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Biden disavows Linda Sarsour, LI man threatens Jewish camp, Jared offers olive branch to Iran
Daily Update

Biden disavows Linda Sarsour, LI man threatens Jewish camp, Jared offers olive branch to Iran

Beatie Deutsch, a Sabbath-observing mother of five and aspiring Olympic marathoner in Israel, has hired an attorney to ask that organizers of the postponed Tokyo games stage the race on any day but Saturday. Deutsch has yet to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, postponed until 2021. (Instagram)
Beatie Deutsch, a Sabbath-observing mother of five and aspiring Olympic marathoner in Israel, has hired an attorney to ask that organizers of the postponed Tokyo games stage the race on any day but Saturday. Deutsch has yet to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, postponed until 2021. (Instagram)

Joe Biden disavowed Linda Sarsour after she spoke at a Democratic convention forum.

The Palestinian-American activist appeared Tuesday at an online meeting of Muslims who will be campaigning for Biden for president. Sarsour, who was a surrogate for Biden’s primaries rival Bernie Sanders, has been embroiled in multiple controversies over her activism related to Israel, including statements seen as crossing the line into anti-Semitism. Last year she attempted to walk back a recorded statement in which she lambasted progressive Zionists as embracing Jewish supremacy.

“Joe Biden has been a strong supporter of Israel and a vehement opponent of anti-Semitism his entire life, and he obviously condemns her views and opposes BDS, as does the Democratic platform,” Andrew Bates, a Biden campaign spokesman, said in a statement Tuesday to CNN, referring to Sarsour’s embrace of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel. “She has no role in the Biden campaign whatsoever.”

Convention news: Kamala Harris made history Wednesday night as the first Black and South Asian woman to accept a major party’s vice presidential nomination. In an acceptance speech at the virtual Democratic National Convention, said she and Biden share “a vision of our nation as a beloved community — where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that 16 new Covid-19 cases were found in the chasidic neighborhood of Borough Park, with some traced back to a large wedding there.

That and a flurry of other reports have government officials and leaders in the Orthodox community worrying about new outbreaks ahead of the school year and the High Holidays, JTA reports.

One overnight sports camp for Orthodox boys in Pennsylvania had an outbreak, sending eight boys back to their home communities on Long Island and several more to Baltimore. Bungalow colonies in the Catskill Mountains saw an outbreak among families, many of whom were from Brooklyn.

Left unchecked, the increasing cases also have the potential to turn next month’s gatherings in schools and synagogues into superspreader events, reversing the progress made over the past few months.

“It has the potential to be a perfect storm,” said Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt, the chief of infectious diseases and hospital epidemiologist at Mount Sinai South Nassau on Long Island and an assistant rabbi at the Young Israel of Woodmere, a large Orthodox synagogue in Long Island’s Nassau County. “The question everyone has to ask themselves is: Is not wearing a mask that critical that they’re willing to risk everything?”

A Long Island man threatened to shoot up an Orthodox Jewish day camp over its alleged violations of coronavirus restrictions.

Nicola Pelle of Inwood, who lives next to the yeshiva that runs the camp, was charged with making a terroristic threat, four counts of criminal possession of a weapon and two counts of criminal possession of a firearm, WABC-TV reported.

Pelle was found to have 14 weapons in his home, including handguns, rifles and shotguns, and two assault weapons.

Police said his complaints about the camp were wildly exaggerated.

Jared Kushner said the United States is willing to enter peace negotiations with Iran if Donald Trump is reelected in November.

Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, said the president would be willing to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and other leaders, in an interview with Voice of America conducted Tuesday and published Wednesday.

“For President Rouhani, I would say it’s time for the region to move forward,” he said. “Let’s stop being stuck in conflicts of the past. It’s time for people to get together and to make peace.”

Trump announced Wednesday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would activate a controversial mechanism aimed at reimposing UN sanctions on Iran, escalating a row with European allies that has huge repercussions for the Iranian nuclear deal.

Today: Pompeo will travel to New York to notify the United Nations Security Council that the US is triggering the so-called “snapback” procedure, which Britain, France and Germany say it doesn’t have the right to do.

A state appeals court in West Palm Beach upheld a lower court ruling that an explicit video of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft from a massage parlor cannot be used at his trial.

Kraft was among some 100 men charged in February 2019 with solicitation in massage parlors in Florida’s Martin County, in his case the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, near where he keeps a home. He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of soliciting prostitution. One month later, however, he publicly apologized.

The court agreed that the police violated his rights when they secretly recorded a video at the massage parlor, which is believed to show employees and customers engaged in sexual acts.

Merav Ben-David, an Israeli-American scientist, won Wyoming’s Democratic Senate primary.

The environmental scientist at the University of Wyoming, who was born and raised in Israel, had the backing of leading Democratic Party figures in the state. She won 44% of the vote Tuesday in a three-way primary.

Now, the 61-year-old professor who speaks with a thick Israeli accent faces an uphill battle in a state that is the most Republican in the nation. She will face off against Cynthia Lummis, who used to represent Wyoming in the US House of Representatives, in November’s general election.

Read more: JTA has an interview with Ben-David.


Israeli legal scholar Ruth Gavison, a civil rights activist who was awarded the Israel Prize in 2011 for her working bridging Israel’s religious-secular divide, has died at 75. The Jewish Week’s Gary Rosenblatt remembers Gavison as a pioneer who “embodied the hope that consensus could conquer schism – a belief founded in the premise that the state of Israel can and must be both Jewish and democratic without sacrificing essential qualities.”

Around the Agencies

The New Israel Fund will grant its “Guardian of Democracy” Gallanter Prize to Efrat Yerday, the chair of Israel’s Association for Ethiopian Jews and a leader of the progressive movement in Israel. The prize will recognize her contributions fighting institutional racism, combating police violence, and demanding better representation for people of color in Israel’s public sphere.

Bronx Jewish Community Council is seeking volunteers Sept. 13 (10-11:30 a.m) for a contact-less Rosh Hashanah package delivery to the outside doorstep of isolated seniors – exclusively at Amalgamated Housing between Riverdale and Moshulu Parkway. To RSVP, contact Niti, BJCC Director of Volunteers, by email at or at 917-693-3084.

The Secure Community Network, the official safety and security organization of The Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, is hosting a weekly webinar series that will provide best-practices and guidance on cyber security, armed security in Jewish institutions, and outdoor event safety. The series will kick off today, Aug. 20, 2 p.m. with “Cyber Preparedness for the High Holidays.” The webinar will discuss security guidance for synagogues and communities planning observances on streaming platforms such as Facebook Live, Zoom, and StreamSpot.


Teicholz Holocaust Remembrance Film Series presents a discussion of “Life Is Beautiful,” with Andrea Malaguti, associate professor of Italian and Film Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Aug 20, 2020, 8:00 pm.

Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance and women across North America will welcome the new Hebrew month of Elul with JOFA’s sixth online Rosh Chodesh celebration, featuring Shacharit led by Helene Raush, a Torah reading led by Livia Noorollah, and Mussaf led by Jennifer Horowitz. August 20, 9:30 am.

Center for Jewish History presents Jennifer Mendelsohn, founder of #resistancegenealogy, talking about her path to becoming an “accidental activist” and detailing how her genealogical adventures have helped reunite long lost family members, debunked decades-old family fairy tales (Did you know no names were changed at Ellis Island?) and led to shocking, poignant and sometimes hilarious revelations. Pay what you wish; register at or 800-838-3006 to receive a link to the Zoom program. August 20, 6:00 pm.

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