The week began with interest in Bernie Marcus’ support of Donald Trump. In an essay, former Home Depot CEO/Co-founder and philanthropist Bernie Marcus wrote an impassioned plea for Republicans to support Donald Trump. The Jeb Bush supporter admitted that Trump has issues, but for the good of business leaders (but not union members) and to reduce federal regulations against corporations, this “Bern” is voting Trump. It is a “Bern” many are not feeling. Marcus retired from Home Depot over 14 years ago. Another Home Depot co-counder, Ken Langone, is also supporting Trump. He told CNBC Squawk Box that he was deeply, deeply hurt by Trump’s racism. As an Italian American starting on Wall Street, he felt the sting of discrimination and guilt by association, yet he doesn’t like federal regulations on business and will support the GOP candidate. No word from Arthur Blank, another co-founder, who in the past supported Democratic candidates.
Fusion.net reports that Mexican leaders are knocking on the doors of Jewish groups in their fight against the Trump candidacy. The American Jewish Committee (AJC) recently hosted a series of advocacy training sessions with Mexico’s entire diplomatic corps in the U.S. and several top Mexican-American leaders. AJC Latin America outreach director Dina Siegel, who was born in Mexico City, told Fusion.net that her group is urging Mexico to think beyond The Donald and focus on coalition building. “In the U.S., Israel is not a Jewish issue, but a national interest issue,” Siegel explained. “In the same way, Mexico needs to stop being a Mexican or a Latino-only issue and become an American issue.” Jonathan Peled, Israel’s Ambassador to Mexico, says Mexico’s plan shouldn’t be “launching an anti-Trump campaign,” rather shifting the narrative about Mexico by highlighting the facts and everything the country does well.
In other Trump-related news, New York Times Washington bureau deputy editor Jon Weisman @jonathanweisman said he quit Twitter and will be “moving to Facebook where at least people need to use their real names and can’t hide behind fakery to spread their hate.” He was a frequent target of anti-Semitic rants and tweets on twitter, especially by Trump supporters. One threatened to put him in an oven, another called him a kike. Twitter refused to suspend these twitter members (but later this week, after the news broke, Twitter reversed its policy).
Speaking of suspensions, elected Iowa state legislator David Johnson announced that he would leave the GOP. He blamed his departure on Trump saying it is his moral response to Trump’s recent attacks on a judge due to his Mexican background. Senator Johnson said he feared that Trump could soon target Jews.
On the topic of suspensions and anti-Jewish threats, two Manhattan Orthodox synagogues were threatened with suspension or expulsion from the Orthodox umbrella when they hosted a gay Orthodox support group. Twelve Orthodox Jewish leaders, including Rabbi Yeshaya Siff of the Young Israel of Manhattan, wrote a letter against the Sixth Street Community Synagogue in the East Village and the Lower East Side’s Stanton Street Shul for hosting Eshel, an organization that aims to create inclusive spaces for LGBTQA Jews and their families. The letter read: “We are saddened that the Stanton Street Shul and the Sixth Street Community Synagogue have unilaterally chosen to associate our community with an organization which we cannot consider to be Orthodox, one whose stated aims are at odds with the verses of the Torah itself…. No Jewish institution that allies itself with such a group can rightfully claim to be Orthodox.” The open letter called on – or demanded – the two shuls to “publicly distance themselves from Eshel and its decidedly non-Orthodox worldview.” The shuls rejected the call and hosted over eight dozen extra guests for the Shabbat program. Rabbi Aviad Bodner of the Stanton Street Shul rejected the letter and said that these men did not have a monopoly of Orthodox Judaism. Over 600 people thanked the rabbis for standing up to bullying in an open letter from ESHEL HERE
Speaking of Sixth Street, a synagogue in Washington DC (not the Manhattan one) will host a regular, vegan, or gluten free Shabbat Dinner for DC pride on June 10. On the night before the LGBTQQIAAP Capital Pride Parade, Rabbi Shira, Rabbi Laurie Green of Bet Mishpachah, and members of GLOE lead an inclusive service that celebrates the diversity of DC Jewish life, followed by the dinner. Sign up here at the SixthAndEye Historic Shul
Remember when 34 Orthodox Jewish teens and two adults nearly drowned in England during a day hike this past Monday? (PHOTOS HERE) The kids, from the Ahavat Yisrael Community Centre in Stamford Hill in North London, were on a ‘day hike’ and were only minutes from being swallowed by the sea. Some of them got separated from the main group – who were themselves plucked to safety from a beach after children used their mobile phones as beacons – and were found clambering on rocks. The hiking party contacted Kent Police at around 9pm after becoming disorientated as they followed a coastal path between St Margaret’s Bay and Dover Harbour. The Coastguard launched a search by air and sea involving a helicopter based at Lydd, Dover RNLI lifeboat, two Walmer RNLI lifeboats and Langdon Coastguard Rescue Team. Around 40 volunteers joined the “large-scale operation”. More than 40 volunteers participated in the rescue during a rising nasty swell. The students raised 5000 pounds (about $7200) and donated it to their rescuers.
How about throwing in some free tickets to the Jewish Museum in London, which has another week or so left in their exhibit on Jewish Tailoring. Here is a story from The New York Times on the show. It aims to document the role of Jewish designers in shaping the male wardrobe over the last century, including Moss Bros. and Marks & Spencer.
Just in time for Shavuot, cheesecake oreos will hit store shelves in Tokyo. Yamazaki Nabisco’s new cookie – to be released over Shavuot – uses a filling of cream cheese and Sicilian lemon juice, named Oreo Soft Cookie Rare Cheesecake.
No cookies for BBC. Netizens and other were quick to criticize CNN, BBC, SKY, and ther media after the terror attack in Tel Aviv at the Sarona Market. CNN tweeted out the attack and put “terror” in quotes. CNN took the tweet down and apologized to readers and viewers for what they called a mistake. SKY did not use the words “terror” or “terrorism” in their reports of the murders. The Telegraph and the Guardian called the terror attack a “shooting” incident. BBC headlined their story as “Tel Aviv shooting: Three killed in attack in shopping centre attack.” Words… well maybe they don’t kill.. but to many, words matter.
Also no cookies for the indicted and extradicted. The U.S. Department of Justice announced it extradited Israelis for their cyber “attacks” on U.S. banks and corporations. Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and David E. Beach, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service New York Field Office announced today that Gery Shalon of Savyon (a/k/a “Garri Shalelashvili,” “Gabriel,” “Gabi,” “Phillipe Mousset,” “Christopher Engeham”) and Ziv Orenstein of Bat Hefer (a/k/a “Aviv Stein,” “John Avery”) were extradited from Israel. They were arrected in July 2015 by Israeli police for allegedly computer hacking crimes against U.S. firms and allegedly orchestrating the largest theft of customer data from a U.S. financial institution in history. Shalon, a Georgian and Israeli citizen, and Orenstein, an Israeli citizen, arrived in the Southern District of New York this week and appeared before Judge Fox (who is not of Mexican, Georgian or Israeli heritage).