De Blasio has vax advice for Rosh Hashanah • Chaim Deutsch gets 3 months • Rodeph Sholom’s new rabbi


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Mayor de Blasio wants you to be fully vaccinated by Rosh Hashanah.

  • “If you get the first one by Monday and then you follow up on time, you will be fully vaccinated by the start of the holiday,” de Blasio said Thursday. “So yet another incentive.” (Rosh Hashanah begins Sept. 6.)
  • The city began wielding carrots and sticks to encourage vaccines in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the city driven by the Delta variant.
  • Why us? A recent poll shows Jews as the religious group most likely to be vaccinated. However, Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods tend to have vaccine rates significantly below the national average.
  • Quotable: “That’s a great thing to do looking forward to the holidays, make sure every family member who’s going to be in the room is fully vaccinated,” said Rabbi de Blasio.


Former Councilman Chaim Deutsch was sentenced to three months in prison for tax evasion.

  • A federal prosecutor accused him of “deliberate conduct that occurred year after year.”
  • Deutsch, who represented parts of South Brooklyn that include large Orthodox Jewish communities, had refused to resign from the City Council but was expelled from the legislative body in April.

Native New Yorker Deborah Lipstadt is Joe Biden’s pick as the State Department’s next antisemitism envoy.

  • The noted historian of the Holocaust is perhaps best known for exposing a Holocaust denier in a British courtroom. The 2016 movie “Denial,” with Rachel Weisz starring as Lipstadt, was based on her book about the case.
  • Lipstadt, the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, grew up in Far Rockaway. She attended the Hebrew Institute of Long Island, now part of the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway. She majored in political science and history at the City College of New York.
  • Why it matters: Jewish organizations, alarmed by a spike in antisemitism, have been pressing the Biden administration to name an envoy and to name a separate Jewish liaison to the community, our colleague Ron Kampeas reports.

Rabbi Benjamin Spratt’s Jewish journey echoes that of his synagogue, Congregation Rodeph Sholom. 

  • Spratt is the new senior rabbi of the Manhattan synagogue, which started in the 19th century as Orthodox but is now Reform.
  • Spratt has roots in the Reconstructionist and Renewal movements, studied at an Orthodox yeshiva, and was ordained at the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary.
  • “I have always been searching for my place of belonging,” Rabbi Spratt tells The Jewish Week. “I do feel I have found it here.”


Jeffrey Yoskowitz, the artisanal gefilte fish maven, has a new gig: vegan food.

  • The founder of Gefilteria launched Papaya, which partners with NYC restaurants to deliver plant-based meals from top chefs.
  • “Yes, I am Mr. Ashkenazi food,” Yoskowitz tells our colleague Shira Hanau. “But what you don’t know about me is that my grandmother was a vegetarian.”
  • The first “drop” featured a meal by Einat Admony, the famed Israeli chef behind the Manhattan restaurant Balaboosta.


Carl Levin, the Jewish Michigander and pro-Israel stalwart who served 36 years in the Senate, has died at 87. Levin was a go-to Democrat for pro-Israel lobbyists, although he parted ways with AIPAC when he backed the Iran nuclear deal in 2015.


Israel’s Olympic baseball team lost its second game, falling to Team USA 8-1 in round-robin play Friday night in Japan.


How can we love the stranger when Torah also tells us to vanquish our enemies? In Israel, writes Rabbi Haviva Ner-David, the contradictions of this week’s Torah portion are confronted every day.


Our friends at The Nosher recently taste-tested “the most horrifying” hummus flavors they could find. Can you spot the fake among the otherwise real flavors below?

  1. Cake Batter Hummus
  2. Strawberry Daiquiri Cocktail Hummus
  3. Pickled Herring Hummus
  4. Pumpkin Spice Hummus


The Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, presents an in-person screening of “Asia” (2020, 85 minutes, Hebrew with English subtitles), starring Shira Haas as a Russian émigré to Israel, navigating her teenage years along with her single mother. Info here. Sunday, 2:00 pm.

The National Library of Israel presents translator Hillel Halkin in conversation with British-Nigerian-Israeli writer Akin Ajayi, co-founder of the Tel Aviv Review of Books. They’ll discuss how translators negotiate ever-complex cultural, social, and literary sensibilities. Register here. Sunday, 2:00 pm.

Answer to News Quiz: 3.

Photo, top: Mayor Bill de Blasio encouraged New Yorkers to get a coronavirus vaccine by Monday — in time to be fully vaccinated by Rosh Hashana. (Screenshot from YouTube)

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