• To mark the creation of a bizarre new Facebook group naming today “Hug a Jew Day,” the Jewish Chronicle asked a few (all male) minor celebs who they would like to embrace; two of them unimaginatively chose Sarah Silverman. Maybe it would be a good day for Sacha Baron Cohen to revisit the Today show. [JC]
• In the wake of President Mahmoud Abbas’s announcement that he will not run for reelection and might even resign, and Hamas’s refusal to allow residents of Gaza to vote, the Palestinian Authority has determined that elections cannot take place in January as planned; no other date has yet been proposed. [NYT]
• Alysa Stanton, the first black female rabbi, has taken the pulpit at Congregation Bayt Shalom in Greenville, N.C.; according to one member, “The women run this congregation.” [Forward]
• An article about the traditional Jewish stew cholent—a piece that, for unexplained reasons, is framed as a conversation between an unnamed doctor and chef—offers recipes, and an abridged history of beans. [Haaretz]
• For a Muslim community meeting to prepare for backlash after the Fort Hood shooting, New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg counter-productively invited Siraj Wahhaj, who was declared an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the 1995 World Trade Center Bombing. Whoops! [NYDN]
• This Monday, a Bay Area theater is staging a reading of Caryl Churchill’s controversial play Seven Jewish Children paired with a reading of a play written in response, Israel Horovitz’s What Strong Fences Make; although “the plays sit on opposite sides of a controversy,” one audience member at a previous performance said they “described the same reality: both sides trapped by the justification for everything they do.” [Berkeley Daily Planet]