Good morning, New York, and happy third day of Hanukkah!
MACCABEASTS: The Yeshiva University men’s basketball team, on a 44-game winning streak that dates back to 2019, was voted the top team in NCAA’s Division III. (New York Jewish Week via JTA)
- The Maccabees placed well ahead of their competitors, with 13 first-place votes. It’s the first time in the modern Orthodox-affiliated school’s history that it’s topped the poll.
MENORAH VANDALIZED: A large public menorah in Hollis Hills, Queens, was pushed into the street on Tuesday evening. It happened at the same street corner where a similar menorah was knocked over twice in 2014, when no arrests were made for these incidents. (New York Daily News)
- Gov. Kathy Hochul instructed the state police’s Hate Crimes Task Force to investigate the incident. “Jewish New Yorkers should be able to celebrate Hanukkah without being subjected to acts of antisemitic hate,” she tweeted Tuesday night.
KOSHER DOUGHNUT NEWS: Just in time for Hanukkah, NYC’s Dough Doughnuts artisanal doughnut chain is kosher. (New York Jewish Week via JTA)
- Dough announced its new kosher status — and a forthcoming halva flavor — on Instagram, and got Jewish influencers to spread the word. Read how the chain and other doughnut shops are meeting Jewish demand this Hanukkah.
- ICYMI: Dough founder Fany Gerson draws on her Mexican Jewish roots at her new shop, Fan-Fan Doughnuts.
CHAI ANXIETY: Mel Brooks says his humor isn’t “Jewish” per se, but rather “New York.” (JTA)
- “Jewish comedy was softer and sweeter. New York comedy was tougher and more explosive,” Brooks tells The New Yorker, on the occasion of the publication of the 95-year-old’s new memoir, “All About Me!: My Remarkable Life in Show Business.”
SHINING A LIGHT: Monday’s menorah-lighting in Times Square wasn’t just a feel-good holiday event — it marked a campaign to spread awareness about antisemitism and its solutions. (Jewish Week via JTA)
- Top politicians spoke and Jewish musicians performed, with hopes of getting corporations on board with diversity training attuned to Jewish concerns and getting municipalities to adopt a common definition of antisemitism.
PEOPLE & PLACES
Rabbi Joshua Lookstein is joining The Ramaz School as Associate Head of School, Rabbinic Leadership, Jewish Life and Learning, effective Aug. 1, 2022. Lookstein is currently Head of School at Westchester Day School in Mamaroneck. A graduate of Ramaz, Lookstein is the son of Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, who served as principal of Ramaz from 1966-2015, and the grandson of Rabbi Joseph Lookstein, who founded the Modern Orthodox school in 1937.
A delegation from UJA-Federation of New York met Tuesday with Israeli President Yitzhak Herzog in Jerusalem, as part of its mission to Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Taking part were UJA-Federation President Amy Bressman; Itzik Shmuli, director-general of UJA’s Israel office, and Asaf Zamir, Israel’s consul general in New York. The delegation is scheduled to fly to the United Arab Emirates later this week for meetings with high-ranking leaders in the region.
President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff will light the menorah in the White House during a ceremony that will be live-streamed today at 5:30 p.m. ET. Viewers are encouraged to post a photo of themselves lighting their own menorahs during the stream and to share it on social media. RSVP here.
The Jewish Theological Seminary presents a Day of Learning with virtual lectures on Hanukkah by four of its leading scholars: Rabbi Matt Berkowitz, Director of Israel Programs; Rabbi Jan Uhrbach, Interim Pearl Resnick Dean of the Rabbinical and Cantorial Schools; Dr. David Kraemer; Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics; and Rabbi Gordon Tucker Vice Chancellor for Religious Life and Engagement. Sessions begin at 10:00 a.m., noon, 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Register here.
The “Living Lights” exhibit, featuring an interactive, 10-foot-tall menorah and art installation that lights up when touched by a human hand, arrives today at the Jewish Children’s Museum, 792 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, from 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.moullyart.com/livinglights.
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Take a virtual tour of Jewish Uruguay with our colleagues at MyJewishLearning. Local guide Shai Abend will “walk” participants through the iconic Jewish sites in Montevideo, and discuss the history of Uruguay’s Jewish community from its origins to the present. Sign up here. 11:00 a.m.
Celebrate Lilith magazine’s fall 2021 issue with a virtual happy hour, featuring Lilith authors Rabbi Susan Schnur and Anna Schnur-Fishman and a live performance of Sephardic holiday music by Gina Sobel. Register here. 8:00 p.m.