Good morning, New York. There’s a heat advisory in effect today — we’re staying cool with this egg cream recipe from The Nosher.
LET’S START WITH BASEBALL, BECAUSE SUMMER
Major League Baseball has drafted two Orthodox Jewish players, including Jacob Steinmetz of Woodmere; can it accommodate their religious lifestyles?
- Baseball historian Ron Kaplan recalls the history of Jews in the big leagues, and what the game has meant to generations of Jewish fans, Orthodox and otherwise.
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens/Nassau) complained to Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid over the demolition of a house in the West Bank owned by a Palestinian American accused of carrying out a terror attack, Axios reports.
- The demolition was announced while Meeks, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was leading a bipartisan delegation to the region last week.
- Why it matters: “The timing caught Meeks and his delegation off guard and exposed them to criticism from progressive Democrats,” Axios says.
COPS AND RABBIS
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea spoke at a town hall meeting of Orthodox rabbis and community activists at The White Shul in Far Rockaway Wednesday.
- He shared their opposition to “defund the police” efforts and limits on cash bail for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies.
The NYPD Shomrim Society is helping local synagogues boost their security in the wake of recent antisemitic attacks.
- Members of the organization for Jewish officers are visiting one synagogue in every borough for five subsequent weeks, to discuss best practices.
- The first visit is tomorrow at the Hashevaynu synagogue in Queens, 6:30 pm.
A Queens man who made racist and antisemitic threats was sentenced on a firearms charge.
- Joseph Miner faces 57 months in prison for purchasing an illegally defaced firearm in May 2020.
- Miner caught authorities’ attention in 2019 when he posted on social media his desire for a racial civil or “holy” war.
NYC POLITICS, ORTHODOX EDITION
Community organizer Crystal Hudson won the Democratic primary in Brooklyn’s hotly contested 35th City Council district by focusing on “long-time residents: working class, Black, and Hasidic Jewish families,” writes a local Jewish activist.
- In a Gotham Gazette essay, Rabbi Yaacov Behrman of Crown Heights said “radical” leftists and “gentrifiers” were a turnoff in a community that includes the Chabad Hasidic stronghold.
- Related: Haaretz describes how Orthodox voters helped former cop Eric Adams top more progressive candidates in the Democratic mayoral primary.
- Context: The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin opines on the “massive chasm” between the country’s largely liberal-to-moderate Jewish majority and the Republican-leaning Orthodox.
- What’s an endorsement worth? Andrew Yang was endorsed by Orthodox politicians in Brooklyn and Queens, and won 36% of the votes in their districts. Citywide, he ended up being ranked in the top spot by just 12% of voters. The City explains.
BEYOND THE BOROUGHS
Two Conservative synagogues in Rockland County have merged.
- Montebello Jewish Center in Suffern and Nanuet Hebrew Center in New City have come together to form Shir Shalom, The Jewish Standard reports. The new congregation will renovate the current NHC building.
PEOPLE AND PLACES
A new historical society will focus on Long Island’s Jewish history.
- The Jewish Historical Society of Long Island is gathering artifacts and planning projects that will celebrate Jewish life in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
- The first event will be a photo exhibit at the Suffolk County Historical Society Museum, beginning on Aug. 7, called “Seeking Sanctuary: 125 Years of Synagogues on Long Island.” Details here.
- Fun fact: The first synagogue built on Long Island opened in 1896, in Setauket.
TODAY’S BIG IDEA
The Netflix series “My Unorthodox Life” rolls out damaging cliches about a complex community, writes Allison Josephs. She works with formerly “ultra-Orthodox” Jews who come back to Judaism without all the trauma.
- Related: Avi Shafran, director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America, the national haredi Orthodox organization, is not a fan of the show.
Join My Jewish Learning, with Rabbi David Levin and Reb Simcha Raphael, as they share insights into how Judaism has historically responded to crisis and catastrophe, memorializing sad experiences while moving beyond them. Register here. 1:00 pm.
WHAT’S ON TODAY
The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York presents a webinar on “Iranian Threats to the United States and Israel,” featuring Ilan Goldenberg of the Center for a New American Security and Sarit Zehavi of the Alma Research and Education Center. Register here. 12:30 pm.
Rachel Rojanski, Associate Professor of Judaic Studies at Brown University, will focus on the dialectical tensions between Zionism and the development of Yiddish culture. This lecture will be delivered on Zoom as part of YIVO’s 2021 Yiddish Civilization lecture series. Register here. 4:30 pm.
Photo, top: Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, right, and Rep. Gregory Meeks, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, July 7, 2021. (Israel Foreign Ministry)