Good morning, New York. Hope everyone stays dry, warm and safe out there.
Swing time: Cantor Yisroel Leshes of Manhattan’s Lincoln Square Synagogue is reinventing music of the Yiddish theater in a style that he loves: jazz. Check out his latest song, “Yinger Velt,” and learn about the kosher pop-up jazz club he started in Union Square. Julia Gergely reports.
Grateful: Sheikh Musa Drammeh, a local Muslim clergyman who has been coordinating relief efforts for families displaced by this month’s deadly fire in the Bronx, thanked the Jewish community for its financial and logistical support — including UJA-Federation of New York’s $25,000 donation to help defray the cost of victims’ funerals. (JNS)
Never again: Israel and Germany will ask the UN General Assembly today to adopt a resolution rejecting and condemning Holocaust denial. The call was timed to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the Wansee Conference, when Nazi leaders met to plan the systematic murder of Europe’s Jews. (Deutsche Welle)
He’ll pass: Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg turned down a Biden administration offer to become U.S.. ambassador to the U.K., CNN reports.
Tel Aviv on Hudson: Ha’aretz profiles the top Israeli restaurants in New York. High on the list: Rothschild TLV on the Upper East Side, which “has become a place of pilgrimage for observant Jews.”
THE COLLEYVILLE CRISIS
Held hostage: The Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s Andrew Lapin talked with Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, the rabbi held hostage Saturday at his synagogue in Texas. “We have to be hospitable and we have to be secure,” the rabbi advised other synagogues. “And we have to find ways to strike that balance.”
Allies: More than 85 Buddhist leaders condemned antisemitism and questioned their own “collective silence” in the wake of the hostage crisis. The letter of solidarity was written by Zen teacher Koshin Paley Ellison of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. (Lion’s Roar)
Bull sessions: The hostage crisis showed social media at its best and worst, writes The Jewish Week’s Andrew Silow-Carroll. Jewish Twitter became a tool for community-organizing, mutual support and enlightening opinions — as well as “anger and invective even before the crisis was resolved, and before the facts were in.”
Fighting back: American Jews keep ringing the alarm about antisemitism, but do they have actual political and legal strategies to fight it? Historian Judah Bernstein, a student at New York University School of Law, outlines a new systemic approach to confronting hate beyond “pride and protest.”
PEOPLE & PLACES
Jon Stewart will be awarded this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Former Coney Island Councilmember Mark Treyger has been appointed Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for NYC’s Department of Education.
WHAT’S ON TODAY
In “Endpapers,” author Alexander Wolff excavates the extraordinary histories of his grandfather and father: the renowned publisher Kurt Wolff and Kurt’s son, Niko, who fought in the Wehrmacht during World War II before coming to America. Register here for this Leo Baeck Insitute event, co-sponsored by the Center for Jewish History. 6:30 p.m.
Join Ruth Messinger, the JCC Manhattan’s social justice activist in residence, and Matt Nosanchuk, president and co-founder of the New York Jewish Agenda, for a conversation with newly elected New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg. 7:00 p.m.
Photo, top: Former New Yorkers Joel Tenenbaum, 81, and Marilyn Berkowitz, 84, enjoy the beach just north of Tel Aviv. They joined a record wave of U.S. retirees who relocated to Israel in 2021, according to immigration assistance organization Nefesh B’Nefesh. (Courtesy)