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Men pack Chabad synagogue, Abe Foxman calls Trump a threat, Oman welcomes warming Israel ties
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Daily Update

Men pack Chabad synagogue, Abe Foxman calls Trump a threat, Oman welcomes warming Israel ties

Joe and Jill Biden depart Newark Liberty Airport after attending a remembrance ceremony on the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks at the national memorial in New York City, Sept. 11, 2020. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Joe and Jill Biden depart Newark Liberty Airport after attending a remembrance ceremony on the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks at the national memorial in New York City, Sept. 11, 2020. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Join UJA-Federation and The Jewish Week tonight for a virtual conversation with Natan Sharansky and Gil Troy, authors of the new book “Never Alone: Prison, Politics, and My People,” moderated by Julia Ioffe. Hear about Sharansky’s extraordinary life and the lessons about freedom he has learned along the way. $18. Register here. 6:00 pm.

Men packed into a late-night prayer service at Chabad’s main synagogue in Brooklyn Saturday night, in violation of New York’s health rules and against the advice of local doctors.

A livestream from the Selichot service showed the cavernous space filled with men packed closely together during the Selichot service; some wore masks, many did not.

On Friday, the Gedaliah Society, a network of Chabad healthcare workers, issued a stern exhortation against attending services at the synagogue, located inside Chabad’s headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway.

New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital goes to court to fire a doctor over anti-Semitic and anti-gay posts.

The case of Walid Khass will be heard Sept. 17 at a hearing in Brooklyn state Supreme Court, the Forward reported. Khass, a pediatric resident since 2019, has written on separate posts on social media “Go beat up a Zionist,” “You trust the Jews — I never did” and “I hope only Israelis get ebola.” He also wrote that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s mother was Jewish, meaning that she belongs to a “higher group run the corrupt world.”

The hospital, which treats many Jewish patients, says Khass cannot remain because some of his posts condoned or encouraged violence.

The Sultanate of Oman on Sunday hailed Friday’s announcement of normalization between Bahrain and Israel, saying the development reflects the hopes of all countries that want peace in the Middle East.

Oman’s statement follows President Trump’s announcement Friday that Israel and the tiny Gulf kingdom of Bahrain had agreed to normalize relations, and would sign a “Declaration of Peace” with Israel at the White House on Tuesday, at a ceremony where the United Arab Emirates will formalize its normalized ties with Israel.

Background: The New York Times has a helpful explainer on the warming ties between Israel and the Sunni Arab world.

Related: The Jewish Council of the Emirates, representing Jews living in the UAE, will formally affiliate with the World Jewish Congress.

Israel’s housing minister has resigned from the government in protest as the government imposed a three-week lockdown aimed at bringing the country’s spiraling coronavirus outbreak under control.

Yaakov Litzman, a top haredi Orthodox lawmaker, stepped down to oppose the closures of synagogues over Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, saying that even a policy allowing small-scale prayer services would still impede Israelis’ right to come together during the High Holidays.

The lockdown approved by the government on Sunday night — to begin Friday and last at least three weeks — came as the country saw virus infection rates spiral in the past few weeks, topping 4,000 new daily cases in recent days. Evening curfews had already been ordered in dozens of cities and areas last week.

In addition to pressure from the charedi sector, advocates of a lockdown — which would also shutter schools for at least a month — are also facing opposition from business owners who say they cannot survive another period without income.

Read the rules here.

Abraham Foxman, the former national director of the Anti-Defamation League, says Donald Trump is “bad for America, and bad for the Jews.”

In a Times of Israel essay, Foxman writes that he avoided partisan political statements in his 50 years in Jewish communal service, but that “there is more than enough evidence Trump is a demagogue and his presidency threatens American democracy…. When our democracy is weakened, and when nativism is stoked, the rights of Jews and other minorities will be diminished too.”

Response: Former U.S. senator Norm Coleman, chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition, replies to Foxman, writing of Trump, “there has never been a better friend of Israel and the Jewish community in the White House.”

Related: At a virtual fundraiser organized by J Street, the liberal Jewish Middle East policy group, Joe Biden said that President Donald Trump is bad for Israel because he runs a feckless foreign policy.

Opinion

Pressures from the pandemic are no excuse to ignore workplace harassment at Jewish institutions, writes the head of Ta’amod. In a Jewish Week essay, Nicole Nevarez describes her organization’s efforts to reduce the risk of inequity, discrimination, abuse and harassment in the Jewish space.

Deaths

Judith Rubin, a long-time Jewish communal professional who in retirement helped women in Tanzania achieve self-sufficiency by developing textile and jewelry-making skills, died Sept. 11 from complications of breast cancer. She was 77.

She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Larry Rubin, the former executive vice chairman of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs; two daughters, and three grandchildren.

Around the Agencies

The Rabbinical Assembly has a downloadable version of Rosh Hashana seder. For centuries, Sefardi and Mizrahi Jews have held ceremonies at home in which blessings are said over symbolic foods that capture and articulate wishes for the year ahead. The RA’s version of the Rosh Hashanah seder includes some of those traditional elements and draws upon other seders and non-home-based rituals associated with the Days of Awe.

Roberta Elliott was elected the national president of the Sisterhood of Salaam/Shalom, an organization that fosters coexistence among Jewish and Muslim women. Elliott, who divides her time between Tucson and New Jersey, was formerly vice president of media and communications at HIAS and director of public affairs at Hadassah.

Streaming Today

Schusterman Center for Israel Studies presents a conversation with the creators of Israel’s hit satire series “The Jews are Coming” (Ha-Yehudim Baim), an Israeli Academy Award-winning satire now in its fourth season on Kan 11. Join associate director Dr. Shayna Weiss for a conversation with the show’s creators, Natalie Marcus and Asaf Beiser. The conversation will also feature clips from the new season. 1:00 pm.

Jewish Theological Seminary presents Rabbi Julia Andelman, Director of Community Engagement, JTS, in an examination of how our ancestors interpreted the concept of kapparah, atonement, and the great power it held in their understanding of how human beings—flawed in our very nature—can carry on in the world after they have sinned. She will mine their perspective for insight into how we in the 21st century can move on after we have caused harm and live healthy, whole lives despite our inevitable mistakes. The Zoom link for this session will be in the confirmation email that you will receive after you register here. 1:00 pm.

92nd St Y, Park Avenue Synagogue and Israel Policy Forum host a conversation with Ami Ayalon, the former director of the Shin Bet, Israel’s security agency responsible for counter-terrorism efforts. In his new memoir, Admiral Ayalon reflects on his life as a mirror to Israel’s story: battles fought, the losses and successes of a young country, and the importance of hope for shaping a new future. Moderated by Manhattan Israel Emissary Karin Lagziel. RSVP here. 1:00 pm.

UJA-Federation and The Jewish Week present a virtual conversation with Natan Sharansky and Gil Troy, authors of the new book “Never Alone: Prison, Politics, and My People,” moderated by Julia Ioffe. Hear about Sharansky’s extraordinary life and the lessons about freedom he has learned along the way. $18. Register here. 6:00 pm.

A coalition of Jewish groups host a Virtual #FundExcludedWorkers Jewish Town Hall, hearing from community leaders and impacted New Yorkers who demand an emergency survival fund for excluded workers — those who are not eligible for unemployment insurance or other relief that would keep them above water during this pandemic. Participants will call upon elected officials to deliver emergency benefits to match what other workers get through unemployment insurance. Co-sponsors include Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, Congregation Beth Elohim, Make the Road NY, New Sanctuary Coalition, New York Jewish Agenda, T’ruah, and Jews for Racial & Economic Justice. Register here. 7:00 pm.

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