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Pop-up vaccine sites for survivors • LGBT icon Ari Gold dies • Levittown’s racist beginnings
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Daily Update

Pop-up vaccine sites for survivors • LGBT icon Ari Gold dies • Levittown’s racist beginnings

Brooklyn resident Svetlana Danilova who fled the former Soviet Union during WWII received her first dose of the coronavirus vaccine at a pop-up site in Bensonhurst for Holocaust survivors.(Stephen Nessen/WNYC)
Brooklyn resident Svetlana Danilova who fled the former Soviet Union during WWII received her first dose of the coronavirus vaccine at a pop-up site in Bensonhurst for Holocaust survivors.(Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

 

What’s life like for Jews in small towns where there are few Jews at all? Join JTA for a Zoom conversation today at 1 p.m. with Rabbi Rachel Isaacs, director of the Center for Small Town Jewish Life at Colby College; Caleb Guedes-Reed, a writer from the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia; and Lane Kadish, a Montanan who was a leadership fellow for the Center for Small Town Jewish Life before joining 70 Faces Media, the parent company of JTA and the Jewish Week. Sign up here to join the conversation. 

Jewish charitable organizations are helping to get New York City Holocaust survivors vaccinated against COVID-19.

UJA-Federation of New York, working with the Claims Conference, is leading an effort to reach survivors through UJA’s network of local agencies, said Hindy Poupko, the deputy chief planning officer at UJA-Federation of New York.

The plan calls for pop-up immunization sites for Holocaust survivors based in Brooklyn.

Ari Gold, a pop star who left his Orthodox Jewish roots in the Bronx to become a music icon of and activist for the LGBTQ community, died Sunday.

He was 47, and the cause was leukemia. Gold attended Ramaz, the prominent Modern Orthodox Jewish day school in New York, before going to New York University.

In his 20s, Gold became a star of the gay club scene in New York City and would go on to release seven albums. He also worked with homeless gay youth and worked to raise awareness about AIDS. While no longer Orthodox, he stayed connected to his Jewish identity, he told the Los Angeles Jewish Journal in 2015.

Richard Gottfried, the longest-serving member of the state Assembly, is among the growing number of lawmakers criticizing Gov. Cuomo’s months-long refusal to turn over data related to Covid-19 deaths at nursing homes.

The Cuomo administration is under fire for “severely” undercounting coronavirus deaths at nursing homes. In a press conference Monday, Cuomo apologized for the lapse in data.

Gottfried, a Manhattan Democrat who chairs the Assembly health committee, said he found the administration’s behavior “very disturbing.”

“They weren’t releasing data from the investigation,” he said. “I don’t think the state’s explanation is acceptable.”

Young Asian American Jews have launched a video series exploring their overlapping identities.

Maya Katz-Ali, the daughter of a Jewish mother from New York and a Muslim father from India, is featured in “Taste of Connection,” the food-focused first episode of Lunar: The Jewish-Asian Film Project.

“I’m so excited that this is taking off,” Katz-Ali told JTA. “I think this is also going to give more permission to people to create and find that place of belonging and community that they can gather within.”

Read about how the creator of Long Island’s Levittown fought to keep Black families out of the suburbs.

In the years after World War II, developer William “Bill” Levitt built a model community of 17,000 houses for returning veterans. But in all of Levitt’s communities, including New Jersey’s Willingboro and the Philadelphia-area’s Levittown, the firm kept Blacks from buying houses.

The Times of Israel looks back on his legacy in an article for Black History Month.

Aslan Karatsev, a Russian tennis player with Jewish heritage who lived in Israel for nearly a decade, is making history at the Australian Open.

He’s only the second qualifier in history to make it to the Australian Open semifinals, the fifth qualifier to reach a Grand Slam semifinal in the so-called Open Era (beginning in 1968) and the first male player to reach the semifinals in his Grand Slam debut.

He’ll play Novak Djokovic, the No. 1 seed and defending champion, Thursday at 3:00 am New York time.

In Other News

President Biden told a town hall audience that domestic terrorism by white supremacists is the “greatest threat” in America. He also told a questioner that he understands “a little bit of Yiddish.”

Just hours after his death, Argentina’s umbrella Jewish group accused former president Carlos Menem of obstructing investigations into bloody terrorist attacks on Jewish institutions in the 1990s.

A Kansas City meteorologist showcased a pet cat who looked like Hitler. Some viewers were not amused.

Deaths

Steven Goodstein, whose family firm played a key role in developing Battery Park City in the 1980s and iconic properties including Fifth Avenue Tower and the former Taft Hotel, died Saturday at his home in Florida. He was 81. The Queens-born Goldstein was an expert in housing projects financed by government agencies. In 1986, he received the Jewish National Fund’s Tree of Life award.

Streaming Today

America-Israel Friendship League presents a panel, moderated by a psychologist and scholar, that will provide leadership perspectives from Israeli-Arab women in the business, academic, labor and NGO sectors. Register here. Noon.

The Congress for Jewish Culture presents theater, music, films, song and sketches in a Facebook celebration of Sholem Asch, the Yiddish writer best known for his play “God of Vengeance.” 2:30 pm.

Join SVIVAH for a new HerTorah Series dedicated to “What’s To Come?” Rabba Dina Brawer and Rabbanit Leah Sarna, plus HerTorah Director Rabbanit Aliza Sperling, will learn together about what our post-COVID Jewish world might look like. RSVP for Zoom link. 8:00 pm.

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