Richard is a normal, active 4-year-old, who loves to go to the park and kick his soccer ball. Most nights he’s in bed by 7 and asleep by 8. His mother, Anna, sometimes hears him whimpering in his sleep. In the morning, Richard will sometimes tell her that his stomach hurts him at night. Anna knows Richard’s not sick, he’s just hungry. Since her job was cut back from five days to four, she hasn’t been able to buy as much food for her family as she would like. This winter, Anna had to choose between paying the heating bills and buying food.
I was reading a magazine in my doctor’s office when I came across an interesting article. The article described a reform temple in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with a congregation of 330 families. What really caught my attention was a description of what this temple considered to be their most successful program: “Inn from the Cold.”
About once a week, this temple operates as a homeless shelter for 15-20 people, “performing the mitzvah of welcoming the stranger.” More than 100 congregants “welcome the guests, prepare and serve dinner, make beds, prepare and serve breakfast, and provide a bag lunch for the new day.” The dedication of these congregants and the satisfaction they felt was inspiring.
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Please bear this in mind when you submit your press releases. And please remember that if you miss the deadline, unfortunately, we cannot publish your news.
We look forward to news from each and every one of you. Follow our simple deadline rules and we will all enjoy your news!
- Wendy Karpel Kreitzman
(Editor’s Note: This letter to the Great Neck Library Board of Trustees is being published at the request of the writer.)
The library trustees could satisfy their desire for more space at the Main Library by relocating some library services to the 6,500 square foot proposed second-floor rental above Waldbaum’s in Great Neck Plaza. I suggest that the library lease this new location for the Levels Program and continue to lease the Station Branch. Moving Levels programs will free more space at Main than an expansion would, and do it in a more economical and less disruptive manner. It also will place Levels in a location central to the entire community, so children from both North and South can participate. And, parking for Levels events will be ample.
The school board and Dr. Dolan worked long and hard, with full support of administrators, staff, parents and the community at large. And while some tough cuts had to be made, there is no question that the small class size, exemplary level of education, and careful attention to individual needs has been preserved.
In the fall of 2001, I was asked to speak from the pulpit at Temple Emanuel on a Friday night. All week long, I had been reading a series of articles in The New York Times about homelessness and hunger in the New York metropolitan area and I decided to make that the topic of my “sermonette.”
Those articles opened my eyes to the misery and poverty that dominate the lives of so many New Yorkers. I had no idea that nearly 39,000 people were living in homeless shelters. I had no idea that nearly 17,000 children were included in that 39,000. I had no idea that 40 percent of the homeless had jobs, but weren’t earning enough money to afford a place to live.
Great Neck just saw six villages hold elections, with two villages facing contested elections. In both of those cases the incumbents were returned to office. Elections can be exciting and invigorating, and contested elections are a vital part of a healthy democratic process. We support our local governments and work hard to bring all elections and all candidates to the forefront. We respect all candidates’ decisions to run for office. The Great Neck Record does not endorse any candidates, but we do endorse honest, fair elections, and we urge all prospective candidates to think hard, and work hard, before they announce their intentions to run.
Yesterday was just an average day at our house (7 Lee Court West). The doorbell rang and when I opened the door, a woman handed me a plastic bag with a seven-pound ham. “This morning, Trader Joe’s in Plainview was giving away free hams. I believe the INN can use this more than we can.” I thanked her for her kindness and before I could say anything else she was back in her car driving away.
It turns out that Governor Paterson’s biggest mistake was his controversial and unprecedented appointment of a replacement Lieutenant Governor last year. If he had not appointed Richard Ravitch, then State Senator Malcolm Smith would still be next in the line of succession and there would have been no calls for resignation. Kharma.
There is a weird divergence as of the moment this is being written. It’s clear that the Albany establishment and the media are just tired of Governor Paterson and want to hit the reset button. Meanwhile, a Marist College poll taken on March 1-2 found that 61 percent of New Yorkers preferred that Paterson finish out the year and his term in office (plus or minus 2.8 points due to the margin of error). This would be the perfect setting for a recall referendum in which voters decide the Governor’s fate, up or down (the way Californians dumped Governor Grey Davis in 2003). Many states allow recall votes on local officials and state legislators, too; local mayors in New Jersey were tossed by voters in 1994 and 2006. Not in New York. This possibility is just one of the reasons leaders in both major parties and other organizations invested in the status quo have almost all opposed any new State Constitutional Convention. The next mandatory referendum on whether to hold a convention will be in 2017, but the legislature can call for an earlier vote.
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