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New restrictions in Israel, a video game Camp Ramah, Washington Heights Y delivers cash aid
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Coronavirus 2020Daily Coronavirus Update

New restrictions in Israel, a video game Camp Ramah, Washington Heights Y delivers cash aid

Jake Offenheim, a counselor at Camp Ramah in Canada, re-created the Jewish camp within the popular Minecraft video game, and plans to hold games and other activities on the platform. (Courtesy of Jake Offenheim)
Jake Offenheim, a counselor at Camp Ramah in Canada, re-created the Jewish camp within the popular Minecraft video game, and plans to hold games and other activities on the platform. (Courtesy of Jake Offenheim)

Serological or antibody testing began yesterday at Israel’s Maccabi and Clalit health services, as part of an operation to carry out around 70,000 tests across the country, the Jerusalem Post reports. Antibody testing had been delayed for more than a month due to “logistics” in the Health Ministry, according to Ran Sa’ar, CEO of Maccabi.

The testing campaign that began yesterday is slated to reach as many as 20,000 people.

The Israeli government’s coronavirus cabinet yesterday voted to roll out a series of new restrictions, as the number of people infected with the virus has continued to rise for the past month. Last night, the Health Ministry reported there were 432 new patients since midnight.

Effective immediately, cultural events and performances will be limited to 250 people, circumcision ceremonies and funerals will be capped at 50, university final exams will be taken online except in extreme circumstances, 30 percent of public-sector workers will work from home and only 28 children can be included in a group at summer camps, the cabinet decided.

Meanwhile, the Knesset yesterday moved toward reinstating the surveillance of coronavirus-infected citizens by the Shin Bet security agency, only three weeks after the program ended. Rounds of procedural votes had already successfully passed several levels of processes at the Knesset, but it was unclear if the final vote would go through or be delayed by a week.

The new authorization for the program was for 21 days, which is supposed to give the Knesset Intelligence Subcommittee time to finish debating and approve a long-term bill to regulate the issue.

The YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood has distributed $232,000 in emergency cash assistance to date and is scheduled to distribute another $225,000 in the coming weeks.

Funding for the initiative came from UJA-Federation of New York, the New York Community Trust’s Emergency Cash Assistance Program for New York City and the Robin Hood Foundation, according to the Y. When it had to suspend in-person activities, the agency continued to provide essentials services remotely, like wellness checks for older adults, isolated Holocaust survivors, and struggling families, while providing emotional support and connecting people to critical services.

“From the start, we understood that if the situation continued beyond a couple of weeks, then families in our neighborhood would be without resources,” said Victoria Neznansky, chief development and social services officer. “We began hearing from devastated parents who stopped working and had no potential income source. They would not receive unemployment or stimulus payments. They would not have money for food, rent, or any of their basic needs.”

FindYourSummer.org, the flagship program of The Jewish Education Project’s New York Teen Initiatives, is offering a new, easily searchable resource hub of virtual programs and activities geared for Jewish teens this summer. Available resources range from multi-week intensive learning experiences, to social justice opportunities, to “a la carte” programming accessible at any time covering sports, and community building.

Other curated programs range from 2-6 week engagement opportunities, including learning with Shalom Hartman Institute Scholars, all-day Jewish Camp virtual programming, leadership development speaker series, Israel engagement, and more.

The New York Teen Initiative’s own summer programming is also virtual. Its Summer Excelerator paid internship program is “Rewired” as an independent learning module for teens to learn professional, leadership, and Jewish identity skills from the comfort of home. The DOROT community service internship for “highly motivated and socially conscious Jewish students” is entirely remote this summer. Roots Israel, now open for registration, takes teens on a virtual bus trip through Israel with a licensed Tour Guide.

Recommended Reading

Preparing for the High Holidays in Challenging Times.” With the holidays a little more than two months away, the Union for Reform Judaism offers some advice.

A Jewish camp is opening — on the video game Minecraft.” A frustrated counselor with time on his hands recreated the entire campus of Camp Ramah in Canada inside of the popular video game , from the cabins to the sports fields to the lake. It took 73 hours.

Streaming

Author Yossi Klein Halevi will discuss Annexation: What’s Next For the Pro-Israel Community?, during a video briefing on Tuesday at 2 p.m. sponsored by Israel Policy Forum.

The America-Israel Friendship League will sponsor a webinar on Israel’s Financial Markets Post Covid-19 Trends and What to Expect on Wednesday at noon.

T’ruah will sponsor a webinar on actions to take and the consequences should Israel annex parts of the West Bank, on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.

Talk-show host Zev Brenner will host an online program on How Our Schools Overpowered Corona on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.

Grief and Mourning in a Time of Tragedy will be the theme of the Hadar Summer Lecture Series on July 13, 20 and 27 at 8 p.m.

Hadar will sponsor a virtual Executive Seminar, offering “an opportunity to immerse yourself in Torah study that is rigorous, nuanced and sensitive to the full range of human experience and emotion” on July 12-16.

The White Plains-based Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center’s Memory Keepers Online Cocktail Hour will sponsor an online speech by William Zimmerman, son of Polish-born Holocaust survivors, on July 10 at 5 p.m. For Zoom information: mjasper@hhrecny.org.

Join Jewish Week editor-in-chief Andrew Silow-Carroll and Jodi Rudoren, editor-in-chief of The Forward, for an exit interview with Amb. Dani DayanIsrael’s departing Consul General in the New York area, on Wednesday, July 8 @ 12 p.m. ET. The three will discuss American Jewry and its relationship with the Jewish state, and how Dayan’s experience changed his understanding of U.S. politics — and Israel’s. Register here.

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