Brooklyn Boro

Around Brooklyn: Hasidic Jews flock to donate blood plasma

May 14, 2020 Editorial Staff
Condo building One Brooklyn Bridge Park is a former Watchtower property. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle
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Hasidic Jews flock to donate blood plasma

At a blood plasma center in Pennsylvania, Hasidim from Brooklyn and upstate came by the carful. By the time night had fallen, more than 60 had arrived to donate blood plasma, rich in the antibodies they generated when they were sick with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, according to the New York Times. “There were probably never so many Hasidim in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the history of the world, and here they’re riding in literally to save lives,” said Mordy Serle, an Orthodox Jew who made the trip from Brooklyn last month to donate blood. The heavy toll has caused grief in the tight-knit Hasidic community. As people have begun to recover, thousands have donated blood plasma, which public health officials believe may be used to treat people suffering from COVID-19.

Well-known Brooklyn nun dies of coronavirus

Georgianna Glose was well-known on the streets of Fort Greene as a “renegade nun” who left her convent to live among the poor. Homeless people knew her as Dr. Glose, who, until last month, ran a nonprofit known as the Fort Greene Strategic Action Partnership on Myrtle Avenue. She helped the downtrodden — fathers on parole, grandparents raising their grandchildren, mothers on welfare. For years, she pushed for better conditions at a nearby city shelter, the Auburn Family Residence. Sister Glose died on April 28 at The Brooklyn Hospital Center at age 73 of complications from the coronavirus, according to the New York Times.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Family of woman whose body was left in truck will sue

The family of a COVID-19 victim whose body was place in an unrefrigerated U-Haul truck is preparing to sue the two Brooklyn funeral homes responsible for allegedly mishandling the body, according to amNewYork. Attorneys representing the family of Angela Rodriguez, who died on March 24 at age 77, say they plan to sue both DeKalb Funeral Services in Clinton Hill and Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Home in Flatlands for improperly storing bodies that were supposed to be cremated. The impending lawsuit comes nearly two weeks after police saw workers from the Flatlands funeral home transferring dozens of corpses from two U-Haul trucks into a large refrigerator truck on April 29. The bodies had been stored in the unrefrigerated trucks for weeks, residents said, causing a strong odor.

Local support helps hospital workers do job

Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Bushwick continues to treat patients who have been tested for the novel coronavirus, according to the Brooklyn Paper. On March 14, the hospital registered its first coronavirus-related death in New York City, and it’s had about 1,000 patients with COVID or suspected COVID admitted to the hospital so far. For about five weeks, Wyckoff Heights was operating at more than 100 percent capacity. In support, many community members have donated meals to the hospital staff. In addition, 10 days ago an entire group of FDNY and NYPD trucks and cars and staff stood outside, clapping for the employees, the Brooklyn Paper reported.

COVID-19 test sites open in churches

Temporary COVID-19 test sites in New York City churches have begun to open, according to Patch. It’s an effort coordinated by the state, local faith leaders, Brooklyn’s congressional representatives and Northwell Health. Brooklyn churches include Bethany Baptist Church in Bed-Stuy, New Jerusalem Worship Center in East New York, Greater Allen A.M.E. in East New York and Christian Cultural Center in Flatbush. Eventually, 24 churches in largely minority communities will host the sites. “Thanks to their continued engagement and your leadership and willingness to partner, we can address this COVID-19 pandemic with these houses of worship and religious leaders who have the credibility, the authenticity and the capacity to reach those in the community who need to be tested,” said Public Advocate Hakeem Jeffries.

NYCHA building has been without gas since March

A NYCHA building at 303 Vernon St. in Bedford-Stuyvesant has been without cooking gas since March 30, and there’s no clear timeline for it to be restored. It could be as many as six more weeks, according to Gothamist. In the meantime, the residents have been given one hot plate per unit to cook on. “A meal that would take 20 minutes now takes three hours,” said resident Schedel Ingram. Some resident have had to spend money on cooking appliances like rice cookers, toaster ovens and crock pots for not having a stove. Another resident said some of her neighbors have racked up hundreds of dollars in restaurant takeout bills

The naked and the dead

A naked man and woman were found dead in the man’s truck in his Brooklyn garage on Tuesday, according to the New York Post. The man’s girlfriend found the two in a garage on Snyder Avenue near East 31st Street in East Flatbush, police said. The woman was checking on her boyfriend after not hearing for him in several days. There were no apparent sign of trauma to either the man or the woman. The city Medical Examiner will determine the official cause of death, the Post said.

Suspect in attack on teen girl shot to death

One of the suspects in an attack on a 15-year-old girl in Brooklyn in early March was shot to death on Tuesday, according to KRON 4. Tyquan Howard, 16, was found in front of 1550 Sterling Place in Crown Heights soon after 1 p.m. with a gunshot wound to his abdomen. He was taken to Brookdale Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Howard was among a group of at least 12 teens who were arrested in the brutal assault and robbery in March.

Head of ICU at Downstate dies of coronavirus

Dr. James “Charlie” Mahoney, who had worked as a physician at SUNY Downstate since the 1990s, died in late April of coronavirus, according to The Guardian. Like many public hospitals, Mahoney’s workplace didn’t have enough protective equipment at the outset of the pandemic. “He was handling patients and codes [patients needing intensive care] every 5 to 10 minutes,” said Purna Atluri, a gastroenterologist. Alturi was concerned because Mahoney was heavy-set, a risk factor. Mahoney grew up in military housing on Long Island and began by volunteering at a hospital in college. Eventually, he took over the ICU. Early in April, he began coughing and developed a high fever. He was admitted to his own hospital. At first, he seemed to be improving, but then he deteriorated and soon died.

Brooklyn woman provides vegan meals to those in need

Michelle Carrera and her volunteers at Chilis on Wheels are delivering vegan meals to New Yorkers who are struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Daily News. “Every week, the number of messages we receive doubles,” she told the News. To meet the demand, Carrera and her team are spending hours scouring grocery stores for items like tomato sauces, rice, beans, soy milk and applesauce. They then bundle the goods into packages that can feed a family of six for about a week.

Hasidic Jews flout social distancing rules for holiday

Hundreds of Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn flouted social distancing rules on Monday night, heading into the streets to celebrate the holiday of Lag B’Omer. Cellphone footage taken by neighbor Richard Ward shows dozens of members of the community dancing hand in hand to blaring music while others gathered in the street and around a bonfire near Myrtle Avenue and Skillman Street. Many of those gathered there were not wearing face masks. Ward described the scene as “a block party, pretty much.”

Lottery opens for rental building near Brooklyn Museum

A lottery launched on Tuesday to replenish a 100-person waitlist for affordable units at two rental buildings at 816 Washington Ave. and 615 Sterling Place near the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, according to 6sqft. The apartments range from $701-per-month studios to $3,943-per-month four-bedroom apartments. Eligible applicants will be put on the waitlist for future vacancies.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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