The New Year's Day gathering at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., to mark Siyum HaShas. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images
Nearly 90,000 Jewish people congregated at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey amid tight security Wednesday for Siyum HaShas, a celebration of the completion of the reading of the entire Talmud, per CBS.
Why it matters: It comes after a spate of anti-Semitic attacks in New Jersey and nearby New York, including a shooting at a New Jersey kosher supermarket and a mass stabbing at a rabbi's home last month. Anti-Defamation League vice president Oren Segal has said New York Jewish communities are facing an "epidemic" of hate crimes.
What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"
Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.
Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.
Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.
Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.