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This doctor faced down antisemites and vaccine protesters. Now he wants to be governor of Hawaii
Josh Green spent most nights last summer pulling down signs plastered over his neighborhood, the ones with his picture that read “Jew” and “Fraud.” Then one day, someone stopped him on the sidewalk. “All you kikes are going to have to be killed,” the man said.
Hawaii’s Dr. Fauci: Green, 52, has been a public face of the state’s coronavirus response. He’s Hawaii’s lieutenant governor as well as an emergency room doctor. During the early days of the pandemic, when data was not released in a timely manner, he took matters into his own hands by posting daily videos to Facebook. Standing in front of a whiteboard, he would show the number of new cases and other relevant data.
Frontrunner: He’s favored to win the Democratic primary on Saturday. Which puts him in a good position for the November election, as 60% of the state’s voters are Democrats or lean that way.
Backstory: Green grew up in Pittsburgh, and his parents discovered at age 2 that he could not hear. His eustachian tubes were restored through surgery, and he said he is lucky to have had a “good doctor, good parents, a good community and a good synagogue.”
Read the story ➤
Nathan Fielder in ‘The Rehearsal’: So this is a nutcracker? Does it crack nuts? (HBO)
The new episode of HBO’s ‘The Rehearsal’ rehearses centuries of Christian-Jewish tensions: Nathan Fielder is a confusing guy, and our Mira Fox found his new series to be a layered, convoluted exercise in cringe comedy. In each episode, Fielder helps a guest rehearse for a tough situation by spending an enormous budget to recreate every detail. This week, he’s rehearsing a part himself: that of a dad. But there’s a catch – his wife is a devout Christian who believes the devil controls Google, and she’s not about to allow their kid to even hear about Judaism. Read the story ➤
In crowded race for Congress, Dan Goldman makes the Jewish case for Brooklyn seat: He was lead counsel for the first impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. He’s the heir to Levi Strauss fortune, with a personal wealth estimated at $253 million. And he’s making his first run for elective office. Over pizza in Borough Park, Goldman told our Jacob Kornbluh that he “will not be beholden in any way to any special interest.” He also said that, if elected, he wants to serve “as a representative for all of New York City, and, to some extent, the country on Jewish issues.” Read the story ➤
Speaking of New York politics, Jacob reports that veteran Democratic Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney pulled the knives out for the first time at the candidate forum we co-hosted on Wednesday evening (watch the whole forum here). And Laura E. Adkins, our opinion editor and a voter in the Manhattan district the two are competing to represent against each other and a “generational change” campaign by Suraj Patel, has her own take on the race. Plus: watch our video talking to voters about the campaign.
Opinion | The only Jew in ‘A League of Their Own’ is a walking stereotype: In Amazon’s new series based on the popular film about an all-female professional baseball league, outfielder Shirley Cohen’s comically narrow personality is boiled down to anxiety and neurosis. Her looks are described in one scene as “too Semitic.” Which is a shame, argues our deputy opinion editor, Nora Berman, because the show does such an expansive and nuanced job portraying another minority: the queer community. “Jewishness onscreen is withered into a clumsy stereotype, while queerness blossoms.” Read her essay ➤
But wait, there’s more…
Law enforcement in front of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida. (Getty)
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WHAT ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
The scene of the deadly bus crash in Jerusalem. (Magen David Adom)
🚍 A pregnant mom and her two daughters were killed Thursday night when a public bus in Jerusalem careened out of control and crashed into a bus stop. The crash came two days after another incident in the city, in which a 70-year-old man was killed when a bus lost control and smashed into a building. (Times of Israel)
👏 New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, banned public displays of Nazi symbols on Thursday. It was the second of Australia’s six states to do so, following Victoria in June. The bill has a carveout for a similar-looking symbol that has religious and peaceful meaning for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. (Australian Jewish News)
🏠 More U.S. Jews moved to West Bank settlements in 2021 than any year in the past decade. Figures compiled by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistic show that nearly 10% of all American Jews making aliyah last year chose to live beyond the Green Line. (Haaretz)
🔥 On the fifth anniversary of the “Unite the Right” rally in which neo-Nazis chanted “Jews will not replace us” in Charlottesville, Virginia, the city approved a plan to melt down its bronze statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and replace it with a public art installation. A prior plan to remove the statue from a downtown park was what sparked the white supremacist gathering, in which a counter-protester was killed. (NPR)
🇩🇪 The families of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered during the 1972 Munich Olympics plan to boycott a September memorial ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the attack, calling the financial compensation that the German government will offer them “a joke.” (New York Times)
✈️ Two Muslim men are suing Alaska Airlines for discrimination, alleging they were removed from a flight after texting in Arabic. The suit asks the airlines to provide racial and religious sensitivity training to employees. Earlier this year, Lufthansa removed more than 100 Hasidic passengers from a flight, prompting the German airline to create a senior position dedicated to preventing discrimination and antisemitism. (Washington Post)
Long weekend reads ➤ Spending a week with Holocaust survivors at a former Borscht Belt hotel … How Hitler’s favorite passion play lost its antisemitism … Israel’s queen of herring brings her fishy business to Manhattan.
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In this week’s edition of our print magazine: Rob Eshman got a secret transcript of Hasidic sex advice — and was pleasantly surprised to find it un-“Unorthodox.” A Gazan reflects on the three days of conflict; Arno Rosenfeld investigates why a Jewish war veterans museum is honoring a lobbyist for Nazis; the story of how a blind Jewish boy from Baghdad became a great musician; and much more. Download your copy now ➤
Michael Ian Black – actor, author, comedian and apparently good at talking with his hands. (Getty)
On this day in history (1971): Michael Ian Black, an actor and comedian, was born. You’ll likely recognize him from the … checks notes … more than 75 movies and TV shows he’s starred in – including “Wet Hot American Summer,” “Stella” and, one of my favorite shows of all time, “Ed.” (Google it.) And in the reboot of “Reno 911!,” Black parodies the head of a Jewish volunteer emergency ambulance service. In recent years, he has also published a memoir, several essay collections and many children’s books.
Last year on this day, we reported on the largest ever study of Jews of color, which showed widespread discrimination. Robin Washington, the Forward’s editor-at-large, also shared his thoughts on the study and about that time he was mistaken for Rod Carew at his own Twin Cities synagogue.
On the Hebrew calendar, it’s Tu B’Av, often referred to as Jewish Valentine’s Day. It’s an ancient festival, but was revived in the early 20th century thanks, in part, to the efforts of one woman.
What we’re watching this weekend ➤ “13: The Musical” is a new Netflix movie about a New York boy who moves to a small town in Indiana, where he tries to win friends by throwing the best bar mitzvah party ever. “When I was younger, I’d always watch Christmas movies,” the film’s star, Eli Golden, said in an interview. “I feel so lucky that I’m able to be the representation that when I was younger I didn’t have.”
Play today’s Vertl puzzle, the Yiddish Wordle
Thanks to Mira Fox, Matthew Litman and Jodi Rudoren for contributing to today’s newsletter. You can reach the “Forwarding” team at [email protected].