Judge questions NY worship limits, Israel seeing ‘second wave,’ Hartman hosting 260 lectures


A federal judge ruled that New York state’s coronavirus protocols were unfair to houses of worship.

Judge Gary Sharpe, of the United States District Court in Albany, issued a preliminary injunction in response to a lawsuit filed earlier this month by three Orthodox Jews from Brooklyn and two Catholic priests. The lawsuit charged that the state and city had unfairly penalized houses of worship in holding them to lower attendance caps than other indoor gatherings.

Sharpe’s injunction does not settle whether the lower capacity limits are constitutional. But it suggests that Sharpe found the suit’s arguments compelling.

Sharpe pointed out that by permitting and even encouraging protests against racial injustice that drew thousands of people, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio “sent a clear message that mass protests are deserving of preferential treatment.”

Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said yesterday that he has recommended reimposing restrictions on public gatherings and events, warning that Israel was at the “beginning of a second wave” of coronavirus infections, the Times of Israel reports. His comments came after a meeting of the government’s coronavirus cabinet that discussws possible new regulations.

The ministerial discussion is to resume on Monday.

The number of daily infections in the country has been steadily climbing since lockdown rules were eased in May, with over 600 new cases recorded on Thursday for the first time in months, and with infections diagnosed across the country.

An Ohio man charged with making threats to the Jewish Community Center in Youngstown last year has asked a federal court to release him due to the threat of contracting the novel coronavirus, WKBN reports.

James Reardon is facing telecommunications harassment and aggravated menacing charges. Investigators say he posted a video on July 11, 2019 on Instagram of a man shooting a semi-automatic rifle with sirens and screams in the background. The caption post read, “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O’Reardon.”

Reardon is asking to be released pending his September trial.


Three local Jewish summer camps are joining together to offer Summer in the Cloud: The Ultimate Virtual Camp Experience, on July 6-August 21. The participants are Camp Settoga, Camp Twelve Trails, and New Country Day Camp. The program, sponsored in part by UJA-Federation, will be offered weekly for children ages 5-12 from 9:30 a.m. to noon Monday to Friday, with optional add-on activities from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday to Thursday.

The Middle East Forum will sponsor online lectures by Tzvi Kahn, research fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, on “The Heist of Iran’s Nuclear Archive and Its Continued Importance“on Monday at 1 p.m.;  “Reconnection with the Descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Communities, on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

Rabbi Noam Marans, director of interreligious and intergroup relations at the American Jewish Committee, will take part in an online program, Race in America: The Faith Perspective – A Conversation with Archbishop of Washington Wilton D. Gregory, on Tuesday at 11 a.m. They will discuss how religion can be a source for good as America confronts the current health and race crises.

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin will lecture on Moral Imagination: On Being a Good Person in an Ethically Complicated World at noon on Tuesday and July 14, sponsored by the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan.

Ido Aharoni, former Israeli Consul General in New York City, will discuss How Israel Became “Start Up Nation” in an online lecture on Monday at 10 a.m. sponsored by American Friends of Kaplan Medical Center.

The British-based Malki Foundation will sponsor online performances by stand-up comic Ashley Blaker on Thursday at 3 p.m., and by opera singer Nelleke Folosade on July 5 at 2:30 p.m.

Janet Kirchheimer, a long-time member of Congregation Shearith Israel, will lead a virtual tour of the synagogue on July 16 at 7 p.m.

The Shalom Hartman Foundation will sponsor All Together Now: Jewish Ideas for This Moment, a virtual learning program of 260 sessions that starts today and ends on July 23. The “celebration of Jewish ideas” will feature Donniel Hartman and Elana Stein Hain teaching a lunchtime Intensive Beit Midrash on Mondays and Wednesdays, and an evening Culture & Conversation Series on Tuesdays with Yossi Klein Halevi and Mohammad Darawshe discussing the relationship between Arab Israelis and Jewish Israelis after the onset of coronavirus.

Jodi Rudoren, editor-in-chief of the Forward, will moderate “A Jewish conversation for Pride Month: How far we’ve come and what happens next?” on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. Participants will be Dr. Joy Ladin, chair in English at Stern College; Arya Marvazy, activist and Managing Director of JQ International: and Rabbi Deborah Waxman, president of Reconstructing Judaism.

An officer in the Israeli Navy who has served as Commander of a Fast Patrol Boat Squadron and of a Missile Boat Squadron, will give an online briefing, sponsored by Friends of the IDF, on the Navy on July 7 at 1 p.m.

Join Jewish Week editor-in-chief Andrew Silow-Carroll and Jodi Rudoren, editor-in-chief of The Forward, for an exit interview with Amb. Dani DayanIsrael’s departing Consul General in the New York area, on Wednesday, July 8 @ 12 p.m. ET. The three will discuss American Jewry and its relationship with the Jewish state, and how Dayan’s experience changed his understanding of U.S. politics — and Israel’s. Register here.