Good Morning, Brooklyn: Monday, November 29, 2021
THIS EVENING, CITY-COUNCILMEMBER-ELECT TO LIGHT MENORAH: City Councilmember-elect Lincoln Restler will light the “official Downtown Brooklyn Menorah” tonight at a ceremony that Congregation B’nai Avraham and Chabad have for several years hosted each night of Chanukah. Restler will be lighting the Rabbi JJ Hecht Memorial Menorah, for the second night of Chanukah, in front of the Kings County Supreme Court house at 5 p.m. Latkes, donuts and prizes are included
For the remaining night of Chanukah, running through sundown on Sunday, December 5, menorah lighting times are 5 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday, 2 p.m. on Friday (before the start of Shabbat); and 6 p.m. on Saturday, after the close of Shabbat).
THANKSGIVING WITH FAR-REACHING IMPACT: The Bay Ridge Catholic Academy’s first annual Turkey Trot, held on Thanksgiving morning, raised $2,000 for the school. Kathy Darvil was the organizer of the event, with co-sponsors: HIT Factory, Cobblestone Bakery, Salty Dog and the Bay Ridge Catholic Academy Home Academy Association and the St. Anselm Youth Activities program.
STATEMENTS ON COVID OMICRON VARIANT: As news broke over Thanksgiving weekend about the COVID Omicron variant, President Joe Biden and New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued statements on Friday. Urging all Americans to get their vaccines or boosters (six months following the second Pfizer or Moderna shot), President Biden said, “News about this new variant should make clearer than ever why this pandemic will not end until we have global vaccinations. The United States has already donated more vaccines to other countries than every other country combined. It is time for other countries to match America’s speed and generosity.”
Biden added, “I call on the nations gathering next week for the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting to meet the U.S. challenge to waive intellectual property protections for COVID vaccines, so these vaccines can be manufactured globally. I endorsed this position in April; this news today reiterates the importance of moving on this quickly.”
NY STATE ACTIVELY MONIITORING VIRUS SAMPLES: Gov. Hochul said, “The Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center Laboratory will continue to actively monitor COVID-19 virus samples selected from throughout New York State to compare sequences and identify circulating and new variants. While we have not yet identified any Omicron cases, we are not surprised that new variants are emerging and may likely end up in New York.”
The governor reminds New Yorkers to continue taking the precautions of wearing a mask in indoor public places, using proper hand hygiene, getting tested, staying home when sick, and getting the booster or initial vaccines.
JUST IN TIME FOR HANUKKAH: Israeli archaeologists have discovered a 2,100-year-old stronghold they believe constitutes physical evidence of the years-long armed conflict whose crucial battle is celebrated during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. The festival, which began last night, November 28, commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabees defeated the Hellenistic army about 164 BCE. According to the Religion News Service, the archaeologists found what they say was “a stronghold of the losers of that battle—the Seleucids, forces of the occupying Greek empire, who were “trying to eradicate Jewish worship and replace it with paganism.”
Having removed several thousand fallen stones, the excavators, assisted by high school students studying archaeology for their diploma requirements, “located seven rooms, with their preserved walls reaching more than 6 feet in height.” They also discovered “hundreds of items, including burned wooden beams, pottery, iron weapons and many coins dating back to the period.”
HANUKKAH AT BROOKLYN’S CARROLL PARK: Dirah, a project of Chabad, is holding the Carroll Gardens neighborhood’s first community Menorah Lighting this Wednesday, December 1, on the fourth night of Chanukah (variation spelling of Hanukkah). The celebration, which begins at 5:30 p.m. on the Smith St. side of Carroll Park, will include live music, hot latkes and donuts, entertainment and more! Registration is necessary: https://www.dirahbrooklyn.org/civicrm/event/register%3Fid%3D9.
The Hebrew word Dirah means “spiritual-startup,” offering creative and engaging Jewish learning. An outreach project of Chabad, Dirah was “founded to provide every Jew, regardless of background or degree of commitment, the opportunity to discover the relevance, joy and meaning in Judaism.”
IPS NEWS: RALLY WITH DISABILITY ADVOCATES: Today, November 29, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will join Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez and other elected officials, and the 504 Democratic Club, the nation’s first and largest club advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities, along with disability advocates, for a rally in City Hall that will celebrate securing a supermajority of 38 co-sponsors on New York City Council bill Intro 1141. They will also call for an immediate vote on the bill, which would expand curbside access to Access-A-Ride and people with disabilities, by eliminating parking ticket fine discounts to the largest ticket offenders.
The City Council’s Smart, Safe & Sustainable Deliveries legislative package will create sufficient, dedicated space for commercial vehicles to get trucks and packages out of the City’s bus lanes, bike lanes, and sidewalks. It will also ensure trucks are paying their fair share for curbside parking.
HOLIDAY CAROLING AT FOWLER SQUARE: The Lafayette Inspirational Ensemble and musicians from Brooklyn Music School will perform traditional favorites at a Holiday Caroling on FAB Fulton next weekend. They will perform this Saturday and Sunday, December 11 and 12, from noon to 2 p.m. at Fowler Square, near the intersection of Fulton St., Lafayette Ave. and South Elliot.
The Lafayette Inspirational Ensemble is a multi-ethnic gospel choir of the neighboring Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church.
SOLES4SOULS SHOE DRIVE: First Unitarian Church is collecting new and gently-used shoes in partnership with Soles4Souls. This organization sends the shoes to Haiti and other impoverished countries, where they are given to women to sell so they can earn money for their families.
Donors attending the landmark church’s UniFair this coming Saturday, December 4, may drop off the shoes between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. or in time for Sunday service at 11 a.m. on December 5.
BROOKLYNITE MILESTONE: DR. KARIAMU WELSH: Word comes that Dr. Kariamu Welsh, an early scholar of African diaspora dance, has died at age 72, according to The New York Times. The inspiration for Dr. Welsh’s dance style came from her upbringing in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where she was enthralled by the double Dutch jump rope moves that the older girls performed. Later, when old enough to join in, she quickly excelled; years later, in the 1970s, Welsh incorporated what obituary writer Penelope Green called “this kinetic sidewalk poetry into her work, noting how the bold improvisations of Black girls jumping rope on a Brooklyn street drew from traditions born in Africa.”
The Times published her obituary on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, although Dr. Welsh had died in October, where she resided in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Dr. Welsh was professor emerita of dance at Temple University in Philadelphia and the artistic director of her own troupe, Kariamu & Company.
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