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Anti-Semites hack LI Jewish day school • UJA approves $11m in Covid aid • NY’s Israeli restaurants holding on
Daily Update

Anti-Semites hack LI Jewish day school • UJA approves $11m in Covid aid • NY’s Israeli restaurants holding on

CHANUKAH CHEER: Holocaust survivors in southern Brooklyn got a special delivery of Chanukah cheer this week from Kings Bay Y staff and volunteers — including a contingent of teens — who brought the seniors holiday gifts thanks to the generosity of the nonprofit organization The Blue Card. (Kings Bay Y)
CHANUKAH CHEER: Holocaust survivors in southern Brooklyn got a special delivery of Chanukah cheer this week from Kings Bay Y staff and volunteers — including a contingent of teens — who brought the seniors holiday gifts thanks to the generosity of the nonprofit organization The Blue Card. (Kings Bay Y)

UJA-Federation of New York announced more than $11 million in emergency funding for Covid relief in New York and Israel.

With today’s grants and interest-free loans, UJA to date has allocated $64 million for Covid relief since March 2020, and above and beyond its more than $130 million in annual budgeted allocations. The funds are being allocated to New York Jewish Community Centers ($8.15 million) and Israeli human service NGOs ($3.5 million).

“This new emergency funding is targeted at strengthening essential community resources in New York and Israel for those who need it most,” CEO Eric S. Goldstein said in a statement.

Related: Read about UJA-Federation’s multimillion-dollar investment in seven area “Hubs” that provide essential health and human services for tens of thousands of struggling New Yorkers.

A Great Neck day school was hacked by anti-Semites on Monday.

The North Shore Hebrew Academy High School’s homepage was splattered with a swastika and clip of marching Nazi SS guards, according to the footage posted on Twitter. “North Shore Hebrew Death Camp,” another page read. Anti-Semitic videos and songs were posted.

Police are investigating. Headmaster Daniel Vitow told The New York Post that “We are aware of the situation and are actively working with law enforcement.”

A critical care nurse at Northwell Long Island Jewish Medical Center was given the first potentially lifesaving Covid-19 vaccine in New York.

The hospital’s director of critical care nursing, Sandra Lindsay has been at the forefront of the pandemic for the last 10 months.

The rollout of the Pfizer medication began Monday with doses given to health care workers and nursing home staffers around the country.

A survey says that 93 percent of New York’s Israeli restaurateurs expect their establishments to outlast the pandemic.

The survey of 30 owners by the New York-Israel Business Alliance identified 173 restaurants owned by Israelis in the state, with 85%-90% of those in New York City.

Gov. Cuomo on Friday barred indoor dining as the state’s test positivity rate hovered around five percent, in a significant blow to the industry. Seventy-seven percent of survey respondents said their restaurants cannot succeed without indoor dining. Neither Cuomo nor Mayor de Blasio said how long the ban will last.

Key quote: “There’s always an opportunity if you are in good spirits. It’s an attitude and I think Israelis do really well because we grew up adapting,” Albert Bitton, co-owner of Shoo Shoo Nolita in Manhattan, told Times of Israel.

Jeffrey Adam Rosen, the deputy attorney general, will replace William Barr as attorney general.

President Trump said on Twitter Monday that Barr will leave his post on Dec. 23 and Rosen would be acting attorney general. The president is reportedly furious with Barr for not backing up his false assertions that the election was fraudulent.

Background: Rosen raised eyebrows when he was nominated in February 2019. A veteran of the Department of Transportation in the George W. Bush and Trump administrations, he had no experience in the Justice department or as a prosecutor. Yet Trump nominated Rosen reportedly at Barr’s behest.

Rosen, who is Jewish, delivered remarks in October at a State Department conference on anti-Semitism. During his talk, he took issue with the term “hate speech,” which he said “has been used to label whatever the person using the phrase doesn’t like. It has become too easy to label political speech as such.”

Loyalty test: According to the Wall Street Journal, “Rosen also has been heavily involved in politically sensitive civil litigation the Trump administration has pursued, including several lawsuits against Trump critics that have led to disagreements within the agency.”

Accused sex offender Malka Leifer can be extradited to Australia, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled.

The former principal of Melbourne’s Adass Israel Orthodox girls’ high school is wanted on 74 charges of child sex abuse. The court ruling brings her six-year effort to prevent extradition to an almost certain end, the Times Israel reports.


Motown legend Smokey Robinson recorded a private Chanukah greeting but pronounced the holiday as “cha-new-kah,” with a hard “ch” sound. As of Monday afternoon, the video had attracted nearly 40,000 “likes.”

Dave Grohl of the rock band Foo Fighters teamed up with the Grammy-winning Jewish producer Greg Kurstin to record eight covers of songs by famous Jewish artists, one for each night of the holiday.

Hannah Lebovits, an academic in Dallas, says her kids taught her how to make Chanukah their own during the pandemic.

Joan Nathan‘s “genius” latke recipe skips the onion and asks you to bake the potato partway before frying.

JewBelong has a free Chanukah booklet, which includes the traditional blessings, skits, jokes and more.

Around the Agencies

Repair the World’s Fellowship has expanded to a two-year program and is accepting applications from young adults. Fellows are partnered with nonprofits in their community to address education justice, food justice, housing justice, environmental justice, criminal justice, and more. Priority deadline for applications is Feb. 1; March 12 is a second priority deadline; the final deadline for applications is April 16.

The Jewish Education Project is now accepting nominations for the 2021 Robert M. Sherman Young Pioneers Award, honoring an educator in metro New York (NYC, Westchester County, and Long Island) who has gone and above and beyond during these challenging times. Nominate an educator here.

An Unlikely Photojournalist: Emile Bocian in Chinatown, an exhibit presented by the Museum of Chinese in America and the Center for Jewish History, has launched online. The exhibition, originally scheduled to open at CJH in April 2020, explores the work of Emile Bocian, who became a photojournalist in the 1970s and ’80s for a Chinese-language daily in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Bocian (1912-1990) was introduced to the neighborhood when he was asked to run a publicity campaign for the U.S. premiere of the Bruce Lee film, “Fist of Fury.”

Streaming Today

The World Jewish Congress, in partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, will bring together Jewish women leaders from across the religious spectrum and around the globe for an online forum, “Women in Contemporary Judaism: Jewish Unity and Religious Diversity.” The panel event is designed to celebrate the diversity of opinions among, and acknowledge the challenges faced by, Jewish women, as well as address how to best meet these challenges going forward. The forum will open with keynote addresses from former Knesset Member Ruth Calderon and from Minister of Diaspora Affairs Omer Yankelevitch, and then will feature two panels of speakers. Register here. 10:00 am.

Salon/Sanctuary Concerts, the Kaleidoscope Ensemble, and NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò celebrate the 450th birthday of the Jewish-Italian composer Salamone Rossi with a performance of his setting of Psalm 137 (“By the waters of Babylon…”), followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Eugenio Refini of NYU, featuring Salon/Sanctuary Concerts Founder and Artistic Director Jessica Gould, Kaleidoscope Ensemble Founder and Artistic Director Dr. Arianne Abela, and composer Dr. Brandon Waddles. The concert will take place on the Salon/Sanctuary Concerts website or Facebook page, and the panel discussion will take place live on the Zoom platform of NYU Casa Italiana. 5:00 pm.

Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion presents Dahlia Lithwick, who covers the Supreme Court for Slate and the Amicus podcast, discussing the big issues on the Supreme Court’s agenda, including the elections, healthcare, religious rights, the Mueller investigation, technology and more. Register here. 6:00 pm.

Kulanu will host its first “Zoom-A-Thon,” a Kulanu in Song Chanukah Benefit sharing songs and prayers by people from Guatemala, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Indonesia and more, singing their own Jewish music unique to their culture. Learn more about the event here. 8:00 pm.

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