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New Yorkers rally for Israel • Pols take heat for pro-Israel stands • New social service center in Boro Park
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Daily Update

New Yorkers rally for Israel • Pols take heat for pro-Israel stands • New social service center in Boro Park

A pro-Palestinian protest in midtown Manhattan started at the Israeli Consulate and proceeded to Times Square, May 11, 2021. (Screen capture/Twitter, via Times of Israel)
A pro-Palestinian protest in midtown Manhattan started at the Israeli Consulate and proceeded to Times Square, May 11, 2021. (Screen capture/Twitter, via Times of Israel)

 

Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip renewed rocket fire into Israel at dawn Thursday after a three-hour lull in attacks overnight.

The latest on the crisis in Israel:

Six Israelis and at least 53 Palestinians have died from the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Saying that Israel has a right to defend itself, President Joe Biden sent his top Israeli-Palestinian negotiator to the region in a bid to deescalate the deepening conflict.

Incoming passenger flights are to be diverted from Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv to Ramon Airport outside Eilat in the south; United, Delta and American Airlines canceled flights between the U.S. and Israel.

Jewish Israelis beat a man presumed to be Arab in a Tel Aviv suburb on Wednesday night in what one onlooker described as a “lynching.”

Read how celebrities are weighing in what has become a war of social media posts as well as rockets.

Israeli flags were burned in front of two synagogues in Germany and the words “Free Palestine” were spray-painted on another one in Spain.

The New York Times announced Wednesday that it is looking to hire a reporter who will focus on covering Palestinian affairs.

New York, New York

Jewish organizations in New York held a virtual rally in support of Israel.

UJA-Federation of New York said more than 1,600 people dialed into Wednesday’s Zoom event and hundreds more watched on Facebook. The Jewish Community Relations Council of NY and the Israeli Consulate were co-sponsors.

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx) gave perhaps the most impassioned remarks, saying Israelis were “experiencing a level of trauma and terror that most of us, including myself, cannot begin to even imagine,” and decrying an “endless propaganda war that has taken on a new intensity, especially here in the United States.” (Jewish Insider posted his full remarks.)

Torres has come under attack on Twitter for his support of Israel.

The speakers included Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens/Long Island), Acting Consul General​ Israel Nitzan and UJA-Federation President Amy Bressman. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) sent a message of support.

Pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel supporters clashed outside the Israeli Consulate in New York Tuesday, leaving one Jewish man bloodied.

Fox News reported that many hundreds of pro-Palestinian supporters joined the “rally to save Palestine,” and were met by counterprotesters. A video tweet by a journalist shows a police officer escorting a man police said was hit in the head with a metal chair.

After meeting outside the consulate, demonstrators marched toward Times Square, shutting down 42nd Street, Times of Israel reports. Among the crowd were members of Neturei Karta, the haredi Orthodox sect that opposes Zionism.

Related: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx/Queens) joined a Congressional letter asking Secretary of State Tony Blinken to pressure Israel to stop evictions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem neighborhoods that are at the center of the current conflict.

Mayor Bill de Blasio gave his first remarks on the crisis in Israel.

The targeting of civilians is “despicable and unacceptable,” he told reporters Wednesday, adding: “Children are dying on both sides of this conflict… It needs to end. There needs to be a ceasefire.”

A Muslim group withdrew its endorsement of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams for mayor over his support for Israel.

The NY Muslim Action Network said it rescinded the endorsement following the Adams’ campaign “failure to condemn #Israel’s aggression against Masjid #alAqsa,” the mosque in Jerusalem where clashes precipitated the week’s violence.

Adams tweeted Monday, “Israelis live under the constant threat of terrorism and war and New York City’s bond with Israel remains unbreakable.”

Related: NY1 will air the first televised mayoral debate tonight; it is set for 7 pm.

Met Council celebrated the grand opening of the Chesed Center, a brand-new social service hub to address the needs of the Orthodox community of Borough Park, May 13, 2021. (Courtesy)

Met Council opened a new social service hub in Borough Park to address the needs of Orthodox families struggling in the wake of the pandemic and the economic downturn. 

With support from UJA-Federation of New York, the Chesed Center, at 4319 14th Ave., will provide free kosher food and groceries, assistance with applying for benefits and entitlements, job program enrollment and legal aid, as well as support for seniors.

“After so many jobs and small businesses were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, this new hub will allow us to ensure that everyone in the frum community is getting the benefits they need,” said David G. Greenfield, the CEO of Met Council, at Wednesday’s grand opening.

Deaths

Lester L. Wolff, a Democrat who represented parts of Queens and Long Island from 1964-1980 and was the oldest living veteran of Congress, died May 11 at 102. A one-time marketing executive and TV personality, the Manhattan native opposed the Vietnam War and founded a House committee on drug abuse. Wolff supported the Soviet Jewry movement and other Jewish causes and was critical of the U.N. after it voted to equate Zionism with racism, although he later served there briefly as a U.S. delegate. “I live, basically, for the future,” he told JTA in 2018, when he was 99. “I am working on projects that are five years out in front. You have to have some sense of God being with you. That protected me.”

People and Places

MoMA PS1’s new exhibit, “Gregg Bordowitz: I Wanna Be Well,” explores 30 years of work by the artist, writer and activist whose work juxtaposes his Jewish, sexual and political identities, using his art as a direct response to the AIDS public health crisis. On view at MoMA PS1 for the first time, new poetry and a large-scale monumental sculpture that integrates historic religious and contemporary protest symbols directly responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, drawing parallels to the enormous loss and resilience experienced by communities affected by AIDS. MoMA PS1 is now open with new hours and safety protocols. For more information, visit moma.org/ps1.

Streaming Today

Jewish Community Relations Council of NY presents Israel Nitzan, Acting Consul General of Israel in New York, discussing the “escalation in Israel.” Register here. 11:00 am.

18Doors and Pew Research Center present a virtual presentation and conversation about findings from the Pew’s new 2020 survey of Jewish Americans, focusing on key takeaways and findings about the experience of Jewish Americans who are interfaith couples, Jews of Color and LGBTQ families. Register here. Noon.

The Center for Jewish History and Fordham University present Magda Teter (Fordham University, NEH Scholar-in-Residence 2020-21), in conversation with Deborah Dash Moore (University of Michigan), exploring the role political concerns and specific events have played in the lives of Jewish studies scholars and in their scholarship. Pay what you wish; registration required. 4:00 pm

The Workers Circle presents “A Taste of Jewish Genealogy: Journey with a Polish Scholar.” Tomasz Cebulski will join the event live from Krakow to present this introductory program on why, when, and how to conduct genealogy research.The event is free. Learn more here. 6:00 pm.

Jewish Theological Seminary presents author Jennifer Voigt Kaplan, whose new novel, “Crushing the Red Flowers,” tells the story of how two ordinary boys cope under the extraordinary circumstances of Kristallnacht. Register here. 7:30 pm.

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