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Lee Zeldin may run for governor • Tofutti inventor David Mintz dies • Y.U. hoopsters on record win streak
Daily Update

Lee Zeldin may run for governor • Tofutti inventor David Mintz dies • Y.U. hoopsters on record win streak

Clinton Bailey interviewing a Bedouin elder, 1972. The Clinton Bailey Archive of Bedouin Culture is now coming to the National Library of Israel. (Boris Carmi. From the Meitar Collection, National Library of Israel archives)
Clinton Bailey interviewing a Bedouin elder, 1972. The Clinton Bailey Archive of Bedouin Culture is now coming to the National Library of Israel. (Boris Carmi. From the Meitar Collection, National Library of Israel archives)


70 Faces Media’s week of special reflections and conversations to mark “one year in” to our collective pandemic experience continues today at 2:30 pm with “A Jewish Approach to Medical Ethics During the Pandemic.” Andrew Silow-Carroll, editor in chief of the Jewish Week, will moderate a panel of leading experts on medical ethics in Jewish thought on issues involved in virus transmission, hospital triage, vaccination, racial inequity and more.

Long Island Republican Lee Zeldin said he’s mulling a run for governor, as Andrew Cuomo faces a state investigation into sexual harassment accusations and a federal probe over his handling of the pandemic.

Zeldin, one of only two Jewish Republicans in the House of Representatives, told Newsday he will begin calling Republican party leaders to assess the prospects of a race. Before the current crisis, Cuomo had said he intended to run for a fourth term next year.

“I feel like we have a need to save our state, that we have to work together to protect our freedoms, our wallets and our safety — and it doesn’t matter whether you are a Republican, a Democrat or an independent,” Zeldin said.

Background: Gothamist has a primer on the mounting allegations of sexual harassment and nursing home death coverups facing Cuomo.

The unlikely romance between a Yiddish-speaking immigrant and an Episcopalian millionaire was a media sensation in the first decades of the 20th century.

The Jewish Week remembers Rose Pastor Stokes, an author and socialist activist who married the heir to an old New York banking and mining fortune. The couple’s backstory and support for radical causes earned her the nickname “Rebel Cinderella,” which is also the title of Adam Hochschild’s biography of Pastor Stokes.

Yeshiva University’s men’s basketball team is riding a 35-game winning streak.

The Maccabees’ unbeaten streak is the third-longest in Division III men’s basketball history, and the longest among all current NCAA Division I, II and III teams. Y.U., the Modern Orthodox flagship university in Manhattan, started the 2020-21 season with a 6-0 record and is ranked No. 4 in the Men’s National Poll. also named senior forward Gabriel Leifer of Lawrence, N.Y. to its “Team of the Week” Tuesday. Leifer is just the fourth men’s basketball player, and seventh overall, in the 24-year history of to be named to its Team of the Week in four separate seasons, according to Y.U.

For all its promise, the team will be denied the chance for a tournament title for the second season in a row: Due to low participation numbers among member schools, NCAA Division III winter championships are canceled for the 2020-21 academic year.

A part-time synagogue in upstate Sullivan County collapsed, probably under the weight of heavy snow.

No injuries were reported in the collapse of the building, which serves the Chernovitz Bungalow Colony in Woodbourne during the summers.

A seasonal synagogue in Fallsburg collapsed under similar circumstances two weeks ago.

Israel is moving to increase the number of Israelis permitted to enter the country to 3,000 per day starting March 7.

Why it matters: Israelis were up in arms after a report over the weekend that the vast majority of those entering the country have been haredi Orthodox, allegedly thanks to lobbying from Orthodox lawmakers, while emergency requests from many other Israelis were denied.

The details: If the plan is approved, non-citizens will still require permission to enter Israel, Times of Israel reports. Returning Israelis who haven’t been vaccinated will be required to isolate at home or at state-run quarantine hotels and undergo a coronavirus test upon arrival.

A one-of-a-kind archive on Bedouin culture is headed to the National Library of Israel.

The recordings, images, slides and video clips documenting Bedouin tribal culture over the past half century were collected by Dr. Clinton Bailey, a Buffalo, N.Y. native. Bailey earned a Ph.D. from Columbia University before moving to Israel in 1967.

Said Dr. Raquel Ukeles, the library’s Head of Collections: “The irreplaceable materials in the archive will serve members of the Bedouin community interested in learning about their past, as well as scholars in Israel and abroad for generations to come.”

In Other News

The BBC is under fire for airing a debate over whether Jews should be considered an ethnic minority.

Amazon altered a new logo for its app after observers said it looked like Hitler’s mustache.

The backlash to an Israeli Supreme Court decision liberalizing state conversion standards has begun: a haredi Orthodox party compared non-Orthodox converts to dogs wearing kippot; the Likud Party condemned the ruling; Yamina leader Naftali Bennett accused the High Court of “intervening in government decisions and forgetting its role.”

New Rochelle attorney Lawrence Garbuz, one of New York’s first coronavirus cases, talks to the Wall Street Journal about his “deep gratitude for the joys of being alive—his family, his Orthodox Jewish community and the beauty of a tree near his doorstep that he barely noticed before he got sick.”


David Mintz, who invented Tofutti in part to satisfy a craving for a satisfying non-dairy kosher dessert, died Feb. 24 at the age of 89. The Alpine, N.J. resident famously toiled for nine years to develop the recipe for the ice cream alternative, which arrived in stores in the early 1980s and kickstarted a nondairy ice-cream market that, by 2025, was worth $1.2 billion. Mintz grew up in Williamsburgh’s Orthodox Jewish community, and sold prepared foods before hitting on the Tofutti formula in his Bensonshurst kitchen. Grub Street remembers the “P.T. Barnum of tofu.”

People and Places

Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, the deputy director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, is leaving to become executive vice president of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), which organizes investors to press companies on environmental, social and governance issues. Kahn-Troster was with T’ruah for 14 years, leading efforts on behalf of the Fair Food Program, serving as a founding member of the Worker-Driven Social Responsibility Network, and representing T’ruah as a member of ICCR.


American Associates Ben-Gurion University of the Negev marks International Women’s Day with an inside look at BGU initiatives designed to support underserved women with critical resources. With Prof. Julie Cwikel of BGU’s Center for Women’s Health Studies and Promotion and AABGU CEO Doug Seserman. Register here. Noon.

Join author Eliyana R. Adler (Penn State University) in conversation with Debórah Dwork (The Graduate Center, CUNY) about her book, “Survival on the Margins: Polish Jewish Refugees in Wartime Soviet Union.” Presented by The Center for Jewish History. Register here. 4:00 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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