Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been sentenced to 6-1/2 years in prison for bribery and extortion. He was also fined $1 million. As previously reported by The Jewish Voice, close to $5 million was received by Silver from estate developers and a cancer researcher in exchange for Silver using his position of influence for their gain. The funds were then laundered in private investment vehicles.
Silver was first convicted in 2015, which was affirmed in 2018. After various appeals, District Judge Valerie Caproni of Federal District Court in Manhattan rejected the appeals, calling Silver “guilty of corruption, plain and simple,” and imposed sentence.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said that her cancer has returned, but ruled out retirement from the nation’s highest court. Ginsburg, 87, said in a statement released by the Supreme Court, that she has been receiving chemotherapy every two weeks since May 19, which has reduced lesions on her liver. “I have often said I would remain a member of the court as long as I can do the job full-steam,” she said. “I remain fully able to do that.”
Ginsburg’s statement was released one day after she was released from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for the treatment of a possible infection. Ginsburg, who has sat on America’s highest court since 1993, has experienced a number of health issues over the past few years. Earlier this year, she was hospitalized with an infection in her gallbladder. In August 2019, she underwent radiation for a tumor on her pancreas. In December 2018, she had surgery to remove cancerous nodules from her lungs.
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry, retired from the U.S. Army after more than 21 years of military service. According to Vindman’s attorney, David Pressmen, his client determined that his future in the armed forces “will forever be limited” due to political retaliation by the President and his allies. Vindman has endured a “campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation” spearheaded by the President following his testimony in the impeachment inquiry last year, Pressman said.
News of Vindman’s retirement marks the culmination of a months-long saga dating back to his public testimony in November. Trump fired Vindman as the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council in February, and also ousted his twin brother, who also played a key role in impeachment proceedings while serving at the White House as an NSC lawyer.
In recent weeks, the controversy has centered on allegations that the White House was attempting to block Vindman’s upcoming military promotion to the rank of colonel.
On Tuesday nights, at 8:30, tens of thousands of people throughout France — believers and nonbelievers, Jews, Muslims and Christians — log on to Facebook to hear the nation’s foremost female rabbi discuss the intersection of racism and anti-Semitism, and help them make sense of a modern plague.
Horvilleur, 45, who has been called a rock star in a leather jacket, is a former model who has appeared on the cover of French Elle. The wild curls framing her face have been compared to the sidelocks of Hasidic Jews. She finds the descriptions amusing insofar as they counter stereotypes and help her reach audiences across cultures.
“I’m trying to create bridges between worlds that have stopped talking to each other,” she said. “I’m trying to create links between words and worlds.”
Horvilleur, one of only four female rabbis in France, is also known as the rare public intellectual who has brought faith into the conversation in a country committed to secularism. And although she is also one of the few progressive rabbis in France’s overwhelmingly Orthodox Jewish community, she has become a leader of a growing movement of Jews from all denominations.
“The Hebrew Bible is full of stories of leaders like Abraham, who were called to leave their birthplace to journey to an unknown region,” she said. “We are who we are because we were willing to go on another path. Judaism is a religion of becoming.”
Brazil has appointed Luis Fux, 67, as the first Jewish Justice Minister of the Supreme Federal Court. In 2011, he became the first Jewish judge to be named to the Bench of the Court. Brazil rotates the post of Chief Justice among the 11 members who comprise its Federal Supreme Court, a panel that decides constitutional matters and final appeals.
Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal, chief executive of the Rabbinical Assembly (RA), will continue in that role and also became CEO of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USJC). In his joint leadership role, Rabbi Blumenthal will seek ways to “enliven and enrich meaningful Jewish experiences.”
Rabbi Blumenthal was the founding rabbi of Shaare Torah in Gaithersburg, MD, and he helped to create Washington, DC’s Ramah Day Camp as well as outreach programs to millennials.
Adam Rapoport, the longtime editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit, resigned after a photo showing him wearing a racist costume surfaced in Twitter, and several staffers publicly called out racist practices within the magazine, The Forward reported.
In a statement on Instagram, Rapoport, who led the magazine since 2010, wrote, “I am stepping down as editor-in-chief of Bon Appetit to reflect on the work I need to do as a human being and allow Bon Appétit to get to a better place.” He acknowledged that he had “blind spots as an editor.”