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Haredi media called out for erasing women • Klezmer greats to mark ‘Third Seder’ • Why Asian-American Jews are fed up
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Daily Update

Haredi media called out for erasing women • Klezmer greats to mark ‘Third Seder’ • Why Asian-American Jews are fed up

SAFETY FIRST: The Staten Island Council of Jewish Organization’s Security Committee (COJO) coordinated its annual pre-Passover security and logistics meeting with the NYPD, FDNY and Sanitation Department, March 16, 2021. Left to right, Arie Weiss, chairman, COJO Security Committee; Mendy Mirocznik, president, COJO; Deputy Inspector Bruce Ceparano, Pct. 121; Captain Andrey Smirnov, commanding officer, Pct.123; and Inspector Robert Bower, Patrol Borough Staten Island. (COJO)
SAFETY FIRST: The Staten Island Council of Jewish Organization’s Security Committee (COJO) coordinated its annual pre-Passover security and logistics meeting with the NYPD, FDNY and Sanitation Department, March 16, 2021. Left to right, Arie Weiss, chairman, COJO Security Committee; Mendy Mirocznik, president, COJO; Deputy Inspector Bruce Ceparano, Pct. 121; Captain Andrey Smirnov, commanding officer, Pct.123; and Inspector Robert Bower, Patrol Borough Staten Island. (COJO)

 

Mishpacha, a Brooklyn-based magazine serving the haredi Orthodox community, defended its policy of not printing photographs of women — even if it cost them an interview with Nikki Haley.

Yisroel Besser, a contributing editor to the magazine, said Haley nixed an interview with the magazine when she was the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. after she learned about the policy. In a podcast interview Wednesday night, Besser suggested that printing a photo of any woman would compromise the magazine’s notions of feminine modesty.

Another view: “The erasure of women [is] unacceptable and unJewish and we cannot give it credence,” tweeted Shoshanna Keats-Jaskoll, co-founder of Chochmat Nashim, an Israeli group that promotes women’s rights in Orthodoxy.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene shared her restrictionist views on immigration with an Orthodox Jewish magazine.

The Georgia Republican, who was censured by House colleagues for espousing conspiracy theories and what some consider anti-Semitic rhetoric, told Ami Magazine about meeting a Holocaust survivor who came to America when she was 12 years old. “Her aunt sponsored her, meaning that she took complete responsibility for the financial obligation of her coming to this country,” Greene said in the interview.

Critics of U.S. immigration policy in the post-war era noted that it blocked hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees and displaced persons from entering the country, even with sponsors.

Why it matters: Facing accusations of anti-Semitism, Greene this week toured an Orthodox neighborhood in Brooklyn at the invitation of a local Republican activist.

Elected officials in Rockland County want to know why the state hasn’t erected a mass vaccination site there.

Home to a large haredi Orthodox community, Rockland is one of the state’s COVID-19 hot spots. Rep. Mondaire Jones, a first-term Democrat who represents Rockland, called out the lack of a mass vaccination site in his call for for Gov. Cuomo’s resignation on Friday.

“It’s frustrating,” Ed Day, the Republican executive of Rockland County, told HuffPost. “The numbers demand it, frankly. You just shake your head and get quizzical after a while.”

A new documentary about evangelical Christian support for Israel asks: Can someone love the Jews just a little too much?

The Jewish Week speaks with Maya Zinshtein, the Israeli director of “’Til Kingdom Come,” who is alarmed about the evangelicals’ right-wing influence on Israeli politics and U.S. Mideast policy, but gives her subjects room to make their case and confront their critics.

“It’s not by accident that the film is told in a way that I think allows everyone to watch it,” she says. “It doesn’t matter if you’re left wing or right wing.”

The largest Klezmer concert online to date will be the centerpiece of a “Third Seder” celebrating Yiddish culture.

Sunday’s program, presented by The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene and the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, is the second annual online revival of a custom begun by secular and Yiddish cultural groups in the 1920s and ’30s. In addition to a re-telling of the Passover story, the Third Seder will feature performances by leading Yiddish music and theater stars from around the world.

“Telling the story with Yiddish songs and poetry brings our history alive,” says the event’s chief organizer, Rabbi Avram Mlotek, who leads the Base Community and is the rabbi in residence at the JCC. Register here for the Seder on Sunday, March 21 at 2 pm.

Background: For a history of the Third Seder, see Neil W. Levin’s essay for the Milken Archive and hear some traditional songs. In the Forward, Rukhl Schaechter remembers singing at the Third Seder conducted by the Workmen’s Circle (Arbeter Ring), when it was held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

Scholastic Book Clubs is raising Holocaust awareness by distributing 10,000 free copies of a children’s book by survivor and New Yorker Elly Berkovits Gross.

The publisher is also making the book, “Elly: My True Story of the Holocaust,” available to purchase for $1, and is offering free resources meant to help teach the topic.

Gross, who lives in Jamaica, Queens, was 15 when she, her mother and brother were deported by cattle car to the Auschwitz II/Birkenau concentration camp. She later worked as a slave laborer at a Volkswagen factory.

Opinion

Rebecca Kuss, a book editor in New Jersey, says too often Asian-American Jews like her are erased by Jews and non-Jews alike. “Stop trying to look for ways to separate our Judaism from your Judaism, stop trying to deny us safe haven in the Jewish community — our community — and instead open your hearts and minds to our pain, our existence, our story,” she writes.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Eliezer Diamond has advice for spiritual seekers: “We stand at so many gates struggling to gain entry. Yet in those same moments we can be oblivious to other gates that open themselves to us, waiting for us to step through them.”

More wisdom: Rabbi David Wolpe writes about a book that still connects him with his late father.

Passover

Brooklyn writer and comedian Danielle Brody has created a Haggadah featuring jokes, puns and illustrations inspired by New York City and the pandemic. The “Don’t FUHAGGADAHBOUDIT” Haggadah is available for purchase for digital download and in print. The Haggadah will be featured at a free virtual Seder March 28.

The Nosher’s series of Passover cooking classes continues on Sunday, March 21 at 7:30 pm, when food writer, video producer and chef Sonya Sanford will be baking kugel two ways: potato kugel cups and a sweet apple matzah kugel. Register here.

Streaming Sunday

American Sephardi Federation presents Chef Hélène Jawhara-Piñer, demonstrating a Mexican crypto-Jewish Passover recipe. The ASF Broome & Allen Fellow, Jawhara-Piñer’s primary research interest is the medieval culinary history of Spain with a special focus on the Sephardic culinary heritage written in Arabic. Sign-up here. Sunday, 10:00 am.

Join the community’s rabbis and cantors to commemorate the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 in New York City and the devastating loss of life we have experienced. Through music, memorials, prayer, and wise words, synagogues and institutions will gather virtually to mourn, grieve, and process. Register and see list of participating institutions here. To add a name to the Covid Memorial Presentation, click here. Sunday, 5:00 pm.

Shabbat, Torah Reading:

Friday, March 19, 2021
Nissan 6, 5781
Light candles at 6:49 pm.
Saturday, March 20
Nissan 7
Torah Reading: Vayikra: Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26
Haftarah: Isaiah 43:21 – 44:23
Shabbat ends at 7:49 pm.

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