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Hundreds pack hall for Hasidic rabbi’s funeral • NYU student is climate hero • Rep. Meng meets Israel envoy
Daily Update

Hundreds pack hall for Hasidic rabbi’s funeral • NYU student is climate hero • Rep. Meng meets Israel envoy

Hundreds of men crowded into a Borough Park study hall for the funeral of Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, Sunday afternoon, March 7, 2021. (Screenshot from BoroPark24)
Hundreds of men crowded into a Borough Park study hall for the funeral of Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, Sunday afternoon, March 7, 2021. (Screenshot from BoroPark24)


Hundreds of men packed a Borough Park study hall for the funeral of Yechezkel Roth, a Satmar rabbi who lived in the neighborhood.

A livestream video of the funeral posted to the local news site BoroPark24 showed few attendees wearing masks.

Large gatherings have continued in the haredi Orthoodox community even as New York City struggles with a relatively high COVID test positivity rate of 7.16% for the past four weeks.

Roth, 86, who was also known as the Karlsburger Rebbe, was a respected expert on Jewish law and the author of multiple volumes of legal rulings.

Marking International Women’s Day, GreenMatters named NYU film student Jamie Margolin as one of its “10 Young Climate Activists Changing the World.”

Margolin is co-founder of Zero Hour, an intersectional youth climate organization. The 19-year-old Jewish Latina is also a published author, and her book “Youth to Power: Your Voice and How to Use It” has a foreword by Greta Thunberg.

Alma profiled Margolin in 2019.

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) held a virtual meeting with newly appointed Israeli Ambassador to the United States and United Nations Gilad Erdan.

Meng is vice chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations and leads the annual initiative to secure funding for U.S.-Israel missile defense programs. She said she spoke with Erdan about maintaining bipartisan support for U.S.-Israel relations, combatting domestic and global anti-Semitism, the threat posed by Iran, and the Abraham Accords.

Last week she was selected as co-chair of the House Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism.

Quotable: “I was happy to speak with Ambassador Erdan about the importance of this bilateral relationship and to ensure him that Congress will always support Israel’s right to exist peacefully,” said Meng in a statement. “In Queens, New York, I am proud to represent many Jewish constituents, many of whom have family members in Israel, and to carry their voices and concerns to Washington, D.C.”

Jeffrey Zucker, the president of CNN, sold his Upper East Side apartment to philanthropists Michael and Judy Steinhardt.

The New York Times says the co-op on 64th Street and Madison Avenue, which sold for $15.4 million, has five bedrooms, four and a half baths and three working fireplaces.

Zucker is planning to step down from his job running CNN at the end of the year; Steinhardt, who retired as chairman of WisdomTree Investments, supports a host of Jewish causes, including Hebrew Language Charter Schools, Birthright, OneTable and Hillel.

With some 54 million Americans having received at least a first dose of the vaccine, families are considering ways to celebrate Passover in person.

Passover is less than three weeks away, and Shira Hanau reports on a wary return to normal.

For Lesley Herrmann, 74, who lives in Manhattan with her husband, this year’s Seder may include as many as 10 people. Joel and Fran Grossman, 66 and 70, will fly from Los Angeles to New York and spend the Seders with their children in Brooklyn.

And Adina Avery-Grossman, 59, of Teaneck, is keeping a color-coded calendar to keep track of the quarantine and testing schedule her family will undergo to assemble this year.

Is it safe? “Interactions of people who are fully vaccinated with other people who are fully vaccinated (or immune due to previous infection) likely come with a very low risk for everybody involved,” Florian Krammer, a vaccinologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, wrote in a recent Twitter thread.

In Other News

With millions of Israelis already vaccinated and infection rates in the country steadily dropping, Israel began to reopen Sunday, ending its third lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef is the latest Israeli leader to denigrate Reform and Conservative Jews after Israel’s Supreme Court loosened conversion rules last week.

Drake raps “I should probably go to yeshiva” on a new single.


The Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan is streaming “Israeli Leaders on Film,” from March 8-23.

The Jewish Week takes a sneak peek at the seven films being shown in the series.

Required Reading

Mira Rosenblatt, 97, of the Midwood section of Brooklyn, stunned staff at a vaccination site with her tale of surviving the Holocaust. “There were definitely tears. I had to ask someone to take over for me for a few minutes afterward because I felt shaky from the story,” a nursing student tells the New York Times.


Celebrate International Women’s Day with IsraAID, with a panel on Women and Water. Chaired by Lisa Eisen, co-president, Schusterman Family Philanthropies, the panel will focus on how access to water, sanitation and hygiene affects women and girls around the globe. Register here. Noon.

Joanna Lisek, faculty member at the Taube Department of Jewish Studies at the University of Wrocław, Poland, will present an overview of the strategies women used to break their way into the sphere of the printed Yiddish word: from annotations in the margins of books, to poems smuggled into the press in the guise of letters from readers, to the question of how relations with men were needed as leverage for getting published. Presented by YIVO and the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. Register here. 1:00 pm.

Join us tomorrow, March 9, at noon as The Folio: A Jewish Week/UJA Cultural Series presents the North American launch of “The Slaughterman’s Daughter,” a new novel by Yaniv Iczkovits. This tale of two sisters, set in the old world of late 19th-century Russia, was praised by David Grossman for its “boundless imagination, wit and panache.” Iczkovits will be joined by Gal Beckerman, author of “When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry,” who will share a historical perspective. Moderated by award-winning journalist and author Sandee Brawarsky. Register here.

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