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That Jewish News Show: George Santos, a tragic suicide, and how SCOTUS could ease Shabbat observance

On this episode of ‘That Jewish News Show,’ the hosts discuss the Santos indictment, Herschel Siegel’s suicide, and are joined by Michael A. Helfand to discuss the implications of Groff v. DeJoy

That Jewish News Show

“Talking the Supreme Court’s blockbuster church-state case with law professor Michael A. Helfand”
May 11, 2023

On the May 11, 2023 episode of That Jewish News Show, Laura E. Adkins and Benyamin Cohen of the Forward discuss the indictment of George Santos, the death of 25-year-old Herschel Siegel, and a Supreme Court case that could make it easier for Jewish Americans — and other Sabbath-observers — to receive religious accommodations from their employers. They were joined by Michael A. Helfand, an expert in religious law and liberty, to discuss Groff v. DeJoy

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That Jewish News Show is hosted and produced by Laura E. Adkins and Benyamin Cohen of the Forward. Additional help this week came from Tani Levitt and Jake Wasserman. Our theme music is by The Fly Guy Five.

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Referenced articles, books and music

George Santos’ Indictment:

Congressman-elect George Santos lied about grandparents fleeing anti-Jewish persecution during WWII” by Andrew Silverstein in the Forward

The Fabulist: The Lying, Hustling, Grifting, Stealing, and Very American Legend of George Santos” by Mark Chiusano

“‘He needs to go’: Long Island Jews react to George Santos’ indictment” by Jacob Kornbluh in the Forward


The Death of Herschel Siegel: 

A young gay Orthodox man died by suicide. We must confront how Jewish teachings harmed him” by Mordechai Levovitz in the Forward

Letter: “Herschel Siegel was embraced by our Atlanta Orthodox community” by Jennifer Marks in the Forward

Letter: “I knew Herschel Siegel for his entire life. Don’t exploit his death for an agenda” by David Schoen in the Forward

Yeshiva University is left in mourning after a beloved gay alum dies by suicide” by Jacob Henry in the New York Jewish Week

My friend Herschel Siegel died by suicide. Politicizing his death doesn’t help gay Jews” by Simon Italiaander in the Forward

NY appeals court agrees Yeshiva University must recognize LGBTQ club” by Louis Keene in the Forward


Interview with Michael Helfand on Groff v. DeJoy:

A new case before the Supreme Court could make Shabbat observance easier” by Michael A. Helfand in the Forward

Must your employer accommodate your Shabbat observance? That’s up to the Supreme Court” by Michael A. Helfand in the Forward

AFL-CIO amicus brief in Groff v. DeJoy

I’m glad Coach Kennedy can pray at the 50-yard line” by Laura E. Adkins in the Forward


Host Recommendations: 

Laura: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibit, “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty,” and the sneak peek in Vogue

Benyamin: A new song, “The World to Come,” by Zusha

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That Jewish News Show is a thoughtful look at the week in Jewish news from journalists at the Forward, which has been driving the American Jewish conversation since 1897. In each episode, hosts Laura E. Adkins, the opinion editor, and Benyamin Cohen, the news director, bring you beyond the headlines and interview the newsmakers behind those stories.

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