Shabbat shalom, New York, and happy fifth day of Hanukkah!
FAMILY LEAVE: Liberal Jewish leaders and organizations joined in a letter urging Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to ensure that paid family and medical leave remains part of the Build Back Better Act, a centerpiece of President Biden’s domestic agenda. (New York Jewish Week via JTA)
COVID NEWS: Mayor de Blasio said the city will require employees at yeshivas and other private schools to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, leading to immediate objections from haredi Orthodox leaders. (New York Jewish Week via JTA)
- Quotable: “This is an area where government should be using its bully pulpit to persuade, not its regulatory arm to coerce.” — Rabbi David Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America
- Context: Some neighborhoods with large haredi Orthodox Jewish populations, including Borough Park and South Williamsburg, have among the lowest vaccination rates in the city.
- Why now: Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday that five new cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have been detected among New York State residents, including four in New York City.
- Related: A Jewish group that opposes vaccinations put up a misleading anti-vax ad at a bus shelter in Crown Heights, apparently without the approval of the Department of Transportation. (New York Times)
‘EXTREMELY NORMAL’: One of the 12 Jewish New Yorkers who traveled to Syria last month denied rumors that the family was invited there by the government. (Times of Israel)
- “I have no contact with the government, I had no invitation, none of that,” said Joe Jajati, a member of Brooklyn’s Syrian Jewish community. He described the trip as an “extremely normal” family vacation to the group’s ancestral home.
TODAY’S BIG IDEA
Larry David is no fan of the religious life, but this season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has put some surprisingly traditional conversations about Jewish pride and belief front and center, writes Andrew Silow-Carroll.
The Joseph story depends on interpreting dreams, but Jewish tradition has often been wary of the practice. Rabbi Haviva Ner-David is a “dreamworker,” helping the dreamer “give birth to the dream’s message,” as she explains in her new memoir.
- More wisdom: We read the Joseph story on Hanukkah, which tells of two miracles, one material and one spiritual, writes Rabbi David Wolpe.
FRIDAY NEWS QUIZ
At a White House candlelighting ceremony Wednesday night in the East Room, 150 people celebrated Hanukkah. Who was the first president to light a menorah at the White House?
- Teddy Roosevelt
- Franklin Roosevelt
- Jimmy Carter
- George H.W. Bush
See answer below.
The Braid/Jewish Women’s Theatre presents a Hanukkah-themed show, “Arise My Friend My Beloved and Go Forth,” which will be livestreamed on Saturday night at 9:00 p.m. ET, live in front of an audience at Shomrei Torah congregation in West Hills, California. Livestreams will be on stslive.org, Facebook and YouTube.
Join The Workers Circle/Der Arbeter Ring on Zoom for its Yiddish Khanike Party, with candlelighting and greetings from its teachers and students from around the world. Featuring Hanukkah songs with KinderKlub Yiddish, Polina Shepherd and her chorus, Deborah Strauss and Jeff Warschauer, Psoy Korolenko, Judy Bressler, Cindy Paley, Paula Teitelbaum, Tania Grinberg and surprise guests. Enjoy skits from Daniel Galay, Motl Didner and Mikhl Yashinsky. Register here. Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music presents their annual Klezmer Hanukkah celebration, taking place outdoors at the Park Slope Jewish Center (1320 8th Avenue at 14th Street). Celebrate the holiday with BKCM’s Community Klezmer Band led by Ira Temple. The event is free and open to all. Limited seating available. Click here for more information. Sunday, 3:00 p.m.
Join Katie Vogel, public historian at Henry Street Settlement, and New York Public Library’s Philip Sutton for a conversation about the history of tenement housing in New York, exploring why tenements were created, what daily life was like for residents, and how settlements such as Henry Street created opportunities for change and social reform in the local community. This event will take place in person at Seward Park Library, 192 East Broadway. More info here. Today, 2:00 p.m.
Six-time Tony- and Emmy-nominated actor Tovah Feldshuh stars in “Becoming Dr. Ruth,” chronicling the life of psychologist Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Presented Off-Broadway at Edmond J. Safra Hall at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Previews begin this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Tickets $59-$128. See the website for a complete list of show dates and times.
Answer to News Quiz: 3.
Friday, Dec. 3, 2021
Kislev 29, 5782
Light Shabbat candles at 4:10 p.m. (NYC)
Shabbat ends 5:13 p.m. (NYC)
Answer to News Quiz: 3.
Photo, top: An exhibition at The Jewish Museum in Manhattan, “Accumulations: Hanukkah Lamps,” features over 80 lamps representing six centuries of artistic production from the museum collection. Reserve timed tickets at (Jewish Museum) thejm.net/3pcxdtI.