70 Faces Media’s week of special reflections and conversations to mark “one year in” to our collective pandemic experience continues today at 4:00 pm with “Stress-busters for Parents: A Guided Jewish Meditation” with Rabbi Danielle Upbin.
The executive director of Common Cause New York apologized for referring to the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn as an “extremist bloc.”
In a February interview with the Gothamist, Susan Lerner described the Orthodox community as an example of an “extremist bloc” whose political clout will be reduced by ranked choice voting. Her comments were condemned by city politicians, including Mayor Bill de Blasio.
In a statement to the Forward, Lerner, who is Jewish, said, “In public debate, voters are best served when an argument is about how to solve problems, not labeling the people involved on either side. I apologize for causing anyone offense.”
A founder of a Jewish patrol group in Brooklyn is facing federal sexual misconduct charges stemming from a 2017 case in which he was charged with the statutory rape of a 15-year-old girl.
Jacob Daskal, 62, was arrested and charged Thursday with inciting a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity and transporting a minor for the purposes of engaging in sexual activity.
The charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office were related to the same victim, according to the New York Daily News, but also included activities that occurred in Chicago as well as upstate New York.
Daskal, who is among the founders of the Borough Park Shomrim, allegedly groomed the teen for sex in 2017 between August and November.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-Manhattan) lauded the House passage of the For the People Act, which aims to protect and expand voting rights.
“Free and fair elections, along with open, ethical, and honest government, provide the foundation of our democracy. But these principles have been threatened in recent years, and H.R. 1 is essential to restoring Americans’ faith in government,” Nadler said in a statement.
In Other News
Jewish conservatives in Dallas are celebrating the lifting of the statewide mask mandate by holding a mask-burning party.
A leading Canadian newspaper has taken down an opinion piece comparing COVID-19 lockdowns to Anne Frank’s experience as a hidden child during the Holocaust.
Marseille police arrested a man armed with a knife who attempted to enter a kosher grocery store near a Jewish school.
Brooklyn native Meyer Labin, now living in Jerusalem, is one of the opinion writers JTA asked to look back on the pandemic year. “I firmly believe that we could have, and should have, done better as a community,” he writes about his fellow haredi Orthodox Jews. “The virus exposed a lack of leadership in the Orthodox world on all levels.”
How did you argue with an angry God? After the episode of the Golden Calf, writes Freema Gottlieb, Moses appealed to God’s love of the Jewish people, and asked nothing for himself.
More wisdom: Rabbi David Wolpe writes about his insatiable appetite for books.
People and Places
National Council of Young Israel named Naomi Korn Gold and Janet Hod to its Board of Directors. Hod, a founding member of Young Israel of Teaneck, will serve as associate vice president for the New York area. Korn Gold, of Sharon, Mass., will serve as associate vice president for outside the New York area. NCYI recently replaced its entire executive board to deemphasize political advocacy and focus on members services.
The 10th JOFA International Conference on Feminism and Orthodoxy: Building a Vibrant and Equitable Orthodox Community, will include over 30 virtual sessions, including building a feminist synagogue, ritual challenges in the age of COVID-19 and the shifting role of the rabbi. Register here. Sunday, 10:30 am to 4:15 pm.
Book artist and poet Rick Black will engage in conversation with Rutgers University professor Gary A. Rendsburg about his limited-edition artist book, “The Amichai Windows,” which pays homage to the poetry of Yehuda Amichai, Israel’s acclaimed modern poet. Register here. Sunday, noon.
On the eve of International Women’s Day, Partners for Progressive Israel and its Women’s Initiative is honoring filmmaker Lilly Rivlin, whose work gives visibility to women’s achievements and their fight for justice. $54. Purchase a ticket to the event here and watch her films. Sunday, 1:00 pm.
Community Counter, formed last spring to provide confidential Covid contact tracing in the hard-hit Orthodox community, is hosting a web panel on the history, implications and best practices for addressing vaccine hesitancy in the Jewish community. Panelists include Aliza Bloch, Mayor of Bet Shemesh, Israel; Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt, Chief of Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiologist, Mt. Sinai South Nassau and rabbi at Young Israel of Woodmere; Mark Trencher, founder of Nishma Research (New York), and Shoshana Bernstein, Director of Communications, Covid Plasma Initiative, and President, SB Writing and Communications (Monsey). Register here. Sunday, 1:00 pm.
Four New York area composers will be featured as part of “Adding Their Voices: Women of the Bible,” a live national Zoom concert. Tamara Cohen of New York City, the concert’s guest scholar, will discuss developing “Devorah’s Song” with the late Debbie Friedman and Jewish feminist approaches to women of the Bible. Original compositions will be performed by Mary Feinsinger of New York City (“Ani V’er Anu Lach”); Galeet Dardashti of White Plains (“Vashti” from her album “The Naming”); and Robin Anne Joseph of Hastings-on-Hudson (“Miriam’s Fire,” composed by her husband Albi Gorn). Register here. Sunday, 2:00 pm.
Friday, March 5, 2021
Adar 21, 5781
Light candles at 5:34 pm.
First Torah: Ki Tisa: Exodus 30:11-34:35
Second Torah: Parshat Parah: Numbers 19:1-22
Haftarah: Ezekiel 36:16-36
Shabbat ends 6:34 pm.
The Folio: A Jewish Week/UJA Cultural Series presents the North American launch of “The Slaughterman’s Daughter,” a new novel by Yaniv Iczkovits. This tale of two sisters, set in the old world of late 19th-century Russia, was praised by David Grossman for its “boundless imagination, wit and panache.” Iczkovits will be joined by Gal Beckerman, author of “When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry,” who will share a historical perspective. Moderated by award-winning journalist and author Sandee Brawarsky. Register here. Tuesday, March 9, noon.