Record low: New coronavirus cases in Israel fewer than 1% and Israeli who biked 66,000 km around the world hit by a bus, critically hurt, and dies near home,and in his death saves 7 lives and Union Leader Weingarten: Excluding Private Schools from $1.9 Trillion Relief Would Be a Shonda By David Israel and San Diego State University Reacts to Swastikas Found on Student Housing
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
In an update Friday by the Ministry of Health, 331 new infections were diagnosed, with more than 35,000 tests performed, of which one percent were positive.
According to the Ministry, there has been a slight decrease in the transmission coefficient of the infection, and it now stands at 0.61. On Thursday, 331 new infections were diagnosed, with more than 35,000 tests performed, of which one percent were positive.
On Thursday, Pfizer announced that its vaccine has been effective for at least half a year and that it also protects against the South African mutation, Channel 13 reports. According to the company's announcement, the report continues, the company now intends to act to obtain full regulatory approval for the vaccine.
On Tuesday, Pfizer released data showing 100% success in the corona vaccine trial it developed among 2,260 adolescent boys aged 15-12. The company also stated that no safety risks were found in the use of the vaccine among this group.
"We plan to submit the results of the third phase of the trial to the U.S. FDA for approval of emergency use in the coming weeks and to other regulatory bodies around the world, hoping to start vaccinating this age group before the start of the school year," Pfizer CEO Albert Burla said.
With the latest cases, the number of those infected in Israel rose to 833,707, of whom 6,581 were active carriers.
The death toll rose to 6,220. To date, 4.8 million Israelis have been vaccinated with the second Pfizer dose.
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
San Diego State University Reacts to Swastikas Found on Student Housing
Officials at the San Diego State University are expressing their solidarity with the school's Jewish community after reports that swastikas were painted on a student housing building.
"Speech and use of symbols that are anti-Semitic or encourages hatred of a particular group are reprehensible and counter to the environment we support at SDSU," said school officials in a statement on Thursday. "Such base acts are full of cowardice. Anti-Semitism and other hate-motivated actions have no place at or near or home at SDSU, or anywhere."
The statement was signed by J. Luke Wood, vice president of student affairs and campus diversity; Jessica Nare, assistant vice president for community and belonging; and Christian J. Holt, Associated Students president.
The Daily Aztec, a university newspaper, reported that the swastikas were found on South Campus Plaza North Tower and that university police were investigating. According to information on the school's website, the building has retail outlets on the bottom floors with student housing above.
"Acts of hate like this are disgraceful and cowardly; that swastikas vandalized a home of Jewish students is especially reprehensible. This demonstration of hate, bigotry and intolerance will not be tolerated," SDSU's Jewish leaders wrote in a joint statement. "We stand in solidarity with our Jewish students and the entire Jewish community, and will continue to strive for a more inclusive and positive climate for all SDSU students."
It was signed by Karen Parry, executive director of Hillel of San Diego; Rabbi Chalom Boudjnah, director of Chabad-Jewish Student Life of San Diego; Ofek Suchard, president of Alpha Epsilon Pi; and Lee Abed, Jewish campus leader.
According to Hillel International's College Guide, SDSU has approximately 30,000 undergraduate students with the Jewish student population ranging from 850 to 1,000.
Union Leader Weingarten: Excluding Private Schools from $1.9 Trillion Relief Would Be a Shonda
The $1.9 trillion pandemic relief law, passed by the Democrats in both houses with zero Republican support, includes close to $3 billion earmarked for private schools – quite a surprise from the pro-public school Democrats. In fact, according to the NY Times, it was teachers' union's leader Randi Weingarten, a champion of public education, who supported Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in acknowledging that the federal government was obligated to help all schools recover from the pandemic (Schumer and a Teachers' Union Leader Secure Billions for Private Schools).
Weingarten, a graduate of Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law, told the Times that "the nonwealthy kids that are in parochial schools, their families don't have means, and they've gone through Covid in the same way public school kids have," adding, "All of our children need to survive, and need to recover post-Covid, and it would be a shonda if we didn't actually provide the emotional support and nonreligious supports that all of our children need right now and in the aftermath of this emergency."
According to the Times, Schumer was lobbied by the Orthodox Jewish community in New York City, which upset other Democrats, mostly public school advocates, who fought the Trump administration's efforts to use the last two Covid-19 relief bills to help private schools.
Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy at the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, said the resistance of House Democrats to helping sectarian schools during the pandemic crisis was the reason his group approached Sen. Schumer, who is up for reelection in 2022. Diament pointed out that the 10% of American students who attend private and religious schools have suffered as much as the 90% who attend public schools, which is why, he said, "We're very appreciative of what Senator Schumer did."
The largest teachers' union, the National Education Association, an ally of President Biden, launched an aggressive campaign to remove the funds for yeshivas and other private schools, blasting lawmakers with a letter saying, "We would be remiss if we did not convey our strong disappointment in the Senate's inclusion of a Betsy DeVos-era $2.75 billion for private schools — despite multiple avenues and funding previously made available to private schools."
In 2020, Weingarten led the charge against Education Secretary DeVos's plan to compel public school districts to share more of their federal relief funds with neighboring private schools. But this time around, Weingarten was a key supporter of Schumer's rescue plan for Parochial schools, and apparently reassured the majority leader that not only was she not going to fight this provision, but she thought it was the right thing to do.
Israeli who biked 66,000 km around the world hit by a bus, critically hurt, near home
Praying for a miracle: Veteran extreme adventure athlete Roei Sadan, who made a stunning recovery from a 500-meter fall in 2015, hit while cycling close to kibbutz in northern Israel
An Israeli extreme adventure athlete who gained fame by spending five years biking 66,000 kilometers (41,010 miles) around the world, and later recovered from a 500-meter fall, was critically injured after a bus hit him near his home, Hebrew media reported Thursday.
Roei "Jinji" Sadan, 39, was riding his bike near the entrance to Kibbutz Rosh Hanikra in northern Israel, where he lives, when a United Tours bus hit him at about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Medics found Sadan unconscious with severe multisystem injuries and without vital signs. After resuscitation efforts restored his pulse, he was taken to Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, sedated and on a breathing machine. The hospital said Thursday that he was still in serious condition and doctors were fighting to save his life.
"Unfortunately there has been bad luck and we are praying for a miracle that he will recover from this accident as well," Mateh Asher Regional Council head Moshe Davidovich told the Walla news site. "Roei is a person who lives every moment of his life to the fullest, fulfilling his dreams, and no challenge is too big for him."
From 2007 to 2011, Sadan biked over mountains and through valleys, across deserts and ice fields in 42 countries on six continents.
But in 2015, Sadan slipped on a rock on his way down after climbing the 6,100-meter (20,000-foot) Stok Kangri mountain in northern India with a friend. He plummeted hundreds of meters, his body bouncing off of rocks like a rag doll.
He was miraculously caught by a group of climbers who happened to be climbing below Sadan and his friends. When they saw a body falling down the side of the mountain, they dug their ice axes into the snow and absorbed the force of Sadan's fall with their bodies and then provided him with oxygen until a helicopter rescued him.
He was eventually taken to a hospital in Israel, where he fell into a coma for more than a month.
"The doctor told my parents, due to the brain injury I could return to be like the old Roei, or I could be a vegetable or anything in between that," Sadan told The Times of Israel in 2016.
Despite suffering a diffuse brain injury (damage to the brain over a wide area, not a specific spot), as well as many other injuries, Sadan ended up leaving the hospital six months later and returning to riding his bike.
Sadan's worldwide bicycle route took him from the northernmost point of Alaska down the entire west coast of North, Central, and South America, then from the tip of South Africa to Ethiopia and a two-week break in Israel. He then cycled across Europe from Spain to Istanbul, across Turkey through Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to a tour across China the long way, and a final four months in Australia along the coast, where he biked for two weeks on a tandem with blind Israeli biker Orly Tal.
Sadan and his girlfriend in his hospital room in Tel HaShomer hospital during his recovery in 2015. (courtesy Roei Sadan)
Along the way, he was one of Israel's farthest-reaching informal ambassadors, bringing his blue-and-white hybrid Thorn bike named Emuna ("faith" in Hebrew), bedecked with an Israeli flag fluttering behind, to corners of Australia's Outback, Africa's deserts, and Central America's jungles that had never seen an Israeli before.
He spoke at schools, embassies, Jewish communities, and synagogues, encouraging his audiences to follow their dreams. Afterward, he'd always get back on Emuna and bike off toward the horizon, alone.
His injury had caused him to become more dependent on others, drastically changing his relationship with his family and friends. He has been suffering from weakness on his left side, chronic fatigue, and impaired short-term memory.
But this week's injury has halted his years-long path to recovery.
"My slogan before was 'Dream with Open Eyes,'" Sadan said in 2016. "Sometimes a nightmare is a type of dream. At the end of the day, everything is an experience. Sometimes an experience is a nightmare that ends."
Melanie Lidman contributed to this report.
Israeli bicyclist who cycled around world saves 7 lives in death
With a flaming red beard that earned him the nickname "Ginger" and a larger-than-life personality, Roei Sadan was a well-known figure in the cycling world, both in Israel and abroad.
After finishing his army service, Sadan made headlines in 2011 for his cycling journey around the world, during which he biked more than 66,000 kilometers and passed through 42 countries, visiting every continent but Antarctica.
But after a tragic accident last week, Sadan is in the news once again — this time, for saving the lives of seven Israelis via organ donation.
While riding his bike last Thursday near his home at Kibbutz Rosh HaNikra, the 39-year-old was hit by a bus. At Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, his condition deteriorated and he passed away on Friday.
Sadan's close friend Gil Yehezkel explained that the cyclist had adopted a new training routine meant to simulate climbing Mount Everest.
"There is [a steep] ascent from the Rosh HaNikra cliff upwards, an… ascent that even IDF jeeps have a hard time doing. [Sadan] would do this ascent 21 times, and that was his daily workout," Yehezkel told Ynet.
"When he was on his way back – and we still do not know exactly how it happened – he was hit by the bus. He received one blow and flew up to the bus windshield, and from there he was thrown forward on the road, falling on his head."
Because Sadan was a registered organ donor, his death meant a new chance at life for seven Israelis with chronic illnesses and organ failure.
Sadan had a previous brush with death in August 2015, when he fell some 500 meters while rock-climbing in the Himalayas. He was seriously injured and underwent emergency surgery at a local medical center, then spent 2 months in a coma in Israel's Tel HaShomer Hospital.
Sadan made a miraculous recovery, completing intense physical therapy and learning to ride a bike again just a year after the accident.
The accident put a damper on his wanderlust, and he decided to settle down at Kibbutz Rosh HaNikra near the Lebanese border, to the relief of his mother.
"In all the years that Roie traveled the world on a bike, anxiety has been an integral part of me," Rachel Sadan told Ynet. "Every ring from an unknown number made me jump and I was scared by every knock on the door."
"Since Roie returned to Israel, I have calmed down," she said. "I knew he was here, recovering, hiking, giving lectures and drinking life with pleasure.
"I was sure that within the borders of Israel, he is not exposed to danger," she said.