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Where to find an online Seder • Mayoral candidates debate yeshiva education • A rabbi and a minister learn from the pandemic
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Daily Update

Where to find an online Seder • Mayoral candidates debate yeshiva education • A rabbi and a minister learn from the pandemic

BIRTHDAY GREETINGS: Justin Turner, an aide to State Senator Zellnor Myrie; Assemblyman David Weprin, and Rabbi Shmuel Butman, director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization, commemorated the 119th anniversary of the birth of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, at a ceremony at the corner of Kingston Ave. and Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, March 25, 2021. (Courtesy)
BIRTHDAY GREETINGS: Justin Turner, an aide to State Senator Zellnor Myrie; Assemblyman David Weprin, and Rabbi Shmuel Butman, director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization, commemorated the 119th anniversary of the birth of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, at a ceremony at the corner of Kingston Ave. and Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, March 25, 2021. (Courtesy)

 

Passover begins Saturday night. The Daily Update is taking a break on Monday, and we’ll be back on Tuesday. Have a happy and healthy holiday!

Oversight of secular education in haredi Orthodox yeshivas has become a major issue in the NYC mayoral race.

Orthodox leaders want the next mayor to butt out of their classrooms. Yeshiva critics say the schools are failing their students when it comes to math, English and other secular subjects.

Shira Hanau examines the tightrope candidates like Andrew Yang, Eric Adams and Scott Stringer are walking as they court Orthodox votes without appearing to ignore the city’s educational standards.

Clergy and academics say a Jewish sociologist accused of sexual harassment in 2018 has not earned their communities’ forgiveness. 

Steven M. Cohen was perhaps the best known researcher of Jewish communal life when the allegations were aired by several women in The Jewish Week three years ago. This week, 500 rabbis and cantors signed a letter objecting to news that Cohen is taking part in off-the-record Zoom discussions about Jewish life with Jewish leaders.

A separate letter, organized by students at the Jewish Theological Seminary and Hebrew Union College, said that “Meeting with unrepentant abusers not only impedes the [repentance] process, which takes time and space, it also sends a message about our community’s values and shapes its trajectory.

In another statement earlier this week, the women’s caucus of the Association of Jewish Studies said it was “disappointed” by the meetings held by Cohen and his colleagues.

Background: In a statement after the allegations first came to light, Cohen said, “I take full responsibility. I am deeply apologetic to the women whom I have hurt by my words or my actions.”

A rabbi and a minister say faith communities need to embrace the change brought on by the pandemic. 

In a Jewish Week essay, Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson of Temple Emanu-El and Rev. Stephen P. Bauman of Christ Church write that flexibility has always been a hallmark of spiritual community.

“It is incumbent upon us to ensure that some of these new traditions stick for the long term, and that we keep on fostering greater participation, richer imagination, and deeper love for those within and even beyond our immediate communities,” they write.

A new book shows how America helped Nazi war criminals escape justice.

“The Ratline” examines the case of Otto Wächter, the Nazi governor of Galicia in Poland, and the time he spent on the run in the years after World War II, aided by a Catholic priest and watched by U.S. intelligence officials who were recruiting Nazis as allies in the Cold War.

“I was just really shocked,” author Philippe Sands tells The Jewish Week. “I mean, like you, I sort of knew the Werner von Braun story. But it’s one thing to recruit scientists and another to recruit mass murderers.”

What Else

An unrepentant Jonathan Pollard said Jews “will always have dual loyalty,” in an interview in Israel Hayom justifying the spying he did for Israel.

The results of Israel’s election left both the prime minister and his political opponents once again without a clear path to forming a coalition government, and heralded enduring gridlock and a potential fifth election.

Doug Emhoff, Vice President Kamala Harris’s Jewish husband, hosted the White House’s first-ever online Passover seder on Thursday.

Elie Kligman, a talented high school baseball prospect in Las Vegas, hopes to succeed at the sport’s highest levels while observing Shabbat, The New York Times reports.

Read the 10 best Jewish tweets about the huge container ship that is blocking the Suez Canal.

Deaths

Actress Jessica Walter, best known in recent years as Lucille Bluth, the manipulative matriarch on the TV show “Arrested Development,” died in her sleep at her home in New York. She was 80.

Shabbat Shalom

The law prohibiting hametz (leavened bread), which seems to be specific to Passover, was enforced all year long in the Temple, this week’s Torah portion tells us. “In our Temple, which represents national strength, autonomy and independence, we are forced to reject the hametz of the rich and oppressive, and eat matzah, the bread of the oppressed and the poor,” writes Rabbi Shimon Felix.

More wisdom: Rabbi David Wolpe remembers the Zionist victims of a notorious pogrom who resisted compromise.

Passover

UJA-Federation volunteers delivered Seder meals, Seder plates and kosher for Passover groceries to 150 households in Westchester on Wednesday, March 24. The packages were assembled by JCC of Mid-Westchester volunteers with meals supplied by Seasons Kosher Caterer and Supermarket and groceries supplied by Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. (UJA-Federation)

The Jewish Week has a list of free online Seders, mostly on the second night.

Entwine, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s young adult platform, is once again offering ReOrdered, a free DIY Passover toolkit that shares a global experience of the holiday. The downloadable kit highlights traditions, recipes, and stories from Jewish communities around the world including Morocco, Greece, Poland, Argentina, India, Sarajevo, former Soviet Union and Ethiopia.

Birthright Israel has announced a free Passover cooking class with celebrity cook and influencer Jake Cohen on Tuesday, March 30 at 5:30 pm, live on the Birthright Instagram. He’ll show at-home cooks how to turn their leftover matzah into amazing recipes. Birthright has also launched a Passover Survival Kit to make the most out of the second virtual Passover. The kit includes fun and nostalgic Zoom backgrounds, a recipe, a Bingo board, and the Seder Live digital Haggadah, all of which can be found here.

JewBelong will lead BURNING MAN-ischewitz, their second virtual Passover Seder for “Jews, for people who aren’t Jewish but are part of a Jewish community, and especially for anyone who has felt like a Jewish outsider or feels disengaged from the religion.” Co-hosted by comedian Matt Broussard (Comedy Central). Saturday, March 27, 7:00 pm. Sign up at JewBelong.com, where you can also find a free, downloadable Haggadah.

Read about the Sarajevo community’s unique Passover tradition of reciting the Partisan Haggadah, a little-known parody written by a communist Yugoslav partisan in 1944.

Candlelighting, Readings

Friday, March 26, 2021
Nissan 13, 5781

Light Shabbat candles at 6:57 pm

Saturday, March 27
Nissan 14, 5781

Torah Reading: Tzav: Leviticus 6:1 – 8:36
Haftarah: Malachi 3:4-24

Light Passover candles after 7:57 pm

Sunday, March 28
Nissan 15, 5781

Light Passover candles after 7:58 pm

Monday, March 29
Nissan 16, 5781

Yom Tov ends 7:59 pm

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