Good morning, New York. Mazel tov to Bette Midler, the latest Kennedy Center honoree, who once said, “I’m working my way toward divinity.”
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
At least 50 professors at the City University of New York have quit their union following passage of a resolution condemning Israel.
- The one-sided June 10 resolution, introduced in the wake of the Israel-Gaza conflict, condemned Israel as “settler-colonial state” with no reference to Hamas rocket fire on Israeli civilians.
- Quotable: “By endorsing this resolution you have made many Jewish faculty and students uncomfortable with being associated with Brooklyn College and CUNY to the point of fearing for our safety,” said Yedidyah Langsam, chair of Brooklyn’s College’s Computer and Information Science Department. He urged other faculty to resign from the union.
The final victim of the condo building collapse in Florida has been identified: Estelle Hedaya, 54, a native of Brooklyn’s Syrian-Jewish community and jewelry executive who had recently moved to Florida from New York.
- An obituary described her as a “passionate traveler and foodie who loved to try new things and just have fun.” She ran a blog chronicling her love of salons, spas and food.
- The news comes just days after rescuers officially concluded the recovery operation at the site, where 98 people lost their lives.
The Jewish Center in Manhattan will offer three options on the High Holy Days.
- The Orthodox synagogue will offer mask-optional sections for vaccinated people, mask-required and socially distanced sections for the unvaccinated and a service on the roof for those who feel more comfortable outdoors.
- The synagogue is featured in a roundup from our colleague Shira Hanau, asking how shuls are planning for the holidays given the ever-changing guidelines for COVID-19 safety.
- Rosh Hashanah begins Monday night, Sept. 6.
THE ICE CREAM CRISIS, DAY 9
Brad Lander, the Democratic nominee for New York City comptroller, defended the Ben & Jerry’s ban on sales of its ice cream in the occupied West Bank.
- The progressive Jewish candidate was responding to a warning from New York State’s main pension fund that it might restrict its investments in the company.
- “Companies that decide not to operate in settlements do not pose a risk to New York’s pension funds,” tweeted Lander, who also released a statement. “If anything, continuation of the occupation poses grave ongoing risks to Israelis, to Palestinians, & to those who care about them.”
- Related: Assemblymember Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) and several colleagues sent a letter to Ben & Jerry’s condemning “its clear attempt to delegitimize the State of Israel.” Levine is president of the New York chapter of the National Association of Jewish Legislators.
A Ben & Jerry’s franchise at 104th and Broadway will donate 10% of its profits to educational causes in Israel.
- Corporate office decisions on Israel “do not reflect our personal views, and we’re saddened by the impact that this has had on our business and the Jewish community,” wrote owner Joel Gasman.
New Jersey-Based KOF-K will continue to certify Ben & Jerry’s ice cream outside Israel as kosher, despite calls for it to withdraw its approval.
- “KOF-K will continue to fulfill its contractual obligations to Ben & Jerry’s while using its influence to make sure that this anti-Israel policy never becomes implemented,” wrote its administrative director, Rabbi Yehuda Rosenbaum.
Bette Midler and Lorne Michaels are among the five honorees who will receive the 44th Kennedy Center Honors for their lifetime artistic achievements.
- Midler, who was a cult favorite of New York City’s gay community and appeared on Broadway in “Fiddler on the Roof” before achieving stardom as a singer and an actress, is the founder of the New York Restoration Project, which revitalizes neglected neighborhood parks.
- Michaels (born Lorne David Lipowitz) turned “Live from New York!” into a catchphrase when he co-created what became “Saturday Night Live” in 1977.
TODAY’S BIG IDEA
Where you stand on the Ben & Jerry’s boycott brouhaha is a good reflection of your Mideast politics. Andrew Silow-Carroll, The Jewish Week’s editor in chief, explains the range of Jewish opinion — with ice cream flavors.
PEOPLE & PLACES
Six years ago, YAFFED filed a complaint on behalf of parents and students saying many haredi Orthodox yeshivas were not providing their students with an adequate secular education, as required by law. Today, its members will gather at the steps of the New York City Department of Education to demand that the DOE complete its investigation and enforce substantial equivalency standards. 52 Chambers Street, 11:30 am.
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Disability rights activist Judy Heumann joins Bill Abrams, president of Trickle Up and former president of New York Times Television, for a virtual discussion about her family background in the Holocaust, her new memoir, and her remarkable career fighting to forge a society in which we all belong. Register for the Museum of Jewish Heritage event here. 2:00 pm.
Photo, top: Israeli tourists receive a rose and a welcome beverage upon arrival at Marrakech-Menara International Airport after taking the first commercial flight between Morocco and Israel, on July 25, 2021. The debut flights to Morocco are an outcome of the normalization agreements between Israel and four Arab states. (Fadel Senna/AFP via Getty Images)