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This Jewish temple is providing a home for a historic church in the Village

(New York Jewish Week) — After a six-alarm fire left a historic Manhattan church homeless, a synagogue stepped in to provide a space for church-goers to continue worshiping while they figure out a plan for a new home.

Two years later, the bond between the two congregations has only grown, with a new twist: East End Temple on E. 17th St. is supporting Middle Collegiate Church in its clash with the Landmarks Preservation Commission over plans to rebuild their damaged building in the East Village. 

Dec. 5 marked the two-year anniversary of the fire that brought her church to the Reform congregation, or “out of a place in the wilderness,” as the Reverend Dr. Jacqui Lewis told the New York Jewish Week. Lewis said that East End’s Rabbi Josh Stanton was one of the first people who reached out to her after the fire, which started next door and destroyed the 128-year-old sanctuary. 

“We just made a covenant to move in there,” Lewis said. “Josh was offering me a tabernacle. This big-hearted rabbi opens the door to a church, in a time of rising antisemitism, that’s just bold, fierce love at work.” 

Stanton told the New York Jewish Week that the relationship between the two faith communities “predates the fire itself.”  

“The reverend has been a friend and a mentor for years,” Stanton said. “When her community’s building went up in flames, I reached out to her and just said, ‘anything you need, just know that I’m here, know that our community is here.’”

Middle Collegiate Church started using the temple’s space on Easter Sunday that spring. The synagogue’s president Brian Lifsec said he was there on the first day.

“It felt like a tent in the desert for these congregants,” Lifsec said.

It’s not all bleak out there.

I went to church last Sunday, where East End Temple, a Jewish synagogue in the East Village, has been hosting @middlechurch for almost two years after a fire destroyed their historic building.

— Jacob Henry (@jhenrynews) December 8, 2022

Stanton said that East End Temple covers “upwards of 95% of the cost” for the church to rent the space.

“That’s because of the generosity of our donors,” Stanton said. “And because our community understands that walking the walk of Judaism means reaching out to people who might themselves not be Jewish.” 

Lewis is the first woman and first African-American to serve as a senior minister for the Collegiate church system, which dates back to the Reformed Dutch Church congregations that formed in the New York area in the 1600s. She is comfortable leading church services in front of an ark, a menorah and Hebrew scriptures, but aches to get back into her own building. 

How and whether she can do that depends in part on the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which is responsible for preserving New York City’s historically significant buildings. It seeks to protect the historic facade made of limestone that remains standing. The church, following an 18-month study by several architectural and engineering firms, says there is too much damage to the existing structure to integrate it into a new home.

“The walls themselves are historic,” Stanton said. “Despite the church’s best efforts, there is no way to keep them safely up. What is so sad and problematic is that from an architectural standpoint, there is nothing they can do.” 

Lewis said that the church has spent over $4 million to secure the site, clean up debris, stabilize the facade with stainless steel and paint the bricks so they don’t deteriorate — and it is still not safe to rebuild.

“We did that because we wanted the facade,” Lewis said on Sunday after prayer, as she led some church members to the site of the burnt-down building. “We just can’t afford it. We’re wanting to build a building that is appropriate for this historic neighborhood but also has the capacity for 22nd-century ministry.” 

The Reverend Dr. Jacqui Lewis of Middle Collegiate Church leading services at East End Temple. (Courtesy)

In a phone call last week, Lewis said that she doesn’t want this to feel like she’s in “a battle” with the preservation community.

“But some parts of the preservation community are pretty strident about us keeping up the wall,” Lewis said.  

The church is waiting on a decision from the commission on Dec. 13, which will decide the fate of their building.  

Anthony Donovan, a church member who has lived in Greenwich Village for 31 years, told the New York Jewish Week that “there are deep pockets of real estate that would really love this facade” as part of their own plans.

“Luxury housing would look fantastic behind this facade,” Donovan said. “And they have millions to keep that facade that we don’t have.” 

Village Preservation, an activist group opposed to the demolition of the facade, said in an emailed press release that alternatives need to be studied.

“We are urging the Landmarks Preservation Commission not to grant such permission at this time, because we don’t believe there is sufficient documentation that alternatives to preserve the historic facade have been fully explored, nor that there is sufficient evidence at this time to justify the permanent and irreversible removal,” the organization said. 

 “The facade is on life support,” Lewis said. “We could pull the plug and come back to life. We could have a resurrection.  We could have a new life that is both historic and moves into the 22nd century, and that’s what we want to do.”  

Assembly member Harvey Epstein, who is Jewish and represents the district, gave testimony supporting the church at a previous hearing with the Landmark Preservation Commission.  

“While I understand Landmark’s concerns, I think more important than just what that physical piece is that the actual church and the people behind it get to come back,” Epstein told the New York Jewish Week over the phone.  

He added that Rabbi Stanton is an example of someone “living Jewish values everyday” by allowing the church to worship at East End Temple. 

“It’s really critical, especially in times where you see an increase in antisemitism, that people who are Christian know that people who are Jewish, while having different religious beliefs, are allies to them as well,” Epstein said. 

Stanton said that if it is decided that the walls have to stay up, then the conversation will move into “the realm of heartbreaking decisions.”

“It is not clear if the walls have to stay up, that the church will have to rebuild at all, even if it raises significant funds to do so,” Stanton said. “If they move out of this area, there’s going to be a huge gaping void for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. It just wouldn’t be the same.” 

The building has served the community since 1892. Before the fire, it served as a community hub for other programs, some run by other synagogues, that include soup kitchens and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis of Middle Collegiate Church leads congregants outside the destroyed remains of the previous church building. (Jacob Henry)

It has also played a role in supporting people during the AIDS crisis, helping people pay rent during Covid and more recently, supporting Ukraine in its war with Russia.  

Together, the church and synagogue communities also hold a “food for families” program, where members help feed 1,500 families every Sunday.  

Edna Benitez, a church-goer who has lived in the Village for 27 years, told the New York Jewish Week that when the fire broke out, the church was housing a Torah for another synagogue, The Shul of New York. 

“They had an ancient Torah,” Benitez said. “Our fire destroyed the building, but the Torah stayed. It’s a huge symbol. We’re here two years later celebrating in a temple. We housed the Torah, this incredible, prized possession that meant so much to you, and now you’re housing us.” 

Whatever happens with the Landmarks Commission, Lewis said that she expects her partnership with Stanton and East End Temple “to be lifelong.” 

“We have so many things to do together,” Lewis said. “I know that we’ll be welcome there, and I also know that they know that we need a bigger space. In the meantime, they’ve been incredible hosts and they are offering us ongoing hospitality.”  

Outside the church facade, Stanton spoke out how in a time of troubling antisemitism — fueled by celebrities like Kanye West and Kyrie Irving and propagated by groups like the Black Hebrew Israelite sect — the relationship between his synagogue and the church represents “real life.” 

“While antisemitism is on the rise, so too is allyship,” Stanton said. “The Reverend Dr. Jacqui Lewis, who embodies allyship at its best, is one of the people who reaches out every single time that something awful happens to a Jewish community.” 

Lewis, who can command a stage (or bimah), led a passionate sermon on Sunday, with the fire on the back of everyone’s mind.  

“Could we do a little interior work as we go along this pilgrim’s journey so that we are not accidentally putting fuel on the fire that is raging and burning down the world?” she said. 

The post This Jewish temple is providing a home for a historic church in the Village appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Comparing European, American, and French Roulette at Canadian online casinos

Roulette is the most popular table game at online and land-based casinos alike. You can easily find a seat at the table, place your bets, and hope that the wheel turns in your favour. But you have surely noticed that the roulette section is quite rich, featuring at least a dozen different tables. Most of them come with a different design and different rules. The most popular roulette variants are American Roulette, European, and French Roulette. In this article, we will try to explain the main differences between each one.

French VS European Roulette

We’ll first compare the French versus the European version of roulette since they are the most similar. The layout of the bets and the wheel is basically the same. Even the table layout is pretty much the same at most online casinos. Depending on the provider some differences can be found, like the layout of the table or the order of the numbers of the wheel. But as far as the odds and gameplay are concerned, European and French Roulette are basically the same. 

Both roulette variants have a single 0 on the board and the same number of slots on the wheel and numbers on the table. There are 36 additional numbers you can bet on, along with the standard Red or Black and Odd or Even bets. This means both games come with a house edge of 2.7%. So, the only difference comes from the introduction of two basic rules in French Roulette. 

  • La Partage
  • En Prison

La Partage

This rule applies to even money bets, and in case the ball lands on the 0 slot. The term comes from the French word which means to divide. All even money bets are divided into half, and the player gets one half, while the other half goes to the house. This rule works greatly in your favour, especially if you’re playing on higher bets. 

En Prison

The En Prison bet is also applied to even money bets and only when the ball lands on 0. Instead of counting as a loss, the bets are held on the table for the following spin, and if you win, you get your bet back. Even though you don’t actually win anything extra, the En Prison rule gives you a chance to get your money back without a loss. 

The introduction of these rules lowers the house edge on French Roulette down to 1.35%. This is why many players prefer the French version, as the odds are better for the player. 

French VS American Roulette

The main and pretty much only crucial difference between American and French roulette is the 00 and the layout of the slots on the wheel. The added 00 on the American version means that the house edge is higher. It climbs up to 5.26%, which is almost double the house edge on European Roulette and a massive difference from the 1.35% on the French version. 

Since there is an added 00 number, the layout of the slots on the wheel is different. On the table, the 00 is next to the 0, so it doesn’t make a big difference to the layout of the table. But the rules in American roulette are quite simple. If your number doesn’t come up, you lose the bet. There are no extra rules like in the French version. 


If you go by the odds alone, it turns out that the best roulette variant to play at Canadian online casinos is French roulette. But this doesn’t mean you will lose more when you play American or European Roulette. Many players prefer to play the American wheel as it’s faster and more exciting. With the right strategy and some luck on your side, you can easily make a profit on any type of roulette game. 

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Universities Must Be Forced to Address Antisemitism

niversity of California, Santa Barbara student body president Tessa Veksler on Feb. 26, 2024. Photo: Instagram

University of California, Santa Barbara student body president Tessa Veksler on Feb. 26, 2024. Photo: Instagram – “Never would I have imagined that I’d need to fight for my right to exist on campus,” laments Shabbos Kestenbaum, a student at Harvard University who is suing the school because “antisemitism is out of control.”

Jewish students have suffered an unrelenting explosion of hate on American higher education campuses—so far with little relief. They have endured antisemitic rhetoric, intimidation, cancellation and violence. But those charged with keeping campuses safe—whether administrators who govern student and faculty behavior or federal agencies responsible for ensuring that schools adhere to civil rights protections—are failing in their jobs.

Many Jewish students have complained to their colleges’ administrators about the injustices. But instead of responding with measures to ensure Jewish students’ safety—like stopping pro-Hamas protestors from hijacking campuses or expelling militants who incite Jew-hatred— administrators have largely shown indifference. In some cases, college authorities have made things worse for Jewish students by appeasing the riotous, pro-Hamas mobs who have been primary perpetrators of Jew-hatred on campus.

Snubbed by college administrators, Jewish students and their supporters have appealed for federal protection, filing Title VI complaints with the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the body tasked with enforcing protections under the Civil Rights Act. Unfortunately, the OCR, which has the power to levy severe financial punishments against colleges that neglect students’ Title VI rights, has so far rewarded negligent universities with little more than slaps on the wrist.

Until college and university boards of trustees begin hiring administrators committed to Jewish students’ safety—and until the OCR begins seriously punishing antisemitic perpetrators—we can expect no respite. Safe to say, colleges and universities run by arrogant, apathetic administrators will not change until their jobs and schools’ survival are threatened.

College/university administrators don’t take antisemitism seriously. Their reactions to Jewish students raising concerns about Jew-hatred range from indifference to outright hostility. For example, when Mohammed Al-Kurd, who the Anti-Defamation League says has a record of “unvarnished, vicious antisemitism,” came to speak at Harvard, Shabbos Kestenbaum and other Jewish students complained to administrators.

Rather than cancel Al-Kurd’s appearance, which would have been the appropriate action, the administrators ignored the students’ complaints. “Harvard’s silence was deafening,” Kestenbaum wrote in Newsweek. Kestenbaum said he “repeatedly” expressed concerns to administrators about the antisemitism he experienced, but as his lawsuit alleges, “evidence of uncontrolled discrimination and harassment fell on deaf ears.”

Administrators at Columbia University reacted to Jewish students’ complaints about antisemitism even more cynically. In fact, during an alumni event, several administrators exchanged text messages mocking Jewish students, calling them “privileged” and “difficult to listen to.”

When Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) asked the presidents of Harvard, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania if calling for genocide against Jews violated their schools’ codes of conduct, none could say “yes.” The presidents of Harvard and UPenn have since resigned. Good riddance.

Some college/university administrators have outrageously granted concessions to pro-Hamas students. For instance, Northwestern University agreed to contact potential employers of students who caused campus disruptions to insist they be hired, create a segregated dormitory hall exclusively for Middle Eastern, North African and Muslim students, and form a new investment committee in which anti-Zionists could wield undue influence. Brown University agreed to hold a referendum on divestment from Israel in October.

Similar appeasements were announced at other colleges and universities, including Rutgers, Johns Hopkins, the University of Minnesota and the University of California Riverside.

So far, OCR has failed to take concrete action against antisemitism on campus. This is evident in recent decisions involving the City University of New York (CUNY) and the University of Michigan. CUNY was ordered to conduct more investigations into Title VI complaints and report further developments to Washington, provide more employee and campus security officer training, and issue “climate surveys” to students.

The University of Michigan also committed to a “climate survey,” as well as to reviewing its case files for each report of discrimination covered by Title VI during the 2023-2024 school year and reporting to the OCR on its responses to reports of discrimination for the next two school years.

Neither institution was penalized financially, even though the Department of Education has the power to withhold federal funds, which most colleges and universities depend on. There are now 149 pending investigations into campus antisemitism at OCR. If these investigations yield toothless results similar to those of CUNY and Michigan, it is highly unlikely that colleges and universities will improve how they deal with antisemitism.

Putting an end to skyrocketing antisemitism on campus involves three things.

First, donors and governments at every level should withhold funds from colleges that fail to hire administrators who will take antisemitism as seriously as they take pronoun offenses or racism directed at people of color.

Second, the OCR must mete out serious consequences to Title VI violators in the form of funding cuts. This may require legislation that specifically mandates withdrawing funding from offending parties. A bill recently introduced by Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.)—the University Accountability Act—may be ideal, as it is designed to financially penalize institutions that don’t crack down on antisemitism.

Third, if OCR won’t act, Jewish students and their supporters should turn to the courts. Lori Lowenthal Marcus, the legal director of the Deborah Project, a public-interest Jewish law firm, argues that the CUNY settlement demonstrates the futility of going to OCR and that going to court is more likely to produce “a clearly delineated and productive result,” such as punitive and compensatory fines. As of late May, at least 14 colleges and universities are facing lawsuits over their handling of antisemitism on campus since Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre.

As long as college administrators are allowed to ignore antisemitism on campus and as long as OCR and other government institutions fall short in punishing Jew-hatred, antisemitism will continue to plague Jewish students.

The post Universities Must Be Forced to Address Antisemitism first appeared on

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Candace Owens Claims US ‘Being Held Hostage by Israel,’ Suggests Zionists Killed JFK

Candace Owens speaks at CPAC on March 2, 2023. Photo: Lev Radin via Reuters Connect

Political commentator Candace Owens claimed on Friday that the US is being held “hostage” by Israel and suggested that AIPAC, the foremost pro-Israel lobbying organization in the US, was behind the assassination of former US President John F. Kennedy.
“It seems like our country is being held hostage by Israel,” Owens, a right-wing provocateur, said during the opening segment of her YouTube show, where she interviewed far-left commentator Briahna Joy Gray.
“I’m going to get in so much trouble for that. I don’t care,” Owens lamented.
Gray, who was the guest for this episode, was recently fired from The Hill‘s TV show, Rising, after aggressively cutting off and rolling her eyes at the sister of an Israeli hostage who said that Hamas sexually assaulted women during the terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel and that people should believe those women. Gray, who claimed her firing was politically motivated, had repeatedly cast doubt on the sexual violence perpetrated against Israeli women during the Hamas-led onslaught.
However, Owens said that part of the reasons she was addressing the subject was that people were being fired because they were “not happy … when an innocent Palestinian kid dies” or for “critiquing a foreign nation.”
Also on Friday’s show, Owens claimed US Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) was “wading into some dangerous waters” when, during an interview with host Tucker Carlson, he spoke about how effective the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is at lobbying members of Congress and suggested the group should have to register as a foreign agent that is acting on behalf of Israel.
The reason it was dangerous, Owens said, was because “we know there was once a president that wanted to make AIPAC register, and he ended up shot … so Thomas Massie better be careful.”
Owens was referencing the fact that Kennedy wanted the American Zionist Council, a lobby group, to register as a foreign agent. However, there is no evidence the group had anything to do with Kennedy’s assassination.
Owens and The Daily Wire, which was co-founded by conservative and Jewish political commentator Ben Shapiro, parted ways after Owens flirted with antisemitic conspiracy theories for a number of months, especially following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.
“In all communities there are gangs. In the black community we’ve got the Bloods, we’ve got the Crips. Well, imagine if the Bloods and the Crips were doing horrific things, murdering people, controlling people with blackmail, and then every time a person spoke out about it, the Bloods and the Crips would call those people racist,” Owens said while still at The Daily Wire. “What if that is what is happening right now in Hollywood if there is just a very small ring of specific people who are using the fact that they are Jewish to shield themselves from any criticism. It’s food for thought, right? … this appears to be something that is quite sinister.”
Additionally, after getting into a spat with an outspoken and controversial rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, she said, “Are you going to kill me? Are you going to kill me, because I refuse to kowtow to you, and I think it’s weird that you and your daughter are promoting and selling sex toys, that’s why I deem you an ‘unholy rabbi?’”
“You gross me out. You disgust me. I am a better person than you, and I do not fear you,” Owens continued.
The list of controversial incidents involving Owens continued to grow longer with time. In one case, she “liked” an X/Twitter post that promoted the antisemitic “blood libel.” The post read, in response to Boteach, “Rabbi, are you drunk on Christian blood again?”
The “blood libel” is a medieval anti-Jewish slur which falsely claims that Jews use the blood of non-Jewish children in their religious rituals.

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