David Berkowitz extended his condolences to the family of the late Jimmy Breslin – four decades after the notorious butcher called himself the “Son of Sam” in a letter to the New York tabloid columnist.
“I wish to extend my condolences to his family at their loss,” he wrote to the letter of a local newspaper in the upstate penitentiary where he is serving a life sentence.
Berkowitz terrorized New York City between 1976 and 1977, killing six people and wounding eight others. His main target was young women, whom he claimed his neighbor’s dog had instructed him to go after.
“Mr. Breslin, sir, don’t think that because you haven’t heard from me for a while that I went to sleep. No, rather, I am still here. Like a spirit roaming the night. Thirsty, hungry, seldom stopping to rest; anxious to please Sam. I love my work,” he wrote Breslin in one letter, in which he also self-identified as a “rapist and suffocator of young women.”
Breslin died in March, at the ripe age of 87, after having written columns in Newsday, the New York Post and New York Daily News in his storied career as a city newspaperman.
(JTA) — An animal rights group will appeal the decision of a federal judge in California which dismissed a lawsuit against a synagogue for holding a kapparot ceremony, a pre-Yom Kippur ritual in which a chicken is swung by its legs and then slaughtered.
Los Angeles District Court Judge Andre Birotte Jr. earlier this month ruled in favor of a request by Chabad of Irvine to dismiss the lawsuit filed against it in late September by animal rights activists.
The suit on behalf of the Virginia-based United Poultry Concerns claimed that the practice violates the state’s unfair competition law. But Birotte wrote in his decision that the kapparot ceremony is a religious ritual supported by donations, not a “business act” covered by the unfair competition law.
The case will now go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal reported.
Chabad typically accepts donations of $18 from those who participate in the kapparot ritual, according to the Jewish Journal. The group reportedly had not donated the chickens to the poor as is customary, instead hiring someone to dispose of the carcasses.
Israeli police questioned U.S. casino magnate Sheldon Adelson on Thursday as part of an ongoing criminal investigation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a law enforcement source said.
Netanyahu is suspected in two separate criminal cases of abuse of office. He denies wrongdoing in both cases and charges have yet to be brought against him.
The source said Adelson gave his testimony in regard to what police have dubbed “Case 2000,” involving suspicions Netanyahu negotiated a deal in 2015 for favorable press coverage with the owner of Israel’s best-selling newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth.
Adelson, a supporter of Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump and a major donor to the U.S. Republican Party, owns the widely-read free daily Israel Hayom. The handout is staunchly pro-Netanyahu and it is Yedioth Ahronoth’s main competitor.
The liberal daily Haaretz and Channel 2 television reported in January that the deal Netanyahu discussed with Yedioth Ahronoth’s owner was better coverage in return for curbs, possibly through legislation, on competition from Israel Hayom.
Adelson, who visits Israel periodically and was questioned in a police station near Tel Aviv, is not a suspect, said the law enforcement source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
(JTA) — Anti-Semitic and satanic graffiti was spray-painted throughout a park in central Florida.
The graffiti at the part in Wedgefield, Florida, was discovered by parents on Wednesday morning.
Orange County officials said that park employees on Wednesday worked to clean and cover up the graffiti, under a local policy to remove defacement of public property within 24 hours, local ABC affiliate WFTV 9 reported.
Among the epithets in the graffiti was “Gas the Jews.”
NEW YORK (JTA) — An Orthodox Jewish paramedic is suing a New York hospital for discrimination for not allowing her to wear skirts.
In the civil suit filed Tuesday, Hadas Goldfarb says she was offered a job as a paramedic at the New York Presbyterian Hospital in 2015, but was terminated amid orientation after refusing to comply with the dress code, which stipulates that paramedics wear pants. The 26-year-old Brooklyn resident alleges in a complaint that her “termination was unlawful retaliation for her refusing to compromise her religious principles.”
Goldfarb only wears skirts, a practice common among Orthodox Jewish women who follow strict rules dictating personal dress. She says she has done so while working as a paramedic for other employers.
The lawsuit alleges that the hospital failed to provide her with reasonable accommodation for her religious observance and that doing so is discriminatory and illegal.
Goldfarb said she was surprised by the hospital’s response to her request to wear a skirt.
“I’ve been an EMS for a while and I haven’t had a problem — I just wasn’t expecting it to be an issue,” she told JTA.
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