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FBI arrests Jewish rioter • Orthodox media stick with Trump • AOC and Ted Cruz debate Holocaust analogies
Daily Update

FBI arrests Jewish rioter • Orthodox media stick with Trump • AOC and Ted Cruz debate Holocaust analogies

Local politicians and clergy led a candlelight walk and vigil on Staten Island to denounce white supremacist propaganda and last week’s violence at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 10, 2021. (Courtesy)
Local politicians and clergy led a candlelight walk and vigil on Staten Island to denounce white supremacist propaganda and last week’s violence at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 10, 2021. (Courtesy)

Elissa Slotkin, the Jewish Democratic moderate from Michigan whose role was critical in impeaching President Donald Trump in 2019, is in favor of impeaching him a second time.

Slotkin was among the last Democrats to sign on to this week’s impeachment effort, and the last of the 25 Jewish Democrats to do so.

“The textbook definition of terrorism is the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims,” she wrote in a Detroit Free Press op-ed. “The definition of an insurrection is a violent uprising against a government. Last Wednesday, the president incited domestic terrorists and an insurrection against the constitutional rule of law.”

Despite the Capitol riots, Orthodox media are largely unshaken in their commitment to President Trump.

Following the insurrection by a pro-Trump mob, Orthodox newspapers and websites either downplayed the violence or shared conspiracy theories blaming the left. An editor on Long Island quit after her boss ran a photo of a columnist seeming to celebrate the day’s events, Shira Hanau reports.

Aaron Mostofsky, a Jewish judge’s son who participated in the Capitol mob last week wearing fur pelts and a bulletproof vest, was arrested by the FBI at his home in Brooklyn Tuesday morning.

The FBI said Mostofsky would be charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. According to ABC7 New York, Mostofsky would face four charges, including felony theft of government property.

The arrest comes amid a nationwide crackdown on the Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol building last week.

A Republican politician in Staten Island has apologized for yelling “Heil Hitler” at a protest last month, apparently comparing coronavirus restrictions to the fascist decrees of the Nazis.

Leticia Remauro also resigned from the Staten Island Hebrew Public Charter School’s board of trustees, according to SILive, a local news site.

In a tweet, the Republican consultant and borough president candidate said she made a “VERY BAD ANALOGY likening the actions of … de Blasio & Cuomo against small businesses to those of a Nazi dictator.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) swapped charges of misusing the Holocaust during a heated Twitter exchange over the weekend.

The subject was President-elect Joe Biden’s use of the term “big lie” — which he attributed to Nazi propaganda minister Hermann Goebbels — to describe President Trump’s baseless accusations about the 2020 elections. Cruz said Biden shouldn’t be calling his opponents “literal Nazis.” Ocasio-Cortez noted that some of the Capitol rioters wore anti-Semitic garb.

Related: Etsy has removed a T-shirt with the phrase “Camp Auschwitz” on it after images of a Capitol Hill rioter wearing a sweatshirt with the message circulated in recent days. And GitHub, a software developing host owned by Microsoft, reportedly fired a Jewish employee days after he warned (with reason) of “Nazis” among the mob that stormed the Capitol last week.

Local politicians and clergy led a candlelight walk and vigil on Staten Island Sunday evening to denounce white supremacist propaganda and last week’s violence at the U.S. Capitol.

A white supremacist group from New Jersey posted more than a dozen anti-Semitic flyers in New Dorp earlier this month claiming Antifa, the loose anti-fascist network, is an anti-white Jewish organization.

Speakers at the vigil included U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-NY); Rabbi Michael Howald of Temple Israel in Randall Manor, and representatives from Staten Island’s NAACP chapter, Communities United for Respect and Trust, the Staten Island Inter-Religious Leadership, Staten Island Immigrants Council and Roman Catholic Vicariate of Staten Island.

“The only way we can overcome the sickness of hate,” said Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, president of the Council of Jewish Organizations of Staten Island, “is by making clear and unequivocal: We will not allow hate to torpedo into fear, impinge on the progress of making this world a better place.”

Around the Agencies

Israel’s Bar-Ilan University and the United Arab Emirates’ Gulf Medical University signed an agreement for collaborative research and education.

The collaboration between Bar-Ilan’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine and their counterparts at Gulf Medical will include the exchange of researchers and students at the graduate and undergraduate levels; joint academic programs in the fields of medical science, medical education, and health-systems administration; and the publication of joint academic studies. The two universities will also focus on population health, an area in which the Azrieli Faculty, which serves the Galilee’s diverse and largely disadvantaged communities, has particular expertise, according to a statement by Arie Zaban, president of Bar-Ilan.

Yachad, the Orthodox Union’s organization for individuals with disabilities, raised $1,614,239 in a 36-hour campaign last month.

The funds will go toward increasing daily virtual programming on Yachad on Demand, the group’s virtual platform; expanding clinical support services to families, including parent groups, sibling support for multiple age groups and “wellness check-ins” to Yachad participants; and increasing home delivery packages for individuals with disabilities isolating at home.

The Covenant Foundation announced $1.7 million in new grants for 16 innovative projects in Jewish education.

New York-area recipients include the JCC Association of North America, for the piloting of JFEST: An Arts Festival for the JCC Movement; Jewish Women’s Archive, for an interactive art-based story-collecting project; Matan, for a plan to help communities achieve full disability inclusion; Sefaria, for an online learning project and video technology; Jewish Food Society, for Schmaltzy, a new podcast; Lab/Shul, to expand GENerate, a cohort-based learning initiative for adults in their 50s to 70s. Covenant provides Signature grants, which generally provide funding of up to $150,000 over three years, and Ignition grants, of up to $20,000 for one year to support new and untested approaches.

Streaming Today

American Sephardi Federation presents historical fiction author Edith Scott Saavedra, exploring her journey to bring alive the culture and history of Sephardic Aragon and true stories of resistance to the Spanish Inquisition by giving voice to women and girls. “The Lamps of Albarracín” is a fictional first-person narrative by a Sephardic girl that recounts the arrival of the Spanish Inquisition into the Kingdom of Aragon in the 1480s. It is based on extensive review of Spanish Inquisition testimony and historical research. Register here. Noon.

“Bringing Israel Home,” a new digital series, features live-at-home cooking featuring 5-time James Beard award-winning chef Michael Solomonov. Chef Solomonov will visit with friends and prominent Israelis, who will share their takes on Israeli food culture. Live in his home kitchen, Solomonov will cook a mix of new and signature dishes and answer questions. Recipes will be available to viewers in collaboration with Jewish Food Society, here. Watch on Vimeo. 8:00 pm.

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