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The City University of New York faculty union voted 84 to 34 Thursday to condemn the “massacre” of Palestinians in the recent fighting between Israel and Hamas.
- The Professional Staff Congress (PSC) Union tabled a separate resolution that urged CUNY to join the academic and economic boycott of Israel. Pro-Palestinian faculty called the adopted version a “water-down alternative.”
- Background: The resolutions were pushed by the union’s Anti-Racism Committee, International Committee and Academic Freedom Committee.
- Objections: “It’s puzzling as to why a union would feel compelled not only to involve itself on a foreign policy question but only involve itself on this foreign policy question,” Brooklyn College history professor K.C. Johnson told The Algemeiner on Wednesday.
One candidate is a radio host who incited a riot. Another is an Orthodox woman who can’t get her photograph in Orthodox newspapers.
- The City Council race in Brooklyn’s District 48 is a reflection of the area’s topsy-turvy politics, where candidates switch parties and the recent Jewish incumbent was kicked off the council for tax evasion. Shira Hanau reports.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx/Queens) defended fellow progressive Ilhan Omar, who compared the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban.
- “Pretty sick & tired of the constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of @IlhanMN coming from our caucus,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Thursday. “They have no concept for the danger they put her in by skipping private conversations & leaping to fueling targeted news cycles around her.”
- Background: A dozen Jewish Democrats in Congress, including Manhattan’s Jerry Nadler, asked Omar to “clarify” her remarks on Wednesday. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (Brooklyn/Queens), who chairs the House Democratic Caucus, joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in demanding Omar clarify her statement.
- Omar responded Thursday by saying, “To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those [International Criminal Court] cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel. I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.”
The Reform movement, through its New York Religious Action Center, praised the NY State Legislature for passing parole reform.
- The “Less Is More” act ends the incarceration of people on parole for minor, technical violations such as missing curfew.
- Quotable: “The Reform Jewish Movement is committed to advancing racial equity and this law marks an important step towards creating a more just and whole world.” — Rabbi Ilana Schachter, Roslyn, NY
Benjamin Netanyahu could charm the mainstream press, but would often treat the American Jewish media with contempt.
- Gary Rosenblatt recalls the Israeli prime minister’s bumpy relationship with journalists like him — and with American Jews in general.
- The latest: An eight-party coalition government is moving closer to an agreement that would oust Netanyahu in a Knesset vote on Sunday.
The New York Times profiles Tzali Reicher, the Crown Heights Lubavitcher who is creating a database of every Jew who died of the coronavirus. At more than 1,800 names and growing, the list “is still just a fraction of the total lost.”
TODAY’S BIG IDEA
There’s a lot to dislike about Philip Roth’s vast body of work, but the sordid allegations against his biographer should not discourage you from appreciating Roth’s mighty contributions to American Jewish literature, writes Andrew Silow-Carroll.
- Bonus Roth: The Newark Public Library is displaying books and artifacts from the Newark native’s personal library.
OF BLESSED MEMORY
Judge Robert Katzmann, who served as chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York until last August, died at 68 from pancreatic cancer. Katzmann championed immigrants’ rights, judicial transparency and public education on the law. The son of a refugee from Nazi Germany, in 2016 he presided over the largest naturalization ceremony ever held on Ellis Island.
PEOPLE AND PLACES
The Bronfman Fellowship selected its 35th cohort of 11th-graders for a year-long experience of study and conversation centered around pluralism, social responsibility and Jewish texts. Here are the New Yorkers:
Yona Sperling-Milner, SAR High School in the Bronx
Maya Renaud-Levine, The Beacon School
Angelina Palumbo, The Leffell School
Ari Kass-Amsterdam, Mamaroneck High School
Ryder Lippman, Hunter College High School
Talia Namdar-Cohen, Abraham Joshua Heschel School
Sometimes the bad guys get it right: In this week’s Torah portion, the evildoer Korach has some unexpected words of wisdom, writes Freema Gottlieb.
- More wisdom: The only vaccine against antisemitism, writes Rabbi David Wolpe, “is the strength of people of goodwill and conscience.”
Each Friday, we ask readers what people should talk about at their Shabbat tables, or wherever they gather this weekend:
- “The importance of remaining true to ourselves regardless of social or political pressure.” — Zach Shapira
- “We should ask our Shabbat guests and loved ones why they love Judaism. This is the time for American Jews & Zionists to stand with pride as one family … We are stronger together.” — Pete Webb
CELEBRATE PRIDE MONTH
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum delivers her annual Pride drashah on a special night in community with Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. Watch the live stream. Tonight, 6:30 pm.
Dr. Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz discusses her recently published book, “Challenge and Conformity: The Religious Lives of Orthodox Jewish Women,” about the new ways Orthodox women are expressing themselves religiously. Hosted by Congregation Beth Sholom in Teaneck and Netivot Shalom. Info here. Sunday, 10:30 am.
The Bronx Jewish Center honors the life and legacy of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, with Rabbi Menachem Greisman, director of Chabad North West Arkansas, discussing the rebbe’s impact on Jewish life in the Ozarks. RSVP here. Sunday, 7:00 pm.
Friday, June 11, 2021
Tammuz 1, 5781
Light Candles at 8:09 pm
Torah Reading: Korach: Numbers 16:1 – 18:32
Haftarah: Samuel I 11:14 – 12:22
Shabbat ends 9:18 pm