Rabbis rally at Sukkah outside of Trump Tower
Two dozen rabbis yesterday took part in a rally at a Sukkah outside of Trump Tower in Manhattan to protest President Trump’s anti-immigration policies, the Jerusalem Post reports. The rally sponsored by the T’ruah human rights organization was designed to point out the need for a more welcoming American policy towards refugees and migrants, said Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of T’ruah.
Many of the rabbis who participated, including immigrants to the United States, carried signs that stated “My father was a Syrian refugee” and “You shall love the immigrant.”
Forest fire heavily damages Jewish summer camp
Forest fires sweeping across northern California have caused heavy damage at the Union for Reform Judaism’s Camp Newman, an hour north of the San Francisco Bay, JTA reports. The camp was “mostly destroyed,” according to a notice the camp posted on Facebook
Camp is not in session, and everyone living at the campsite — along with its Torah scrolls — was rescued before the fires reached the site.
Wiesenthal Center won’t withdraw honor for Harvey Weinstein
The Simon Wiesenthal Center said yesterday that it has not considered withdrawing an award it gave two years ago to film producer mogul Harvey Weinstein, who was fired by the production company he founded following a string of sexual harassment allegations.
According to JTA, Weinstein received the 2015 Humanitarian Award from the group, which promotes tolerance, at its annual gala dinner. “We honored Harvey Weinstein because he and his company, like many other leaders in the entertainment world, have been longtime supporters of the Wiesenthal Center and its work,” Center spokeswoman Marcial Lavina said.
20 Ukrainian teens arrested for desecrating Jewish graves
Authorities in Ukraine have identified several teenagers whom police said desecrated at least 20 Jewish graves in August, JTA reports. The teens, all males younger than 18, were detained in connection with vandalism in Svalyava, a city in western Ukraine.
The teens are suspected of pushing over at least 20 gravestones, causing some to smash, including the gravestone of the town’s former rabbi, Rabbi Shalom Goldenberg.
Chief rabbi’s prayer marks Balfour centennial
British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has written a special prayer to mark the upcoming centennial of the Balfour Declaration, which led to the founding of Israel, the London Jewish Chronicle reports. It will be recited in Orthodox synagogues across the country on November 4 as part of Balfour Shabbat celebrations.
Balfour Shabbat will include a series of events on November 3 and 4 across the spectrum of Jewish denominations, with lectures, debates and Friday night dinners.
Chabad founds center in Russia-occupied Crimea
Rabbi Yehezkel Lazar, son of Rabbi Berel Lazar, who is Russia’s Chief Rabbi and a senior Chabad-Lubavitch official, has “set up shop” in Simferopol, a major city in the Republic of Crimea, the Jewish Press reports.
“We understand that the situation in Crimea is complicated,” Rabbi Lazar Jr. said of the 2014 takeover of Crimea by pro-Russian separatists and Russian Armed Forces. “Our goals are not political but spiritual,” he said. “In Simferopol and Crimea there are Jews, and they need to organize their life as a community.”