Thursday, 11 Heshvan, 5781
  |  October 29, 2020


Zaki Tamir Apologizes, Explains

Crown Heights Vaad Hakohol Chairman Zaki Tamir apologizes for those having to receive Pesach charity vouchers in broad daylight. Full Story

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March 27, 2014 8:02 am

Whenever a capable leader organizes a well meaning and much needed allocation of assets to our very own community members who are struggling there will always be “criticizers”.
Any possible negativity, be it real or imagined, that might have resulted is overshadowed by the enormous relief our brothers & sisters received as a result of Zaki’s unique people skills!
Zaki, please don’t ever step down!!! Crown Heights needs you!

I was there
March 26, 2014 5:44 pm

i didnt feel embarassed at all while standing on line, it was a little anoying waiting outside, but i i only started feeling uncomfortable now when everyone is saying how embarrassing it must be. i didnt see anyone on line appear to be self-conscience or hiding, it felt more like, well.. if the community was able to get us free stuff for yom tov and i could use the help, why not get on line. i dont know what other people were feeling in their hearts, but i dont see why it should be so embarrassing

Regarding # 63
March 26, 2014 9:51 am

Now THAT’S a good idea!

Good... better... BEST
March 26, 2014 12:11 am

Zaki! Good …. Better … best… Please don’t rest until your good is better and your better is the BEST! Thank you for apologizing publicly… Many pple will learn from this mistake and work on giving privately because of this publication.

March 25, 2014 10:35 pm

For future reference: People should not have to endure extended periods of time pursuing assistance, even in private. The longer they are in the state of pursuing assistance the more downtrodden they could justifiably become. Also, it is causing embarrassment to be seen when seeking assistance even by others who are doing the same, therefore a method that maintains the maximum level of privacy, even from their fellow receivers should be mantaned, to the greatest extent possible (online, phone, mail-in registration), in-vehicle pickup in an out of the area location. Assistance should not be limited due to oversized packaging. Many,… Read more »

love you Zaki
March 25, 2014 9:10 pm

You are the best:)

Sholom Dovber
March 25, 2014 8:04 pm

The registration should occur online. The committee can then make their assessment, if there are some people who should not be asking, they can be contacted by email and told in a diplomatic manner, that there request cannot be fulfilled this time around. All the others, the vast majority can be send their voucher electronically. People who do not have cars to pick up their supplies, should be given another email address were they can request a ride from volunteers or another who is going themselves with a voucher. Further, the produce should be of a medium standard otherwise it… Read more »

March 25, 2014 5:19 pm

I waited on line for hours and when I finally got inside the women that gave out the vouchers for the food, asked me how many people are in your family, and I told her 2 and she told me for 2 people it is to much, I understand that I really didnt need 50;lb bag of onions and etc, but they could of came out and told the people standing on line that the bags they are giving out are 50lb or more, so a lot of people would of not been standing on line for hours.

Citizen Berel
March 25, 2014 2:37 pm

Thank you, Zaki!!!!

Zaki is the best!!!

1. 2. 3. 4. Go Zaki!!!!!


To #77
March 25, 2014 2:12 pm

Caring is not enough- we are not ‘cardiac Jews’, it’s the action which is most important. Surely none of the members of the community council would have enjoyed being on that infamous line themselves. If he really cares, which I agree with you he probably does, things will be different next year.

To CHJJ - make it personal
March 25, 2014 2:10 pm

Sometimes in municipal or community initiatives bureaucracy takes over and the personal aspect is lost and it’s easy to lose sight of the recipient’s experience. As a guide, before extending services to the community, simply follow the Torah directives of putting yourself in another person’s shoes and not doing something in a way that you would not want others to do it to you.

March 25, 2014 1:29 pm

I don’t under stand why the rabbis don’t say anything about the amount of money that is wasted on Purim specially when Pesach comes right after

a better way
March 25, 2014 11:11 am

it can be done in a very simple way. just like the coats 4 the needy u call a number leave name and they get back to u as to where to pick them up. and in this case after u have the name and address it could have been sent in the mail just like cssvy sent the flyer out to those that they thought need it

I waited on those lines and still not criticizing....
March 25, 2014 10:58 am

Yes, I waited quite sme time for my voucher. but you know what? I am THANKFUL that I am in acommunity where people are helping others. I am a balas tzeshuvah and I have seen many other communities and lifestyles. NO ONE has a open heart like this one. Zaki thank you for your letter and thank you for your help. May hashem give you the strength and the means to continue organizing such program in crown heights.

Zaki cares and thats what matters most
March 25, 2014 10:56 am

Can anyone in this community ever be appreciative? Stop critisizing and start appreciating what people are doing for others. If you have a better idea, then gezunterheit- start a “better” system. Doesn’t seem like anyone wants to do anything but complain.

Thank you Zaki for helping many families and actually CARING about others. Unfortunatelly we dont see many of people like you these days.

my observation
March 25, 2014 10:14 am

well, I saw the line twice yesterday and had no idea what it was for. I saw somebody I know in it, but I just smiled and waved and went on my way. Just a tip, you don’t always need to be so interested in other people’s business.

thank you!
March 25, 2014 8:43 am

But I do think it sounds condescending to be referred to as ‘needy’. Everyone in golus is ‘needy’ of one thing or another. I find it more embarrassing to see young ladies in their late 20’s who don’t yet have to wear a shaitel, for example.
As for the example of having people fill out and mail forms, youwill spend much time chasing them down and sending many reminders.

Matzos- One of your special projects for the Shchuna
March 25, 2014 8:38 am

Zaki, I see firsthand how you take this mitzvah to heart and expend time, energy and money to make sure every family of the Shchuna has enough Matzoh for Pesach.
May it be a Zechus for yourself, your Eishes Chayil who supports all your good work, and your family.

not a CrownHeighter
March 25, 2014 8:25 am

Zaki can be my lawyer any time!–not exceptionable. there has to b a better way!

Good letter...
March 25, 2014 7:39 am

until the last paragraph which does indeed sound like excusing himself by saying that he is not perfect instead of a commitment to finding a different way so that no-one will be embarrassed or made to wait in a long line ever again.

Another way..
March 25, 2014 7:34 am

On Purim, when it is a mitzva to give a person money on the day, millions of pounds are put in envelopes and slipped through peoples doors to help them with Pesach needs. This is what is done in London.

March 25, 2014 3:18 am

Zaki and all your volunteers, yasher koach!
May i make a suggestion please.
Maybe you can arrange another time and another way for those families in need who left the line to get assisstance? Reading the comments here it is clear to me that there are families that need but it was painfully embarassing to them to stay on the line in the street.
Tizku lmitzvos!

the apology is too long winded
March 25, 2014 2:19 am

I lost focus before I got close to the apology…

March 25, 2014 2:05 am

Williamsburg gives out more help, ujo and private orgs. They don’t seem to have any lines for help.

Line up in front of the rabbonims office
March 25, 2014 1:11 am

Since everyone goes to sell their Chometz through the Rabbonim, it would not be embarrassing to stand in line at the Rovs office…and yet even better, let the Rov give the vouchers so it is done discreetly

Thanks for your help Zaki, but its backwards thinking
March 25, 2014 1:04 am

60 families signed up because they saw the line on Kingston.

600 families would have signed up, if there was no line on Kingston

(ever here of a website, email, mail, phone, fax…)

Missing the point
March 25, 2014 1:04 am

This has nothing to do with bashing Zaki Tamir. There are hundreds of people in the community, many of them hard working who cannot make ends meet. Do you have any idea what it is like to to work from morning to night, both parents, resort to using babysitters and begging family and friends to help take care of your children without being able to make ends meet? Yes, it’s wonderful help is available, but the help shreds the last few ounces of dignity left. I truly bless you, those who have bashed and been unsympathetic to never ever know… Read more »

Simchas Shabbos Vyomtom
March 25, 2014 12:19 am

Bengy (w your father Shimshon), thanks for always being sensitive and giving discretely without fanfare, pictures and lines. That’s truly putting yourself in the needy’s shoes. NO ONE SHOULD EVER HAVE TO BE EMBARRASSED!! PLEASE TAKE THIS LESSON TO HEART! If you need to post pictures, don’t post of faces!

To Mr Tamir
March 25, 2014 12:12 am

You are a wonderful man! Kudos to you for writing this letter, many in your position would have not done so. A close friend of mine waited in line yesterday for more than an hour. Without going into details, It was a VERY painful experience. (This cannot be compared to using Foodstamps or Medicaid for abvious reasons.) Zaki, maybe you can get a gvir in CH to give a substancial bonus to those who endured the embarrassment yesterday so they can cover a drop more of their nessecities and uplift their yom tov. Mr Tamir your hard work does not… Read more »

A real man
March 25, 2014 12:01 am

A real man apologizes when he failed even if unintentionally.

If you need
March 24, 2014 11:55 pm

Call cssy or benji stock or zaki. Or write a anonymous note that Yukel Todros needs food a d clothes for Yom tov. Even if yukel Todros is you. If you are too ashamed to do it, you might deprive your family of the mitzvah of vsa.achta Bchagecha chv. Sad wives and bitter teens are bad news on yom tov.Just ask the Rav if you don’t believe me. Thanks so much to all the givers like zaki, benji and Mrs Scheiner. May all who stood in the line this year have money to give to others for pesach next year.… Read more »

Don't be embarrassed
March 24, 2014 11:22 pm

Are we embarrassed to use EBT cards? That we have medicaid? It’s so expensive to support a family, of any size, you need to earn triple digit salaries, and even if 2 parents are working, you still can’t make ends meet. So don’t be embarrassed that you/we can’t earn enough money to cover all our expenses, with tuition and Yom tov, and clothes and camp any the list goes on. Let’s not forget about CH rents!

The story of two realities
March 24, 2014 11:16 pm

This is the story of two realities It seems like the people who are praising the action of Zaki and the organization he is heading are the people who never has to wory about being needy Then there are the comments of those who at least once in their lives experienced the embarrassment of being needy And so the story is of the fortunate and the less fortunate each seeing things from their point of view But the mitzvah of tzdakah is not for the giver to feel good about themselves for giving! It’s to give! And it’s to make… Read more »

March 24, 2014 11:10 pm



Thank you. But not good enough.
March 24, 2014 11:03 pm

Everything in this letter is nice and good.

But it doesn’t explain why they had to do this at the Community Council, at the corner of Crown and Kingston.

They could have found another location to ask people to line up on the outskirts of the community, where they would not be the center of attention. Beis Rivkah at Crown and Nostrand would have been one obvious choice.

And yes, I am one of those who did not join the line out of sheer embarrassment. Should I feel better now that 60 others benefited?

Comments defending Mr Tamir
March 24, 2014 11:01 pm

It almost sounds like some comments are a sort of ‘backlash’ defending Zaki Tamir from what is perceived as the ‘unreasonable’ suggestions of concerned citizens as to how to make the receiving process less traumatic for the recipients. It’s a correct and proper thing for the people to speak their needs in any municipal undertaking. I am sure that Zaki Tamir is intelligent enough to see it as such.

Appreciative yet really pained
March 24, 2014 10:53 pm

I never comment on this website. However, I am compelled to now. I greatly laud the amazing work that the chjcc does and realize that much effort, energy, time, and thought, go into each initiative. I was personally helped in the past from such programs and know how much relief it brings to families. Each and every donor or volunteer is truly doing a tremendous mitzvah and should be thanked and appreciated for their service. They should be blessed for their generosity. Yet, the oversight in this arrangement is completely inexcusable. The lack of sensitivity to human dignity is beyond… Read more »

Apology does not replace lack of action
March 24, 2014 10:51 pm

This is not a criticism as such of the Community Council but a call for awareness: Notwithstanding the fact that probably no one was staring at anyone and there are so many families in need in Crown Heights that it is normal to receive some assistance- Still, I know that I personally would rather starve c”v than be seen on line waiting for the dole. I would not expect other people to have to do that. Sometimes one is so full of satisfaction and self-congratulation at being the bestower of bounty to the needy, that we forget that, per shulchan… Read more »

I look up to you
March 24, 2014 10:44 pm

zaki is the man! He is a mentch. not to common anymore

Visiting CH
March 24, 2014 10:39 pm

I was just visiting from out of town and was amazed by how many people needed help and by the fact that they were made to stand on line outside in a public display. I think the concept of Matan B’Seser should be the ultimate goal. And at the very least to try and keep it as discreet as possible.

ATTENTION "Single Mom"
March 24, 2014 10:29 pm

Call the Council: 718-771-9000 – speak to Eli Cohen.

Zaki Tamir
March 24, 2014 10:14 pm

Always organizing positive things within the community. May we all learn from him. He’s so dedicated to helping others.

Sruly C
March 24, 2014 10:08 pm

Zaky we love you.

The people wrote with love and you responded with love.
Your a great example of a true leader.

Wrong Wrong Wrong
March 24, 2014 10:08 pm

The idea of Maos chitim is dignity. This was ill conceived . Yashar coach for trying and doing so much but this was insane

I WAS HUMULIATED JUST WATCHING people I knew and asking like an idiot what they were waiting for

Single mom
March 24, 2014 10:02 pm

For those of us who had to leave the line and didn’t get the voucher – what now? can we still get it?

March 24, 2014 9:39 pm

This must be the fourth year that Zaki arranged giving out Matzos to families in the schuna. May Hashem bentch him and all who took part in this wonderful mitzvah.

Zaki actually gets things DONE
March 24, 2014 9:28 pm

Criticize as much as you want- when push comes to shove Zaki gets things done. Kol Hakavod. Truly inspiring.

Zaki is great
March 24, 2014 9:27 pm

I’ve worked with Zaki personally- he cares so much about every single Jew it’s incredible. Keep up your good work! Without you families in crown heights wouldn’t have Matzos at their Seder.

March 24, 2014 8:40 pm

This is not an apology, it’s an explanation. If people don’t like it than let than get off their rear end and do something. We live in a practical world. Besides the CHJCC is a government sponsored program, and government can’t be trusted to do things right. Also, we are RELIANT on oneg shabbos, an organization from a different community and are subject to their whims. If we we want what we want how we want it than we have to have a stronger presence. We don’t.

insensitivity at its worst
March 24, 2014 8:12 pm

i desperately need the money but was dead embarrassed to wait there in full view of my high school students
what to do?

Zaki is zachai
March 24, 2014 8:11 pm

okay. and at the end of the day look how many people he helped make happy and proud this Yom Tov.

gd bless u zaki tamir
March 24, 2014 8:10 pm

Moshiach now. May no one be of need for this service

We are blessed
March 24, 2014 7:57 pm

Thank you Zaki for being such a devoted servant of our community

March 24, 2014 7:49 pm

Zaki has only the purest intentions . You are doing a amazing job and could not ask for any more.

With all due respect,
March 24, 2014 7:46 pm

With all due respect,

I believe it is an abdication of duty, in 2014, to not provide a link for people to donate.

March 24, 2014 7:11 pm

Never have I heard a politician speak so openly and honestly. I am impressed with his integrity, that he can tell the while truth, and be ready to say that he will do better next time…The rebbe is proud of you Zaki. I am sure that I speak for more than a few families in Crown Heights.

Good man, Gd loves you
March 24, 2014 7:09 pm

I just read this letter to the community, how kind and caring this gentleman is. I think it’s important to not use the word (needy) anymore, I see it written in so many places, does it have to be used when a person is helping another. Zaki, I don’t know you, but you are great. Please pass on the word to omit (needy) because we are all needy, we all need love, we all need comfort, we all need help in many ways, otherwise man would be a robot. So whomever reads this, and remembers to omit the word needy… Read more »

March 24, 2014 6:49 pm

Zaki ,you are truly an inspiration and I am proud to know you.
Thank you for your hard work
Most people

there is one thing the whole community needs to say:
March 24, 2014 6:47 pm

Thank You Zaki!
a mentch, a chosid, a shliach.

dont buy it
March 24, 2014 6:31 pm

for every stupid thing they can deliver and/or mail fliers to EVERY door, but for this they can’t ??

How to improve it?
March 24, 2014 6:28 pm

In my community everything is done by mail. Those seeking help call a phone line. A form is sent, where the recipient fills out such details as # of adults/children etc. and a reference of a Rav or other respected individual who can vouch for the family and their financial situation. Once accepted the recipient receives vouchers to the value of what the organizers consider resonable based on family numbers. The vouchers are in different catagories for Meat/Chicken, Fish, Fruit/Vegetables & general groceries, they can only be spent at specific stores, but they cover almost every jewish food business in… Read more »

Yossy H
March 24, 2014 6:22 pm

I was an active participant in yesterday’s Facebook ranting about the badly handled distribution. I am a fan of a lot of what Mr Tamir does for this community both inside and outside (Aliyah institute) his CHJCC role. Its nice that he acknowledged and was transparent about the error, and he even went further and pointed out issues with previous years lesser quality items. However I think the regular people in this community didn’t blow up because of this ONE event, for most of us it was the final trigger on many years of frustration with the way the CHJCC… Read more »

March 24, 2014 6:21 pm

I apologize for starring at the line on Sunday I honestly just wasn’t quit sure what I was starring at . If it was you I was starring at please forgive me.


Zaki is the MAN!!
March 24, 2014 6:16 pm

Kudos to you, Zaki for all the work you do on behalf of the Community. For my money, you can stay in that chosheve position for another 4 years, but is there any talk or movement for new elections?? Do the elections coincide with Presidential elections? What’s the time table we should be concerned about?

So Amazing
March 24, 2014 6:08 pm

Truly amazing to see someone that works so selflessly!

Zaki really cares
March 24, 2014 5:56 pm

Wow Zaki really has a big heart and because of him families in crown heights have food on their table on Pesach

Tizku L'mitvos
March 24, 2014 5:49 pm

Keep up the good work!

Left the line
March 24, 2014 5:42 pm

I waited on the line for awhile but left after someone came over to me and told me that waiting on Kingston Ave is embarrassing. I waited another few minutes and when the line was barely moving, I just left. Thank you Zaki and anyone else involved, I’m not angry or bitter about it. I really do need the help but will have to figure something else out this year. Pesach is really really difficult to make. I don’t make ends meet the whole year and Pesach really throws some loops. It’s not only about food, the inability to buy… Read more »

Ways to fix this so it never happens again
March 24, 2014 5:32 pm

In addition to putting up notices in Shuls and on the internet, there should be flyers given out to each household as well as in schools. Furthermore, a different location should be used for voucher pick up.
Nevertheless, it takes a man of true character to apologize. Kol hakovod.

Thank you very much- but keep in mind...
March 24, 2014 5:24 pm

People waited outside for3and half hours in the cold, some with kids- only to find the frustration of having to give the number and address to a lady – who typed it out. That was the problem! Obviously the names had to be cross matched on two lists – but the method was not effective. The frustration of having the lady type in your name and waiting 3 hours was unbelievable. Couldn’t a fill out paper handed in have sufficed.
However, kol hakavod for the tremendous made to secure all these foodstuffs. We are grateful for the help

Responsible and Responsive
March 24, 2014 5:22 pm

A very nice and heartfelt letter of explanation – not excuse – that will surely help more people get the assistance they need and improve the service next year. This is an example of an appropriate, timely, considerate response from a public official to a community complaint. Well done!

line outside in day light ?!
March 24, 2014 5:17 pm

you make distribution at the office anytime whenever somebody walks in, asks, you give. why this limit of time why by day.

Thank you for your work
March 24, 2014 5:14 pm

Nice letter. Thank you.

not acceptable
March 24, 2014 4:54 pm

You are saying that 240 people were humiliated to benefit another 60?
That is NOT a justification.
Mail out a notice and include a self addressed envelope to mail back form. Vouchers will be sent in mail.
This is not a ration line in poland in the 1940s

I love you Zaki
March 24, 2014 4:49 pm

May we all have the schuss to be able to give

March 24, 2014 4:47 pm

Zaki Tamir does and u dare to criticizes shame on you!!!!

Get off your rear and do something….

Keep up the great work zaki..

How many did not come?
March 24, 2014 4:46 pm

You say more people came because they saw the line, the Question is how many did not come because they were too embarrassed to be on line.

Thank you Zaki For all your good Work.

thank you
March 24, 2014 4:38 pm

The “benefit” of the line can also be achieved through fliers. No need to embarrass people for that.

Todays daf yomi
March 24, 2014 4:34 pm

Todays daf yomi sukka 49b says tzedoka should be distributed privately

Thank you for all you do however…
March 24, 2014 4:34 pm

Every year our family contests as to who would be the “lucky” ones to go and stand on the food lines – Its humbling to say the least. Forget the photos that have been taken at past distributions. This year when it was announced that it will be on Kingston Ave, no one even gave it a thought of going. We just skipped it. Im sure we were not the only ones. If this was a private personal charity I would say that is his prerogative as to how to go about it, but acting as a “Jewish” community project… Read more »

March 24, 2014 4:16 pm

Your integrity and character is exemplary. Thank you for helping our community!

March 24, 2014 4:11 pm

Is there a link we can donate to? I would like to see CHJCC being more vocal about tzedaka funds we can donate to. A website, advertising, pushkas, etc.

Thank you!
March 24, 2014 4:07 pm

Thank you for all your hard work.

March 24, 2014 4:05 pm

Your work is commendable .However I was horrified to see the lane in view of every passerby I purposely drove by quickly and turned my head the other way. But I was stuck at the red light and saw a woman just stand there and stare and stare at the line…has to be another way

March 24, 2014 3:51 pm

What a beautiful letter. Thank you for your heartfelt response.

Zaki tamir
March 24, 2014 3:46 pm

You are an inspiration!
May gd bless you ten fold spiritually and physically for all your efforts on behalf of the community.

March 24, 2014 3:45 pm


Good Man
March 24, 2014 3:42 pm

Zaki is a good man.
I learn with him each wk.

March 24, 2014 3:41 pm

Zaki, you honesty and humility is inspiring

March 24, 2014 3:37 pm

This is defiantly going to bring Moshiach a lot closer!
This is the true example of a Chossid.

there is a better way
March 24, 2014 3:33 pm

Zaki please next time create a phone number to call to pick up the vouchers put flyers everywhere but never make a line in front of the whole comunnity to see