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Tom Brady’s Jewish protector • Orthodoxy reels from rabbis’ deaths • Israel sends vaccines to West Bank
Daily Update

Tom Brady’s Jewish protector • Orthodoxy reels from rabbis’ deaths • Israel sends vaccines to West Bank

Max & Mina's, a famed ice cream parlor in Kew Gardens Hills, is seeking new customers, many from the Orthodox community, as it deals with business losses from the pandemic. (Shira Feder)
Max & Mina's, a famed ice cream parlor in Kew Gardens Hills, is seeking new customers, many from the Orthodox community, as it deals with business losses from the pandemic. (Shira Feder)


Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) said he was “heartened” to learn that Israel is sending 5,000 coronavirus vaccines to the Palestinian areas.

Israel had been saying that it was not obligated under law or prior agreements to supply Palestinians living under Palestinian Authority rule with the vaccine, but a number of Democrats, including Bowman, were critical nonetheless.

On Tuesday, Bowman posted a letter on Twitter to Israel’s Acting Consul General in New York, Israel Nitzan, asking for a meeting to discuss the issue and praising the decision to distribute the doses.

“The entire population in the West Bank and Gaza must also be covered,” writes the Bronx/Westchester lawmaker, who is African American. “I know the feeling of being neglected in my government and society, of feeling like a second class citizen or not a citizen at all in my own home.”

A long list of Orthodox rabbinic leaders have died in the past year, many from Covid-19, leaving communities reeling from their losses and at times wondering who will emerge to fill their shoes.

Since November alone, the dead include Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom; Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, the head of Manhattan’s Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem yeshiva; Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz, a longtime judge in Jewish legal courts; and Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin, a pioneer in the world of Orthodox Jewish feminism. Rabbi Norman Lamm, a former president of Yeshiva University, died in May.

“In some cases, the deaths of major rabbis signaled the end of an era in which men who attained high levels of secular education also joined the ranks of the generation’s leading rabbis, something that has become more rare as time goes on,” writes Shira Hanau. “And in others, the rabbis who died were symbols of connection to a past era of Orthodoxy in which the quality of Torah study was deemed to be higher and holier.”

Max and Mina’s, the famous Kew Garden Hills ice cream parlor, is whipping up several schemes to survive the pandemic.

Known for oddball flavors like lox, horseradish and haroset, owners Mark and Bruce Becker are offering a dairy-free line of ice cream and have just started accepting credit cards. They also recently added a slate of flavors deemed “cholov yisroel” — a kosher dairy standard held by stringently Orthodox Jews.

Since losing their wholesale business due to the pandemic, the cholov yisroel certification has brought in a steady stream of new customers from the Five Towns and parts of Brooklyn, Shira Feder reports.

Meet Ali Marpet, offensive guard for the Super Bowl-bound Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tom Brady’s left-hand man, who grew up Jewish in Hastings-on-Hudson.

Marpet, 27, is the son of Bill Marpet, an Emmy Award-winning videographer, and Joy Rose, a rock musician and impresario.

The 6’4″, 300-lb. Hobart College alum, a veteran of Birthright Israel, has enjoyed a standout career, earning a five-year, $54 million contract a few years ago, with half in guaranteed money.

JTA has other Jewish angles on next Sunday’s big game.

More sports: The Washington Wizards, who made Deni Avdija the highest-ever Israeli NBA draft pick last year, now has an Instagram account in Hebrew to cater to Israeli fans.

Channel 13, the PBS station in New York, is launching a new initiative about the roots and rise of anti-Semitism, racism and extremism in America.

The “Exploring Hate” programming will include documentaries from the PBS series “Frontline,” community engagement events, additional broadcast and digital programs and classroom materials. Lead funding is is provided by the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, established with a $20 million gift in 2015.

“The recent insurgency at the United States Capitol was an attack on the very basis of our democracy, shining a spotlight on the toxic mix of nationalism and extremism on the rise in our nation,” said Neal Shapiro, president and CEO of Ch. 13’s parent company, The WNET Group, in a statement. “The best antidotes to intolerance are education and understanding. We aim to advance both with this new initiative.”here. 10:00 am.

In Other News

The Anti-Defamation League is calling for a “whole of society” offensive, comprising federal and state governments and the tech sector, to battle white supremacists and domestic terrorists.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Alejandro Mayorkas, a Cuban-born son of a Holocaust survivor, as Homeland Security secretary.

A State Department official said the Biden administration embraces the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, which has sparked controversy because it includes some forms of harsh criticism of Israel.

Streaming Today

Interfaith United-NYC presents a discussion on how faith communities can come together to address the food crisis in NYC. Register here.

Center for Jewish History presents Sharon Musher, author of “Promised Lands: Hadassah Kaplan, Zionism, and the Making of American Jewish Women” and David Slucki, author of “Sing This at My Funeral: A Memoir of Fathers and Sons,” discussing with Natalia Aleksiun their grandparents’ and parents’ turbulent life trajectories before, during, and after the war in New York, Europe, British Palestine, and Australia. Registration required. 5:00 pm.

Jewish Federations of North America kicks off Jewish Disability Advocacy Month with a conversation featuring violinist Itzhak Perlman, members of Congress and federations empowering people with disabilities. Register here. 7:00 pm.

Correction: An item in yesterday’s Daily Update referred to Yeshiva University when it should have referred to Yeshiva College, the university’s undergraduate college of liberal arts and sciences for men.

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