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Chaim Deutsch says he won’t step down • RSV virus surges in Orthodox Brooklyn • Violent clashes in Jerusalem
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Daily Update

Chaim Deutsch says he won’t step down • RSV virus surges in Orthodox Brooklyn • Violent clashes in Jerusalem

BEST BUDS: Comedian Billy Crystal and actress Tiffany Haddish star in a buddy comedy, “Here Today,” due out May 7. Set in New York City, it includes a shot of Crystal and Haddish taking part in a massive hora. (Sony Pictures)
BEST BUDS: Comedian Billy Crystal and actress Tiffany Haddish star in a buddy comedy, “Here Today,” due out May 7. Set in New York City, it includes a shot of Crystal and Haddish taking part in a massive hora. (Sony Pictures)

 

Shabbat Shalom! Every Friday, The Jewish Week emails a downloadable, printable digest of the week’s best stories, perfect for Shabbat reading. Sign up for “The Jewish Week/end” here. Get today’s edition here.

Hundreds of infants in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods of Brooklyn are sick now with a common respiratory virus that typically does not circulate during the spring.

Doctors speculated that lockdowns last year kept people from contracting the virus, known as respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, therefore lowering the level of immunity, JTA reports. The virus is relatively harmless to adults but can be dangerous for infants and toddlers.

Implications: The same conditions that made haredi Orthodox neighborhoods vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19 could make the communities early indicators for patterns of disease that emerge after the pandemic recedes.

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch of Brooklyn pleaded guilty to tax fraud.

Appearing Thursday in Manhattan federal court, he pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return and agreed to pay back $82,076 in taxes, plus interest. He faces up to one year in prison and maximum fine of $100,000 at his sentencing on July 29.

Deutsch’s attorney said he would not resign.

Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (Brooklyn/Queens) joined more than three-quarters of his House colleagues in opposing placing any conditions on aid to Israel.

The letter appears to be in response to a bill introduced by progressive Democrat Betty McCollum of Minnesota that would require increased oversight of how Israel spends the $3.8 billion it receives annually.

The stakes: US aid to Israel is considered sacrosanct by pro-Israel groups like AIPAC, which strongly backed the letter. Leading liberals, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, have said aid to Israel should be used as a tool to influence the Israeli government’s behavior.

Related: T’ruah, the New York-based rabbinic human rights organization, endorsed the McCollum bill, saying “tax dollars allocated for Israel should not be used to violate the human rights of people living in the occupied territories.”

Former Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger endorsed Scott Stringer for mayor.

Messinger, global ambassador for American Jewish World Service, called the current city comptroller “the kind of leader who can lead New York City out of this crisis and into a brighter, more equitable future.”

Why it matters: Messinger joins a list of “prominent leaders and labor unions who represent the vanguard of New York City’s progressive movement” endorsing Stringer, according to his campaign.

What Else

Hundreds of Palestinians clashed with Israeli police over Ramadan restrictions, while hundreds of far-right Jewish activists marched to Jerusalem’s Old City, calling out “Death to Arabs.”

Conservatives are more likely to hold anti-Semitic attitudes than liberals, according to a new survey, with young conservatives being the most likely to believe stereotypes about Jews.

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff is now going by Douglas Emhoff, thank you very much.

Watch the trailer from the new Billy Crystal/Tiffany Haddish buddy comedy, set in New York.

Watch conversations with Reps. Sean Maloney (D-NY 18) and Grace Meng (D-NY 6) and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.

People and Places

The Workers Circle and the National Council of Jewish Women have planned a month of activities titled “April Actions for Democracy” in support of the For the People Act (S.1) which passed the House of Representations in March. If enacted, the legislation would extend new protections to voters and establish a national baseline for voting rights. Learn more here. 

Shabbat Shalom

This week’s Torah portion is a call for religious leaders to get involved in public policy, writes Rabbi Michael Rothbaum. Otherwise, he writes, rabbis become “just spiritual sanitation workers, called in to sweep up in the aftermath of a disordered society that prizes profits over God’s crowning creation, the human being.”

More wisdom: Rabbi David Wolpe says Jews are hated for their insistence on survival.

Streaming

Temple Emanu-El’s Friday Night Virtual Shabbat Service welcomes Pnina Tamano-Shata, Israel’s Minister for Aliyah and Integration to discuss the 30th Anniversary of Operation Solomon and the rescue of Ethiopia’s Jews. The program, hosted in collaboration with Temple Emanu-El’s Streicker Center, will include a performance by musicians Idan Raichel, Yahalom David and Avi Wogderas Wassa, as well as remarks by David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee Registration is now open. Tonight, 6:00 pm.

Israeli actress and producer Noa Tishby, author of the new book “Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth,” will emcee the American Associates Ben-Gurion University of the Negev virtual event, “Celebrating the Remarkable.” Sex therapist and author Dr. Ruth Westheimer will receive an honorary doctorate. Visit here to register. Sunday, 1:00 pm.

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