Good morning, New York. Before heading into the long weekend, we want to wish you a good Shabbat, and a 2022 that brings you health, happiness and lots of in-person gatherings.
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RABBI FOR $800: “Jeopardy!” contestants were asked to identify Angela Buchdahl, the senior rabbi of Manhattan’s Central Synagogue, in a game broadcast Thursday night. (JTA)
- Here was the “question,” read by host Ken Jennings: “Korea-born Angela Buchdahl is the first Asian-American to be ordained a cantor, as well as this leader of a Jewish congregation.” Third-place finisher Ben Walthall correctly “answered,” saying “What is rabbi?”
- Incidentally, none of the contestants correctly identified New York Gov. Kathy Hochul in the same category.
NEW YORK NOSHER: UN Plaza Grill, the upscale kosher restaurant in Midtown East, is back after closing early in the pandemic, and has hired Argentinian-born and Miami-based restaurant professional Ines Chattas to zetz up its menu and decor. Read our profile of one of the few women in a top position at a New York kosher eatery. (Jewish Week via JTA)
This story is part of JTA's coverage of New York through the New York Jewish Week. To read more stories like this, sign up for our daily New York newsletter here.
HAPPY NEW MAYOR: After moving his inauguration ceremony to Saturday night to accommodate his Shabbat-observant supporters and later canceling the event altogether due to the Omicron outbreak, Eric Adams will now be sworn in as mayor of New York City in an even flashier but less Shabbat-friendly fashion: early Saturday morning in Times Square, shortly after the ball drops at the city’s scaled-down New Year’s celebration. (JTA)
- Adams said in a statement:”I am deeply humbled to officially take the oath of office at this iconic occasion, and to participate in the transfer of leadership that is a cornerstone of our democracy.”
ICYMI: Read our list of 18 notable Jewish New Yorkers — some famous, others unsung — who died in 2021. (New York Jewish Week via JTA)
TODAY’S BIG IDEA
Andrew Silow-Carroll describes “The Five Stages of Starting and Abandoning Hobbies during the Pandemic”: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and television. (Jewish Week)
In this week’s Torah portion, Va’era, a series of plagues falls upon the “land” — not just the people — of Egypt. The lesson, writes Rabbi Michael Rothbaum, is that just like the air we breathe and water we drink, society itself can be toxic, and deadly ideas like racism can spread like a virus. (New York Jewish Week)
- More wisdom: The pandemic has brought another plague, writes Rabbi David Wolpe: the scourge of loneliness.
Friday, Dec. 31, 2021
Tevet 27, 5782
Light candles at 4:20 p.m. (NYC)
Torah Reading: Va’era: Exodus 6:2 – 9:35
Haftarah: Ezekiel 28:25 – 29:21
Shabbat ends 5:24 p.m. (NYC)
Photo, top: Rabbi Angela Buchdahl of Manhattan’s Central Synagogue appeared as a clue on a “Jeopardy!” episode aired Dec. 29, 2021. (YouTube)