Letters to the Editor


Take Out Restaurant Week

Dear Editor:

Let’s all come out and support NYC $20.21 Take Out Restaurant Week January 25–January 31. In these difficult economic times, it is especially important to patronize your neighborhood restaurants.

With indoor dining banned, take out and catering are their only source of income. When ordering take out, why not tip as if you were dinning indoors? My wife and I don’t mind occasionally paying a little more to help our favorite restaurants survive. Don’t forget your cook and server. We try to tip 20 percent against the total bill including taxes. If it is an odd amount, we round up to the next dollar.

These people are our neighbors. Thousands have already had to permanently close their doors. The remaining restaurants are barely hanging on. Who knows how many more weeks or months will go by, before they can reopen indoor dinning with 25%, 50% followed by another return to full 100% capacity?

There are over one hundred thousand NYC residents whose livelihood depends on restaurants that are still out of work. This includes bar tenders, waiters, bus boys, cooks and cashiers. Wholesale food sellers, distributors, delivers, linen suppliers are also at a loss. There are also construction contractors and their employees, who renovate or build new restaurants.

Our local entrepreneurs work long hours, pay taxes and provide local employment especially to students during the summer. If we don’t patronize our local restaurants, they don’t eat either.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

The Liberation of the Budapest Ghetto

Dear Editor:

The Association of Jewish Communities of Hungary (EMIH) last week commemorated the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Budapest ghetto with a special 76-hour online broadcast. The program, which began at 7 PM Sunday evening, includes survivor’s recollections, thought-provoking conversations, and videos of public figures, artists and celebrities discussing their connection to Judaism. Documentaries and popular feature films on the subject will be aired over the course of the 76 hours.

The Jewish community holds its candle lighting ceremony each year to commemorate the liberation at the Budapest Ghetto Memorial Wall on Dohány Street. With current restrictions on large gatherings, however, this year the outdoor ceremony could not take place. That’s when the EMIH decided to hold a commemoration with 76 hours of online programming.

Programming includes films and documentaries of the Holocaust and the Budapest ghetto, including Jewish Tales, a film by director Péter Gárdos, and the popular 1955 film, Budapest Spring. Viewers can hear well-known artists, public figures and scholars talk about what Judaism means to them in a series of short films, and several films address the fate of women during the Holocaust. Among the personal memoirs and recollections are uplifting stories from survivors, including Olympian Ágnes Keleti, singer György Korda, Gusztáv Zoltai, the former managing director of the religious organization, Mazsihisz.

Also participating in the remembrance with video messages are dignitaries and public figures, including Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, Israel’s Ambassador to Hungary, Gergely Karácsony, Mayor of Budapest and Dennis Prager, American conservative author and radio host. A discussion on the relationship of religion to the Holocaust includes Cardinal Péter Erdő, Primate Archbishop Tamás Fabiny, Lutheran Bishop, and Slomó Köves, Chief Rabbi of EMIH.

The Budapest Ghetto was liberated on January 18, 1945. Set up over an area of 20 square blocks, more than 70 thousand people were crowded into the ghetto, which was bordered by Dohány utca, today’s Kertész utca, Király utca, Csányi utca, Rumbach Sebestyén utca, Madách Imre utca, Madách Imre tér and Károly körút. Although the ghetto operated for only a short time (it was set up at the end of November, 1944), inhumane conditions, overcrowding, food shortages, and frequent raids by the Hungarian Arrow Cross claimed many lives. Thousands of buried corpses were found in the area following the liberation of the ghetto.

In 2014, the 70th anniversary of ghetto’s liberation, EMIH, together with the local government of Erzsébetváros, erected the Budapest Ghetto Memorial Wall on Dohány Street, where an interactive map shows the history of the district.

Sincerely Itzhak Belenkiy
Not Optimistic About the Next 4 Years


Dear Editor:

Now that President Trump is leaving office, I would like to make several predictions, if I may. To all those Jews who did what they always do every four years during a presidential election and vote for the Democratic candidate, in my humble opinion, for whatever it is worth, I think this is the most calamitous decision not only for your selves but for the entire country. There is no doubt that “Crazy Uncle Joe” will be like a puppet on a string in the Oval office as he will be directed the radical left wing of the Democratic party.

That essentially translates into him putting an exorbitant amount of pressure on Israel to make suicidal territorial concessions for an independent Palestinian state. And we all know what that means. It means that Judea and Samaria will be emptied of Jewish settlers and that land that is commonly referred to as the West Bank will be exclusively run by Iranian proxies in the form of Hamas and Hezbollah.

Frankly, I do not see the next four years going well at all. The biggest concern that I have is what in the world this country is going to do about addressing the issue of China. How are we going to respond to them for unleashing a virus that killed 400,000 Americans? What will we do to stop them from achieving world domination? Something to think about, I guess.

Simon  Solochenko