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Mayor Bloomberg wants to do a ‘Tikkun Olam’ – Promotes Clean-Air plan

The New York Times

New York, NY — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, speaking in forceful and personal terms, went yesterday to a neighborhood plagued by high asthma rates to argue for his sweeping plan to reduce the city’s air pollution, which includes a surcharge for vehicles entering congested sections of Manhattan.

The mayor addressed a conference of ministers at the Bethel A.M.E. Church on West 132nd Street in Harlem. The air-conditioning was not on, and as the air became stuffy, many in the audience began fanning themselves with folded programs.

Mr. Bloomberg said that his administration was committed to removing “disease-causing soot” from the city’s air by planting trees, using cleaner fuels and imposing fees, similar to those used in parts of London and Singapore, on drivers entering Midtown and downtown Manhattan.

He mentioned, as he did in his Earth Day speech on Sunday, that in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Harlem, children are hospitalized for asthma, which is aggravated by dirty air, at nearly four times the national average.

The men and women in the audience gasped at the statistic and shook their heads.

“In my faith, the Jewish faith,” Mr. Bloomberg continued, “there is a religious obligation called tikkun olam, or to make the world whole, or to correct error and end injustice. And that responsibility is found among people of good will in every faith.”

Mr. Bloomberg has attracted both criticism and praise for proposing a fee of $8 a day for cars and $21 for commercial trucks that enter Manhattan below 86th Street during weekday business hours.

“Maybe that will force people onto mass transit,” he said, and then stopped. “And there’s a young lady in the front shaking her head no. If she’s the only one in the room who doesn’t like it, I’m doing pretty good.” The audience laughed.

Imposing congestion fees, the mayor said, “will encourage people to take mass transit, it will give us the money to build more mass transit, it will clean the air and give our children much better air to breathe — and also for adults, incidentally.”

“If it doesn’t work,” he said, “at least we tried, but we have to do something for our children.”


  • 1. Kugel Gonniff wrote:

    So creating new taxes and a bigger government is Judaism? He announces his grand tikkun olan plan at a black church?


  • 2. neeyet wrote:

    I’m sorry, maybe i am wrong , but that picture of blumberg looks like he is in a church, if so, ershten, you shouldnt have such pictures on your web site as per the directives of our rebbeim concerning tv’s and the pictures of such places in them, so…………..
    google another pic, and put that one..

  • 3. Itzhak Schier wrote:

    Which meforash defines “tikkun olam” (not to be confused with lesaken oilam bemalchus Shakai) as soaking the hard working middle class with all sorts of fees, taxes and fines in order to serve a left wing pseudo-environmentalist agenda?

  • 4. Resident wrote:

    While I dont want to be taxed and disagree with this plan 100%, we can’t make fun of him for this Tikkun Olam talk. After all, it is the “brilliant scholarly” REFORM ‘RABBIS’ who fill his head and many Jews head with this craziness to fulfill there hard core left wing, Pro Arab, and Pro Goy agenda.

    We should take the Reform “leadership” of that movement to task for this ridiculous Torah blunder.

  • 5. CHer wrote:

    come on! don’t you want to have cleaner air to breathe?
    you didn’t have to run w/your child or yourself to the ER due to asthma?!

  • 6. kugel gonif wrote:

    The announcement was made at a conference of ministers at the Bethel A.M.E. Church on West 132nd Street in Harlem.

  • 7. Yehuda Shoenberg wrote:

    He is a self hating Jew.. There are many. He should show up more to shull and Jewish events..


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