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Orthodox couple says city victimizes big families • Consulate helps Israelis mourn • Yom Hashoah events
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Orthodox couple says city victimizes big families • Consulate helps Israelis mourn • Yom Hashoah events

The Consulate General of Israel in New York has collected dozens of stones and commemorative letters from bereaved families in New York who are unable to travel to Israel to mourn loved ones on the country’s Memorial Day, April 13. The mementos have been sent to Israel, where they will be placed on the graves of fallen soldiers by volunteers. (Consulate General of Israel)
The Consulate General of Israel in New York has collected dozens of stones and commemorative letters from bereaved families in New York who are unable to travel to Israel to mourn loved ones on the country’s Memorial Day, April 13. The mementos have been sent to Israel, where they will be placed on the graves of fallen soldiers by volunteers. (Consulate General of Israel)

 

Yom Hashoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, begins tonight at sundown. May we be comforted and sustained in our sorrow. 

An Orthodox Jewish family of eight says New York City’s affordable housing lotteries discriminate against large families like theirs.

Chaim Katz and Chana Katz filed suit in Manhattan federal court, saying they faced religious discrimination when they applied for an apartment on the Lower East Side in 2017, the A.P. reports.

Their lawyer, Justin Kelton, said they were repeatedly rejected on the basis that the two adults and six children had “too many members” in their family for affordable housing.

“We are committed to a fair and equitable process in our housing lottery system, and are reviewing the details of this case,” a city law office spokesperson said in a statement.

Spirit Airlines threatened to kick a Jewish family off a flight bound from Orlando to New York when their 2-year-old child was seen not wearing her mask, spurring major criticism on social media.

The budget airline emptied the plane but then appeared to allow the family of four to re-board. Spirit said it was following federally mandated rules, which requires passengers 2 and older to wear masks at all times, except when eating, drinking or taking medicine.

Frontier Airlines drew similar attention in early March when it says it canceled a flight because a group of 21 Orthodox Jewish passengers refused to wear masks.

The Shalom Hartman Institute is hoping to popularize a standard ritual to mark Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. 

More than 500 people are registered for the New York-based think tank’s  Zoom program tonight, which is based on a ritual developed by Michal Govrin, an Israeli writer and professor. Called Hitkansut, the program is modeled in part on the Passover seder and aims to shift the focus from the tragedy to spend more time on internalizing lessons about combating evil.

Quotable: “We do need new ritual around this experience because we can’t continue to just have Holocaust survivors speak. It’s not going to work forever,” Rebecca Starr, the institute’s Midwest director, told JTA.

Details: Tonight’s program features Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, senior rabbi of Central Synagogue, and Rabbi Avram Mlotek, cofounder of The Base. Register here. 7:00 pm.

The Consulate General of Israel in New York is helping Israelis abroad remember fallen loved ones on Israel’s Memorial Day.

Officials reached out to bereaved families who are unable to visit Israel due to Covid-19 restrictions. Families were invited to share decorated stones and commemorative letters. The consulate sent the collection to Israel last week, where volunteers from the nonprofit Navah and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will physically place them on the graves of their loved ones.

The mourners include Nehama David Sprinzak of Brooklyn, whose father David Sprinzak, an Israeli Air Force pilot, was shot down off the coast of Tel Aviv in 1948. “I look forward to seeing the results of the project and appreciate the tremendous resources this project requires to complete,” she said. “Only Israel could have come up with such a touching way to remember our fallen and respond to the challenge of the pandemic.”

Yom Hazikaron will begin Tuesday evening, April 13.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Long Island) is among a bipartisan group of House legislators calling for the State Department to monitor Palestinian lesson plans.

The bill, first introduced in late 2019, would require the U.S. to periodically assess whether curricula produced by the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA encourage violence or intolerance, Jewish Insider reports.

What We’re Watching

In a New York Times video, a former member of New York’s Hasidic community and an alumnus of Yeshiva Oholei Torah say the city has failed to enforce the laws that require yeshivas to provide a curriculum equivalent to that of public schools.

People and Places

The Jewish Climate Action Network and Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Justice will join local activists, community leaders, Sen. Robert Jackson, Assemblyman Al Taylor and Rep. Adriano Espaillat calling for the passage of the recently introduced New York Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA, S. 4264A) and urging members of Congress to sign on to the THRIVE Agenda for economic renewal. The rally is part of a statewide Climate, Jobs, and Justice Action week. South East Corner of 125th St. and Amsterdam Ave., 5:30 pm.

The Association for Jewish Studies announced the 2020 winners of the Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards. Among the first-prize winners were, in the Arts category, Karen B. Stern of Brooklyn College, for “Writing on the Wall: Graffiti and the Forgotten Jews of Antiquity” (Princeton University Press), and, in the Modern Jewish History and Culture category, Joshua Teplitsky of Stony Brook University for “Prince of the Press: How One Collector Built History’s Most Enduring and Remarkable Jewish Library” (Yale University Press). Alyssa Quint of YIVO was a finalist in the History and Culture category for “The Rise of the Modern Yiddish Theater” (Indiana University Press). Winners receive a $10,000 prize and finalists receive a $2,000 prize.

Yom Hashoah

The World Jewish Congress presents a book launch to mark the publication of “Poems Born in Bergen-Belsen” by Menachem Z. Rosensaft, the WJC’s Associate Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Featuring the author, Rabbi Arthur Schneier of the WJC and Park East Synagogue and author Yossi Klein Halevi of the Shalom Hartman Institute. Moderated by Dr. Sonat Birnecker Hart, president, WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps. Register here. 10:00 am.

Yad Vashem will livestream Israel’s annual state Yom Hashoah ceremony, 1:00 pm.

The Center for Jewish History presents Bernice Lerner, author of “All the Horrors of War: A Jewish Girl, a British Doctor and the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen” (Johns Hopkins, 2020) and Susan Jacobowitz, author of the manuscript “Far from Childhood: A Holocaust Memoir,” in conversation with Natalia Aleksiun, whose parents experienced the Holocaust as children in the Carpathian Mountains. Register here. 4:00 pm.

The communities of the Downtown Jewish Life Partnership will commemorate the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust with powerful testimony and music from local rabbis, cantors and community leaders. Register here. 7:00 pm.

JCC Manhattan presents a conversation with creators of the 2011 Broadway musical, “The People in the Picture”: book and lyrics writer Iris Rainer Dart and composers Mike Stoller and Artie Butler. “The People in the Picture” follows a grandmother recalling her life in the Yiddish theater and the Holocaust. Featuring musical numbers performed by Judy Kuhn (“Fun Home”) and Samantha Massell (“Fiddler on the Roof”). Register here. 7:30 pm.

JCC Association of North America presents four international artist-educators in a Yom Hashoah roundtable conversation about storytelling and Jewish resilience. Featuring Marshall Duke, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology, Emory College of Arts and Sciences; Jon Adam Ross, co-founding artist of In[heir]itance Project; and Helena Czernek and Aleksander Prugar, co-founders of Mi Polin, Warsaw. Moderated by Randy Ellen Lutterman, vice president, development and arts & culture at JCCA. Watch here. 8:00 pm.

For over 20 years, the congregations of the Upper West Side have gathered to commemorate those who perished in the Holocaust. This year, the all-night, all-day Reading of the Names will take place via Zoom. Join us to bear witness and commemorate those who were lost. For more info and to register, click here. Tonight, 10:00 pm through tomorrow, 5:00 pm.

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