Cyberattacks target vaccine labs, Bob Kraft’s Super Bowl ring nets $1m for charity, rabbis to the rescue


The Boro Park Jewish Community Council is launching a new Home Career Initiative to help people who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. The BPJCC is introducing three new courses in response to the “tremendous need in our community.” These courses “will allow Boro Parkers to take advantage of their time at home,” the organization announced.

New courses will teach skills that will enable men and women to launch a new career and generate a new income source.

A cyberattack that shut down hundreds of Israeli websites last week also targeted research centers working on a vaccine for Covid-19, according to the Jerusalem Post. The attacker attempted and failed to damage the vaccine development process, but did not attempt to steal information.

Cyberattacks have been reported on other vaccine research centers around the world, including the US and England. Some of the attacks have been blamed on Russia and China. Important aspects of Israel’s efforts to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus, which are networked, are vulnerable to a variety of cyberattacks, Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) Chief Yigal Unna said last month.

Camp Modin in Maine has announced that it will open July 9 — two weeks later than originally planned — despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. And it has set out a detailed plan to make it happen.

Dozens of Jewish summer camps across the country have announced that they will not be running this year because of the danger of spreading the disease and the challenge of navigating murky regulations. But Maine has allowed overnight camps to open beginning July 1 and plans to release detailed instructions for them on May 20, and other camps in the state have also said they will open.

Modin plans to test every camper for the disease via at-home test kits before they arrive, and again throughout the summer. The camp has consulted on its measures with epidemiologists and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and will expand its medical staff this summer. And it has laid out a list of measures aimed at ensuring campers’ safety — from abolishing a buffet line for meals to closing communal bathrooms. Staff will be tested before they arrive and will be at camp “well in advance of the campers,” according to the email to parents.

One of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl rings sold for $1.025 million in an online fundraiser to help address food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic.

The ring, which includes 283 diamonds and weighs 5.1 carats, was among the most expensive items to be sold in the All In Challenge, which had raised $45.6 million as of Thursday night. The money from the sale of the ring is earmarked for Feeding America, Meals On Wheels, World Central Kitchen, and No Kid Hungry. The All In Challenge was created by Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin.

Also included in the purchase of the ring is a trip on the Patriots’ team plane to Gillette Stadium in suburban Boston, where the buyer will be presented with the ring by Kraft.

A 17-year-old high school student in California has created of one of the most-visited coronavirus trackers in the world. 

The eldest child of a physician mother and a biologist father, Avi Schiffmann moved around a lot while growing up, living in Israel, Ireland, the UK, and in six American states. “His family is traditional in Jewish observance and celebrate Shabbat dinner together,” Business Insider states. “When he was little they lived in Israel for a year where the family has lots of relatives.”

ncov2019 is a one-stop shop for all the information about Covid-19 the average person might want to know. It uses data scraped from the WHO, CDC, and other government websites. With about 30 million visitors a day, the ad-free site has attracted investors, including one offering Schiffman $8 million, which he turned down.

Recommended reading: From Hurricane Katrina to COVID-19: Blueprints for Re-envisioning Jewish Life Cycle Moments,” by Jodie Goldberg, Teen Engagement Consultant at The Jewish Education Project. “The pandemic has challenged us to redesign moments from what is modeled, to what is meaningful, forced us to relinquish control and to exercise nimbleness, and has taught us to push past exhibiting poise and learn to embrace vulnerability. Although built out of tragedy, we have the opportunity to redesign life cycle moments to embrace new meaning.”

“God Has a Lot to Answer For,” by outgoing Jewish Theological Seminary Chancellor Arnold Eisen. “People of faith often wonder aloud at moments of personal and collective tragedy how a good God could permit ‘bad things to happen to good people.’ They also tend to turn (or return) to religion for help in bearing the unbearable. In coming months, Americans will more strongly feel the hunger for community and meaning as we come back together (at least to some extent) and seek to find purpose in our suffering. The nation’ s ability to heal its body and soul will heavy rely on whether or not religious institutions can find new ways to bring people together and find meaning in what we’ve experienced.”


Argentina will charter a private plane to bring several Israeli rabbis to certify kosher meat in the country to get around their country’s ban on commercial flights. The allowance for the rabbis indicates the importance of the Israeli export market for the country’s beef, Reuters reported.

Argentina is the world’s fifth largest beef exporter and Israel is its third-largest buyer, at a cost of over $100 million annually, according to Mario Ravettino, head of Argentina’s ABC meat export consortium.

In normal times, up to 15 Israeli rabbis travel to Argentina twice a year and stay for a few months since there aren’t enough local rabbis with expertise in kosher slaughter to handle the volume.


PLO ambassador to the United Kingdom and former PLO head of mission to the United States Husam Zomlot will provide the Palestinian perspective on West Bank annexation, Tuesday, May 26, 2 p.m. ET. The on-the-record discussion/Q&A is arranged by Israel Policy Forum. To register, click here.

In partnership with Microsoft, Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer will offer a live virtual tour today of what the hospital patient room of the future will look like. The HealthSpace 2030 live demo will take place Tuesday, May 26 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. To register, click here.

Recommended watching: A cheesecake-baking video for Shavuot from the Merage JCC.

Global Voices with Moishe House will sponsor “A Conversation with MH Residents in Melbourne, Fort Lauderdale & Philadelphia” on Tuesday at 11 a.m. They will discuss how the organization is approaching the topic of reopening.

The Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County is offering a series of 10-minute webinars on “Parents in the Pandemic.”

The schedule: “Keeping Little Hands Busy and Brains Engaged,” today at 7:30 p.m.; “Finding Your Child’s Inner Bookworm,” June 2 at 7:30 p.m.; “Creating Zen Moments in a Chaotic Day,” June 9 at 7:30 p.m.

A Zoom conversation co-sponsored by The Shalom Center, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and Dayenu: A Jewish Call for Climate Action on “From Shavuot to Sukkot: Green and Grow the Vote” will be held Thursday at 8 p.m. Participants will include rabbis David Saperstein, Michael Namath, Arthur Waskow, Mordechai Liebling, Jennie Rosenn, and Shoshana Friedman.

A Vermont rabbi has prepared a video on the value of a sense of humor during the pandemic.

Join The Jewish Week and UJA-Federation for a powerful virtual evening with Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, Thursday, June 4, 6:00 PM – 8:00 p.m. Friedman and Andrew Silow-Carroll, The Jewish Week’s editor in chief, will discuss and take questions on the domestic and global ramifications of the coronavirus crisis and other international affairs challenges. The event is free, but you must register here.