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Max Rose running for mayor • Israel passes 3,000 Covid deaths • Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld dies
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Daily Update

Max Rose running for mayor • Israel passes 3,000 Covid deaths • Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld dies

Israeli archaeologists announced on Dec. 14, 2020 that they had found a trove of 1.700-year-old oil lamps at the Beit Nattif excavation in Beit Shemesh. (Yoli Schwartz/Israel Antiquities Authority)
Israeli archaeologists announced on Dec. 14, 2020 that they had found a trove of 1.700-year-old oil lamps at the Beit Nattif excavation in Beit Shemesh. (Yoli Schwartz/Israel Antiquities Authority)

Rep. Max Rose, the Staten Island Democrat who recently lost his re-election race, is exploring a run for mayor of New York City.

The Jewish military veteran lost after one term in a GOP-leaning district to Rep.-elect Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican, in November.

Why he’s running: “COVID-19 alone did not create an affordability crisis or commuting nightmare. Tens of thousands of homeless New Yorkers were left behind prior to the first COVID case,” Rose wrote in a statement. “Long before any lockdown, crime was rising, justice for all wasn’t a reality, our schools were segregated, and City Hall was chasing jobs away while pushing small businesses to the brink.”

What he offers: “Mr. Rose positioned himself as a blunt, populist possible contender who hopes to frame his background outside of city government as a source of fresh perspective rather than a mark of managerial inexperience,” per The New York Times.

Wall Street Journal essayist Joseph Epstein is under fire for an opinion piece saying First Lady-elect Jill Biden, as the holder of an Ed.D., doesn’t deserve to be called “Dr.”

Critics called the essay sexist and patronizing. WSJ opinion editor Paul Gigot said the flood of media and Twitter criticism was coordinated by the Biden camp.

Meet Joseph Epstein: The Chicagoan, a lecturer in English at Northwestern University, is the author of “Fabulous Small Jews,” a short story collection. Jewishness, he told an interviewer, “is the culture out of which I come and partly in which I live.”

Israel passed the bleak milestone of 3,000 coronavirus deaths on Monday.

The rate of positive tests was on the rise and the country was seen as likely to face new restrictions by the end of the month, Times of Israel reports.

Archaeologists have unearthed one of the largest oil lamp workshops discovered in Israel, dating back 1,600-1,700 years.

The Israel Antiquities Authority says the workshop, in the city of Beit Shemesh — unearthed ahead of the construction of a new neighborhood — contained hundreds of ancient ceramic oil lamps, dated to the Late Roman period (third or fourth century CE), Times of Israel reports.

“The festival of Chanukah is a wonderful opportunity to tell the public about the recovery of these oil lamps, which was the main method of lighting in ancient times,” said the archaeologists behind the find, which was made with the help of teenagers and pre-military academy students from around the country.

Deaths

Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld, who served as the rabbi of Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills for decades, has died at 96. Rabbi Schonfeld served as president of the Rabbinical Council of America in the 1970s, when he warned that organizational duplication, rivalry and fragmentation threatened the future of Orthodox Judaism in the U.S. He taught at Yeshiva University and was one of the founders of Vaad Harabbonim of Queens.

Guido Goldman, an arts patron and the primary force behind establishing the German Marshall Fund, an institution dedicated to improving trans-Atlantic understanding, died on Nov. 30 at his home in Concord, Mass. He was 83. Goldman was the son of Nahum Goldmann, co-founder of the World Jewish Congress and a president of the World Zionist Organization, and Alice (Gottschalk) Goldmann, a German painter and heiress.

Chanukah

Meet the rabbi and her sports statistician boyfriend, creators of the VirtualDreidel.com game site. The site allows users to play against each other, trading images of gold coins as they click a button to spin their dreidels and build — or lose — their virtual pots.

Mizrachi women in Israel want to revive Rosh Chodesh el Benat, or “the new month of daughters,” a holiday that celebrates daughters, who would be gifted exquisite pastries and expensive gifts by their families. North African Jews would celebrate on the sixth day of Hanukkah, the first day of the Hebrew month of Tevet.

Rabbi Sari Laufer offers three reasons why, especially in 2020, Chanukah deserves to be celebrated in a “major” way.

Streaming Today

The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy presents a four-part workshop on Zoom for those want to write their life stories — either to just preserve memories, or for their family to read. Attendees will enjoy a wide variety of writing exercises, music and prompts to get the words flowing. Instructor: Janet R. Kirchheimer, a prize-winning poet and a teaching fellow at Clal–The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. Price is $99 per person. 10:30 am.

Jewish Theological Seminary presents Dr. Yonatan Brafman, Assistant Professor of Jewish Thought and Ethics and Director of the MA Program in Jewish Ethics, JTS, in a discussion of the significance of Maimonides’ view of divine law and how two modern Jewish thinkers, Mordecai Kaplan and Eliezer Berkovits, built on Maimonides’ ideas to develop their own understandings of how observance of the mitzvot can advance human growth and the attainment of perfection. Register here. 1:00 pm.

American Jewish Committee presents Archbishop Elpidophoros, leader of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, with Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, for a Chanukah conversation on rising anti-Semitism, Eastern Mediterranean geopolitics, including the strong cooperative bond between Israel, Greece, and Cyprus, faith during this challenging holiday season, and Orthodox Christian-Jewish relations. Register here. 3:30 pm.

The Congress for Jewish Culture is presenting an online production of Sh. Ansky’s “Der Dibek” (The Dybbuk, or, Between Two Worlds), which theater historian Debra Caplan calls “the most iconic play in the Jewish canon.” Marking 100 years since the Vilner Troupe presented their ground-breaking world premiere of the play, it will be presented in Yiddish with English subtitles and English narration. See the Facebook event page for a link to the video premiere. 7:00 pm.

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