Good morning, New York. Today we welcome Asaf Zamir, Israel’s new consul general in New York, and ask you a tough “Jeopardy!” question about Shabbat. Yes, Shabbat.
THE TRUTH ABOUT RUTH: In a new memoir, Katie Couric says she edited out comments by Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a 2016 interview in order to “protect” the elderly Supreme Court justice. (Daily Mail)
- In the interview for Yahoo News, Ginsburg apparently had harsh words for NFL players who took a knee during the playing of the national anthem — at a time when most liberals were defending the players. Couric decided that RBG was “elderly and probably didn’t fully understand the question,” but says she has “lost a lot of sleep over” her decision to leave the comments out.
- Conservatives and colleagues accused Couric of malpractice and worse. “This is toxic on a lot of levels,” tweeted Maggie Haberman, the New York Times Washington correspondent.
NEW FACE: Asaf Zamir began his new term as the Consul General of Israel in New York. (Times of Israel)
- The 41-year-old Zamir, who lived in Florida until age 9, is a former deputy mayor of Tel Aviv and served as Minister of Tourism as a member of the Blue and White Party. He founded a movement to increase political participation among young people.
- Quotable: “It is a great honor to be in New York and experience life in the Big Apple, all while serving the State of Israel,” he said in a statement. “We want to be a resource for the Jewish community here, and they should know that the Consulate General of Israel in New York wants to be meaningful and prominent in their lives.”
- Zamir succeeds Israel Nitzan, who served as acting consul general after Dani Dayan left in 2020.
CYBER BULLIES: A Palestinian restaurant in Bay Ridge said it is getting harassing telephone calls and suspiciously negative online Google reviews. (The Eater)
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- Abdul Elenani, owner of Ayat, said he got an anonymous phone call from someone saying that they were “refused service for being Israeli.” Soon after, the bad reviews piled up on Google, often under names that appeared to be Israeli or Jewish.
- In an Instagram message, Elenani said the restaurant would never refuse service to someone who is Israeli. We “make sure you’re satisfied no matter the color, race, religion and ethnicity and thats what Islam teaches us,” Elenani posted.
AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD, WITH JTA
- Three years after the Tree of Life synagogue shooting, the city will play host to a high-profile global summit to explore the rising tides of hate.
- Jewish leaders in Europe criticized a European Union plan to fight antisemitism because it doesn’t address widespread bans on kosher slaughter and attempts by some to outlaw ritual circumcision of boys. (Ritual slaughter is effectively illegal in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Slovenia.)
- A Jewish man convicted of killing a cop in Texas won a new trial after arguing that the judge who sentenced him to death used antisemitic slurs.
PEOPLE & PLACES
KEEPING IT 100: (In some versions of yesterday’s newsletter, the caption for the above photo was mistakenly omitted.) Gil Erdan, third from left, Israel’s representative to the United Nations and ambassador to the United States, and participants from The Jewish Week’s Write On For Israel and Fresh Ink programs attended the 8th Annual Algemeiner J100 Gala in Rockleigh, New Jersey, Oct. 12, 2021. The Jewish newspaper honored Erdan with its “Warrior for Truth” award, along with TV host Meghan McCain, philanthropist Nina Rennert Davidson, actress Debra Messing and Algemeiner editor in chief Dovid Efune and his wife Mushka.
TODAY’S BIG IDEA
I’M NOT A JEW BUT I PLAY ONE ON TV: Comedian Sarah Silverman stirred a debate by complaining that non-Jews are too often cast as Jews in film and television. The rabbi and writer known as MaNishtana reminds us that she really meant “white Ashkenazi Jews,” and that the debate over “Jewface” threatens to erase Jews of color. (JTA)
Today we get meta: Last night on “Jeopardy!” host Mayim Bialik asked a question from the “Sabbath” category that stumped the contestants: “Exodus 35:3 bans doing this on the Sabbath, hence the Jewish dish, ‘cholent,’ which can go on the stove Friday and cook until Saturday lunch.”
What was the accepted answer?
- “What is cooking?”
- “What is work?”
- “What is lighting a fire?”
- “What is staying awake after eating a dense meat, potato and barley bomb?”
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Jewish Policy Center presents Richard Heideman, whose new book, “The Bloody Price of Freedom,” addresses the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism. Heideman discusses Israel’s battle for legitimacy and security since 1948, analyzing the attacks and worldwide propaganda against it, and economic, academic and other boycotts. Click here to sign up. Noon.
An ethical will is not a legal document, but a letter of legacy, sharing hopes, wishes, and dreams. Lesley Simpson will introduce a repository of these letters and illuminate how powerful these modes of Jewish memory can be for both the writer and the recipients. Register here for this Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning session. 1:00 p.m.
The Liszt Institute New York presents an in-person meet-and-greet with Patrícia Eszter Margit, author of the bestselling novel “The Jewish Bride.” The book provides insights into the ongoing identity-search by third generation Holocaust survivors and the mystical world of Kabbalah through an engaging love story.Register here for this event at the Consulate General of Hungary, 223 East 52nd Street. 7:00 p.m.
Answer to News Quiz: 3, “What is lighting a fire?”
Photo, top: Asaf Zamir, shown at a conference in Warsaw in 2017 when was the deputy mayor of Tel Aviv, began his new term Wednesday as the Consul General of Israel in New York. (Karol Serewis/Gallo Images Poland/Getty Images)