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This kosher cafe in Riverdale attracts a diverse clientele from across the Bronx

(New York Jewish Week) — When Emily Weisberg arrived in the Bronx neighborhood of Riverdale in 2014, she was surprised that the coffee options didn’t extend far beyond Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts.

So she set out to create a cafe of her own, one that would not only serve up third-wave coffee but also function as a community hub outside of the relatively insular worlds of her kids’ daycare or her synagogue, the open Orthodox Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. She wanted a place where she could get to know everyone who lived in the neighborhood.

Nearly a decade later, Moss Cafe stands out the northern Bronx neighborhood — both because of its vivid mural of carrots, beets and red onions that pops on its otherwise drab block, and because of its unusual combination of seasonal foods, ethical practices and kosher supervision.

“Our clientele is really diverse, and I think that’s my greatest accomplishment here,” Weisberg told the New York Jewish Week. “We made a restaurant that everyone wants to come to that also happens to be kosher.”

Much of what a visitor to Moss encounters would not be out of place in any hip, upscale cafe. A selection of seasonal pastries, all baked in house, changes throughout the year; flowers in mason jars brighten every table. Moms with yoga mats tucked under their arms grab lattes to go and high schoolers cluster around the window seat with their laptops. The shakshuka is fragrant with garlic and za’atar, and chef Brian Engel’s kale salad, enriched with parmesan and pepitas and studded with roasted beets, is as good as any in the city. The restaurant recently added dinner service, with a menu including a “picky plate” designed to accommodate families.

At the same time, the cafe is strictly kosher — it serves fish and dairy, but not meat, under the supervision of the Vaad of Riverdale — and closes on Shabbat. Its bakery case includes fluffy challahs on Friday mornings, and special catering menus feature traditional foods for Jewish holidays. Customers can often be overheard discussing Jewish texts, the neighborhood’s multiple day schools and upcoming trips to Israel.

On a recent breezy April day — the first spring morning that rhubarb appeared in the cafe’s farm deliveries — Moss was jammed with neighborhood regulars and visitors from all walks of life. Samuel Marder, a nonagenarian violinist and Holocaust survivor — whose wife, the pianist Sonia Vargas, was Riverdale native Regina Spektor’s music teacher — sat at a table adjacent to Sage Vasquez and Diamond Wynn, two culinary professionals from the South Bronx. It was their first visit, but they discovered that a friend worked at Moss and felt at home.

Moss’ pastry counter is always filled with seasonal items. (Ben Resnick)

“I see a lot of people who look like me, and that’s important when I go out to eat,” says Vasquez, a pastry chef. “The neighborhood is like a breath of fresh air from the South Bronx.”

Moss also stands out for its commitment to mutual aid in the borough. Case in point: Few other independent neighborhood coffee shops employ a dedicated director of community outreach. Tess Watts, who has that role at Moss, started at the cafe as a server while she was a student at nearby Manhattan College. Now, she leads Moss’s collaborations with neighborhood nonprofits such as the Riverdale Community House.

Last year, the cafe donated nearly $11,000 of its revenue to local nonprofits and charities, and raised an additional $2,900 for those groups. It also donated more than $7,400 worth of excess food to local community fridges, putting food directly into the hands of those who needed it. Watts says as a community-oriented cafe located in a well-to-do enclave in New York’s poorest borough, Moss has a responsibility to help its neighbors, not just its customers.

“If your mission is to build community around food, you can’t discount the ways that the community is impacted by food,” she said.  “You have to look at food insecurity, you have to look at economic inequality. In order to operate a restaurant and call ourselves ethical, we have to do it.”

Moss Cafe sits on a nondescript block in the commercial heart of Riverdale in New York City. (Ike Allen)

Moss has stuck with that commitment since it opened in 2015. Weisberg, the co-owner and face of the cafe, was raised in the rural Midwest, where she got a job at 16 in a small-town coffee shop. That cafe — Perc Place in Hartford, Wisconsin — gave her a lasting appreciation for the communal spaces that coffee shops can provide. Even in a small heartland town like hers, many of the cafe’s workers were immigrants from Latin America, and people from all walks of life chatted together at the tables over cups brewed from beans grown in the highlands of Guatemala and Colombia.

“Living in a place that was not very diverse, I always longed for that,” Weisberg said. “This was a special way to connect with where I was and also to open up my world, through food and coffee and through my coworkers.”

Weisberg lived for a time in Peru and took classes in Latin American Studies at the University of Wisconsin, intending to eventually practice immigration law. While living in Madison, Wisconsin, she worked at restaurants and frequented the local farmers market where, she said, “local food was a thing before it was on a national scale.”

At the same time, her spiritual interests steered her toward Judaism — she was raised Catholic — and she converted at 21, after studying with a campus Chabad rabbi and rebbetzin. In Madison, she also met Alex Weisberg, who had been raised by a secular Jewish family in New York’s Westchester County but became more interested in religion after a Birthright trip.

The two got married in Jerusalem and lived there for three years, where Weisberg opened a coffee and pastry window from their home, where customers would sit on chairs set up on the cobblestone street.

That was the experience she hoped to recreate in Riverdale after they moved to New York City in 2014 — Weisberg felt she could help her community as a good employer. The ethical mission of Moss, she said, starts with pay and conditions for its own employees.

Snapshots of Moss Cafe’s menu and interior. (Courtesy of Moss Cafe)

“These people are the heart and soul of our neighborhoods,” she said. “It’s true that I opened Moss, but Moss is really the people who are, day in and day out, showing up at 4 in the morning to bake things, or scrubbing tables at 4 p.m. on a Friday.”

But Moss also stays afloat because its entire team is committed to the ethical mission of the cafe, including its close relationships with small New York and Pennsylvania farms — during the early days of the pandemic, Weisberg helped support farms and her own business by selling produce boxes from the cafe — and postpartum meals for new mothers through the Bronx doula groups the Birthing Place and Ashe Birthing Services.

With a large and growing Orthodox community in Riverdale, it was important to Weisberg for Moss Cafe to be strictly kosher. But while the certification allows some diners who wouldn’t otherwise be able to eat there, not all customers come looking for a kosher dining experience.

“I grew up Jewish and all the Passover and kosher food can be very bland,” said Brian Silbert, a former Manhattanite who plans to open an ice cream shop nearby. “This is savory and flavorful without it suffering. Across the board, everything is done right.”

The post This kosher cafe in Riverdale attracts a diverse clientele from across the Bronx 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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