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THE ANTISEMITISM SPIKE
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke at a bipartisan “virtual rally” to combat antisemitism.
Some 23,000 people tuned into Thursday’s Zoom event, organized by the Anti-Defamation League and leading Jewish groups.
- Who else took part: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, NBA Hall-of-Famer Ray Allen, entertainer Nick Cannon, NY’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida.
- Quotable: “Antisemitism is vile, reprehensible and countering everything that America stands for,” said Schumer.
Gov. Cuomo, in his latest COVID-19 briefing, spoke about his decision to direct state police to provide security at Jewish institutions this Shabbat.
- Quotable: “You have a political opinion about the Middle East conflict, you’re entitled to it; you express that through an antisemitic act — it’s un-American, it violates New York’s ethic, and it is illegal. It’s all three of the above,” he said.
Progressive lawmakers seem to have a hard time condemning antisemitism without mentioning other forms of hate.
- Example: “We’ve seen an increase in antisemitic and Islamophobic hate, in NYC and nationwide — hateful words, hate crimes, and other forms of violence,” Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Bronx/Westchester) wrote, in response to the recent spike in anti-Jewish attacks.
- Why it matters: “There are unique root causes of antisemitism that must be addressed, and for that reason we would caution against conflating or grouping this distinct form of hate with any other,” said Halie Soifer, who directs the Jewish Democratic Council of America.
- Notable exception: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a sharp critic of Israel, exclusively condemned antisemitism. “We will never, ever tolerate antisemitism here in NY or anywhere in the world,” she Tweeted.
Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) expressed solidarity at an online symposium marking Jewish American Heritage Month. “My heart is with the Jewish community this week,” she said.
JCRC-NY and UJA-Federation of New York solicited and collected statements from NYC mayoral candidates condemning the latest antisemitic incidents.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Zabar’s has a new podcast; fourth-generation scion Willie Zabar talks to The Jewish Week about how the legendary appetizing store survived the pandemic — and the 1970s.
Five candidates for the Upper West Side of Manhattan’s District 6 city council seat participated in a candidate forum hosted by The Jewish Center and other local Orthodox synagogues Thursday evening.
The forum largely focused on the pandemic’s impact on the neighborhood, including housing and crime. Watch the whole thing here.
Naftuli Moster, the head of Yaffed, urges the state Education Department to act now to help ensure students in Orthodox yeshivas receive a quality secular education.
- Related: A law professor and an attorney argue that the Education Department blew it last month when it declined to investigate the allegations of a mother who said her son in yeshiva was not receiving anything close to the secular education required by state law.
Lawmakers in Albany can’t agree on a bill that would study whether public school teachers are teaching about the Holocaust according to state law. Some worry that far-left Assembly members might come out against the bill, Jewish Insider reports.
TODAY’S BIG IDEA
The “mainstream” needs to catch up to a younger Jewish generation growing increasingly skeptical of the Israeli government’s policies, writes Andrew Silow-Carroll, editor in chief of The Jewish Week.
PEOPLE AND PLACES
The Jewish Center of the Hamptons is resuming its in-person Friday night Shabbat on the Beach (tonight at 6:00 pm), the latest sign of the community’s reopening.
New Yorkers Ari Ackerman and Marisa Polin are in Israel as part of a Jewish Federations of North America leadership mission, the first such mission since the start of the pandemic.
Congress honored Abe Foxman, the retired long-time director of the Anti-Defamation League, at a virtual celebration marking Jewish-American History Month.
Tahija Vikalo, of Bala Cynwyd, Penn., has been named executive director of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, succeeding Sheryl Olitzky, co-founder and founding executive director. The Sisterhood is an organization of Muslim and Jewish women devoted to fighting hate and promoting social justice.
The great tragedy of Jewish history, writes Rabbi Seth Farber, is that “opportunity knocks, but the Jews don’t recognize its significance.”
- More wisdom: Rabbi David Wolpe warns leaders that the passions that whip up a crowd are fleeting; true leadership is for the ages.
WHAT TO STREAM
Cardinal Timothy Dolan joins Temple Emanu-El for Shabbat in solidarity against antisemitism. Live streamed through the Temple’s website, Facebook and YouTube pages. In-person attendance is available for 200 guests. Registration is required. Tonight, 6:00 pm.
Friday, May 28, 2021
Sivan 17, 5781
Light Shabbat candles at 8:00 pm
Torah Reading: Behaalotecha: Numbers 8:1 – 12:16
Haftarah: Zachariah 2:14 – 4:7
Shabbat ends 9:08 pm.