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Hasidic family slashed in Battery Park • Mayoral candidates share thoughts on Passover • Catching up with Randi Weingarten
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Hasidic family slashed in Battery Park • Mayoral candidates share thoughts on Passover • Catching up with Randi Weingarten

A surveillance video shows a Hasidic couple moments before an assailant, dressed in white, turned and slashed them and their baby in an attack in Battery Park, April 1, 2021.
A surveillance video shows a Hasidic couple moments before an assailant, dressed in white, turned and slashed them and their baby in an attack in Battery Park, April 1, 2021.


A young Orthodox Jewish couple and their baby were slashed by a knife-wielding man near Battery Park in downtown Manhattan.

The father fought off the attacker and suffered injuries to his head that needed 12 stitches, according to the local news site BoroPark24. The mother suffered injuries to her lip and the baby to his chin.

The alleged assailant was arrested and charged with assault and possession of a weapon, among other counts.

The couple, aged 22 and 24, were visiting from Belgium, according to BoroPark24. According to the New York Post, the assailant did not say anything that would indicate that the attack was anti-Semitic, but an NYPD said the attack was deemed a “possible bias incident.”

The Jewish Week asked candidates for NYC mayor which if any of Passover’s themes or messages resonate with them.

Eric Adams found meaning in the parable of the Four Sons. Maya Wiley recalled the Black-Jewish alliance of the Civil Rights era. And Scott Stringer, the only Jewish candidate in the race, noted that this Passover was his first since his mother passed away.

Read their responses here.

Randi Weingarten has a specific message for U.S. Jews who are impatient with teachers who are hesitant about returning to the classroom: check your privilege.

In an interview with JTA, the president of the American Federation of Teachers says some Jews may have forgotten how strong unions helped them and their forebears climb the “ladder of opportunity.”

Weingarten also discusses her Jewish identity and her marriage to Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Manhattan’s Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. “I’m very happy to have my second role as being the rebbetzin,” she says.

Meet Meena Viswanath, the daughter and granddaughter of famed Yiddish scholars, who helped create Duolingo’s new Yiddish course.

Viswanath is the granddaughter of Mordkhe Schaechter, an editor of the monumental “Great Dictionary of the Yiddish Language.”

“So many people, especially Americans, are aware of Yiddish. But their awareness is often limited to stereotypes, or a few phrases here and there that they heard their grandparents or neighbors say,” Viswanath says.

Background: The new course comes amid an explosion of interest in Yiddish instruction during the pandemic, as The Jewish Week reported in August.

What Else

Members of Yeshiva University’s men’s basketball team, currently riding the second-longest win streak in NCAA Division III history, talk with the Forward.

Meghan Markle donated $13,700 to a charity that is supporting an interfaith cooking project led by British Jews and Muslims.

Who is Mansour Abbas, the head of the conservative Islamic party that is shaking up Israeli politics?


The View From Campus: When student activists at Tufts University argued over exchange programs involving U.S. law enforcement and Israeli police, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a path to peace were beside the point. Instead, writes David Wingens, a sophomore at Tufts, “the debate on campus does not really exist as something students can participate and learn from…. I see no place for an intelligent, thoughtful conversation about a topic that is clearly so important to so many.”

Shabbat Shalom

As someone who identifies as a genderqueer trans Jew, Dubbs Weinblatt assumed it was futile to connect to the wisdom and tradition of Torah study. But after learning with a rabbi who challenges patriarchy and helps carve out space for LGBTQ+ Jews, Weinblatt discovered the satisfaction of “rereading, reimagining, and reinterpreting Torah and doing it through a queer lens.”

More wisdom: With society about to reopen after the pandemic, Rabbi David Wolpe warns that we need to relearn freedom, and “to use it wisely, to be judicious and careful and kind.”

People and Places

The New Shul presents Kumah Festival, a seven-week series of events that explore the overlapping triangles of truth/religion, creativity/art and justice/politics, from April 3 – May 16. The festival will offer a stage to artists who see their creation as religious or spiritual in nature, while seeking justice; activists whose work is driven by their faith and understand it as a creative endeavor; and clergy who see creativity and justice as driving forces in their spirituality. Tickets are $18/event, $45 for three events and $90 for an All Festival Pass, available here.


On the last day of Passover, it is a tradition to recite the Yizkor (memorial) service to commemorate deceased loved ones. Join Rabbi Deena Gottlieb of The Jewish Community Project of Lower Manhattan for a meaningful Yizkor service via Zoom. Sunday, 10:00 am.

The Wandering Chew and FED present an online celebration of Mimouna, the traditional Jewish-Moroccan celebration ending Passover. After a brief exploration of the background, history and contemporary practice of Mimouna, the program will follow the Mimouna tradition of “house-hopping,” visiting neighbors in their homes. Register here. Sunday, 8:00 pm.

Candlelighting, Readings

Nissan 20, 5781 | Friday, April 2, 2021

Light Shabbat/Passover candles at 7:04 pm.

Nissan 21, 5781 | Saturday, April 3, 2021

First Torah: Shviee Shel Pesach, Exodus 13:17–15:26
Second Torah: Shviee Shel Pesach, Numbers 28:19–25
Haftarah: Samuel II 22:1–51

Light Passover candles after 8:04 pm.

Nissan 22, 5781 | Sunday, April 4, 2021

First Torah: Achron Shel Pesach, Deuteronomy 15:19–16:17
Second Torah: Achron Shel Pesach, Numbers 28:19–25
Haftarah: Isaiah 10:32–12:6

Holiday ends 8:05 pm.

The Jewish Week and JTA present the North American launch of “Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth,” by Israeli actress, producer and writer Noa Tishby. Join us for a conversation with Tishby and Gideon Raff, the creator of the Israeli series that was adapted as the hit Showtime series “Homeland.” Moderated by Andrew Silow-Carroll, editor in chief of The Jewish Week. Register here. April 6, 4:00 pm.

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