Saturday, March 11, 2023

Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation Celebrates Purim with Worship Services Led By Rabbi Joel Dressed As Jewish Spy Balloon and Purimschpiel Play Knives Out:The Glass Octagon With Sherlock Shaloms

Janet Falk reports on the Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation (RIJC) Purim celebration last Monday evening. According to Ms. Falk:

Purim, a joyous and comedic holiday celebration, filled with fun and parody based on the Biblical story of Esther, was celebrated by the Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation (RIJC) on Monday night, March 6, with more than 30 people participating in a full evening of worship and Purim celebration, both in person and online.

Rabbi Joel Shaiman, dressed as a Jewish spy balloon, 

Image From Scott Piro
led the worship service and the reading of the megillah or traditional scroll. The holiday marks the survival of the Jewish people at a time of a threatened massacre. The other readers were Keren Bachi, Uri Shusterman and Michal Melamed. 

The reading was interrupted by children and adults wielding noise-making groggers to blot out the recitation of the name of the man, Haman, who purportedly attempted to destroy the Jews.

The service alternated with scenes from a Purimschpiel, or play, based on this narrative, written by Mickey Rindler and directed by Janet Falk: Knives Out: The Glass Octagon.

The murder mystery cast featured King Bidensuerus (Charles Schwartz), Haman (Mickey Rindler), Mordechai (Michal Melamed), Queen Vashti (Janet Falk), Queen Esther (Tamar) and Zeresh (Lucia). The detectives investigating the murder were Sherlock Shaloms (Mickey Rindler) and Yonatan Ben Mah/John Watson (Gabriela). 

Image From Amber Seligson-Levanon
The Purimschpiel's broad humor and political-themed puns, plus sharp references to Roosevelt Island affairs, drew laughter, groans and cheers from the audience, who used their groggers and applauded enthusiastically.

The evening concluded with delicious Hamantaschen, 

Image By Scott Piro
a triangular holiday fruit pastry treat, donated, as in the past several years, by the Seligson-Levanon family.

For more information about the Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation, which is the oldest, active and egalitarian congregation on the Island, please visit or send an email to

The next in-person Shabbat service is Friday, March 24th, at 7:00 pm, in the Cultural Center, and also available on Zoom. The Zoom link is at on the Coming Up page, listed as Friday Night Programs.

Stay tuned for specific details for the Spring Learning Series, led by Rabbi Joel Shaiman, as well as April, May and June Shabbat services, Passover plans and Shavuot celebration. Be sure to check our website at or email us at

Friday, March 10, 2023

Sponsored Post - It's Time To File Your Taxes, "We Get The Job Done" Says Roosevelt Island Based Accountable Financial Management

Seymour Williams, CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) is a trusted advisor to individuals and business owners who seek to maximize their financial position. For over 30 years he has been a fully licensed expert in the financial fields of investments, insurance, real estate, mortgages and taxation. He is the President of Accountable Financial Management Corp, a minority owned business which has operated here on Main Street for more than 20 years. 

We get the job done.

Mr. Williams’ professional experience is extensive and he has consulted with several major international banks and with programs sponsored by both the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Mr Williams is a Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Enrolled Agent (EA). and also the treasurer of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association.

Mr Williams holds a BBA degree from Bernard M. Baruch College and an MBA in Finance from Long Island University, where he served on the faculty as a Professor of Finance and Management. He has lived on Roosevelt Island for 35+ years raising his family and serving as a respected member of the community.

501 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, NY 10044
Website: Email:
Phone: 212-644-8231
Fax: 212-644-0292

Roosevelt Island Wholesome Taqueria Mexican Restaurant Introduces All You Can Eat $18 Lunch & $28 Dinner Menu - Fajitas, Burritos, Tacos, Flautas, Quesadillas & More

The Roosevelt Island Wholesome Taqueria Authentic Mexican restaurant

introduced an All You Can Eat Lunch And Dinner Menu earlier this week

to their regular servings of tasty Tacos, Burritos, Quesadillas, Tostados, Flautas, Enchiladas, Fajitas, Nachos and more

Stop by the Roosevelt Island Wholesome Taqueria for tasty Mexican Food,

ice cream

and smoothies too.

Wholesome Taqueria is open Tuesday - Sunday, 11:30 am to 10 PM. The kitchen closes at 9 PM.

Hopefully, they'll get their liquor license soon so Roosevelt Island residents can enjoy margaritas with their chips, salsa  and other items on the Wholesome Taqueria menu. Outdoor tables and chairs would be great too.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

RIOC Suspends Huge Price Increase For The Roosevelt Island Sportpark Recreational Facility Today - Big Thank You To Residents Protesting Outrageous Fees And Local Politicians Who Pressured RIOC President To Rescind Price Increase

On February 23, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced huge increases in membership user fees for the Sportspark recreational facility 

which has been undergoing a purported $12 million renovation, was closed since September 2021 and incurred delay upon delay for its scheduled re-opening.

As previously reported, Roosevelt Island residents began a petition to protest RIOC's new Sportspark fee structure

with the support of local elected officials including Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright who said:

...The new Sportspark rates revealed yesterday by a 400% increase in a press release and without community input are shocking and unacceptable. I am calling on our Governor Hochul to intervene in the rate hikes pricing people out of Roosevelt Island. From parking to the pool, these hikes add insult to injury at an already consequential time for people’s pocketbooks.

Roosevelt Island residents were outraged that RIOC's new Sportspark pricing structure was more in line with a privately owned Equinox Gym than an affordable community recreational center.

Today, RIOC announced via Twitter and Instagram that they are suspending until further notice the price increases for Sportspark.

Roberta Kleiman, the organizer of the Sportspark petition, reacts to RIOC's announcement:

I remain cautiously optimistic until I see that RIOC structures prices in line with other NYC and NY State Facilities. A small reduction from the first pricing structure would be UNSATISFACTORY. Also, I hope RIOC will consider separate pricing for pool only or gym only, as many residents requested this in the online petition.

Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright adds: 

I raised the question of Sportspark affordability at a budget hearing so I am pleased to see RIOC made the decision to heed our call suspending the proposed membership and permitting fees until further notice. The fight is not over. We have to stay engaged to ensure that any changes to the pricing structure is met with an open discourse, bringing all stakeholders to the table. Affordability and equitable access to essential services for Roosevelt Island residents is the highest priority. I am closely monitoring this and other matters of governance on Roosevelt Island.

RIOC made no announcement as to the new rates or when Sportspark will finally re-open. 

RIOC's Instagram page has pictures inside Sportspark. 

UPDATE 10:00 PM - Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Liz Kreuger adds: 

I was proud to add my voice to the concerns raised by the community, and I'm glad to see that those concerns were heard, and that this public facility will continue to be widely available and affordable to the public.

Sponsored Post - Bright Starts For Bold Futures, Apply Today For NYC Public Schools 3-K And Pre-k 4 Years Old Fall 2023 Programs - Deadline To Apply Is March 13

In New York City, you can apply to 3-K in the calendar year that your child turns three.

Happening Now:

The 3-K application is open and the deadline to apply is March 13, 2023.

Children born in 2020 can participate in admissions to enter 3-K programs in fall 2023. All children of this age who are also NYC residents are welcome to participate, including children currently attending EarlyLearn or other preschool programs, children with disabilities, children with accessibility needs, children learning English, students in temporary housing, LGBTQ and gender nonconforming children, and children who move to NYC during the admissions process. Children do not need to be toilet trained to attend 3-K.

Families citywide can apply to 3-K for All, but seats are limited and residents of school districts offering 3-K for All programs have priority to attend programs in their own districts. Beginning with the 2021-2022 school year, 3-K for All programs are offered in all 32 schools districts:

In school districts 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23, 27, 29, 31, and 32, there is a 3-K seat for every three-year-old.

In school districts 2, 3, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, and 30, we will offer 3-K seats to as many families as possible.

Families across the city can still apply to programs in any district, and your child has priority to attend 3-K for All programs in the district where they live.



In New York City, children begin pre-K in the calendar year they turn four. ... watch our video series to learn more about pre-K admissions.

The pre-K application is open and the deadline to apply is March 13, 2023.


Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Weird Roosevelt Island Instagram Page, Our Version Of The Onion With Local Satire, Humor And Truth Exposes Absurdities Of RIOC And Life Here On Roosevelt Island - Take A Look And Subscribe

If you're looking for a good laugh about life here on Roosevelt Island, I strongly recommend subscribing to the Weird Roosevelt Island Instagram Page

All photos are from Roosevelt Island, all captions are totally made up.

I told Weird Roosevelt Island how much I enjoyed the site and asked if he/she had any message to the community. The reply was:

The only thing I would like people to know is I genuinely love living here, so I’m trying to laugh with, not laugh at.

Here's a sample of Weird Roosevelt Island, humor and truth.

Click here to subscribe to the Weird Roosevelt Island Instagram Page, our version of The Onion.

NYPD 114 Precinct Invites Roosevelt Island Residents To Build The Block Meeting March 9 With Neighborhood Coordination Officers To Discuss Your Public Safety Concerns - Location At LIC Public Library On 21 Street

The NYPD 114 precinct is hosting a Sector D Build The Block meeting with Neighborhood Coordination Officers Pabla, Veloz and Sergeant Gomez starting 5:00 PM, Thursday March 9 at the Long Island City Public Library (37-44 21 Street). Roosevelt Island residents are invited to attend, meet our Neighborhood Coordination Officers and discuss public safety concerns.

The 114 precinct covers portions of Astoria, Long Island City, Woodside, Jackson Height and Roosevelt Island. Sector D covers Roosevelt Island.

During an August 2020 Build The Block meeting, NYPD 114 Precinct Neighborhood Coordination Officers Mathes and Esposito told residents at Good Shepherd Plaza that Roosevelt Island is the safest neighborhood in NYC.

Can that still be said? Come to the meeting tomorrow and find out.

Hopefully, there will be a Build The Block Meeting with the 114 precinct on Roosevelt Island soon.