News Briefs, the Week of July 27, 2017

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Manischewitz to Close Newark, N.J. Plant, Lay off 169

The Manischewitz Co. said it will lay off 169 employees at a Newark, N.J., plant and close the facility, njbiz.com reported.

The company said its products will be made at other, more modern facilities in New Jersey. The company’s executive team will remain in Newark.

The layoffs will be effective as of Sept. 14; the company’s announcement came via a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, notice. Sixty days is federally required before a mass layoff.

The company said it will work to help laid-off workers attain employment, JTA reported.

Manischewitz, which is 129 years old, was bought in recent years by Sankaty Advisors, a division of private equity firm Bain Capital.

Three Jewish Cemeteries Vandalized in Hartford, Conn.

About 60 gravestones in three Jewish cemeteries in Hartford, Conn., were toppled last week, the Hartford Courant reported.

Police said the vandalism did not appear to be a hate crime because anti-Semitic phrases and symbols were not found at the cemeteries.

“It appears to be a random desecration, a cowardly act of vandalism,” Howard Sovronsky, head of the Greater Hartford Jewish Federation, told the newspaper.

Sovronksy said some of the toppled headstones are broken, and the cost of repairs is being calculated.

New Jersey Town Orders Jewish Community Group to Remove Religious Boundary

Mahwah, N.J., has told the South Monsey Eruv Fund to cease installing white PVC pipe on utility poles that were being used to create a religious boundary, the Associated Press reported.

Some Jews consider the eruv boundary markers as a means to allow them to continue certain activities on the Sabbath, including pushing strollers and carrying keys. The eruv was to run for 26 miles.

The utility that owns the poles gave the eruv fund permission to install the piping, but the town said it’s considered signage and thus not permitted, the AP said.

Wonder Woman II Announced

Everyone’s favorite superhero in 2017 — played by Israeli Jew Gal Gadot — will return in a sequel called Wonder Woman II, ABC News reported.

During a Comic-Con presentation July 22, Warner Bros. flashed a title card with the words Wonder Woman II, but said nothing else about it.

A sequel really isn’t a surprise, considering the original has earned $389 million from North American theaters, making it the summer’s highest-grossing film, according to boxofficemojo.com.

That site noted that Wonder Woman has also earned about $390 million overseas for a total gross of nearly $780 million.

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