It’s Not The End
Of The Road!

[The contents of the following letter were sent by local legislators to the governor of New York.  –Ed.]

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo,

We are in receipt of the Department of Transportation’s letter dated July 16, 2014. While we appreciate DOT’s response to our call for improving the evacuation route along Rockaway Turnpike (NY-878), it falls far short of addressing the critical need to resolve the serious deficiency of our local roadway infrastructure in the event of a future emergency.

While we commend, and are grateful for, the proposal to complete the surface repairs, it cannot be overstated that an immediate solution to the dangerous traffic situation is required. During everyday peak hours, Rockaway Turnpike is already heavily congested and unable to support the ordinary flow of traffic. In the event of a full-scale evacuation, we are courting disaster.

As far back as the 1960s, New York State determined that the appropriate solution to reduce congestion was to build out 878 as originally designed, connecting the two current portions in Queens and Nassau County. We understand that the necessary land was acquired by the state, and various engineering studies have been performed. The only reason that the highway was not completed was due to reluctance by the state, over the years, to commit the required funds.

While completion of 878 as originally designed remains the optimal solution, we believe that, as a bare minimum, it is necessary immediately to construct a bypass to Rockaway Turnpike, so that no 878 traffic traverses Rockaway between Burnside Avenue in Nassau County and Brookville Boulevard in Queens. We feel that this could be a viable and potentially less costly alternative to our already dangerously overcrowded thoroughfare and would create a reasonable evacuation route to protect our families until the entire designed road is built.

The road surface fixes to 878 that have been proposed by DOT are the current minimum necessary to keep our roadway in use. However, they will have no impact on resolving the real issues. The dire nature of the problem calls for more than a quick fix or a “Band-Aid” to this seriously deteriorating roadway.

Accordingly, we respectfully request that you instruct DOT to stop dragging their feet and playing Russian roulette with our lives and to implement this project immediately. We cannot continue to gamble with the health and safety of our communities on the South Shore of Long Island, Southern Queens, and the Rockaways.

We have made tremendous progress in our Sandy recovery, thanks, in part, to abundant state assistance. However, we must not overlook the most basic necessity, which is our ability to evacuate our families quickly and safely in an emergency.

Thank you for your time in reviewing and responding to this important request.


Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder and Legislator Howard Koppel

Mi K’amcha Yisrael

Dear Editor,

Last week’s 5TJT brought home the tragedies, bittersweet realities, and overwhelming chesed happening in Eretz Yisrael by residents and visitors. “Ninety Seconds” by R. Lubin and “Mission of Strength” by Trudy Stern highlighted the tenacity, emunah, and love for Eretz Yisrael felt by Jews worldwide. The visits, comforts, and hugs given by Trudy and her group to our holy chayalim warmed my heart and soul.

There are many New Yorkers ready and willing to join a solidarity mission to Israel at this time. Please, if anyone is aware of any group in formation to visit Southern residents and soldiers, and to engage in acts of chesed in Israel, let me know at

Todah Rabbah,

Mrs. Caren V. May

Equipping Tzahal

Dear Editor,

Our nephew Yoav Lazan is currently serving with the IDF on active duty. Although his brigade has all the needed “basic” equipment, it is their hope to upgrade one important item–the vest that is worn for protection and combat. At present, they wear two different vests–one for protection and one for combat. Wearing both at the same time is cumbersome and slows them down.

There is a “combo” vest available that would afford greater agility and freedom of movement. The goal of the battalion is to acquire these upgraded vests, but $10,000 has to be raised to purchase them.

The link to donate funds is We thank you for helping to keep our soldiers safe.

Susan and Rob Weinberg

Good Advice

Dear Editor,

The August 8 “Dating Forum” shook me to the core. It described my soon-to-be-ex-husband. I cried in the bathroom so my daughter wouldn’t see me. What you said was 100 percent true. I thought I could change him–instead it led to severe verbal and physical abuse.

He said he would leave and divorce me when he didn’t get his way. He used charm, as Baila Sebrow’s article described. My advice to this girl is to run the other way as fast as she can. I’m in the process of divorce after 25 years. It lasted this long because I didn’t think I could get anyone the second time around. He was also handsome, successful, etc. I often thought that maybe I didn’t try hard enough to make marriage work until I read this article and it opened my eyes.

Thank-you very much to Ms. Sebrow. May Hashem bless that she continue with strength and nachas.


Relatable Woes

Dear Editor,

The article in the August 8 edition, “How Kaddish Helps,” resonated with me strongly. Like the author, Howard Barbanel, I also lost a parent, my father, in the past three months; and he, like Howard’s mom, had dementia. I am an only child, and similar to Howard, I am recently divorced. When he said that there are times that, even in a room of 400 people, he’s the only one saying Kaddish, I can honestly say that I feel his pain. I recently experienced that, and despite an attempt to maintain a stoic demeanor, I found myself shedding tears.

Unlike Howard’s divorce, I was the one who walked out, due to aspects of mental abuse and a strong need to maintain my sanity. I was trying to deal with a spouse who refused to abide by the same guidelines in the marriage relationship that she demanded of me, as well as other issues. The marriage lasted less than two years.

I will try again for marriage, even though the first was relatively late in life. It will not be easy, since I am a kohen, and there are many women in the appropriate age group who are not eligible.

Howard, I wish you strength, courage, and perseverance. I honestly believe that, with the lessons of the marriage in your pocket, with an understanding that Hashem has only good things in store for us/you, the future is a bright light, a goal to be obtained, which I think your mother, from what you said in your article, and your dad, with his indomitable spirit, would want you to seek.


Forest Hills


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