Hebrew School

¡Basta Ya! Sunset Rise Up

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Today’s note from the Sunset Park Alliance of Neighbors (SPAN):

Sunset Park Community Members Speak Out Against Rezoning Plan and Unveil Community Plan

On Wednesday, September 30th, 2009, City Council will vote whether to rezone Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Join Sunset Park Alliance of Neighbors as we read our statement against the rezoning in its current form and unveil our plan for our community.

The press conference will include local residents, activists, organizations, clergy and other concerned members working everyday to PROTECT and IMPROVE our neighborhood.

SPAN will provide FREE subway rides at the 36th st. & 4th ave Subway station from 11:15-11:45am. The City Council Hearing is scheduled for 1:30pm.

What: Sunset Park City Council Rezoning Vote

When: Wednesday, September 30th, 2009, 12pm-1pm (Please note the time change.)

Where: City Hall Steps (Please note the location change.)

Who: Sunset Park Alliance of Neighbors & the Coalition to Protect Sunset Park


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Erasing the hate in Brooklyn
September 27, 2009, 8:29 am
Filed under: events, jewish | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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via 30 :: Second :: Life

You’ve watched on these pages as I get all down on aspects of the Jewish community, maybe in the same way that Park Slope residents get unnerved by the shortcomings of their hood (baby stroller traffic jams, gentrification, etc.). So it’s nice every now and then when events conspire to somehow bring out the best in everyone.

I’m guessing that when Rabbi Bachman stood on the steps and blew his Jew-horn, it probably struck some divinely-branded electricity into these haterfolk…

These moments, where Jews represent themselves by acknowledging their interdependence with a larger community, seem so much more relevant than the inward-looking networking cocktails, cholents, Jewish singles events, and falafel noshes of yesteryear. I’m only sorry that it seemed to take equal-opportunity hate to bring out equal-opportunity love, but perhaps this can serve as a wake-up call.

local coverage here >>


Yom Kippur.


birthday, Ben E. King.

birthday, Confucius.

Friday Sunset: Marshmallows
September 11, 2009, 6:10 pm
Filed under: video | Tags: , ,

He’s a lucky lucky pigeon
But sometimes he’s a gun
He just want to pull the trigger
On a little turtle dove

He walks alone in the corridor
With his head up and no smile
His mouth is open all the time
But there is no sound..

Who smells marshmallows?
Who smells marshmallows?
Who smells marshmallows?
All the time? (x2)

He is making pirouettes
Looking at his feet
He dances like the freakiest guy
You’ll ever meet

His ears are filled with toilet paper
So he can’t hear the beat
Trough the glasses on his red nose
He looks at me..

Who smells marshmallows?
Who smells marshmallows?
Who smells marshmallows?
All the time? (x4)

Friday Sunset
September 4, 2009, 6:34 pm
Filed under: video | Tags: , , ,

Who’s your Jew?: Let’s organize!

“Who’s your Jew” is a series of posts where Hebrew School attempts to digest, swallow and/or spit out his experiences around this project’s creation and, by extension, mainstream Jewish organizational culture in the United States.

It’s important for us as Jews to organize. Here we are 10-20 years ago. We laughed about our hair styles when someone posted these pictures of us on Facebook last week. Brings back memories though!

Seriously, though, we were being honored as Potential Future Jewish Leaders, (PFJLs) because it’s the youth who will carry on our traditions. I think it was Rabbi Akiba (or possibly Whitney Houston) who said, if you can’t convince the youth, you can’t convince anyone.

I’m immensely proud of the .5%-1% of us that have gone on to be active and contribute to Jewish Life. Just last week for example, I had the privilege of being a Hora Motivator/Catering Service Technician at Harvey’s (above, 2nd from left) oldest kid’s bat mitzvah.

We’ll never forget our free first trip to Israel. It really opened our eyes and none of us was the same when we returned. Gave us a sense of purpose.

It’s important as Jews that we have heroes. People that the younger generations can look up to. Did you nominate your Jewish hero today?

I’m worried about how we might keep our children “engaged.” That’s why we need centralized, well-funded leadership that can determine the appropriate messages for our publications, and also possibly do photoshoots featuring images of attractive young adults.

Hope we don’t see the “rise of Old Europe” again in our lifetime.

It’s great to have secular cultural events to bring our people together, since there are all sorts Jews from different walks of life.  Some of us are bankers and lawyers, but some of us are art critics and sports professionals too. Some of us keep Kosher, and some of us are vegetarian. We try to organize Jewish events with open bars and free food  in major cities every 4-6 weeks. In a way this sort of reminds me of my sad Jewish grandpa who would give me a 20-dollar bill just so I would sit and listen to him, but remember this is a different generation.


Harvey’s cousin– the one who was really quiet in high school– moved with his family to the West Bank a few years ago and recently started helping put up these signs. But I still worry about today’s kids. Where are our next “inglourious basterds?”

earlier Who’s your Jew: Hebrew School quiz!