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The Exquisite Violence of The Age of Innocence – Vulture

Posted By on January 22, 2021

Spend an evening withVulture, every Friday at 7 p.m. ET on Twitter.

There are no shootings or beatdowns. No one gets run over by a carriage or slapped with a glove. But theres emotional violence. And its unrelenting. Photo: Phillip Caruso/Columbia/Kobal/Shutterstock

Every week for the foreseeable future, Vulture will be selecting one film to watch as part of ourFriday Night Movie Club. This weeks selection comes from Vulture TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz, who will begin his screening ofThe Age of Innocenceon January 22 at 7 p.m. ET. Head to VulturesTwitterto catch his live commentary, and look ahead to next weeks moviehere.

Martin Scorsese and his editor Thelma Schoonmaker have both calledThe Age of InnocenceScorseses most violent film.Nobody dies in Scorseses 1993 adaptation of Edith Whartons novel, unless you count a couple of offscreen passings. There are no shootings,knifings, or beatdowns. No one even gets run over with a carriage or slapped with a glove. But theres still violence. Emotional violence. And its unrelenting.

Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis), a young lawyer with a passionate heart, is on track to marry May Welland (Winona Ryder). May is a lovely but unimaginative young woman: 1870s high-society wife material. Then Mays fabulous cousin, Madame Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer), arrives in town, escaping a failed marriage to European count. Ellen recognizes a kindred spirit in Newland. He has a passionate heart. He loathes the faades and hypocrisies of his class. He believes in gender equality, even though he doesnt identify it as such, and hates that Ellen is treated as a fallen woman the instant she steps off the boat while older men with mistresses like financier Julius Beaufort (Stuart Wilson), Ellens sometime paramour are treated as facts of life, more gossiped about than shamed. Newland and Ellen fall in love and start seeing each other on the sly. They think nobody knows. Everyone knows.

The clock starts ticking. This thing cant last. Whartons (and Scorseses) characters are oppressed by the rules and protocol of their milieu, as well as by the mostly unspoken but insistent demands placed on them by relatives, spouses, and business partners whose lives are fused to the status quo.Dare disturb this universe and it will ruin you. And the ruination will take the form of what psychologists call soul murders: depriving a person usually, but not always, a child of their ability to form a distinct identity and experience joy. The soul murder victim becomes a prisoner of circumstance, unable to imagine or reach a state of existence beyond what theyve already attained.The Age of Innocenceis filled with soul murders that are as hard to watch as the beatings, tortures, and gangland slayings in Scorseses Mafia films. The sustained emotional violence of this movie is ultimately more invasive than quick shots of a crushed skull or maimed hand because we watch the punishment play out at great length in opulent banquet halls, grand ballrooms, drawing rooms, and bedchambers, during meals and dances and other gatherings, in scene after scene, the camera darting behind and around the hero as if laying out the scene of an impending crime.

When it sinks into Newlands mind that his extended family and the social world surrounding it is pushing him away from Ellen and toward May, he marries her. One subsequent day, he stares at Mayssmiling face and blanklywonders if she might die and set him free.Aware as anyone else of Newlands affair, she gets up from a chair in her ruffled dress, and Scorsese gives us four quick shots of her rising over Newland, like a cobra unfurling its hood to hypnotize and then strike. When May delivers the coup de grce, telling Newland shes pregnant, she sinks to a subordinate position resting her arms and face on his lap that feels like a sophisticated and deeply assured power move: a parody of wifely subservience by a woman who is, at that moment, in complete command of whats happening in that room. She saves the most devastating detail for last: She told Ellen before Newland, which led to Ellens decision to leave the country. .

Ellens farewell party scene is longer and in many ways worse, a final group flogging after a death sentence has already been delivered.Its the scene in a Scorsese gangster movie where the loudest and most destructive member of the wild-card faction of a crime family (Joe Pesci inCasinoandGoodfellas, Robert De Niro inMean Streets,most of the main cast ofThe Departed) finally pushes the top bosses too far and finds himself standing in an empty car port or being driven out to a cornfield. But inInnocence, the good-bye Pesci moment can last several minutes in screen time and hours or days in the lives of the characters. Its a nightmare where bad things just keep happening and theres nothing you can do tostop them.Ellens going-away party is outwardly a pleasant affair, all handshakes, kisses, and how-do-you-dos; but read between the lines of each exchange and youll see terms being spelled out.She isleaving. You are marrying someone else. You will not contrive a reason to visit her. Forget you met her. We will never discuss this again.As Henry Hill says of his fellow wiseguys inGoodfellas, Your murderers come with smiles.

Adapted by Scorsese and screenwriter Jay Cocks from Edith Whartons novel,The Age of Innocencewas a commercial but not critical success, earning less than its $34 million budget. Casual Scorsese fans largely ignored it because it seemed too much a departure from his last three films,The Last Temptation of Christ,Goodfellas, andCape Fear(all very bloody, by the way). In stills andTV commercials, it looked like the Merchant Ivory films that were popular in the 1980s and 90s: movies likeA Room With a View,Maurice,Howards End, andThe Remains of the Day(which opened two months afterInnocencein the fall of 1993).

ButInnocenceis singular for the way it blends old and then-new movie techniques quick cuts and dissolves, expressionistic moments that fade to yellow and red and white to express deep fluctuations in a characters sense of self. Like Hollywood-budgeted but French New Waveinspired variations on older classics,The HeiressandThe Leopard,The Age of Innocencedescribes Whartons world with the cool engagement of a historian giving a slide presentation. ABarry Lyndonstyle third-person narrator (Joanne Woodward) describes personal tragedies in dry, anthropological detail, focusing on what the larger society thought of whatever personal drama was happening among its members and their evaluation of whether it rose to the level of a collective threat. Her voice speaks for the powers that be, with several decades remove. (Whartons novel was published in 1920, about 50 years after the events it describes.)But Scorsese and Schoonmaker run counter to that, speaking for the powerless individuals, reminding us that they are human beings whose spirits are being broken.

The movie is a cornerstone of a filmography that establishes Scorsese as not just one of the worlds most consistently ambitious directors, but one of the most important working political filmmakers in the U.S. There is not a society on earth that cant relate to how Scorsese lays it all out because he speaks in an ancient vocabulary that has more in common with the Bible, the Koran, the Talmud, and strategic texts likeThe PrinceandThe Art of Warthan with any dust-jacket hardcover about Donald Trump or Boris Johnson or Vladimir Putin.

It might seem strange at first to call Scorsese political because he seems to have little interest in commenting on current, or even somewhat recent, affairs in specific terms. Of course there are metaphors and allusions to historical episodes or personages buried within his work particularly the Vietnam War, addressed obliquely in his first short film The Big Shave and inTaxi Driver;and the mass slaughter of World War II and the Holocaust, which materializes in repressed nightmare form throughoutShutter Island; and the Watergate-era realization that America (and every other civilization) is corrupt from top to bottom, a certitude expressed via recurring images in all sorts of Scorsese films, depicting police, regulators, and other public officials taking bribes as casually as gum or a smoke. Scorsese is political in a more basic sense than film historians usually mean: Hes showing you his vision of how the world works, and has always worked, in terms of power relationships and insists that they are true and have always been true and are kept in place through money, connections, and the threat of emotional or physical violence, and were kidding ourselves if we think were not constantly experiencing this on multiple levels no matter who we are or what period of history were living in.

The organizing unit in all Scorsese films is the tribe. When an individual or small group of individuals put themselves at odds with the tribes wish to maintain the status quo, thats the beginning of the end for them. They have to be eliminated,violently if necessary. The tribe cannot entertain the idea that anything is good for it other than persisting and expanding and hopefully becoming more entrenched and comfortable this year than they were before. Anyperceived threat to stabilitywill be tolerated only to give the guardians of stability enough time to evaluate the threat and figure out whether its harmless or potentially destructive to the tribes larger interests.

The Romans tolerate Jesus in Last Temptation up to a point. The Chinese tolerate the Dalai Lama in Kundun up to a point. The Kansas City Mafia tolerates the feud between Nicky and Ace in Casino up to a point. Same thing with the respective tribes of The Departed (the police and the gangsters), the three all-powerful tribes displayed inThe Aviator(the Hollywood studios, the aviation industry, and their legal and regulatory attack dogs in Washington), and the Japanese Shinto Buddhists and the Portuguese Jesuits in Silence. Once that point whatever it is and wherever it is has been reached, itsbuona notte, sayonara, fuhgeddaboudit. The cauterization of the threat will be described to survivors in bland language that makes the acts more obscene. Its what it is. The Irishman.Hes gone, and there was nothing we could do about it. Goodfellas.When May tells Newland that she told Ellen of her pregnancy before she told Newland, she phrases this devastating piece of information as an afterthought, and the result is one of the most shocking, bury-the-lede verbal kill shots in 90s cinema: She sent me a note this afternoon I suppose because we talked things over yesterday.

In 2019, Scorsese angered Marvel fans by stating that the MCU franchise did not fit his definition of cinema. Those fans responded by saying that Scorsese had a lot of nerve considering he only made gangster films. In terms of plot synopsis, that line of counterattack was laughable: During a 50-plus-year career, Scorsese has worked in almost every commercial genre, including the musical (New York,New York), the urban psychodrama (Taxi Driver), the thriller (Cape Fear), the satire (After Hours), the sports biopic (Raging Bull), the domestic drama (Alice Doesnt Live Here Anymore), and the religious epic (The Last Temptation of Christ,Kundun,Silence).

But its not wrong to say that, like any auteur worth studying, Scorseses films have certain themes and preoccupations that carry over from one project to the next, and that for this director, the tribe is at the center of it all. Its the thread that unifiesalmost everything hes put his name on, to one degree or another, and its so central to his identity as an artist that you could swap a lot of his film titles without creating confusion. The Age of Innocencecould easily have been calledGangs of New York. A tribe is a gang and a gang is a tribe, whether theyre wearing animal pelts, sharkskin suits, police uniforms, or lace crinoline. The mechanisms of enforcement rely on surveillance, conducted in thrillers and crime films with boom mics and telephoto lenses and hidden video cameras, and in films likeThe Age of Innocencewith opera glasses and furtive mental notations of what was said or who was seen with whom.Newland, thefilms narrator informs us, saw all the harmless-looking people at a party as a band of quiet conspirators silently observing eyes and patiently listening ears.

One of the most memorable shots in The Age of Innocence begins with a closeup of Newland seated at the end of a long, narrow banquet table at the farewell party for Ellen. The camera slowly dollies back, revealing that every elegant choice made with regard to the planning, choreography, and delivery of the feast emphasizes that his and Ellens fates were decided by others and they are powerless to change things, so they might as well smile and have a bite to eat. The whole tribe had rallied around his wife, the narrator says. He was a prisoner in an armed camp, she adds. His sentence had already been passed, and now he awaits the inevitable.

The Age of Innocenceis available to watch on PlutoTV and rent on Prime Video, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, and Google Play.

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The Exquisite Violence of The Age of Innocence - Vulture

JUF News | Jewish Women’s Foundation allocates $413000 in grants supporting women and girls – Jewish United Fund

Posted By on January 22, 2021

Responding to a year of extraordinary need, with an eye on opportunities ahead, the Jewish Women's Foundation allocated $413,000 in grants supporting 27 organizations in 2021. Included in this year's allocations are 10 grants supported by the Ellie Fund, focused on reproductive health care, lifting women and girls out of poverty, and promoting health, non-violence, and career development.

Through its participation in the Jewish Women's Collective Response Fund, a partnership between five foundations and funds, JWF provided $10,000 towards urgent grants addressing the staggering increase of domestic violence in Israel due to COVID-19.

Launched in 1997, JWF--an independent project of JUF--expands and improves opportunities and choices in all aspects of life for Jewish women and girls through strategic and effective grantmaking, empowering Jewish women as leaders, funders, and decision-makers.

"As we ended 2020, we saw the tremendous need to double down on our funding for so many incredible organizations in Chicago and in Israel who are working tirelessly, even during the pandemic, to move the needle on creating a more just, fair world for Jewish women and girls," said Annette Lidawer, JWF Grants Committee Chair. "With great pride, JWF will be supporting four new projects and making 12 renewal grants in 2021."

Grantee partners in 2021 include:

New Grants:

Itach Maaki Women Lawyers for Social JusticeCity For All:creates coalitions of public officials, activists, and female leaders across Israel, to advocate on behalf of women and girls.

Jewish Women's Collective Response Fund : meets the immediate safety needs of Israeli women affected by violence during COVID-19 by expanding the work of MASLAN, Tahel, and Women's Spirit.

The Rackman Center at Bar Ilan UniversityProtecting Protective Mothers:addresses the growing legal challenges of women and families in Israel experiencing domestic violence.

Sacred SpacesAleinu:Safeguarding Our Children:raises the standards of child protection in Jewish youth serving institutions through prevention work and policy development in partnership with JCFS Chicago.

Renewal Grants:

Adva CenterEmpowering the Empowerers:trains, supports, and coaches Mayoral Advisors on gender equality, addressing the concerns of women and girls throughout Israel.

ACLU:Roger Baldwin FoundationWomen's and Reproductive Rights Project:safeguards protections around health care for women, and engages in public advocacy and education.

The Center for Advancement of Women in the Public Sphere at the Van Leer InstituteThe Gender Index:tracks gender inequality and gaps to inform, track, and create social change for women and girls in Israel.

La'Ofek - Hope for the FutureAchotenu - Academic Nursing Program:prepares Ethiopian Israeli women pursuing a career in nursing, an occupation currently in significant demand.

Ma'ase Center AssociationWomen's Leadership Training:equips marginalizedIsraeli teens for professional and economic stability from pre-army prep to careers in public service, government, or nonprofit work.

Olim BeyahadEmployment, Empowerment, and Leadership for Ethiopian Israeli Women:enhances the career trajectory of Ethiopian Israeli university graduates and increases integration into the professional work force across sectors.

jGirls Magazine: operates an online magazine and community created by and for self-identifying Jewish teen girls to share their voices with the world and each other.

KaleidoscopeEarly Childhood Educators as Leaders of Diversity Education:trains Israeli female educators to use a methodology that values cultural differences, acceptance, and civic engagement to promote a peaceful, shared society.

Metro Chicago HillelFeminism, Judaism, and Anti-Racism:expands Jewish feminist education at Silverstein Base Hillel. In partnership with Moishe House and JUF's Young Leadership Division, participants explore their identities and how to be effective allies for racial justice.

Ohr Torah StoneSusi Bradfield Women's Institute of Halakhic Leadership:runs an elite, five-year, full-time institute in Israel training female scholars in Talmud and halakha (Jewish Laws).

The Eden Center: makes the mikvah experience safe and relevant for women across Israel and the diaspora; creating culturally sensitive medical and educational resources.

No Shame On U: eliminates the stigma, normalizes the conversation, and raises awareness of mental health conditions and well-being in the Jewish and wider communities.

Elizabeth Abrams is the Assistant Vice President of Communications for the Jewish United Fund of Chicago.

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JUF News | Jewish Women's Foundation allocates $413000 in grants supporting women and girls - Jewish United Fund

Israel tops 4,000 coronavirus deaths since the start of the pandemic – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on January 22, 2021

The cabinet meeting that was expected to take place on Wednesday has been moved up to Tuesday so that the government can determine next steps for tackling the coronavirus crisis.

There were 5,060 new cases of the virus diagnosed on Saturday, the Health Ministry reported Sunday evening, with 7.2% of those screened receiving positive results. Among the sick were 1,177 in serious condition, including 282 who were intubated.

The death toll hit 4,005 around 11 p.m. on Sunday.

In recent days there has been a lot of pressure on the health system, Ash said during the briefing. There are about 1,200 critically ill patients, there is 85% occupancy in the various coronavirus wards, and hospitals are lowering elective activity.

There is a slowdown of the increase in the number of verified people, but we still do not see an effect on the number of patients in serious condition, he said.

The reproduction rate (the R, or number of people each sick person infects) has dropped, but it has not yet fallen below one, the number needed to open schools and other parts of the economy, Ash said.

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The direction is encouraging, but the chances of us recommending an extension to the lockdown are high, he said.

At the start of the cabinet meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: We are in a close race right now between the spread of the disease with the mutations and vaccines. I believe that with the cooperation of all the citizens of Israel, we will win this race.

We will need to get a gauge of the state of the disease and whether an additional limited time period is required [for the lockdown], he said. We will make this decision at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, at the latest on Wednesday, and we will announce it accordingly.

Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein are expected to back the extended lockdown. However, Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz has said there is no point in continuing the ongoing lockdown unless all violators are treated equally.

Gantz singled out haredim (ultra-Orthodox) and Israeli-Arabs as the most prominent violators. His comments came amid reports that haredi schools were continuing to operate in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and other parts of the country despite a government decision to shut down the entire education system.

Whoever opens a Talmud Torah [haredi elementary school]; whoever prays in a synagogue, a mosque, or a church; whoever meets with a large number of people is putting the lives of others in danger, Gantz said.

The law in Tel Aviv, Shfaram, Beitar Illit and Ashdod is the same law, he said. All should abide by the rules. If the law enforcement is not equal, there is no use continuing with the closure.

While visiting the Alon Coronavirus Command Center at IDF Home Front Command headquarters near Ramle on Sunday, Gantz said he would reevaluate his position regarding the continuance of the current closure later this week. He also said he supports reopening the education system before anything else.

Opening the economy is also directly tied to Israels vaccination campaign.

So far, the Health Ministry reported, more than two million people have received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, including almost 270,000 who have gotten both doses.

Were bringing more vaccines, Netanyahu said. I hope that today we will vaccinate about 200,000 people, and so we will continue during the week.

On Friday, the Health Ministry announced that vaccines were available for people 45 years old and up, which led to long lines and busy phone lines at Israels health funds on Sunday. Pictures on the Internet showed people in crowded lines waiting to get their first or second doses, some of them without appointments.

Leumit Health Care Services announced it expected the number of people receiving vaccines would hit a peak this week and continue. It said it has opened dozens of more stations for its tens of thousands of policyholders and was calling on them to get vaccinated.

Right now, this is the only benefit until we start using the green passport and open up the economy, he said.

The Health Ministry is fine-tuning a computer system to print vaccination certificates that will be able to be accessed and printed by anyone who is eligible in the coming days, Ash said.

The system is undergoing final tests... and then will be implemented, he said.

However, discussion over the details of the countrys green passports has been delayed. Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman MK Yakov Asher (United Torah Judaism) on Sunday said discussions on formulating a solution for the legal issues presented by the green passports would be delayed until Wednesday at Edelsteins request.

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Israel tops 4,000 coronavirus deaths since the start of the pandemic - The Jerusalem Post

Yehuda ‘Yudi’ Dukes, Hasidic father of 6, is dead after 10-month battle with COVID – JTA News – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Posted By on January 22, 2021

(JTA) Rabbi Yehuda Yudi Dukes, a Hasidic father of six who became sick with COVID-19 in late March and spent nearly 10 months in the hospital as he struggled with the effects of the disease, died Thursday. He was 39.

Dukes wife, Sarah, announced his death in a Facebook post Thursday morning hours after she exhorted her many followers on social media to pray for her husband.

Dukes became a symbol of the toll of the pandemic to many in the Chabad Hasidic community and around the world as Sarah documented his condition in Facebook and Instagram posts throughout his hospital stays. People around the world performed mitzvahs Jewish rituals and good deeds that including saying prayers and learning Torah in his honor with the hope of contributing to his recovery. A crowdfunding campaign has raised well over $500,000.

The rabbi and his wife, a music therapist, frequently sought spiritual meaning in his struggles with COVID.

This has not been done to me, Dukes told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency from the medical intensive care unit at NYUs Langone hospital last summer. Its been done for me.

Before the pandemic began, Dukes had been healthy and served as the director of the Jewish Learning Network, or JNet, a worldwide Chabad program that pairs people to study Judaism together.

Born and raised in Randolph, New Jersey, Dukes studied in Chabad yeshivas in Brooklyn, Argentina and France, according to He served as a Chabad emissary in Budapest before returning to the United States to receive rabbinic ordination.

Wherever he went, he made friends he kept for decades, said Rabbi Menachem Posner, afriend and colleague of Dukes, according to Twenty years later, he was still in touch with people he met in Hungary, Argentinaeverywhere hed been. There were people he called before every Shabbat for decades.

He became sick with the coronavirus in March as the disease swept through the New York City area, walloping Orthodox communities that held Purim celebrations just before a stay-at-home order was imposed on March 20.

Dukes was admitted to the hospital on March 30 and quickly placed on a ventilator and a machine that oxygenates the blood. Over the course of his long illness, Dukes suffered from a stroke, sepsis, blood clots, brain hemorrhages and collapsed lungs, requiring multiple rounds of tests and antibiotics.

Dukes regained consciousness in the summer after being placed in an induced coma for months and slowly began recovering, mouthing words and eventually eating food again. In August, he was able to breathe on his own again. On Sept. 4, Dukes was wheeled out of the NYU Langone intensive care unit to cheers and singing from the medical staff that had taken care of him for 158 days as he moved to the hospitals rehabilitation unit.

But the progress was halting and punctuated by setbacks. In October, Dukes was set to be discharged from the hospital but was unable to go home when doctors found a blockage in his liver and gallbladder stones that sent him back to an acute medical unit. Infections and internal bleeding followed and Dukes was placed on a list for a liver transplant.

In a post from Oct. 4, shortly before Yudi Dukes was scheduled to be released from the hospital, Sarah Dukes wrote about her struggle to run a household and raise six children without her husband at home.

If this is the situation G-d wants me to be in right now, I CAN get through this, she wrote. She added, Even if we cant understand, WE CAN GET THROUGH IT, because our spark of G-d within us gives us unlimited potential.

On Thanksgiving, Dukes was brought home by ambulance as neighbors sang in the street to celebrate his release. But by the next day, he returned to the hospital.

Right now, it may be hard to see the end, but I completely trust in the power of our trust, Sarah wrote Nov. 28, the day after Dukes was re-admitted to the hospital. G-d will continue giving the doctors clarity to heal Yudi, or G-d, Who Heals all flesh and performs wonders will just do it Himself, but either way, Yudis redemption WILL come.

In December, Dukes was intubated again and suffered from heavy internal bleeding. Doctors warned Sarah that her husband was dying.

Hours before Dukes died, Sarah again posted to Facebook seeking prayers for his recovery.

Yudi is fighting hard. He has the world fighting with him. We are stronger than nature. Please dont stop. And please put aside something right now to prepare for the celebration. THIS IS THE TIME FOR THE MIRACLE WE HAVE BEEN CREATING!!!!! she wrote.

Dukes died hours after the United States recorded a record-high one-day COVID death toll of 4,400. He leaves behind his six children, the oldest of whom, Mendy, celebrated his bar mitzvah in January 2020.

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Yehuda 'Yudi' Dukes, Hasidic father of 6, is dead after 10-month battle with COVID - JTA News - Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Once Again, Video Shows Ultra-Orthodox Jews at Crowded Maskless Wedding – Friendly Atheist – Patheos

Posted By on January 22, 2021

Back in November, thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews took part in an indoor, mask-free wedding in New York City. They sang, they celebrated, they spread COVID. And they were able to hold the event because they kept everything a secret.

It just happened again on Monday.

Shlomo Halberstam, 18, the youngest son of the dozen-plus children of Rabbi Bentzion Halberstam, the head of the Bobov Hasidic sect, was married before thousands of men in the synagogue parking lot before the party moved inside. Hundreds of celebrants flew in from Europe and Israel for the event, likely adding to the risk of coronavirus transmission, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Remember that a single summer wedding that took place in Maine with 55 attendees has now been linked to 177 COVID cases, including seven deaths. None of those deaths involved an attendee. They were accidental victims of the idiots who attended the wedding.

What kind of damage will a wedding like this cause when so many people are openly defying safety precautions when vaccines are not readily available? What sort of punishment will be effective? The $15,000 fine a few months ago clearly didnt dissuade a copycat.

Religion: It always finds a way to make a bad situation so much worse.

(Thanks to Izrail for the link. Portions of this article were published earlier)

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Once Again, Video Shows Ultra-Orthodox Jews at Crowded Maskless Wedding - Friendly Atheist - Patheos

Police chief says trend of Haredi violence against cops only getting worse – The Times of Israel

Posted By on January 22, 2021

A police officer who was lightly injured by anultra-Orthodox mob in Bnei Brak on Thursday said during the five minutes when it unfolded she feared for [her] life.

We saw the cruelty in their eyes, said Maya Segev.She and one other officer had been traveling in an unmarked car when they were identified as cops.

Segev told Ynet on Friday they were called Nazis by the rioters who smashed the windows of their vehicle and pelted them with stones.

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Meanwhile, new Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai warned on Friday that the wave of violence directed at officers trying to enforce virus regulations by Haredi extremists was intensifying as he called on the countrys leaders to condemn the phenomenon.

The call came after a mob in Bnei Brak thronged a cop car on patrol and injured an officer inside on Thursday night and a series of violent clashes between police and residents.

The violence experienced by the police in various recent enforcement activities is worthy of every condemnation and represents something that we cannot and will not accept, Shabtai said in a statement. The phenomenon is only expanding.

I expect the relevant authorities, public leaders and government ministries to toughen penalties against violators from all institutions we encounter, he added.

At least six people were arrested for disturbing public order and police said seven officers were injured.

Police locked down the surrounding area as it responded to the incident, which led to further clashes with hundreds of residents.

Police Minister Amir Ohana on Friday defended the officers, saying they were exposed to despicable violence. However, he noted that the violence was not indicative of the whole ultra-Orthodox community.

The rioters were students of the Vizhnitz Hasidic yeshiva in the town.

Police detain a man in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak during clashes over virus restrictions, January 22, 2021. (Screenshot/YouTube)

The yeshivas chairmanRabbi Yokel Weiss condemned the incident Friday, but called the suspects marginalized people, who were dragged into the terrible violence in a recording that was leaked to the press.

However, Weiss said the actions of the rioters were contrary to the way of the Torah.

The rioting was also condemned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who vowed to act with a heavy hand against those who violated lockdown rules and assaulted police, but his ultra-Orthodox political allies lashed out at police over the rioting.

What we saw tonight in Bnei Brak is a savage and aggressive revenge campaign by incited officers, Housing Minister Yaakov Litzman, who heads the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party, raged in a statement.

He accused the police of collective punishment against the approximately 200,000 residents of Bnei Brak but said all violence should be condemned, including against the police.

Bnei Brak Mayor Abraham Rubinstein said he spoke with Shabtai and demanded an internal police probe into the use of stun grenades. He also accused police of acting out of an urge for revenge and claimed the officers actions werent related to lockdown enforcement.

Bnei Brak is not a no mans land where its permitted to indiscriminately go wild, Rubinstein was quoted saying by the Ynet news site.

Police later issued a statement rejecting the criticism and saying that their officers were brutally attacked.

Police also said the rioters were shaming an entire public and harming the health of ultra-Orthodox Israelis by flouting the lockdown and attacking cops.

The government official in charge of the virus response in the ultra-Orthodox community, Roni Numa, estimated this week that 15% of Haredi schools remained open during the current lockdown and said that some 12,000 ultra-Orthodox students had contracted the coronavirus in the last month.

Police upped their crackdown on the community following media reports of previous lax enforcement, with figures showing that rates of handing out fines in Haredi neighborhoods are significantly lower than for the general population.

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Police chief says trend of Haredi violence against cops only getting worse - The Times of Israel

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage sets ‘Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’ exhibition for run that starts next month – Crain’s…

Posted By on January 22, 2021

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood next month will host "Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg," an exhibition about the iconic Supreme Court associate justice.

The museum said in a news release on Wednesday, Jan. 20, that the exhibition, presented locally by PNC Bank, will open Feb. 24 and will run through Aug. 29. The exhibition is based on the bestselling book of the same name and was created in partnership with authors Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik. It "takes a deeply personal journey through historic change with an entertaining yet rigorous look at the life and work" of Ginsburg and the Supreme Court, the museum said. The exhibit also "examines her varied roles as a student, life partner, mother, change-making lawyer, judge, women's rights pioneer and pop culture icon."

"Notorious RBG" was organized by the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The Maltz Museum said it uses archival photographs and documents, historical artifacts, contemporary art, media stations and gallery interactives to examine the American legal system and civil rights movements "through the lens of RBG's personal experiences and public service."

Highlight objects "include official portraits of her and Sandra Day O'Connor, the first two women to serve on the Supreme Court, on loan from the National Portrait Gallery; and correspondence with civil rights leader, poet and lawyer Pauli Murray, whose groundbreaking idea to use the Fourteenth Amendment to litigate civil rights and sex discrimination cases informed RBG's winning strategy as an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union," the Maltz Museum said. In keeping with Carmon and Knizhnik's book, the exhibition "will touch on the playful connection" between Ginsburg and the late hip-hop star Notorious B.I.G.

Visitors can tour the "Notorious RBG" exhibition in-person at the museum 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday by timed tickets, which can be purchased over the phone or online in advance. Masks are required for entry, and social distancing is enforced. Tickets are $12; students and seniors are $10; children ages 5-11 are $5; and children under age 5 and Maltz Museum members are free. (All tickets are $5 for the first week of the exhibition, Feb. 24-28.)

There's also a virtual component to the exhibition. "Approximately 60 minutes in length, virtual attendees will enjoy a webinar-style, narrated exploration of key objects and artifacts followed by a docent-led Q&A," the museum said in its release. Virtual tours will be offered on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. The cost is $10 per person.

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Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage sets 'Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg' exhibition for run that starts next month - Crain's...

2000 Jewish heritage sites in Iraq and Syria listed for protection from bombing – Jewish News

Posted By on January 22, 2021

Researchers from the UK, US and Israel have given Western militaries active in the skies over Iraq and Syria a list of ancient Jewish heritage sites for bombers to avoid.

The landmark inventory lists the nature and coordinates of more than 2,000 nationally and internationally important Jewish heritage sites in order to protect them in the event of armed conflict.

Work was undertaken by the UK based Foundation for Jewish Heritage (FJH), the Center for Jewish Art (CJA) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR).

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The trio said it had been transferred to trusted military partners representing European and western powers, including the UK Ministry of Defence, who are known to operate in good faith and to uphold the principles of international law.

Inventory of Jewish heritage sites in Iraq and Syria to avoid

Intentional damage to cultural property and buildings dedicated to religion can be a war crime, prosecutable at the International Criminal Court.

FJH chair Dame Helen Hyde said: We are delighted that these important Jewish heritage sites will receive this protection in the event of war. It is another example of how our unprecedented Jewish heritage research work has demonstrated its value.

Chief executive Michael Mail said: Preserving cultural heritage in conflict zones is now recognised internationally as a major concern and significant Jewish heritage sites should also receive the benefit of being identified and safeguarded in this way.

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2000 Jewish heritage sites in Iraq and Syria listed for protection from bombing - Jewish News

Coast Latino Coalition turns six years old – Fort Bragg Advocate-News

Posted By on January 22, 2021

FORT BRAGG The Latino Coalition of the Mendocino Coast, also known as LatCo, was formed in the spring of 2015 to concentrate on issues of interest and concern to the Latinx community.

Monthly meetings began at Safe Passage Family Resource Centers large meeting room. We started off slowly, but in January of 2017, our LatCo meeting had standing room only the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump had occurred the day before. At the time, there was a great deal of uneasiness among Latinos throughout the country, fearful of Trumps promise to get tough on undocumented people and start deporting them.

The guest speaker that night was a local immigration attorney, Grady Gauthier, who spoke about the rights of the undocumented. Then-Police Chief Fabian Lizarraga was also there to offer assurances that his officers were not interested in whether or not a person was documented, and that he had no intention of assisting the feds should any ICE raids occur here.

From that time onward, immigration issues and social justice have been areas of interest for our Latino Coalition. Our mission is to empower our community through education, social justice, and cultural appreciation.

In 2017, we organized our first Fiesta, held in Bainbridge Park on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in September, to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Several Latin American countries celebrate their independence days between mid-September and mid-October. These Fiestas are free events that welcome families, have music and games for the kids and food for sale from local Latinx vendors. LatCo has organized three of these September fiestas, but the pandemic prevented a 2020 Fiesta. If its possible, well bring back this tradition in 2021.

Helping Latinx youth is of great importance to the Latino community, so LatCo volunteers began offering free tutoring for Spanish-speaking school-age students one night a week at the Fort Bragg Library. Once COVID restrictions are lifted, we will try to revive that program. Future plans include strengthening our relationship with the L2 Club (two languages) at Fort Bragg High School, as both groups are interested in promoting college attendance.

LatCo also raises money for Latinx students who want to continue their education past high school. In 2018, we decided to try to fund a $500 scholarship, and by the end of our brief fundraising campaign, wed raised enough money to fund seven! We did the same in 2019, and in 2020, we awarded $500 scholarships to eleven students. Looking for a good cause to support especially if you want to share that $600 stimulus check? We are currently raising money for 2021 scholarships. Send a check for any amount to LatCos fiscal sponsor, Safe Passage, P.O. Box 1718, Fort Bragg 95437. Please put Latino Scholarship in the memo line.

The Latino Coalition can accomplish more by partnering with other community groups. Flockworks builds community through creativity. Members of LatCo, including artist and teacher Joanna Wiggington, volunteer to help create art projects that celebrate Hispanic heritage and resilience in children. Flockworks now provides an art teacher to the students at Dana Gray Elementary and hired a young Latina named Norma Trejo to teach the classes.

Safe Passage is another of LatCos partners. It serves as our fiscal agent, since LatCo is not an independent 501c3 we are more of a club that anyone can join. The Mendocino Coast Jewish Communitys Justice Group raises money for people studying for their Citizenship Exam at our Coastal Adult School. Those exams cost $725 (and the price has gone up) and the Justice Group raised enough money to cover that cost for 35 people to become citizens. LatCo member Linda Jupiter belongs to both groups and sees that were communicating effectively.

West Business Center also partnered with LatCo recently, to provide a panel discussion and information for Latinx business owners, or those who were looking to start a business here. That event was organized by LatCo member Bob Rodriguez. When LatCo member Michelle Frederick worked for West, she kept us informed about their programs for Spanish speakers.

We consider radio station KZYX a partner with LatCo as one of our members, Loreto Rojas, provides regular programming in Spanish with her broadcast partner Diana Coriat with a show called Mendo Latino that airs twice a month. Another LatCo member, Cal Winslow, produces a KZYX radio show with Loreto called Talking About California, which regularly airs issues of interest to the Latinx community.

LatCo member Araceli Rivas sends out our LatCo meeting minutes which keeps everyone on our e-list informed about what were up to, whether they can join our monthly Zoom meetings or not. Araceli serves on the Mendo Latinx Alliance for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force. This task force advises our county Board of Supervisors about the importance of including the Latinx community in its decision-making process, especially around COVID-19, and is advocating for all materials to be translated into Spanish.

Thanks to LatCo member Mary-Ellen Campbell, who also created our new logo, you can learn more at our LatCoFacebook page. Join and like us.

All interested persons are invited to join our monthly meetings on the first Thursday of the month from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. via Zoom. To receive invitations for upcoming meetings, and the Zoom link, join LatCos e-list by contacting Araceli at

Coast Latino Coalition turns six years old - Fort Bragg Advocate-News

US Groups Blast Outgoing Trump Administration for Last Minute Deal with Turkey – The Pappas Post

Posted By on January 22, 2021

In its final hours, the Trump Administration signed what several groups in the United States are calling a disastrous bilateral U.S.-Turkey Memorandum of Understanding that formally grants Turkey legal rights over the vast religious-cultural heritage of the regions indigenous peoples and other minority populations.

The agreement comes in response to a request by the Government of Turkey, submitted over a year ago.

The signing of the agreement has been strongly opposed by the Armenian National Council of America (ANCA), Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), and In Defense of Christians (IDC) and a host of cultural rights and museum groups including the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), the Committee for Cultural Policy (CCP), the Global Heritage Alliance (GHA), and the International Association of Professional Numismatists (IAPN), among others.

The Trump Administration in its final hours gifted Turkey the legal rights to claim the vast religious and cultural heritage of the regions indigenous peoples and minority populations among them Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, Jews and Kurds, said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

This reckless and irresponsible move was done over the protests of the ANCA, the Hellenic American Leadership Council, and In Defense of Christians by an Administration well aware that Turkey has openly, unapologetically, and systematically spent the past two centuries destroying minorities, desecrating their holy sites, and erasing even their memory from the landscape of their ancient, indigenous homelands.

Hellenic American Leadership Council Executive Director Endy Zemenides concurred. In his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken correctly identified Turkey as a so-called strategic partner of the United States. The fact that the present State Department ignored both the divergence in strategic interest and, most importantly, democratic values and signed a cultural agreement with a Turkey that has demonstrated the intent to wipe out its Christian minorities and their heritage is a travesty. Those that participated in the signing of this agreement are potentially complicit in the continuation of Turkeys oppression of its Christians. We will work with the incoming Secretary and Administration to ensure that this agreement is indeed effectuated in such a way that actually protects Christian heritage in Turkey, stated Zemenides.

IDC President Toufic Baaklini explained, This MOU is a shameful stamp of American approval on the destruction of Christian cultural heritage in Turkey. We will work with the incoming Biden Administration to ensure U.S. policy towards Turkey will be much stronger moving forward.

Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou, who served on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom from 2004-2012 and lectures at Tufts University Fletcher School, called the agreement a surreal moment in U.S. foreign policy.

Prodromou explained, well-documented and extensive evidence by cultural heritage experts leaves no doubt that the state of Turkey is the single greatest threat to that countrys cultural heritage. The Trump Administration has now put the United States in the position of enabler to Turkeys weaponization of cultural heritage policy, used for a century as a cudgel to erase the countrys vulnerable religious minorities, including Greek, Armenian, and Assyrian Christians, and Jews. The incoming Biden administration will face one more challenge in trying to restore U.S. leadership in the protection of human rights and religious freedom, as Washington tries to ensure that Turkey does not hide beyond the MOU in order to commit memoricide against its Christian and Jewish minority communities.

The cultural property agreement with Turkey was negotiated by the State Department under the U.S. law implementing the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey David Satterfield and Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Ersoy signed the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding.

While the final memorandum text has not been made public, Turkeys request called for U.S. import restrictions on virtually all art originating in their territory, spanning all periods in history from the prehistoric up to the modern era.

U.S. law requires that four conditions be satisfied before signing an agreement:

1) The cultural property of the requesting country [and on the designated list] is in jeopardy from pillage.

2) Turkey has taken measures consistent with the 1970 UNESCO Convention to protect its cultural patrimony.

3) The application of import restrictions, if applied in concert with similar restrictions implemented, or to be implemented within a reasonable amount of time by those nations individually having a significant import trade in such material, would be of substantial benefit in deterring a serious situation of pillage, and remedies less drastic than import restrictions are unavailable.

4) The application of import restrictions is consistent with the international communitys interest in the interchange of cultural property.

Opponents of the agreement argued that none of the key criteria had been met.

In testimony submitted on January 21, 2020, to the State Department Cultural Property Advisory Committee which recommended the signing of the agreement, the Association of Art Museum Directors argued, While all of the facts are important, perhaps the most troubling is Turkeys failure to take measures to protect its cultural patrimony.

Instead, it is taking affirmative steps to eradicate some of the countrys most important heritageparticularly that of its minority cultures and religionsthrough state-sanctioned destruction of cultural patrimony. Nobody should condone this conduct. But that is exactly what the Committee will do if it concludes that Turkey qualifies for import restrictions and recommends the MOU.

Joint testimony submitted by the Committee for Cultural Policy and the Global Heritage Alliance opposing the agreement went further, noting, By encouraging an MOU with Turkey, the State Department is not only ignoring common sense and the balanced cultural policy set by Congress decades before it is directly harming important U.S. constituencies such as the Armenian, Greek, Cypriot, Syriac, and Kurdish communities founded by minorities who suffered under Turkish persecution in the 20th century. A MOU approving Turkeys cultural heritage policies will strengthen Erdoans nationalist and anti-Semitic program, which already threatens to deprive Jewish and Christian communities of rights to community property and their most precious religious artifacts.

In August, ANCA, HALC and IDC met with representatives of the State Department to discuss their objections to the Agreement. Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou provided the expert analyses on the flaws in the Agreement and why it did not meet the legal standards to be finalized.Despite the promise from State Department officials for a follow up communication that would address these concerns, the US Embassy in Turkey and the State Departments Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs pushed ahead with the Agreement, without any indication that it would address the protection of Christian heritage that Turkey has previously failed to protect.In exclusive comments to The Pappas Post, HALCs Endy Zemenides lambasted the Agreement: For the United States to effectively bless Ankara as a protector of cultural heritage just months after its outrageous conversion of the Hagia Sophia is beyond perplexing. This MOU is based on the legal requirement that Turkey complies with UNESCO conventions. Given how it dismissed UNESCO requirements when it came to the Hagia Sophia, one can expect Turkey to grant the same weight to other UNESCO conventions that President Trump granted CDC recommendations regarding masks.Zemenides concluded: It is only fitting that Ambassador Satterfield, who decided to play tourist in the converted Hagia Sophia mere days after its conversion, was the official who signed this agreement.

The Washington DC-based American Hellenic Institute also issued a strong condemnation in a press statement.

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