News Briefs: Jewish Death Row Inmate Claims Judge Was Anti-Semitic and More

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Tenth NYC Orthodox School Closed Because of Measles Outbreak

Central UTA Satmar School for Boys in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, became the 10th school in New York City to be closed because of unvaccinated students and the ongoing measles outbreak, JNS.org reported.

Nine of the closed schools are in Williamsburg, and the other is in Queens.

Before the city will allow the schools to reopen, they must create a plan prohibiting students that don’t comply with vaccination orders — and have that plan approved by local authorities.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the measles outbreak in the United States is the worst in more than 25 years.

In a June 10 report, the CDS said 41 new measles cases had been confirmed, including in Idaho and Virginia — measles reports have popped up in 28 states.

Between Jan. 1 and June 6, 1,022 cases have been reported nationwide, mostly in and around New York City. On June 13, New York lawmakers voted to require school children to be vaccinated, even if their parents have religious objections.

Ryan Braun Becomes Jewish Home Run Leader

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun surpassed legendary Detroit Tigers outfielder Hank Greenberg as Major League Baseball’s all-time Jewish home run leader when he hit his 332nd career homer on June 7, JTA reported.

Braun, 35, has spent his entire career with the Brewers, but his legacy was tarnished in 2012 when he tested positive for banned performance- enhancing drugs.

Braun is not religious, but his father is Israeli and he has said he is proud of his Jewish heritage.

A barbed wire fence
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Jewish Death Row Inmate Claims in Appeal That Judge Was Anti-Semitic

Texas death row inmate Randy Halprin filed an appeal in May that the judge in his case was anti- Semitic and should have recused himself, JTA reported.

Halprin was part of the “Texas 7” who escaped from a facility in Kenedy, Texas, on Dec. 13, 2000. Six of the prisoners were caught more than a month later, while another died by suicide. The prisoners were convicted of murdering a police officer who responded to a robbery they committed while on the lam and were sentenced to death in 2003.

Four of the six have since been executed.

Halprin, 41, said Judge Vickers Cunningham referred to him using anti-Semitic language.

“Before, during, and after Randy Halprin’s trial, Judge Cunningham harbored deep-seated animus towards and prejudices about non-white, non- Christian people,” Halprin’s attorneys wrote. “He expressed these views frequently in private and they informed his thinking about his public service in the law. Judge Cunningham had a duty not to preside over a case in which he considered the defendant a … ‘[expletive] Jew.’”

Jews Honored at Tony Awards

Jewish directors Rachel Chavkin and Sam Mendes won best director Tony Awards on June 9 for Hadestown and The Ferryman, respectively.

Chavkin won for best musical, while Mendes won for best play. In addition, Elaine May won her first Tony as best leading actress in a play in Kenneth Lonergan’s semi-autobiographical The Waverly Gallery. Bryan Cranston — whose father is of Austrian Jewish descent — won a Tony Award for best leading man in a play in Network.

Sound designer Nevin Steinberg received a Tony with Jessica Paz for Hadestown, while Jamie deRoy, producer of six of this year’s nominated shows, won a statue when The Ferryman scored best play.

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