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Large weddings spread Covid, Israel imposes curfew, Israeli pitcher leads Orioles over Yankees
Daily Update

Large weddings spread Covid, Israel imposes curfew, Israeli pitcher leads Orioles over Yankees

Some of the 1,019 chairs commemorating the Israeli deaths from the coronavirus set up as a memorial in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on Sept. 7, 2020. The country passed the 1,000-death threshold this past weekend. (Miriam Alster/Flash90 via JTA)
Some of the 1,019 chairs commemorating the Israeli deaths from the coronavirus set up as a memorial in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on Sept. 7, 2020. The country passed the 1,000-death threshold this past weekend. (Miriam Alster/Flash90 via JTA)

Predictions about a second wave of coronavirus cases in New York City’s Orthodox communities appear to be coming to pass.

New York City revealed Sunday that despite a citywide test positivity rate of less than 1%, some neighborhoods are registering results far higher, JTA reports. Borough Park, home to the largest chasidic population in the city and one of the neighborhoods with the highest rate of positive cases at the beginning of the pandemic, saw a positivity rate of over 4%, with that number surpassing 6% in part of the neighborhood.

“In recent days, we have observed heightened rates of Covid-19 in many neighborhoods with large Orthodox Jewish populations,” Dr. Dave Chokshi, New York City’s health commissioner, wrote in a letter to local Orthodox media outlets Sunday. Chokshi pointed to increased positivity rates in Borough Park, Midwood, and Williamsburg in Brooklyn and Forest Hills and Far Rockaway in Queens.

Defiance: Even as many Orthodox leaders are exhorting community members to follow public health recommendations, others intend to flout the rules designed to stop the spread of the disease. In a video taken at a wedding Sunday where unmasked guests appeared in the background, Borough Park activist and radio host Heshy Tischler vowed to attend a wedding every night no matter what restrictions Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio impose.

The Israeli government approved nightly curfews of dozens of cities and towns with high coronavirus infection rates, after Israel saw its highest-yet number of daily Covid-19 cases.

Effective from Tuesday evening for a week, he curfews will be in effect every day between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. Residents must keep within 500 meters of their homes and non-essential businesses will be closed. Schools will be closed at all times, except for special needs programs, the Times of Israel reports.

The affected cities include all of Bnei Brak, Beitar Ilit, Umm al-Fahm, and Nazareth, as well as parts of Jerusalem, Ashdod and Eilat.

The European Union warned Serbia and Kosovo on Monday that they could undermine their EU membership hopes by moving their Israeli embassies to Jerusalem.

In an unexpected move last week, President Trump said that Serbia and mostly Muslim Kosovo had agreed to normalize economic ties as part of US-brokered talks. It surprised the Europeans, who are leading complex talks between Serbia and its former territory of Kosovo on improving their long-strained relations, the Associated Press reports. Serbian officials appeared to be watering down their commitment to Trump, and Kosovo sought to allay concerns among Muslim countries.

The EU’s long-held policy is that Jerusalem’s status should be worked out between Israel and the Palestinians as part of broader peace negotiations, and that Serbia — as a candidate to join the bloc — should respect that.

RelatedSaudi Arabia’s king told Trump advisers his country will not pursue normalization with Israel until there is peace with Palestinians.

Another countryThe president of Malawi said Saturday that his country would open an embassy in Jerusalem. And on Sunday, chief Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat announced that the Palestinian Authority would sever relations with any country that opens an embassy in Jerusalem.

San Francisco State University is standing behind the decision to allow a Palestinian terrorist to participate in a university event via Zoom.

The Arab and Muslim Ethnicities Diaspora (AMED) at SFSU announced it is hosting Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist group. She hijacked an Israel-bound plane in 1969 and the following year was arrested after failing to hijack an El Al flight. She was eventually released in a prisoner-for-hostage exchange.

A university official told the Forward that SFSU President Lynn Mahoney sent an e-mail in support of Khaled speaking at the university on Sept. 23, writing that “A university is a marketplace of ideas.”

Jewish groups strongly denounced Khaled’s planned appearance at SDSU.

Dean Kremer, the first Israeli baseball player to be drafted into the Major Leagues, was called up to the Baltimore Orioles and earned a victory in his debut.

Kremer, 24, led the Orioles to a 5-1 win over the New York Yankees on Sunday, allowing just one hit and one earned run while striking out seven in six innings on Sunday afternoon. Born in California to Israeli parents, Kremer pitched for the Israeli national team in the 2014 European Championships and in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He also played for the gold-medal winning Team USA in the 2013 Maccabiah Games in Israel.

High Holidays

Iranian Jews mark Rosh Hashanah with a seder, eating nine symbolic foods that reflect what they want from God in the year to come.

This year, writes Donna Maher in Alma, the ceremony will enable her to “find the sweetness in difficult times, to find the blessings in everyday moments, and to appreciate the finer things in life: a warm hug, a beautiful sunset, and of course, the sweetness in our tradition.”


David Graeber, 59, an anthropologist whose critiques of economic inequality led him to coin the term “We Are the 99 Percent,” died Sept. 2.

The Manhattan-born Graeber taught at Yale and the London School of Economics, and drew a cult following for books about the underside of capitalism, including “Debt: The First 5000 Years” (2011) and “Bullshit Jobs: A Theory” (2018).

In 2019, he wrote a piece defending British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn against charges that he is anti-Semitic, writing, “It’s crazy to cry wolf while real wolves are baying at the door.”

Streaming Today

The Workers Circle celebrates its 120th anniversary with a discussion of how it is connecting to its activist roots and making use of successful organizing strategies to teach new generations how to be successful change-makers. Workers Circle CEO Ann Toback will share her experiences running successful and challenging organizing campaigns from her work as a labor leader at the Writers Guild of America, East and also championing labor and economic justice activism with the Workers Circle. 2:00 pm. Register here.

Israel Policy Forum presents a video briefing, featuring Dr. Shira Efron, on the latest developments in Gaza, from a simmering humanitarian and coronavirus crisis, to the resumption of incendiary balloon launches and a Qatari-brokered ceasefire with Israel. 2:00 pm. Register here.

Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust presents a discussion of the film “Bess Myerson: One And Only Jewish Miss America,” with director David Arond, MJH Board of Trustees Vice Chairman and ADL National Director Emeritus Abraham Foxman (who is featured in the film), and Bess’ daughter, screenwriter and actress Barra Grant. In September 1945, Myerson, Miss New York City, made history at the most famous beauty pageant in the world by becoming the first and only Jewish Miss America. The documentary follows Bess from her improbable entrance in her local pageant through her heartbreak when sponsors withdrew their support and restricted tour stops closed their doors on Jews. 7:00 pm.

The Steinsaltz Center will mark a month since the passing of Talmudic and Torah scholar Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz with an online event featuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Former UK Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Former US Senator Joseph Lieberman, novelist Dara Horn,  actress Mayim Bialik, and Rabbi Meni Even-Israel, son of the late Rabbi Steinsaltz. The event will focus on the rabbi’s legacy of bringing the words and teachings of Judaism to the widest audience, building understanding and respect within the Jewish community, and building bridges of mutual understanding between all faiths and peoples. 8:00 pm.

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