Good morning, New York. Today is the 83rd anniversary of the start of Kristallnacht, the violent antisemitic pogrom that augured the Holocaust. Read a history of Kristallnacht from our colleagues at My Jewish Learning.
ON A MISSION: Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-Bronx/Westchester, met with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid as part of a Congressional delegation brought to Israel by J Street. (Times of Israel)
- Why it matters: The meeting was the first between an Israeli minister and a delegation from the dovish J Street in at least four years, according to Haaretz.
- The lawmakers also plan on meeting Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh and other Palestinians officials and will tour parts of the West Bank to “examine the impact of the Israeli settlement movement and de facto annexation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem,” J Street said.
BIENVENIDOS: New York Jewish leaders hobnobbed with city and state politicians at an annual lobbying retreat in Puerto Rico. (Forward)
- The Somos retreat, an annual event meant to draw attention to causes affecting the state’s Latinos, drew some 800 attendees, including Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams.
- Spotted: Michael Miller, recently retired CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York; David Greenfield, CEO of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty: Asaf Zamir, Israel’s Consul General in New York, and his deputy, Israel Nitzan; Naftuli Moster, executive director of Yaffed, a group pushing for reforms at haredi Orthodox yeshivas, and Yeruchim Silber, director of New York government relations at Agudath Israel of America.
ROY FAMILY VALUES: The HBO series “Succession” introduced a Jewish character, played by Queens native Adrien Brody. The actor, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of a Holocaust survivor in “The Pianist,” also appears in Wes Anderson’s new film, “The French Dispatch.” (JTA)
ROAD RAGE: Jewish infrastructure czar Robert Moses, whose projects transformed New York City in the last century, is at the center of a social media fracas surrounding the bipartisan infrastructure bill. (New York Post)
- On one foot: Moses was accused, by biographer Robert Caro and others, of building roads and bridges that devastated Black and immigrant neighborhoods and limited poor people’s access to beaches and parks. When Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg discussed this history at a recent news conference, conservative media and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz mocked him.
- Extra credit: Read a brief history of how race shaped America’s roadways and cities.
BEYOND THE BOROUGHS
JACKPOT: Gershon Distenfeld, an Orthodox Jewish investment manager who recently moved from Bergenfield, New Jersey, to Hollywood, Florida, was crowned champion at the 2021 World Series of Poker $1,500 Shootout No-Limit Hold’em event in Las Vegas. He will donate his $204,063 in winnings to charity. (Poker News)
AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD, WITH JTA
- Rapper Kanye West, who has visited Israel several times, praised the Israeli kibbutz as a model for creating community.
- Baseball’s Max Fried won his second straight Gold Glove Award for defensive play, five days after pitching the Atlanta Braves to the franchise’s first World Series championship in 26 years.
Brooklyn native Stuart Schoffman, a screenwriter, journalist and translator of some of Israel’s greatest writers — including David Grossman, A.B. Yehoshua and Meir Shalev — died Sunday in Jerusalem. He was 74. Schoffman was a founding writer and columnist for The Jerusalem Report and a popular lecturer. A graduate of Brooklyn’s Yeshivah of Flatbush who moved to Israel in 1988, he combined Jewish erudition with keen reportage and analysis of politics, religion and culture. (Times of Israel)
- Watch Schoffman and A.B. Yehoshua in an interview at this Jewish Week event in October 2020.
Join the Museum of Jewish Heritage for a program exploring the forgotten story of Herschel Grynszpan, whose assassination of Nazi diplomat Ernst vom Rath would later be used as justification for Kristallnacht. The program will include a discussion between Jonathan Kirsch, author of “The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan: A Boy Avenger, a Nazi Diplomat and a Murder in Paris,” and Alan E. Steinweis, Professor of History and Raul Hilberg Distinguished Professoor of Holocaust Studies at The University of Vermont. Register here. 2:00 p.m.
YI Love Jewish presents a day of events commemorating Kristallnacht, beginning at 11:00 a.m. with a virtual lecture presented by Robert Watson, a professor of American Studies at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, and ending with a concert at 9:00 p.m. focused on the Jewish world in wartime Europe and the relationship between Jews and God in Holocaust literature and music. To view these free events live and via replay, go to YouTube or Facebook.
Lithuanian-Israeli artist David Labkovski documented history through art as a way to bear witness to the past. Join the Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning in commemoration of Kristallnacht for a lecture and workshop about his life and legacy. Register here. 7:00 p.m.
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Join the Jewish Future Pledge for a webinar with Elie Wiesel’s son, Elisha Wiesel, and grandchildren on how the Wiesel family is working to continue the Nobel Laureate’s legacy. Elisha will also discuss the recent unveiling of a carving of his father at the Washington National Cathedral, the first Jewish leader to receive the honor. Register here. 8:00 p.m.
Photo, top: Asaf Zamir, Israel’s Consul General in New York, center, meets with George Tsunis, left, President Biden’s nominee as U.S. Ambassador to Greece, and David Greenfield, CEO of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, during the annual Somos retreat for New York politicians and lobbyists in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Nov. 5, 2021. (Courtesy David Greenfield via Twitter)