A guide to safe reopening, El Al in free-fall, survivors gather online


The Secure Community Network has released a 33-page guide for Jewish organizations on how to safely reopen and resume operations.

The document, “Back to Business,” was developed by The National Resumption of Operations & Organizational Reopening Working Group, a committee of experts that was convened by SCN to identify and recommend best practices to safely reopen Jewish organizations and facilities. SCN is the official safety and security organization of Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

El Al, its business severely hurt by the Covid-19 pandemic, is shutting down many of its cargo flights, as it struggles to stay afloat amid compounding losses, the Times of Israel reports. According to the reports, the suspension of cargo operations is “a step toward a total shutdown of operations. The airlines three passenger flights Wednesday have also been canceled, though flights for Thursday remain on the schedule.”

The airline’s cargo flights have seen diminishing returns, with other airlines now able to carry more cargo on passenger flights. A quarterly report for January-March issued yesterday showed $140 million in losses for the company in the first quarter of 2020, versus $55 million in losses for the same period last year. Revenue was down to $320 million for the quarter, a drop from $428 million last year.

“Saturday Night Seder,” an online Passover celebration hosted in April by actor Jason Alexander, which raised more than $3 million for coronavirus relief efforts, is now selling singles of some the show’s songs to raise money for a Jewish social justice organization, JTA reports. Jews for Racial and Economic Justice will get the proceeds from sales of “When You Believe” and “Next Year.”

The show’s creators said they chose JFREJ because of its work supporting the racial justice movement. “In Judaism, there’s a principle called Tikkun Olam which means to repair the broken world and to be of service to people, and so in this current moment of Black Lives Matter and to continue with that spirit of service, it was about how we could use our Tikkun Olam,” said Shaina Taub.

The Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy of Connecticut, in Stamford, has launched a Center for Community Education, which will expand the school’s outreach beyond its current K-12 classrooms. The Modern Orthodox day school aims to be a “hub for thoughtful and inspiring conversations related to the spectrum of Jewish issues and ideals.” Its first programs will be online sessions about racism in the Jewish community on July 19 and 20 at 8 p.m. For information: michaelgfeldstein@gmail.com

Recommended Reading

Holocaust Survivors Continue Gathering—Online.” Tablet reports on a German-speaking group in New York that has been meeting weekly since 1943 and has continued online during the pandemic.

Tikkun Olam, Israel vs. Covid 19” (Minterne Press), a new book by Jodie Cohen, charts Israel’s innovations in combating the pandemic. It demonstrates how “the Israeli high-tech industry has adapted its technologies and partnerships, and quickly created new ones, to apply itself to the biggest crisis facing the world.”


Carnegie Foundation scholars Aaron David Miller and Zaha Hassan will moderate a discussion with Mohammad Shtayyeh, prime minister of the Palestinian National Authority, on Wednesday at 11 a.m. on the “way forward for the Palestinian national movement.”

The 92nd Street Y will hold a series of webinars on Jewish Life and Culture in July. Among the programs are a conversation on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. with Yarden Gerbi, a retired Israeli Olympian in judo. For the full schedule: 92y.org.

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.

And we hope you’ll join us on July 9, at 6 p.m. for the next event in The Jewish Week Folio series, presented with UJA-Federation of NY, featuring a virtual conversation with Sanford D. Greenberg, author of the new book “Hello Darkness, My Old Friend.” This is the remarkable story of a Columbia undergrad from a poor Jewish family who, after losing his eyesight to disease during his junior year, finds the power to break through the darkness and fulfill his vision for a life of great professional success and distinguished public service. The event is free but you must register.