Fresh controversy: After the NBA star was briefly suspended by the Brooklyn Nets in November for sharing a link to an antisemitic movie, prominent voices around the league suggested he be reinstated after he posted an apology six days after the initial post. Three months later, Irving has been traded to the Dallas Mavericks — and has taken down the apology.
Family ties: Irving addressed the issue at a press conference Tuesday. “I delete a lot of things all the time, and it’s no disrespect to anyone within the community. Just living my life,” he said. Adding that he has Jewish family members, Irving asked: “Did the media know that beforehand, when they called me that word, antisemitic? No. Did they know anything about my family?”
Cuban crisis: Mark Cuban, owner of the Mavericks, is Jewish, and was cautiously critical of Irving at the height of his antisemitism scandal. The likelihood that Irving would be traded to a franchise with a Jewish owner was nearly a coin flip, with 13 of the 30 NBA teams principally owned by Jewish people. Cuban, who called Irving a “transcendental” basketball player after news of the trade broke, has yet to comment on the apology’s removal.
Room for growth: “I don’t think Kyrie has got a bad heart,” Cuban said at the time of Irving’s antisemitism scandal, adding, “We all make mistakes and we all learn from it and I hope Kyrie does the same thing.” Irving’s first game as a Maverick is expected to be tonight.
A puppet portrays the late Salvadoran archbishop Oscar Romero during a performance by the Bread and Puppet Theater at its home base on a 250-acre farm in Vermont. (Garrett MacLean)
In savaging the Israeli military, has a legendary puppet theater finally gone too far? The plight of Palestinians has been a longtime focus for the decidedly anti-war Bread and Puppet Theater, which has performed shows about atrocities in Vietnam, Central America, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. But for some, the politics of their latest show, which featured declarations that “Palestine must be free from the river to the sea,” felt too extreme. One critic said the group is promoting “misleading and one-sided narratives,” and some members of the troupe have dropped out of productions. Read the story ➤
First person | Here’s what I learned counseling Hasidic special needs children:Michael Fox — no, not that Michael Fox — is a trained psychologist and speaks Yiddish. But when he began working with Hasidic children, he faced unexpected challenges. Coming from outside the community, he writes, many “considered people like me a spiritual threat to their children. I was clearly a Jew, but I represented an alternative way of expressing my Jewishness — and they didn’t want their children exposed to it.” Read his essay ➤
But wait, there’s more…
Joe Rogan, who hosts one of America’s most popular podcasts, said in a recent episode that “the idea that Jewish people aren’t into money is ridiculous. That’s like saying Italians aren’t into pizza.” Rogan has a long history of antisemitic remarks. In January, he referred to George Soros, the Jewish billionaire and Holocaust survivor, as “an evil person in a Batman movie.”
We got sneak peeks at two Super Bowl commercials starring Jewish actors Paul Rudd and Alicia Silverstone. (No, it’s not a Clueless reunion.) Our culture critic PJ Grisar says the ads may hold the key to eternal youth.
Your humble morning newsletter host with Mandy Patinkin Tuesday night. (Staci Levine)
In the town of Zelienople, Pennsylvania, north of Pittsburgh, the actor Mandy Patinkin stood on a sparse and small stage. His friend, Adam Ben-David, sat at the piano, and Patinkin – in a black shirt, black jeans and slip-on sneakers – leaned on a nearby wooden chair. “Pretty expensive set, huh?” he jokingly told an intimate crowd of 300 gathered at the Strand Theater.
The Tuesday night stop was one of 13 that Patinkin is making up and down the East Coast, a resumption of one of Patinkin’s treasured pre-pandemic rituals: performing concerts of Broadway show tunes and Yiddish songs during down time between movie and television projects.
He belted out Yiddish renditions of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” and Mary Poppins’ classic melody “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” At one point, while telling a story about his childhood shul in Chicago, he scanned the audience. “For any non-Jews here,” he said, “Google davening.”
Residents search for earthquake victims and survivors amidst the rubble in Syria, near the border with Turkey. (Getty)
🌍 Israel confirmed that an earthquake hit the country Tuesday night, with 3.5 magnitude tremors reported in Jerusalem and in some areas in the occupied West Bank. This comes days after two massive earthquakes in Turkey and Syria killed at least 11,000 people, one of this century’s worst natural disasters to date. (Times of Israel)
🇺🇦 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise visit to the U.K. in just his second trip outside Ukraine since the war began nearly a year ago. Zelelnskyy, who arrived in London this morning, is scheduled to speak in front of Parliament, and meet with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and King Charles. (CNN)
🇺🇦 Back on the warfront, the chief rabbi of Odessa is raising money for equipment to convert car batteries to makeshift heaters and generators for some 400 Holocaust survivors who remain in the city. “Someone over 90 cannot start life over as a refugee,” he said. (JTA)
⏲️ Germany’s top Nazi hunter is racing against the clock to prosecute five cases before the remaining suspects, many of whom are now in their late 90s, die. “Murder is not subject to a statute of limitations,” he said. (Reuters)
🕍 Archaeologists in the southern Spanish town of Utrera uncovered a 14th-century synagogue hidden within a building that had been converted into a church, hospital and most recently a bar, they announced on Tuesday. (AP)
📕 Barbra Streisand has written a memoir, My Name is Barbra, that is set to publish on Nov. 7th. According to the description, it will include, among other things, the behind-the-scenes story of how, with Yentl, she became the first woman to write, produce, direct and star in a major motion picture. (Twitter)
Shiva call ➤ Charles Silverstein, a therapist whose 1973 testimony persuaded the American Psychiatric Association to reassess its classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder, died at 87.
Gabbi Stein, the first Orthodox Eagle Scout, sees the group as an extension of her Judaism. (Courtesy)
On this day in history (1910): Publisher W.D. Boyce established the Boy Scouts of America. In 2001, the Reform movement prohibited synagogues from hosting Boy Scout troops until the organization lifted its ban on openly gay employees, which it did in 2015. In February 2019, the organization rebranded itself as BSA, and began allowing female scouts to earn badges — paving the way in 2020 for Gabbi Stein to become the first Orthodox Jewish girl to become an Eagle Scout.
Last year on this day, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker testified before Congress about being held hostage at his Texas synagogue. “I am grateful to be here,” he said. “To be honest, I’m grateful to be anywhere.”
If you walked out of a movie theater in 1981, after having watched Mel Brooks’ epic comedy The History of the World, Part 1, you likely thought Reagan might still be president when the sequel arrived. Well, it took a little longer than that. Brooks, now 96, is set to release The History of the World, Part 2, in March as a“four-night event” on Hulu. The satire debuts, appropriately, on Purim. Expect cameos from Sigmund Freud, Jesus, and Seth Rogen as a biblical Noah who, for some reason, decided to save two of every breed of dog – except for pugs. (For pugs, he saved three.)
Thanks to Rebecca Salzhauer and Talya Zax for contributing to today’s newsletter. You can reach the “Forwarding” team at email@example.com.