The Flatbush Jewish Journal, a weekly Orthodox publication based in Brooklyn, published fifty pages of obituaries in its most recent issue.
The obituaries painted a picture of a community devastated by coronavirus. Several pages were devoted to the Novominsker Rebbe and the Sasregener Rebbe, heads of two Hasidic dynasties who died of coronavirus in April. Other tributes memorialized respected rabbis and yeshiva leaders, as well as Noach Dear, a Brooklyn councilman and judge.
The publication noted that “due to the enormity of the crisis,” it was unable to document every death that occurred in the past few weeks.
The Flatbush Jewish Journals “Yahrzeits and Tributes” section is normally much shorter. An issue in April 2019 contained about fifteen pages of tributes. Most were written to mark the yahrzeit, or anniversary, of a community member’s passing, rather than a recent death.
Obituaries that commemorated men were accompanied by one or several photos. However, only one woman’s obituary included a photo. Another woman was represented by a photo of her husband. Some Orthodox publications refrain from publishing pictures of women, citing concerns for modesty.
“Our women deserve better,” one commenter posted on Twitter.
Irene Katz Connelly is an editorial fellow at the Forward. You can contact her at email@example.com.
Orthodox publication includes 50 pages of obituaries