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Anti-Semites ‘bomb’ a Zoom shul, Covid survivors give blood, death of a pop star
Coronavirus 2020Daily Coronavirus Update

Anti-Semites ‘bomb’ a Zoom shul, Covid survivors give blood, death of a pop star

Singer and songwriter Adam Schlesinger, seen playing with his pop band Fountains of Wayne, died April 2, 2020, from complications of Covid-19. (Ken Ronkowitz/Flickr Commons)
Singer and songwriter Adam Schlesinger, seen playing with his pop band Fountains of Wayne, died April 2, 2020, from complications of Covid-19. (Ken Ronkowitz/Flickr Commons)

Congregants of Young Israel of New Rochelle, the early epicenter of the coronavirus crisis, have begun donating blood, the Journal-News reports. Now symptom-free, they are taking part in a study to determine if their antibodies can help other people diagnosed with the disease.

Dr. Liise-anne Pirofski, chief of the Department of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, which is conducting the study, said Young Israel members reached out to the hospital to donate blood. She said the Young Israel cluster is the first cohort of recovered people who can make a difference.

The Kiryas Tash chasidic community, an enclave within the town of Boisbriand north of Montreal, was placed under quarantine after a spike in confirmed cases of Covid-19 among its approximately 4,000 members, according to the Canadian Jewish News.

The measure was taken in co-operation with the community’s leaders, who were worried by the growing number of cases. It is believed they contracted the virus after travelling to New York to celebrate Purim earlier in the month before non-essential travel across the border was halted. All members went into self-isolation in their homes as of March 29.

An online synagogue service was hijacked by racist accounts that posted anti-Semitic abuse to congregants, the BBC reports. The Zoom meeting was subject to “Zoombombing,” according to the British network.

The group chat, which appears on the right-hand side of the screen, rapidly filled up with “vile abuse”, a participant said. “It was terrifying at what is a really terrifying time anyway,” a BBC employee said.

The unnamed synagogue’s rabbi described the incident as an “intrusive violation,” and said it had been reported to the Community Security Trust organization and police.

The Boro Park Jewish Community Council has introduced an online Job Assistance link, which offers information on housing, small business, mental health, finances and food. For information:


The number of people diagnosed with Covid-92 climbed to 6,092 by Thursday.

Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman and his wife have been diagnosed with the disease and will go into home quarantine, the Times of Israel reports. “The health minister is feeling well” and working from home, a statement by the Health Ministry said.

Israel has converted a missile production facility to mass produce ventilators and offset a shortage of the life-saving machines as the, according to the Defense Ministry. Defense Minister Naftali Bennett has warned that Israel only has 2,000 ventilators and needs many more.

The Israeli initiative is a collaboration between the ministry, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and medical device maker Inovytec.

The Health Ministry has advised all Israelis to wear protective masks when leaving their homes as a tool in fighting the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Ynet reported.

The Adopt-A-Safta project is providing Seder Boxes for both elderly Israelis, and anyone in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem who is isolated for Passover this year due to coronavirus. The Seder Box provides a full catered meal, seder plate, Haggadah and other resources. The Pesach project is supported by Asparagus Catering, the Schusterman Foundation ROI Community, Nefesh B’Nefesh and Am Yisrael Foundation.

Medtronic, the Israeli-based manufacturer of medical equipment, has announced that it will release all of its patents for the production of ventilators, in order to enable any company wishing to manufacture them to use the blueprints, for free, Arutz Sheva reported.  CEO Yaron Yitzhari said, “We didn’t just release the patents. We’ve made available all the details of the manufacturing process, for anyone who’s interested in manufacturing ventilators himself.”


Adam Schlesinger, one of the lead songwriters of the pop rock band Fountains of Wayne and the musical series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” died Wednesday at 52 from coronavirus complications, Variety reports. Schlesinger, who grew up in a Jewish home in Montclair, N.J., had been in an unnamed hospital in upstate New York for more than a week.

Fountains of Wayne’s most famous song was “Stacy’s Mom,” for which Schlesinger and co-songwriter Chris Collingwood were nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2003. He won a Grammy in 2010 for “A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!” In addition, Schlesinger received several Oscar, Tony and Emmy nominations.

In recent years, he worked on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” the very Jewish musical show that aired for four seasons on the CW.


Bina, an Israeli-based educational organization, is offering free online learning sessions in the coming days.

The schedule: Building Social Resilience in Times of Social Distancing, Thursday, 1 p.m.; Coming Out of Egypt (Again): Passover as a Holiday of Immigration and Refuge, Sunday, 2:30 p.m.;  Skeletons in the National Closet – How Countries and Nations Face the Shadows of the Past, 11 a.m.; Women’s Pesach Seder, Monday, 1 p.m.; Let My People Go! A Moral Call, from Moses to Our Times, 1 p.m.

Bina is also offering Seder Bookmarks designed to aid people in crafting a seder. The additions to the Haggadah offer texts to incorporate into the standard readings, as well as family activities.

The Orthodox Union has collected various online platforms on the subject of dealing with the Covid-19 crisis. Covered areas are AdultsLeadershipParentingSeniors & EldersTechnologyTorah and Youth.

Rabbi Shalom Zuckier, veteran Jewish educator, will discuss “Halakhic Responses to Coronavirus: Should I have a Zoom Seder?” during a livestreamed event sponsored by Drisha Institute for Jewish Education on Thursday at 8 p.m. Pre-registration required.

The 92nd Street Y will offer an online “Creative Family Seder” next Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., and a Community Seder on Thursday at 7:30.

Lilith, the Jewish feminist magazine, will sponsor a cooking class and Q&A with chef/food writer Susan Barocas, guest chef at three Obama White House seders, on preparing for this year’s seder, Thursday at 2:15-2:45 p.m.

The website is offering guidelines for people who are making Passover for the first time.

UJA-Federation of New York has compiled a guide to help the Jewish community find advice, resources and volunteer opportunities for learning during the virus outbreak. UJA and the Jewish Board also have listings of volunteer opportunities.

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