Cases spike in Haifa, Ramaz ‘refreshes’ summer school, remembering an interfaith leader


Further lockdowns on Israeli cities with high infection rates and tighter restrictions on public gatherings are likely, the Times of Israel reports, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz agreed yesterday to convene the government’s “coronavirus cabinet.” The ministers could vote to limit attendance at event halls, bars and restaurants to 50 people.

“Numbers are rising and there is nothing on the horizon to stop them if we don’t act immediately with significant steps,” Netanyahu said, the day Israel recorded its highest single-day tally since the pandemic began, with 868 cases diagnosed in 24-hours.

In Haifa, Israel’s third-largest city, which thus far was largely untouched by the disease, cases are rapidly climbing and doctors are wondering if the “lucky streak” they enjoyed is coming to an end, the newspaper reported.

Haifa, which had enjoyed a reputation as Israel’s coronavirus-proof city, has seen just 304 confirmed coronavirus cases; Jerusalem has seen almost 16 times that number, while Tel Aviv has almost five times as many.

“I’m expecting that what is coming now will affect Haifa just as it affects the rest of the country,” said Dr. Oren Caspi, a principal investigator at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology medical faculty.

With a resurgence of coronavirus infections in the Australian city of Victoria, and 10 Melbourne districts back in lockdown, the Victorian Jewish Community COVID-19 Taskforce has issued an urgent warning about complacency.

In an interview with The Australian Jewish News, the heads of two partner organisations in the taskforce have urged Jews in the state not to succumb to “community fatigue”, as people in 36 northern and western suburbs were told not to leave home except for food shopping, medical care or caregiving, work or school, and exercise until at least July 29.

The Ramaz School in Manhattan has launched Ramaz Refreshed, an online summer program to help its students maintain their academic momentum. The program by the co-educational Modern Orthodox day school will offer general and Judaic studies assignments, character building projects, and co-curricular activities. Students will be able to complete activities and receive feedback from their teachers in real time.

“Recognizing that several summer programs were cancelled this year and parents were looking for activities for their children, we decided to reimagine our summer homework program so that our students could learn, have fun, and keep busy,” said Adrienne Laitman, Director of General Studies at the Ramaz Lower School.


James Leek — who died April 6 of the coronavirus at age 75 — was co-chair of the Council of Christians and Jews, Britain’s leading nationwide forum for Christian-Jewish engagement, and helped reestablish the southwest London branch of the interfaith group. A top executive at Caparo, a British company dealing in steel, Leek was involved in other progressive Jewish causes as well, especially focused on egalitarianism and collaboration, JTA reports.

He raised funds and gave his time to the Leo Baeck School in Haifa, the British Movement for Reform Judaism, the magazine Jewish Renaissance and the local Mosaic Jewish Primary School, where 50% of students come from outside the Jewish community.


Project Inspire will hold a Bring Shabbat Home Kabbalat livestream Shabbat service on Friday at 5.30 p.m.

United with Israel will host a speech by Rabbi Ari Enkin on “Curse the Jews? The Nation of Israel is Eternally Blessed!” on Thursday at 10 a.m.

The Aleph educational organization will sponsor an online Tribute to Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi on Thursday at 8 p.m. The late rabbi was the founder of the Jewish Renewal movement.

“A Faithful Response to June Medical Services v. Russo,” a key abortion-rights case, will be the theme of a webinar sponsored by a coalition of faith-based organizations, including the National Council of Jewish Women, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

Rabbi Peter Rubinstein will discuss “The Evolution of Jewish Law and Tradition During the Pandemic” in an online speech sponsored by the 92nd Street Y on July 7 at 4:30 p.m. On July 8 at 8 p.m. the Y will sponsor a webinar on “Law of the Land: The Supreme Court Year in Review.”

The Hampton Synagogue will launch its annual Jewish Film Festival, online, on Sunday at 8:30 p.m., as drive-in movies. The series continues through Labor Day.

The Middle East Policy Council will host a webinar on “Progress or Conflict? What to Expect for U.S. Policy in the Middle East,” on July 17 at 10 a.m.

JCC Global will sponsor a series of webinars on Re-imaging the Future of JCCs on July 21, September 8, 15, 22 and 29, Oct. 13 and 20.

The Shalom Hartman Institute and JCC Manhattan will sponsor a virtual book launch of “The New Jewish Canon,” by Yehuda Kurtzer and Claire Sufrin, on July 14 at 8 p.m. The authors will be in conversation with Abby Pogrebin.

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.