In the country’s largest town, property taxes take up the largest share in the cost of living and it is the top issue for Hempstead Town Supervisor Donald Clavin, who is running for reelection this year. Having won his seat in 2019 after serving for 18 years as the town’s Tax Receiver, he takes pride in keeping down the cost of governing the sprawling unit of more than 793,000 residents to the east of Queens.

Throughout history, a great amount of effort has been devoted towards identifying the Lost Tribes of Ancient Israel, descendants of the Northern Kingdom [the Kingdom of Israel] whose inhabitants were deported by Assyrian forces in 722 BCE to lands unknown. One recent example of this search identified the Pashtun people of Afghanistan as likely descendants of these tribes based on their customs.

Superficially, the neighborhoods of Howard Beach and Astoria could not be more different. Located on the opposite ends of Queens, one is densely populated with views of Manhattan across the East River, while the other has a suburban appearance with breeze from Jamaica Bay and noise from airplanes at the nearby airport. What they have in common is that on November 2, the New York City Council seats for these two neighborhoods are up for grabs with a very real possibility of a leftist victory in each one.

At the end of each summer, the campgrounds in the upstate mountains fall silent as children prepare for school. But for one such site, there was a last hurrah when young adults spent a weekend in nature to build connections and strengthen ties. A couple of weeks ago, Manashe Khaimov organized a Shabbaton for Mizrachi and Sefardi students and young professionals to network and develop leadership skills.

Rabbi Manny Behar, a mentor to many elected officials, candidates, and community leaders, is returning to his roots and reuniting with his family at the end of this month. “We’ve talked about it for many years. Our home will be close to my father and Evelyn’s brother,” he said. “Everybody has his or her own circumstances for returning.”

With nearly all of New York’s attractions having reopened following the worst of the pandemic, Chol HaMoed Sukkos is an ideal time to see what’s new at some of your favorite parks, museums, and neighborhoods. Closer to home, there are plenty of places to explore. In no particular order, I give you a brief guide to our hometown borough and beyond.