😠 Federal and local prosecutors have launched investigations into whether Congressman-elect George Santos’s extensive lies about his work, education and family background constitute a fraud on the public. “No one is above the law,” said the Nassau County District Attorney, who, like Santos, is a Republican. “If a crime was committed in this county, we will prosecute it.” (New York Times)
🔎 Meanwhile, Jewish elected officials and leaders plan to call “on Congress to immediately launch an ethics investigation into Santos’ misconduct” at a news conference on Thursday. (Twitter)
🤦 And more Santos lies about a Jewish heritage came to light on Wednesday: He once said his mother’s family’s historical Jewish name was “Zabrovsky” and appeared to operate a GoFundMe campaign for a pet rescue charity using that alias; claimed in a campaign video that he understood the dangers of socialism because “my grandparents survived the Holocaust;” and said in an interview, “my grandfather was born in Kyiv.” The Forward broke the news last week that his mother’s parents were both born in Brazil before the Nazis came to power. (CNN)
🩺 U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Jewish Maryland Democrat who has been a lead investigator of former President Donald Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, announced Wednesday he has a serious but curable form of cancer. (JTA)
💸 Hasidic and Orthodox schools in New York have exploited a city policy fast-tracking approvals of special education services, a new investigation by The New York Times found, with companies collecting more than $350 million in government funding for services that were not always needed or provided. These schools also reported far higher rates of special ed than others in the city, and some pushed parents to get their students diagnosed with disabilities. “The program is smoke and mirrors,” said one woman who filed a whistle-blower complaint. (NYT)
🇮🇹 A 92-year-old Holocaust survivor and senator in Italy is president of a parliamentary commission to combat racism, antisemitism and incitement to hatred. Since she took the job in 2019, the senator has had a police escort due to death threats from the far-right. (Guardian)
📖 Ukrainians’ online engagement with the Bible rose by 55% after the country was invaded by Russia in February, according to the creators of a popular Bible app. Their favorite verse is from the Book of Isaiah: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Religion News Service)
What we’re listening to ➤ Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, a podcast, whose latest episode dropped overnight and has the host chatting with one his biggest fans, a congregational rabbi from the New York suburbs. Rabbi David Schuck of New Rochelle talked about what goes on at synagogue board meetings, surviving the pandemic and pastoral counseling in the grocery store. “Every day is completely unpredictable,” he said.
What else we’re reading ➤ Meet the rabbi who is helping bring legal cannabis to New York … Israeli archaeologists excavating ‘Jesus midwife’ tomb …A new coffee table book of photos explores the Jewish history of Northern Virginia.