Your First Read For Oct 19


Bialik ‘very sorry’ for modesty op-ed

Actress Mayim Bialik has apologized for an op-ed essay about modesty she wrote last Friday in the New York Times. Following criticism that her remarks suggest that dressing and acting modestly is protection against sexual assault and harassment, women that grew up in the orthodox community spoke to the Jewish Week about their #MeToo experiences. Yesterday Bilaik tweeted an apology. “Let me say clearly and explicitly that I am very sorry,” she tweeted. Full coverage on the issue here.


Scaramucci tweet asks number of Holocaust victims …

Anthony Scaramucci, the financier who briefly served as director of President Donald Trump’s communications department, has pledged $25,000 to the Simon Wiesenthal Center after an account in his name posted a survey asking people how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

JTA reports that his pledge follows a controversial tweet that asked “How many Jews were killed in the Holocaust?” and offered multiple choices: “Less than one million, between 1-2 million, between 2-3 million, more than 5 million.” The historical figure, 6 million, was not offered.

The tweet was up for an hour before being removed by Lance Laifer, who apologized for it. Scaramucci later said Laifer was his partner.

… Scaramucci gaffe costs him speaking engagements

Scaramucci has lost “lucrative speaking digs” in the wake of his tweet that questioned the number of Jews who died in the Holocaust, the New York Post reports.

According to the paper, a speaking appearance next months at an investment firm here has been cancelled. “The firm feared that it could erupt into a huge commotion,” the Post reports.

Mount Kisco synagogue vandalized

Westchester County police have launched an investigation into two swastikas that were discovered on an exterior wall of Bet Torah synagogue in Mount Kisco last weekend, the Examiner in White Plains reports. Synagogue staff discovered the two 2-foot-by-2-foot swastikas on the wall of the synagogue’s nursery school adjacent to the playground on the grounds at 60 Smith Ave, said county police spokesman Kieran O’Leary.

The incident is being investigated as a bias crime, he said.

Florida budget will fund Jewish schools’ security

The Florida state budget next year should include $1 million to help cover the cost of security at Jewish schools, according to Gov. Rick Scott. The Jerusalem Post reports that a wave of anti-Semitic threats in the last year prompted his announcement at the Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton.

Recent incidents have included bomb threats and swastikas in predominately Jewish neighborhoods. “I know many Floridians have been horrified by the threats against our Jewish schools and communities,” he said.
Scott’s proposal would expand eligibility for all Jewish day schools in the state to cover bulletproof glass, fencing, video cameras and other measures.

Mossad seeks spies with ‘a sense of humor’

Israel’s Mossad spy agency is advertising for a field agent who is optimistic and spontaneous and has a sense of humor, the Times of Israel reports. The agency’s website recently posted a notification it is seeking an operations person in an “intelligence-gathering unit” needed for “challenging and dynamic work at the cutting edge of operations.”

The list of required skills include teamwork, the ability to deal with stressful situations and uncertainty, and willingness to travel abroad. And, the ad stated, speaking foreign languages and being techno-savvy were listed as mere “advantages,” while optimism, a sense of humor and spontaneity, however, were deemed “a significant advantage.”