Your Daily Phil: Ethiopian ‘aliyah’ wave comes to a close + N.Y. funds security for nonprofits
Good Thursday morning!
In today’s edition of Your Daily Phil, we report on the end of the current phase of Ethiopian immigration to Israel and the American Jewish Committee’s call for Jordan to extradite a Palestinian terrorist to the United States. We also feature an op-ed from Rabbi Daniel Brenner. We’ll start with new funding from New York State for local nonprofits vulnerable to hate crimes.
New York State will provide $51 million to 1,000 nonprofits that are considered vulnerable to hate crimes, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in downtown Manhattan on Tuesday. The move comes as Jews in New York City and the state face ongoing antisemitic incidents, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Haley Cohen.
“Hate has absolutely no place in our state, and we will continue to do whatever it takes to make sure every New Yorker is safe from baseless violence that stems from prejudice,” Hochul said at the signing. “This is a historic investment in the communities that need our help the most, and with these funds, New York’s most at-risk organizations will be able to invest in the security measures they need to stay safe. In the face of disgusting vitriol and violence, I want to be clear: we are not afraid. If you attack one of us, you attack us all — and no one wins a fight against New Yorkers.”
Mitchell Silber, executive director of Community Security Initiative (CSI), a joint project of UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, told eJP that it is was “great to see the governor acknowledge that unfortunately New York State leads the country when it comes to antisemitic incidents.”
In addition to announcing the funding, Hochul signed legislation designed to enhance investigation and reporting requirements for hate crimes occurring on college campuses. The bill calls for any college that receives state aid to implement a plan to effectively investigate hate crimes.
Read the full story here.
130 Ethiopian immigrants land in Israel; thousands more still waiting to come
A group of 130 Ethiopian immigrants touched down in Israel on Wednesday in the final flight of this phase of what’s been dubbed “Operation Tzur Yisrael,” the effort to bring Ethiopians eligible for Israeli citizenship to the Jewish state. There are no concrete plans or funding for the next phase of the operation, leaving the future of the thousands of eligible, would-be immigrants still in Ethiopia uncertain, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Judah Ari Gross.
Mostly young people: Some 5,000 Ethiopian immigrants have arrived in Israel in the past two and a half years – 3,000 in the first phase of the operation from December 2020 to June 2022 and 2,000 in the second phase over the past year. According to the Jewish Agency for Israel, which arranged the immigration flights, some 70% of the new immigrants are under the age of 35, half of them children and teenagers. “By completing this milestone in Operation Tzur Yisrael, and continuing to facilitate the aliyah and absorption of Ethiopians who have long yearned to arrive in the Jewish homeland, we have actualized the core value of the State of Israel and the Jewish people to advocate for the most vulnerable individuals among us,” Mark Wilf, chairman of the board of governors of the Jewish Agency, said in a statement.
What about the rest?: Though thousands more are still in Ethiopia approved for immigration following this last flight, no budget has been allocated to bring them over. Until then, they are staying in camps in the cities of Addis Ababa and Gondar. Asked if Immigration Minister Ofir Sofer has specific plans to continue the immigration, a spokesperson for the minister said: “Should there be [such plans], we will update you.”
Read the full story here.
AJC calls on Justice Department to pursue Ahlam Tamimi extradition
The American Jewish Committee is for the first time publicly calling on the Justice Department “to exert every effort” to push Jordan to extradite Ahlam Tamimi, a Palestinian terrorist convicted in an Israeli court for her role in the 2001 bombing of a Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem in which 16 people, including three Americans, were killed, reports Melissa Weiss for eJewishPhilanthropy’s sister publication Jewish Insider.
Ten years later: In a letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland, AJC CEO Ted Deutch writes that Tamimi is “unrepentant” and has “enjoyed celebrity status since returning to Jordan, glorifying and inciting terrorism and for five years hosting a program on the Hamas-affiliated Al-Quds TV, beamed throughout the Arabic-speaking world.” The letter comes ahead of the 10th anniversary of Tamimi’s indictment — done under seal — by the Department of Justice. After the charges were made public in 2017, Jordan rejected the premise of a long-standing extradition treaty between Washington and Amman.
Parents React: Malki Roth’s parents, Frimet and Arnold Roth, told JI that the AJC letter was “honorable and welcome.” In a joint comment to JI they added: “In urging the DOJ to press for extradition by a valued treaty partner, the AJC is backed by justice, American law and Judaism’s profound respect for the sanctity of human life. Ahlam Tamimi calls the Sbarro atrocity ‘a crown on my head.’ The obscenity of her being free to inspire admiring crowds in Jordan and beyond with her savagery should have ended years ago in a Washington courthouse. We pray it will now.”
Read the full story here and sign up for Jewish Insider’s Daily Kickoff here.
How Jewish educators can address the youth mental health crisis
“This generation of teens is, honestly, a paradoxical lot. They benefit from a greater awareness of mental health issues and many of them have experienced the benefits of therapy firsthand. But they also have the highest rates of suicidal ideation that sociologists and public health officials have ever tracked. This generation utilizes Uber, so fewer teens are learning to drive, and fewer teens are driving drunk and ending up in the hospital, but the visits to emergency rooms by teens in 2022 was the highest recorded of all time due to psychiatric crises,” writes Rabbi Daniel Brenner, the vice president of education for Moving Traditions, in an opinion piece for eJewishPhilanthropy.
Learnable skills: “I’ll start with the good news: There is compelling evidence that educators and others can teach both self-awareness and interpersonal skills to teens that can support their well-being… It turns out that for teens, connectedness to other teens is paramount to their relational health. According to Dr. Robert Blum, a professor at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the core skills teens need to acquire are initiating relationships, sharing emotions, asserting displeasure with other’s actions and managing conflict.”
Let’s get to it: “So, can Jewish educators do anything about the lack of well-being among teens? The answer is yes. We can design, over the coming years, new ways of supporting all teens with Jewish education that is grounded in the science of well-being and helps them to understand themselves, relate to others and open their hearts to the Holy One. As Hillel said, ‘If not now, when?’”
Read the full piece here.
Philanthropy as a Way of Life: In the Jewish Journal, longtime Jewish communal professional Dan Rothblatt writes about the importance of philanthropy for all people of all ages, not just for high-net-worth older individuals. “One great misconception is that philanthropy is reserved for high-net-worth individuals. Another fallacy is that charitable involvement is a mid-to-late-life pursuit, taking shape only as estate plans and legacies come into focus. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, we need to embrace philanthropy as part of a lifelong journey. Considered that way, charitable endeavors can become a manifestation and embodiment of a person’s or family’s values – something that can shape the course of their lives while bettering the world.” [JewishJournal]
But His Brother’s a Doctor: In The Canadian Jewish News, Ellin Bessner interviews Andrew Cristall, the only Jewish prospect to be drafted to an NHL team this year (he was picked by the Washington Capitals). “As the only Jewish player out of 224 prospects chosen in last month’s NHL 2023 Draft, doing things [like putting on his hockey gear] from right to left certainly might send a deeply symbolic message to his Jewish fans – especially after The Canadian Jewish News reminded him in our interview that Jews read the Torah from right to left. ‘Yeah, I didn’t realize that,’ Cristall said, with a laugh, from his home in Vancouver on July 9. ‘But yeah, maybe I’ll say that now!’… Cristall hasn’t been told what number he might be assigned with Washington, but he would like to emulate how [Edmonton Oilers left winger Zach] Hyman navigates being Jewish with a pro-hockey career, as part of a small but growing group of fewer than two dozen currently in the NHL system, or feeder leagues. ‘Definitely, yeah, I like to represent, I think,’ he said. ‘I grew up with it and my family is Jewish and we take a lot of pride in it. So it’s definitely not something that I’m gonna be shy of, but also I hopefully follow in Zach’s footsteps a little bit.’” [CanadianJewishNews]
Around the Web
The Giving Group Committee announced that it has raised $3.2 million for Israeli and American nonprofits since its inception 18 months ago…
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is offering grants of up to $54,000 over two years for projects that “safeguard the record of the Holocaust and the genocide of the Roma” or counter Holocaust misinformation and distortion. The organization is offering up to $500,000 in funding for such initiatives…
An external investigation into the sexual harassment allegations against one of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance’s co-founders, Bat Sheva Marcus, determined that the events in question did occur and did not meet the group’s own values, but did not constitute wrongdoing…
The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia is extending free admission through the end of the year, which it said was due to a $300,000 donation from the Jane and Daniel Och Family Foundation and a $200,000 gift from Sofia and Mikhail (Mike) Segal…
Quelling speculation, the Biden administration confirmed that it was implementing an executive order issued by former President Donald Trump that called on parts of the U.S. government to adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, including on college campuses…
The Jewish Association for Residential Care-Florida, which assists people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, named five new members to its board of directors: Jay Eisenberg, Marvin Greenberg, Cliff Hark, David Pratt and Richard Steinberg. Howard Halpern was named president of the board…
Pic of the Day
The 2023 Jewish Foundation for the Righteous European seminar participants pose with JFR’s executive vice president, Stanlee Stahl (front row, center, with black jacket), JFR trustee Dr. Steven Field (second from left), and University of Waterloo’s Robert Jan Van Pelt (left) at an event honoring the sacrifices of Polish rescuers of Jews living in Warsaw on Sunday at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jewry in Warsaw.
Actress, best known for her role as Frenchy in “Grease,” Edith “Didi” Conn…
Auschwitz survivor and the founder of Florida East Coast Realty, Tibor Hollo… Scottsdale, Ariz., resident, retired teacher, Howie K. Kipnes… Actor, his maternal grandmother was Anna Lifschutz, a Jewish immigrant from Minsk, he is best known as the title character in the “Indiana Jones” film series, Harrison Ford… Clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Michael W. Cohen, MD… Ridgefield, Conn., resident, Louis Panzer… Lecturer on the federal budget process, Johnny Cahn… Co-host of “Pardon the Interruption” on ESPN since 2001 with Michael Wilbon, Anthony Irwin “Tony” Kornheiser… Author of crime and suspense novels, Andrew Klavan… Adjunct professor at Hebrew University and president of the Jerusalem-based Lankin Consulting serving nonprofits, Eric Marshall Lankin… Manager of regulatory and legislative affairs at PJM Interconnection, Stuart Widom… Country music artist, Victoria Lynn Shaw… Television executive and producer, Carolyn Strauss… Film director and screenwriter, Shari Springer Berman… Television writer, David X. Cohen… Author and journalist, Katie Roiphe… Chief legal officer and chief policy officer at HackerOne, Ilona Cohen… Owner of the D.C. area franchises of SafeSplash Swim Schools, Jennifer Rebecca Goodman Lilintahl… Founder of Omanut Collective and COO of Shefa, Sarah Persitz… Director of major gifts at American Friends of Magen David Adom, Yishai Mizrahi… Creator, writer and producer of the TV show “Casual,” Alexander “Zander” Sutton Lehmann… Aspen, Colo.-based neuro linguistic programming coach, she is also the CEO and founder of entertainment agency Art of Air, Ariana Gradow… Managing director at BDT & MSD Partners, Nicholas Avery Newburger… Managing partner at Surround Ventures, Jared Kash… Television and film actor, Wyatt Jess Oleff… Co-founder of Kohlmann & Co AG, Eric A. Kohlmann… Reporter at Punchbowl News, Max Cohen…