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New Yorkers, Nation Mourn Victims Of Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre



synagogue massacre

New Yorkers are joining the nation in mourning the victims of Pittsburgh’s synagogue massacre.

With song, prayer and tributes of sorrow, a standing room-only crowd packed the Congregation Ansche Chesed on the Upper West Side, angered and shaken by the tragedy hundreds of miles away.
“That they should be butchered, killed in such a horrible way, there are no words,” said Rabbi Adam Mintz, of Kehilat Rayim Ahuvim synagogue.
An overflow group of mourners also gathered outside the interfaith vigil organized by rabbis across the city. It was just one of many vigils Sunday in the Tri-State Area honoring the victims.

“If hatemongers thought that they were going to separate us from one another, they were greatly mistaken,” said Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis.

Politicians and religious leaders showed their solidarity, as well, reiterating the theme of unity and inclusion.
“In this city, we get along, we love one another,” Timothy Cardinal Dolan said.

“We are a place for everyone,” Mayor Bill de Blasio added.

The Anti-Defamation League says the number of anti-Semitic incidents nationwide was up 57 percent compared to 2016 – that’s the biggest spike since 1979.

“With the rise of anti-Semitism, we know that other minority groups are feeling the same pressures as the Jewish community,” said Evan Berstein with the ADL of New York and New Jersey.

Many attending the vigils had some connection to the 11 people killed and vowed to make sure their memories are not forgotten.

“They died because they were Jews, because they clung to Jewish values at a time when values are adrift,” Elisha Wiesel said.

“You can imagine yesterday they were in synagogue and today this rabbi officiated three funerals,” added Mintz.

The NYPD will have stepped up security at synagogues and other places of worship across the city for the next several days.


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9-year-old genius to graduate university




Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne




Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem




Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.


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