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Thursday, March 31, 2016


Senator Simcha Felder was proud to sponsor two bills that the New York State Senate passed to help veterans with disabilities afford their homes and also guide the state in developing services for aging veterans. The bills provide property tax exemptions for certain veterans with full disabilities and create a new advisory panel to help establish effective policies and programs for aging veterans.

“Helping disabled veterans keep their homes allows us to support and honor those who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedom and way of life,” said Senator Felder. “The property tax exemption bill, introduced by my colleague Senator Andrew Lanza from Staten Island, would benefit disabled veterans or their unmarried surviving spouse when the veteran’s injuries were sustained as a result of military service. Veterans would be eligible for the exemption by having served in a combat theater or combat zone.”

Senator Felder also sponsored a bill introduced by his colleague Senator Mike Ranzenhofer (Amherst) to create a Veterans Gerontological Advisory Committee. The Committee would advise the Director of the State Office of the Aging on policies, programs, services and trends affecting New York’s aging veteran population. Members would include experts on aging and veteran issues.

“This bill will help our aging veterans receive the care they deserve,” said Senator Felder. “At no cost to New Yorkers, the advisory committee will be able to provide crucial recommendations aimed at improving the care and support available to aging veterans. Our veterans deserve no less.”

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Felder Warns of New VISA / MasterCard Scam

Senator Simcha Felder is warning New Yorkers to be wary of a new credit card scam that is becoming widespread. Perpetrators of the new Visa/Mastercard con are phoning people and providing them with detailed information about their credit, creating the appearance of genuine representatives of the credit card companies. They have all the information they need and are only seeking one item: Your security number.

The persons calling identify themselves as part of the Security and Fraud Department at VISA or MasterCard. They explain that your card has been flagged for unusual activity. They provide you with detailed information from your card and bank and then ask if you have purchased an expensive item or service from a place you don’t recognize and/or a location you haven’t visited. When you deny the validity of the purchase, you are told that a credit is being issued to your account.

“Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to you,” you are told. “Is this still your address?” Your address is then read to you to verify. “I will be starting a fraud investigation. If you have any questions, please call the 1-800 number listed on the back of your card and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number.” The caller then gives you a six-digit number.

Then the caller says, “I just need to verify that you are in possession of your card.” You are then asked for the security numbers on the back of your card. What the scammer is seeking is the three-digit PIN number on the back of the card.

“Scam artists have become more sophisticated than ever,” says Senator Felder. “That’s why all of us must remain vigilant to protect ourselves from being defrauded. If you believe you have been the victim of credit card fraud, first call the credit card company who will advise you of next steps, and then report the matter to your local police department.”

Senator Felder Warns Seniors of Dangerous Predator

Police are seeking a man wanted in a string of violent incidents targeting elderly women. The most recent victim was an 83-year-old woman who was attacked in her building on Saturday, March 26, 2016 at approximately 4:38pm, located in the vicinity of Ocean Parkway and Beverley Road in Kensington.

“Do not take any chances,” said Senator Felder. “Be alert when walking and don’t open your door to strangers. If you are suspicious of someone, call 911 immediately.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Welcome Officer Smith!

Senator Felder extends a warm welcome to NYPD Officer Mike Smith, the newly appointed Community Affairs Officer of the 70th Precinct.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Night. And Day.

I know a mother who has nachas.

Ethel Kleinman is 91 years old. More, she is a survivor of Auschwitz.

Despite any descriptions we have heard from our parents or grandparents, Auschwitz is unfathomable to most of us. Despite “Schindler’s List” or the myriad of other Hollywood depictions, Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka and the like stand as horrors far beyond what normal people can possibly imagine in their worst nightmares. Even with Elie Weisel’s Night, Anne Frank’s diary, the Eichmann trials, and all the other accounts of the Holocaust that we’ve encountered and allowed to shape our mindscape of this terrible time in history, nothing second-hand can begin to compare with the tangible reality of having lived through those experiences.

But Ethel Kleinman—Etu to her friends—lived through those experiences, and Etu has nachas. Why? Because the most important lesson of the Holocaust stands clear before Etu’s eyes.

Recently, I was privileged to watch Etu as her son Elly Kleinman and grandson Yossie Kleinman stood with her before a captivated assembly that spanned four generations. We had gathered together to mark the unveiling of the new Kleinman Holocaust Education Center (KHEC) exhibit in Brooklyn. Standing demurely, with her adoring son’s arm draped around her, Etu gazed out upon a crowd that included not only her family and their many friends but also her great grandson and his class from Yeshiva Darchei Torah. The occasion was more than the ribbon-cutting of this important new exhibit at the temporary location of the center; the day was illuminated by her great grandchild’s first donning of his t’fillin. The boy’s name is Menachem, whose name means “to comfort.” The meaning was not lost on any of us.

Despite having navigated for more than 90 years on this planet, and having passed through and miraculously survived the Shoah, Etu has nachas—real Yiddishe nachas. She has witnessed firsthand not only the tragic chorban, which cost the Jewish people six million precious souls—our holy parents and grandparents and great grandparents—but also the rebuilding of our people, the reconstruction of our yeshivos and mosdos, our numerous institutions which care for the sick and the needy, the orphaned and the elderly.

In the century that Etu Kleinman has traversed this planet, she saw the utter destruction of European Jewry. But she also watched the rebirth and growth of Yiddishkeit and the spreading of Torah and chesed across the United States and Eretz Yisroel. Etu beheld a genuine composite of the entire history of the Jewish people, a history that has repeated itself more than once.

Etu Kleinman is a witness. She witnessed our people suffer and sees our nation rising again.

Nachas. Real Yiddishe nachas.

And I had nachas, too—the kind that brings tears to my eyes. I had joy watching the children from Darchei Torah stand up to thank Etu Kleinman and her dedicated family for their generosity. I had the pleasure of watching these young students—the future of our people—as they stood wide-eyed before the many important exhibits at the Kleinman Holocaust Education Center and listened to dedicated teachers about the facts and lessons of the Holocaust. I was delighted to stand with my friend Elly and his family who have dedicated not only money and years to this vital project, but their kishkes, their passion. I know that for generations to come, people from all over who visit Brooklyn will have the Kleinman family’s important gift to remind us of who the Jewish people really are, and what our role and obligation is.

Nachas. That’s what I had watching Etu Kleinman who, at 91 years young (b’li eyin hora), understands all of this better than anyone.

Simcha Felder

NYS Senator Simcha Felder represents New York State’s 17th Senate District.
(This article reprinted courtesy of The Jewish Press)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Felder’s No-Cost Mammogram’s Are Saving Lives

At least one neighborhood resident has detected breast cancer in time, thanks to Senator Simcha Felder’s no-cost mammogram screening.

Since taking office, Senator Felder has sponsored regular opportunities—as many as two per month—for women to receive no-cost mammogram screenings. Working with the American-Italian Cancer Foundation, the Senator is making it possible for residents to visit convenient locations within the community and receive private, no-cost screenings that have proven to save lives with early cancer detection.

The American-Italian Cancer Foundation’s mobile care clinic recently spent the entire day in front of the Senator’s Flatbush office on Thursday, March 10 where 30 neighborhood women were screened. Many more women are expected to take advantage of the no-cost screenings when the mobile unit returns to the Senator’s Boro Park office on Thursday, March 17.

“Last year, 250 of my constituents took advantage of these no-cost mammograms,” said Senator Felder. “A total of 22 women that were screened by the American-Italian Cancer Foundation’s mobile care clinic in NY City in 2015 were subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer. Four of these women were Brooklyn residents, and one was from my district.

“If we have saved only one life—one family’s wife, mother or daughter—then I don’t need to elaborate on how important these screenings are,” continued Senator Felder. “Being proactive when it comes to your health is vital. So I urge women to please take advantage of these opportunities.”

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Ribbon Cutting at NY Community Hospital

Senator Felder visited NY Community Hospital to participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony as the hospital announced the expansion of of emergency treatment area.
Barry Stern (CEO, NY Community Hospital), NYC Councilman Chaim Deutsch, George Weinberger (Chairman of the Board of Trustees, NY Community Hospital) and Senator Felder.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Felder’s Pilot Sanitation Program Victorious

Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) thanked NY City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia for switching many morning garbage pickups in Boro Park to late evenings and Saturdays. The Mayor unveiled the vital modifications to the sanitation collections and recognized Senator Felder for his decade of hard work in pushing through these changes.

“It's been 10 years since I first began hammering at this issue,” said Senator Felder, who was the first elected official to address the problem in 2006 during the Bloomberg administration. Senator Felder helped the Department of Sanitation initiate a pilot program to restrict garbage pick-ups on certain blocks during the busy morning hours.

“Sanitation pick-ups have made the traffic situation in Boro Park nightmarish for drivers and school children,” said Felder. “It’s taken time but working together with my colleagues Assemblyman Dov Hikind and NY City Councilman David Greenfield, we were able to make a difference. These significant changes are a solid example of government working with the community to enhance quality of life.”

The new Sanitation pick-ups are planned to go into effect around April 4th. Plan components include rescheduling recycling trucks from current day shifts to night shifts (12am-8am), and switching collection days from Mondays and Thursdays to Wednesdays and Saturdays. The result will be a 79% reduction in sanitation trucks in the areas between 42nd to 59th Streets and 12th to 20th Avenues. While the new plan may not fully eliminate refuse trucks in the area (as the garage is located on 19th Avenue), all trucks will try to clear the area by 8 am.

“Getting government to do anything is almost like winning the lottery,” said Senator Felder. “But, sometimes you win, which is what just occurred. Our community doesn’t ask for much—just to be able to get our kids to school without being driven crazy. This was also a safety issue because emergency vehicles couldn’t get through. So I’m very happy with the city’s renewed commitment to alleviating traffic congestion. We hope to see even greater improvements in the future but this is a great victory we can be proud of.”

Friday, March 4, 2016

Felder Says Don’t Miss Tax Credit Opportunity

Senator Simcha Felder (Brooklyn) is reminding New York City residents not to let the deadline pass for potential property tax credits.

If you are a property owner and either you or your co-owner turn 65 years of age by Dec. 31, 2016, you may be eligible for Enhanced STAR (School Tax Relief). Your total household income cannot exceed $84,550. Applications must be postmarked by March 15, 2016.

If you believe you are eligible for this tax credit or would like more information, call Senator Felder’s office at 718-253-2015.