How day schools handle vax mandates • The Met parts ways with Sacklers • Remembering ‘Schmulka Bernstein’s’


Shabbat shalom, New York! Every Friday, the New York Jewish Week emails a downloadable, printable digest of the week’s best stories, perfect for offline reading. Sign up for “The Jewish Week/end” here. Get today’s edition here.

MANDATE UPDATE: Now that the Covid-19 vaccine is available for children ages 5 and up, some Jewish day schools, like the Abraham Joshua Heschel School on the Upper West Side, are requiring the shot for all students; other schools are simply “encouraging” it. Read how Jewish day school administrators and parents are handling this latest pandemic-related issue. (JTA and New York Jewish Week)

WOK IN THE DAY: A filmmaker’s post about Bernstein on Essex, the late, lamented kosher Chinese eatery on the Lower East Side, is a moment to remember a lost Jewish New York. (New York Jewish Week)

NOT IN THEIR NAME: Student government leaders at New York University want to remove Michael Steinhardt’s name from their school after the philanthropist forfeited stolen antiquities in a deal with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. (JTA)

OR THEIRS: The Sackler family, whose pharmaceutical business was implicated in perpetuating the opioid epidemic, agreed to have its name removed from seven galleries in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (JTA)

SWEET CHEESES!: Junior’s Cheesecake, founded in Brooklyn by Harry Rosen in 1950, had to pause production last Friday due to the cream cheese shortage. Its Burlington, New Jersey, baking facility reopened Sunday. (CNN)

SEX ED AND THE CITY: Our friends at Alma visit the Washington Heights apartment of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, where the famed sexologist and actress Tovah Feldshuh discuss “Becoming Dr. Ruth,” the one-woman show about Westheimer’s life and times. Feldshuh stars in the show, now in previews at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage. (Alma)


While Joseph reconciles with his brothers in this week’s portion, his story is also a reminder about the ways trauma is inflicted across generations, writes Beth Kissileff. (New York Jewish Week)


News Quiz Logo JW

(Janice Hwang)

Steven Spielberg’s version of “West Side Story,” which hits theaters today, inspired our colleagues at Kveller to list “11 Jewish Facts” about the iconic and occasionally controversial musical about warring white and Puerto Rican gangs. Three of the following are facts; find the one that isn’t:

  1. The musical was originally meant to be about a Jewish girl and a Catholic boy.
  2. The first musical notes of the show sound suspiciously like the “tekiah” melody used when blowing the shofar.
  3. The melody for “Maria” was inspired by the Yiddish song “Mechayeh,” about how good it feels to find a cool breeze on a hot day.
  4. Director and choreographer Jerome Robbins originally gave the musical the working title “East Side Story.”

See answer below.


Town & Village Synagogue, 334 E. 14th St., presents an evening of Yiddish, Hebrew and English songs and music featuring Yiddish vocalist Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell, Town & Village Synagogue Cantor Shayna Postman and T&V’s Adult Choir and Junior Singers. Get information here for this in-person and virtual event. Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

The Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale, 475 West 250th Street in The Bronx, will host an Artist Opening showcasing an original collage created by local Bronx artist Joy Langer, commissioned by the synagogue, that features memories about food, love, loss, Jewish culture, family and community. Attend in person (masks required) or on the synagogue livestream ( Sunday, 4:00 p.m.

Join Mel Brooks, author of his new memoir “All About Me,” as he shares stories about his years of struggle, the sources of his inspiration and his camaraderie with Carl Reiner, Gene Wilder, Madeleine Kahn, Alfred Hitchcock and the love of his life, Anne Bancroft. $30. Register here for this Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center event. Sunday, 7:30 p.m.


Friday, Dec. 10, 2021
Tevet 6, 5782

Light candles at 4:10 p.m. (NYC)


Torah Reading: Vayigash: Genesis 44:18-47:27
Haftarah: Ezekiel 37:15-28

Shabbat ends 5:14 p.m. (NYC)

Answer to New Quiz: 3.

Photo, top: A detail from a collage created by local Bronx artist Joy Langer for The Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale imagines a Rosh Hashana table whose tablecloth includes recipes, stories, images and traditional Jewish texts. (Courtesy CSAIR)