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AOC wants to halt weapons sale to Israel • Friday may bring ceasefire • NY is reopening
Daily Update

AOC wants to halt weapons sale to Israel • Friday may bring ceasefire • NY is reopening

Firefighters attempt to extinguish a fire at a warehouse that was hit during an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 18, 2021. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Firefighters attempt to extinguish a fire at a warehouse that was hit during an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 18, 2021. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)


Both sides said they were close to an agreement to end more than a week of fighting between Israel and Hamas.

Here’s the latest on the conflict:

In their fourth phone call since fighting in Gaza began 10 days ago, President Biden pressed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on Wednesday to begin winding down the conflict immediately.

Groups of pro-Palestinian protesters attacked Jews in two separate incidents in Los Angeles this week.

A group of Jewish employees at Google wants the company to speak out in support of Palestinians and consider a boycott of the Israeli military.

New York, New York

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx/Queens) will propose a resolution to block a $735 million weapons sale to Israel. She and two other Democratic progressives are targeting the transfer of precision-guided missiles as Israel and Hamas exchange fire.

Quotable: “It is long past time to end the US policy of unconditional military arms sales, particularly to governments that have violated human rights,” they write, in an email obtained by Jewish Currents magazine.

Reaction: “Her proposal to block additional U.S. aid to our ally will further fuel, aid, and abet Hamas’ violence and undermine the U.S.-Israel relationship.” — Jeff Mendelsohn, executive director of Pro-Israel America

New York lifted many capacity restrictions on businesses Wednesday, meaning houses of worship will be able to return to 100 percent capacity, but only if they can still maintain six feet of distance between individuals or groups. Vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks, indoors or outdoors, in most circumstances, but individual businesses and institutions are free to make stricter mask rules.

A father-and-son team from New York now controls El Al, Israel’s national airline. The Israeli government gave Kenny Rozenberg, the chief executive of the New York-based nursing home chain Centers Health Care, permission to join the airline’s board, Reuters reports.

Background: Rozenberg’s son Eli, 28, a yeshiva student who lives in Jerusalem, became the owner of the embattled national carrier last year after bidding $150 million for a majority share. At the time, the board of El Al alleged Eli was a frontman for his non-Israeli father.

What changed: Kenny recently became an Israeli citizen. The Rozenbergs were also the only bidders at the share offering in 2020.

Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman was fired from a Dallas synagogue after an investigation revealed “sexually predatory behavior” dating back to his time at New York’s Central Synagogue from 1972 to 1985.

Zimmerman had been serving as scholar in residence of Temple Emanu-El in North Dallas since 2017.

Background: Zimmerman stepped down as head of the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College in 2000 amid unspecified misconduct allegations. Last year Central Synagogue launched an investigation, hearing for the first time from a former teacher at the synagogue who said she was manipulated into a sexual relationship with Zimmerman, who was her boss, and from a second accuser who said she was 17 when Zimmerman first began to fondle and kiss her.

The Forward has new details about the original investigation of Zimmerman’s behavior.


Jews are being attacked in the streets of Israel’s “mixed” cities, but are they victims of a “pogrom”? Henry Abramson, dean of Touro College in Brooklyn, explains the history of the word, its uses — and misuses.

Streaming Today

Watch a presentation about the Pew Research Center’s “Jewish Americans in 2020” study by researchers Becka Alper and Alan Cooperman, followed by a panel moderated by the Orthodox Union’s former executive vice president Rabbi Steven Weil. Panelists to include Moishe Bane, Dr. Erica Brown, Rabbi Moshe Hauer, Dr. Michelle Shain, and Rabbi Chaim David Zwiebel. Register here. 2:00 pm.

Watch a screening of “Love It Was Not,” a new documentary about a Jewish prisoner at Auschwitz and her forbidden relationship with a high-ranking SS officer who saved her life. The program will feature a panel discussion with Israeli director Maya Sarfaty and producer Kurt Langbein, moderated by Columbia University film professor Annette Insdorf. The program is co-presented by the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the Austrian Cultural Forum, and the Israel Office of Cultural Affairs at the Consulate General of Israel in New York. Register here. 2:00 pm.

The Jewish Museum celebrates the book launch of “Letters to Camondo” with a virtual conversation between author Edmund de Waal and writer Adam Gopnik. The follow up to his 2010 memoir “The Hare with Amber Eyes,” de Waal’s newest book reveals the story of Moise de Camondo, the banker and art collector who settled in 19th-century Paris, created a spectacular house, now the Musée Nissim de Camondo, and filled it with an incredible collection of art. Free with RSVP; YouTube premiere link provided with confirmation. 6:30 pm.

Nathaniel Deutsch and Michael Casper discuss their new book, “A Fortress in Brooklyn: Race, Real Estate and the Making of Hasidic Williamsburg,” and how the community survived in one of New York City’s toughest neighborhoods during an era of steep decline. Moderated by Shira Hanau, staff writer at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Register for this Center for Jewish History event at for a Zoom link. 7:00 pm.

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