage rights.” So which is it? Does the mayor really have enormous respect for religious leaders who hold with orthodox teachings? Or does he regard them as he regards defenders of the evil of slavery or as he regards opponents of the civil rights movement? At Cooper Union he echoed the stance of Governor Cuomo, who during the recent campaign set down as bigotry the concerns that Carl Paladino had expressed following his meeting with the Satmar chasidim in Williamsburg. The mayor echoed the line of reasoning of the judge who, in 2005, sought to establish same gender marriage in New York by judicial fiat, Doris Ling-Cohan. In ruling that the constitution of New York state required the recognition of gay marriages, she likened opposition to gay marriage to the odious anti-miscegenation laws. In the event, Judge Ling-Cohan’s line of reasoning was found, by no less an authority than the highest court in New York, to have been erroneous. The Court of Appeals ruled in 2006 that state’s constitution does not require the recognition of same gender marriage but rather that the question was one for the legislature. The court’s opinion, by Justice Robert Smith, pointedly rebuffed any suggestion that religious teachings are bigoted. “The idea that same-sex marriage is even possible is a relatively new one,” he wrote. “Until a few decades ago, it was an accepted truth for almost everyone who ever lived, in any society in which marriage existed, that there could be marriages only between participants of different sex. A court should not lightly conclude that everyone who held this belief was irrational, ignorant or bigoted. We do not so conclude.” It is a tragedy that the mayor crossed that line. Orthodox religious leaders oppose same gender marriage as a matter of religious law. Yet some religious leaders agree with the mayor that marriage is a civil matter. Others believe the state should get out of the marriage business altogether and leave it entirely to private religious or secular contracts. No matter which, there was no need for the mayor to mock religion and liken its orthodox adherents — Christian, Muslim, and Jewish — to those who opposed the abolition of slavery. It’s hard to predict how the marriage question will prosper in the Senate in Albany. But it’s not hard to imagine that the dressing down that the mayor delivered at Cooper Union will only harden opposition among those who are unwilling to label as bigots those who believe in a traditional interpretation of the laws brought down from Sinai. This is a point these columns have made before. We, too, have friends, relatives, or colleagues who are in same gender relationships. We welcome them into our social lives, our families, and our places of work. But we also have friends who adhere to orthodox views and look up to the religious sages. What kind of advance would it be for our, or any, society if the rights of the former were advanced by denigrating the latter?

With friends like Obama, Israel doesn’t need enemies To The Editor: On Jan. 29, 2009, a week after the president’s inaugural address, the Riverdale Review published my letter, titled “Was President Obama sending Jews a message?” Two weeks later, you published my follow-up letter titled, “Jews must keep an eye on Obama.” I will now quote from, and make comments about those letters, and also comment about President Obama’s recent uncalled for, damaging statement regarding Israel’s borders. In his inaugural address, the president had stated, “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and nonbelievers.” To me, the very fact that the United States is, and remains, a Judeo-Christian nation, and that the traditional and customary pairing of religions has always been Christians and Jews (not Christians and Muslims) led me to speculate in my first letter that “perhaps this was our new president’s subtle way of indicating that, from this point

on, he was going to place the interests of Muslims ahead of Jews.” My second letter was a response to a Mr. Mark Lenihan who, in his rebuttal to my original letter, had referred to my speculation about Pres. Obama’s motives as “paranoia.” The two paragraphs that follow were part of my rebuttal to Mr. Lenihan: “President Barack Hussein Obama proudly emphasized his middle name when he was sworn into office. Shortly after the ceremony, he made good use of the name Hussein, and of his heritage, to ingratiate himself and curry favor with Muslim nations when he appeared on Arab television. For Mr. Lenihan’s information, many of these Islamic nations are sworn to obliterate Israel, kill all its Jews (who they consider vermin, and compare to pigs and monkeys) and wipe it off the map. Furthermore, these Muslim nations indoctrinate their children from a very early age with these same hateful beliefs.”

ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher

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“Am I ‘paranoid,’ Mr. Lenihan? Damn right I am! My letter was meant to put into print my legitimate concerns about Barack Obama so that prominent Jewish politicians like Congressmen Engel and Nadler can be on their guard against any erosion of support for Israel by our new president. I certainly pray my ‘paranoia’ is unfounded — but better safe than sorry!” As it turns out, events of the past two years have shown me not to be “paranoid,” but rather prescient and right on target. President Obama, with his constant disparagement of the United States in his pandering speeches given to the Arab world, and with his constant refusal to admit that the terrorist threat to our country comes from Muslims, should cause even the most ardent of his Jewish Democratic Party supporters to face facts and admit that the president is a biased Islamophile and a disaster for the State of Israel. His recent speech telling Israel to return to its indefensible pre1967 War borders (where it was only nine miles wide) and also, by implication, requiring the giving back of the Golan Heights to Syria, was in actuality a call for Israel to commit national suicide. Obama calls himself a friend of Israel, but (as the saying goes) with friends like him, who needs enemies? Alvin Gordon

Continued from Page 1 Jewish people, that this long-standing conflict will be resolved. Let’s look at a little bit of history. In 2000, Yasser Arafat was offered a Palestinian state, 97% of the land in the West Bank, part of Jerusalem, all of Gaza, and billions of dollars of international aid. While Israel accepted that deal, Arafat not only rejected the offer, he started a terror war against Israel marked by scores of bombings of buses, restaurants, pizzerias, and other places filled with civilians. . Arafat refused to abandon the notion that somehow hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Palestinians would return to Israel, therefore changing the demographics of the Jewish state. In a peace treaty, Palestinians would have the right to return to the Palestinian state, not to Israel. Because Israel is a Jewish state, it does not mean that no Palestinians can live there. Indeed, there are currently more than one million Israeli-Arab citizens who have the best standard of living of any of the Arab citizens in the entire Middle East. As Prime Minister Netanyahu put it when he spoke to Congress, “Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, only Israel’s Arab citizens enjoy real democratic rights. I want you to stop for a second and think about that. Of those 300 million Arabs, less than one-half of one-percent are truly free, and they’re all citizens of Israel!” Let’s also remember that Israel withdrew totally from Gaza and Southern Lebanon. Instead of getting peace, Palestinian militants used the vacated territory to launch thousands of terror rockets upon Israeli civilians. It is my fervent hope that one day we will see two states – Palestine and Israel – living side by side in peace and security. However, that can only be achieved with face-to-face negotiations and when the

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Arabs truly accept a Jewish state in the Middle East. I will do everything in my power to help facilitate the two-state solution and will continue to do everything to ensure that the bond between the United States and Israel is unshakeable. And that aid to Israel continues as well. Israel must maintain its qualitative military edge, with the help of the United States, and the excellent defense cooperation that the U.S. and Israel currently have must grow even stronger in the future. At a time when there is so much partisan fighting on Capitol Hill, it is heartwarming to know that support for Israel is strong and bi-partisan. Let us continue to support Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East and the only country there which has the same values that we do.

By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER Exuberant young actors in dazzling, jingly costumes tackled challenging songs and delivered snappy dialogue in a Riverdale Rising Stars Junior presentation of Disney’s “Aladdin Jr.” The 29 seven- to 11-year-old Rising Stars formed two separate casts who alternated in the six-performance run that ended last weekend. Shiv Pai as an adorable Aladdin interacted seamlessly with a perky Mariela Saver as the Genie and a delightful Rosala Saver as Jasmine. Joshua GoldinMcCarthy was impressive as Jafar. The show was a debut for director Greg Kanter, himself a founding member of the Riverdale Rising Stars. As a

freshman at LaGuardia High School, he appeared in “Grease” in 2001. The super-calm Kanter lit up when describing his young charges. “The kids are fantastic,” he said. “This is the first time onstage for a good number of them, and it’s really surprising how naturally theater and acting comes to children because they haven’t learned yet to be shy.” The cast members all support each other, he said. When someone has trouble remembering a line during rehearsals, others help by providing the forgotten line. Kids even help each other get through bouts of stage fright. “Nobody ever fights. It’s the purest form of teamwork,” he said. “And I didn’t have to tell them—they just did it. It’s just really nice to see.”

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Continued from Page 3 munity and the police department, I hope that it always stays that way.” Burke and del Pozo were hired in the same academy class in 1997. They worked together in Brooklyn’s 67th Precinct for about two years responding to 911 calls, but they were eventually promoted to different areas. Burke did six months under cover before moving to the 9th Precinct and then became a lieutenant at the 17th Precinct. Afterward, he moved to internal affairs. Over the last few years he has been a captain and executive officer at the 26th, 28th, 32nd and then the 33rd. Despite all his movement, this will be the first time Burke finds himself employed in The Bronx since a brief one-month stint during his time at the police academy, when he was on street patrol for the 52nd Precinct. Burke has been married for five years and currently lives in Westchester County. He obtained a masters degree in history from Brooklyn College and a J.D. from CUNY Law School. This won’t be del Pozo’s first stint in Manhattan. He was second-in-command of the 19th Precinct on the Upper East Side in 2008. “I’m very protective of the 50th Precinct because I’ve grown so close to so many residents, and for that reason, I regret to leave it. But I’m also honored that I’ve been given the challenge of a new command with new responsibilities.”

‘Aladdin’ by Riverdale Rising Stars Jr.

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19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 2, 2011

Obama shortchanges Israel: Engel

Thursday, June 2, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


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Riverdale Review, June 2, 2011  
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