NY judge sides with Sacha Baron Cohen • COVID cases up in Brooklyn • Baseball’s second Orthodox draft pick


A New York judge dismissed a politician’s $95 million defamation lawsuit against actor and filmmaker Sacha Baron Cohen.

  • Roy Moore, the former judge and failed U.S. Senate candidate from Alabama, said Cohen — disguised as a former Mossad agent — falsely labeled him as a pedophile during a segment of the 2018 satirical series “Who Is America?”
  • Judge John P Cronan of the Southern District of New York ruled that “no reasonable viewer” would have interpreted the segment as factual.

Average daily case counts of COVID-19, fueled by the Delta variant, are on the rise in Brooklyn, nearly doubling in recent weeks to more than 100.

Sebastian Kurz, the chancellor of Austria, met Monday with Rabbi Arthur Schneier, a Vienna-born Holocaust survivor, at Park East Synagogue in Manhattan.

  • The two discussed global antisemitism and other issues before touring the synagogue — the first U.S. synagogue Kurz has visited, according to Park East.
  • Quotable: “It is heartening to see Chancellor Kurz, who represents the next generation, and has zero-tolerance for anti-Semitism and any form of bigotry while fostering mutual respect among all God’s children,” said Schneier.

The Anti-Defamation League New York/New Jersey is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a man who was seen on video last week assaulting a Jewish man in Brooklyn.

Actor Jeff Goldblum serenaded a couple taking their pre-wedding photographs on the Brooklyn waterfront. 

  • Goldblum is in New York shooting season five of “Search Party,” AV Club reports. He sang “Sunrise, Sunset” from “Fiddler On The Roof” to the surprised couple on Monday.
  • Fun fact: The same couple, Sabrina McMillin and Brian Cartan, were featured in a 2020 New York Times story about couples who want wedding vendors whose values align with their own.


A quarter of US Jews agree that Israel “is an apartheid state.” In a new survey, 22% also agreed that “Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians.”

Elie Kligman of Las Vegas was picked by the Washington Nationals in the MLB draft on Tuesday, making him the second observant Orthodox Jewish player ever drafted into the league. The Arizona Diamondbacks picked 17-year-old Long Island native Jacob Steinmetz 77th overall on Monday.


Meet Julia Haart, whose new life as a fashion mogul after she left her Orthodox community in Monsey, N.Y. is the subject of the new Netflix reality series “My Unorthodox Life.”


On Tisha B’Av, Jews mourn the destruction of Jerusalem and other historic catastrophes. But in times of prosperity, are such rituals of sorrow still necessary? Rabbi Adina Lewittes reviews the rabbinical literature on letting go of grief.


Tonda Case

Tonda Case

Tonda Case (above) will lead The Wexner Heritage Program’s first-ever Jews of Color Cohort, launching in New York in the fall. Case is the former Project Director of the Jewish Women of Color Resilience Circle at DIMENSIONS Inc, a diversity and equity consulting group in Boston. The foundation will accept nominations for the cohort this fall, and the classes will begin at our New Member Institute in August 2022. UJA-Federation of New York is partnering with the Wexner Foundation on the new initiative.


Rise from Rubble, a multifaith ritual and call for global prophetic justice, will take place at Wagner Park on Sunday at 4:00 pm. Participants include Romemu and JFREJ together with the Church Center for the UN, Judson Memorial Church, Faith in New York, Muslim Community Network and St. James Presbyterian Church.

The Orthodox Union’s 20th annual Tisha B’Av program will focus on the traditional themes of the fast day, and also mourn the recent worldwide tragedies that have impacted the Jewish community. The event will feature two in-person kinot sessions, including one broadcast live from Congregation Keter Torah in Teaneck, N.J. Sunday, 9:00 a.m.


Discover how Ben-Gurion University’s brain research and tech development are propelling Israel’s “Neuro-Silicon Valley,” featuring Dr. Oren Shriki. Register here. 1:30 pm.

Join JTS for a conversation with the team behind the acclaimed virtual drama “The Catastrophist,” the story of real-life virus hunter Nathan Wolfe — who just happens to be the playwright’s husband. With playwright Lauren Gunderson, virologist Nathan Wolfe, actor William DeMeritt, director Jasson Minadakis and JTS rabbinical student and theater maker Kendell Pinkney. Register here. 8:00 pm.

Photo, top: Sebastian Kurz, the chancellor of Austria, meets Monday with Rabbi Arthur Schneier at Park East Synagogue in Manhattan. (Courtesy PES)

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