World Mental Health Day, Harvey Weinstein, Gal Gadot and more

World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day, which aims to raise awareness about mental health issues around the world and mobilize efforts to support mental health. This year’s theme is mental health in the workplace, looking at how our workplace experience can be improved to promote mental health and wellbeing, reports Fortune. Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression, and 260 million suffer from anxiety disorders—many of whom live with both conditions. A study by the World Health Organization found that such disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion in lost productivity each year. Here’s a deeper look at how mental health issues affect Americans:

  • 1 in 5 (or 43.8 million) adults experience mental illness in a given year.
  • 1 in 25 (or 10 million) adults experience a serious mental illness.
  • 1 in 100 (or 2.4 million) live with schizophrenia.
  • 2.6% (or 6.1 million) of Americans have bipolar disorder.
  • 6.9% (or 16 million) suffer from severe depression.
  • 18.1% (or 42 million) live with an anxiety disorder.
  • 90% of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness.

For more information directly related to mental health in the workplace, see the World Health Organization.

Read more: World Mental Health Day 2017: Illness in the Workplace Is More Common Than You Might Think

Women Wage Peace 

Some 30,000 people participated in a peace rally organized by a group for Israeli and Palestinian women. The men and women who gathered Sunday in Jerusalem as part of a two-week-long “peace walk” organized by the Women Wage Peace organization were marching for an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as equal gender representation in peace negotiations, Haaretz reported. The participants included Adina Bar-Shalom, the daughter of late Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, and Druze former lawmaker Shakib Shanan. “Palestinian families and Israeli families have lost their loved ones and been left with a wound that does not heal. I came here to say, we want to live!” Shanan, whose son Kamil was one of two Border Police officers killed in a July terror attack in Jerusalem, told the crowd. “We are allowed to say this out loud — we are peace loving.” Women Wage Peace was founded three years ago following the 2014 Gaza War.

See: 30,000 Israelis and Palestinians gather for women’s peace rally in Jerusalem

Speaking of marches…

The White Supremacists returned to Charlottesville on Saturday. White nationalist leader Richard Spencer led the far-right rally and was the featured speaker. Saturday’s march included several dozen torch-bearing white nationalists who marched through Emancipation Park to the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, which the city is working to remove, along with the statues of other Confederate leaders. “It was a planned flash mob,” Spencer told the Washington Post. “It was a great success. We’ve been planning this for a long time. We wanted to prove that we came in peace in May, we came in peace in August, and we come again in peace.” The protesters have vowed to continue to return to Charlottesville, according to the Washington Post.

Read more: White supremacists march again in Charlottesville

Swastika at University of Maryland

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says a man has been charged for spray painting a swastika on University of Maryland’s campus on Sept. 27. According to University of Maryland Police, 52-year-old Ronald Alford Sr. is believed to be responsible for painting the image on a trash cart near one of the campus residence halls. They say Alford was issued criminal summons for one count of malicious destruction of property and one count related to disturbing the operations of a school. University police say Alford has also been denied access to campus. ADL says the incident comes at a time when colleges and universities are reporting an increase in hate related incidents on campuses. “The swastika is a universal symbol of hate, meant to instill fear and intimidation. We commend the University of Maryland Police for taking this case seriously and for their thoughtful and prompt response to this incident,” the ADL Washington, DC Regional Director said.  They say a court hearing is scheduled for next month.

See: Man charged for spray painting swastika on University of Maryland’s campus

Jewish camp

The remains of fire-damaged homes in Glen Ellen, Calif., after a wildfire moved through the area, Oct. 9, 2017. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Jewish camp ravaged by forest fire

Much of a Reform Jewish summer camp has been wiped out by forest fires sweeping across northern California. The Union for Reform Judaism’s Camp Newman, an hour north of the San Francisco Bay, has been “mostly destroyed” by the fires burning in the Sonoma and Napa Counties, the camp posted on Facebook Tuesday evening. Camp staff have yet to be able to visit the area. Camp is not in session, and everyone living at the campsite — along with its Torah scrolls — were rescued before the fires reached the camp. At least 10 people have died so far in the forest fires, which blazed across the area Monday. At least 15 fires are burning in eight counties, 20,000 people have evacuated their homes and 1,500 buildings have been destroyed. The camp advised on Facebook that area residents in need of water or power visit a nearby Reform synagogue, Congregation Shomrei Torah. “Most importantly, we take great comfort in knowing that all of our staff are safe,” the post said. “We are so grateful to the first responders and firefighters who attempted to save our camp buildings. We are keeping these heroic and hardworking people in our thoughts and prayers as they continue to work to protect the people and the places in our Camp Newman neighborhood, for whom we will continue to pray.”

Read more: Jewish camp in Northern California ravaged by forest fire

Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein in Sun Valley, Idaho, July 12, 2017. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Harvey Weinstein fired

The movie production firm started by Harvey Weinstein fired him following sexual harassment allegations by several women, including Hollywood actress Ashley Judd. The Weinstein Company’s directors announced the co-founder’s dismissal Sunday, citing “new information about misconduct” by Weinstein’s who founded the firm in 2005. Last week, the New York Times published an article alleging that Weinstein, who is Jewish, had harassed Judd and Rose McGowan, another Hollywood actress, as well as many other female talents and employees over decades. After the report was published, Weinstein, 65, issued a statement in which he said he’ll “take a leave of absence” from his production firm, The Weinstein Company, and “spend more time with a therapist.” But the Weinstein Company Board of Representatives said in a statement Sunday that Harvey Weinstein’s employment “is terminated, effective immediately.” Meanwhile, fashion designer Donna Karan defended Weinstein by suggesting women who dress provocatively are “asking for it.” Rose McGowan responded to Karan’s comments by calling her “scum in a fancy dress.” Other Hollywood actresses, including Mia Farrow, also spoke out against Karan’s remarks. Karan clarified her remarks with: “I believe that sexual harassment is NOT acceptable and this is an issue that MUST be addressed once and for all regardless of the individual. I am truly sorry to anyone that I offended and everyone that has ever been a victim.”

Read more: Movie Mogul Harvey Weinstein Fired Following Harassment Claims

Richard Thaler

Richard Thaler after learning he had been awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economic Science, Oct. 9, 2017. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

More Nobel Honors

Richard Thaler, a professor at the University of Chicago, won the Nobel Prize in Economic Science for his pioneering work in the field of behavioral economics. The Nobel Committee in announcing the prize for Thaler on Monday in Stockholm said his research helped lead to changes in public policy, such as employees being automatically registered in programs to save for retirement. Following the announcement Thaler, who is Jewish and was born in East Orange, N.J. said his work rested on the idea that “in order to do good economics, you have to keep in mind that people are human.” His research helps predict human economic decisions. While people often behave in irrational ways, Thaler’s work showed that they do so according to certain patterns. The 72-year-old economist, who made a cameo alongside Selena Gomez in the 2015 film “The Big Short,” joked that he would spend the $1.1 million award “as irrationally as possible.” He said he would continue his work in economics. –JTA

Also see: Nobel Prize Winners for Medicine and Physics


Gal Gadot at the 74th Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., Jan. 8, 2017. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Gal Gadot’s Very Big Week

First the “Wonder Woman” star appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon and ate a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup for the very first time (she seemed to approve). Then, Gadot hosted “Saturday Night Live” and presented an opening monologue in Hebrew.

Read more: Gal Gadot Speaks Hebrew While Hosting ‘SNL’




Rabbi Etan Mintz and Josh Kohn

Rabbi Etan Mintz, left, of B’nai Israel synagogue, and Josh Kohn, Creative Alliance performance director. (Photo by Steve Ruark)

Our Very Own Sixth & I?

The Creative Alliance and B’nai Israel are embarking on a joint sacred music series this fall called “Lombard & Lloyd: Creative Alliance @ B’nai Israel.” Modeled on a smaller scale after the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C. – which offers a wide range of musical performances, entertainment, lectures and other programming, as well as worship services – “Lombard & Lloyd” will initially present sacred music concerts but could branch out into other forms of programming, say organizers. “Baltimore is not D.C., and we recognize this,” says Rabbi Etan Mintz, spiritual leader since 2012 of B’nai Israel, a congregation of 135 families and individuals. “But there’s a lot of energy here. The goal is to energize the B’nai Israel space and bring a fresh light to an historical congregation. We have a story to tell.” The kickoff event will be “Innov Gnawa-Sebitiyin: The Jewish Songs of Gnawa” on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 8:15 p.m. The performance will feature the Jewish repertoire of gnawa, the ritual trance music of Morocco’s black communities.

Read more about the partnership: B’nai Israel, Creative Alliance to Kick Off Sacred Music Series


J-Word of the Day

Kalev (Hebrew)
Meaning: Dog
Usage: “He’s got the mind of a fox and the face of a kalev.”

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Top photo: Producer Harvey Weinstein attends the Simon Wiesenthal Center 2015 National Tribute Dinner on March 24, 2015 in Beverly Hills. (Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)

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