Tagged Coronavirus

Orthodox lawmakers defy NYC mayor, cutting chains off a Brooklyn playground

From left, City Councilman Kalman Yeger, New York State Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein and State Sen. Simcha Felder open up Kolbert Playground in Brooklyn, June 16, 2020. (Benjamin Kanter)

(JTA) – In the space of just 48 hours, Orthodox lawmakers in New York have gone from calling on the city’s mayor to open playgrounds, to threatening to open the parks themselves, to actually cutting the chains off a Brooklyn playground. State Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, City Councilman Kalman Yeger… Read more »

A different kind of protest movement: Orthodox children rally to open New York summer camps

Orthodox children in New York City are rallying to have their camps open amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Screenshot from Twitter)

(JTA) – Protesters have been a daily sight in Brooklyn over the last few weeks. But the protesters blocking traffic Thursday on the streets of the New York City borough’s Orthodox neighborhoods were a little younger than usual. Their shouting — “We want camp!” — quickly made their aim… Read more »

Jewish community stands up for racial justice

Tony Zinman, co-founder of Tucson Jews for Justice, attends a candlelight vigil in Tucson June 1, one week after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapoolis. (Courtesy Zinman)

The Southern Arizona Jewish community has joined communities across the globe in expressing outrage at the murder of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. And it is grappling with how best to support the struggle for racial justice. On June… Read more »

New JCF chair advocate of impact investing

Anne Hameroff

Retired attorney Anne Hameroff, the new chair of the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, wants to see the Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona work together in ways that make them “more nimble and responsive” to meet the overall philanthropic desires of their donors. It’s a goal… Read more »

JHM and Paisanos Unidos offer legal advice and food to immigrant community

Groceries for distribution to the immigrant community are set outside the Jewish History Museum, June 7. (Courtesy Laurie Melrood)

Paisanos Unidos (Citizens United) is an immigrant self-defense organization that works to inform members of the immigrant community about their rights while living and working in the United States. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jewish History Museum has partnered with the organization to provide an outdoor space in which… Read more »

‘We’ve been milling our heads off’: For some small kosher food purveyors, the coronavirus era is boom time

Ian Yosef Hertzmark at his farm in Randallstown, Md., in February. His sales of flour have more than doubled during the pandemic. (Mike Tintner)

(JTA) — Like many small business owners, Ian Yosef Hertzmark’s small flour operation saw a precipitous drop when the coronavirus pandemic hit the Unites States in March. Almost overnight, Hertzmark’s Migrash Farm, which produces certified kosher flour from grain grown in the Chesapeake Bay region, lost virtually his entire… Read more »

Undeterred by COVID-19, couple plans Israeli wedding in less than 24 hours

Nina Abrahams and Amit Bigler are married after completely changing their wedding plans due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Nadav C.J.)

Nina Abrahams and Amit Bigler knew the coronavirus pandemic would have an impact on their wedding, which was already taking place in Israel, far from their home in New York. But they didn’t expect to have their guest list whittle down from 330 to about 20 — and for those… Read more »

Boston federation lays off 25 employees amid economic crisis

(JTA) – Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Boston’s Jewish federation, has laid off 25 employees as it plans for a year of decreased donations and increased need for services. The move, which was announced in an email sent to community members earlier this month, follows widespread layoffs at Jewish organizations across the… Read more »

White Jews have been able to flee to the suburbs. Black Americans largely could not. Here’s why that matters today.

A view of suburbia (Getty Images)

CLEVELAND (JTA) — I turned on my phone and felt an overwhelming sense of frustration, sadness and hopelessness. While I had been enjoying two days without electronics in observance of Shavuot and Shabbat, cities across the country were engulfed in a combination of civic protests and police riots. Weapons… Read more »

UJA-Federation of New York announces 54 layoffs as CEO forgoes pay

(JTA) – In the  past few months, UJA-Federation of New York has awarded millions of dollars in emergency grants to help organizations survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it’s joining the ranks of organizations having to let go of its own staff members as it anticipates declining donations. And its… Read more »

Breaking China: A rupture looms between Israel and the United States

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, March 21, 2017. (Xinhua/Rao Ainmin)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israel’s announcement last week that an Israeli consortium would build Sorek 2, the world’s largest desalination plant, surprised many who had been watching the deal: The contract had been expected to go to a Hong Kong-based company. But that was before the Trump administration ramped up… Read more »

Partnerships help Jewish History Museum thrive in digital space

The Holocaust History Center at Tucson’s Jewish History Museum

Tucson’s Jewish History Museum closed its doors this spring to maintain physical distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, but the staff has been busy forging new partnerships to help it grow its offerings and its audience in the digital world. “In a time of constricted resources, the Jewish History Museum is… Read more »

With new health and safety measures, Tucson J reopening many programs

Tennis courts at the Tucson Jewish Community Center will reopen June. 1. (Tucson Jewish Community Center)

After a nine-week closure, the Tucson Jewish Community Center announced plans this week to reopen its facility in early June. The J is following guidelines set forth by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state of Arizona, as well as advice from a recently formed medical… Read more »

Felicia’s Farm honors memory of founder’s wife by feeding hungry Tucsonans

Felicia CutlerThe late Felicia Cutler was the inspiration for Felicia’s Farm in Tucson. (Courtesy Felicia’s Farm.)

Showing kindness to others is the best feeling in the world. So says David Cutler, founder of Felicia’s Farm in central Tucson. All of the farm’s fresh produce and eggs are donated to organizations that provide for people who might otherwise go hungry. Staff and volunteers regularly reap the benefits… Read more »

As colleges go virtual, students instead are heading to Israel on gap year programs

Year Course students this spring wear masks while volunteering. (Courtesy of Year Course)

(JTA) — Hadara Bilsky thought she’d spend her first semester of college making friends in her dorm, having discussions with professors and students in class, and attending Shabbat services at Hillel. Now the 18-year-old isn’t sure if any of that will happen. Emory University, her school of choice, has… Read more »

Museum of Jewish Montreal told it must vacate premises

(JTA) — The Museum of Jewish Montreal has been told it must vacate its premises by the end of June. The museum, which is being evicted by the building’s new owners, has been running online experiences since being forced to close due to the coronavirus crisis. “Our storefront has… Read more »