Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Dear Editor:

Congresswoman Grace Meng is and always has been a champion for our district: tirelessly fighting for our needs, standing up for the values and ideals that make this community so special. In these tumultuous times, it is important to have a representative who is honorable and has the courage of her convictions. She is not merely the representative of our community, she is a friend. We fully and wholeheartedly endorse Grace Meng for reelection. A vote cast for Grace Meng is a vote for our community.

In the face of the devastation and hardship that the coronavirus pandemic has wrought on our area, Grace’s dedication to her constituents has been fully shown to all, strenuously working to get direly needed hospital equipment, securing funds to help those affected, even personally handing out PPE to her constituents. Congresswoman Meng introduced the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to combat the rise in anti-Semitic incidents and discriminatory attacks during this crisis. She has always been an ally of small business, and this pandemic has proven that it was not all talk, repeatedly voting to ensure funding.

Time and time again, Congresswoman Meng has shown that she is a true ally of the State of Israel. She has demonstrated unwavering support, consistently being a vocal advocate for aid to Israel. This includes $3.3 billion for critical security assistance and $500 million in cooperative US-Israel missile defense programs, essential for Israel’s defense. Fending off a substantial amount of pressure, Congresswoman Meng broke ranks with her own party to vote against the Iran deal. This solidified her as an independent voice that was willing to do the right thing, no matter the consequences.

 Grace Meng has promised from day one that she would always be available to her constituents, and she has exceeded expectations. Her door is always open for problems big and small.

Her ties to our community are deep and built on years of service and trust – that’s why Grace Meng is the only person we trust to represent us in Congress. We urge you to join us in voting to re-elect our friend, Congresswoman Grace Meng, in the June 23 Primary Election.

Shimmy Pelman
Meshulam Lisker
Sorelle Idels
David Berger

 Editor’s note: This letter is in response to last week’s front-page article about Rep. Meng.



Re-Open New York: Our NY Small Businesses Are Being Treated Worse Than Violent Looters and Rioters

In the last few days, New York has shifted from managing the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic to warding off looters and rioters while preserving the constitutional right to protest of those who are peacefully voicing their disgust at the tragic and heinous murder of George Floyd last week in Minneapolis. Re-Open New York, a fast-growing grass-roots coalition of over 500 businesses from across New York who are safely opening their stores in defiance of the draconian and illogical attacks on their enterprises, stand with the thousands of peaceful protesters who are peacefully expressing their concerns over this injustice.

Despite the many peaceful and lawful protests, there has also been a tragic rise in violence across New York, as looters and rioters have been taking over the streets in many of our beloved neighborhoods, targeting law enforcement as well as local businesses.

On May 27, while alluding to Re-Open New York, a growing coalition of over 500 businesses seeking the re-opening of New York’s small businesses, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that “anybody who reopens in defiance with orders, of course, we’re going to enforce and if we have to we’ll do summonses, get a commissioner’s order, and the place will not be allowed to reopen in any way, shape, or form,” adding that, “we’re going to enforce it and we’re going to enforce it aggressively.”

Compare that to the Mayor de Blasio response to the rising tide of looting and rioting facing New York, who was quoted as telling Brian Lehrer during his weekly Q & A on WNYC that, “the anger out there is real and unfortunately, very justified,” adding that “I really believe that the NYPD knows how to handle protests and respect whoever is protesting, but I want to see a light touch because people are undeniably angry for a reason.”

“The difference between Re-Open New York and the violent looters could not be starker,” exclaimed Bruce Backman, spokesman for Re-Open New York, “yet the mayor wants a ‘light touch’ against looters and rioters while he favors aggressive action versus peaceful small business owners representing people from all faiths, races, and ethnicities. The coalition of businesses who make up “Re-Open New York” are decent, hardworking, and taxpaying enterprises looking to follow all the same social distancing guidelines practiced by so-called essential businesses. They are all on the verge of permanent closure because the lockdown has actively forced their patrons into the hands of Amazon and large big-box stores like Walmart and Target to fill their essential needs.

We are pleading with the Mayor, as well as Governor Cuomo, who has said in recent days that he “stands with the protesters,” to stand with us, too, as we safely re-open our businesses, thereby endeavoring to salvage our livelihoods, feed our families, and preserve the unique character that defines our diverse communities.”

Bruce Backman
Re-Open New York


Dear Editor:

It seems to me that Mr. Warren’s column is printed only to help people with low blood pressure increase it. He goes out of his way each week to try to find something to base his hatred of the president on.

To write a column as “Tone Matters,” which only tries to show how irresponsible the president is, as opposed to the governor and the mayor, shows his disregard for the facts, and his blindness to reality. He writes that the president said, “It is not my responsibility,” when we know that the governor immediately stated that the Constitution provides us with a president, not a dictator or king, and he will be the one to make all the decisions about opening and how long to keep people locked down and businesses closed, which by the way does not seem too popular of a position now from what we hear in the news about response from business owners and consumers.

Mr. Hecht also says that the president should not engage in personal attacks when asked a question he does not want to answer. He should be listening more to the governor and mayor at their press conferences, when they, first of all, do not choose a question from media that are against them, such as the New York Post, and go into long-winded discussions that do not answer the question, and move right away to the next reporter, not allowing a follow up. The best proof of this is, has the governor given a straight answer and taken “responsibility” for the thousands of nursing home deaths that he is responsible for, or has he tried to blame first the president, then the nursing homes, and the best answer he can give is “People are just going to die no matter what you do, people will die.”

The last point is, Mr. Hecht finds it “troubling” that there was not a larger outcry when the president quipped that Henry Ford had good bloodlines. We all know what an anti-Semite Henry Ford was, but I would venture that a huge majority of the basic population does not know that part of the history, and that is why no one really cared what the president said at the Ford Motor Company.

A. R.


Dear Editor:

I just want to take a moment and express how much I appreciate Tobi Rubinstein’s articles. I’ve never read anything as poignant, relevant, and impactful. She effortlessly weaves delicate topics into her own life experience.

The fact that Tobi has the originality of thought to connect bigdei k’hunah to the Couture Fashion of our time is genius. This past Shavuos, I was able to spend it with my wonderfully incredible mother-in-law. After reading Tobi’s article, I had a new sense of appreciation to my loving mother-in-law. In fact, at one time I just looked at her and tears were flowing for the love I felt towards her.

Tobi’s words were in my heart. Thank you for sharing Tobi Rubinstein with us.

Meira Joselit


Dear Editor:

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s case to President Trump for tens of billions in additional federal assistance was dishonest and misleading. Albany faces a $12-billion deficit this year. Cuomo’s claim of needing $64 billion represented a potential shortfall over four years. The $29 billion Gateway Tunnel, $6.9 billion Second Avenue Subway Phase 2, and $2 billion LaGuardia Air Train are not “shovel ready” today as Cuomo said. Only the $1.6 billion Portal Bridge portion of Gateway Tunnel has progressed through the environmental, design, and engineering phases to support advertising construction contracts in 2020. The LaGuardia Air train will not complete the federal NEPA environmental review process until 2021.

Another year is needed for final design and engineering before construction contracts can be advertised in 2023. Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 has completed NEPA. It still needs one to two more years for completion of design, engineering, business relocation, and real estate acquisition before being ready for construction in 2022. Cuomo’s presentation for all four requests had more holes in it than a slice of Swiss cheese.

Larry Penner