Colors: Cyan Color

A synagogue defaced, a storefront window broken, a Jewish mother harassed on the street, Jewish blood spilled on the ground. A dark cloud has rolled in and is hovering above the heads of all Jews. There is fear and worry and uncertainty. It can be felt in every shul, school, home, and market. It is palpable and it is warranted.

A life-changing event has the potential to inspire individuals to rethink how they live. For nonobservant Jews, a birth, bar/bas mitzvah, wedding, or death is often a rare moment when Jewish custom is brought into the picture. In my extended family, there are no Orthodox Jews. The men who attended cheder and leined their bar mitzvah parshah in the prewar years are gone.

Since the beginning of the New Year, the new Bail Reform laws, passed by the New York State Assembly and Senate last March and signed by Governor Cuomo last April, have been an unmitigated disaster. The law officially went into effect on January 1, and there have already been murmurings in Albany about reforming the new Bail Reform or repealing it altogether. The good news, though, is that the destructive power of a Democrat-only government is on full display for the whole country to see.

Everyone already knows that the 2020 elections are coming up. The House, the Senate, and the Oval Office are up for grabs, but American Jews don’t have to wait until November to make their voices heard. The World Zionist Congress will be meeting later in 2020, and 152 delegates will represent American Jewry. How those delegates decide to spend nearly $1 billion for Jewish causes depends on how American Jews vote between now and March 11.

CCTV footage of a “suspicious” person taking photos on the morning of Monday, December 16, outside of the Young Israel of Queens Valley was shared recently on a local Facebook group for Kew Gardens Hills. A lot of people posted their comments, most were concerned, and a shul representative said that the NYPD also thought it was suspicious and was looking into it. It was not just the taking of photos, but some of his mannerisms that called out a question.