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Masbia expands kosher pantries • Lakewood limits Purim festivities • Fauci wins $1m Israeli prize
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Masbia expands kosher pantries • Lakewood limits Purim festivities • Fauci wins $1m Israeli prize

ANTISEMITISMO: Neo-Nazis giving the Hitler salute at an event near a cemetery in Madrid, Spain on Feb. 13, 2021. Jewish leaders in Spain are calling for an investigation after the far-right event in Madrid featured anti-Semitic speeches and the Nazi salute. (Lamarea.com)
ANTISEMITISMO: Neo-Nazis giving the Hitler salute at an event near a cemetery in Madrid, Spain on Feb. 13, 2021. Jewish leaders in Spain are calling for an investigation after the far-right event in Madrid featured anti-Semitic speeches and the Nazi salute. (Lamarea.com)

 

Masbia’s two Brooklyn kosher pantries are doubling in size to meet demand.

Masbia of Boro Park will be renting three floors in the adjacent building. Masbia of Flatbush will rent the storefront and basement in a building one door over. Both sites will have double the square footage they currently have.

“Before the pandemic, food items lasted for over a month. Now, they’re gone in a matter of days,” said Alexander Rapaport, executive director of Masbia Soup Kitchen Network, in a statement. “So in addition to now ordering way more food, we will at least have somewhere to put it when it arrives. This also will enable us to do a lot more food rescues, which means get more donated food and stretch our charity dollars even more by buying food by the container-load.”

Haredi Orthodox Jews in Lakewood, NJ, are curtailing Purim festivities because of COVID-19.

For the first time in 80 years, Beth Medrash Govoha, the township’s massive yeshiva, won’t host Purim festivities, Rabbi Aaron Kotler, the school’s CEO and president, told the Asbury Park Press.

The community saw a surge in Covid-19 cases after last year’s celebrations, which came when the pandemic was still in its infancy. Ocean County Health Authorities have reported 11,369 COVID-19 cases in Lakewood alone, out of 747,000 statewide. At least 268 township residents have died.

Related: Agudath Israel of America issued Purim guidelines advising against large gatherings, “even with appropriate precautions.” “It is critical to remind ourselves that the eyes of the world are upon us, and will likely be watching us closely this Purim,” according to the statement. “Acting appropriately in public is always important; how much more so this Purim.”

Related: Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said he would demand strict restrictions for the upcoming Purim holiday to allow a continued reopening of the economy after weeks of lockdown.

Gilad Kariv is poised to become the first Reform rabbi to sit in the Knesset.

Rabbi Kariv is the director of the Israeli Reform movement and former rabbi of its Beit Daniel synagogue and community center in Tel Aviv. Five weeks to election day, polls are giving his Labor party six seats.

Nikki Haley’s break with Donald Trump may make her the darling of pro-Israel Jews who mainly stuck with the party over the past four years because of Trump’s foreign policy.

The former South Carolina governor made fighting anti-Israel policy the centerpiece of her tenure as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Jewish Republicans are disillusioned with Trump after the Jan. 6 riot, which attracted explicit displays of anti-Semitism, Ron Kampeas reports.

Dr. Anthony Fauci won a $1 million Israeli prize for “defending science” and advocating for vaccines.

The Israel-based Dan David Foundation on Monday named President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser as one of three prize-winners.

Historian Deborah Lipstadt is warning about Marjory Taylor Greene and the rise of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

In an essay in The Guardian, the Emory University scholar says the Georgia Republican’s QAnon-inspired theories are “familiar territory.”

“Every act of prejudicial physical violence begins with words. Greene has provided an endless array of such words,” she writes.

Around the Agencies

Yiddish Arts and Academics Association of North America (YAAANA) opened registration for its Not Your Usual Intensive Spring Yiddish Language and Culture Program, which runs from Feb. 22 – March 7. YAAANA offers discounts for students and provides free all-inclusive class packages to interns and volunteers. Get information here.

Streaming Today

The Israel Forum at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan will explore the Palestinian perspective on the deals that have been reached, and that are under way, to normalize relations across the Middle East, with Khalil Shikaki, director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah. In a conversation with Israel Policy Forum Policy Director Michael Koplow. Registration by email at boxoffice@mmjccm.org. 11:00 am.

What does a realistic reset of U.S. foreign policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict look like? Michael Koplow (Israel Policy Forum), Shira Efron (Israel Policy Forum), and Ibrahim Eid Dalalsha (Horizon Center) outline a vision for a new approach under the Biden administration on Israel Policy Forum‘s video briefing. 2:00 pm.

Compiled from memory by groups of former residents of each town in the immediate decades after the Holocaust, Yizkor Books are some of the best sources for learning about pre-war Jewish life in Eastern and Central Europe. Join Avraham Groll, Executive Director of JewishGen; Joyce Field, former JewishGen VP for Research and Data Acquisition and Yizkor Book Project Manager; Lance Ackerfeld, Director of the Yizkor Book Project; and Joel Alpert, Coordinator of the Yizkor Books in Print Project, for a program by the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust exploring the history, evolution, and impact of Yizkor Books. Register here. 2:00 pm.

UJA-Federation of NY presents Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in a briefing about Covid funding, including efforts to support nonprofits; successes of the last year, and future challenges, including alleviating poverty and hunger, providing supports for children and the elderly, and ensuring a safe and stable community. Watch the event here. 3:00 pm.

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