When Rabbi Avremel Okonov returned to Mazel Academy in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach after Sandy, he found ruined Torah scrolls and fetid floodwaters.
As Hurricane Sandy’s fierce winds battered New York City and Long Island, emergency experts worried about conditions in heavily Jewish oceanfront neighborhoods.
Schools, subways and stock markets were all shut as Hurricane Sandy started to pound the East Coast. The worst was still to come as the giant storm lumbered towards shore.
Evacuations were ordered in predominantly Jewish Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brighton Beach and Coney Island as Hurricane Sandy lumbered up the East Coast.
Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach is known as the heart of the Jewish community from the former Soviet Union. Newcomers from Central Asia are transforming the neighborhood.
Anyone tuninng into reality show ‘Russian Dolls’ might expect off-color humor. One viewer was appalled by the anti-Semitic stereotypes peddled on the small screen.
The new reality show ‘Russian Dolls’ is little more than stereotypes strung together. Many in Brighton Beach are just happy the actors aren’t explicitly described as Jewish.
Haley Tanner’s debut novel, “Vaclav & Lena” (Dial Press), is about love without questions, hesitation or limits. This love flourishes between two Russian-Jewish immigrant children in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn: Vaclav dreams of becoming a magician, like Houdini, and casting the fragile Lena as his assistant. Tragedy temporarily unhinges this plan, and when the two children become teenagers, they are forced to reconcile their pasts and decide how they’ll embark on a future together. Tanner intimately knows the love and struggle that Vaclav and Lena share: She wrote this book while living with the man who would become her husband and, soon after, die of melanoma. Tanner says that the loveliness and lightness in the novel is his. She spoke recently with the Forward.
There is a plastic rooster and a frog to the left, and the hind legs of two brown horses to the right. It’s a spooky old merry-go-round, set against a yellow backdrop, and crowned with an appropriately morose title: “Sitting Shiva For Myself.” Welcome to Renee Blitz’s latest poetry collection (Regent Press), the underrated gem of the year.