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Cuomo says summer camps can open • Biden calls Netanyahu • Bakeries that will deliver hamantaschen
Daily Update

Cuomo says summer camps can open • Biden calls Netanyahu • Bakeries that will deliver hamantaschen

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to President Joe Biden from his office in Jerusalem, Feb. 17, 2021. (Twitter)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to President Joe Biden from his office in Jerusalem, Feb. 17, 2021. (Twitter)


Gov. Cuomo announced that day camps and overnight camps in the state would likely be able to operate this year.

Camps will be allowed to open starting in June provided that COVID-19 cases continue to fall. “We hope the current trajectory stays until June,” Cuomo said at a press briefing Wednesday, adding that the state will issue guidance to camps for COVID testing protocol.

Cuomo suggested that parents, not the state, would be the main drivers of what happens with camps this year.

“No parent is going to send their child to a summer camp, unless there’s a testing protocol, anyway,” he said.

Background: Cuomo barred sleepaway camps in the state from opening last year, prompting a lawsuit by the Association of Jewish Camp Operators, which represents Orthodox Jewish camps. Last year, most Jewish sleepaway camps shut down for the summer.

A network of Jewish innovators on the “fringe” — spiritual seekers, environmental activists, independent congregations — wants them to be taken seriously by the mainstream.

Gary Rosenblatt reports on Kenissa, a network of 400 “communities of meaning” that offer an alternative to traditional synagogues and institutions. “These groups can be the bridge to the Jewish future,” says its founder.

Rabbis and lay leaders have begun asking a question that scares them: When the pandemic is over, will people come back to synagogue?

Rabbi Yosie Levine of The Jewish Center in Manhattan says Jewish tradition and history make the case for gathering again in person: “In the course of Jewish history, there may have been individuals who survived in isolation. But those who thrived did so under the shelter of Jewish communities and within the embrace of Jewish institutions.”

President Joe Biden called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Republicans were asking what took so long, but the hour-long conversation was described by the Israeli premier as “friendly and warm.”

New York’s Breads Bakery and William Greenberg Desserts will ship hamantaschen for Purim. 

Breads is offering hamantaschen in apple, poppy, halva, chai (as in the Indian tea), chocolate and pizza versions. William Greenberg Desserts has cherry, poppy, apricot, prune, cheese, chocolate, halva and raspberry.

See The Nosher’s list of seven bakeries that will deliver the holiday pastry.

RelatedEater NY tells you where to find “10 Exceptional Pastrami Sandwiches in New York City.”

Russian-Israeli tennis player Aslan Karatsev fell in three sets to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open.

The first male player to reach the semifinals in his Grand Slam debut, Karatsev lost 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Djokovic will face Daniil Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas in his 28th major final on Sunday.

Up to six inches of snow fell in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

The city deployed 250 snowplows and bulldozers to clear roads, with priority given to routes to hospitals and more elevated neighborhoods, Times of Israel reports. There was even a light dusting overnight in Mizpe Ramon in the Negev Desert in the south of the country.

Rush Limbaugh, the militantly conservative talk radio host, died Wednesday at 70.

JTA remembers how he alienated centrist and liberal Jews with his often racist, misogynist and borderline anti-Semitic rhetoric, and made friends with others with his support of Israel.

Around the Agencies

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) is launching “FIDF LIVE,” hosted by American stand-up comedian and author Joel Chasnoff. The 30-minute episodes, focusing on the experiences of Israeli soldiers, will air on FIDF’s website every other week at 8:30 pm, starting Feb. 17.

Streaming Today

The New York Jewish Agenda (NYJA) presents a forum with leading candidates in the race for mayor of New York City. Moderated by Randi Weingarten, a member of the NYJA Leaders Network and President of the American Federation of Teachers. The candidates will appear in two groups, with four candidates, appearing between 2:00 and 3:00 pm, and the remaining five candidates appearing between 3 and 4 pm. Register here.

In part two of a three-part series by the Workers Circle, Anthony Russell will moderate a panel discussion on Yoysef Kerler’s 1965 poem “Ven Kh’volt in Alabama Zayn” (If I Were in Alabama) as an entry into a larger discussion of Jewish projections onto Black struggle in Yiddish poetry, contemporary reception of the American Civil Rights movement and the horizons — then and now — of ethnic solidarity. Register here. 7:00 pm.

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