News Briefs, the Week of Aug. 3, 2017

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Zahav Settles Class-Action Lawsuit Regarding Tips

Esteemed Israeli restaurant Zahav settled a class-action lawsuit a former server filed by agreeing to pay $230,000 to 41 current and past employees, according to the Associated Press.

The former employee sued because she had to give $5 per shift to an employee who polished the restaurant’s silverware. Because the polishers had no contact with customers, they weren’t entitled to tips, the former employee’s attorneys argued.

Zahav is owned by the team of Steve Cook and Michael Solomonov, the latter of whom recently won a James Beard Award as outstanding chef. The agreement remains subject to a judge’s approval; Cook and Solomonov make no admission of wrongdoing in the agreement.

Boy Scouts Set Dreidel Spinning World Record

Participants of the Boy Scouts of America’s 2017 National Jamboree in West Virginia set a Guinness World Record on July 23 by spinning 820 dreidels simultaneously for 10 seconds, according to JTA.

The feat broke the previous mark of 754, which was set in 2014 in Tel Aviv.

The National Jewish Committee on Scouting provided cardboard spinning boards and dreidels to participants.

The Dairy Café Closes for a Month to Revamp

David Magerman, the former hedge fund manager and current owner of The Dairy Café (among other local restaurants), announced via the café’s Facebook page that the establishment was closing for up to a month for a major revamping.

Magerman said the café, which closed July 31, would reopen “sometime around the end of August.”

Magerman will take a larger role in managing the café, which will “cede to C&R Tavern” dinner operations.

The menu’s breakfast offerings will focus on “bagels and schmears and eggs,” while healthy entrees, salads and flatbreads will be available at lunch. A salad bar will be installed as well.

First Half of 2017 Sees Record Number of Anti-Semitic Incidents Reported in United Kingdom

The number of anti-Semitic incidents reported in the United Kingdom in the first six months of 2017 climbed 30 percent compared to a year ago, JTA reported.

And the 589 incidents recorded in the first half of 2016 was an 18 percent increase over the 501 incidents in 2015.

The 767 incidents was also the highest six-month total recorded since the Community Security Trust (CST) began its monitoring in 1984, JTA said.

The incidents included 80 violent assaults, up 78 percent from a year ago, with the Manchester area accounting for an 84 percent increase. Verbal abuse accounted for 351 incidents.

For all of 2016, there were a record 1,309 incidents reported by CST, up 36 percent from 2015.

Six Headstones Vandalized at Boston-Area Jewish Cemetery

Six headstones were toppled at the Netherlands Cemetery in Melrose, Mass. — the third-oldest Jewish cemetery in the state — according to JTA.

Three teenage boys were seen kicking over tombstones, the city’s mayor, Robert Dolan, wrote on his blog.

“I am deeply saddened and outraged by this vandalism and potential hate crime,” Dolan wrote. “Cemeteries are sacred grounds. Any malicious destruction is deeply saddening and must be given the full attention of law enforcement.”

The cemetery, which is formally called the Netherlands Cemetery Association and Roxbury Mutual Society Burial Ground, was founded in 1859 by Dutch Jews and contains about 475 graves.

Scottish Man on Trial for Teaching Girlfriend’s Dog Nazi Salutes

A man arrested for allegedly committing a hate crime by filming his girlfriend’s dog giving Nazi salutes, then uploading the video to YouTube, denied in court that he was motivated by anti-Semitism, the Daily Mail reported.

Mark Meechan, 29, of Scotland said in the video that he taught the pug named Buddha to respond to statements such as “Sieg Heil” and “gas the Jews” to annoy his girlfriend.

“My girlfriend is always ranting and raving about how cute and adorable her wee dog is so I thought I would turn him into the least cute thing I could think of, which is a Nazi,” Meechan said in the video.

The clip, which is still online, has racked up more than 2.8 million views, the Daily Mail said.

Prosecutors said Meechan “communicated material that would cause fear and alarm and stir up hatred on religious grounds by posting a clip which was ‘anti-Semitic in nature’ to YouTube.”

Before the trial was adjourned until later in the year, Meechan apologized, saying, “I am so sorry to the Jewish community for any offense I have caused them. This was never my intention, and I apologize.”

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