This is for all of those who reacted over the top to Goldy’s article saying that it’s too expensive for a younger couple or young family to buy a house in Kew Gardens Hills. I have three words for all of you: Get over it.
It’s almost as if Goldy insulted your Bubby with the words you used in your emails that were printed: “She was disloyal... She used the paper in a selfish way... She gave the green light to others to move... The damage is done and can’t be undone...” and saying that it’s great that kids on the block get to know each other while playing in the community drive, and in communities with backyards you wouldn’t have that.
First of all, Goldy said she loves the community and wishes she can live here. But because so many others love it, as well, the prices have been driven up. That means the area is coveted. Why warp Goldy’s words? She wants to stay, but sees that she can’t. She went on to excuse her way of thinking, which she didn’t have to, by stating that if she is going to pay almost one million dollars, then maybe she’d like to own more property and have more square footage than a house in this community offers. That’s it. Whoever moves out of KGH because Goldy said that she may is ridiculous. Now I’m worried for Goldy if they’ll follow her, like obsessed fans because now she is their “leader,” according to a statement like that.
Whoever wrote that it’s great to have kids play in the community drive and that children with backyards don’t, did you do research on that, since you did research on the price of tuition in neighborhoods that Goldy mentioned moving to in her article? My children and nieces and nephews live in such neighborhoods. Some neighbors don’t put up fences on their property because their children along with neighborhood kids run back and forth on Shabbasos and Yamim Tovim. You hear that kids in backyards don’t isolate themselves in their backyards; they actually invite other kids over and go to other kids’ houses and backyards, too! And these neighborhoods have beautiful parks full of frum families on a Shabbos afternoon. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I just think it’s sad that some think that playing in a community drive is the only way to play with neighbors and it should be the only option.
Across the street from me, three Asian families moved in. You read correctly: on one block, three Asian families. It’s happening; Goldy didn’t predict anything. She stated the truth. On another block, I counted four, yes, four “For Sale” signs. I made some calls. Not one of those homes is selling for less than $825,000. The block is nice, but for that amount of money, I’d think of a private house with yard, pool, etc. Only one of those houses is semi-detached, and only because it’s a corner house!
So, please stop all this righteous indignation and taking personal offense and telling Goldy she just opened the gates for young couple to leave. The only thing Goldy has done was to write her opinion, which people can agree with or not agree with. She says it herself! In my opinion, Goldy is a leader. She writes what she feels and thinks even when it’s not the popular opinion, knowing she will get “hate mail.” But that’s why we love her. She writes what many want to say, but we are the ones afraid of what others will think (of us). Goldy should be applauded for bringing this issue, as well as others, to our attention – and get people talking about it. If you want to feel strongly and send hate mail, then look at the way news programs and our government treat Israel and the ways Israel is defending itself. That’s something you should be up in arms about, and not Goldy or the price of real estate in Queens.
Keep up the good work, Goldy!
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(and Rabbi Schonfeld):
Out of respect for Rabbi Schonfeld, I am presenting a shortened form of my original draft of this letter, which I am submitting in response to the Rabbi’s plea that liberals abandon their liberalism.
As an aside, I would just note that the Torah requires us to protect and care for widows and orphans and help and support the poor and needy, which liberals have done for many years and conservatives regularly oppose.
But I will restrict my letter to your opening salvo against liberalism, which you based on the bail reform law. Torah principles tell us that telling the truth is a clear and unequivocal mandate and that mistruths and distortions are anathema. You violated those principles in your discussion of a case that you believe showed the injustice of that law. As a practitioner who has handled criminal cases for close to 38 years, this is an area in which I have some expertise, and I can confidently say that you made important mistakes in your presentation of the sad case of the member of your family who was unfortunately the victim of a crime.
First, you badly mischaracterize the law. You suggest that under the law someone has to be freed if no physical harm results from his or her crime. That is simply wrong. A full and complete discussion of the law cannot be had here, but one thing can clearly be stated about which no person with knowledge of the criminal law can dispute: Many people can be held on bail without actually physically injuring someone.
I don’t expect you to be fully familiar with the law, since you are not a lawyer, but I challenge that you can use a misstatement of the law in order to support a claim. Reasonable arguments for and against the bail reform law have been made and will continue to be made, but your argument that the law requires the release of an individual who has not harmed someone is not one of them. Unfortunately, factual errors are often used as a basis for making arguments, and sadly we have all recently seen the chaos that can result when facts are ignored and emotion becomes the controlling contributor.
Second, your factual recitation of what occurred in the case is, almost certainly, at best misleading. You said your family member was held up at gunpoint. A gunpoint robbery is a Class B violent felony under New York’s Penal Law, and it is most assuredly a crime in which bail can be set. In fact, it appears that this is what originally happened. You state that $20,000 bail was set. While one can quibble with the amount, it was indeed set and it could not have been set unless the offense was a bail eligible offense (which it is, as I indicated). The bail reform law did not create any ill result here.
You were distressed at the Bronx District Attorney who “interfered” to get the matter before another judge, who released the accused. I am fairly certain that you missed an important intermediate step. In New York, the Criminal Procedure Law provides that an accused individual who is remanded to custody under bail cannot be held more than six days unless he or she has been indicted (formally charged) by a vote of a Grand Jury. If he is not indicted, he must be released. That has been the law in New York for many years, and I don’t believe it has ever been characterized as being excessively liberal. That is probably what happened in the case of your family member, rather than your apparent claim that the accused was released because of the bail reform law you apparently detest.
Nevertheless, you apparently refuse to let facts get in the way of a good argument, and you attempt to excuse it because of your emotions.
I have heard many times that a liberal is a former conservative who has been wrongly accused or arrested and that a conservative is a former liberal who was the victim of a crime. The world is thankfully more complex than that. Your argument against liberalism, based on the bail reform statute, like the above statement I have previously heard, may have a grain of truth in it, but overall, it is simplistic and just plain wrong.
Perhaps next time you write attacking people’s beliefs, you will control your emotions and make sure you have the correct facts.
Have a safe and happy Yom Tov.
RABBI SCHONFELD’S RESPONSE:
Dear Mr. Bart:
Thank you for your “shortened” form of your original draft in response to my “Open Letter to Liberals.”
You are right: I am not a lawyer. But you are. And as a lawyer, I would expect you to read what is written carefully before you make a public response. Nowhere did I write that the armed robber of my family member was set free with no bail. He was never even apprehended! You were confusing the case with the anti-Semite in Riverdale who was caught and set free on bail after the DA interfered in the criminal’s favor.
You are right. I am not a lawyer. I am just a simple member of the community who reacts to what he sees. I see crime going up in New York dramatically since Bail Reform. I see homicide go up by 350% in the last year in New York City, due to a relaxation of strict anti-crime laws by our very liberal Mayor and City Council. You don’t want to connect any dots? Perhaps you are a good lawyer. But not much of a detective.
In Briarwood last year, the police arrested a burglar 20 times, and he was set free once again by the court system. (The police told us directly.) Are you okay with that? Would you be okay if one of the houses he robbed was yours?
My point with the armed robbery of my family member was not that no bail was responsible for the robbery taking place. As stated, it did not even occur in New York. My point was, the pervasive attitude of minimizing the serious effects of all crime is what is giving criminals across the country a tailwind.
You contend that liberals care for the poor and needy. I contend the opposite. The liberals have created the poor and needy. The Great Society launched by Lyndon Johnson created the welfare state and proved to be a disaster for the Black American nuclear family. The liberals have created a climate where we care more for the criminal than the victim. They have created the out-of-control state of homelessness that now plagues New York, California, and other places under liberal control. If you are quoting from Torah sources, I would advise you to check the midrash in Koheles Rabbah (7:33), which states, “Whoever is merciful on the cruel will ultimately be cruel to the merciful.”
In truth, I, too, prepared a long text to outline all the disasters that Liberalism has wrought upon us in America, especially as Jews, and all the more so as lovers of Israel. But I’ll let this response sit for a while, and save my lengthy laundry list for perhaps a future article.
You wished me a safe Yom Tov. You are right that we need every brachah for safety we can get, for reasons I have outlined. I wish you the same. I heard nice things about you from those who know you, so my brachah is quite sincere.
Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld
I am in shock with what some people chose to wrote in response to the article published a couple of weeks ago that Goldy Krantz wrote about the cost of houses in Kew Gardens Hills. I know the young woman can defend herself and needs no help from anyone, but let me put my thoughts down because this was all I thought about after reading all of the Letters to the Editor that you published.
First of all, Goldy said it herself: She loves the Kew Gardens Hills neighborhood and she would love for her family to grow and live here. She is not a hater of the community. As a longtime resident of the KGH and Rego Park areas, I, too, love the area, but you can’t deny that we are a transient community. The camp and school applications say as much! When I applied for day camp for my kids and when I went to Open House for Pre-1A, the parents were told, “If you end up moving before school begins, which we find does happen in transient communities like ours, then…” They explained about our deposit. The camp application said as much, as well.
Secondly, to say that Goldy used her article for selfish reasons and was disloyal to her community and what she wrote is a betrayal? C’mon! What she said is the truth. Goldy wouldn’t be the columnist we love to read if she didn’t tell the whole truth and whitewashed the issue. I see it all the time: houses for sale and the new people moving in are not young and at times not even Jewish. Sad but true. A nice family moved to my block a couple of weeks ago, but they are not Jewish at all. That same person in the same letter wrote that Goldy gave the green light for others to move away. Do you think that families make their decisions on where to live because “Goldy said this neighborhood is unaffordable and she may leave? Pack up the kids!! We’re moving to another town, too!” What type of influence do you think Goldy has? She’s a weekly columnist, and even though I love her column, she’s not Dear Abby or Dr. Laura. If people make life decisions based on what Goldy writes, then they have more problems going on in their lives than I can speak of.
Thirdly, I don’t know if publishing Rebbetzin Marcus’ poem again was meant to support what Goldy wrote or to disprove what she wrote. I feel that the poem strengthened Goldy’s argument (just pointing it out to the person who wrote about the poem). The poem is a very nice one about KGH, extolling all of its virtues, but the Rebbetzin herself wrote, she doesn’t have a backyard and a small front yard, but the children play in the communal drive. Why would parents want their child playing on a concrete, often cracked, communal drive as opposed to a luscious backyard with grass and maybe a swing set. Go to the many Shabbos parks we have, but there are parks in other nice communities, as well, and the children do get to play with others. The Rebbetzin may be “fine” with the “simple life minus the frills” and old cars on her block and others and clothes from Target, but she did not prove a point – and I know the poem was published years ago. The poem doesn’t exactly sell our neighborhood to prospective buyers with those particular phrases, and those were not what Goldy was writing about anyway. In the beginning of the poem, the Rebbetzin wrote that she “decided to settle in our ‘pricey’ town.”
Goldy wants to live in KGH, but she said it does not make sense to invest so much money and not get a nice property. You can’t take Wasserman’s to bed with you, you can’t have five shuls sitting in your living room or in your galley kitchen. She was just pointing out facts. And the fact is she doesn’t need shopping within walking distance from her home (because she may purchase more than she can carry for her family) so driving a few miles to the kosher grocery isn’t an issue. She may only have two or three yeshivos to choose from, but she’s willing to make the sacrifice. Someone wrote that real estate prices are going up as is the price of gas and other necessities, but salaries are not. You can’t blame those who want a bang for their buck or at least to feel as though at the end of the day their $850,000 didn’t get them a back or front yard, a fourth bedroom, a two-car garage – but it got them their choice of shuls and plenty of pizza shops to choose from.
Open your eyes: Young frum families aren’t moving into homes here; they start off here, and then after a few years move away. It’s plain as day, and I applaud Goldy for writing about it. People may have blinders on when it comes to their hometown – but what she said is true. And if we don’t have young families moving in, what will happen to our neighborhood in 15 or 20 years? Who will be buying the houses?
I just had to write to defend Goldy’s article. And some took the article too seriously. I thank Goldy for giving us warning that she may be breaking up with the community – but nowhere did I read she would be breaking up with the Queens Jewish Link. As long as I can read her column, I’m happy. I wish her luck wherever she and her family end up.
Goldy Krantz’s letter in last week’s issue should be titled:
I AM ENTITLED TO…
- have my parents raise me and send me to yeshivah and seminary so that I can be indoctrinated, to support me through getting a kollel boy, have a family and support me till they have no money.
- understand that there is not a real world out there.
- not realize that my parents have issues, that no matter what, I want what I want.
I was appalled at the chutzpah and lack of midos this young girl expressed in her letter. Is this what is being taught – that parents should go broke to support their children? What happened to eight hours to learn, eight to work, and eight to sleep? What happened to that four-letter word: “w-o-r-k”?
I hope that this young woman’s letter is not the norm of the seminary society.
I read Goldy Krantz’s article last week about the prices of houses in Kew Gardens Hills being very high and not feeling that you get a lot for what you pay for. Yes, our town has all the amenities that a frum family would want and need, but there is life beyond Queens. My husband is from Brooklyn and he can’t understand how the pizza shops and groceries are closed at 9:30/10 p.m. when he can list a handful of open pizza shops and groceries in Flatbush and Boro Park that are open until at least 11 p.m. It seems as if this town shuts down after 9 p.m.
I like the fact that Goldy thinks that people can be in a relationship with their neighborhood and have the need to prep it for when they move – but in this case, it really isn’t me; it’s you! You are too high-maintenance! You are the expensive girlfriend who needs diamonds and expensive cars to love me, but shouldn’t you love me without all those things? Shouldn’t a neighborhood offer affordable nice housing along with the shopping, schools, and shuls without literally breaking the bank?
I don’t think that Goldy was telling sellers not to sell at high prices and buyers not to buy if they can afford those prices. She was simply pointing out why younger families are moving out and not in. Both of my sons started out in this neighborhood and now our EZ Pass is charged when we want to visit them. But that’s life. She wasn’t saying to lower the prices to $600,000 or $500,000 (to think that is a lower price is ridiculous, but it is where we live); all she was saying is don’t complain when this community starts to be seen as an older community because the younger families like hers can’t afford or don’t want to buy a house here.
And to Mr. Sergey Kadinsky, who brought up Goldy’s article: If you are a fan of hers, you’d know. She’s a social worker, having worked for one agency for over a decade, and she recently switched to another agency that helps children from frum single-parent homes. She has been working “20 years,” as she said, as has her husband. Does it matter what they do? Do you want her tax form? For two adults to not want to buy a house in Kew Gardens Hills or not to be able to afford it is a shame. Our ZIP Code is not Beverly Hills. We are a middle/upper-middle-class neighborhood. It doesn’t seem like you live within walking distance, Sergey, trying to sell West Hempstead in your column. Ever think about the frumkeit, or like I like saying, the “heimishkeit” of a community? Maybe Goldy is looking for a frum community like ours because I can certainly say that our community is more frum than others. Nothing is wrong with that. Everyone has his or her own level of frumkeit, but don’t push your neighborhood or try to sell others to people when you don’t know what they are looking for.
Goldy owes no one an explanation or to justify why she feels the way she feels; but she wrote it and she also wrote that she knows it may upset people. Boy did people seem to be upset! It was the topic of conversation after shul today! Some supported Goldy and some sounded as if they wanted to claw her eyes out. She wrote the truth and she didn’t have to. She and her husband will decide what community is right for them – real estate prices and all. I think many took what Goldy said as a personal insult. But her first paragraphs said it all: She had a great childhood life here and wishes she can give the same one to her children. She may not live here, but she has friends and family here. I’m sure she’ll visit, and when she does, she may step into her favorite stores.
Queens is a great place to live – but not the only place to live as a frum Jew.
It’s certainly become very apparent that there are no longer any more Jewish Biden voters who can “rationally” explain how Judaism is more important to them than the Democratic Party.
It really is as if they have lost their free will.
Choni Herschel Kantor
Kew Gardens, New York
In these difficult economic times, it is especially important to patronize your favorite restaurants and honor the employees who make them a success. Now that more of us have received our COVID-19 vaccine, why not join me in celebrating May 21 National Waiter and Waitress Day. There are several ways to say thank you. Let your server(s), cooks, and owners know how much you appreciate the excellent food and service.
We try to tip 20 percent against the total bill including taxes. If it is an odd amount, round up to the next dollar. Why not leave a 25 percent tip in honor of this day? If you can afford to eat out, you can afford an extra dollar tip. When ordering takeout, don’t forget to leave a dollar or two for the waiter or cook. Trust us, it is appreciated.
Remember the people who work at your favorite restaurant are our neighbors. They work long hours for little pay and count on tips, which make up a significant portion of their income. If we don’t patronize our local restaurants, they don’t eat either. Your purchases keep our neighbors employed and the local economy growing.
As a show of appreciation, drop off a box of candy, cookies, or some other treat for your favorite waiter or restaurant staff to celebrate this day.
Mr. Hecht is back from Never-Never Land and has taken residence in a glass house. It can’t be made of wood because the cost of lumber today is ridiculous. As the Press Secretary likes to say, “We will circle back.” One who lives in a glass house shouldn’t throw stones. Mr. Hecht, do you see what’s going on in the Democratic Party today? I think you should worry less about the Republican Party and be more concerned with your own.
What is it with the left and the labeling and name-calling? We are not all “Trumpians.” We aren’t “white supremacists,” “racists,” “homophobes,” or “xenophobes.” We are constitutional conservatives. The reason Liz Cheney was removed from her position of leadership had nothing to do with Trump. In fact, she voted more conservatively than Elise Stefanik since Ms. Stefanik has been in Congress. Cheney was removed because she failed to follow the constitution. Article II, Section I, Clause II clearly states that elections are run in each state by the legislature – not the governor or the State Supreme Court. So, when voter ID is no longer required, drop boxes are placed all over town, ballot harvesting is rampant in low-income neighborhoods, people voting in precincts that they don’t reside in, and same-day registration take place – YES, one needs to be concerned that something isn’t right.
For four years we heard Democrats, led by Hillary Clinton, that Trump is not a legitimate president. Pelosi and Schumer refused to work in a bipartisan manner during the entire Trump presidency. How many Democrats showed up to the embassy opening in Jerusalem? How many Democrats showed up to the White House for the Abraham Accords? How many Democrats voted to secure our border? Don’t give me this nonsense that Mitch McConnell is the impediment to President Biden working with Republicans. It’s the Democrats who refuse to work with Republicans.
The prices of gas, lumber, toys, food, and other essential items are going up. Inflation is the highest it’s been since the 1970s. The Biden administration is looking to spend even more money on left-wing pet projects. The teacher’s union has the kids in all our major cities held captive. The press is in the tank for the left. Our military is now woke. If you want a sex change operation, you join the military so the taxpayer pays for the operation instead of having to do so personally. The Democratic Party is now openly anti-Semitic and racist, between the condemnation of Israel and the support of Hamas. Then there’s the support for the Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project. Mr. Hecht, don’t throw stones from your glass house.