Jewish schools mask up for COVID, again • Midtown protest targets Ben & Jerry’s • A ‘Jeopardy!’ news quiz


Shabbat shalom! Every Friday, The Jewish Week emails a digest of the week’s best stories, which you can print out for offline reading.

With the spread of the Delta variant, Jewish schools have returned to debates about masks and vaccines.

  • SAR Academy in Riverdale, perhaps the first Jewish school in the country to close due to COVID, is convening its medical committees again, JTA reports.
  • Quotable: “It’s certainly, on one hand, a little deflating,” says Rabbi Bini Krauss, the principal. “On the other hand, I think we all feel like we’re a lot better equipped than we were a year ago. We know a lot about what we potentially need to do if we need to do it.”

State Assemblyman David Weprin spoke at a rally protesting the Ben & Jerry’s decision to cease its sales in West Bank settlements.

  • Several dozen demonstrators gathered in front of the New York Public Library on Fifth Ave. before marching to a closed Ben & Jerry’s shop in midtown Manhattan Thursday evening.
  • Virág Gulyás, whose group End Jew Hatred organized the rally, told the Times of Israel that the ice cream firm’s decision amounted to “cultural genocide.”
  • The protesters were shadowed by a dozen demonstrators from the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta haredi Orthodox sect.



A diverse coalition of community groups will mark the 30th anniversary of the Crown Heights riots with a festival of healing in the Brooklyn neighborhood on Sunday.

  • The fifth One Crown Heights Neighborhood Festival is being held in part to acknowledge the conflict and build mutual respect in its wake, organizers said. The event will feature a “Community Conversations Tent,” where neighbors can meet neighbors. Jewish and Black entertainers will perform.
  • Background: From Aug. 19-21, 1991, Black residents attacked Jewish neighbors after a car in the motorcade of Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson accidentally struck and killed a Black child. A Hasidic student, Yankel Rosenbaum, was stabbed to death. Read The Jewish Week’s coverage of the riots here.
  • Organizers include the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Repair the World, Neighbors in Action, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York and the Jewish Children’s Museum.
  • The festival will run Sunday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm in Brower Park, Park Place between Brooklyn and Kingston Avenues.


“My Unorthodox Life” is hardly the first entertainment to feature the gap between Orthodox and secular Jews. Beginning in 19th-century Eastern Europe, writes film scholar Shaina Hammerman, Jews and antisemites alike used “fashion and ridicule to signal the divide between the unmistakably religious and the ambivalently secular.”


Teachers and parents can help close the “opportunity gap” in disadvantaged neighborhoods by reaching out to one another. This week’s Torah portion reinforces that idea, writes Rabbi Elchanan Poupko, by making sure that teachers and the community never get too far from one another.


Sony Pictures Television and “Jeopardy!” announced that actress Mayim Bialik will host some of the game show’s new primetime specials. There have been plenty of Jewish moments on “Jeopardy!” over the years; name the event below which did NOT happen. (And please answer in the form of a question.)

  1. The show mistakenly aired a question about the Church of the Nativity that led to a political argument over whether it is located in “Israel” or “Palestine.”
  2. A Jewish day school teacher wagered $18 on “Final Jeopardy!” and won $50,000.
  3. In a category on Yiddish phrases, featuring common words like “nosh” and “shlep,” contestants only got two of the five answers right.
  4. In the early 1970s, a young Benjamin Netanyahu — then known as Ben Nitay — appeared on the show, winning $2,600 but finishing in third place.
  5. A Jewish journalist appearing on the show tricked host Alex Trebek into saying the name ‘Turd Ferguson,” a reference to a “Saturday Night Live” skit poking fun at Trebek.

(Correct question below.)


Omanut: Jewish Uptown Arts and Chabad of Inwood present the Uptown Jewish Film Festival on Sunday, Aug. 15.  Presented on Zoom, the fourth annual film festival will feature three films followed by online Q&A sessions with Jeffrey Gurock and film directors Yariv Mozer, Amy Geller and Gerald Peary. Tickets are $3 per film and available here.

Join Haim Watzman, the leading Israeli translator of Hebrew non-fiction into English, and British-Nigerian-Israeli writer Akin Ajayi, co-founder of The Tel Aviv Review of Books, for a discussion of the translator’s responsibility and what it is like to be on the opposite side of the divide, having an original work of his own translated into Hebrew. Register here for this National Library of Israel event. Sunday, 1:00 pm.

News Quiz Answer: What is 4? (1, 2, 3 and 5 are all true.)

Photo, top: Pro-Israel activists protest outside of a Ben & Jerry’s shop in Manhattan on Aug. 12, 2021. (Jacob Magid/Times of Israel)

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