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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Comments on the Viability of Judaica Shops

Dear Editor,

We very much enjoyed reading the article about the closing of West Side Judaica written by Ilana Siyance; the perspective was quite interesting. As owners of the Aesthetic Sense: Goods for the Soul (, a Judaica store with a unique mission, we would like to add another perspective as well.

While traditional Jewish book stores are in fact struggling, there are other niche stores in the New York metropolitan area such as the Aesthetic Sense: Goods for the Soul, where we are combining our love of beautiful and unique Judaica with the social justice values inherent in tikkun olam, and emphasizing fair trade and ethical sourcing in our collections. In fact, we had operated a more traditional Judaica store for 17 years before closing to evaluate our business and re-opening two years later as a mission-driven enterprise. Not only do we carry only fairly traded or ethically sourced items (no plastic dreidels from unvetted factories in Asia, but instead dreidels hand-carved by fair trade artisans in Peru out of a tagua nut, a sustainable nut similar to an acorn!), but we also partner with Israeli organizations that provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities, at economic disadvantage or otherwise in need of employment at sheltered workshops. Sometimes we call it "shopping for good;" sometimes we call it “shopping kosher."

Located outside of Manhattan, we have been able to combine our brick and mortar presence with a robust eCommerce site. Each complements the other, so that the internet, various social media platforms, as well as available technological advances in many instances are our allies rather than our nemeses. We re-opened with this new model to success; we have an excellent reputation with both customers and vendors, valuing customer service above all else; our clients are not just local but travel to us from as far away as Long Island, NYC, Connecticut, NJ and Pennsylvania; our eCommerce clients from as far away as Maine, California, Oregon, Canada and even Great Britain.

We would very much like to discuss our viewpoints with you in the hope that people will recognize that our type of niche business, in service to the Jewish community and with a mission that is deeply rooted in socioeconomic improvement and Jewish values, including the different levels of charity, need not be a dying breed. You can read about what we do and why on our website, and especially under “story” and in our blogs (

Thank you for your time,

Karen and Jay

The Aesthetic Sense: Goods for the Soul

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Judeo-Christian Republican Club 

Dear Editor:

The Judeo-Christian Republican Club of PBC (JCRC) is moving along at breakneck speed. Our fantastic website should be off and running any day now. The Board has been having weekly meetings to plan ahead for the upcoming months. We are not sitting around idly. 

Our meeting on September 12th, at the South County Civic Center located at 16700 Jog Rd. in Delray Beach will commemorate the infamous 9/11 tragedy. It will begin at 6PM. Our two speakers will be Sid Dinerstein and Russell DiPerna. Sid was formerly the chair of the Palm Beach County Republican Party for many years and with his drive, personality and ingenuity brought conservatism to the county. He has worked now for many years with the Haitian community slowly and surely bringing them into the Republican fold. He is a brilliant and entertaining speaker. Russell was a member of the NYPD where is was a first responder on 9/11. He just returned from Herzliya, Israel where he spent four weeks attending the International Institute for Counter Terrorism, the foremost anti-terror center in the world. He is still in the law enforcement field. Russell will tell the story of 9/11 from one who was on site at the time. 

We have programs already planned and set up for the following months. Laurie Cardoza-Moore, who heads the group, Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, will speak to us on October 17th at the Civic Center and our speakers for November and December are now being recruited. Our previous meetings have been SRO so we're going to give our members reserved seating in the front rows to show them the respect and courtesy they deserve. Our membership dues are $25 per individual and $45 per couple. Our mailing address is: 

The Judeo-Christian Republican Club

PO Box 880142

Boca Raton, FL 33488-0142


Alan Bulwarky

Cuomo’s Choice for MTA Head is Flawed

Dear Letters Editor:

Perhaps Governor Andrew Cuomo's candidate Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Pat Foye to be the new Metropolitan Transportation Authority President is not the best person for the job.  Consider his track record at the Port Authority.  The World Trade Center PATH Station costs doubled from $2 billion to $4 billion.  It took 15 years after 9/11 to complete this project many years behind schedule.

Sixteen years after 9/11, the Cortland Street WTC NYC Transit #1 subway station is still two years away from returning to service.  The Port Authority and MTA fought for years over budget, funding sources, scope and schedule.   If there are no new delays, perhaps the station will reopen by December 2018.  

The approved Port Authority 2017 - 2026 ten year $32 billion Capital Plan provided only $3.5 billion toward construction of the new $10 billion 42nd Street Port Authority Bus Terminal. Initiation of yet another planning study for $70 million is just the first down payment.  After decades of discussions, the project has yet to complete the environmental review process, preliminary along with final design and engineering -- let alone begin construction.

Customers may have to wait until the next Port Authority ten year 2027 - 2036 Capital Plan before a complete $10 billion funding package is in place.  It may be another twenty years before completion.

After 30 years, the $10 billion Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel has yet to complete a federal environmental review process.

Is this what transit customers have to look forward to in management of the MTA $32 billion Five Year 2015 - 2019 Capital Program  under Foye's watch. Taxpayers and riders deserve better.


Larry Penner

(Larry Penner is a transportation historians and advocate who previously worked 31 years for the US Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office.)