July 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

It was a year of first names. Indeed, there was Donald, Nikki and, sadly, even Harvey and Irma.

Certainly, much happened in the Hebrew year 5777. We think it’s probably safe to suggest that the election of a new administration, one that is unabashedly pro-Israel, is arguably the most important of news articles. So with that and others in mind, we share these few with you.

November 8, 2016

Donald Trump Elected 45th president of the U.S., with 306 Electoral College votes compared to Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton’s 232. Clinton claimed some 71 percent of the Jewish vote, while Trump won over 50 percent of the Orthodox vote.

November 25

Fidel Castro dies. Revolutionary leader of Cuba for over 50 years dies at age 90, not long after the thawing of diplomatic relations between the communist nation and the U.S.

December 21

The Obama administration, in its waning days, delivers a gut shot to Israel and its supporters here in America when it chose not to veto a U.N. resolution calling settlements “a flagrant violation of international law.” The Obama administration, especially Secretary of State John Kerry, was deeply criticized by Jewish leaders. It further alienated Obama from segments of the Jewish community.

January 20, 2017

President Donald Trump inaugurated as 45th president of the U.S., with Michael Pence as vice president.

It would be from January into March when JCCs, Jewish day schools and other facilities were threatened with over 100 bomb scares. Many of the institutions evacuated and/or canceled activities and classes. There was also sporadic vandalism to Jewish cemeteries during this time. The overwhelming majority of the threats came from an unlikely source, an Israeli-American teen named Michael Kadar. After his arrest, the threats stopped.

March 27

Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., receives a rousing ovation from the AIPAC delegates at the AIPAC Policy Conference after she said that when it comes to Israel, “there’s a new sheriff in town at the U.N.”

May 22

President Donald Trump, in his first international mission, visits Israel where he spends time with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. As well as visiting the Kotel, the president spent 28 hours meeting with Israel’s leadership.

July 23

The town of Mahwah orders the removal of an eruv from utility poles, saying the ritual boundary violates the town laws prohibiting signs from the poles. Perhaps most disturbing were the anti-Semitic as well as specifically anti-Orthodox comments made on social media. The comments transcended the construction of an eruv into an area of hatred and bigotry.

June 28

Twenty-six Orthodox Jews are arrested on charges of welfare fraud in Lakewood, New Jersey.

August 12

Charlottesville, Virginia, became the center of the nation’s attention when neo-Nazis and white supremacists staged a chilling demonstration of hate while protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, the commanding officer of the army of northern Virginia.

Holding torches in a scene reminiscent of the Hitler Youth, the crowd, composed mostly of young, white men, chanted “Jews will not replace us.” The presence of counter protests resulted in violence where one woman was killed and many others injured. President Trump was criticized when he said that there “were some very fine people” in both groups.

August 29

Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston and its Jewish community. Synagogues, schools and Jewish residences sustained terrible damage. Jewish groups from New Jersey and New York as well as others responded with fundraising, the collecting of products and on-site aid. Israel was one of the first nations to respond with medical aid to Houston.

September 10

Hurricane Irma hits Florida. Hundreds of thousands of people, including many members of the Jewish community, evacuated South and central Florida, many traveling all the way to the Northeast seeking safety and shelter. Once again, Jewish communities from all over the nation responded with funds, goods and shelter.

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