The Jewish world remembers Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Erev Rosh Hashanah at age 87.
Sarah Wildman remembers the late Supreme Court associate justice as a “fierce jurist known for her outsized presence and outspokenness,” a feminist icon who was a key figure in establishing gender parity before the law, and a Brooklyn native who cited her Jewish roots as a building block of her perspectives on the bench.
In a Jewish Week essay, Diane Cole writes that Ginsburg took from her Jewish upbringing “the aspiration of tikkun olam, repairing the world, as well as shared empathy for anyone subject to discrimination.”
Mourners flocked to the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn to place makeshift memorials of candles, signs, flowers and even RBG action figures in her memory. At the East Midwood Jewish Center, which Ginsburg attended as a child, congregants learned of her death from cancer as Friday night’s live-streamed Rosh Hashanah services were drawing to an end, The New York Times reported. “The following day in his sermon, the rabbi read from an essay Ginsburg had written as a student at the synagogue’s Hebrew school in 1946, at age 13, arguing against complacency after World War II ended,” writes The Times in an appreciation of her New York roots.
New York will honor the late jurist with a statue in Brooklyn, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday afternoon.
In Haaretz, Allison Kaplan Sommer writes about RBG’s “Intimate, Yet Ambivalent, Relationship with Judaism and Israel.” NPR reports on the reaction of Jews to her death as the Jewish New Year began. NPR’s Scott Simon, in a moving on-air tribute, says that Ginsburg “leaves in a season in which people are called to reflect on life and refresh their sense of purpose in the world. Her memory will be heard in the sound of the shofar this year, calling people to look above, and use their lives’ work to lift others.”
The Washington Post reprints remarks Ginsburg gave about her Jewish identity and the history of anti-Semitism in a 2004 speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Said Ginsburg: “I am proud to live in a country where Jews are not afraid to say who we are, the second country after Israel to have set aside a day each year, this day, to remember the Holocaust, to learn of and from that era of inhumanity, to renew our efforts to repair the world’s tears.”
President Trump and GOP leaders vowed to quickly put Ginsburg’s replacement on the court, throwing the 2020 elections — six weeks away — into more turmoil.
Joe Biden on Sunday urged more senators to stand with a pair of GOP colleagues who oppose the election-season rush. Jeffrey Toobin, writing in The New Yorker, summarizes the political and legal implications of the court fight.
An Israeli court ruled in favor of extraditing Malka Leifer to Australia, where the former charedi Orthodox girls’ high school principal faces 74 charges of child sex abuse.
The decision by The Jerusalem District Court brings nearer to an end Leifer’s 12-year attempt to evade justice, which began when she fled to Israel in 2008 as accusations against her were coming to light, The Times Israel reports. The decision can still be held up by an appeal.
Australia has been seeking the extradition of Leifer since 2014, on accusations that she sexually assaulted students under her care at a Jewish school in Melbourne.
Israeli police handed out some 3,000 fines over the Rosh Hashanah weekend for various infractions of coronavirus lockdown rules.
Police said the public had so far largely adhered to restrictions that came into effect Friday afternoon, in the government’s latest effort to curb the surging pandemic. Israel had a total of 185,490 cases Sunday of which 50,749 are active, the Times of Israel reports.
Officials were concerned about charedi Orthodox Jews who travelled to spend the holiday with relatives under the guise of attending a “protest” — allowed under the rules — and about secular “protesters” who partied and danced at an otherwise off-limits Tel Aviv Beach.
“Schitt’s Creek,” the Canadian show starring Eugene Levy and co-created by and also starring his son Daniel Levy, made history at Sunday’s Emmy Awards with a comedy awards sweep.
The awards for the Pop TV show included best comedy series and trophies for its stars, including Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy and Daniel Levy.
Jewish Argentine tennis star Diego Schwartzman advanced to the finals of the Italian Open, following a quarterfinal victory over Rafael Nadal and a semifinal win over Denis Shapovalov, a Canadian tennis player born in Tel Aviv.
He’ll play top-seeded Novak Djokovic Monday for the trophy.
The Rohingya people were forced to flee a genocide at the hands of the Burmese military to refugee camps in Bangladesh in 2017. Two leaders of the Jewish Rohingya Justice Network, in a Jewish Week essay, urge American Jews to demand that the U.S. lead the international community in defending the Rohingya and working to ensure their full rights.
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HIAS, the Jewish refugee resettlement organization, has High Holiday resources for those who wish to stand up for refugees and asylum seekers in the new year. They include:
- Hear the Call, Heed the Call, a High Holidays video, featuring HIAS’ Rabbi Rachel Grant Meyer, HIAS direct service staff, refugee advocates and former refugees who have been resettled by HIAS.
- A petition to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling on the Trump administration to restore the United States’ annual refugee admissions cap to the historic annual average of 95,000 for 2021. As the administration continues to block the refugee program due to COVID-19, refugee advocacy is more vital than ever.
- High Holiday readings for personal reflection or to incorporate into High Holiday sermons.
The iCenter for Israel Education’s new program, Binge Watch Israel, allows educators to access Israeli TV shows with specially developed resources for learning experiences, both in person and virtual. The Israeli TV episodes and supporting materials offer diverse perspectives into Israeli society and culture, and include English subtitles. Each show contains an educational guide to enhance the watching and learning experience.
The Philosophical Society of England presents Pulitzer Prize-finalist Steven Nadler in conversation with fellow Baruch Spinoza scholar Alexander Douglas, connecting the 17-century philosopher’s ideas with his life and times to offer an account of how the philosopher can provide a guide to living one’s best life (and death). Nadler is the William H. Hay II Professor of Philosophy and Evjue-Bascom Professor in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. 2:00 pm.
Base MNHTN presents Rabbi Avram Mlotek in a Facebook Live conversation with Na’il Salahu-Din, an educator and sociologist from Brooklyn, NY and a second-year student at Bayan Institute Islamic Seminary. 3:00 pm.