Good Monday morning, New York, and Happy Hanukkah! Join us and the Center for Jewish History tonight at 6:00 p.m. for a Zoom tribute to William Helmreich, the late sociologist, author, flaneur, scholar of Judaism and distinguished professor. Featuring Jeffrey S. Gurock, the Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University, and Matt Green, who walked every block of New York City for his film “The World Before Your Feet.” Moderated by Sandee Brawarsky. Register here.
JUST DOUGH IT: At Fan-Fan Doughnuts in Bedford-Stuyvesant, baker Fany Gerson reinvented her recipes with influences from her Mexican and Jewish background. (Jewish Week via JTA)
- Gerson tells us that she was inspired by the sufganiyot, or Hanukkah donuts, that she first tasted on a student exchange program in Israel.
FINALE: Broadway titan Stephen Sondheim, who died Friday at age 91, was perhaps the most admired and influential figure in an industry shaped in large part by Jewish composers, lyricists, producers and directors. (JTA)
- The lyricist and composer redefined the American musical through a monumental canon of influential and innovative theatrical works that included “Into the Woods,” “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” “Follies,” “A Little Night Music” and “Sunday in the Park With George.”
FROZEN ASSETS: Reps. Ritchie Torres (D-South Bronx) and Andrew Garbarino (R-Long Island) want the Securities and Exchange Commission to look into the decision by Ben & Jerry’s to stop selling its ice cream in the disputed West Bank. (Jewish Insider)
- How come: The letter from four pro-Israel lawmakers says the company’s decision could negatively impact shareholders of Unilever, the ice cream maker’s parent company.
DOWN BY THE SEA: Incoming NY City Council member Ari Kagan, a Brooklyn Democrat, supports the city’s desire to replace the Coney Island Boardwalk’s rickety hardwood with plastic planks. (New York Post)
IN CHAMBERS: The NY City Council will debate today whether to create a two-year look-back window for all sex abuse claims, regardless of when they arose.
- The bill would give survivors of gender-motivated acts of violence more time to pursue civil actions by extending the statute of limitations. Under previous extensions of the look-back window, institutions — including synagogues and Jewish schools — faced legal retribution for allegedly mishandling allegations of child sexual abuse.
ON-A-ROLL MODELS: Yeshiva University’s men’s basketball team is not only enjoying an historic win streak, but “they are scoring big points with religious kids the way Jewish athletes like Hank Greenberg, Sandy Koufax and Mark Spitz instilled pride in previous generations.” (Wall Street Journal)
AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD, WITH JTA
- Israel will bar all non-citizens from entering the country for at least two weeks due to concern about the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
- More than 350 years after Baruch Spinoza was excommunicated, a leader of the Amsterdam Jewish community banned a scholar of the philosopher’s work from filming at the community’s synagogue and library.
- Read about the Jewish radiologist in Florida who runs what may be the only permanent Beatles exhibit in the United States.
A Hanukkah menorah lighting in Times Square tonight will raise awareness about the rise in antisemitism. The “Shine a Light” menorah lighting is being jointly organized by UJA-Federation of New York, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, AJC New York, the Anti-Defamation League and the NY Board of Rabbis. Performances and synchronized displays on Times Square billboards will begin at approximately 5:30 p.m.
UJA-Federation and our friends at The Nosher have created the “Latkepalooza!” cookbook, an ebook featuring eight latke recipes for the eight nights of Hanukkah. Get a copy here.
Get to know the story of Judith, the overlooked Hanukkah heroine. In this Zoom class with My Jewish Learning, teacher and author Sandra E. Rapoport will present her original lecture, “Judith: Hanukkah Heroine Excluded from the Hebrew Bible.” Register here. 2:00 p.m.
Celebrity chef Einat Admony, along with Masbia house chef Ruben Diaz, will light the menorah, hand out toys and fry latkes at a Hanukkah party for widowed and divorced mothers and children at Masbia of Flatbush, the kosher food pantry at 1372 Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn. Tonight, 7:00 p.m.
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Learn how Ben-Gurion University is launching the School of Sustainability and Climate Change, the first school in Israel devoted to tackling the challenges of living in the Negev environment and ways that all can live more sustainable lives. Register for this Zoom webinar here. Noon.
In the first part of a three-part virtual series, “New York: The Greatest Jewish City in the World,” David Kaufman will contextualize the growth of New York’s Jewish population within the larger frame of Jewish history. Register here for this Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy event. 7:00 p.m.
Photo, top: A student at the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County in West Hempstead creates a Hanukkah decoration. Tonight is the second night of Hanukkah 2021. (Courtesy HANC)