Hon. Michael B. Mukasey
Hon. Michael B. Mukasey
Hon. Michael B. Mukasey

Ohel To Host Inaugural Legislative Breakfast, April 4

By Derek Saker

Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services, which provides an array of services throughout New York City, Nassau County, New Jersey, South Florida, and Los Angeles, will be hosting its inaugural legislative breakfast on Friday, April 4, 8:00 a.m. at the offices of Bernstein Global Wealth Management, 1345 Avenue of the Americas.

The purpose of this breakfast is to bring together policymakers, elected officials, advocates, and stakeholders in the myriad services that Ohel provides for thousands of individuals daily.

Senate Majority Co-Leader Jeff Klein and NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will be presented with the Public Service Award. Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey will be delivering a special address on the theme of “Disabilities and the Law.” Mr. Mukasey will be introduced by his son, Marc L. Mukasey, who is a partner at the law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP. Additional elected officials from across the spectrum will also be participating.

Ohel serves thousands of people every day through its specialties in trauma, school-based programs in prevention and safety, foster care, housing, outpatient counseling, day and employment programs, and a summer camp upstate for kids with and without disabilities. It serves people with developmental and psychiatric disabilities as well as everyday people facing everyday challenges.

Moishe Hellman and Mel Zachter are co-presidents of Ohel, and David Mandel is the CEO. Since 1969, Ohel has served as a dependable haven of individual and family support, helping people of all ages surmount disability and everyday challenges, heal from trauma, and manage with strength and dignity during times of crises. Ohel’s record of service excellence, stellar reputation, and consistent top ratings in regulatory audits in foster care, housing, outpatient counseling, and day programs has enabled it to deliver cutting-edge programs serving the ever-increasing and diverse needs of the most vulnerable in the community. For more information and to RSVP, please contact ohelbreakfast2014@legislativeevents.com. To learn more about Ohel, please visit www.ohelfamily.org. v

Pre-Pesach OU Kashrus Shiurim, March 30

With Passover approaching, OU Kosher kashrus shiurim are set to return to Boro Park on Sunday, March 30 at Agudas Yisroel Zichron Moshe, 1561 50th Street. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. and there is free admission. The event is for men only.

This will be one of three pre-Pesach programs arranged for the New York metropolitan area: in Boro Park, for a mostly chassidish audience; in Riverdale for a mostly Modern Orthodox audience; and in Lakewood, for a mostly yeshivish audience. “The theme is servicing a broad spectrum of the community through the kashrut educational programs of OU Kosher,” explained Rabbi Yosef Grossman, senior educational rabbinic coordinator of OU Kosher and coordinator of each of the programs. Each of these Ask OU outreach programs is sponsored by the Harry H. Beren Foundation of New Jersey.

Rabbi Moshe Elefant, chief operating officer and executive rabbinic coordinator of OU Kosher, will speak on “Halachic Issues of Foods, Ingredients, and Medications for Pesach.” At 8:15, Rabbi Avrohom Juravel, director of technical services/ingredients and food technology of OU Kosher, will present “Products You Would Never Imagine Could Contain Chametz!” A question-and-answer period will follow each session. Rabbi Grossman will serve as host and moderator.

Priority will be given to questions sent to Rabbi Elefant and Rabbi Juravel at 212-613-0621 or grossman@ou.org. Each participant will receive a free copy of the The Daf HaKashrus-Daf HaShana, Volume 19.

For further information, contact Rabbi Grossman at 212-613-8212, 914-391-9470, or grossman@ou.org. v

Experience Israel With Osem’s New Matzah Packaging

Osem’s beloved matzah, as well as other Osem kosher-for-Passover products, got a makeover for Passover 5774/2014. The brand-new packages are decorated with pictures of and facts about Israel to instill a deep connection with Israel during your family’s Passover Seder. The new design was influenced by the results of a detailed customer survey conducted in spring 2013.

Images featured on Osem’s new packages include the Dead Sea, ruins at Caesarea, the Tower of David, Negev palm trees, and the Western Wall. The upscale and contemporary package design will be a lovely decoration during the Passover holiday, allowing families and friends to engage in the meaning of Passover and connect to Israel.

“We listened to our customers and have designed a magnificent new package for our matzahs,” said Kobi Afek, director of marketing for Osem USA. “This is part of our continued efforts to engage the American consumer. Our research also showed, for example, how important kids are to the Passover experience. So we’ve created some educational games parents can use to make Passover more fun and meaningful for the youngest among us.” Osem’s Passover games are available on Facebook at facebook.com/OsemUSAinc.

Find Osem matzah at major grocery chains and specialty kosher supermarkets across the country. Osem matzah is kosher for Passover under supervision of the Orthodox Union and the Chief Rabbinate of Jerusalem.

Osem USA is a fully owned subsidiary of Osem Israel. Founded in 1942, Osem is Israel’s largest and most popular dry-foods manufacturer and has been an integral part of Israeli life from the birth of the nation until today. Osem is committed to offering superior brands that address a variety of dietary needs. The company leads through world-class research and development in food technology, production methods, and product development. Osem matzah, one of the company’s top products, is the result of years of experience producing top-grade Israeli matzah with high-quality ingredients and ultimate freshness. v

LCW Student At Poli-Sci Conference

For as long as she can remember, Raphaela “Raphi” Abramson has been bothered by inequality. Whether that inequality expressed itself as racism or an income gap, it got under her skin.

So much so, that her senior thesis at Lander College for Women—The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School (LCW) has focused on the topic. And in April, she will be presenting that work, “Convincing the Poor They Are Rich: Third-Dimensional Power in American Politics,” at the New York State Political Science Association’s annual conference. The conference attracts scholars from across the United States, as well as from Central and Eastern Europe and South America.

A one-dimensional view of power involves the ability to influence decisions; a second-dimensional view, Abramson explains, allows one party to shape the agenda, not simply influence the outcome. But she says that third-dimensional power is the most insidious and dangerous form. “You have so much power that you can manipulate the agenda. You can make people believe that their interests are yours, even if they contradict one another.”

The paper she will present at the conference, hosted by St. Johns University at its downtown Manhattan campus, addresses the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (FEC). Citizens United, a conservative organization, sought an injunction against the FEC to allow it to air “Hillary: The Movie,” a film critical of Hillary Clinton. The Supreme Court ruled for Citizens United, effectively removing corporate limits on political contributions.

“They equated speech and money, so the idea is that the consequences were to increase third-dimensional power in the American system,” said Abramson, who grew up in Florida and attended the Bais Yaakov of Miami for high school. “We gave the extraordinarily wealthy so many more resources completely unavailable to the average person. It enables them to dictate the political agenda.”

“She wrote a graduate-level paper on one of the most controversial Supreme Court cases of the past 10 years,” said Thomas Rozinski, a professor of political science at LCW and Abramson’s thesis advisor. Rozinski, who was recently appointed director of the honors thesis program, said he expects more students to present their theses at professional conferences during the next academic year. He added that the honors thesis program will be upgraded to six credits.

“This will provide LCW students with more extensive instruction in research, organization, and writing,” he says. “And it will enable our honors graduates to outperform their colleagues when they move on to graduate school or to their first job.”

Will Pinkney, president of the New York State Political Science Association, said that his organization wants to encourage more undergraduates to present at conferences.

“We give them a venue where they can get feedback and improve their work,” says Pinkney, who noted that 37 student papers were accepted for last year’s conference. “Our mission is to promote scholarship and to encourage kids like this to go on and pursue questions and issues that affect our society. We want them to pursue graduate-level education and to create a network of scholars that can work off of each other.”

Abramson got her first taste for politics as a volunteer for then-Senator Barack Obama’s Dade County, Florida campaign office during the 2008 presidential election. During the president’s 2012 reelection campaign she served as the office’s deputy regional field director. She said that she is excited about her presentation and hopes her sense of justice will lead to a meaningful career. “I’m not sure where I’ll be, but I hope I can continue to work in fields like this.” v

3Touro Students Participate In DO Day On The Hill

Eighty-five students from the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM) in Harlem joined with 1,200 osteopathic medical students from around the country on March 6 to meet with elected officials and their staff members to advocate for important health policy issues that affect medical education and the practice of medicine.

Organized by the American Osteopathic Association, “DO Day on Capitol Hill” is the main opportunity, presented annually, for DOs and osteopathic students to come to Washington, DC and talk to members of Congress and their staff face-to-face. This year the group’s primary aim was to promote passage of three pieces of legislation. TouroCOM students explained to Congress the need for additional funding for more residency positions for students in teaching hospitals; to change how physicians would be reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid; and the need to expand availability of hospital clerkships for students attending medical schools in the United States by changing federal student-loan regulations.

“The students had a clear grasp of the challenges confronting medical education and the workforce needs as we strive to meet important provisions of the Affordable Care Act,” said Dean Robert Goldberg, DO. Dr. Goldberg stressed the importance of students’ taking the time and making the effort to go to Washington. “DO Day serves to educate the students about the responsibilities they will have as they train to take care of patients in the future.”

Some of the TouroCOM contingent met with representatives from their home districts, while others met with elected officials representing Harlem. Among the New York officials students met with were Congressman Charles Rangel, who represents TouroCOM’s district, and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer.

“I was extremely proud of all the TouroCOM students who participated and advocated for our profession,” said Aldo Manresa, a second-year TouroCOM student and president of the school’s Student Government Association. “It is very important that we stay active and involved, because what we do now will affect us all in the future.”

Since its founding in 2007, TouroCOM has dedicated itself to encouraging minorities to enter medicine and to increasing the number of primary-care physicians. The number of underrepresented minorities graduating from TouroCOM is twice the overall average number for colleges of osteopathic medicine. v

Touro College Reaches Out To Young Professionals

More than 40 young professionals from varied backgrounds and diverse careers attended a cocktail reception in Manhattan at the home of Carol Feinberg and Ken Gilman. Rabbi Alan G. Ciner, vice president of the Touro College and University System, noted, “Touro is launching this initiative for young adults, offering them an opportunity to learn about Touro and join together for future educational and social events.” Ms. Feinberg sits on the boards of several philanthropic organizations, including The Smithsonian Science Education Center, and Mr. Gilman is the former vice chairman of The Limited and is also involved with a number of philanthropic bodies.

The young professionals heard Touro College president and CEO Dr. Alan Kadish offer an overview of the growing networks of academic excellence and educational innovation at Touro.

“Touro offers professional and graduate programs in fields that include education, law, medicine, pharmacy, social work, and business,” said Dr. Kadish. “Furthermore, as one of the largest healthcare educational systems in the nation, Touro offers a wide array of degree programs in medical and health sciences. In fact, Touro will play an integral role in changing the way that healthcare is taught and delivered both here in the United States and throughout the world. Touro also provides a comprehensive range of baccalaureate degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences.”

Many of those in attendance were interested to learn of the breadth, excellence, and bold vision that Dr. Kadish described.

“I had no idea that Touro is such a forward-thinking and growth-oriented institution,” said Hal Levy, a faculty member at Manhattan Day School. “I was thoroughly impressed by the school’s ideals and its commitment to providing a practical education to help people become contributing members of society.”

Shira Konski, an attorney in attendance, said that she plans to attend future events and remarked that she particularly enjoyed meeting and speaking with many young professionals.

The Young Professionals of Touro is co-chaired by Jessica Jacobs and Jonathan Schottenstein. v

Yom HaShoah Rally, April 27

On Sunday, April 27, 11:30 a.m., the Yom Hashoah Mobilization Committee–with the support of the New York Association of Holocaust Survivors, the Orthodox Union, the National Council of Young Israel, Zionist Organization of America, United Against Nuclear Iran, and many other organizations–is set to lead a rally in front of the Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations. They will gather to commemorate the millions who perished in the Holocaust and to issue a warning that Iran, the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, must not be allowed to have the means to produce nuclear weapons.

We have reached a critical juncture. American military analysts believe that Iran will be ready to test an intercontinental ballistic missile by next year. It’s only a matter of time before Iran will perfect the design of a nuclear weapon to fit on a long-range missile. (As reported by the New York Times, February 12, 2014.)

Tough sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table, and the threat of additional tough sanctions is our only insurance policy to defend against Iranian deception during negotiations. The bipartisan Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013, introduced by Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of N.J., and Senator Mark Kirk, Republican of Illinois, and co-sponsored by over half the Senate (58), mandates additional sanctions if Iran violates the interim Joint Plan of Action or fails to reach a final agreement. This Act has the power to compel Iran to cooperate and act in good faith and ensure that there is a complete and verifiable termination of Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program. Bringing the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 (Senate Bill 1881) to a vote is an urgent matter of national security.

The American people have good reasons to distrust Iran’s intentions and its president. In May of 2013, President Rouhani boasted on Iran’s state TV that when he was Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Iran violated its agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Most recently, in February, President Rouhani stated unequivocally that “Iran will not dismantle its centrifuges under any circumstances” (CNN, 2/26/14).

The Islamic Republic of Iran has stated that Israel is “doomed to annihilation” (JPost.com, 11/20/13). “No longer can anyone say that . . . modern society could never produce . . . a monster whose intention was to destroy, to slay, and to exterminate all Jews, young and old, in a single day. How naïve it now seems that people seriously believed that mass extermination of human beings could never be contemplated by civilized people” (Rabbi Nosson Scherman, Introduction to ArtScroll’s Megillat Esther, 2001). v


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here