NEW YORK, NEW YORK
The NYPD Hate Crimes unit said it had arrested a suspect who threw fireworks at Jewish pedestrians in midtown on May 20, burning a 55-year-old woman.
- Mohammed Othman, 24, of Staten Island, was charged for three separate anti-Semitic hate crime assaults that occurred in the vicinity that day.
A mother of a yeshiva student continued her legal efforts to get the state to order her son’s school to start teaching secular subjects at the level mandated by state law.
- The State Education Department said in April it had no authority to enforce secular education requirements in yeshivas. Beatrice Weber filed an appeal of that decision last week with a trial court judge in Albany County.
- Weber, a mother of 10, left the haredi Orthodox world but as part of her divorce had to agree to send her 8-year-old son to a haredi yeshiva in Brooklyn.
- Her lawyers say the law is clear: “Yeshiva kids must receive a secular education that is substantially equivalent to the education public school kids get. Period.”
THE SURFSIDE TRAGEDY
Judy Spiegel, a longtime member of the Chabad of Southampton, enjoyed time with her grandchildren after she and her husband, Kevin, moved to Surfside in 2017. Estelle Hedaya, a 30-year veteran of the jewelry industry, had moved to Surfside from New York in 2015.
- They are two of the 54 confirmed victims of the condominium collapse in South Florida; authorities said there is no longer hope that there are any survivors of the June 24 disaster, and 86 people are still unaccounted for.
- Quotable: “When we say recovery, people think that means a big bulldozer comes and takes all debris to a big warehouse.… It’s not the reality. The reality is that we work with machines, we know where to dig, where to look. We search by hand, we find the victims and the relatives and we pull them out very carefully.” — Col. Golan Vach, who heads a search and rescue unit of the Israel Defense Forces that is working with the South Florida crews.
Joshua Henkin’s new novel “Morningside Heights” is set in the neighborhood where he grew up.
- The author talks to our colleague Emily Burack about attending the Ramaz School as a teenager, the cultural gulf between the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side, and the various Jewish responses to a loved one’s illness.
Doris Brickner was married to the late activist Rabbi Balfour Brickner of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, but shone on her own as the founder of numerous Jewish organizations and champion of archaeology and historic preservation. She died last month, a few weeks shy of her 100th birthday.
TODAY’S BIG IDEA
Marjorie Ingall wants to see fewer children’s books about the Holocaust and more books that reflect the diversity of Jewish experience and the pleasures of being Jewish. “By focusing so relentlessly on the Holocaust, we’re telling kids, Jewish and not, that the worst thing that ever happened to us is the cornerstone of our collective identity,” she writes in The New York Times.
PEOPLE AND PLACES
Famed glass sculptor Dale Chihuly is creating two new projects for The Hampton Synagogue – the first Holocaust memorial he has created and his first project based off of a biblical narrative.
- His Children’s Chapel will consist of 36 individual glass elements, using the colors of the “ephod.” The second project, the Children’s Holocaust Memorial, is also part of a larger addition to the synagogue in Westhampton Beach, to be completed between now and spring 2022.
- The “Jack’s House & the Levin Family Children’s Campus” will encompass a full block, and will include sports facilities, a playground, STEM learning center, music studio, art studio, library and a multi-sensory learning and activity studio
- Quotable: “Chihuly’s first-ever Holocaust memorial will recall the horrors of our past, while his exquisite windows for our Children’s Chapel will illuminate the brightness of our future,” said Rabbi Marc Schneier.
WHAT’S ON TODAY
ADL and the National Constitution Center present a panel reviewing a dramatic term for the Supreme Court. Dahlia Lithwick of Slate will moderate a discussion among legal scholars Erwin Chemerinsky, Frederick Lawrence, Melissa Murray and Paul Clement about the vital issues of the term, the changing dynamics of the Court, and what to expect next year. Register here. Noon.
A YIVO talk, presented by Gabriella Safran, explores the connections between S. An-ski’s ethnographic work, his play “The Dybbuk” and the Russian politics of his era. This event is part of YIVO’s 2021 Yiddish Civilization Lecture series and will take place on Zoom. Register here. 4:30 pm.
Join the Museum of Jewish Heritage for a program exploring the history of Jewish summer camps with Dr. Gary P. Zola, co-editor of “A Place of Our Own: The Rise of Reform Jewish Camping” and Dr. Jenna Weissman Joselit, curator of the 1994 exhibition “A Worthy Use of Summer: Jewish Summer Camping in America.” Register here. 6:00 pm.
SVIVAH presents “On the Threshold of Reemergence,” a workshop with resiliency coach and yoga therapist Yael Flusberg. Bring paper, a pen, and something to color with. RSVP for Zoom link. 8:00 pm.