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UAE summit ends, Ukraine bars chasidim, Israelis fight California fires
Daily Update

UAE summit ends, Ukraine bars chasidim, Israelis fight California fires

US Senior Presidential Advisor Jared Kushner, center, joined discussions between officials from Israel and the United Arab Emirates  in the UAE National Security Advisor's palace in Abu Dhabi, Aug. 31, 2020. (Amos Ben-Gershom / GPO)
US Senior Presidential Advisor Jared Kushner, center, joined discussions between officials from Israel and the United Arab Emirates in the UAE National Security Advisor's palace in Abu Dhabi, Aug. 31, 2020. (Amos Ben-Gershom / GPO)

UJA-Federation of New York announced an additional $6.67 million in Covid-related emergency spending for safety net services and Jewish schools.

The emergency funds rom the umbrella philanthropy’s  endowment, announced Monday, brings its total allocations for emergency Covid relief to over $52 million.

Nearly $4.6 million will be used to strengthen and expand services for New Yorkers impacted by job loss, economic hardship, food insecurity and mental health challenges, the umbrella philanthropy said in a release Monday. Another $2.1 million will help 47 Jewish day schools reopen this fall.

In addition, UJA created a new $2.5 million loan program for the purchase of PPE by health care and service nonprofits partners.

As an Israeli team departed the United Arab Emirates at the end of a historic visit, an Emirati official said his nation hasn’t backed down “one millimeter” from support of Palestinians.

The official, Jamal al-Musharakh, said that his government had received “assurances” from the U.S. that Israel will not advance its plan to annex large parts of the West Bank.

Israeli officials joined a quickly organized morning prayer service Tuesday morning at the hotel of the Israeli delegation to Abu Dhabi. The rare minyan was organized by a group of Jews living in Dubai who had come to the Emirati capital especially for the historic visit of the joint US-Israel delegation to the UAE, there to lay the groundwork for a normalization treaty with Israel.

The Israeli and U.S. officials who arrived in the UAE Monday flew back to Israel Tuesday morning, flying over Saudi Arabia for a second time.

Arms deal: Jared Kushner told reporters Monday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Trump plan to discuss U.S. plans to sell F-35 jets to the UAE.

Local color: The scene aboard the El Al flight to Abu Dhabi.

Another angle: The head of the UAE’s nascent Jewish community asked the Jewish Federations of North America for help in creating a “lighthouse Jewish community” in the Arabian Gulf. Rabbi Yehuda Sarna said he’d like to see synagogue space for various denominations and a cultural center. “This is the first new Jewish community in the heart of the Arab world in centuries, and thanks to the support they have received from the Emirates, the opportunities are endless,” JFNA Board President Mark Wilf said in a statement.

The Anti-Defamation League is concerned about the armed vigilantes who have been showing up at Black Lives Matter protests, creating a “toxic mix.”

“We’re witnessing an increasing politicization of this violence,” Alex Friedfeld, an investigative researcher at the ADL’s Center on Extremism, told JTA. “Rather than standing together as protesters and saying we will not condone the use of violence, people are blaming the other side for what happened. Rather than condemning the cycle, they’re perpetuating it. When you view everything though the lens of almost-life-or-death struggles, committing an act of violence no longer seems as unreasonable.

Bratslov chasidim were barred from entering Ukraine for the annual Jewish New Year’s pilgrimage to Uman.

Passengers on at least two flights from London and Paris were prevented from entering the country, according to reports. The flights were full of Israeli and American haredim. Another group of followers attempted to cross into Ukraine from Belarus but were detained. Ukraine last week closed its borders to foreigners until at least Sept. 28, which is Yom Kippur.

Each year, tens of thousands of pilgrims, mostly from Israel, gather at the burial place of Rabbi Nachman, the movement’s founder. Protests over government efforts to curtail the pilgrimage during the pandemic have added to a political crisis in Israel.

Another angle: A chasidic Jew was attacked and lightly wounded by locals in Uman, and a number of gravestones were lightly damaged in a fire at a Jewish cemetery in the city, according to reports Tuesday.

Israeli firefighters arrived in Sacramento, California, to assist with battling a wave of wildfires sweeping through the area.

It marked the first time that Israelis have been sent to the United States to help fight fires, J. The Jewish News of Northern California reported.

The delegation landed Sunday and is scheduled to remain for approximately two weeks. It includes 10 officers and firefighters from the Fire and Rescue Services, rescue and forest fire experts, and a Foreign Ministry representative, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson is said to be buying the U.S. Ambassador to Israel’s residence north of Tel Aviv.

The Israeli newspaper Globes said the deal is meant in part to prevent any new U.S. administration from easily returning a new U.S. Ambassador to the Tel Aviv area and reversing the Trump administration’s decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Current U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is living in Jerusalem.

Around the Agencies

The Anti-Defamation League appointed Scott Richman as regional director of ADL’s New York/New Jersey Office, based in New York City. Richman comes to ADL from the American Jewish Committee, where he served as Regional Director for Westchester and Fairfield Counties. The previous area director, Evan Bernstein, left earlier this year to head Community Security Service, which trains volunteers to protect Jewish organizations.


Israel Policy Forum’s Israel Fellow, Nimrod Novik, will focus on the unresolved challenges facing Israel-UAE relations as the two countries proceed with U.S.-mediated normalization. To register, click hereSeptember 1, 2:00 pm.

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