Shabbat shalom, New York. Encouraging news on the COVID front: New cases across the state have dropped by almost half. But Gov. Hochul warned against complacency: “Continue to encourage all your friends and loved ones to get the vaccine if they haven’t already, get the booster dose, and wear a mask until we finally get through this.”
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.
Ivory tower: In a Wall Street Journal essay, CUNY professor Avraham Goldstein explains why he and colleagues are filing a federal lawsuit over an “anti-Semitic, hateful” Israel resolution by the system’s faculty union.
Tongue-tied: Actor Jared Leto’s stab at an Israeli accent is under the microscope as Apple TV+ previewed its upcoming series “WeCrashed.” Leto (top) plays Adam Neumann, the Israeli founder of WeWork, which at one point threatened to turn every work space in Manhattan into a frat house.
Train a-comin’: Gov. Hochul announced the completion of a feasibility study of the Interborough Express, a new rail line that would link Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to Jackson Heights, Queens in 40 minutes or less. The project will also provide a rail link between three very Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn: Borough Park, Midwood and Flatbush.
Laurels: Brooklyn novelist Joshua Cohen’s “The Netanyahus” won the top award for fiction as the Jewish Book Council announced the winners of the 2021 National Jewish Book Awards. The book is based on a real-life episode in the life of Benzion Netanyahu, the future Israeli prime minister’s father.
Pride of Teaneck: New York fashion designer Rachel Antonoff enlisted Jewish actors Bob Balaban and Susie Essman to show off her spring 2022 collection. The lookbook shows the models clad in bright knits and patterned outfits in a home straight out of what could be Antonoff’s hometown: Teaneck, New Jersey.
Bat (and ball) mitzvah: The new president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame — located upstate in Cooperstown, New York — is Jewish. Our colleague Jacob Gurvis spoke with him about the game and why Jews love it so much.
Chutzpah: The Jewish Chronicle thinks it knows who is sending Yiddish translations of the New Testament to Orthodox families in Monsey, New York: “Messianic Judaism” proponent Michael Brown and the New York branch of Jews for Jesus.
TODAY’S BIG IDEA
Jewish people of color are worried that the hostage incident at a Texas synagogue will mean even more police presence at Jewish institutions. But Dr. Mijal Bitton and Rabbi Isaiah Rothstein suggest that synagogues can beef up security in ways that can make everyone feel safe.
PEOPLE & PLACES
Moving Traditions, which helps Jewish teens navigate contemporary challenges through a Jewish lens, named Shuli Karkowsky (above) as its next CEO, succeeding Deborah Meyer. Karkowsky was most recently executive vice president of Hazon, the Jewish environmental group, and before that (we’re kvelling here) vice president of development and strategy for 70 Faces Media, The Jewish Week’s parent company.
OneTable, a national non-profit that empowers young Jewish adults to experience Shabbat, welcomed Irit E. Gross as its new Chief Advancement Officer. Her most recent job was associate vice-president of Fundraising and Development Initiatives at the Jewish Federations of North America.
The giving of the Torah was a spectacular, multimedia event, but it had a simple message, writes Fred Ehrman: Be a mensch.
- More wisdom: To be part of the Jewish tradition is to view time differently, writes Rabbi David Wolpe: “Events that happened in the past did not only happen in the past; they are always occurring.”
“Friday Night Live” services at Temple Emanu-El will include a presentation by Auschwitz survivor Rosa Plawner and a performance on a violin that survived a German prisoner of war camp.The virtual event is part of the synagogue’s “Violins of Hope” exhibit of instruments that survived the Holocaust. Register here. Tonight, 6:00 p.m.
Join The Museum of Jewish Heritage for a virtual performance of “Sweet Tea & the Southern Jew,” featuring stories about what it means to be Jewish in the South. Produced by The Braid (formerly Jewish Women’s Theatre). Get tickets here. Sunday, 7:00 p.m.
Join the New York Jewish Week and UJA-Federation of New York on Jan. 25 at 12:00 p.m. for a conversation with Scott Shay, Yossi Klein Halevi and Dr. Mijal Bitton as they discuss Shay’s new book “Conspiracy U: A Case Study” and the challenges facing American Jews on campus from both the far right and far left. Register here for this virtual event.
Photo, top: Jared Leto stars as Adam Neumann in new Apple TV+ miniseries “WeCrashed.” (Apple TV+)