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Israel blames Iran for oil spill • Zoom funerals are the future • Get your London lox from Long Island
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Israel blames Iran for oil spill • Zoom funerals are the future • Get your London lox from Long Island

HOME AT LAST: A group of 137 immigrants from Brazil and Argentina land in Israel on Monday after 40 days of limbo brought about by Israel’s closure of its main international airport last month and Europe’s restriction on Latin Americans making connections through its airports. The logjam was broken thanks to a partnership between the Jewish Agency and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, a charity that helps facilitate immigration to Israel. The organizations teamed up to charter a plane and secure authorizations enabling the immigrants to be included among the 200 arrivals allowed into Israel each day. (Avishag Shar Yashuv/IFCJ)
HOME AT LAST: A group of 137 immigrants from Brazil and Argentina land in Israel on Monday after 40 days of limbo brought about by Israel’s closure of its main international airport last month and Europe’s restriction on Latin Americans making connections through its airports. The logjam was broken thanks to a partnership between the Jewish Agency and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, a charity that helps facilitate immigration to Israel. The organizations teamed up to charter a plane and secure authorizations enabling the immigrants to be included among the 200 arrivals allowed into Israel each day. (Avishag Shar Yashuv/IFCJ)

 

70 Faces Media’s week of special reflections and conversations to mark “one year in” to our collective pandemic experience continues today at 4:00 pm with “How Editors Covered the Jewish World During This Unprecedented Time.” Meet the editors behind all of 70 Faces Media’s properties — JTA, My Jewish Learning, Kveller, Alma, The Nosher, and the New York Jewish Week — to learn how we created and edited the stories that impacted the Jewish community throughout the year. 

A Scarsdale bar mitzvah boy has helped 1,100 people in New York get their Covid-19 vaccine appointments.

Samuel Keusch, 12, offers seniors and others the web-savviness they may lack, Kveller reports; through his website, Vaccine Helper, he finds bookings others can’t.

At first, the project was centered around his family’s synagogue, Temple Beth El in Scarsdale, but has expanded into the community at large. “In the beginning, we were just happy to get an appointment every 10 minutes. Now,” said Sam, “we’ve been averaging like, around, 75 a day.”

The service is free, but the website suggests a donation to Feeding Westchester or to Beth El. 

A longtime leader of the Jewish community in Tehran painted an upbeat picture of Iranian Jewish life.

Speaking on a Zoom call arranged by Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future, Arash Abaie said Jews living in Iran find it easier to practice their religion today than they did prior to the Islamic revolution of 1979, Gary Rosenblatt reports.

Yes, but: The unspoken context for the discussion, however, was that the largest Jewish community in the Muslim world is able to live in peace as long as its members steer clear of political involvement or showing support for Israel.

A year of Covid has transformed Jewish mourning rituals.

Surprisingly meaningful experiences on Zoom, for example, raise the question of what will happen once the pandemic subsides. Rabbis are talking about returning to physical rituals while continuing to incorporate some virtual elements, JTA reports.

Case in point: In June, Rabbi Felicia Sol of Manhattan’s B’nai Jeshurun appeared on video to preside over the Minnesota funeral of Renie Rutchick, and at least 250 people tuned in. “It was so moving that we could have Felicia there,” Rutchick’s wife, Judith Trachtenberg, said. “The use of Zoom turned out to be very warming and meaningful, and it allowed the funeral to be taped.”

A Long Island lox company has boomed during the pandemic — by selling smoked salmon from England.

When Simon Joseph was furloughed from his IT job at the beginning of the pandemic, his wife Stacey suggested they call up one of his old friends back in London and set up a proper smoked salmon import and concierge delivery service. The London-style smoked fish is milder and less salty than many New Yorkers are used to.

In July, the Port Washington couple built a website for their expanding enterprise, Across the Pond. Each week, the Josephs receive about a hundred pounds of fish from Goldstein Smoked Salmon, their friend’s concern in London, JTA reports.

In Other News

The International Criminal Court launched an investigation against Israelis for alleged war crimes against Palestinians.

Israel’s environmental minister blamed a Libyan “pirate ship” that sailed from Iran for a massive oil spill that has polluted most of Israel’s Mediterranean beaches.

More than one-third of U.S. nonprofits are in jeopardy of closing within two years because of the financial harm inflicted by the viral pandemic, according to a study.

Streaming Today

JCRC-NY presents a Women’s History Month conversation with Ruth Messinger, former Manhattan borough president and global ambassador, American Jewish World Service. Register here. 11:00 am.

Faye Sholitan of Interplay Jewish Theatre reads and discusses theater scripts that thematically connect to Ruth Bader Ginsberg‘s life and legacy. This month’s play, “Photograph 51,” is about the British chemist Rosalind Franklin’s unheralded contributions to the understanding of DNA. $5 general; free for members. Register here. 1:00 pm.

Workers Circle presents a panel moderated by Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell with guests Tony Michels and Jonah Boyarin, delving into the diverse contents of writings on race in the Yiddish-language press as an exploration of trends, tendencies, and continuities with how these issues continue to be covered in the Jewish press today. Register here. 7:00 pm.

On March 9 at noon, 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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