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Pig’s body left at rabbi’s door • Biden picks Yellen for Treasury • Josh Shapiro’s favorite Mishnah
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Pig’s body left at rabbi’s door • Biden picks Yellen for Treasury • Josh Shapiro’s favorite Mishnah

Iran's judiciary chief, Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi, center, pays respects to the body of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran's military nuclear program, in Tehran, Nov. 28, 2020. (Mazan News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)
Iran's judiciary chief, Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi, center, pays respects to the body of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran's military nuclear program, in Tehran, Nov. 28, 2020. (Mazan News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)

In a show of defiance after the killing of the alleged mastermind of its military nuclear program over the weekend, Iran’s parliament on Tuesday advanced a bill that would end UN inspections of its nuclear facilities.

The bill would also require the government to boost its uranium enrichment if European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal do not provide relief from oil and banking sanctions, Times of Israel reports.

Iran blames Mohsen Fakhrizadeh’s killing on Israel, which Israel refuses to confirm or deny.

Related: Middle East experts disagree on the assassination’s impact on Biden’s plans to re-enter the nuclear accord. Brookings Institute Iran expert Suzanne Maloney said the killing shifted the sides “back into escalation mode.” But while acknowledging that one goal of the operation was to “lure” Iran into direct confrontation, Iran expert Ali Alfoneh of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington said he expected Tehran to stick with its practice of “strategic patience” in deciding when to respond to such attacks.

Overview: Will President Trump attack Iran? JTA has an explainer on the tensions among Israel, Iran and Washington, what’s driving the three countries’ leaders and the scenarios that might unfold over the coming weeks.

A dead pig was found outside the door of a rabbi’s house in the heavily Orthodox township of Lakewood, New Jersey.

The carcass was found on Shabbat, according to The Lakewood Scoop, and the local police department is treating the incident as a bias crime. The New York-New Jersey office of the Anti-Defamation League linked the incident to previous acts of anti-Semitism in Ocean County, which includes Lakewood, and where disagreements over zoning, housing and other issues often devolve into anti-Semitism.

Economist Jared Bernstein found a Yiddish way to celebrate his appointment to President-elect Joe Biden’s council of economic advisers.

“Thanks for all the support, econ twitter! I’m verklempt!,” he tweeted Monday, using a Yiddish word that means overcome with joy and emotion.

Bernstein, who is Jewish, was Biden’s chief economic adviser during the Obama administration. He joins a Biden economics team that is being noted for its diversity.

RelatedBiden on Monday named former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen as his choice for Treasury secretary, the first woman in the role. The 74-year-old pioneering economist, who is Jewish, previously broke barriers as the first female Fed chief, and will be tasked with revitalizing the coronavirus-stricken US economy if confirmed by the Senate.

Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s attorney general, says President Trump’s lawsuits over the 2020 election “are not backed by any evidence of widespread fraud and they are essentially baseless allegations.”

Riding a wave of victories over Trump’s challenges to his state’s vote, Shapiro talks to a teen correspondent for The Jewish Week about the elections, his Jewish upbringing and his favorite verse from Pirke Avot.

Israel saw the highest number of new daily coronavirus cases since mid-October on Monday.

The 1,227 cases underscore a renewed rise in infections after the government rolled back many of the restrictions that were in place during the second nationwide lockdown, the Times of Israel reports.

Israeli gymnast Linoy Ashram won a gold medal at the European Championships on Sunday, the first athlete in decades to win a title who was not from a former Soviet country or Bulgaria.

Israel also won gold in group rhythmic gymnastics at the competition in Kyiv, Ukraine. Several highly rated teams from Russia, Bulgaria and Italy did not participate this year due to the logistical complications of the coronavirus pandemic.


In a ruling that forbade the state of New York from enforcing Covid rules on religious institutions, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch said synagogue occupancy limits might harm Orthodox women who don’t count in a minyan. Nonsense, writes Lorelei Laird: “I’ll start with the obvious reason: It’s bad for everybody, including Orthodox women, if the virus continues to spread.”

Related: Rabbi Yosie Levine of The Jewish Center on Manhattan’s Upper West Side writes that despite the court’s ruling, his synagogue is “insisting on protocols that meet and exceed the expectations of public health officials…. Our goal is to protect the health and well-being of every person who passes through our doors and, in turn, the health and well-being of every member of our broader community.”

Around the Agencies

The Orthodox Union, Rabbinical Council of America and Yeshiva University have joined together to create a video tribute to former U.K. Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks that highlights his teachings, impact and influence. The 22-minute video features political leaders, communal officials, rabbis, educators and students who share personal messages highlighting how Rabbi Sacks impacted and influenced them to “raise the bar” in their own lives and communal work.

Streaming Today

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces presents an interview with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. Topics will include recent geopolitical developments in the Middle East, relating to Israel and its neighbors. FIDF National Director and CEO Steven Weil will interview Friedman as part of the “Behind the Headlines” series. Register here. 1:00 pm.

Israel Policy Forum presents a video briefing on the ramifications of the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s chief nuclear scientist. Register here. 2:00 pm.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum presents a discussion with Samuel D. Kassow and David G. Roskies, the editors of volume nine of The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, “Catastrophe and Rebirth, 1939–1973.” Moderated by series editor-in-chief Deborah Dash Moore, the program will feature discussion by the editors of the volume’s themes and their approach underlying the selection of the texts. RSVP here. 4:00 pm.

Center for Jewish History presents Scott D. Seligman, author of “The Great Kosher Meat War of 1902: Immigrant Housewives and the Riots That Shook New York City” (University of Nebraska Press, 2020), which recounts when Jewish women took to the streets of Manhattan’s Lower East Side on May 15, 1902 to protest a precipitous rise in the price of kosher meat. Pay what you wish; register here. 4:00 pm.

UJA-Federation presents Rabbi Menachem Creditor, its scholar-in-residence, in a Chanukah sing-along, candle lighting and story time for families. Register here. 4:30 pm.

Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion presents Steven Windmueller, Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Service, HUC/Los Angeles, with an assessment of the election, rising anti-Semitism, racial injustice, Covid-19, and other critical issues facing the Jewish community in America and the larger world. Register here. 6:30 pm.

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