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Florida school removes Anne Frank adaptation + Lipstadt’s Passover message

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Ambassador Lipstadt on her hopes for next Passover: Jewish families around the world recited “Next year in Jerusalem” at the end of their Seders. Ambassador Deborah E. Lipstadt told our senior political reporter, Jacob Kornbluh, that she is hoping that by next Passover, the fight against Jew hatred “will be a little bit easier and possibly more successful.” Read the story ➤

Five Jewish facts about the newest 2024 Republican presidential hopeful: Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who announced his entry into the race last week, is a Baptist who presents himself as a wholesome alternative to former President Donald Trump. Jacob ran down his Jewish bona fides: He signed into law a Holocaust education requirement for all public school students, successfully prosecuted white supremacists who set fire to a Jewish center, and has a Hebrew first name. Read the story ➤



Opinion | Yeshiva University’s religious affiliation does not make it ineligible for state funding: Under fire for refusing to recognize an LGBTQ+ student club, the university is arguing in court that its Orthodox Jewish underpinnings should exempt it from anti-discrimination laws. Which has made some question its past receipt of some $230 million in public funding to finance past construction projects. But Michael A. Helfand, an expert on law and religion, notes that other Jewish and Catholic institutions have received similar funding, “raising serious questions about why this whole kerfuffle got started in the first place.” Read his essay ➤

Opinion | Why is Israel increasingly aligning itself with dictators? “Democratic countries have a moral obligation — and geopolitical incentive — to stand up for the human rights of those living under repressive regimes,” argues Sarah Teich, an international human rights lawyer. Instead, she says, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is deepening ties to China, Russia, and an increasingly authoritarian Turkey. “This represents a foreign policy failure to complement his domestic policy blunders.” Read her essay ➤


Kanye West’s antisemitic tirades cost him a $1.5 billion deal with Adidas. (Getty)


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(Courtesy Anne Frank Foundation)

📚  A public high school in Florida has pulled an illustrated adaptation of Anne Frank’s diary from it’s library shelf, calling the graphic novel “not age appropriate.” A  Texas school district that ordered the same book removed last year reversed its decision after public criticism. (JTA)


🕵️  Dozens of highly classified U.S. intelligence reports appeared on social media sites Friday and were the subject of a blockbuster report this weekend in The New York Times. Among other things, the documents claim that the Mossad encouraged its spies and Israeli citizens to protest Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plan to overhaul the country’s judiciary, and that the U.S. may compel Israel to send lethal weapons to Ukraine to help against the Russian invasion. (NYT, Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post


😲  More information is coming to light about Harlan Crow, the conservative billionaire who lavished Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with luxury vacations. Crow’s Dallas home is filled with historical collections featuring Hitler artifacts and other Nazi memorabilia, including a signed copy of Mein Kampf. (Washingtonian)


👮  Police are searching for a group of teenagers in connection with two separate antisemitic attacks on Friday in Queens, New York. They are accused of shouting antisemitic remarks, throwing rocks and brandishing a knife at a man in front of a synagogue during the second day of Passover, and then, about 9:30 p.m., berating and pushing a man. (Times of Israel)


🔥  A Texas man whose journals were filled with antisemitic statements pleaded guilty on Friday to setting a fire at an Austin synagogue in 2021. He faces up to 20 years in prison. (Dept. of Justice, JTA)


🇵🇱  Documents have come to light showing that Poland’s government is requiring Israeli teens visiting the country to see Holocaust sites like Auschwitz to also visit at least one memorial or museum that highlight crimes committed by the Germans against non-Jewish Poles. One scholar denounced the decision as “a dream come true for Holocaust deniers” that glorifies “Poles who were involved up to their necks in the murder of Jews.” (Haaretz)


🤼   World Wrestling Entertainment apologized Friday, a week after it used footage of Auschwitz in a promotional video hyping a match. The Auschwitz Memorial museum had called the video “shameless.” (AP)


🎤  Alex Edelman, who grew up Orthodox and whose Jewishness is core to his comedy, will be bringing his one-man show, Just for Us, to Broadway in June. The show, which Edelman performed to sold out crowds off Broadway as well as in Washington and London, centers around a meeting of white nationalists Edelman attended. (JTA, Plus: Read our 2021 interview with Edelman)

Shiva calls ➤  Benjamin Ferencz, an American soldier who liberated concentration camps and who was the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor, died at 103 … Mimi Sheraton, the renowned Jewish food critic, book author and Forward contributor, died at age 97 … Michael Lerner, a character actor who starred in dozens of films, and earned an Oscar nomination for his role in Barton Fink, died at 81.



(Courtesy Event Horizon Telescope)

On this day in history (2019): The first-ever photo of a black hole was unveiled by more than 200 scientists across 60 countries. No existing telescope could accomplish this – it’s been described as the equivalent of trying to see an avocado on the moon with the naked eye – so they combined a global network of telescopes in Spain, Mexico, Arizona, Hawaii, Chile, and the South Pole. “To me it’s just the beginning,” said Katie Bouman, a Jewish American astronomer who led the creation of an algorithm that helped capture the image.


In honor of National Siblings Day, we’ve ranked the siblings from the bible.

Today at 5:30 p.m. ET: The White House will be hosting its third annual virtual Seder. The theme is food insecurity. “Even while there is a feast in front of us, our neighbors are hungry,” said Shelley Greenspan, the White House’s liaison to the Jewish community, “and we can never truly be free until each and every one of us is food secure.” RSVP here ➤ 





If it’s a Jewish holiday, you can expect an a cappella group to take a popular song and put a festive spin on it. Here’s the latest from the Y Studs, a parody of the 1980s hit “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey.



Thanks to Nora Berman, Jacob Kornbluh, Sarah Nachimson and Talya Zax for contributing to today’s newsletter. You can reach the “Forwarding” team at


The post Florida school removes Anne Frank adaptation + Lipstadt’s Passover message appeared first on The Forward.

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