House okays Iron Dome funding • Mosquitoes suck joy out of Sukkot • Matt Gaetz’s bizarro Israel connection


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DOME GAME: The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a standalone bill approving $1 billion in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome defense system. (JTA)

  • Eight Democrats and one Republican voted against the bill. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-Bronx/Queens, who led efforts to remove the funding from a short-term government funding bill, voted “present.”
  • Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-Bronx/Westchester, voted for the funding after earlier supporting efforts to remove it from the larger spending bill. “It’s not about Israel, it’s about, once again, leadership, throwing something on our table last minute and expecting us to decide in five minutes what to do with it, that’s the bigger problem,” Bowman told Bloomberg.
  • Why it matters: The clash over funding and its happy ending for the pro-Israel lobby drew attention from a “growing divide not just among Democrats, but among the Jews in the party’s ranks.” Ron Kampeas explains.

ALBANY OVERHAUL: State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker resigned Thursday and will stay on until Gov. Kathy Hochul names a replacement. (Gothamist)

  • Zucker, appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2014, played a key role in handling the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. He was criticized for directing nursing homes to accept COVID 19-positive patients from hospitals during the height of the first wave last spring.
  • A year ago, Zucker spoke with the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York about reopening synagogues safely for the High Holidays.

BUZZ KILL: Are mosquitoes driving you crazy when you sit in your sukkah? You are not alone.

  • Sen. Chuck Schumer said that thanks to a wet summer and a changing climate, this is “one of the worst mosquito seasons in recent memory.” On Tuesday the Senate Majority Leader said he is seeking EPA and CDC funding to control the critters, which can carry the West Nile virus.
  • If you like dad jokes about mosquitoes, you’ll love his office’s press release.

TANGLED WEB: The Consulate General of Israel in New York disavowed comments by an employee who appeared to boast about his efforts to wring $25 million out of the wealthy father of scandal-plagued Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) to help free an American hostage in Iran named Bob Levinson. (Jerusalem Post)

  • Confused? There’s more: Before he became the broadcast media director at the consulate, Jake Novak told the cartoonist who created “Dilbert” that he had inside knowledge of the probe into allegations that Matt Gaetz paid a 17-year-old girl for sex. Politico explains, or tries to.

I, ISAAC: The first-ever screen adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction “Foundation Trilogy” lands on Apple TV+ today.

  • Read about the writer’s Jewish upbringing in Brooklyn and the religious skepticism he explored during his wildly prolific career. (JTA)



The biblical creation narrative, read in synagogues beginning next week with Simchat Torah, includes two versions of the Adam and Eve story. The contradictions are a model for reconciling the good and bad of American history, writes Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder.

  • More wisdom: It’s hard to describe the upcoming holiday of Shemini Atzeret. And maybe that’s the point, writes Rabbi David Wolpe.


Join the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Netherlands’ diplomatic network in the U.S. for a virtual screening and discussion of “Truus’ Children,” a new film exploring the legacy of Truus Wijsmuller, a central figure in the rescue network known as the Kindertransport. The program will feature a panel discussion with the filmmakers and Ilse Bauer-Langsdorf, one of the children saved by Wijsmuller. Attendees will also receive a private link to stream the film online from September 17 to 28. Register here. Sunday, 2:00 p.m.

Photo, top: “Communal Convergence” by KSS Architects is among the 11 sukkahs erected on public sites around Downtown Princeton and designed by high-profile architecture and design firms and winners of a New Jersey Institute of Technology competition. Read all about “Sukkah Village” from our friends at Alma. (Photo by Chloe Sarbib/Alma)