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(PHOTOS BY LENNY GROYSMAN IN EXTENDED ARTICLE) I’m riding in memory of someone who died of cancer.” “I’m riding in hopes of a refuah shlayma for someone I love.” “I’m riding for the kids.” “I’m riding to keep up with my grandson.” “I’m riding for those who can’t.” Each of the 519 cyclists who have cycled 110 miles with Bike4Chai today has a special reason for driving himself to the edge of exhaustion. What they have in common is the will to help others, a love for Chai Lifeline’s children, and the competitive drive to challenge each other to get in shape, cycle, and raise money to help children with illnesses and their families find hope and normalcy as they cope with the medical, social, emotional, and financial challenges of living with serious illness or loss in their homes. The event began on Tuesday night with what Rabbi Sruli Fried, executive director of Bike4Chai and the director of Chai Lifeline’s New Jersey region, called “The pasta party to end all pasta parties.” Truthfully, pasta was almost an afterthought in the gourmet buffet, which featured an unending selection of delicious meats, vegetables, grains, sushi, and finally, fettuccine. The atmosphere was festive and the tone light as the group toasted corporate teams and fundraising clubs. The buzzing came to an abrupt halt, though, when Miriam Tokarsky, a Chai Lifeline child and Camp Simcha camper, approached the microphone. It wasn’t the hat that shielded her bald head or the crutches that made it possible for her to walk that quieted the room. It was the light in her eyes and her glow when she described Camp Simcha that caused everyone’s throats to momentarily tighten. “My friends (from before I became sick) don’t really understand what I’m going through,” she said. “But at Camp Simcha everyone knows. And for two weeks every year, I get to do all the things that everyone else can do. I get to be with friends who really get it. Camp Simcha is my happy place.” 110 MILES, 6 REST STOPS ON DAY 1 The two-day ride, which began in Connecticut on Wednesday morning, is famous among bicycle enthusiasts for the quality of its hills and the pampering received by riders. This year’s ride did not disappoint. Bike4Chai director Yoel Margolese explained that every year the ride is tweaked based on feedback from previous cyclists. “No matter how challenging we make it, there are those who say, ‘More hills’ or “harder hills” and we try to oblige. Bike4Chai’s board of directors spends months developing the route. This year, they seem to have succeeded. Several veteran riders commented that this was the most enjoyable Bike4Chai rider in years. The combination of a challenging course, the group’s camaraderie and the mission for which they cycle has appealed to several professional athletes. Bike4Chai 2017 was joined by Cadel Evans, who won the Tour de France in 2011, 17-time Tour de France competitor George Hincapie, two former NFL players, Amani Toomer, and Tony Richardson, and New York Ranger legend Mike Richter. Bike4Chai began in 2009 by Dovid Egert as a one-person ride from Lakewood, NJ to Camp Simcha in Glen Spey, NY. The idea took off, and each year, more cyclists joined. Now, the ride stretches through three states in two days. It […]
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The Queens Museum has reversed its decision to renege on its earlier agreement for Israel’s Mission to the United Nations to hold an event celebrating seventy years to the UN resolution which had called for the establishment of the Jewish state. This decision followed strong protests by Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon and the pro-Israel community in New York. Many elected officials had voiced their outrage and released statements. The structure, which today houses the Museum, served as UN headquarters from 1946 to 1950. Israel’s Ambassador Danny Danon released the following short statement to YWN following the decision: “We welcome this step by the Museum to rectify their earlier unfortunate decision. Any attempt to discriminate against Israel is completely unacceptable and we will continue to fight against such injustices. We look forward to proudly celebrating this historic UN decision.” Read the earlier article by YWN for details on the cancellation and what led up to it. (Charles Gross – YWN)
The June cyberattack that paralyzed the computer systems in companies around the world is estimated to have cost the world’s biggest container shipping line between $200 million and $300 million, A.P. Moller-Maersk said Wednesday. The Copenhagen-based group, which was particularly severely affected by the attack, says the impact will first be reflected in its third quarter results as revenue was mainly lost in July. The company says the June 27 malware attack was distributed through Ukrainian accounting software with backdoors into the networks of users. It was contained the following day. “In the last week of the quarter we were hit by a cyber-attack, which mainly impacted Maersk Line, APM Terminals and Damco. Business volumes were negatively affected for a couple of weeks in July,” CEO Soeren Skou said. The businesses “were significantly affected,” but there was “no data breach or data loss.” It said it made a loss of $264 million in the second quarter, against a profit of $118 million a year earlier. Revenue rose to $9.6 billion from $8.7 billion. Its full-year forecast for an underlying profit above the 2016 figure, which was $711 million, “is unchanged despite expected negative impact from the June cyber-attack,” the group said. It added the gross capital expenditure for 2017 is still expected to be around $5 billion. It said the guidance for 2017 excludes the acquisition of Hamburg Sud, the German container shipping company and the world’s seventh largest container line, which the Danish conglomerate bought last year. Maersk shares increased nearly 0.8 percent to 13,180 kroner in morning trading in Copenhagen. (AP)
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To the Jewish Community of Charlottesville, VA: As we usher in this Shabbat just one week after the violent and deadly racist and anti-Semitic events in your city, the members of the Rabbinical Council of America reach out to you in solidarity, support, and friendship. Elie Wiesel once said, “Jews alone are vulnerable…but Jews must not be alone.” Know that you are not alone. While you were on the frontline of ugly manifestations of hatred and bigotry that led to death, intimidation, and fear; while there were calls to burn down your synagogue; and while you were eyewitnesses to the worst expressions of intolerance in our society, we were all under attack. When you are threatened, we are all threatened. When you are hurt, we all hurt. Know that you are not alone. We add our voices to yours in condemning these manifestations, supporting those in political and religious leadership denouncing them, and call on all leaders and people of good will and faith to name and reject unequivocally and without qualification the views and actions of White Supremacists, neo-Nazis, the alt-right, and their supporters. We mourn with you the victims of this domestic terrorism: Heather Heyer, Lt. H. Jay Cullen, and trooper-pilot Berke M.M. Bates. In fighting these prejudices we must learn an important lesson from the Jewish Shabbat herself: Shabbat begins with the recitation of Kiddush, the blessing which sanctifies the holy day, and ends with Havdalah, the blessing which distinguishes the holy day that has passed from the weekday ahead. In both cases we are asked to make distinctions, distinctions between the holy and the profane, between light and darkness, and, ultimately, between good and evil. As the beauty and restfulness of this Shabbat descends on your community, we are all asked to raise our voices to distinguish between good and evil, and in so doing make our country more holy, more peaceful, and more godly for all of its people. Rabbi Elazar Muskin, President Rabbi Mark Dratch, Executive Vice President (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)
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Twitter says President Barack Obama’s tweet in response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend has taken the crown as the platform’s most-liked post ever. Obama tweeted a quote from Nelson Mandela Saturday night: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…” Obama posted the tweet alongside a picture of himself smiling at a group of children of different races. Twitter spokesman Nick Pacilo says Obama’s tweet set the mark shortly after 10 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday night by passing Ariana Grande’s tweet following a deadly bombing in May at her concert in England. Obama’s post had more than 3.1 million likes early Tuesday morning. “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…” pic.twitter.com/InZ58zkoAm — Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 13, 2017 (AP)
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(YWN World Headquarters - NYC)
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James Gonzalo Medina pleaded guilty today to a federal hate crime for attempting to attack an Aventura, Florida synagogue, and to a charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. During the plea proceedings, Medina admitted that in March and April 2016, he planned to conduct a firearms or explosives attack on the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center. Medina took steps to prepare for this attack including conducting surveillance of the Jewish Center. On April 29, 2016, Medina took possession of what he believed to be an explosive device, obtained from a Southern Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force agent, and approached the Jewish Center on foot with the device in hand, intending to commit the attack. “Acts of bigotry and hatred are evil and have no place in our society,” Attorney General Sessions said. “One of the top priorities of this Department of Justice is reducing violent crime, and you can be sure that this includes hate crime. We will not tolerate this repugnant lawlessness, and we will be vigilant in prosecuting hate crime offenders to the fullest extent of the law. I want to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Southern Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force, and all of the Department of Justice attorneys and staff who worked to bring this criminal to justice, and I assure every American that the Department of Justice is committed to protecting their rights.” A sentencing hearing has not yet been set.
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