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At Trump’s arraignment, antisemitic posters and Messianic shofar blasts

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Shofar blasts, Messianic signs, and more Jewish angles to Trump’s arraignment: Our senior political reporter, Jacob Kornbluh, was outside the Manhattan courthouse Tuesday when former President Trump pled not guilty to 34 felony counts. There, he saw posters blaming Jewish billionaire George Soros for orchestrating a campaign against Trump, and Messianic Jews blowing shofars in support of him. It’s a continuation of a theme from the 2022 midterms, when right-wing Christians used shofars at political rallies. Read the story ➤

Opinion | The case for grilling gefilte fish: “Passover celebrates freedom, so why force people to eat gefilte fish?” asks our columnist and resident foodie Rob Eshman. “For most dinner guests, especially those new to the sight of grayish pockmarked oblongs of mystery flesh sweating jellied fish globules, it’s at least confusing.” The Passover liturgy encourages us to tell the story of our Exodus anew, for each generation. So Rob has an idea: Gefilte fish kebab. Read his essay ➤

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The cast of ‘Transatlantic.’ (Netflix)

‘I’m always telling the story of Exodus’: ‘Unorthodox’ creator Anna Winger on her new Netflix show: How do you follow up an award-winning phenomenon like Unorthodox? For her latest series, which debuts Friday, Anna Winger opted to tell the (semi-fictionalized) story of Varian Fry’s Emergency Rescue Committee, which evacuated a who’s who of anti-Nazi and Jewish artists and thinkers from Vichy France. “Obviously, I’m an artist, I’m Jewish, I live in Berlin,” said Winger. “I thought a lot about what it would be like for someone like me to just be exiled.” Read the story ➤

Opinion | ‘Next year in Jerusalem’ has grounded Diaspora Jews for centuries. Does the unrest in Israel change that? A metaphorical Jerusalem is a more realistic aspiration this Passover, argues our editor-at-large, Robin Washington, recalling a childhood in which he saw saying “next year in Jerusalem” as “analogous to my cheering for the hapless Chicago Cubs, each September ending with a ‘wait till next year.’” But “miracles do happen,” Robin writes. The Cubs have since won the World Series. “Could world peace be far behind?” Read his essay ➤

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A gnome for every holiday, except Passover. (Collage by Rabbi Yael Buechler)

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WHAT ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

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Israeli police detain a Palestinian man at the Al-Aqsa Mosque after clashes that erupted Wednesday morning. (Getty)

🇮🇱  “The Israeli Air Force struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip Wednesday morning after a barrage of rockets was launched at nearby Israeli towns,” reports the Times of Israel. Overnight, there were also clashes between police and Palestinians inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. (TOI, Haaretz)

 

🍷  “The Biden administration will host its third annual virtual ‘People’s Seder’ next Monday at 5:30 p.m.,” reports Jewish Insider. The event is co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and will focus on food insecurity. “Even while there is a feast in front of us, our neighbors are hungry and we can never truly be free until each and every one of us is food secure,” said Shelley Greenspan, the White House’s liaison to the Jewish community. (Jewish Insider)

 

🔫  The man who shot and killed 58 people at a 2017 music festival in Las Vegas was obsessed with Hitler and the Oklahoma City bombers, according to newly declassified documents from the FBI. (Rolling Stone)

 

🏫  Columbia University announced it would open a new research center in Tel Aviv, its 10th such outpost around the world. But at least 95 faculty have signed a letter objecting to the center, referencing accusations of Israeli human rights violations, and criticizing the policies of Israel’s far-right governing coalition. (JTA)

 

⚖️  A Ninth Circuit court revived a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by a Jehovah’s Witness. Brianna Bolden-Hardge, an employee of the state of California, says she was denied a higher-paying position because she refused to sign a loyalty oath to the state, which she said would violate her religious beliefs. (Courthouse News)

 

🎭  A new play in Chicago explores the legacy of Isaac Babel. Babel, a Russian Jew who grew up relatively privileged, wrote about prostitutes, mobsters and other underworld characters, and even went to war in search of a good story. (JTA)

 

Quotable ➤  “Hashtag ObjectsInMirrorAreCloserThanTheyAppear” — Jewish comedian Judy Gold in her new off-Broadway show, discussing how the liberation of Auschwitz took place just 17 years before she was born in 1962. 

What else we’re reading ➤  At many Passover Seders, Israel unrest will be on the table … A search for tolerance in the heart of Jewish L.A. reveals fear, resolve and signs of hope … How one of North America’s largest Conservative congregations added 900 new members in eight months.

ON THE CALENDAR

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On this day in history (1981): Singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler was born to Jewish parents in Washington D.C. Since 2004, the Boston-based Nadler has released 10 studio albums and received praise from publications, including Pitchfork, for her mezzo-soprano vocals. “I’m not particularly religious, though I grew up infused in the culture. I love the Hebrew language, and I do read and write it. I think there’s a beauty in continuing a cultural tradition,” Nadler told Forward contributor Michael Kaminer in a 2014 interview.

 

Passover begins tonight at sundown and lasts eight days.

And in honor of National Nebraska Day, check out these 10 Jewish facts about the Cornhusker State.

VIDEO OF THE DAY

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Enjoy this Yiddish rendition of “Dayenu” performed by the Yiddish Philharmonic Chorus, and conducted by Binyumen Schaechter, the brother of Rukhl Schaechter, our Yiddish editor.

 

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Thanks to PJ Grisar, Sarah Nachimson and Talya Zax for contributing to today’s newsletter. You can reach the “Forwarding” team at editorial@forward.com.

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The post At Trump’s arraignment, antisemitic posters and Messianic shofar blasts appeared first on The Forward.

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