Yeshiva World News

Baruch Eliezer was born with severe hydrocephalus, severe cerebral palsy.

Dear Achim, My son Baruch Eliezer was born with severe hydrocephalus, severe cerebral palsy, and a crushed optic nerve causing visual impairment.He is wheelchair bound and requires complete nursing care. CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOWBy his second birthday he had 27 surgeries and 10 more over the following 10 years including a tracheotomy.At 14 years old he lives at home with 24 hours a day of nursing, has a ventilator at night, and is fed by g-tube. CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOWIt is very expensive and exhausting to care for him. Most recently in the matziv of Coronavirus, my wife lost her job which cut our already minimal income that wasn’t making ends meet while she was employed. Although our income has decreased, our expenses continue to build. There is also a home nursing shortage, which has left us with many open shifts, increasing our physical and emotional exhaustion. CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOWAs many baalei chesed would like to help us with nursing, at least you could help with our financial burden.I am asking for whoever sees this to please open your heart and help me as best as you can. CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOWHashem should bentch you with good health, parnassa, and simcha and bring Mashiach bimheirah biyameinu. We’re asking you to join the 1000 people who are pledging $177 so we can reach the $177,000 goal we need for all medical expenses CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW

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Forecasters Predict Busy 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season

With forecasters predicting another intense Atlantic hurricane season with as many as 13 to 19 named storms, disaster preparedness experts say it’s critically important for people in evacuation zones to plan to stay with friends or family, rather than end up in shelters during the coronavirus pandemic. “Shelters are meant to keep you safe, not make you comfortable,” said Carlos Castillo, acting deputy administrator for resilience at FEMA. “Social distancing and other CDC guidance to keep you safe from COVID-19 may impact the disaster preparedness plan you had in place, including what is in your go-kit, evacuation routes, shelters, and more,” Castillo said. “With tornado season at its peak, hurricane season around the corner, and flooding, earthquakes and wildfires a risk year-round, it is time to revise and adjust your emergency plan now.” Six to 10 of these storms could develop into hurricanes, with winds of 74 mph or more, and three to six could even become major hurricanes, capable of inflicting devastating damage. “It is not possible to predict how many will hit land,” said Neil Jacobs, acting administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center. The agency will update the forecast in August as the Atlantic region heads into its most active months. The region has been a “high activity era” since 1995, with warmer ocean temperatures and stronger West African monsoons causing above-average activity, NOAA forecaster Gerry Bell said. An average Atlantic season has 12 named storms, but last year was the fourth consecutive season to have more, with 18 named storms, including three intense hurricanes — Dorian, Humberto and Lorenzo. The only other period on record that produced four consecutive above-normal seasons was 1998-2001. The season officially extends from June through November, but Tropical Storm Arthur jumped the gun last week off the eastern U.S. coastline. “As Americans focus their attention on a safe and healthy reopening of our country, it remains critically important that we also remember to make the necessary preparations for the upcoming hurricane season,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Just as in years past, NOAA experts will stay ahead of developing hurricanes and tropical storms and provide the forecasts and warnings we depend on to stay safe.” (AP)

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Celebrating 1,000: Ohel Sarala Initiative Hits Inspiring Milestone

When Ohel Sarala was first established by Rabbi Chaim Aryeh Zev Ginzberg, rov of the Chofetz Chaim Torah Center of Cedarhurst, few people could have anticipated that it would take off as powerfully as it did.   Almost no one could have predicted that it would facilitate an astonishing 1,000 shidduchim in just a few years. Now, in 2020, Ohel Sarala is celebrating the phenomenal achievement of its 1,000thshidduch, brought about through the koach of tzedakah and tefillah.  Ohel Sarala has seen 1,000 engagements of young men and women, who were empowered not to focus only on their own hardships, but to channel their energy, hope and aspirations toward others who suffer. The combined efforts and tefillos of these two seemingly disparate groups have yielded miraculous results. In addition to singles who have met their bashertes, several hundred children have been born to couples who were struggling with the pain of infertility.  The milestone of 1,000 shidduchim comes at a time of daunting challenges for Klal Yisroel, which is still in the throes of an unprecedented pandemic that saw the lockdown of communities across the world. Rabbi Ginzberg himself, as was well publicized, endured a difficult battle with Covid-19. With rachamei Shomayim, and thanks to the tefillos of Klal Yisroel, Rabbi Ginzberg was discharged from the hospital a few weeks ago following a miraculous recovery. Rabbi Ginzberg still needs our tefillos for a complete refuah, and all are asked to daven for Chaim Aryeh Zev ben Aidel. This Sunday, at a livestream event celebrating Ohel Sarala’s accomplishments, Rabbi Ginzberg will speak publicly for the first time since his return home, delivering brief remarks of hakoras hatov. The program will also feature renowned speakers Rabbi Y.Y. Jacobson and Rabbi Yechiel Spero. Veteran shadchanim Mrs. Lisa Elefant, director of Adopt-a-Shadchan, and Mrs. Mindy Eisenman of YU Connects will lead a fascinating panel discussion on the topic of “How Covid-19 is Affecting the World of Shidduchim.” Questions for the shadchanim may be submitted by email to The entire program will be streamed live online starting at 9 p.m. Those who wish to participate via tele-conference can do so by calling 605.313.5333 and entering access code 752698. This is a livestream event not to be missed. Join the families of the 1,000 chassanim and kallahs who have merited their personal yeshuos thanks to the impact of Ohel Sarala. Be inspired by the potency of tefillah and the influence one can have when acting for the benefit of their fellow Yidden. JOIN HERE The Story of Ohel Sarala It was approximately three years ago that Rabbi Shlomo Bochner, founder of Bonei Olam, the global organization that offers support to couples struggling with infertility, visited Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman zt”l, who lamented that there are two major tzarosfacing Klal Yisroel that keep him up at night: older girls who have not yet found their zivugim and couples struggling to bear children. Rav Shteinman explained that these two tzaros are connected to each other, and that if singles would share in the pain of the childless couples and the childless couples would in turn daven for their single counterparts, they could each merit a yeshuah. When Rabbi Ginzberg heard this from Rabbi Bochner, he and his rebbetzin launched Ohel Sarala as an eternal zikaron and zechus for their beloved daughter, Sarala a”h, who passed away from illness at age 17. As a rov, Rabbi Ginzberg has spent much time and effort comforting singles searching for their bashertes. This idea was the perfect initiative to form a new partnership. Bonei Olam has a database of couples who are their beneficiaries.  Bonei Olam and Ohel Sarala thus entered into a holy alliance. Ohel Sarala represented renewed hope to young couples and singles, a fulfillment of […]

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New Wave Of COVID-19? 100s Of Kids Isolated As Staff In Bnei Brak, Tel Aviv, Rishon L’Tzion & Rosh HaAyin Test Positive

There’s concern about a new wave of the coronavirus in Israel through the educational system as more and more reports are heard about staff members in educational institutions and daycare centers being diagnosed with the coronavirus, Channel 12 News reported. The latest reports are about staff members of daycare centers in Bnei Brak and Rosh HaAyin who tested positive for COVID-19. Earlier on Thursday, about 50 children in a kindergarten in north Tel Aviv had to be quarantined after a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus. Also on Thursday, an assistant at a kindergarten in Rishon L’Tzion was diagnosed with the coronavirus, sending the children and other staff members in the class into self-quarantine. In Bnei Brak, an assistant at a special education gan was diagnosed with the coronavirus sending an unspecified number of children and staff members into quarantine. Earlier this week, 15 eighth-grade students in the Zichron Meir girls’ high school in Bnei Brak were required to self-quarantine after one of their classmates was diagnosed with the virus. In Rechovot, where dozens of students at a school were quarantined after two staff members tested positive for the virus, a staff member at the Beit Chana hostel tested positive for the virus. Three staff members and 27 residents were sent into self-quarantine and the other residents of the hostel will be tested for the virus. Two students at the Rechovot school who were self-quarantining were diagnosed with the coronavirus on Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, a toddler who attends a Tel Aviv daycare was diagnosed with the virus, sending 16 other toddlers into quarantine. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Three Chareidi Batei Dinim Rule that Eliezer Berland is Guilty and Should be Ostracized

(By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for The Talmud Yerushalmi in Kiddushin 4:1 states that a Kiddush Hashem is greater than a Chillul Hashem.  It is clear, however, that the simple meaning of this expression is too obvious a statement to be an insight of the Talmud Yerushalmi. Rather, the meaning of this passage reflects the idea that when both a chillul Hashem and a Kiddush hashem are present in the same action, the Kiddush Hashem outweighs the Chillul hashem. A few hours ago, in Eretz Yisroel three separate Chareidi Batei Dinim, after 18 months of (two of them) meticulously collecting evidence and testimony, issued a devastating ruling and declaration against R. Eliezer Berland.  One such Beis Din was Zichron Meir Tzedek (Rav Shmuel Vosner’s Beis Din) which included Rabbi Shriel Rosenberg. Rabbi Shmuel Eliezer Stern, and Rabbi Yehuda Fisher, from the Eida HaChareidis Beis Din in Yerushalayim. The Batei Dinim described the content of the testimonies that they had heard as “untoward acts” and “very serious behaviors.”  They concluded that according to the opinion of our of holy Torah everyone must stay away from After describing the content of the testimonies in plain language as “acts that are not done and most serious acts”, the judges state: “It is clear that according to the opinion of our holy teachings, anyone who violates the three cardinal sins and their derivatives, someone who values his soul must stay away from him and one is obligated to act in this way.” The second Beis Din was Rabbi Yitzchak Tuvia Weiss, the head of the Eida Chareidis, Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, and   Rabbi Chaim Meir Halevi Vozner.  The third Beis Din that signed onto the conclusions of the other two were Rabbi Shevach Tzvi Rosenblatt, Rabbi Yehuda Silman, and Rabbi Menachem Mendel Lubin. They further accused Berland’s followers of heresy for claiming in public and in writing that the crimes and sins he committed were permitted. In the past, Rav Chaim Kanievsky advised people that Rabbi Berland was a rasha. Berland has also told cancer patients not to proceed with medical treatment and that if they donate vast amounts of money to him and take certain pills (later found to be Mentos) they will be cured. Translation of ruling: Special Beis Din Authorized by the Central Batei Dinim in Our Holy Land BS”D  Wednesday, 26 Iyar 5780 Psak Din At the request of many, a special Beis Din was convened to investigate the rumors that have come out against the leader of the Shuvu Bonim community.  In its proceedings explicit testimony was collected and proofs to actions that must never be done, some of them of the most serious nature.  It is clear that according to our holy Torah a person who does not observe matters of the three cardinal sins and their derivatives – someone who is concerned about his soul must stay away from him and we are obligated to observe this. The matter is very serious since some of his students and followers have Heaven forbid rationized that it is permitted for a Tzaddik to perform any matter of sin, and this has even been publicized in published works.  These matters are to considered complete heresy in the fundamentals of our religion. We must uproot and remove this apikorsus from within us. […]

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Misaskim of LA needs funds after tragic incident in Flagstaff AZ

On May 3rd at 11:00pm Misaskim of LA was called in regards to a tragic accident that tragically took the life of Moshe Just A’H (18 years old) whose last moments on Olam Hazeh were making a massive Kidush Hashem changing a tire of a random person car on a empty Highway near Flagstaff AZ.  Misaskim immediately was in contact with the Arizona Highway Patrol as well as the Chief Coroner and investigation Team. We were told they would keep the Highway lanes where the tragic accident happened blocked off if we were able to get there within a few hours. LA to Flagstaff is a 7 hour drive which they were not willing to wait on. We were left with no choice but to arrange a very small and cheap private jet to shuttle a team of Volunteers to the scene to do their Avodas Hakodesh. Misaskim was on scene by 2:30 AM after a one hour flight. The scene took a while to clean all the while with the Authorities assistance of keeping the Highway lanes shut.  Once the Coroner opened in the morning Misaskim made arrangements to have the Niftar released. We then contacted the Mortuary and made all necessary arrangements. Lastly Moshe friends who were not in a position to drive back to NY Misaskim made arrangements to have their car shipped to Monsey as well as paid for it.  ​CLICK HERE TO DONATE Total costs were: $7,700 Jet $420 transportation in AZ $1,250 shipping car Total $9,370 All of these costs were put on a volunteers Credit card and it now needs to be paid.  We are aware of another fund created day of the tragedy but they are using those funds for a Sefer Tora and for the actual burial.  ​ Thank you for your generous help Tizku Lmitzvos Misaskim LA CLICK HERE TO DONATE

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Virus Cases Spike In California County On Mexican Border

As much of California begins reopening businesses amid improved coronavirus conditions, a farming region on the state’s border with Mexico is experiencing a spike in hospitalizations that some believe is driven by American citizens who live in Mexico coming to the U.S. for care. How quickly different parts of California reopen is driven by the ability by country officials to control the virus. So the surge in the Imperial Valley region could hurt its perpetually struggling economy, which is heavily intertwined with the large industrial city of Mexicali, Mexico. El Centro Regional Medical Center, the Imperial Valley’s largest hospital, admitted 14 infected patients Monday night, sending its coronavirus caseload soaring to 65. That prompted it to temporarily stop accepting COVID-19 patients. The coronavirus caseload at the region’s only other hospital, Pioneer Memorial Hospital, rose to 28 on Monday from 19 two days earlier. Caseloads eased by Wednesday but only after the El Centro hospital sent seven new patients to San Diego County for treatment and Pioneer transferred nine patients elsewhere in Southern California. The spike is “coming to us from somewhere and we want to make sure that we don’t overwhelm either one of the hospitals and overwhelm the system with COVID patients to the point that we can’t take care of you,” said Dr. Adolphe Edward, El Centro Regional Medical Center’s chief executive officer, in a video posted on his hospital’s Facebook page. He believes U.S. citizens living on the Mexican side of the border are driving the increase, saying hospital staff have spoken with coronavirus patients who say they have addresses in Imperial Valley but live in Mexicali, where cases are spiking. Three private hospitals in Mexicali have stopped accepting COVID-19 patients, so patients who show up in their emergency rooms are offered transportation to Mexicali’s public hospital for treatment. Baja California state, which includes the state capital of Mexicali and its largest city, Tijuana, has one of the highest infection rates in Mexico. The state had reported 96 cases for every 100,000 people on Tuesday, up from 55 cases per 100,000 people two weeks earlier, and has registered more than 10 percent of Mexico’s 6,090 COVID-19 deaths. California tells a different story. This week, Gov. Gavin Newsom cited improved conditions in the state as the reason for him relaxing health standards required for counties to more quickly reopen businesses and recreational activities. So far, 40 of the state’s 58 counties have met the conditions and received state approval to move ahead. More are in the pipeline. Imperial County is among a handful of counties, including Los Angeles, that can’t meet the requirements for controlling the virus. Imperial’s roughly 180,000 residents rank it 30th among the state’s counties for population but its 74 hospitalized virus patients on Wednesday made it the seventh-highest for those patients. Over the last two weeks, virus deaths in Imperial County have doubled to 18, hospitalizations are up 30% and confirmed infections rose 61%, according to state data. Larry Lewis, Pioneer hospital’s chief executive officer, said the spike may have been the result of Mother’s Day gatherings “It’s a very difficult process to identify,” Lewis said. “There was a jump about two weeks after Easter. This is about 10 days after Mother’s Day and now we’re wondering what’s going to happen after Memorial Day.” […]

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Job Market Remains Grim Even As U.S. Tentatively Reopens

Signs of renewed activity are surfacing across the country as states gradually reopen economies and some businesses call a portion of their laid-off staffers back to work. Yet with millions more Americans seeking unemployment aid last week, the U.S. job market remains as bleak as it’s been in decades. More than 2.4 million laid-off workers filed for jobless benefits last week, the government said Thursday, the ninth straight week of outsize figures since the viral outbreak forced millions of businesses to closer their doors and shrink their workforces. And while the number of weekly applications has slowed for seven straight weeks, they remain immense by any historical standard — roughly 10 times the typical figure that prevailed before the virus struck. Nearly 39 million people have applied for benefits since mid-March. An additional 1.2 million people sought aid last week under a new federal program for self-employed, contractor and gig workers, who are now eligible for jobless aid for the first time. These figures aren’t adjusted for seasonal variations, so the government doesn’t include them in the overall number of applications. “There is little evidence that the reopening of the economy has, as yet, led to any sudden snap back in employment,” said Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, a consulting firm. Nearly half of Americans say that either their incomes have declined or they live with another adult who has lost pay through a job loss or reduced hours, the Census Bureau said in survey data released Wednesday. More than one-fifth of Americans said they had little or no confidence in their ability to pay the next month’s rent or mortgage on time, the survey found. uring April, U.S. employers shed 20 million jobs, eliminating a decade’s worth of job growth in a single month. The unemployment rate reached 14.7%, the highest since the Depression. Millions of other people who were out of work weren’t counted as unemployed because they didn’t look for a new job. Since then, 12 million more laid-off workers have applied for jobless benefits. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in an interview Sunday that the unemployment rate could peak in May or June at 20% to 25%. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated this week that the economy is shrinking at a 38% annual rate in the April-June quarter. That would be by far the sharpest quarterly contraction on record. Some economists see tentative signs that economic activity might be starting to recover, if only slightly, now that all the states have moved toward relaxing some restrictions on movement and commerce. Yet it remains far from clear that the gradual and partial re-openings of some previously shuttered businesses will increase consumer spending in any meaningful way. Polls show that most Americans are still wary to visiting restaurants, stores, movie theaters or other businesses because of continued fear of contracting the virus. Data from Apple’s mapping service shows that more people are driving and searching for directions. Restaurant reservations have risen modestly in states that have been open longer, according to the app OpenTable. But those numbers are still far below pre-virus levels. In South Carolina, one of the earliest states to reopen, reservations have increased but are still down nearly 69% from a year ago. In most industries, employees are working more hours […]

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NASA, SpaceX Bringing Astronaut Launches Back To Home Turf

For the first time in nearly a decade, U.S. astronauts are about to blast into orbit aboard an American rocket from American soil. And for the first time in the history of human spaceflight, a private company is running the show. Elon Musk’s SpaceX is the conductor and NASA the customer as businesses begin chauffeuring astronauts to the International Space Station. The curtain rises next Wednesday with the scheduled liftoff of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule with two NASA astronauts, a test flight years in the making. The drama unfolds from the exact spot where men flew to the moon and the last space shuttle soared from Kennedy Space Center. While Florida’s Space Coast has seen plenty of launches since the shuttle’s farewell tour in 2011 — even at the height of the coronavirus pandemic — they were for satellites, robotic explorers and space station supplies. The only route to orbit for astronauts was on Russian rockets. NASA’s newest test pilots, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, are launching from home turf with SpaceX presiding over the countdown. “Getting a chance again to see human spaceflight in our own backyard,” Behnken said. “That’s the thing that’s most exciting for me.” The cosmic-size shift to private companies allows NASA to zero in on deep space travel. The space agency is busting to return astronauts to the moon by 2024 under orders from the White House, a deadline looking increasingly unlikely even as three newly chosen commercial teams rush to develop lunar landers. Mars also beckons. “We’re building momentum toward a much more exciting future,” said John Logsdon, founder of George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute and a professor emeritus. The Russian launch site in Kazakhstan is out of the way and out of sight. Launching crews again from Florida is sure to fire up the public, Logsdon noted. Adding to the appeal is the flash generated by Musk, SpaceX’s chief executive, designer and founder who shot his red Tesla Roadster into outer space two years ago during the first flight of a supersized Falcon Heavy rocket. In a touch of Musk showmanship — he also runs the electric car company — Hurley and Behnken will ride to the launch pad in a gull-winged Tesla Model X, white with black trim just like the astronauts’ spacesuits and the rocket itself. The Dragon riders appreciate Musk’s hands-on approach. “On more than one occasion he has looked both Bob and I right in the eye and said, ‘Hey, if there’s anything you guys are not comfortable with or that you’re seeing, please tell me and we’ll fix it.’” Hurley said. While trumpeting the return of astronaut launches, NASA is urging spectators to stay away because of the pandemic. But beaches near Kennedy are now open, and the local sheriff is welcoming visitors even though inside the space center, the number of guests will be severely limited. Among the exceptions: both astronaut wives — who have flown in space themselves — and their young sons. Vice President Mike Pence, chairman of the National Space Council, is also going, and President Donald Trump told reporters Thursday that he’s thinking of attending, too. Liftoff is set for 4:33 p.m. EDT Wednesday. “It’s going to be a great inspiration to the country next week to see you […]

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Rabbi Motty Kopman Niftar From Corona Virus, 5 Yesomim Need our Help

Rabbi Motty Kopman, his friends recall, could become a person’s best friend the moment he met them. He always spoke from the heart, and had a charm about him that allowed him to connect with every individual on a personal basis. He had moved from Israel to provide spiritual support to a budding new Jewish community in Buffalo, and became the local Rabbi’s right hand man. Many shabbosim, he would walk for two hours to a shul, just to help them make a minyan; many congregants would come just because Motty was there. On Rosh Hashanah, after being the Chazan and baal tokea, he would walk to the local university and spend hours looking out for jewish students and blowing shofar for the students, that didn’t not make it to a shul. He always had a smile, a kind word, an inspiring story for everyone he met. He was a walking encyclopedia of music. Motty had been battling Lymphoma for the last six months, and succumbed to COVID-19 at the age of 34, leaving behind five beautiful young children and a grieving wife. A fund was set up to assist his family in this hard time.

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R’ Leibel Lederman Z”L Of Brooklyn; Renowned Baal Chesed And Baal Tzedakah of Major Causes

YWN regrets to inform you of the Petira of Reb Leibel Lederman Z”L ר’ אריה בן ר’ חיים זצ”ל. He was 70 and was Niftar from COVID-19. Born in Germany, after the war his parents emigrated to the U.S. where they settled in Williamsburg, joined the Klausenberg kehilla and formed a close kinship with the previous Klausenberger rebbe, Rav Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam, zt”l. As a young boy in Yeshivas Chassan Sofer, Reb Leibel’s yiras shamayim, brilliant mind, and kind heart were soon recognized and valued. He forged close ties with the current Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe in New York, and was a notable benefactor of many of their mosdos & endeavors. Reb Leibel was a walking kiddush hashem. He treated every rebbe, g’vir, business employee, frum, irreligious, and secular person with genuine respect and exemplary care. A reverb at the levaya-from young and old resounded: “He was my close close friend.” When doing for others he insisted that quality was key-sparing no expense-while with his own needs, he felt that basic was best. His aniyvus was astounding. A large portion of his chassodim, however, were done discreetly, which was how he preferred it. Many hours of Reb Leibel’s week was dedicated to guiding others in business and to those seeking his wise counsel. Among his known philanthropic contributions were the founding of the Laniado hospital in Eretz Yisrael, sponsoring the acclaimed Shefa Chaim Fertility Center in Natanya, magnanimously supporting diverse yeshivos & kollelim, sensitively sustaining almanos and yesomim, building mikvaos, and being the pillar of his beloved community. Mr. Leibel Lederman lived in SeaGate for the last 43 years and was an eminent contributor & mainstay of the community. Most recently he was responsible for the rebuilding of the famed “Rabbi Meisels” shul devastated by Hurricane Sandy. He purchased and outfitted a state of the art Hatzolah ambulance for the SeaGate chapter. After an intense two month battle with COVID-19, Mr. Leibel Lederman who had no underlying issues, returned his neshama to His maker. The family was left reeling in anguish. The ramifications of the devastating loss will be felt by so many, for many many years. Thankful for tremendous siyata dishmaya, a bakovodiga levaya took place on Wednesday, 26 of Iyar. The aron, transported within the Hatzolah ambulance Reb Leibel donated was greeted by the Klausenburger Rebbe in front of The Rebbe’s home which is adjacent to the Klausenburg shul he helped fund. The aron was then brought to Sea Gate and the levaya took place in front of the new shul he had recently helped rebuild. The speakers included Reb Shimon Zev Meisels, Rav D’kahal Yismach Moshe in Monroe, Reb Yisrael Unsdorfer, Rosh Yeshiva, Reb Pinchas Meisels, Dayan of Sea Gate, and Reb Leibel’s children including Reb Shaya Lederman, Rosh Kollel of Klausenburg; Grandson Chaim Eliezer Werdyger conveyed the deep familial anguish. Hakaras Hatov to the staff of Maimonides hospital was expressed by long-time devoted business employee, Shmuel Katz. Mechutan, Mordechai Ben David Werdyger performed the keil malei rachamim. Mr. Leibel Lederman leaves behind his most beloved wife, a partner in all his philanthropy. Mrs. Chaya Lederman tragically lost her 95 year old mother, Mrs. Sara Schwartz שרה ב״ר צבי יעקב ע״ה, a mere hour after losing her husband. His illustrious legacy will surely be carried on by his children: […]

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WIlliamsburg: Partial Collapse Of Building Under Construction [VIDEOS & PHOTOS]

One person was injured in a partial collapse of a building under construction in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. It happened at around 8:00PM at 376 Flushing Ave near Franklin Ave. Sources tell YWN that the collapse involved freshly poured concrete. Dozens of emergency personnel from the FDNY and NYPD responded. One civilian with moderate injuries has been transported to a local hospital. All other construction workers are accounted for. The NYPD says that Flushing Avenue from Kent Avenue to Franklin Avenue is closed. The Building Department is on the scene investigating. STAY UPDATED WITH BREAKING UPDATES FROM YWN VIA WHATSAPP – SIGN UP NOW Just click on this link, and you will be placed into a group. (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

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Fed’s Powell Says Economic Forecasts Filled With Uncertainty

Efforts to forecast the U.S. economy’s path to recovery from the current deep downturn face “a whole new level of uncertainty,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday. Not only is there the difficulty predicting how the coronavirus pandemic will play out, it is also unclear how American workers and consumers will react as lockdowns aimed at limiting the spread of the virus are lifted, Powell said in an address to a virtual Fed conference. Successfully restarting the economy will depend in large part on the public’s confidence that the loosening of the stay-at-home orders will not trigger a resurgence of the virus, he said. “The pain of this downturn is compounded by the upending of normal life, along with great uncertainty about the future,” he said. “All of us have our own decisions to make … and those decisions will depend on public confidence that it is again safe to undertake various activities.” He noted that the country is going through a sudden and severe economic downturn that is without modern precedent. “It has already erased the job gains of the past decade and has inflicted acute pain across the country,” Powell said. “And while the burden is widespread, it is not evenly spread. Those taking the brunt of the fallout are those least able to bear it.” The Fed has cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low of zero to 0.25%, purchased $2 trillion of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities and launched a number of programs aimed at keeping the financial markets functioning. Powell did not send any signals in his remarks about what the Fed might do next but Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida, speaking at a different event, repeated the Fed’s pledge to use all of its tools to protect the economy and promote a strong rebound. “The Federal Reserve will continue to act forcefully, proactively and aggressively as we deploy our toolkit … to provide critical support to the economy during this challenging time,” said Clarida, who spoke by webcast to the New York Association for Business Economics. Powell spoke at the 15th “Fed Listens” event, which the central bank began holding last year in an effort to gather public input into possible changes the central bank should make in the way it conducts interest-rate policies. The Fed still hopes to release its findings later this year. (AP)

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Coronavirus-Triggered Layoffs In US Hit Nearly 39 Million

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits in the two months since the coronavirus took hold in the U.S. has swelled to nearly 39 million, the government reported Thursday, even as states from coast to coast gradually reopen their economies and let people go back to work. More than 2.4 million people filed for unemployment last week in the latest wave of layoffs from the business shutdowns that have brought the economy to its knees, the Labor Department said. That brings the running total to a staggering 38.6 million, a job-market collapse unprecedented in its speed. The number of weekly applications has slowed for seven straight weeks. Yet the figures remain breathtakingly high — 10 times higher than normal before the crisis struck. And the continuing rise shows that even though all states have begun reopening over the past three weeks, employment has yet to snap back and the outbreak is still damaging businesses and destroying jobs. “While the steady decline in claims is good news, the labor market is still in terrible shape,” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said over the weekend that U.S. unemployment could peak in May or June at 20% to 25%, a level last seen during the depths of the Great Depression almost 90 years ago. Unemployment in April stood at 14.7%, a figure also unmatched since the 1930s. Over 5 million people worldwide have been confirmed infected by the virus, and about 330,000 deaths have been recorded, including more than 93,000 in the U.S. and around 165,000 in Europe, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University and based on government data. Experts believe the true toll is significantly higher. In other developments: — President Donald Trump’s approval ratings have remained steady amid the crisis, underscoring the way Americans seem to have made up their minds about him. A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 41% approve of his job performance, while 58% disapprove. That’s consistent with opinions of him throughout his three years in office. — Trump made a trip to Michigan to tour a Ford factory that has been retooled to manufacture ventilators, and he did not wear a face covering despite a warning from the state’s top law enforcement officer that a refusal might lead to a ban on his return. The president has been locked in a feud with the state’s Democratic governor over the outbreak and has also threatened to withhold federal funds over Michigan’s expansion of voting by mail. Across the U.S., some companies have begun to rehire their laid-off employees as states have eased restrictions on movement and commerce. On Monday, more than 130,000 workers at the three major American automakers, plus Toyota and Honda, returned to their factories for the first time in two months. Still, major employers continue to cut jobs. Uber said this week that it will lay off 3,000 more employees because demand for rides has plummeted. Digital publishers Vice, Quartz and BuzzFeed, magazine giant Conde Nast and the owner of The Economist magazine announced job cuts last week. Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont, said the latest layoffs may be particularly worrisome because they are happening even as states reopen. That could mean many companies […]

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Trump Counting On Supreme Court To Block Probes, Lawsuits

President Donald Trump won at least a temporary reprieve from the Supreme Court earlier this week in keeping secret grand jury materials from the Russia investigation away from Democratic lawmakers. The president and his administration are counting on the justices for more help to stymie other investigations and lawsuits. The high court is weighing Trump’s bid to block subpoenas for his tax, banking and financial records. It will soon be asked by the administration to kill a lawsuit alleging that Trump is illegally profiting from his luxury hotel near the White House. And a dispute over Congress’ demand for the testimony of former White House counsel Don McGahn also could find its way to the justices before long. Trump has predicted that the court with a conservative majority that includes two of his appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, would be more sympathetic than lower courts that have repeatedly ruled against him. And his administration has sought the court’s emergency intervention at early stages of court cases far more often than both Democratic and Republican predecessors, according to data compiled by University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck. The administration says Democrats are obsessed with embarrassing Trump at all costs. Trump has called himself a victim of “presidential harassment” and ordered his administration not to cooperate with investigations by the Democratic-led House. In arguing for the invalidation of congressional subpoenas for Trump’s private financial records, the Justice Department told the Supreme Court that the subpoenas pose “a serious risk of harassing the President and distracting him from his constitutional duties.” McGahn should not be forced to appear before Congress, the administration argues, because he is among a band of presidential advisers who have “absolute immunity” from testifying about their interactions with the president. The full federal appeals court in Washington recently heard arguments in the case and could rule at any time. The president’s critics argue that Trump has embraced a dangerous view of the presidency as being above the law. “The common theme throughout the Trump presidency has been a complete lack of accountability,” said Ben Berwick, a lawyer with the anti-Trump group Protect Democracy. “In case after case, the position taken by Trump and his lawyers is that nothing and no one — not courts, not Congress, not federal or state law enforcement, not inspectors general — can hold him accountable or act as a check on his power.” In the dispute over grand jury materials from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell called out the Justice Department and the administration. “The reality is that DOJ and the White House have been openly stonewalling the House’s efforts to get information by subpoena and by agreement, and the White House has flatly stated that the Administration will not cooperate with congressional requests for information,” Howell wrote in ordering that the materials be turned over. Her ruling is on hold. The Supreme Court has so far refrained from definitive rulings in these clashes. But Trump has been the chief beneficiary of the court’s actions because they have prevented investigators from obtaining what they are seeking. “We’ve already lost nine months of time in this investigation due to this lawsuit,” New York prosecutor Carey Dunne said in his arguments in support of enforcing a subpoena for […]

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Yankee suffers from brain damage and lives in a wheelchair, with severe epilepsy and muscular dystrophy.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW Yanky was once a regular child, but at the age of five he fell on his head onto a hard surface, and since then he suffers from brain damage and lives in a wheelchair, with severe epilepsy and muscular dystrophy. He needs to be carried everywhere, he cannot speak and needs constant supervision by a parent, severely limiting their ability to provide parnossa for the other 12 children in the family. The Bituach Leumi only pays for part of Yanky’s care, but he still needs therapists and medications that are not included in the the Israeli National Insurance benefits. CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW Yanky is now 15 years old, too old to be carried around, yet he cannot carry himself. They live on the third floor of the building; any trip outside needs a few strong people to carry the wheelchair down the steps and into the street. As a result, Yanky does not get sufficient opportunities to bask in the Israeli sun, to breathe the outdoor air and to develop as a child is suposed to. The apartment is like a regular Israeli one, and wheeling a wheelchair through the narrow doorways is extremely difficult. As a result, Yanky has spent most of his hours in his bedroom for years on end, without much interaction with others and very little outdoor time. CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW Right now, Yanky is physically, as well as mentally, imprisoned behind his limitations. He can hardly leave his bed or his apartment and he cannot interact with others, because he cannot talk. With a specialized computer, his eyes can do the talking for him, and his world will suddenly open up in front of him. We cannot watch this special neshomo and the entire family collapse like this. We need to find him an eitza. We need to raise for him the sum of $103,000 to pay for renovations to their apartment and to build an elevator for him, as well as this specialized computer that will allow Yanky to communicate with others. Rav Shmuel Eliezer Stern Shlita sends this special message: Whoever assists this special family for their yeshua, will merit great brachos and success in Ruchniyus and Parnossa. We, Yanky’s parents, are here pleading for your help. We’re asking you to join the 1000 people who are pledging $102  so we can reach the $102k goal we need for medical expenses to help our Yanky.Please, donate $102 and send us your name at the bottom of this page, so we can daven for you and your family at the Makom Hamikdash. CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW

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‘Truly Devastating’: Michigan Officials Assess Flood Damage

It could be days before the full scope of damage from flooding in Central Michigan that submerged houses, washed out roads and threatened a Superfund site is apparent, authorities warned Thursday, as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer expressed hope the president will soon sign a federal emergency declaration. Some of the floodwaters from heavy rains that overtook two dams retreated, but much remained underwater, including in Midland, the headquarters of Dow Chemical Co. And floodwaters continued to threaten downstream communities. “The damage is truly devastating to see how high the water levels are, to see roofs barely visible in parts of Midland, and to see a lake that has been drained in another part,” said Whitmer, who toured Midland County on Wednesday. The flooding forced about 11,000 people to evacuate their homes in the Midland area, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of Detroit, following what the National Weather Service called “catastrophic dam failures” at the Edenville Dam, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northwest of Midland, and the Sanford Dam, about 9 miles (14 kilometers) northwest of the city. Whitmer said she spoke briefly with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, and that her office had been in contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency about securing federal aid for the area. She said she hoped Trump would sign a federal emergency declaration during his visit to a Ford manufacturing plant in Michigan on Thursday. “He did say, ’If I get an opportunity to go to Midland, would you consider joining me,’” said Whitmer, adding that Trump asked about casualties and damage. “I said, ’Of course I would.’” No flood-related deaths or injuries have been reported, officials said. The floodwaters mixed with containment ponds at a Dow Chemical Co. plant and could displace sediment from a downstream Superfund site, though the company said there was no risk to people or the environment. Dow said the containment ponds held only water, and it has detected no chemical releases from the plant in Midland where the company was founded, though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said state officials would evaluate the plant when they’re able. Once the flooding recedes, Dow will be required to assess the Superfund site — contaminated with dioxins the company dumped in the last century — to determine if any contamination was released, the EPA said. Midland City Manager Brad Kaye said it was fortunate that the Tittabawassee River crested at just over 35 feet (11 meters), about 3 feet (90 centimeters) below the forecast level. Kaye warned that it could take four or five days for the floodwaters to recede, and asked residents to use caution when traveling or returning to their homes. “Don’t rush out thinking that you can just rush back to your homes, because the water is still there … this is not over,” Kaye said. Most of the water drained from Wixom Lake in Midland County’s Hope Township after the Edenville Dam failed, and residents wondered Thursday when, or if, water will return. “I’m sick about it. You know, I mean, it’s just sickening,” said resident Glenn Hart, 66, who surveyed the lake with his grandson. “Usually, that’s 21 feet deep out there in the cut,” Hart said, pointing from his backyard to the muddy ground that used to be the lake bottom. “Good fishing area. […]

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Trump Approval Remains Steady During Pandemic

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, Americans’ views of the federal and state government response to the crisis are starting to sour — yet President Donald Trump’s personal approval rating has remained steady. A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that 41% of Americans approve of the president’s job performance, while 58% disapprove. That’s consistent with opinions of Trump before the pandemic, as well as throughout his more than three years in office. The survey highlights one of the remarkable features of Trump’s tenure as president: Despite a steady drumbeat of controversies, an impeachment trial and now a historic public health crisis, few Americans have changed their views of him. He’s failed to increase his support in any measurable way, yet he also has retained the approval of his core backers, including the overwhelming majority of Republicans. “The Trump presidency is a perfect example of the Rorschach test of politics,” said Alice Stewart, a Republican strategist who worked for Sen. Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign. “People that want to see that the president is doing a good job will see that regardless of where the chips fall. If they want to see that he’s doing a crappy job, they will see that regardless of what happens.” Less than six months from his Election Day face-off against Democrat Joe Biden, the consistency of Trump’s support appears to leave him with the same narrow path to victory that first propelled him to the White House in 2016, even as the pandemic and resulting economic crisis upend nearly every aspect of American life. Biden’s campaign believes Trump’s uneven handling of the crisis will ultimately cost him his job in November. “The scale of the loss is staggering and it’s infuriating,” Biden said this week. “But more than that, it’s heartbreaking to think how much fear, how much loss, how much agony could have been avoided if the president hadn’t wasted so much time and taken responsibility.” The AP-NORC survey comes as the death toll in the U.S. from COVID-19 nears 100,000 people. Robust testing remains a challenge, and a vaccine is months or years away. Yet the scope of the economic toll — nearly 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment since March — has also increased the urgency in many states to begin reopening businesses. Overall, the poll shows that 39% of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the virus. Just 31% of Americans approve of the federal government’s response. Forty-eight percent disapprove, including 20% of Trump’s supporters — suggesting that some view the president apart from the sprawling federal apparatus he oversees. Approval ratings for the federal government have slipped as the pandemic has stretched on, from 40% approval one month ago to 31% now. State governments continue to get higher marks from the public, though support there is slipping as well. About half of Americans — 51% — say they approve of the job being done by their states, down from 63% in April. State governments have ultimate control over when and how restrictions on businesses, schools and public transportation are lifted. In hard hit areas like New York City, strict limitations remain in place. In other parts of the country, including Texas and Georgia, restaurants, malls and other businesses have started to welcome […]

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US Long-Term Mortgage Rates Ease; 30-Year At 3.24%

Long-term U.S. mortgage rates eased this week in a housing market battered by the shutdown spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. Rates hovered near all-time lows as the benchmark 30-year home loan stayed below 3.30% for the fourth straight week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan declined to 3.24% from 3.28% last week. A year ago, the rate stood at 4.06%. The average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 2.70% from 2.72% last week. Sales of existing homes plunged 17.8% in April to a 4.33 million rate, the slowest pace since 2011, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. The normally busy spring homebuying season has been upended. At the same time, however, home prices have been rising. Bleak data, meanwhile, continues to pour in showing the economic damage from the virus that shut down wide swaths of business and social life. The government reported Thursday that the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits because of the pandemic has surged to nearly 39 million since widespread shutdowns began two months ago. The continuing stream of heavy job cuts reflects an economy that is sinking into the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated this week that the economy is shrinking at a 38% annual rate in the April-June quarter. That would be by far the sharpest quarterly contraction on record. (AP)

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Trump: US May Rethink Decision To Exit Surveillance Treaty

President Donald Trump said Thursday that Russian violations make it untenable for the U.S. to stay in a treaty that permits 30-plus nations to conduct observation flights over each other’s territory, but he hinted it’s possible the U.S. will reconsider the decision to withdraw. Trump’s announcement comes as the U.S. begins new nuclear arms control talks with the Kremlin aimed at replacing an expiring weapons treaty with a modern and potentially three-way accord that brings China into the fold. Senior administration officials say Trump’s willingness to leave the Open Skies Treaty is evidence of how prominently arms control verification and compliance will feature in the new talks. The Open Skies Treaty that governs the unarmed overflights was initially set up to promote trust and avert conflict between the U.S. and Russia. The Trump administration informed other members of the treaty that the U.S. plans to pull out in six months — which is after the presidential election — because Russia is violating the pact. The White House also says that imagery collected during the flights can be obtained quickly at less cost from U.S. or commercial satellites. “Russia didn’t adhere to the treaty. So until they adhere, we will pull out, but there’s a very good chance we’ll make a new agreement or do something to put that agreement back together,” Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving for Michigan. “So I think what’s going to happen is we’re going to pull out and they (the Russians) are going to come back and want to make a deal,” Trump said. He added: “I think something very positive will work.” The U.S. announcement that it plans to leave the treaty is expected to upset some members of Congress and European allies, which benefit from the imagery collected by Open Skies flights conducted by the U.S. “Ending such agreements without anything to replace them could result in destabilizing activities such as a dangerous new arms race leading to possible miscalculations,” said U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric. In Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko criticized the U.S. decision. “Our position is absolutely clear and is invariable: The withdrawal of the US from this treaty will come as yet another blow to the system of military security in Europe, which is already weakened by the previous moves by the administration,” Grushko told state news agency Tass. Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien said the president has made clear that the United States will not remain a party to international agreements being violated by the other parties and that are no longer in America’s interests. He noted that Russian violations are also what prompted Trump last year to pull out of a 1987 nuclear arms treaty with Russia. That treaty, signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, banned production, testing and deployment of intermediate-range land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (310 to 3,410 miles). New START Treaty, which expires in February shortly after the next presidential inauguration, now is the only remaining treaty constraining the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals. It imposes limits on the number of U.S. and Russian long-range nuclear warheads and launchers. Russia has offered to extend the treaty, but Trump is holding out in hopes of negotiating a three-way […]

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