Dear Editor:

 I was surprised to read Sergey Kadinsky’s column, “Neighbors Wary of Vleigh Development,” in the February 17 edition of this paper. I was surprised that Kadinsky would compose a column of neighbor reactions to the building project and unanimously quote neighbors who are opposed to the project, and none who, like me, had read the article in the previous edition about the proposed project and cheered.

In recent years, I have read the columns in this paper by Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld and Goldy Kranz lamenting about the challenges that Kew Gardens Hills faces in its future. These challenges are not primarily caused by crime or by the neighborhood being too dense, or about it becoming less convenient or friendly or desirable to young people. The main challenge that this neighborhood faces is the rising cost of housing. It prevents young families who would love to live here from being able to afford to buy.

None other than Sergey Kadinsky himself has written a personal piece on this topic in this paper, lamenting that he will abandon his beloved home in central Queens and move to West Hempstead because the neighborhood’s affordability is slipping away!

Census data shows that Queens’ population has increased significantly in the past decade, to 2.4 million people. Real estate prices are rising in the borough even faster, as housing supply is not increasing anywhere near as quickly as demand.

When neighbors lament that the new development threatens the old status quo of Kew Gardens Hills as a single-family-home neighborhood, they overlook that the status quo of the neighborhood is already threatened by the increasingly unaffordable cost of these homes.

In Seattle and other cities, rapid development of new housing units has allowed the supply of homes to keep up with demand, and studies show that this has stabilized spiraling housing costs. Yes, although it surprises some people, increasing housing supply can mitigate housing costs from rising out of control.

Will the development on Vleigh lead to increased parking difficulties, as neighbors have said to this paper? Almost certainly. And I live three blocks away, so this does matter to me. But the alternative to the Vleigh is not that we get to have the idyllic past of Kew Gardens Hills back. The alternative is that homeowners will continue to lament that their kids have no choice but to move to West Hempstead because Kew Gardens Hills is full.

Everyone who has taken to the pages of this paper in the past to worry about how rising real estate costs threaten the future of Kew Gardens Hills should welcome the Aronov project, which is the most significant effort to do anything about this problem and ensure a viable future to the Kew Gardens Hills Jewish community that the neighborhood has seen in years.

More housing in Kew Gardens Hills does not take anyone’s single family home away from him. It just means more space for more neighbors that we love.

Jackie Rosensweig


Dear Editor:

 I am writing to express my thanks to Rabbi Meirov. I am not involved with Chazaq in any real way and only know Rabbi Meirov from community events. Rabbi Meirov is a community builder, something we really need in our community.

I’ve lived in KGH long enough to know there were tensions. As a community, we need to work together for a common goal for our community. We need people with a vision how to build and how to succeed with the greater community, as well.

What I believe was one of the most important events in KGH since I’ve moved here 27 years ago took place this past week. It took a lot of people to make it happen and a lot of bridge building to make it happen, as well, and it was a tremendous success. We need people with vision and the ability to help build and maintain our community, and I thank Rabbi Meirov for not only having the vision but the ability to make it happen. Our community is stronger when everyone works together. May our community continue to be strong and grow.

 Howard Schoenfeld


Dear Editor:

 I was very impressed with Goldy’s opinion regarding spouses marrying after a spouse dies – how soon is too soon, especially if children are involved, etc. My brother has been through this. It was a terrible time; I can’t even describe it. But he did what was best for him and his seven- and four-year-old.

Baruch Hashem, my brother remarried a wonderful woman who had a child from a previous marriage. They married a little over a year after his wife passed away. He told me that he knew that some people probably thought it was too soon, but who are they to judge? He was not trying to find a substitute wife or mother for his children. He did what he did, and all those others be damned! He and his new blended family are very happy; the adults found love and light again and the children feel loved.

I can appreciate the delicate approach Goldy used when she took on this issue and that she was thoughtful enough to let someone read her article and was willing to not have it published if the person didn’t think she responded appropriately. This is a topic that I don’t find many articles addressing in the frum community. It’s great that Goldy did her best to address it and include the almans and almanos that are also in the dating parshah.

 Tzipora Dobin


Dear Editor:

I read the half-apology from Shalom Markowitz and I thank him for acknowledging that he was wrong about the voting law he erroneously cited.

Unfortunately, he still doesn’t accept the fact that there is no such thing as an illegal human being in America – that went out when Apartheid was blessedly sent to South Africa’s dust bin of history. The people he speaks of lack documentation.

But if he insists upon calling other humans illegal, perhaps he could use that term towards the numerous Trump voters who have been proven to have cast illegal ballots in the name of dead relatives.

He can also use similar language for individuals who illegally gathered in AZ, MI, GA, PA, and WI in December to cast fraudulent electoral votes. These individuals knowingly stated the canard that their states had duly elected them as electors, in spite of the fact that each of them knew that President Joe Biden was certified as the winner of each of those states, as confirmed by 60 court decisions. Their illegal acts are now rightfully being investigated by the bipartisan January 6 Committee as part of a seditionist plot organized by the Trump Crime Syndicate to overturn the will of the voters.

And there are other GOP voters who tried to vote illegally, including the underaged son of VA Governor Youngkin. Is he also an illegal?

And as far as Mr. Markowitz asserting that Putin will “eat Biden’s lunch,” do I really need to remind him that it was Trump who actually ate documents that he didn’t clog the White House pipes with while trying to illegally flush them?

And how about the notes Trump improperly confiscated from his translator to hide what he gave away to Putin at Helsinki? Or the fact that Trump had to be impeached because he attempted a quid pro quo with the Ukrainian President over needed military aid? Or the fact that it was GOP Senators who met with Putin in Moscow on the Fourth of July? Americans of all stripes, including Republicans, have praised President Biden for his handling of the crisis Putin is creating in Ukraine – a crisis the Russians are using to raise our prices at the pump.

As to the final question from Mr. Markowitz: The leaders of the free world and at least 81 million voters are greatly relieved that it is the steady hand of President Biden at the helm of our foreign policy, as opposed to the drug-addicted sociopath who almost destroyed our planet by tweet. We can all sleep better at night for that!

 David S. Pecoraro


Dear Editor:

 As a result of our continuous collective efforts and pressure from “activist” investors, Unilever has reorganized its food business so that “ice cream” is now a separate division. Several analysts have suggested that Unilever may “spin off” or sell its food and refreshments business, which includes ice cream.

On January 18, Unilever stock had dropped to $46.56 per share, a 24% drop in value from the time Unilever decided not to reverse the decision of Ben and Jerry’s to boycott Israel. Then, the news came that Unilever had decided to get out of the food business altogether and go into commercial pharmaceuticals by acquiring GlaxoSmithKline. In May 2021, before the Ben and Jerry’s debacle, Unilever’s stock had been $61 per share. From the time Unilever decided not to reverse the decision of Ben and Jerry’s decision to boycott Israel, it has lost approximately $26 billion in value.

In addition to the migraine known as Ben and Jerry’s, Unilever has had other headaches with its food business. Unilever recently sold off its troubled tea plantation in Kenya, where a politically motivated massacre and atrocities were committed in 2007 against Unilever employees who were members of a specific ethnic group. Witnesses and former Unilever managers have testified that the company’s own staff incited and participated in the attacks. Victims claimed that supervisors from Unilever’s London office visited the plantation regularly and were fully aware of the threat that existed. The aggrieved parties, 218 victims, now have a case at the United Nations after failing to receive justice in the English Courts.

As early as the time preceding the Holocaust, Unilever has had a shameful history of refusing to take responsibility for not doing what is morally right. They have not changed their behavior since then.

All of Unilever’s public relations gimmicks cannot mask its despicable behavior.

Silence is not an option.

 Lynne Bursky-Tammam and Nessim Tammam
Yom HaShoah Mobilization Committee


Dear Editor:

 The topic of when to remarry after the death of a spouse is a delicate, sensitive subject. Then to throw children into the mix just adds more to it. I think Goldy Krantz did the best she was able to do navigating an issue full of landmines. I especially liked that she answered as a daughter who lost a parent and not as a therapist. The fact that Goldy wrote that she called someone in this particular situation after the article was written to get the go ahead or ask for approval shows how careful she is trying to be and taking everyone’s feelings into account.

Kol HaKavod for tackling a very difficult topic.

 Estie Berger
Forest Hills, New York


Dear Editor:

 Democratic Senators Mark Kelly of Arizona and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire introduced a bill that would temporarily suspend the federal gas tax until the end of 2022. They remind me of J. Wellington Wimpy, who famously said, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” In this case, it would be a discount for the cost of filling up your gas tank. Tuesday may never come for motorists who have to pay for these proposed goodies. What neither Senator addressed is the result, which would be billions less going into the Highway Trust Fund. This is a critical source of funding for highway and transit projects.

A federal gas tax holiday would result in Uncle Sam not collecting $0.18 for every gallon of gas purchased.

The Highway Trust Fund already faced financial difficulties. The loss of billions would have to be made up at a later date. This kicks the can down the road for members of the 2023 Congress session. They will have to decide how to make up the lost billions. They will either raise taxes, transfer revenue from another source or reduce the scope or number of transportation funded projects. Motorists and transit riders will be the losers.

Larry Penner