Letters to the Editor

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102

Moynihan Train Hall

Dear Editor:

Was Cuomo’s “Amtrak NY Penn Station Moynihan Train Hall” worth investing $1.6 billion?

In 1992, the estimated cost was $315 million. Several years later, the cost grew to $500 million with the completion date slipping to the late 1990s.

The project failed to add any new track or platform capacity for Amtrak, NJ Transit, LIRR or future Metro North Rail Road service.

How do a majority of LIRR riders enter and exit from destinations east of 7th Avenue benefit?

LIRR trains arriving and departing from platform space farther west to access the new Moynihan Train Hall will result in longer walks for a majority of riders coming east of 7th Avenue.

What good is a new ticket office? Most LIRR riders continue to purchase tickets via Mail & Ride, ticket vending machines or various Apps. In coming years, new fare collection technology will be coming on line. Staffed ticket windows will go the way of the dinosaurs.

These funds would have been better spent reopening the old Hilton Passageway (indoor connection from Penn Station to the Herald Square subway & PATH complex) along with long overdue repairs to both the East River and Hudson River Tunnels. Improvements supporting safety and reliability of service should have come first.

Sincerely,
Larry Penner

(Larry Penner is a transportation advocate, historian and writer who previously worked 31 years for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for billions of dollars in grants which provided funding for capital projects and programs to the MTA, LIRR, New Jersey Transit and over 30 transit agencies within New York State).

 

Dear Editor:

Reflecting on the appalling attack on the U.S. Capitol and our democracy, the Museum recalls the special significance of that building for Holocaust survivors. Since 1979, survivors, World War II liberators, and government officials have gathered in the Capitol during the Days of Remembrance to commemorate both the six million European Jews murdered in the Holocaust and the courage of the American soldiers who sacrificed so much to defeat Nazism.

The U.S. Congress mandated this annual ceremony, which is held in the Capitol precisely because of its symbolism as the heart of our democracy. That this sacred space was desecrated, including by some individuals displaying neo-Nazi, antisemitic, and white supremacist symbols, several of which glorified the Holocaust, is an affront to all who cherish democracy and those who work to protect it and advance the freedom and dignity of all individuals.

For Holocaust survivors, who have gathered annually for decades in the Capitol to commemorate the past and who deeply love this nation, this was especially painful. As our founding chairman Elie Wiesel said many years ago, “We must remember for our own sake, for the sake of our own humanity.” Those words resonate even more powerfully today.

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires people to confront hate, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. For more information, visit ushmm.org.

Sincerely
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

 

LI Synagogue Expands

Dear Editor:

As synagogues across the country grapple with membership and engagement challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the BACH Jewish Center has experienced unprecedented growth as new families move to the community and join the synagogue. In the past six months, synagogue membership has grown by 10-percent, a record for the 75-year-old synagogue.

The rise in membership was sparked by the hire of a new spiritual leader, Rabbi Benny Berlin, who assume the pulpit in June of 2020. Over the past several months, the new families, many young and with children, have moved to the beach community because of its lifestyle benefits, access to day schools, kosher restaurants, regional transportation and access to Manhattan.

Since beginning his position at BACH, Rabbi Berlin and his wife, Sara, have started several new initiatives to safely engage the community despite COVID-related restrictions. Among these initiatives were launching a wide-reaching social media campaign focused on highlighting Jewish life in Long Beach and supporting small businesses in the area; performing weekly check-ins on seniors in the community to see if there is anything they need and to combat isolation; delivering welcome packages in a socially-distant manner to new members of the community; and various youth-focused events with activities and entertainment, each with significant turnouts. These efforts, along with the appealing atmosphere of Long Beach, have generated a record interest in the BACH community and have drawn new families to become members of the synagogue.

“Over the last six months, our synagogue has developed creative programming and used social media as a way to reach perspective families and individuals to show them that while we must remain physically distant, we must be socially together,” said Rabbi Benny Berlin. “We were able to reach people from all over the country who have subsequently moved into our community to join our synagogue, including people from Seattle, Venice Beach, and others. Our warm atmosphere and close proximity to New York City make us an ideal location.”

Founded in 1946, Bachurei Chemed – BACH Jewish Center is one of Long Island’s most prestigious and oldest synagogues. Members hail from Long Beach, Lido, Atlantic Beach and Island Park. For more information, please visit https://www.bachlongbeach.com/.

Sincerely
Channa Loebenstein