High School Students Learn About Holocaust from those Who Were There

Apr 27, 17 High School Students Learn About Holocaust from those Who Were There

Posted by in All, Society

In order to perfect their roles in an upcoming play, Yeshivah of Flatbush students are paired with survivors willing to recount their experiences during World War II. The annual Witness Theater program brings several of the high school’s seniors together with one of eight Holocaust survivors in order to conduct research for their end-of-year performance. The students and the witnesses meet once a week, and it benefits the students, the survivors, and ultimately the audience watching the play. Survivor Ernest Biederman lost his brothers and sisters during the Holocaust, and his wife of 68 years just last year. “I lost my wife this last year, and it was very sad for me,” Biederman said. “I came here and feel like I’m alive again.” The students portray those survivors’ stories more vividly as a result of their personal connection with them. “I have brothers and sisters that I lost when they were their age,” Biederman added, referring to the students he mentored. “It’s been more than 70 years, and I never forget them.” The Witness Theater program is organized by Selfhelp Community Services, and will culminate with a performance at the Museum of Jewish...

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New York City: Center for Cancer Research, Diagnosis and Treatment

Apr 04, 17 New York City: Center for Cancer Research, Diagnosis and Treatment

Posted by in All, Health

New York City is one of the chief centers for cancer care, not only in the United States, but all over the world. With world-renown research hospitals specializing in cancer research and care, such as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Research Center, New York Presbyterian, and New York University’s Langone Medical Center, it is not surprising that some of the country’s top doctors, and most advanced treatments are found here. Cancer specialists, such as hematologist Kenneth D. Nahum, ophthalmic oncologist David H. Abramson, and dermatologist David Polsky, are experts in their fields, and up-to-date on the latest research, medications and technologies available for treatment of a large variety of cancers and related ailments. For instance, at New York Presbyterian, new treatments are constantly being developed for blood-related cancers, which, as a hematologist, would be of great interest to Dr. Kenneth Nahum. There are new treatments being developed now which could treat any of the three main types of hematologic cancers: Leukemia, which is a cancer of the bone marrow cells; Lymphoma, which effects lymphocytes which help to fight infections; and Myeloma, which is a cancer of the plasma cells which are also part of the immune system. At Memorial Sloan Kettering, where Dr. David Abramson practices, there are several studies now underway to assess a new technique called photodynamic therapy for patients with prostate, esophageal, breast and bladder cancers. The therapy involves a compound derived from chlorophyll, which is found in plants and bacteria, and its activation with light. So far, the trials have shown much promise, with little side effects and relatively fast results. At the Langone Medical Center, where Dr. David Polsky specializes in melanoma, mole and skin cancer, new gene-based blood tests to identify skin cancers are being developed. In a report from the Center, two new blood tests have proven to be reliable in the detection of hitherto unidentifiable forms of skin cancer. The tests take only 48 hours, and were developed in partnership with Rio-Rad Laboratories in Hercules, California. Currently, the...

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Operation Prom Giveaway Distributes Dresses for Free

Apr 03, 17 Operation Prom Giveaway Distributes Dresses for Free

Posted by in All, Lifestyle

Some of Brooklyn’s high school girls are already getting set for prom night, which usually occurs sometime in June, as the school year comes to a close. For many girls in the city, prom is not a happy occasion, but one fraught instead with alienation and disappointment, simply because they cant afford the hundreds of dollars needed to dress and otherwise prepare for the momentous event. There is an organization that has taken much of the sting out of paying for prom night, “Operation Prom Giveaway.” This generous and innovative program has over 3,000 dresses available for the 230 girls who pre-registered for the event at UAI Math & Science for Young Women in Brooklyn Heights. With such a large number of dresses available, no wonder each girl can find her perfect dress. “My dress represents me,” said one of the girls, a senior at the Young Women’s Leadership School of Brooklyn. “It’s a nice shade of peach, and it’s long and it has sequins and gold. I was skeptical of prom, but I’m super-excited now.” Not only do the girls get to take home some gorgeous dresses, but make-up, shoes and other accessories are also given away. Boys are also outfitted with suits or tuxes, to make prom night special for them as well. “Unfortunately, too many of our students cannot afford all the costs associated with such an event, forcing them to sit on the sidelines and miss out on an important life event,” Public Advocate Letitia James said. Two students of the FDNY High School received a dress and a suit for their special night. “Just to see everybody get a prom dress, feel beautiful, the smiles on everybody’s faces, is amazing,” one of them said. “It feels so good to help and see everyone so...

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Scavenger Hunt in Bay Ridge Rocks!

Mar 06, 17 Scavenger Hunt in Bay Ridge Rocks!

Posted by in All, Lifestyle

A few enterprising women decided the people of Bay Ridge needed a bit of a “pick-me-up,” and proceeded to create a game the entire community can play together: Bay Ridge Rocks! Amie Pappas, age 35, and friend Rana Abu-Sbaih, 42, decided to take the mental health of their neighborhood into their own hands and launched the project in January. “In these tumultuous times, we wanted to add a little joy to people’s lives,” said Amie. “We felt like the community needed that extra little pick-me-up.” She organized the moms of the PTA at PS 102 Bayview School and they set out to Home Depot and purchased 60 smooth brown river rocks and gray Mexican beach rocks. Their kids, and the women, too, painted the rocks in lively, bright colors and in many cases wrote pithy sayings on them, such as: “U Rock,” “Dream Big,” “Take the Next Step” and “Love With Your Whole Heart.” The painting of the rocks was just as important to the project as the hunt for them later. The women then circulated throughout the neighborhood and placed the rocks in a variety of hot spots, like on top of parking meters, flower pots, tree knots, and inside phone booths. Most of the rocks are found on the busier streets like Third, Fourth and Fifth Avenues. When summer arrives the rocks will be found in Owl’s Head Park and Shorse Park. “Any little cranny we can find we’ll put a rock there,” said Amie, mom to a 6-year-son and an 11-year resident of Bay Ridge. When someone finds a rock, first they take a picture of it before they hide it again. The picture is then posted to the group’s Facebook page, “Bay Ridge Rocks.” The group now has 300 members, and the touching stories are starting to come in. “One of the sweetest stories we got was from a woman who found a rock and has kept it next to her husband’s hospital bed for good luck,” said Rana Abu-Sbaih,...

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Ellen Gifts Brooklyn Grads with SUNY Scholarships

Feb 27, 17 Ellen Gifts Brooklyn Grads with SUNY Scholarships

Posted by in All, Lifestyle

  In an unusually generous gesture by a woman known for extraordinarily generous gestures, Ellen DeGeneres, in partnership with Walmart, surprised the entire graduating class of Summit Academy Charter School with four-year scholarships to the State University of New York school of their choice. The gift was a surprise, and surpassed the high bar Ellen’s heart-warming gifts have always reached through the years. The scholarship money is worth $1.6 million and will be given to the 41 seniors scheduled to graduate this coming spring. The students were completely shocked by the gift, saying it was “stunning” and “a once in a lifetime opportunity.” The story of the scholarship money began when the founder of the Summit Academy Charter School, Natasha Campbell, got in touch with DeGeneres about the inspirational story of the school. Campbell described to Ellen the extreme poverty of the neighborhood where the children in the school come from, where only 4 percent of the people there have college educations. DeGeneres invited Campbell, and the school’s principal, Cheryl Lundy Swift, to come to the show and share their story. In return Ellen gave them a $25,000 check from Walmart to continue the goals of the school. The school’s mission is to have their students “attend, excel and graduate from college.” Now, with not only a 100 percent college acceptance rate on track and, thanks to Ellen and Walmart, the money to actually attend, the school’s, and the student’s dreams, can be...

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Brooklyn DA Thompson Dead from Cancer at Age 50

Oct 10, 16 Brooklyn DA Thompson Dead from Cancer at Age 50

Posted by in All, News, Politics

Only five days after announcing publicly that he was ill with colorectal cancer, Ken Thompson, Brooklyn District Attorney, is dead at age 50. He died at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital surrounded by family members. Although diagnosed this past spring, he carried on with his duties until last week when he appointed his chief assistant, Eric Gonzalez, to head the office until he won his battle with cancer. “As a man of intense faith, I intend to fight and win the battle against this disease,” Thompson said. Thompson’s wife Lu-Shawn wrote on Facebook: “The world lost a great man. Rest in Peace to my husband.” said: “I am profoundly saddened. Ken was a dedicated public servant who embodied the highest principles of the law.” Thompson became the Brooklyn DA in January 2014 after beating the incumbent Charles Hynes, who had served as Brooklyn DA since 1990. It was the first time anyone had defeated a sitting Brooklyn DA since 1911. Thompson was also the first African-American in history to fill the job of Brooklyn’s chief prosecutor. Thompson was known for ordering his office to refrain from prosecuting low-level marijuana arrests. This was partly so he could dedicate more resources to violent crimes such as rape, gun crimes, and domestic violence. He also wanted to spare New York youth from “the burden of a criminal...

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