Governor Hochul announces $ 25 million in security grants • WhatsApp blackout hits Orthodox Jews hard • Nazi hunter Neal Sher dies
Hello, New York! Today we are delighted to welcome Julia Gergely as the last member of our team. Julia will cover Jewish life and institutions throughout the city, as she explains:
- “My name is Julia Gergely and I’m the new reporter for New York Jewish Week and JTA. Recently graduated from Dartmouth College, I joined the team after internships at The Forward and Betches Media. I am excited to be working on this historic publication and telling the important stories of New York’s Jewish community, from its food and art, to its history and politics. You can send tips, comments, or story ideas to [email protected] or find me in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
‘I WILL PROTECT YOU’: In a press conference at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Governor Kathy Hochul announced $ 25 million in grants to strengthen the security of nonprofits and a new hate crime tracking system. (JTA)
TO CUT: Monday’s social media outage highlighted the degree to which many Orthodox Jews depend on WhatsApp for their daily business and communications.
- Jewish Week and JTA spoke to Jews in New York City and beyond after Facebook and its siblings Instagram and WhatsApp shut down for about seven hours.
- Why is this important: Many Haredi Orthodox have filters on their phones to prevent them from accessing external websites and social media platforms, so they receive all of their information – and sometimes misinformation – through WhatsApp, says a leader. community in Brooklyn.
IN AFRICA: New Yorkers Mark Gerson and Rabbi Erica Gerson have probably become the largest private funders of Christian medical care in Africa. (JTA)
- The Gersons talk to Asaf Shalev about the impact of their donations to the African Mission Healthcare Foundation, their decision as Jews to fund medical missionary work, their love of evangelical Christians, and how the couple responds to those who think they are Messianic Jews.
NEW YORK ART
New Yorker Curt LeviantThe new book is the very first English translation of a forgotten novel by Sholom Aleichem about a misunderstood horse thief. (JTA)
- It’s like “Fiddler on the Roof” meets “The Sopranos,” says Penny Schwartz.
- Leviant talks about the book at a YIVO virtual event, today at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Ron Kampeas remembers Alan Kalter, the mild-mannered Westchester synagogue president who often played a rabid and rude sidekick on David Letterman’s late-night talk show. (JTA)
4K “Hester Street” restoration – the 1975 Jewish love story imbued with the flavor of the Lower East Side – is now showing in select theaters, after a recent screening at the New York Film Festival. (Alma)
Brooklyn-born actor and comedian Adam Sandler, at 55, is the most popular celebrity among teens, according to a new poll. (JTA)
AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD, WITH JTA
Neal sher, a lawyer who tracked down the Nazis as the head of the Justice Department’s special investigations office in the 1980s and 1990s, died on Sunday. The New Yorker was 74 years old. As executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee from 1994 to 1996, he gathered support for the Oslo accords. More recently, he asked the Internal Revenue Service to revoke the Whitney Museum of American Art’s tax-exempt status, after the museum appeared to bow to pressure from anti-Israel protesters.
THE BIG IDEA OF THE DAY
The Orthodox Union will not certify Impossible Pork as kosher, and that’s a good thing, writes David Zvi Kalman, researcher at the Shalom Hartman Institute in New York: “[W]When new technology threatens to undermine Jewish tradition, rabbis have tended to respond appropriately.
GIVE & GET
Show your appreciation to frontline and essential workers during a virtual benefit for The Workers Circle. The evening will feature performances by Daniel Kahn, Poets of Peace and Alfre Woodard, as well as greetings from other celebrities and more. Register here. Tonight, 8:00 p.m.
WHAT IS TODAY
Find out more the national identity of Christians in modern Israel by Rima Farah, who is studying for a doctorate in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaism Studies at Brandeis University. The conference is part of the Fall 2021 Schusterman Seminars, showcasing the latest research in Israeli studies. Register here. 12:15 p.m.
Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin speaks with Scott Rechler, President of the Regional Plan Association and CEO of RXR Realty, at a free 92Y event today. Register here. 7:00 p.m.
Hear the story of the discovery of a treasure trove of thousands of glass photographic plates that offer insight into the daily life of Jews and Poles before 1939, with Piotr Nazaruk, curator at the Grodzka Gate – NN Theater in Poland. Register for this Yiddish Book Center virtual public program here. 7:00 p.m.
NEXT WEEK: Join the UJA New York Federation and Jewish Week for a conversation between Dara Horn – author of the new essay collection, “People Love Dead Jews: Reports From a Haunted Present” – and Abraham Foxman, National Director Emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League. Their broad conversation will touch on Jewish memory, history, identity and anti-Semitism. Monday October 11 6:00 p.m. Register here.
Photo, top: Governor Kathy Hochul announced grants to boost security in nonprofits at a hate crimes press conference, held on October 7, 2021 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan. (Governor Kathy Hochul Flickr)