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Manhattan Ben & Jerry’s store loses customers • JTS defends sale of rare artifact • Israel baseball’s Queens connection
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Daily Update

Manhattan Ben & Jerry’s store loses customers • JTS defends sale of rare artifact • Israel baseball’s Queens connection

Jessica Fox of Team Australia competes during the Women's Kayak Slalom Semi-final at the Tokyo Olympics, July 28, 2021. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Jessica Fox of Team Australia competes during the Women's Kayak Slalom Semi-final at the Tokyo Olympics, July 28, 2021. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Good morning, New York. 

IVORY TOWER

Some librarians and scholars are objecting to the Jewish Theological Seminary’s sale of a rare Hebrew manuscript.

  • The Manhattan-based seminary’s library shut down in 2016 for a campus redevelopment project. Bibliophiles worried that JTS was using the period to sell off collectibles to private owners, and an auction featuring the 200-year-old handwritten ledger seemed to confirm their suspicions.
  • JTS acknowledges that it decided to sell items in order to raise money “without harming the core mission of the institution,” according to an investigation by our colleague Asaf Shalev.
  • Why it matters: Academic libraries have the right to sell their items, but a “lack of transparency around the sale of the manuscript … especially riled Judaica librarians and consultants, many of whom wondered what other items might have slipped away unnoticed.”

GENERATIONS

Meet Muriel Mandell, a former wartime reporter-turned children’s book author-turned tech-savvy senior whose 100th birthday is next month.

  • A correspondent for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency during World War II, Mandell has remained active by founding a computer training program at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan. At 99, she still teaches classes via Zoom.
  • Quotable: “You don’t want to just take up space. You want to have something to contribute, otherwise why, why do you still exist?” Mandell told The Jewish Week.

THE ICE CREAM CRISIS, DAY 10

A Jewish-owned Ben & Jerry’s franchise on Manhattan’s Upper West Side is losing customers.

  • On Monday, Joel Gasman posted on Facebook that moves by Ben & Jerry’s to stop sales to West Bank settlements  “do not reflect our personal views.” He promised to donate 10% of his store’s profits to “State of Israel educational causes.”
  • Gasman told our colleague Shira Hanau in an email: “We have lost catering jobs for corporate offices, schools, and synagogues over the past week due to Ben and Jerry’s statement.”

Related:

  • Unilever, the Ben & Jerry’s parent company, disavowed the boycott Israel movement, saying it is committed to doing business with Israel. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations was unmoved.
  • Anuradha Mittal, the chair of the Ben & Jerry’s board of directors, said the move to boycott “occupied Palestinian Territories” was not antisemitic and quoted liberal Jewish groups who agree with her.
  • Axios reported that Israel has set up a task force to counter the Ben & Jerry’s boycott and encouraged its diplomats to start a pressure campaign against the decision by fomenting protests in front of Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever offices.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

Dozens of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered outside the Brooklyn office of Attorney General Letitia James to demand that she shut down “NY-based Zionist settler organizations.”

  • Participating groups included The Palestinian Right to Return Coalition, Al-Awda New York and the National Lawyers Guild, as well as members of  the anti-Zionist Orthodox Jewish group Neturei Karta.
  • The protest was part of a campaign to revoke the charitable licenses of New York-based organizations — including Elad, Israel Land Fund and Ateret Cohanim –that “fund Israeli settlement.

TOKYO OLYMPICS NEWS

Raised in Queens, David Leichman moved to Israel’s Kibbutz Gezer in 1976. There he led the building of Israel’s first baseball field.

  • Tomorrow, his son Alon, a pitcher, will be part of Israel’s Olympic baseball team, as it takes the field against South Korea at 6 a.m. ET.
  • The Forward reports on the Leichmans: Alon’s mom is Rabbi Miri Gold, the retired rabbi of the kibbutz’s synagogue. Dad runs ice cream-making workshops. Alon, who pitched in college and semi-pro leagues, coaches baseball abroad when he is not home in Israel.
  • Every baseball game at the Tokyo Olympics can be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports App. Watch tomorrow’s Israel-Korea game here.

Jewish vaulter Lilia Akhaimova helped Russia with the gold medal in women’s team gymnastics, earning the top score among the 24 competitors.

Australian kayaker Jessica Fox, considered by many to be the greatest paddler of all time, took home a bronze medal in the women’s slalom K-1 competition. She was disappointed.

Is Lydia Jacoby, the 17-year-old swimmer from Seward, Alaska, who won the 100m breaststroke, Jewish? Probably not.

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Dr. Leah Goldin, mother of slain IDF Lt. Hadar Goldin, shares her family’s persistent efforts within Israel and the international arena to recover her son’s body and give him the decent burial he deserves in Israel. Register here for this Jewish Community Relations Council of New York event. 1:15 pm.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage presents a screening of “The House on Wannsee Street” (2019, Spanish with English subtitles), filmmaker Poli Martínez Kaplun’s documentary abour her great grandfather, who she learned was a German-Jewish philosopher persecuted by the Nazis. The film will be screened in person in the museum’s Edmond J. Safra Hall, 36 Battery Pl. Tickets $5/$10. 5:00 pm.

Join Jewish National Fund-USA IsraelCast host Steven Shalowitz and author Ben Freeman for a live Q&A session about Freeman’s book, “Jewish Pride: Rebuilding a People.” Inspired by his experiences with LGBTQ+ pride,  Freeman rejects the shame of antisemitism imposed on Jews by the non-Jewish world, as well as non-Jewish perceptions of what it means to be a Jew. Register for this streaming event here. 7:00 pm.

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