December, 2013


Christmas story told by church’s Nativity

Redeemer Luther Church in Bayside held its annual Living Nativity, a performance depicting the birth of Jesus Christ, over the weekend on the church’s lawn, at 36-01 Bell Blvd. Dozens of people gathered Sunday night to watch the event, which featured a donkey and other farm animals. Comment

November, 2013

Forest Hills

Forest Hills celebrates Hanukkah

The Central Queens YM & YMHA held an event to mark Hanukkah in Forest Hills. The event was organized by Dale Stark and Ribin Kaufman. Comment

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New Voices

Different sects, regions celebrate Diwali their way

Hindus, Jains and Sikhs across Queens observed Diwali on the weekend of Nov. 2, an occasion for solemn reflection and giving thanks. The meaning of Diwali varies in these denominations, but for most the start of the festival coincides with the 13th day of the second half of the month of Ashwin on the Hindu lunar calendar, which follows 15-day cycles coinciding with the light and dark (waxing and waning) phases of the moon. Comment
Far Rockaway

Sandy victims march on City Hall over aid

A group of hurricane victims commemorated the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy by walking with clergy from Far Rockaway to City Hall to demand that the next mayor speed up recovery and create jobs as well as affordable housing in the hard-hit Rockaways. Comment

October, 2013

Howard Beach

Houses of worship back on feet after rebuilding

The wrenching stories of destruction share many common elements: pews that had to be ripped out, waterlogged religious texts, congregants holding on to some sense of normalcy with makeshift services. Comments (1)

September, 2013

Cambria Heights

Street named for Boyd in Cambria Heights

Apostle Dr. John H. Boyd’s legacy will live on long into the future in the Cambria Heights community where his ministry first began, his family and community leaders believe. Comments (1)

August, 2013


Flushing street co-named for late civil rights activist

The late Rev. Timothy Mitchell is now officially the “prince of Prince Street” after he was honored Saturday when the street was co-named after him. Comment

New ministry plans to open in Afrikan Poetry Theatre

A Brooklyn-based church that organized a discussion about race relations over the weekend in southeast Queens plans to continue its ministry in the borough by opening a house of worship in the Jamaica theater where the event was held. Comment
No Holds Barred

The Greatest Threat to America Today

Constitution Day is Sept. 17, a Tuesday. If the past is any indication, the observance will be very limited indeed. I commented about that in a column last year. Comments (3)

Flushing Hindus hope to keep traditions alive

Hindus in America face a challenge as traditions tends to fade in immigrant offspring, but a Flushing temple that offers instruction for children is hoping to push back against that trend and last weekend showed off the knowledge of some of its brightest students at Hindu Awareness Day. Comment
Rego Park

Sale of Trylon Theater property rankles house of worship

Controversy has erupted after the sale of a Rego Park commercial property containing a synagogue amid fears the house of worship will be evicted. The new landlords contend they want to preserve the synagogue and support its huge congregation. Comment

Dragon Boat Festival: Before oars hit the water, dragons must be awakened

Beneath the glow of the Golden Arches and amid the throng of tourists queueing up for half-price theater tickets, a Buddhist monk dressed in a traditional orange robe stood in the middle of Times Square last week to awaken a sleeping dragon. Comment

July, 2013


Banner day in Flushing

St. Andrew Avellino Parish in Flushing is preparing to celebrate its centennial year, and to mark the occasion, church officials installed a large banner on the church tower on Northern Blvd at 158th Street. Comment

June, 2013


Quakers protest germ weapons in Flushing during 1960

Relations between the United States and Cuba were very strained. On July 6, 1960, President Dwight Eisenhower slashed the Cuban sugar quota by 700,000 tons, virtually eliminating it, and sending Fidel Castro into a rage. Comment
Political Action

Expect a showdown over religious group meets in public schools

Since Mayor Michael Bloomberg began his administration in 2002, he has been trying to keep religious groups from renting public school properties for Sunday services. Recently, the City Council passed a resolution giving religious institutions permission to use school property for religious services. The vote was 38-11 against the mayor’s position and in favor of the religious groups. Comments (2)

April, 2013


Queens Muslims on alert after barrage in Boston

Members of Queens’ Muslim community said this week they had not experienced a backlash in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, but whenever an act of terrorism makes headlines, it puts them on edge. Comment
Little Neck

Little Neck synagogue celebrates new family

The joining of two northeast Queens synagogues has made way for a new beginning at Little Neck’s Congregation L’Dor V’Dor as leaders prepare for the first major event with both families under the same roof. Comment

Flushing temple welcomes spring

The Hindu Temple Society of North America recently held a Festival of Spring and Earth Day celebration. Comment

MTA must show respect for Flushing church

I am writing to you today because I am concerned about the situation around St. George’s Episcopal Church, at 135-32 38th Ave. in Flushing. Comment
Oakland Gardens

Passover celebrated in Oakland Gardens

The Jewish Center of Oak Hills recently held a Passover Seder and invited members of the Temple Sholom in Floral Park to share in ritual meal, which commemorates the flight of the Israelites out of Egypt. Comment
Richmond Hill

Richmond Hill welcomes spring with Holi Festival

Purple, green, yellow, pink and red dusted the streets of Richmond Hill Saturday during the Phagwah Festival, a Hindu celebration of the triumph of good over evil and the coming of the spring season. Comment

March, 2013

Breezy Point

Erin go Bragh in Breezy Point

Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny brought some luck of the Irish straight from the Emerald Isle to Breezy Point with a visit to St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church in Breezy Point on St. Patrick’s Day. Comment
Far Rockaway

Sandy victims receive JCC Passover meals

About 200 people who struggle to make ends meet in the Rockaways — some of them still reeling from Hurricane Sandy — received Passover meals from the Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula Monday. Comment
No Holds Barred

Prosecutors should handle sex abuse cases in religious groups

This series of blogs started out to try to find out why in a special election for a seat in Congress, considered “safe” for the Democrats, the Republican candidate won. The district then encompassed Queens areas and some parts of Brooklyn where Robert Turner won very handily, thanks to the votes of Ultra-Orthodox Jews. He lost in Queens, but he became a Representative. Comment

Help the Helpers

Should Federal Emergency Management Agency funds be used to repair churches and synagogues damaged by Hurricane Sandy? Comment

February, 2013


Church needs to enter the 21st century

With the announcement by Pope Benedict XVI that he will be resigning as head of the Roman Catholic Church at the end of February due to personal reasons, it is now time for the College of Cardinals to elect a pope that will be more moderate in views, especially regarding allowing priests to marry. Comments (4)

Uphold church-state separation

The U.S. House of Representatives approved disaster assistance for houses of worship. Comments (6)
Howard Beach

Boro’s Sandy-hit churches step closer to FEMA aid

A bill that would allow churches, synagogues, temples and other houses of worship damaged by Hurricane Sandy to receive federal aid to rebuild passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week, although it is still uncertain whether the development will result in help for Queens religious institutions still reeling from the storm. Comments (1)

Pope’s resignation catches boro off guard

The unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict XVI did more than surprise members of the Catholic community and the world. It also broke a more than 600-year-old tradition, setting the stage for what Bayside’s Dennis Farrell said will undoubtedly spark interest in the church’s future moving forward. Comment

Douglaston woman who fought to be taken off life support dies

The terminally ill quadriplegic woman who fought with family over her right to be taken off of life support died Sunday, her family said. Comment
Queens Village

Our Lady of Lourdes celebrates Catholic Schools Week with international festival

Our Lady of Lourdes celebrated Catholic Schools Week with a performance by students during Sunday Mass and an International Festival. Comment

January, 2013

Rego Park

Jewish population grows in Queens

The Jewish population in the Forest Hills, Rego Park and Kew Gardens areas has grown by 37 percent since 2002, making it home to one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the New York metropolitan region, according to a new report from a prominent Jewish nonprofit group. Comment

Boro ready to mark Catholic Schools Week

Bayside’s Sacred Heart grade school will join with schools across Queens and the nation next week to kick off an annual celebration of Catholic education, the school said. Comment
Howard Beach

Houses of worship fight damage without FEMA

Lisa Mason, an assistant director and assistant teacher at the Howard Beach Judea Center Preschool, said her facility sustained massive damage during Hurricane Sandy. Comments (2)
Springfield Gardens

SE Queens celebrates Kwanzaa’s seven principles

Hundreds of people braved a mixture of rain and snow to celebrate Kwanzaa, a weeklong holiday that honors African-American heritage and community, at Springfield Gardens High School Saturday. Comment
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