Jewish man robbed in Brooklyn • Tisha B’Av strife at Western Wall • Orthodox pitcher has faith in the bigs



Good morning, New York. Join us tonight at 6:00 pm for a launch event for “36 Under 36,” our annual list of young Jewish changemakers. David Bashevkin, Rabbi Emily CohenEthan Marcus and Kylie Unell will discuss new trends in Jewish life, New York’s comeback and much more, moderated by Jewish Week Editor-in-Chief Andrew Silow-Carroll. Register here.


Local organizations condemned the crowd of Orthodox men who disrupted a Conservative prayer service on Tisha B’Av at the Western Wall.

  • During Sunday’s disturbance — on a fast day recalling millennia of Jewish catastrophes — the Orthodox mob shouted down worshippers, attempting to block the entrance to their section and setting up a makeshift divider meant to separate men and women.
  • Reactions: “We strongly condemn last night’s outrageous disruption of Reform and Conservative prayer services at the Kotel (Western Wall) by ultra orthodox [sic] extremists on Tisha B’Av — the day our tradition holds the Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred between Jews.” — UJA-Federation of New York
  • “The events of the night of Tisha B’Av are just the latest example of the despicable behavior of some fanatics against other Jews.” — Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal, CEO of both The Rabbinical Assembly and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
  • What it’s all about: The non-Orthodox Jewish denominations planned to hold mixed-gender prayer services at their own section of the Western Wall. The Orthodox authorities in charge of the holy site have long insisted it be run according to Orthodox rules separating men and women.
  • Related: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett hinted at changing the status quo on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. An agreement with the Muslim authorities who run the site puts limits on Jewish worship there.



A Jewish man was beaten and robbed by two suspects on his way to synagogue in the East Midwood section of Brooklyn early Friday morning.

“Uncut Gems,” Adam Sandler’s very Jewy, very New York crime thriller, is set to be added to the Criterion Collection.


Woodmere, L.I. pitcher Jacob Steinmetz — the first observant Orthodox Jew drafted by a Major League Baseball team — says life in the big leagues is compatible with his religious lifestyle.

  • “I always thought to myself that, why can’t I be the first? There’s no reason why not,” he told our partners at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
  • Steinmetz was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks last Monday. Elie Kligman, an Orthodox teenager from Las Vegas, was drafted in a later round.
  • Steinmetz graduated in June from Long Island’s Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway. He acknowledged it could be four years before he gets the call-up to pitch in the majors, kayn ayin hara.
  • Related: Israel’s Olympic baseball team, wrapping up a barnstorming tour of the Northeast, “likely has more fans in New York than in Israel,” reports The New York Times.
  • Unrelated, but sorta: Omri Casspi, the first Israeli to make it to the NBA, has retired after stints with Cleveland,  Houston, Memphis, New Orleans, Minnesota and Golden State.


The Alfred Dreyfus Statue in the courtyard of the Jewish Museum in Paris

The Alfred Dreyfus Statue in the courtyard of the Jewish Museum in Paris. (Flickr Commons)

Rabbi David Wolpe was in Paris on Tisha B’Av. In a special column for The Jewish Week, he wonders whether France’s ambivalent attitude toward its Jews could signal the end of a proud community or an opportunity for its rejuvenation.


In this session with My Jewish Learning, Joe Siegman, author of the new book “Jewish Sports Legends,” will discuss the history of Jews in the Olympics, and the accomplishments of Jewish athletes worldwide. Register here. 2:00 pm.

Join Dr. Marjorie Lehman as she discusses the Jewish community of Hijar, Spain with scholar Dr. Lucia Conte Aguilar, a Jewish woman who was born there and raised Catholic. Register for this Jewish Theological Seminary event here. 2:00 pm.


Friday’s newsletter incorrectly referred to the age of David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee. He is 71.

Photo, top: Jewish men pray at the Western Wall on the eve of Tisha B’Av in the Old City of Jerusalem, July 17, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

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