Eric Adams moves inauguration to accommodate Shabbat • Rabbis push to end solitary confinement • An ‘Unorthodox’ divorce?


Good morning, New York City! You’ve probably noticed that we’re in middle of an enjoyable (if deeply disturbing) stretch of balmy weather — today’s high is 56 degrees, according to my newly-updated iPhone. As it happens, today’s date, December 15, is actually the average date of the first measurable snow in Central Park. I’m no meteorologist, but, looking at the forecast, I don’t think we’ll be seeing snow anytime soon. 

Also: Thank you so much to those who wrote me with feedback about the New York Jewish Week and this newsletter. Please keep your thoughts coming! Email me at

SHABBAT SHIFT: Inauguration Day in New York City is January 1 — a Saturday — and it traditionally takes place at noon. But in order to accommodate his observant Jewish supporters, incoming Mayor Eric Adams shifted it to later in the day, after Shabbat. (New York Jewish Week)

  • Related: In another departure, this year’s ceremony will be held at the King’s Theater in Flatbush, Brooklyn instead of the traditional City Hall location. (New York Daily News)

MY UNORTHODOX DIVORCE?: The New York Post’s Page Six is reporting that Julia Haart, star of the Netflix reality hit “My Unorthodox Life,” is splitting with her husband and colleague, Silvio Scaglia Haart. An unnamed source says the couple “are living separate lives” — but another source says otherwise. (Page Six)

SOLITARY SOLIDARITY: Dozens of New York City rabbis, including leaders of some of the city’s largest synagogues, signed an open letter calling on the New York City Council to pass legislation to end solitary confinement in the city’s prison system. (New York Jewish Week)

CREAM CHEESE CHRONICLES: Just what, exactly, is behind the mysterious cream cheese shortage of 2021? In recent weeks, supply-chain issues and cyberattacks have been blamed. And now the Forward has another compelling theory: Competition over water usage in Lowell, New York, where one of the country’s largest cream cheese factories is located. (Forward)

  • Related: Perhaps you may recall from yesterday’s email that I failed to find cream cheese at my local grocery. Today I have good news: I went to a different shop, and the shelves were stocked with Philadelphia. I now have homemade cream cheese dough in my fridge, ready to be turned into rugelach!

THE LAWSUIT NEXT DOOR:  Joe Nocera, the journalist who created the hit podcast “The Shrink Next Door” — a true story about a manipulative psychiatrist and his patient — is suing his former employer, Bloomberg, for allegedly cutting him out of the revenue it received when “Shrink,” whose main characters were religious Jews from Manhattan, became a TV show this year. (Washington Post)

BIG APPLE ENVY: A writer for the London-based Jewish Chronicle discovers just how friggin’ cool Jewish New Yorkers are. (Jewish Chronicle)


Join the Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning for “Crypto-Jews: Shedding Light on Hidden Lives” — true stories of converted and hidden Jews that have only recently come to light. Today’s session will focus on a little-known story among the peoples of Appalachia. Register here. 1:00 p.m.


Join New York Jewish Week and the Museum of Jewish Heritage Friday, Dec. 17 at noon for a behind-the-scenes conversation with Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Tovah Feldshuh, the leading ladies behind the off-Broadway hit “Becoming Dr. Ruth.” Westheimer and Feldshuh will chat with our own Julia Gergely about their friendship, the new one-woman show and the best things about being New Yorkers. Register here.

New York City Mayor-Elect Eric Adams — pictured here celebrating Hanukkah at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, Nov. 28, 2021 — moved his January 1 inauguration from noon until after sundown in order to accommodate his religious Jewish supporters. (Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)