June 14, 2024
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June 14, 2024
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

To the Editor:

There is one long-serving member of the Teaneck Council that I wish to single out in urging you to re-elect an effective leadership team on May 13. That is Yitz Stern. I have great faith that Yitz will be overwhelmingly re-elected because Teaneckers in every corner of town know that he has been there for them over much of the past two decades. Yitz, a 34-year resident of our township, has served 12 years on the Council, eight on the Board of Adjustment, eight on the Planning Board and four on the Environmental Commission. He is cognizant of all the public issues as well as—if not better than—anyone.

Yitz’s priorities at this time include tax stabilization in a period when federal and state aid to municipalities have been drastically reduced, along with the budgets for maintenance of our wide-ranging services to residents, preservation of our precious open space and vigilance for the ongoing safety and security of our community through training of our public safety professionals.

Personally, I have found Yitz always willing to listen and always willing to act to do the right thing. At a time (as always) when Teaneck needs unity of purpose and total commitment to achieve its great potential, Yitz is a leader we need.

Yitz always shows the respect and affection that is sorely required in order to maintain and improve the fabric of Teaneck life. This is even true when the disagreements that realistically transpire in real life and real government turn up.

I urge you to make sure you vote for Yitz Stern in the May 13 Council election.

Gina Frommer
Teaneck, NJ

To the Editor:

I would like to thank and acknowledge Jason Castle for serving our country in the U.S. Marine Corps. All of our veterans and service members deserve our thanks and appreciation. But who is Jason Castle?

In 2012, Jason Castle ran in the Democratic Primary for U.S. Congress unsuccessfully as a resident of Cliffside Park. He has since moved to Teaneck and has been a resident for less than 20 months. He does not own a home in Teaneck nor does he pay Teaneck property taxes. He is not a past or present member of any Teaneck advisory boards.

What does he know about being a resident of Teaneck and what Teaneck residents need from their Council? He knows how to attend council meetings to complain about a multitude of items, yet he offers no solutions or constructive ideas to fix his perceived issues. He submits OPRA (Open Public Records Act) requests targeted at a select group of Council members whose one commonality is their religion. These requests are taking our municipal employees numerous hours of time to research, time which could be better spent focused on the needs of the residents.

Shame on those in state and local government who are exploiting Jason Castle for his military service; Teaneck deserves better!

Karen Orgen
Teaneck, NJ

To the Editor:

The town of Palisades Park, whose elected officials are predominantly (Democrat) Italian Americans, has never commemorated the Holocaust. This has angered Jewish residents for decades, not months as reported (“A Korean American Community Recognizes the Holocaust,” May 1, 2014). This is why the considerable achievements of the Jewish Federation are to be praised. Yes, they provided all the materials shown in the first two photographs of Elyse Hansford’s coverage about the local library’s first Holocaust commemoration. But they did a whole lot more for Jews here.

I’m not sure why The Link published a photo of the controversial Comfort Women monument outside of the library. Yes, there are special-interest groups who want to elevate the Comfort Woman issue to the equal of the Holocaust. Can it please be established that there was no “Final Solution” or policy of global annihilation aimed at the Comfort Women?

These tragic women, used as sex slaves by the Japanese during WWII, were the spoils of war. Sadly, they are no different than countless other women who were and are abused for the same reason. Question for historians: Has any government ever publicly apologized for using women during wartime in this heinous manner?

A few years ago, when the Comfort Women monument was proposed at a Palisades Park public meeting, a prominent and long-standing Jewish resident (not me) pointed out that the abused Comfort Women included Caucasian women. Both the Italian-American mayor and the library staffer and artist Steven Cavallo accused her of being a racist. (And yes, she has it on tape. She tapes all public meetings.)

So, I hope you understand how powerful it is that the Jewish Federation came here and has gotten the slow wheel of progress rolling. I hope they will persevere with their excellent efforts. And I hope that someone starts the debate as to whether the Comfort Women issue constitutes an actual genocide issue.

In the meantime, I have my work cut out trying to convince the library that a permanent Santa Claus mural, which turns a one-day Christian holiday into a 365-day affair, is not relevant to all children or their parents. Anyone want to help with this?

Robin Katz
Palisades Park

To the Editor:

I am pleased to endorse Eric Brauer for Teaneck Council.

Eric Brauer has served the residents of Teaneck through his volunteerism on the Municipal Open Space Advisory Board, Environmental Commission and the Teaneck Planning Board where he sits as Vice Chairman.

As Chairman of the Planning Board, I have had the chance to work alongside Eric for almost a decade. He has consistently impressed me as an even-tempered, methodical, hard-working member of our board who always keeps an open mind to my comments, and suggestions. We are fortunate to have him in Teaneck and have benefited greatly from his logical and deliberate approach to issues of planning and development.

He was instrumental in the crafting of the Master Plan and understands the needs of a township straining under weight of a large residential tax base.

Eric understands the unique pressures placed on the taxpayers of Teaneck. He stands for smart development and redevelopment along with the establishment of a business friendly environment – one that doesn”t lose sight of the quality of life, Teaneck”s residents have come to treasure.

Eric and I may not always see eye to eye on specific applications, however he treats those of opposing viewpoints with dignity and respect. He articulates his point of view and is always willing to compromise for the common good of Teaneck. He always has the best interests of his town at heart.

Please join me in supporting Eric Brauer for council on May 13th.

Joey Bodner
Teaneck

To the Editor:

In 1930 Paul Volcker SR, a professional engineer, became the first township manager of Teaneck when it was on the verge of bankruptcy from corruption He fixed the township’s accounting practices and added duties (for no pay)to the township engineer’s job. Under him, Teaneck became a No-Crime Model Town.

We need people of similar competence and caliber in our Council and Administration. I am no more than half as good as P. Volcker, but I am a well-known scientist and history writer, as well as an observant son of an engineer and biochemist, Council meeting activist, handyman and organizer.

My tentative goals: Cut taxes through attrition reduction of work force by using technology, advanced “flex-time/place,” revamp administration and see a concomitant increase in productivity.

Buy Holuba properties for $2.7 mil and use it for the DPW. Sell the current DPW yard on River Road as prime real estate for luxury condos.

Develop Teaneck’s small hi-tech “Silicon Valley” and/or large retail center, which are absent in neighboring towns.

But there is more. Too many Americans today are unhappy and have lost hope. Older people with limited resources are in despair. In the Jewish community, taxes and tuition at Jewish schools are a huge burden. Yet all the incumbents unanimously voted for lots of wasteful spending and tax increases. I spoke against tax increases and incompetent wasteful spending at every Council meeting and would keep arguing against them if I get elected. And because of the OPRA lawsuit, I cannot trust challengers Sohn and Castle to cut spending because they refuse to guarantee the return the taxpayer dollars their frivolous suit is costing.

Here is a little bit about me: I was born in the USSR. We lived in Munkacs, now in Ukraine. My parents were the first generation in their families to go to university.  My father was a wounded war veteran who was “fragged” while repairing a tank on the battlefield. In early 1953, at the peak of Stalin’s anti-Jewish “Doctors’ Plot’, my mom was denounced in the press as “a well-known Zionist” and on the verge of arrest. Her boss, a Hungarian Jew, was already in jail.

Growing up kids in the street yelled, “It’s a pity Hitler didn’t kill you all!.” It was truly miraculous when Stalin collapsed exactly on Purim 1953, which saved millions of Jews. My now deceased, beloved wife and I realized that the Deliverance of 1953 fits the ancient rabbinical tradition of Special Purims. We created a Special Purim, and commemorative texts for it are available at www.purim-stalin.webs.com. My My Orthodox grandmother cared for me while my parents worked. She would daven with a few frum Hungarian Jews with Auschwitz tattoos on their arms. She also attended a big and beautiful Munkacser shul. Sometimes mom took me there to pick up grandma after evening services. But it was closed by Communists around 1953 and was burned to the ground.

After graduating in elementary particles theory from the local university, I was denied entrance to the graduate school because I was a Jew. For the same reason, I could not find a job for half a year. Eventually I became a lab technician in an academic institute with “a Jewish Quota.” We dealt with protein structure, of which I knew nothing and I had to devise my own approach. My PhD was twice reviewed in the world’s most prestigious science journal, Nature. Professional growth and foreign travel were closed to me. My wife brought me deeper into Judaism and in Moscow we became close to dissidents and participated in illegal seminars of refuseniks.

After my family was admitted as refugees to the U.S. in 1982, I worked at Columbia and Mt. Sinai in NYC and participated in attempts to defend and help those trapped back in the USSR. We moved to Teaneck in 1982. I joined Cong. Beth Sholom and played an important role in widening absorption of Jewish refugees from the USSR in Bergen County

I became a member of the Board and then a Chairman of the American Association of Jews from FSU, which organized a 1000-strong protest in front of the UN against its anti-Israel actions. In 2002, I was a delegate to the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem on the ZOA-Beiteinu list. In 2003, I published “Why Didn’t Stalin Murder All the Jews?”

I continued to work and publish in science. Last year I published Course for High Schools and Colleges “Stalinist Genocide and Mass Murder” (see www.memento-clio.webs.com). At the end of January I made a presentation in Beth Sholom’s Shabbaton “Is there banality in evil?” highly critical of the movie and Hannah Arendt’s positions.

I am for partial tuition vouchers or reduction of the local public school taxes for all private school parents with obligatory (say, twice a year) computerized tests of the proficiency of all Teaneck students (private and public) in basic subjects. Let different schools compete and let the best survive.

I am for keeping any weapons for self-defense. Antisemitism is on the rise in Russia, Europe and the U.S. I was and am a believing Jew with a kosher home, attend shul and pray, and God understands me in any language.

I am not looking for a political career, but if current Jewish leadership fails the community – it might need to change those it supports. Please vote in what you personally believe is right, not just to conform to a group expectations. To learn more, got to www.dr-rashin-for-council.webs.com.

Dr. Alex Rashin
Teaneck

To the Editor:

On Wednesday, April 30, over 1,000 members of the Jewish Community of Northern New Jersey, Rockland County & the 5 Towns  joined the NORPAC Mission to Washington, D.C. to lobby members of congress to support Israel, support sanctions against Iran and fight against boycotts of Israel exports

Among the mission participants were 6 members of my family.  (Sadly, due to a back injury I was unable to join them).  We have been going on this memorable trip for the past 5 years.  This year, our group consisted of my brother, Yehuda Rosenbaum, my son, Danny Senter,  grandson, Zev, and my grand daughters , Batsheva, Tehila and Ne’ema.

What an amazing experience!  Listening to Senators Robert Menendez, Loretta Weinberg and Eric Cantor and personally meeting with members of Congress and their staff and have them listen to the important messages that these young people presented to them.  Even my 12 year old granddaughter spoke.  What a special feeling!  Members of our government, listening to our young people express their opinions and their hope and vision for a peaceful tomorrow.

The whole group returned home on a high from this incredible day.  They are already talking about next year!  How nice it would be if more parents would join us and bring their children and grandchildren on this highly educational, exciting, memorable trip!

Why not bring your family to Washington with NORPAC next year.  It is well worth missing a day of school & a day of work.  The impact of the interest shown by these young people, future voters, on the members of our government is immeasurable.  For our children, seeing our government up close and learning that every citizen, young and old, can speak up and make a difference are important lessons well learned.

Anne Senter
Teaneck

To the Editor:

Teaneck is one of the towns that I am honored to represent in the State Legislature.  I have had the opportunity to get to know both Jason Castle and Alan Sohn, and I am convinced that they will be excellent representatives on the Teaneck Township Council.  I look forward to working with them hand in hand to help address the issues that most matter to all of us, tax stability, open government and emergency preparedness.

Gordon M. Johnson

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