Last week, the New York Jewish Agenda organized over 450 rabbis to join a statement supporting the data-driven, life-saving public health measures implemented by Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio. This statement, along with our press conference on Friday, received substantial press attention, and succeeded in shifting the media narrative about the Jewish community’s position on this issue.
A sampling of our press mentions is highlighted below.
CNN: Protester Harold ‘Heshy’ Tischler taken into custody for inciting a riot during Orthodox Jewish protests against New York’s Covid-19 restrictions
By Alec Snyder, Kristina Sgueglia, Brynn Gingras and Susannah Cullinane
Updated 4:08 AM ET, Mon October 12, 2020
The New York Jewish Agenda — an organization that, according to its website, works to advance social justice and combat anti-Semitism — on Friday joined a group of Orthodox rabbis and Kornbluh in urging people in Covid-19 hotspot areas across the city to comply with health measures, according to a news release from the organization.
“Asking all of us to wear masks, to observe social distancing and avoid large congregate gatherings is not an antisemitic act on the part of our city and country in the attempt to save lives,” said Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, a cofounder of NYJA.
Associated Press: Amid NYC protests, Orthodox Jews urge new virus-era dialogue
By Elana Schor
October 9, 2020
As debate intensified in New York’s Orthodox neighborhoods, more than 400 rabbis and other leaders from multiple branches of Judaism released a letter supporting the city and state’s “data-driven, geographically-based efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.”
The letter, released by the New York Jewish Agenda, calls for dissemination of public health guidance in a way that’s “both culturally appropriate … and does not promote antisemitism.”
“But to be clear,” it said, “requiring masking and social distancing for all gatherings, including religious gatherings, is not antisemitism.”
NY Daily News: Harold “Heshy” Tischler will turn himself in Monday for attack on Orthodox Jewish reporter
By Michael Gartland, Denis Slattery, Noah Goldberg & Thomas Tracy
Oct 09, 2020 at 5:15 PM
A group of city rabbis, along with Kornbluh also held a Zoom press conference Friday calling for criminal charges.
“We’re calling upon the NYPD and Mayor de Blasio and Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez to immediately arrest and bring charges against Heshy Tischler,” said Rabbi Rachel Timoner.
“It was discouraging to see that I was subject to violence when I was clearly doing my job number one as a journalist but also as a member of this community to observe a scene where people in my community have voiced their frustration in some of the measures that was outlined by the governor and the mayor,” said Kornbluh on the call.
Politico: De Blasio: NYPD will make arrest after violent attack in Borough Park
By Amanda Eisenberg
10/09/2020 03:08 PM EDT
Video footage of the attack, which was captured by Gothamist, is being used to help identify the other men who physically assaulted the Jewish Insider reporter, Kornbluh said at a press briefing with Jewish leaders Friday afternoon.
“The act of violence can be verbal, or it can be physical, and it’s not OK in Jewish law, in Jewish concept, to encourage anybody to actually pull the trigger as much as it is to pull the trigger,” Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, of liberal Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in Manhattan, said at the press briefing.
Patch: ‘For Shame’: 100s Of Rabbis Condemn Brooklyn Lockdown Protests
By Anna Quinn
Oct 9, 2020 2:01 pm ET
Updated Oct 9, 2020 3:34 pm ET
“We stand united against any anti-Semitism of any kind…we also acknowledge that asking all of us to wear masks, observe social distancing and avoid large congregate gatherings is not an antiSemitic act,” said Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, co-founder of the New York Jewish Agenda, during a press conference Friday. “This virus is something we all must battle together.”
Friday’s press conference, organized by NYJA, included rabbis from all major Jewish denominations and Jacob Kornbluh, a reporter from the Jewish Insider who was attacked at a protest against lockdown measures in Borough Park this week.
JTA: Heshy Tischler, leader of the Borough Park anti-lockdown protests, says he’s going to be arrested
By Shira Hanau
October 9, 2020 3:26 PM
In a tweet shortly after the incident, Kornbluh said he had been punched and kicked by the crowd and that he planned to file charges. On Friday, Kornbluh spoke at a press conference organized by New York Jewish Agenda, a progressive Jewish organization.
“I hope the investigation will come to a clear conclusion and send the message that everyone, including reporters on the job and every human life, is precious to all of us,” said Kornbluh. “Nobody should feel unsafe walking the streets of New York City.”
WNBC: Arrest Expected in ‘Unacceptable’ Attack on Reporter During Brooklyn COVID Protest: Mayor
Updated on October 9, 2020 at 12:49 pm
While images of protesters burning masks in the street earlier this week may be seared into people’s minds, they reflect only a subset of the Jewish community — one that is divided even among its own members. On Thursday, the New York Jewish Agenda released a statement signed by more than 400 rabbis and other Jewish religious leaders in support of the “data-driven, life-saving measures” to prevent the spread of COVID that were newly unveiled in New York this week. Orthodox clergy members were among those who signed their names.
“We support the governor’s and mayor’s efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 by using a data-driven, geographically based approach,” NYJA President Matt Nosanchuk said in a statement. “Today, more than 300 Rabbis and other Jewish religious leaders came together to make clear there is no higher Jewish value than saving a human life.”
Telemundo: “Inaceptable”: de Blasio responde a informes de ataque a reportero en protesta de Brooklyn
Publicado el 09 de octubre del 2020
Actualizado a las 6:22 pm del 09 de octubre del 2020
El jueves, la Agenda Judía de Nueva York publicó una declaración firmada por más de 400 rabinos y otros líderes religiosos judíos en apoyo de las “medidas para salvar vidas basadas en datos” para evitar la propagación de COVID que se dieron a conocer recientemente en Nueva York este jueves. semana. Los miembros del clero ortodoxo se encontraban entre los que firmaron sus nombres.
“Apoyamos los esfuerzos del gobernador y el alcalde para detener la propagación de COVID-19 mediante el uso de un enfoque basado en datos geográficos”, dijo el presidente de NYJA, Matt Nosanchuk, en un comunicado. “Hoy, más de 300 rabinos y otros líderes religiosos judíos se unieron para dejar en claro que no hay mayor valor judío que salvar una vida humana”.
WNYC: Rabbis Calling for Justice for Jacob Kornbluh
October 9, 2020
Click here to listen to the radio clip
JNS: Turmoil engulfs New York’s Jewish community amid COVID restrictions, protests and anti-Semitic incitement
By Faygie Holt
October 8, 2020
Not all Jews agree that the governor and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio overstepped their bounds. A group of 300 rabbis from various denominations released a statement in support of the shutdown.
“We are rabbis and other Jewish religious leaders representing every movement of Judaism, who stand in support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio for using data-driven, geographically-based efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19,” read the statement from the group, New York Jewish Agenda, a “network of mainstream liberal Jewish leaders” as per its website. “We condemn the lack of compliance with public health directives and recent violent reactions from some individuals within the Orthodox Jewish community to enforcement of those mandates. … ”
The rabbis also rejected the call by some that the actions were anti-Semitic in nature.
“Anti-Semitism against Orthodox Jews is serious and widespread, and we must ensure that the implementation of public health policies is both culturally appropriate (e.g., more Yiddish speaking contact tracers) and does not promote anti-Semitism either in its language or in its actions. But to be clear, requiring masking and social distancing for all gatherings, including religious gatherings, is not anti-Semitism.”