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Canada

Westmount synagogue targeted by hate graffiti

A synagogue in Westmount, on the island of Montreal, was the target of a thief who painted swastikas on its doors before being arrested by police on Wednesday.

According to what Shaar Hashomayim rabbi of the congregation, Adam Scheier, explained, the anti-Semitic act was committed around 2 p.m. when a man approached the gates of the synagogue on Coast Road. Saint-Antoine and began to paint his graffiti there.

A security guard present in the building, Alex Kuczma, however, saw the thug at work thanks to surveillance cameras and hurried to arrest him. “Alez then called for help and in no time the police arrived and arrested the man,” Scheier told Facebook, adding that the perpetrator had a can of gasoline with him.

Convictions

This anti-Semitic act sparked an outcry on the web, drawing even condemnation from Prime Minister François Legault, who described the gesture as “unacceptable, which must be denounced loudly”, on his Twitter account.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, for his part, deemed the gesture “absolutely odious”.

“I strongly condemn this despicable gesture and stand in solidarity with the congregation @ShaarHashomayim, Rabbi @AdamScheier and Jewish Canadians across the country. We must speak out against anti-Semitic hatred wherever and whenever it occurs, ”he wrote on Twitter.

Some of his ministers, including Marc Garneau and Marc Miller, made similar comments.

The Jewish community denounced, for its part, an attack that “targets the whole community and all those who adhere to the principles of civility and tolerance,” said Reuben Poupko, co-president of the Advisory Center for Jewish and Israeli Relations ( CIJA) Quebec.

The latter demands that governments and the giants of information technology make more efforts to fight against hate messages conveyed on social networks.

“After further violent anti-Semitic attacks, this incident reminds us of the dangerous role social media continues to play in spreading hatred and provoking violence. The Jewish community calls on the government and social media to redouble their efforts to monitor and curb this spread of anti-Semitism and bigotry online, ”pleaded Mr. Poupko.

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California Headline USA New York Politics

Secret plans helped Brooklyn synagogue defy Cuomo to pull off 7,000-person maskless wedding


A Hasidic wedding in Brooklyn slipped under the radar of city officials as it crammed 7,000 maskless people into a synagogue in defiance of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus restrictions.

On November 8, crowds gathered shoulder to shoulder in the Yetev Lev temple in Williamsburg to celebrate the nuptials of Yoel Teitelbaum, grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelman.

To keep the celebration under wraps, the community shared information on the wedding only by word of mouth as organizers schemed to avoid it being broken up by ‘the ravenous press and government officials’. 

The crowd crammed into the wedding even as coronavirus cases in the city and state rise and Mayor Bill de Blasio and Cuomo threaten further lockdowns if the outbreak isn’t taken back under control.

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A Hasidic wedding in Brooklyn slipped under the radar of city officials as it crammed 7,000 maskless people into a synagogue in defiance of Governor Cuomo’s coronavirus restrictions

Worshipers of the Congregation Yetev Lev D'Satmar synagogue in Williamsburg

Worshipers of the Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar synagogue in Williamsburg

Th wedding was in direct defiance of Cuomo coronavirus restrictions on gatherings

Th wedding was in direct defiance of Cuomo coronavirus restrictions on gatherings

‘Due to the ongoing situation with government restrictions, preparations were made secretly and discreetly, so as not to draw attention from strangers,’ reported Yiddish newspaper Der Blatt, the publication of the Satmar sect. on November 13, according to the New York Post.

‘In recent weeks, organizers worked tirelessly to arrange everything in the best way possible. 

‘All notices about upcoming celebrations were passed along through word of mouth, with no notices in writing, no posters on the synagogue walls, no invitations sent through the mail, nor even a report in any publication, including this very newspaper.’

Images of the ceremony show the hall rammed with bodies with no masks in sight as the community celebrated successfully getting away with the gathering.

‘Now that the wedding has passed, thank God, after being held with great splendor and fanfare, the sentiment expressed by all is: how privileged we are, how good our portion, how fortunate our lot, to have merited the experience of such a glorious night,’ wrote Der Blatt. 

The large crowds had even slipped under the nose of the local fire station as the organizers moved with stealth to ensure that their cover was not blown.

The FDNY, which is one of a host of city agencies that inspect sites for COVID-19 violations, was not called to inspect the temple despite the large crowds.

However, FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer told the Post that the wedding ‘clearly violated’ restrictions on indoor occupancy.

Religious gatherings can be held indoors, but they must take place in one room and at 50 percent capacity. Masks must also be worn and those who are not in the same household must maintain social distancing from each other.

‘The city performs a tremendous number of inspections daily, and our community outreach team is dedicated to relaying the latest happenings across the city,’ said Mitch Schwartz, the mayor’s Director of Rapid Response, as he admitted he could not explain how the wedding was not caught.

On November 8, crowds gathered shoulder to shoulder in the Yetev Lev temple in Williamsburg to celebrate the nuptials of a grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelman

On November 8, crowds gathered shoulder to shoulder in the Yetev Lev temple in Williamsburg to celebrate the nuptials of a grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelman

The maskless crowds were crammed together in their thousands at the indoor event

The maskless crowds were crammed together in their thousands at the indoor event

‘But let’s be clear: indoor gatherings of this size aren’t acceptable, and they’re offensive to all the sacrifices New Yorkers have made to keep their families and neighbors safe from COVID-19.’

He was not able to say if the synagogue would now face any consequences for hosting the event.

The secrecy around the nuptials was heightened last month after the state caught wind of another wedding in Williamsburg planned for a grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum, a brother and rival of Aaron, the Post reports.

This wedding was expected to attract 10,000 people but was brought to a halt and changed to a virtual ceremony once heath officials stepped in.

‘We received a suggestion that that was happening,’ Cuomo said at the time. ‘We did an investigation and found that it was likely true. There was a large wedding planned that would violate the gathering rules.’

But the synagogue blasted the order to move online, insisting they had taken special measures to ensure the wedding complied with coronavirus safety protocol and claimed, ‘nobody verified our plans before attacking us.’

The restrictions in Orthodox Jewish parts of Brooklyn caused violent protests in October, as residents objected to their synagogues being shut down during religious holidays

The restrictions in Orthodox Jewish parts of Brooklyn caused violent protests in October, as residents objected to their synagogues being shut down during religious holidays 

Pictured: Protesters rally in Manhattan against the closing of some schools and businesses in Jewish neighborhoods in the Brooklyn and Queens boroughs due to a spike in the numbers of Covid-19 cases in these neighborhoods, October 15

Pictured: Protesters rally in Manhattan against the closing of some schools and businesses in Jewish neighborhoods in the Brooklyn and Queens boroughs due to a spike in the numbers of Covid-19 cases in these neighborhoods, October 15

People gather in front of the Congregation Yetev Lev D'Satmar synagogue in October ahead of a scaled down Hasidic wedding for a New York grand rabbi's grandson

 People gather in front of the Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar synagogue in October ahead of a scaled down Hasidic wedding for a New York grand rabbi’s grandson

They said the cancellation of the wedding was ‘an unwarranted attack’ on the temple’s congregation, causing them to use increased caution for the November ceremony incase authorities would be topped off again.

‘The days leading up to the wedding were filled with tension, not knowing what the next day, or the next moment, will bring; which disgruntled outcast might seize this opportunity to exploit even what hasn’t been written or publicized, to create an unnecessary uproar, and to disrupt the simcha, God forbid,’ Der Blatt reported.

The temple’s decision to host the wedding came despite losing its own president, R’Mayer Zelig Rispler, to COVID-219 last month.

Rispler had openly called for the Hasidic community to abide by state guidelines to cut down spread of the virus after they faced criticism for failing to comply with ongoing efforts to curb the outbreak in the city, where nearly 25,000 people have already died.

De Blasio and Cuomo have attempted extended outreach to the Hasidic community but have fallen short of curbing mass gatherings due to their relationship with Orthodox leaders.

‘The ability of Hasidic leaders to compel their followers to so brazenly violate the rules and norms extends well beyond the pandemic, and is enabled by government officials turning a blind eye for political reasons,’ Naftuli Moster, executive director of YAFFED, a nonprofit that advocates for improved secular education in yeshivas, told the Post.

News of the wedding comes as Mayor de Blasio warned on Friday that the whole of New York City could become an orange zone from the first week of December

News of the wedding comes as Mayor de Blasio warned on Friday that the whole of New York City could become an orange zone from the first week of December

Mayor de Blasio says the city's infection rate is 3 percent - he has used the threshold to close schools. Cuomo on Friday said to put into context that New York's infection rate was considerably lower than other states and that a lockdown would not be immediate

Mayor de Blasio says the city’s infection rate is 3 percent – he has used the threshold to close schools. Cuomo on Friday said to put into context that New York’s infection rate was considerably lower than other states and that a lockdown would not be immediate

Yet the leaders and Orthodox community themselves feel that they are being unfairly targeted considering the large Black Lives Matter protests over the summer and the recent large celebrations when Joe Biden was named president-elect.

Tensions between the city and orthodox communities grew in recent weeks after local authorities put nine of their most-populated neighborhoods on lockdown early in October after a spike in coronavirus infections

POSITIVITY RATES

MANHATTAN – 2.3%

BROOKLYN –  3.9%

QUEENS – 4.6% 

BRONX – 5.1%

STATEN ISLAND  – 4.5%

NYC WHOLE – 2.5%

NY STATE –  2.6% 

CALIFORNIA – 8% 

ALABAMA – 24.7% 

IOWA – 50% 

SOUTH DAKOTA – 55.6% 

NATIONWIDE: 10% 

News of the wedding comes as Mayor de Blasio warns that the whole of New York City could become an orange zone from the first week of December, shutting down indoor dining and certain non-essential businesses.

He revealed in a tweet on Saturday morning that the city’s 7-day average infection rate is now at 3.11 percent, with 1,345 new cases and 118 new hospitalizations.

The 3.11 percent infection rate is according to city figures and not the state’s tally which has the Big Apple at less than 3 percent.

‘This weekend is critical to fighting back #COVID19,’ de Blasio wrote.

‘A second wave is bearing down on us,’ he told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer on Friday. ‘We need restrictions. It’s just clear that restrictions are the only way to turn back this kind of a surge.’

However, on Friday, Cuomo said there would not be a NYC shutdown anytime in the next 10 days because the infection rate is so low.

The governor did add that he was ‘worried’ Thanksgiving could cause a large spike.

Cuomo hosted a conference call with reporters where he said he wanted to put ‘into context’ how low New York’s infection rate was compared with other states.

Currently, the statewide infection rate is 2.6 percent and New York City’s is 2.5 percent.

That’s compared to more than 50 percent in some Midwestern states.

On Friday, Cuomo said that New York City would not enter an ‘orange zone’ – which is the threshold he has set for starting to close businesses and end things like indoor dining – because the 7-day rolling average infection rate has to be more than 3 percent for 10 straight days to trigger it.

That has not happened and cannot now before the first week of December.



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Headlines UK

Shots are fired near synagogue in Vienna as police say ‘major operation’ is underway 



Shots are fired near synagogue in Vienna as police say ‘major operation’ is underway

A large police operation is underway in central Vienna, after reports of shots being fired near a synagogue in the city.

Shocking social media footage believed to be taken near the scene shows people ducking and weaving as they run for cover, with shots ringing out. 

Austrian public broadcaster ORF cited witnesses saying several shots were fired shortly after 7pm. 

Another Austrian newspaper reported that the attack was on the street that houses the city’s main synagogue.  

Vienna police confirmed that officers were out in force, thought the exact circumstances of the incident are still unclear.  



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Headline USA

Two years after the terrorist attack on the Tree of Life synagogue, we must be even more vigilant | The NY Journal


The number of injured could increase.

Photo:
Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

On the morning of Saturday, October 27, 2018, Robert Bowers entered the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, United States, and shouted: “All Jews must die.” He then opened fire on those present. He had an assault rifle and several revolvers, killed 11 of the assembled and wounded six others.

That attack was the deadliest against the Jewish community in the United States.

The murderer had published several posts on a social network frequented by right-wing extremists, called Gab, in which he expressed both his anti-Semitism and his hatred of immigrants arriving in the US from Latin America.

It is important not to lose sight of the fact that this incident, which is now two years old, occurs in a context in which acts of anti-Semitism in the US have been on the rise.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which monitors this parameter, indicated that 2019 had registered more anti-Semitic attacks than in all previous years, since the count began in 1979, with 2,100 violent acts, including assaults, vandalism and harassment. .

And the American Jewish community, meanwhile, has suffered the attack in Pittsburgh, but also in Poway, Jersey and Monsey, as well as several isolated assaults in Brooklyn.

Perverse ideologies that resurface delicate historical moments

In times of uncertainty such as the current ones, with a global pandemic and an electoral process in the US complicated and more contaminated than ever by the disinformation that greatly affects the Jews, extremisms, simplistic ideologies and conspiracy theories reappear . One of the ghosts that takes different forms, but does not leave the scene, is anti-Semitism.

It is symptomatic that the murderer of the Pittsburgh synagogue in his posts blamed Jews for helping immigrants from Latin American countries to enter the United States. It is not often the case that irrational hatred of an ethnic group, religion, sex or sexual tendency is exclusively focused on one of these goals, but rather they are permeable and interchangeable hatreds.

And when untrue information and conspiracy theories take place, myths and stereotypes are strengthened and that, history has shown us on multiple occasions, can be translated into acts such as that of the synagogue The Tree of Life .

As editorial writer Beri Wise says, “Anti-Semitism is an ever-changing conspiracy theory,” we cannot let our guard down.



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Headline USA New York

Hasidic synagogue slams ‘attacks’ that led to Gov. Cuomo banning wedding grand rabbi’s grandson


A Hasidic Brooklyn synagogue barred from holding a public wedding amid fears it would attract in excess of 10,000 people has hit out at the ‘unwarranted attacks’ that forced it to abandon the planned celebrations.

The Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar was served an order Friday night from the office of state Governor Andrew Cuomo, barring the Williamsburg-based house of worship from hosting a public wedding Monday for the grandson of its grand rabbi, Zalman Leib Teitelbaum.

But the synagogue, located along Rodney Street, has blasted the order, insisting they had taken special measures to ensure the wedding complied with coronavirus safety protocol and claimed ‘nobody verified our plans before attacking us.’

‘The unwarranted attacks on this event, originated by those besmirching the community, are detached from the facts,’ the synagogue’s secretary, Chaim Jacobowitz, told the NY Post.

Members of Satmar Hasidic Jewish community outside the Satmar Synagogue on Rodney street in Brooklyn in 2006. A huge 10,000-person wedding was planned for the synagogue for Monday for a grandchild of a notable Hasidic leader

The Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar was served an order Friday night from the office of state Governor Andrew Cuomo, barring the Williamsburg-based house of worship from hosting a public wedding Monday for the grandson of its grand rabbi, Zalman Leib Teitelbaum

The Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar was served an order Friday night from the office of state Governor Andrew Cuomo, barring the Williamsburg-based house of worship from hosting a public wedding Monday for the grandson of its grand rabbi, Zalman Leib Teitelbaum 

But the synagogue (above), located along Rodney Street, has blasted the order, insisting they had taken special measures to ensure the wedding complied with coronavirus safety protocol, however claimed ‘nobody verified our plans before attacking us'

But the synagogue (above), located along Rodney Street, has blasted the order, insisting they had taken special measures to ensure the wedding complied with coronavirus safety protocol, however claimed ‘nobody verified our plans before attacking us’

Jacobowitz said unlike the hordes of worshippers and guests touted by state officials, only a ‘small circle of close family members’ would have been attending the wedding, and ‘the rest of the community would only be able to participate for a short period of time.’

‘The greeting cue would have been controlled in accordance with the social distancing regulations. The proper arrangements were in place to achieve that,’ he insisted to the Post.

However, the family has been forced to scrap its original plans as a result of the publicity over the state’s order and the expected mass turnout, Jacobowitz said.

‘The publicity will turn this wedding to a paparazzi and will draw spectators that will make it impossible to control the crowds to comply with social distancing,’ Jacobowitz said.

‘It will also deter from the celebratory and spiritual atmosphere fit for such an affair. Hence, we decided that the wedding will not be held as planned, and will only [be] attended by close family members,’ he told the Post. 

Previous marriages of Zalman Teitelbaum’s family members have drawn a sea of attendees, both in the streets of Brooklyn and in Israel.

Teitelbaum is a prominent figure in the Orthodox community, leading the Satmar sect in Williamsburg. He is the rabbi for the Satmar Shal synagogue and also oversees around 10 other smaller synagogues in the area.  

The wedding ceremony for the relative of Zalman Leib Teitelbaum (center last year), a grand rabbi of the Satmar sect, was set to take place at the Satmar Shal synagogue on Rodney Street and the United Talmudical Academy on Bedford Street in Williamsburg Monday

The wedding ceremony for the relative of Zalman Leib Teitelbaum (center last year), a grand rabbi of the Satmar sect, was set to take place at the Satmar Shal synagogue on Rodney Street and the United Talmudical Academy on Bedford Street in Williamsburg Monday

A wedding for one of the grand rabbi’s other granddaughters in Williamsburg in 2014 saw local politicians join in the celebrations, including state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

Pictures from the wedding of another granddaughter – Miryam Teitelbaum – in Beit Shemesh, Israel, in 2013 show thousands attended the nuptials.

Teitelbaum’s brother Aaron – who is thought to have been ill with COVID-19 in March – heads up the Satmar sect in the Kiryas Joel enclave in Orange County. 

Officials said Monday’s nuptials were expected to bring in 10,000 guests – astronomically higher than the current 50-person limit on wedding receptions in the Big Apple put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Cuomo announced Saturday that the wedding had been banned following a tip-off, as the governor celebrated progress being made to reduce emerging virus hotspots. New York City sheriffs served a state order Friday night prohibiting the event.

Cuomo blasted the plans in a press conference, saying the event was the exact example of what not to do during a global pandemic.

‘Look, you can get married. You just can’t have 10,000 people at your wedding,’ said Cuomo. 

‘You get the same result at the end of the day.’   

Cuomo’s special counsel Elizabeth Garvey said the celebrants can request a hearing on the order with the state Health Department.      

Pictures from the wedding of another granddaughter - Miryam Teitelbaum - in Beit Shemesh, Israel, in 2013 show thousands attended the nuptials

Pictures from the wedding of another granddaughter – Miryam Teitelbaum – in Beit Shemesh, Israel, in 2013 show thousands attended the nuptials

The rabbi's prominence means thousands often attend weddings for his family members

The rabbi’s prominence means thousands often attend weddings for his family members 

Rockland County told DailyMail.com they had no further comment about the tip off about the event and New York City Sheriffs did not respond to DailyMail.com’s requests for comment.   

The clampdown on the celebrations came the same day Cuomo announced that COVID-19 ‘hot spots’ in the city appeared to be reducing in intensity. 

Cuomo said that the aggressive strategy of shutting down parts of the city where COVID-19 was spiking – ‘micro-clusters’ in Orange County, Rockland County, Queens and Brooklyn – was showing results. 

The restrictions in Orthodox Jewish parts of Brooklyn caused violent protests last week, as residents objected to their synagogues being shut down during religious holidays.

But Cuomo said it was the right thing to do. 

‘The targeting and the more restrictive targeting is working,’ he said.

Brooklyn had an infection rate of 6.6 percent – almost seven times the statewide rate – when it re-entered a partial lockdown, and infection has since fallen last week to 4.9 per cent, he said.  

Orange County, which neighbors Rockland County, was at 24 percent infection, and is now down to six per cent, he said. 

The restrictions in Orthodox Jewish parts of Brooklyn caused violent protests last week, as residents objected to their synagogues being shut down during religious holidays

The restrictions in Orthodox Jewish parts of Brooklyn caused violent protests last week, as residents objected to their synagogues being shut down during religious holidays 

Areas of highest infection, which were subject to closures, are in the darkest colors

Areas of highest infection, which were subject to closures, are in the darkest colors

‘This micro-targeting idea has been, we’ve talked to all sorts of global experts about this and national experts, and people think it’s exactly right,’ he said.

‘Again, you need the sophistication to do it. But, the strategy is working, not just the micro-clusters, the whole statewide strategy is working. 

‘We have one of the lowest statewide infection rates in the country. Period. You look at where the other states are going, you look at where New York State is, we are doing much, much better. 

‘Frankly, we’re much more rigorous and disciplined than the other states, many other states, and our strategy is much more refined.’  

He said that they were going to continue their strategy of highlighting ‘micro clusters’, rather than closing down neighborhoods or districts.

‘For fall we are going to deploy a micro-cluster strategy,’ he said. 

‘We have been targeting all our actions either statewide or we reopened on a regional level. 

‘We are now going to analyze it block-by-block. We have data so specific that we can’t show it because it could violate privacy conditions. We know exactly where the new cases are coming from.’ 



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