Israeli cases spike again, NY’s virtual Israel parade postponed, Birthright connects with alumni


New York’s virtual Celebrate Israel parade scheduled for Sunday has been postponed, and organizers will instead hold an online conversation with African-American community leaders on racism in America, The Jewish Week reports.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of NY announced the change “out of respect for the current situation after the grievous killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protests around our city and nation.”

The Virtual Celebrate Israel Parade, scheduled for this Sunday, will be postponed until Sunday, June 21 at 1 p.m. “We stand in partnership with our sisters and brothers in the Black community, and in all communities of color, as we collectively strive to stamp out racism and prejudice in all of its forms from our society,” JCRC said in a statement. “We, in the Jewish community, know all too painfully the end result of unchecked hatred.”

Organizers announced in April that the annual parade on Fifth Ave. would not be held on account of the coronavirus. Speakers for the virtual conversation racism, to be held Sunday at 1 p.m., have not been announced.

The number of coronavirus cases in Israel is exponentially rising as the government pushes to keep schools open, the Jerusalem Post reports. The Health Ministry reported yesterday that 118 people had tested positive for the disease over the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of patients since the start of the pandemic to 17,495. At last count, there were 2,191 active cases, an increase of 88 cases from the day before, and 291 people had died.

Most of the newly infected people likely are schoolchildren and their parents, according to the Post. The number of serious and intubated patients is still on the decline. Thursday night, there were 30 people in serious condition, including 23 on ventilators.

The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience will delay the opening of its new headquarters in New Orleans. Originally scheduled to open in the fall, the museum said construction delays and a drastically slowed tourism economy from the effects of Covid-19 means it will open in early 2021. “We feel this will allow us to give the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience the robust welcome that we’ve been planning for,” said Jay Tanenbaum, museum chairman.

Birthright Israel, in an effort to connect its alumni, has introduced Taglit-Birthright Israel Connect, an online social experiment that allows alumni from across the globe to get together in Zoom sessions.

Students from The Frisch School in Paramus, N.J., have  developed CardUP, a new fundraising platform for non-profit organizations hit hard by the pandemic. In March the Orthodox day schools was one of the first in the state to cancel in-person classes.

Recommended reading:Los Angeles Jews take stock after George Floyd protests batter local institutions.” JTA reports that the city’s “Fairfax district, a heavily Jewish area that has been continuously represented by a Jewish city councilman since 1953, was hit particularly hard by the kind of vandalism that has struck major cities following the killing of George Floyd in police custody.”

Recommended listening: The Tikvah Fund is offering audio of a speech by Rabbi David Wolpe of Los Angeles on The Pandemic and the Future of Liberal Judaism.


The number of crossings at Israel’s borders has dropped significantly in the past two months due to coronavirus-related restrictions, according to the Ministry of Population and Immigration, the Jerusalem Post reports. While 238,694 Israelis entered Israel in March, only 21,081 Israelis entered the country in April and only 14,362 entered Israel in May.

Similarly, 132,327 Israelis exited the country in March, while only 12,658 Israelis exited the country in April and 9,119 exited in May.

In March, 199,995 foreigners exited the country, while in April only 8,119 exited Israel and in May only 4,610 did the same.

The coronavirus caused more than half of Israeli smokers to consider quitting, according to Yeshiva World News. A report by the Israel Cancer Association said that 51 percent of Israeli smokers between the ages of 18 and 24 considered quitting due to the Coronavirus. Almost half, some 49.2 percent, reported smoking far less than they did prior to the outbreak of the virus.

The report, which was published to mark global “No Tobacco Day,” found contrasting results for Israeli Arabs. Nearly a third of Israeli Arabs (31 percent) said that someone in their family began smoking during the crisis. Among the Jewish population, that number was only 8 percent.

With restrictions eased, Israeli hotels and bed-and-breakfasts could reopen have lowered their prices “to lure the locals,” Tablet reports.

“We’re aware of the issue and understand that we have to offer competitive pricing,” said Michael Hay, founder and managing director of Vision Hospitality, which manages and develops the properties of Atlas, a group of boutique hotels with business in Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Jerusalem, and Haifa. According to Hay, about 85 percent of their guests formerly were from other countries. “We established a special crew that’s working on local marketing, and they came up with the idea of a bring-a-friend system, with incentives for customers who refer their friends.”


Limmud FSU will sponsor an online conversation with Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog on “The Future Of The Jewish People After COVID-19” on Sunday at 11 a.m. The session will be conducted in English with live translation to Russian.

The Israeli Opera will perform Israeli melodies online on Sunday at noon in an “encore” concert.

NJY Camps will hold a Shabbat Celebration today at 7 p.m.

Torah Umesorah will hold a Virtual Convention from Sunday evening until Tuesday night.

Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, will be in conversation with Isaac Herzog, chairman of the Jewish Agency, on Friday at noon on the topic, “Taking the Temperature of World Jewry During the Pandemic.”

Sharsheret will sponsor an update on medical updates on lifting Covid-19 restrictions by Dr. Jane Carleton, associate chief of Clinical Affairs at the Monter Cancer Center, Northwell Health Cancer Institute, on Monday at 3 p.m.

Rabbi Rachel Ain of Sutton Place Synagogue, along with fellow clergy from the Partnership of Faith Communities, will take part in a webinar about “Being Black in America” on Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

The Zamir Choral Foundation will sponsor an online conversation on Sunday at 2 p.m. about Music in Challenging Times.

Several prominent Jewish musicians will participate in a Spring Concert for Northern New Jersey’s Jewish Home Family agency on Sunday at 2 p.m. Hagit Avnon’s Middle Eastern ensemble will conduct a musical tour “from the Spanish Inquisition, to the prayers of emigration of Soviet Jews, to the zest of Yiddish theatre, to modern day Yemenite Jews.”

The American Jewish Committee will hold a Virtual Global Forum on June 14-18. It will feature “a moving opening plenary, conversations with world leaders, spirited debates, and the high-level content you have come to expect at an AJC Global Forum.”