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Nick Cannon atones, Israel fights arson balloons, Orthodox campers hear ode to Trump
Daily Update

Nick Cannon atones, Israel fights arson balloons, Orthodox campers hear ode to Trump

Nick Cannon speaks during a Zoom conversation organized by the American Jewish Committee on August 10, 2020. (Screen capture/Zoom)
Nick Cannon speaks during a Zoom conversation organized by the American Jewish Committee on August 10, 2020. (Screen capture/Zoom)

Netanyahu warns Gaza terror groups that they will pay a ‘heavy price’ for arson balloons.


The Israeli prime minister issued the warning to Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip amid a rise in incendiary balloon launches toward Israel and suggests Iran is linked to the arson attacks.At least two fires were ignited in southern Israel by suspected airborne incendiary devices launched from Gaza Tuesday, a day after Israel saw a rash of suspected arson attacks from the Palestinian enclave.“I want to tell all the satellites of Iran, especially in Gaza, there will be a heavy price for the balloon terror. We won’t stand for this,” Netanyahu said during a visit to the Hatzor air force base.

B’nai Jeshurun, Manhattan’s spirited “mega-shul,” is preparing for a High Holidays like no other.

The Upper West Side synagogue, synonymous with Jewish prayer as a mass, musical, participatory experience, is trying to create an online experience for their community that, as Rabbi Felicia Sol puts it, will be “meaningful and deep and where people can take in the prayers and the music.”

Andrew Silow-Carroll, The Jewish Week’s editor in chief, asks what’s lost and what’s gained when prayer goes from in-person to online.

Joe Biden is expected to announce his running mate shortly.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s list of contenders has changed constantly for months, although most reports have now whittled the group of front-runners down to Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Susan Rice, Karen Bass, Tammy Duckworth and Keisha Lance Bottoms.

JTA looks at the front-runners, and their records on Israel and other Jewish issues.

The coronavirus crisis has helped make Wix, the popular website creator platform, the second-highest valued Israeli company.

Its share price has increased by 260 percent since March, Haaretz reported Monday, trading as high as about $319 on the Nasdaq exchange  last week before dropping to about 283 on Monday morning. Wix’s market cap was around $4 billion in 2018 — it is now close to $16 billion, according to Haaretz. 

Wix allows users to easily create websites with templates and drag and drop tools in a way similar to competitors such as WordPress and Squarespace.

“We’ve made a leap from being a consumer product for a particular group to a necessity for many more people,” said Nir Zohar, the company’s president and chief operating officer. “It’s the way many people today are making a living, by selling online.”

Orthodox Jewish pop star Yaakov Shwekey sang an ode to Donald Trump at an Orthodox overnight camp based on his hit song “We Are a Miracle.”

“May God hear our prayers, four more years, cause we are America,” Shwekey sang to a large audience of un-masked campers at Camp Teumim Mesivta in Pennsylvania, Yeshiva World News reported.

In a video, Shwekey’s performance ends with chants of “USA, USA!”

Within the Orthodox community, Trump commands significant support. Last month, Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky, a member of the rabbinical council of Agudath Israel, an organization representing haredi Orthodox Jews, endorsed Donald Trump in an interview with Mishpacha magazine.

On Sunday, Trump held a $5 million fundraiser in Long Branch, New Jersey, home to a large Syrian Jewish community, at the home of Stanley Chera, a longtime supporter who died in April of the coronavirus.

Entertainer Nick Cannon said Monday that he accepted being a “sacrificial lamb” for the entertainment world after being widely criticized as anti-Semitic.

During an online conversation hosted by the American Jewish Committee, Cannon recalled how colleagues and friends had reached out with offers to publicly defend him, which he rebuffed as he came under fire last month.

“What I did tell them [was]… ‘let’s clear the air and let’s atone first, and then through our influence, with the right words and the correct terminology, let’s talk about… how we can operate as one,” Cannon said, according to the Times of Israel.

The comedian, rapper, and TV host recognized that he “set off quite a few hurtful alarms” with his comments on the “Cannon’s Class” podcast when he contended that Black people are the true Hebrews and Jews have usurped that identity, and claiming that anti-Jewish speech could not be considered anti-Semitic or even hate. Cannon apologized in a series of posts on Twitter days later.

During the Monday Zoom conversation with AJC’s Rabbi Noam Marans, Cannon added that while his initial apology was “a step, atonement is a process.”


Talmudic scholar and teacher Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz and journalist and author Pete Hamill died within days of each other, in their mid-80s. For Gary Rosenblatt, The Jewish Week’s editor at large, both men were role models, providing a template for writing about the highest spiritual planes and reaching down to lift up the often-ignored underdogs of society.

“I deeply admired how Rabbi Steinsaltz and Pete Hamill, each in his own way, educated and inspired people through the written word, and did so with clarity and compassion,” writes Rosenblatt in an appreciation.


The Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County presents a discussion about the documentary “The Starfish,” Tyler Gildin’s award-winning documentary about his grandfather’s survival, the making of the film, and the work of HIAS. August 11, 11:00 am.

The Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature’s 14th Annual Awards Ceremony will take place online this year. This year the Prize spotlights nonfiction; the winner is Benjamin Balint, for “Kafka’s Last Trial.” August 11, 1:30 pm.

Israel Policy Forum presents Lebanon & Beyond: An Update on the Middle East by Ksenia Svetlova, an expert in Middle Eastern affairs and radical Islam, in an on-the-record video discussion. She is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Policy and Strategy (Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya). August 11,  2:00 pm

Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center presents documentary film exec Sheila Nevins in conversation with comedian, actor, and writer Judy Gold. Nevis, former president of HBO Documentary Films and now head of documentary films of MTV Studios, will cull stories from her bestseller, “You Don’t Look Your Age…and Other Fairy Tales.” August 11, 6:30 pm

Gefilteria co-owners Jeffrey Yoskowitz and Liz Alpern dive into the art of preserving and lacto-fermenting fruits and vegetables. They’ll talk through Jewish pickling traditions and demonstrate how to work with ingredients you probably have at home. They will also touch upon the Jewish story that has influenced the ways we ferment at The Gefilteria. This online experience is part of Atlas Obscura’s Wonder From Home initiative. August 11, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, $25

ZOA Young Professionals presents “A Shared Struggle: What Changed?” — a webinar featuring Joshua Washington, director of the Institute of Black Solidarity With Israel. Washington writes and speaks extensively on Zionism and Civil Rights, seeking to strengthen the black and Jewish relationship in the US as well. August 11, 7:00 pm

The Orthodox Union’s Project Resilience, featuring live sessions with mental health professionals, presents “Corona, Couples and Creating the Next Chapter” with Lisa Twerski, a therapist in private practice, co-founder of KESHER Education, and a Board Member of Nefesh International. August 11, 7:30 pm

The Orthodox Union’s Project Resilience, featuring live sessions with mental health professionals, presents “Living in the Age of Anxiety” with Dr. David H. Rosmarin, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Founder/Director of the Center for Anxiety in New York. August 11, 9:00 pm

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