Mike Pompeo delivered a convention speech from Jerusalem, sparking a congressional query.
“I’m speaking to you from beautiful Jerusalem,” the U.S. Secretary of State said in remarks broadcast Tuesday during the Republican National Convention and taped a day earlier atop the King David Hotel, with the Old City as a backdrop.
Pompeo said that Trump was reasserting a robust U.S. posture in the international arena. He cited a number of policies that have pleased the centrist and right-wing pro-Israel community, including ending the nuclear deal with Iran, “squeez[ing] the ayatollahs, Hezbollah and Hamas,” moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and brokering a “historic peace deal” between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, on Tuesday wrote to the State Department to say Pompeo may be violating the Hatch Act, which forbids federal employees from participating in some kinds of political activity.
Pompeo has said that the filming did not incur government expense, but he was in Israel on official business.
A pro-Trump mother was dropped from the convention program after she urged her Twitter followers to read a thread from an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist.
Hours before her scheduled appearance at the convention, Mary Ann Mendoza shared a thread posted by WarNuse that includes multiple anti-Semitic slanders, including arguing that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious forgery that claims Jews control the world, is not a fabrication. “Do yourself a favor and read this thread,” she posted.
Virtually every tweet in the thread, posted by an adherent of the QAnon conspiracy theory, reflects anti-Semitic tropes. After The Daily Beast published a story about Mendoza’s tweet, she deleted it and said she had not paid attention to everything in the thread. But Mendoza had tweeted previously about the theory, which holds that the Rothschild banking family has engineered an international war.
Mendoza is an “Angel Mom,” the term that President Trump uses to describe mothers of victims of crimes by undocumented immigrants. Mendoza’s son was killed by a drunk driver with a criminal record.
Joe Biden’s presidential campaign forcefully denounced the Democratic nominee’s endorsement by a white nationalist, Richard Spencer.
Spencer, who came to prominence as a white supremacist, “alt-right” supporter of President Trump, said this week that Biden is the more competent candidate in the 2020 race. He denied that his endorsement was intended to sow chaos, either by discrediting Biden or setting the stage for a white supremacist revolution.
Responding to a tweet by Spencer, Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said Sunday on Twitter, “When Joe Biden says we are in a battle for the soul of our nation against vile forces of hate who have come crawling out from under rocks, you are the epitome of what he means. What you stand for is absolutely repugnant. Your support is 10,000% percent unwelcome here.”
A Brooklyn synagogue and Rockland County ambulance corps warned of a second coronavirus wave in NY-area Orthodox communities.
Hatzoloh of Rockland County said it had received a number of calls from people reporting Covid-like symptoms and requiring hospitalization.
Meanwhile, Congregation Khal Shaarei Zion Bobov, a Brooklyn synagogue of the Bobover chasidic movement, warned the community that several people in the neighborhood had contracted the coronavirus, with some ending up in the intensive care unit, JTA reports.
The warnings come after an announcement last week by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio of 16 new cases in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park, home to the city’s largest chasidic community, with several of the cases connected to a large wedding. Doctors and local rabbinical associations warn of worrying upticks in Covid cases that threaten the safe reopening of schools and in-person services on the High Holidays.
A Long Island Chabad rabbi is among the longest hospitalized Covid-19 patients in the country.
In late March, Rabbi Yehuda “Yudi” Dukes was hospitalized in New York, a week after the otherwise healthy 38-year-old took ill at his home in the Five Towns. Dukes spent a whopping four months on a ventilator, including nine weeks on an artificial lung machine. He endured four collapsed lungs, experienced a stroke and underwent a liver biopsy, among other challenges.
Earlier this summer, Dukes regained consciousness after having been in an induced coma for months. In late June, he began to mouth words. By early August, he was eating food again. And as of last week, he was breathing entirely on his own at NYU’s Langone hospital. JTA reports.
A t-shirt promoted by Jewish actor Jake Gyllenhaal and New York’s iconic Russ & Daughters appetizing shop has sold out in less than a week.
The shirts, intended to raise money for independent restaurants seeking Covid-19 relief, went on sale last Tuesday for $40. “For the next month, 100% of the proceeds will go to the Independent Restaurant Coalition, a non-profit group leading lobbying efforts to save independent restaurants,” Russ & Daughters said on the shirt’s page.
The Black Lives Matter movement is a reminder that Black liberation is not so different from Jewish liberation. In a Jewish Week op-ed, Charles Dunst argues that Jewish struggles against persecution were also marked by generational battles, and that its leaders often turned to violence as a means of protest.
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The Jewish Teen Funders Network released findings showing that teen philanthropy experiences cultivate a lasting desire to change the world while strengthening teens’ connections to Jewish life, community, and values. GIVE AND GROW: Jewish Teen Philanthropy’s Unique, Powerful, and Lasting Impact found that even after completing a Jewish teen philanthropy program, teens still demonstrate stronger Jewish identities, a deeper connection to Jewish community, and the skills and confidence to become leaders and change-makers in their own communities. The report is supported by the Laura & Gary Lauder Family Venture Philanthropy Fund and the Maimonides Fund.
Ancestry, the family history and genomics company, announced today a new partnership with USC Shoah Foundation to publish an index to nearly 50,000 Jewish Holocaust survivor testimonies. The testimonies contain information on more than 600,000 additional relatives and other individuals found in survivor questionnaires. Both collections are now available and searchable for free on www.ancestry.com/alwaysremember.
Ancestry has also completed a philanthropic initiative to digitize and make searchable millions of Holocaust and Nazi persecution-related records. There are now more than 19 million Holocaust records available globally, for free and in perpetuity as part of the Arolsen Archives Collection. “We have a collective responsibility to those who came before us to preserve this history so future generations can learn from the powerful moments of our past,” said Margo Georgiadis, president and CEO at Ancestry.
Jewish Women International and the America-Israel Friendship League present three accomplished women leaders whose paths to success share a common foundation to their military service. Featuring Carol Pottenger, Retired Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy; Sharon Nir, Retired Brigadier General, Israel Defense Forces, and Orit Adato, Retired Lt. General, Israel Defense Forces. Moderated by Meredith Jacobs, CEO, Jewish Women International. Streamed live from Israel and the United States. August 26, 12:00 pm.
The Secure Community Network, as the official safety and security organization of The Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, will host a webinar with law enforcement and security experts discussing the role of firearms in synagogue security efforts, including the findings of a task force of experts that was previously convened to examine this topic. RSVP here. August 26, 2:00 pm.
The Rutgers Jewish Film Festival presents a discussion of Spike Lee’s Academy Award-winning film “BlacKKKlansman” with Ron Stallworth and screenwriters Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz. The two East Brunswick natives adapted Stallworth’s 2014 memoir, “Black Klansman,” for the big screen, ultimately winning the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. The film’s ongoing cultural relevance will be the focus of a conversation moderated by Anna Branch, the vice chancellor for Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement at Rutgers University. August 26, 7:00 pm. Registration closes at 3 pm on Wednesday, August 26. Advance registration is required.
West End Synagogue presents an Open House on Zoom. Join Rabbi Emily Cohen, Cantor Melissa Berman and the Director of Family Programming to learn more about WES and the many perks of belonging to its welcoming, inclusive community. Includes a special session for parents and children to talk about tots to teens programming. August 26, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm.