The Jewish Week is always here for you.
We need your support now.
Your contribution will help us bring you vital news
and frequent updates about the impact of COVID-19.
LI rabbi breaks a glass ceiling • NJ paper apologizes for ‘JAP’ joke • An Upper West Side pantry’s challenging year
Daily Update

LI rabbi breaks a glass ceiling • NJ paper apologizes for ‘JAP’ joke • An Upper West Side pantry’s challenging year

Andrea Kopel, center, the director of NCJW-New York, joins a volunteer in preparing a food delivery at NCJW’s food pantry on the Upper West Side on March 15, 2021. (Courtesy NCJW-NY)
Andrea Kopel, center, the director of NCJW-New York, joins a volunteer in preparing a food delivery at NCJW’s food pantry on the Upper West Side on March 15, 2021. (Courtesy NCJW-NY)


Today is Election Day in Israel, its fourth in two years. Here’s what to expect.

Read how local Jews’ lives have been reshaped by the pandemic.

Morris Vogel, president of the Tenement Museum, says the Lower East Side institution closed its doors and laid off 76 staff members, but saw the number of “visitors” surge thanks to online programming.

Andrea Kopel, executive director of the New York chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women, describes how NCJW’s food pantry on the Upper West Side didn’t skip a beat despite losing many elderly volunteers.

Rabbi Kenny Schiowitz, who teaches at the Ramaz school, recalls his time as head of the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County, NJ, when it became one of the first Jewish groups to recognize the severity of the outbreak.

Rabbi Jan Uhrbach will become the first woman to serve as dean of the Rabbinical School at The Jewish Theological Seminary.

When she takes over as interim dean in July, the Conservative movement flagship will have women serving as deans of all three of its schools, director of its Cantorial School, and as its chancellor.

Uhrbach is founder and will continue as director of the Block/Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts at JTS, and has worked on several Conservative movement prayer books. She is the founding rabbi of the Conservative Synagogue of the Hamptons, in Bridgehampton, Long Island.

A New Jersey newspaper apologized for an obscene photo caption that used the term JAP, for “Jewish American princess.”

The online caption in the Gannett-owned Asbury Park Press, which went with a photo of a female Orthodox nurse, read: “A f***ing hot nurse, a total JAP, loads a syringe with a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.”

Executive Editor Paul D’Ambrosio noted that the photo was taken in Lakewood, which has a large haredi Orthodox population. “I apologize deeply to women, the Lakewood Jewish community, the Asian American community and all our readers,” D’Ambrosio said Monday.

He did not immediately respond to another news site’s questions about who was responsible for writing the caption, which if any editors reviewed the story before it went live, and for details on procedural changes.

Staff, volunteers and local politicians, including mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, far left, take part in the pre-Passover distribution of free, kosher food for UJO Williamsburg at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, March 17, 2021. (Courtesy)

Met Council distributed 768,799 pounds of free, kosher food at its Boro Park Chesed Center and the UJO Williamsburg at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The March 17 distribution was part of a $3.9 million investment by Met Council to ensure Jewish New Yorkers do not go without food this Passover.

Today, Met Council will work with COJO Flatbush to distribute truckloads of free, kosher food to the Flatbush community. Volunteers will be giving away food at COJO Flatbush, 1214 East 15th Street, beginning at 11:00 am.

People and Places

American Friends of Sheba Medical Center appointed Brian Abrahams of Chicago as its new CEO. Abrahams served as executive director of ISRAEL21c and spent over a decade as midwest director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.


Citymeals on Wheels staff at the organization’s warehouse in the Bronx are packing 4,500 special holiday meal boxes for Passover. (Courtesy)

Citymeals on Wheels is helping homebound elderly Jewish New Yorkers celebrate Passover during the pandemic with nourishing and traditional meals. Citymeals staff are at work at the organization’s warehouse in the Bronx packing 4,500 holiday meal boxes. Each package contains eight shelf-stable Kosher for Passover meals, including gefilte fish, brisket, matzo, grape juice, macaroons and more. More information here.

Our list of online Passover Seders from New York-area institutions includes plenty of options for the second night.

A “Schitt’s Creek Haggadah” based on the popular Netflix sitcom is one of the new offerings at, a nonprofit that enables users to make their own Haggadahs and find other DIY materials for Jewish ritual. Create an account to design a Haggadah from a library that includes dozens of traditional and not-so-traditional texts and Passover commentaries.

The Jewish Educator Portal has curated Passover resources to help students connect with the Exodus. Students will learn through art projects, text study and discussions, and will have the opportunity to relate Passover to their own lives. Lesson plans and activities are available for early childhood through high school.

JCRC-NY presents “Passover in a Plague,” a discussion featuring three local rabbis: Elie Weinstock of the Jewish Center of Atlantic Beach, Rachel Ain of Sutton Place Synagogue and Ammiel Hirsch of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue. Register here. 1:00 pm.

New York’s Temple Emanu-El is offering online services for the holiday that are open and free to all, and will be broadcast on its website, Facebook and YouTube pages. Go here for details. The synagogue is also hosting a range of virtual programming around the holiday, including a cooking class tonight at 7:00 pm with Shannon Sarna of The Nosher. Go here for details.

Marlene Meyerson JDC Manhattan presents A Passover Bereavement Program: Join other bereaved Jews to explore ways to process grief and memory while finding meaning and comfort in Passover’s themes of redemption and renewal. The program, held virtually on Zoom, will be facilitated by Rabbi Miriam Herscher and Elana Kravitz, LMSW. Today, 5:30-7:00 pm.

Streaming Today

The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, together with Herrick, Feinstein LLP’s Art Law Group, will host “Nazi-Looted Art and Archives: Recovering and Preserving Jewish Culture.” The event will feature a discussion between Jonathan Brent, YIVO’s executive director and CEO, and Howard Spiegler, co-chair of Herrick, Feinstein LLP’s Art Law Group, on the quest to recover and preserve these cultural treasures. Register here. 11:00 am.

Israel Policy Forum presents Election Night in Israel, with live analysis from Shira Efron, Michael Koplow and Nimrod Novik, and exit poll results from Eli Kowaz on Israel’s fourth election in less than two years. Register here. 4:00 pm.
In her new book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,” Isabel Wilkerson explores the impact of the American caste system—a rigid hierarchy of human divisions—and its connections to caste systems in India and Nazi Germany. Join Wilkerson and Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl, senior rabbi at New York’s Central Synagogue, for a conversation from the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust about “Caste,” the legacy of the Holocaust and what lies under the surface of American life today. Register here. 7:00 pm.

read more: