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GOP convention: Nikki Haley touts Trump’s Israel record, Parkland victim’s dad speaks, NY rabbi blesses alternative confab
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Daily Update

GOP convention: Nikki Haley touts Trump’s Israel record, Parkland victim’s dad speaks, NY rabbi blesses alternative confab

Doron Krakow, president and CEO of JCC Association of North America, and Deann Forman, CEO at Riverdale Y, help prepare, package and deliver meals at the Riverdale Y as part of its meal delivery offerings, Aug. 24, 2020. (Riverdale Y)
Doron Krakow, president and CEO of JCC Association of North America, and Deann Forman, CEO at Riverdale Y, help prepare, package and deliver meals at the Riverdale Y as part of its meal delivery offerings, Aug. 24, 2020. (Riverdale Y)

YIVO launched an online museum, using the latest technology to tell the story of Jewish life in Eastern Europe and Russia through its extensive archival and library collections.

The Jewish Week highlights seven remarkable artifacts from the Manhattan-based Institute for Jewish Research, including the schoolgirl diary of a survivor and a rare home movie taken by an American visitor before the fist of Nazism fell across Europe.

On the first night of the Republican National Convention, Nikki Haley highlighted President Donald Trump’s Israel policies.

The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations depicted Joe Biden, the former vice president, and President Barack Obama as practicing a foreign policy of “weakness,” including their administration’s dealings with Iran.

“Obama and Biden let Iran get away with murder and literally sent them a plane full of cash,” Haley said. “President Trump did the right thing and ripped up the Iran nuclear deal.

“Obama and Biden led the United Nations to denounce our friend and ally, Israel,” she said. In his last few months in office, Obama allowed through a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s West Bank settlements.

Obama administration alumni say they were not involved in initiating the resolution and worked to temper it. The Obama administration did not vote for the resolution, but withheld the U.S. veto allowing it to pass.

“President Trump moved our embassy to Jerusalem – and when the U.N. tried to condemn us, I was proud to cast the American veto,” she said.

Haley, the former South Carolina governor, is seen as a leading contender for the GOP nomination in 2024. Following her stint at the U.N., she has become popular on the centrist and right-wing pro-Israel speaker’s circuit.

Related: Convention speakers included Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was among the victims of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. Pollack faulted “far-left Democrats in our school district” for overlooking signs that the gunman was planning violence, and appeared to mock Joe Biden’s mental faculties.

Background: The Jewish Telegraphic Agency has a guide to what to look for during the four-day virtual convention, including some big pro-Israel moments, a speech by Trump’s daughter Ivanka (but not by her husband, Jared Kushner), and the degree to which the GOP mainstream will disavow the conspiracy theories — including racist and anti-Semitic theories — that have earned a foothold among some members of the party faithful.

TonightSecretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to be heard in remarks taped in Israel, where he met with Prime Minister Netanyahu. It’s unusual for a top diplomat to deliver a partisan political speech while on official business, as this AP story explains.

A Manhattan rabbi and lifelong Democrat spoke at an alternative GOP convention.

Rabbi Joshua Stanton of East End Temple gave an invocation Monday evening at the Convention on Founding Principles, organized by Republicans or former Republicans who are disaffected with the party under President Donald Trump.

“I’m an unlikely speaker for the event,” Stanton told JTA. “And even so, I thought it was really important to show up and give words of blessing for an event that is all about change and renewal, themes that are core to our tradition.”

A San Francisco Jewish newspaper identified the man behind the anti-Semitic banner hung from a busy Los Angeles overpass on Sunday.

Jon Minadeo Jr. of Petaluma, a city about 40 miles from San Francisco, and a handful of others make up what is known as the Goyim Defense League, according to J. the Jewish News of Northern California. He runs Goyim TV, a YouTube “clone” site on which Minadeo — under the moniker Handsome Truth — has earned hundreds of followers and thousands of video views.

He and his crew drove around Los Angeles in a white van over the weekend, recording their activities during what they called a “Name the Nose Tour.” In addition to hanging their “Jews want a race war” sign on  Interstate 405, they stood in front of a Chabad center in Marina Del Rey and shouted through a megaphone, “These Jewish terrorists are the people behind 9/11” – a running theme of Goyim TV.

Opinion

Are you feeling survivor’s guilt during the Covid-19 crisis? It was a familiar feeling for the Jews who vacationed in the Catskill Mountains during and after the Holocaust. In a Jewish Week essay, Phil Brown, founder and president of the Catskills Institute, recalls how “the mountains” became a refuge and haven for Jews fleeing Europe, and how laughter, music, sex and food helped heal their aching hearts. (For more on Brown and the Catskills, see Streaming, below.) 

At the height of the pandemic in New York City, Gary Levy led a delegation of fellow Israelis here on a mission of solidarity. They found a city in mourning, a Jewish community facing an uncertain future, and signs that the Israeli-Diaspora relationship is fragile at best.

Around the Agencies

Executives from JCC Association of North America helped prepare, package and deliver meals Monday at the Riverdale Y as part of its meal delivery offerings. Demand for the service rose by 400% during the pandemic; packaged meals are delivered by car to various locations in the North Bronx and Yonkers each afternoon. The JCC Association execs were at the Y, along with other volunteers and outside professionals, as part of JCC Association’s JResponse initiative – a program where JCC professionals help supplement staff capacity during times of increased community demand.

The Orthodox Union’s Women’s Initiative is launching a virtual Yemei Ratzon program offering ideas and inspiration in preparation for the upcoming High Holidays. The program offers two tracks – a video series focusing on teshuva (repentance) and an audio series delving into the unique prayers during this time period. The audio series is a daily 10-minute audio shiur, or lesson, presented by 32 women around the world and runs from Rosh Chodesh Elul through Erev Yom Kippur. “We are bringing together world-renowned female scholars and teachers to share messages and meaning behind these important days and the tefillot we say during this period,” said the founding director of the OU Women’s Initiative, Dr. Adina Shmidman. To register for either track, go here.

Streaming

Jewish Theological Seminary presents an exploration of how the Covid pandemic is straining medical resources and presenting healthcare professionals with ethical challenges. This conversation will offer some of the resources that the Jewish tradition offers for confronting these challenges. With Rabbi Danny Nevins, Pearl Resnick Dean of JTS Rabbinical School and member of the Rabbinical Assembly Committee on Jewish Law and Standards; Dr. Toby Schonfeld, executive director, National Center for Ethics in Health Care and member of the Rabbinical Assembly Committee on Jewish Law and Standards; and Dr. Yonatan Brafman, academic director for JTS Hendel Center for Ethics and Justice. August 25, 1:00 pm.

The Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center presents Phil Brown speaking on “Jews in the Catskills During and After the Holocaust,” based on the book Brown co-edited with Holli Levitsky, “Summer Haven: The Catskills, The Holocaust, and the Literary Imagination.” Brown is founder and president of the Catskills Institute, and author of two other books on the Catskills. August 25, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm.

United Against Hate, a new progressive coalition that launched publicly on Aug. 21, hosts a discussion of anti-Semitism, racism and the fight for a shared future. Speakers include Zaina Alsous from Dream Defenders, Morriah Kaplan from IfNotNow, Leo Ferguson from Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, and Nelini Stamp from Working Families Party. August 25, 7:00 pm.

Zionist Organization of America presents “A Non-Partisan View of the Middle East of a Potential Biden Presidency,” with ZOA director of government relations Dan Pollak, in a talk moderated by acting director of ZOA outreach & engagement Alan Jay. August 25, 7:00 pm.

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