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Listen To Lin-Manuel Miranda Singing In A Jewish A Capella Group

Look around, look around — how lucky we are to be alive right now: Lin-Manuel Miranda, the literal genius behind “Hamilton,” just promoted an old recording of the Jewish a capella group he sang with in college, the Mazel Tones.

And you don’t have to wait for it to listen — here’s a snippet:

Miranda sang tenor in the Mazel Tones at Wesleyan University, from which he graduated in 2002. He had a solo in the song “Hine Ba Hashalom,” which he shared with his Twitter audience of over two million followers after current Mazel Tones member Lisa Stein tagged him in a video.

Although Miranda is not Jewish, he has expressed affinity for Jewish culture in the past: He attended Hunter College Elementary School in New York, where as he told The New Yorker, “All my friends were Jewish.” (He even sang the Hanukkah song “Sevivon Sov Sov Sov” in the school chorus, though that part consisted of “sing[ing] ‘Sov’ about 6,000 times in a row.”

In 8th grade, Miranda wrote a musical about the book “The Chosen” for a teacher who inspired him more than any other. At his wedding, he and his family sang the song “To Life (L’Chaim)” from “Fiddler on the Roof” to his bride. And in 2016, he appeared in a fundraising video for Yeshiva University, which is based in his home neighborhood of Washington Heights, New York.

And although it isn’t addressed in the plot of Miranda’s award-winning smash hit musical “Hamilton” (which was based on a biography by Jewish historian Ron Chernow), the show’s protagonist, former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, may have had Jewish ancestry.

When it comes to Miranda, history has its eyes on Jews.

Contact Aiden Pink at pink@forward.com or on Twitter, @aidenpink

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WATCH: Jake Tapper Grills Sheriff Scott Israel Over Florida School Shooting

In an interview stretching nearly half an hour, CNN’s Jake Tapper grilled Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel over his department’s response to the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead.

Tapper started by asking Israel about reports that his department’s designated school resource officer, Scot Peterson, did not enter the building during the shooting. Israel replied that his evidence corroborated that claim.

“When I saw that, I was disgusted,” Israel said. He pointed out that he suspended Peterson and was proceeding with termination before Peterson resigned.

CNN reported Saturday that deputies from Coral Springs had arrived at the school to find that three other Broward County officers had not entered the building. Israel replied that those actions are also under investigation.

Tapper pointed out that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office had received 18 calls about alleged school shooter Nikolas Cruz between 2008 and 2017, including a threat to shoot up a school. Tapper described them as “missed red flags,” but maintained that “of those 18 calls…16 of them, we believe, were handled exactly the way they should. Two of them, we’re not sure if our deputies did everything they could have or should have….We will absolutely find out what we did or what we didn’t do.”

Israel defended what he called his “amazing leadership” of the sheriff’s office, which Tapper questioned.

“Maybe you measure somebody’s leadership by whether or not they protect the community. You have listed 23 incidents before the shooting involving the shooter, and still nothing was done to keep guns out of his hands, to make sure that the school was protected, to make sure you were keeping an eye on him….Your deputy at the school failed. I don’t understand how you can sit there and claim amazing leadership.”

“Jake, on 16 of those cases, our deputies did everything right,” Israel replied.

After pushing Israel to answer whether he will resign, as a Republican state legislator is demanding, Tapper asked one final question: “Do you think that if the Broward Sheriff’s Office had done things differently, this shooting might not have happened?”

“Listen, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, O.J. Simpson would still be in the record books,” Israel responded.

“I don’t know what that means,” Tapper replied. “There’s 17 dead people, and there’s a whole long list of things your department could have been done differently.”

Contact Aiden Pink at pink@forward.com or on Twitter, @aidenpink

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Baptist College Denies It Refused To Hire Football Coach Over ‘Jewish Blood’

(JTA) — Louisiana College, a private Baptist college, denies accusations that its president refused to hire one of its alumni as a football coach due to his Jewish background.

Joshua Bonadona filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the college and its president, Rick Brewer.

The lawsuit alleges that Bonadona applied for a job as defensive back coach and was interviewed in May by Brewer and head coach Justin Charles. Charles later told Bonadona that Brewer would not approve his hiring due to what Brewer called his “Jewish blood,” the Associated Press reported.

Bonadona was born Jewish but converted to Christianity while he attended Louisiana College. He was a kicker on the school’s football team, and often led the team’s pre-game “Christian devotional,” according to the lawsuit.

Bonadona later took a coaching job for a lower salary at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas.

Brewer said Friday in a statement released by the school that he has been unfairly “vilified and determined guilty by certain persons from across the nation.”

 

 

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Israeli Cabinet Approves Legalizing West Bank Outpost

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A proposal to begin legalizing the West Bank outpost of Netiv Haavot was approved by Israel’s Cabinet.

More than a dozen homes on the outpost, located 11 miles south of Jerusalem in the Etzion bloc, are scheduled to be demolished next week.

The Cabinet approval on Sunday includes funds for the outpost, some earmarked for building a temporary neighborhood for the 15 families whose homes are scheduled to be razed. It also includes a building plan for the construction of 350 new housing units at the outpost.

The government has asked the Supreme Court to delay the March 6 demolition by three months to allow temporary housing to be constructed.

“The residents of Netiv Ha’avot have been waiting for a long time for this,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.

Hundreds of settler youth are expected to flood the settlement to try to prevent the demolition.

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Jewish Writer Needed Security At Conservative Convention After Trashing Trump

(JTA) — A conservative Jewish columnist speaking at CPAC, an influential annual conference for conservatives, required protection after comments criticizing Republican Party “hypocrites” for ignoring sexual misconduct by the president of the United States.

Mona Charen, a senior fellow for the Ethics & Public Policy Center, spoke on Saturday on a panel called “#UsToo: Left out by the Left.”

She called out those in attendance for ignoring Donald Trump’s bragging about his sexual conquests, though she did not use his name, according to reports.

“I’m disappointed in people on our side for being hypocrites about sexual harassers and abusers of women who are in our party, sitting in the White House, who brag about their extramarital affairs, who brag about mistreating women, and because he happens to have an ‘R’ by his name, we look the other way, we don’t complain,” Charen said.

Her statement came just before an annual straw poll of attendees found a 93 percent approval rating for Trump.

She also criticized the party for its support of Roy Moore. “The Republican Party endorsed Roy Moore for the Senate in the state of Alabama, even though he was a credibly accused child molester. You cannot claim that you stand for women and put up with that,” she said.

Charen, whose columns are often pro-Israel, also criticized CPAC for inviting as a speaker far-right French politician Marion Marechal-Le Pen,  granddaughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen and niece of National Front leader Marine Le Pen. “The only reason she was here is she’s named Le Pen, and the Le Pen name is a disgrace. Her grandfather is a racist and Nazi. She claims she stands for him,” Charen said. “The fact that CPAC invited her is a disgrace,” she added as the crowd booed her.

She reportedly was escorted out of the conference center by three security guards for her own protection.

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