‘Thank You’ to Chai Lifeline
Regarding “In Englewood This Shabbat, ‘C’ Is for Chai Lifeline” (March 31, 2016), the Jewish Link carried a front-page article written by Bracha Schwartz that was inspiring, joyful and informative. Having heard Lori Schlakman speak on Shabbat and seen Chai Lifeline in action over the entire Shabbat the takeaway is one of gratitude. There are remarkable people in this world, and this past Shabbat our community was honored to meet way over 50 of them. The most important lesson for all of us to learn from is that there are no divisions, no judgments, no concern about the way you are and the way you follow Judaism. Chai Lifeline is there for all. Our challenge for our Jewish leaders and for all of us as a Jewish people is to recognize that our differences do not define us. It is our unique devotion to Hashem and our concern for each fellow Jew that unite us. Chai Lifeline teaches us this lesson beautifully. It is there for each and every Jewish youth who is suffering from a serious illness, and does so with the amazing talents of those who give, give and then give some more, ensuring that each and every individual, from childhood and into their 20s, is empowered, loved and heralded for the heroes and heroines they are. Refuah Sheleima to all these courageous young ladies and gentlemen and thank you Chai Lifeline for being there for all of us to support and emulate.
Special Interest Groups Are Targeting Teaneck Council Race
On May 10, Teaneck is having a very important municipal election that is different from those of years past. This is because of the amount of money special interest and outside groups are pouring into our town to try to bring party politics and patronage to Teaneck.
Our township is legally and philosophically non-partisan. Thus our municipal elections are in May so that when residents vote, they vote for what is best for Teaneck—not what is best for a party boss.
One candidate running has, disturbingly, written publicly of a desire to move elections to November. This would be bad, even dangerous, for Teaneck. We two have definitely not run before and do not run now for Council so that we can be loyal to a party boss and give out jobs and contracts to people that donate to our campaigns. For the two of us, our loyalty is to the residents of Teaneck and to their best interest.
In the last two years, we have put forth a zero percent increase in the municipal budget, and have supported development and revenue items that may be anticipated to bring in over 4 million dollars a year to Teaneck resident’s pockets. That is the kind of progress we represent.
We know that your overall taxes are high and that many residents are struggling; we live here too. While we recognize that the municipal tax budget is only 30 percent of our tax bill, we are committed to continue looking for cost savings, to increasing revenue and to finding more efficiencies in how our government is run while still providing the level of services you have been accustomed to.
In order to get anything done on our council, it is vital to work well with council colleagues. We have worked very well together over the last four years. We have helped our seniors and enhanced their programs, we have supported improvements to our youth programs and leagues and have worked hard to provide a better quality of life for all of our residents.
We are running as a team this year because there is still more work to be done. While we don’t always agree or vote the same way, we hold the kind of deep respect for each other that allows us to work well together to bring the sorts of changes our beloved town requires going forward.
We need your help. Because we don’t have an unlimited spending budget from party bosses, we need for you—our residents who genuinely care about our town, who want to protect property values and who desire to keep party politics out of Teaneck—to exercise your electoral power. We have all seen on the national level the hatred and vitriol generated by party politics and we don’t need this in Teaneck.
If you can host a cottage party, place a lawn sign, make calls or write a letter, you can help keep Teaneck out of the wrong hands. We are also supporting our colleague Councilman Henry Pruitt who has been an integral part of the many successes over the last four years and who deeply cares about Teaneck. Please Email us at [email protected] to learn more about getting involved.
Councilman Mohammed Hameeduddin
Councilman Mark Schwartz
ARCC to Launch Survey, Not Testing, on BRCA Gene
Regarding the Jewish Link article, “ARCC and Columbia Medical Center Launch Testing for the Breast Cancer Gene” (March 31, 2016), we were so pleased to be able, through the Jewish Link of New Jersey and the Jewish Link of Bronx, Westchester and Connecticut, to alert the community to this important online survey about women’s health and breast cancer, which the Institute for Applied Research and Community Collaboration (ARCC) is conducting in partnership with Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). However, it is important to let your readers know that the headline was printed with an error: ARCC and CUMC are not launching testing for the breast cancer (BRCA) gene. Rather, ARCC and CUMC are launching a survey about how frum women think about and consult re BRCA gene testing. This is an important distinction, as one of the purposes of our study is to learn more about how women in our community perceive the role of BRCA testing as a means of breast cancer prevention and how to overcome obstacles preventing it—so that the community can then better determine when and how to more effectively promote BRCA gene testing. Thank you for sharing this clarification with the Jewish Link of New Jersey.
Yitzchak Schechter, PsyD
Founder and Director, ARCC Institute