Friday round-up: Feb. 4

Diagram of the planned renovations for MMAE’s upcoming Jewish music venue (Courtesy of Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah Hebrew Congregation)

Moses Montefiore plans a Jewish music venue

Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah Hebrew Congregation is working to create a new music venue meant specifically for Jewish music performers.

“There are a lot of very talented Jewish music musicians, but there doesn’t seem to be a strong culture in terms of touring, and the kinds of things that you see in the secular world, or even the religious Christian music world,” said Rabbi Yerachmiel Shapiro. “Because there’s no guaranteed place where they’ll be able to play.

“So if every city had a Jewish music venue, New York, Boston, Miami, Chicago, then artists could come in from Israel and go on tour,” Shapiro continued. “And it could be something that unites the Jewish community.”

The new venue, which will be named the Harry and Rose Katz Jewish Music Theater, will be assembled in a part of the synagogue that is currently underutilized, Shapiro said. Renovations to the space will include venue lighting, a stage, standing room for dancing toward the back and an open area for a bar. The venue might also be used for art shows and Jewish theatrical productions.

Antisemitic flyers in Annapolis

Antisemitic flyers were reportedly found on streets in Annapolis in late January.

Local police began receiving calls about the flyers on Jan. 24, said Stanley Brandford, the department’s deputy chief.

The flyers were found on Tyler Avenue and Janice Drive.

The flyers included claims that Jewish people are behind the coronavirus pandemic, the Capital Gazette reported. They also had a link to a website claiming Jewish involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Meredith R. Weisel, the Anti-Defamation League’s Washington, D.C. deputy regional director, explained that a number of states have recently seen flyers making these types of claims.

A group called the Goyim Defense League has been distributing flyers, stickers and banners around the country, Weisel noted. These items have so far been found in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Texas and Wisconsin. According to the ADL, the the Goyim Defense League is a “loose network of individuals” who espouse “vitriolic antisemitism and white supremacist themes via the internet, through propaganda distributions and in street actions.”

The flyers found in Annapolis are similar to those the ADL attributes to the Goyim Defense League, Brandford stated. He emphasized though that he was not saying that the GDL or a faction of them was present in Annapolis, or that someone was necessarily copying the GDL’s literature.

Deborah Lipstadt scheduled to receive confirmation hearing

After months of delays, Deborah Lipstadt, nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as the State Department’s antisemitism monitor, will receive a confirmation hearing on Feb. 8, JTA reported.

An Emory University Holocaust historian, Lipstadt’s nomination by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had been put on hold by Republican Sen. James Risch, the committee’s minority leader, due to past criticisms Lipstadt had made of Republicans. One past tweet from Lipstadt accused Sen. Ron Johnson of white supremacy and highlighted an article in which Johnson was quoted as saying that he would have been more concerned about the events of Jan. 6, 2021, had the rioters been members of antifa or Black Lives Matter, rather than Trump supporters.

If approved by the committee, Lipstadt’s confirmation would then go to the full Senate. As Senate Democrats are in the majority, it is expected she would then be confirmed. In her new role, Lipstadt would be responsible for reporting antisemitism overseas and urging governments to implement measures to curtail antisemitism.

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