⚖️ In a ruling that could influence an LGBTQ student group’s discrimination case against Yeshiva University, a federal judge has dismissed a similar lawsuit brought by queer students against other religiously affiliated universities. The dismissal came despite the judge’s findings that the students were harmed by the religious exemption to a federal education law aimed at ensuring gender equality. (Twitter)
😠 Antisemitic slogans and a swastika were projected on the sides of multiple Florida buildings over the weekend. The incidents in Jacksonville and West Palm Beach were the latest in a series of like antisemitic stunts that began in October. Authorities said the West Palm Beach incident had ties to an investigation in nearby Boca Raton, and Jacksonville politicians introduced emergency legislation aiming to address the issue. (WPTV, Yahoo, Florida Politics)
😒 House Republican leaders assigned Rep. George Santos to the Small Business and the Science, Space and Technology committees despite calls to shun him over his serial lies. And newly unearthed documents appear to show that Santos’s late mother, Fatima, who he has claimed was at the World Trade Center on 9/11, in fact was in Brazil on that day. (Washington Post, Twitter)
👀 A German court overturned a lower court ruling that would have forced an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The first court ruled that Inna Zhvanetskaya, who has resisted vaccination, would be committed to a psychiatric facility after getting her shots, prompting outcry among local Jews. (Jerusalem Post)
😔 Footage released Monday appeared to show one of two Israelis currently held by Hamas, the first glimpse of him in eight years. In the video released by Hamas, Avera Mengistu, who was kidnapped from a Gaza beach in 2014, pleads for Israel to work for his return. His mother responded to the video by saying: “I want my son, I want to be allowed to see my son, to look into his eyes and see him.” (Times of Israel)
🕍 An upstate New York synagogue is joining the fight against construction of a “glamping” site, saying it would pollute a pond local Jews use as a mikvah, or ritual bath. (Times Union)
🤔 Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the Biden administration is no longer prioritizing efforts to enact a new Iran nuclear deal. “The Iranians killed the opportunity to come back to that agreement swiftly many months ago,” Blinken said. (Times of Israel)
🖼️ Update: The Minnesota college that fired a lecturer who showed an image of the Prophet Muhammad in class said it should not have allowed concern for Muslim students to supersede academic freedom. After the lecturer filed a lawsuit alleging religious discrimination and defamation, the school walked back some of the strong language it had used to describe her case, with one official saying “like all organizations, sometimes we misstep.” (New York Times)
❗ The U.S. is sending arms to Ukraine via Israel, which holds a significant cache of American ammunition. Israeli leaders, who have been hesitant to risk damaging relations with Russia, expressed some concerns that the move might endanger their relationship with Moscow. (New York Times)
Shiva calls ➤ Edi Landau, a producer who shepherded Chaim Potok’s The Chosen into film and stage adaptations, died at 95 … Peter Grose, a former Jerusalem bureau chief for The New York Times, died at 88 … Lisl Bogart, a Holocaust survivor and founding member of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois, died at 96 … Martin Perlmutter, cofounder of the Jewish Studies Program at the College of Charleston, died at 79.
What else we’re reading ➤ The joys of eating in Jerusalem’s Old City … Why is it so difficult to convert to Orthodox Judaism in Israel? … Remembering Gáspár Miklós Tamás, who helped make sense of Europe after the dissolution of the USSR.