Crown Heights 30 years after the riots • Census confirms Orthodox surge • More help for Haiti

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Good morning, New York. Thirty years ago today, a car in the motorcade of the Lubavitcher Rebbe struck and killed Gavin Cato, a Black child, in Crown Heights. Angry Black residents responded with three days of unrest that included the killing of Yankel Rosenbaum, a Hasidic Jewish man, and led to years of soul-searching about the volatile atmosphere of racism and antisemitism that fed the violence.

CROWN HEIGHTS, 30 YEARS LATER

Thirty years after three days of deadly rioting in Crown Heights, a neighborhood activist looks at efforts to heal Black-Jewish tensions.

  • “In Crown Heights we have found a way to come together and have conversations about difficult issues,” writes Rabbi Eli Cohen, of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, in a Jewish Week essay.

Other voices:

  • In the Forward, community leaders look back at the political and policing failures that allowed the violence to spread.
  • Chabad.org remembers the late Australian lawyer and activist Norman Rosenbaum, and “his tireless quest for justice for his brother, Yankel, who was murdered during the riots.”

From the Jewish Week archive:

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

Our colleagues at JTA look into the census and find changes in New York and New Jersey demographics that can only be driven by Orthodox population growth.

HAITI RELIEF

The Afya Foundation prepares to ship medical supplies for earthquake relief from New York’s JFK Airport to Haiti, Aug. 18, 2021. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and UJA-Federation of NY are supporting its efforts. (UJA-Federation)

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is responding to the deadly earthquake in Haiti by providing medical supplies to local hospitals treating the wounded.

  • JDC is working through its longtime partner, the Afya Foundation, to ship materials to a hospital in Aquin.
  • JDC’s previous work in Haiti includes its long-term responses to the 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew in 2016. During World War II, JDC provided care to Jewish  refugees allowed to settle on the island.
UJA-Federation of New York is working with its global partners, including  JDC, and supporting local NY partners with organizing drives and other needed help.
  • The philanthropy has made two grants: $40,000 to Afya Foundation to airlift critical medical supplies, and $15,000 to Haitian-led charity CapraCare for medicine and medical supplies, food relief, mental health counseling and tarps.

BEYOND THE BOROUGHS

The Orthodox Union, the Anti-Defamation Leagues and other community groups joined the FBI Newark Field Office in announcing “Protecting Our Communities Together,” a national awareness campaign to promote the reporting of hate crimes.

DELTA VARIANTS

How local synagogues and institutions are adapting to the latest COVID-19 surge.

  • Beginning Sept. 13, the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan will require all individuals over the age of 12 to show proof of full vaccination each time they enter the building at 334 Amsterdam Avenue and JCC Harlem at 318 West 118th Street. Masks are currently required in all shared, public areas of the JCC. Masks are not required within designated Health Club areas. Updates are on the JCC website.

WHAT ELSE

A 19-year-old student at an Orthodox yeshiva in Denver — an apparent bystander to an area crime spree — was shot and killed while standing outside his school building early Wednesday morning. He is to be buried in Lakewood.

JTA reports on Afghanistan’s last remaining Jew, 62-year-old Zebulun Simantov, and whether or not he plans to leave that country now that the Taliban is in charge.

A Taliban spokesman inadvertently gave an interview to an Israeli journalist.

WHAT’S ON TODAY

The Museum of Jewish Heritage presents a screening of “A Question of Survival” followed by a live discussion with the film’s director Elka Nikolova. The film is a portrait of three Bulgarian Jews — Chaim Zemach, a cellist; Robert Bakish, an engineer; and Misha Avramoff, a social worker on Manhattan’s Lower East Side — as they struggle to place their unusual experiences during World War II into the more common narrative of the Holocaust. Attend this program in person or watch the livestream. 5:00 p.m.

Photo, top: Brooklyn Borough Advocate Jibreel Jalloh, left, and Rabbi Eli Cohen of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council attend the One Crown Heights festival, marking progress made on the 30th anniversary of the Crown Heights riots, Aug. 15, 2021. (Office of the Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams)

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