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Jews Celebrate Canadian Town’s First Torah

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The Jewish community of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada, and specifically the members of Chabad of Okanagan, got to take part in a once in a lifetime experience to help complete a Torah, something all members of the Jewish faith hope to do at some point during their life. “The Torah is the […]

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Brooklyn’s ‘Crazy Chicken Lady’ and the 20-year Fight Against the Kapparot Ritual

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For years, Rina Deych was treated like she was crazy. Fighting the Yom Kippur ritual of kapparot, she was told things had always been this way and if she kept up the battle, she would only incite anti-Semitism. Year after year, people would kindly suggest she find another hobby. Cats, maybe. But today, the Brooklyn […]

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Protesters Try to Stop Kaporos in Crown Heights

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A small but determined group of demonstrators gathered at Eastern Parkway and Kingston Avenue in Crown Heights yesterday to protest the Kaporos ceremonies that take place in Orthodox Jewish communities the week before Yom Kippur. The ritual requires that the chickens be held by their wings and swung three times in small circles over the heads […]

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Syria Crisis Highlights Rift Running Through J Street

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Among the many political fault lines unearthed by the debate over American military intervention in Syria, one touched directly on the internal rift running through J Street, the left-leaning pro-Israel lobby.   The group has prided itself in the past for “having the president’s back” as he seeks to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace. But in this […]

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$5 Chickens for Kaporos at NCFJE

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Subsidized chickens for the traditional Kaporos ritual will once again be provided for Crown Heights residents by the NCFJE. The discounted $5 price tag is made possible by a generous contribution from diamond mogul Morris Gad for the eighth consecutive year. He is joined by local landlord and developer, Rabbi Dovid Fischer, as co-sponsor. Chickens will be available […]

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Op-Ed: An Average Crown Heights Voter’s Thoughts on Today’s Election

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Today is primary day in New York City. Each party will be picking their candidates for the general election, which will be held November 5th.   Some of my friends have been asking me, whom I think they should support in the Democratic primaries. I thought it would be nice to share my view on the primary election from the perspective of an average voter in Crown Heights. […]

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The Story of a Mysterious Jewish Holiday Phrase: ‘The Book of Life’

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Kotvenu b’sefer he-ḥayyim, “Inscribe us in the Book of Life,” Jews pray in the days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur. “May you be written down and inscribed for a good year,” they say to each other. No concept or phrase is more associated with the High Holy Days than that of a divine “book” […]

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Jews and Politics: Why Vote?

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In a day’s time New York City will settle one of the most interesting mayoral races we have seen in a while. As a community, we must come together and support a candidate for mayor and city council. The 35th city council district has seen a wide variety of candidates as well, all of whom […]

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How an Asian Convert to Judaism became Unlikely Leader of Unusual Synagogue

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What do a Japanese rabbi, a Korean church and a Chinese restaurant have in common? For Temple Isaiah of Great Neck, on Long Island, N.Y., the answer’s no punch line. The three components have all played a crucial role in the congregation’s colorful 46-year history. For 37 years, this Reform congregation held the majority of […]

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Jewish Giving: Then and Now

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What is an ideal Jewish society? One in which giving is unnecessary? In which giving comes naturally? If a society is truly ideal, then tzedaka (righteous giving) should be unnecessary because there shall be no needy: “There shall be no needy among you…” (Deuteronomy 15:1) But not even Deuteronomy – with its endless directives preparing […]

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How to Make a Shofar for High Holidays

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One of the most pinnacle points of the Jewish High Holidays is the blowing of the shofar, which happens no less than 100 times during Rosh Hashana alone. So Jewish News One went to the Golan Heights to one of only three shofar factories in the world to discover how a kosher shofar is created. […]

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President Barack Obama’s Rosh Hashanah Greeting

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U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday issued a video greeting to the Jewish people in honor of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. “As the high holy days begin, it’s a chance not just to celebrate with family and friends, but to ask some of life’s most piercing questions,” said Obama. “Am I treating strangers […]

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For Venezuelan Jews, a New Home for Rosh Hashanah

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In Venezuela, Fanny Hausmann celebrated Rosh Hashanah by cooking honey-and-apple cakes, visiting the elderly and gathering with family and friends. This year the customs will be quite similar: She will attend service at the synagogue Wednesday to bring in the Jewish New Year and then host a big dinner for more than two dozen relatives. […]

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61% of Israelis: Separate State, Religion

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The past Jewish year included an ongoing attempt to draft yeshiva students, emotionally charged Chief Rabbinate elections, the exclusion of ultra-Orthodox parties from the government, an attempt to impose the core curriculum on haredi schools, a dramatic High Court decision against the operation of businesses on Shabbat and an unprecedented ruling by the Jerusalem District […]

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Rosh Hashana: The Sound of the Shofar

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What is the essence of our faith, the purpose for which the Jewish people have been placed in the world? Fascinatingly enough, the answer is to be found within the central prayer of our Rosh Hashana liturgy: the three blessings, uniquely found within the Additional (Musaf) prayer of Rosh Hashana, of “Malchuyot” (kingship), “Zichronot” (remembrances) […]

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Shana Tova and a Sweet New Year from Arutz Sheva

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The sonorous call of the ram’s horn – the Shofar – will herald the start of Rosh HaShanah (Jewish New Year) and the festive Hebrew month of Tishrei on Wednesday evening. This year the two days of the Rosh HaShanah holiday, Thursday and Friday, are followed by the Sabbath (Shabbat), creating a three-day weekend for Jews […]

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Jewish Students Find a Second Home at Chabad

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Every Friday night, Rivka Gurary serves a $1,000 meal. She spends two to three days preparing dishes of chicken, soup,challah, gefilte fish, rice, salads and desserts – from scratch. The meal is not only for her immediate family – her husband, Rabbi Moshe Gurary and their five children – but also the entire Jewish community at the University of Buffalo. […]

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Chief Rabbi Lau Urges Better Treatment for Chickens in Kapparot Ritual

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Israel’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi, David Lau, called for better treatment of the chickens used in the pre-Yom Kippur kapparot ritual. Lau in a letter addressed to ritual organizers and participants wrote that causing the chickens to suffer before and during kapparot would be a “mitzvah through a transgression,” which he said “was not the intention […]

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Rabbi David Lau: Prevent Animal Suffering

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The Jewish New Year is just around the corner, but animal rights organizations are already dealing with the Kapparot ritual which is conducted during the days leading to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, to transfer one’s sins to a chicken. The Let the Animals Live association has appealed to Israel’s new Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi […]

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Chief Rabbi Lau Urges Prayers for Pollard’s Release

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Israeli Chief Rabbi David Lau has urged worshippers to pray for the release of Jonathan Pollard in services to be held over the Jewish New Year.   Pollard has been imprisoned in the U.S. where he has served over 27 years of a life sentence.   Rabbi Lau, Israel’s newly elected Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi called on communities to pray to […]

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A Jewish Thought on Labor Day

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It’s Labor Day once again, which brings up some very important questions: Where is the best Labor Day sale? Where did I put my dark hats? Labor Day has been around since 1882; after 129 years, perhaps it’s time to dust off the holiday, shine some light on it and figure out what it’s all […]

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Obama has Pre-Rosh Hashanah Conference Call with Nearly 1,000 Rabbis

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President Obama reflected on the High Holidays and offered New Year’s greetings in a conference call with nearly 1,000 rabbis. Obama in the call on Friday afternoon extended the greetings on behalf of himself and the first lady for a sweet, happy and healthy New Year. He noted that the Jewish High Holy Days provide […]

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Canadian Province to Ban Kippa in Public

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As part of the Charter of Quebec Values that is being developed these days in the Canadian province, employees of the public service will not be allowed to put on or wear religious symbols or garments. These include wearing a Star of David or a cross, or putting on a yarmulke, burqa or Sihk turban […]

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Top-Level Meeting Ahead of Jewish Pilgrimage

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Rabbis and organizers from the Breslov hassidic stream met with top officials in the Ukrainian government Monday, as well as the commanders of police and secret police in the Cherkasy Province, ahead of the annual mass pilgrimage to the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. The meeting took place at the World Breslov Center in […]

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Urgent Call to Restock Shaitel Gemach

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With the High Holidays quickly approaching and too many people feeling the pinch of the economic downturn, more women than ever have been calling the Pesha Leah Shaitel Gemach, desperate for what is likely to be the only new item they’ll acquire for Yomtov. “Our supply of shaitels has quickly depleted, dashing the hopes of […]

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Pope Intervening in Poland Kosher Slaughter Law, Jewish Group Says

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The World Jewish Congress has said the Vatican is getting involved in a divisive issue in Poland over its ban on the ritual slaughter of animals, which has incensed Jews. The group said Monday that Pope Francis instructed the Vatican office in charge of relations with Jews to host a meeting next week to discuss […]

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Head Shluchim Treat Juniors to Day of Appreciation

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Six families on Shlichus in Monmouth County, NJ were treated to a fun-filled day of relaxation and rejuvenation by head Shluchim Rabbi Baruch and Tova Chazanow, who wished to express their feelings of appreciation to the shluchim for all their hard work and devotion to the Rebbe’s Shlichus during the past year. Early Tuesday morning, the Chazanow, […]

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Commie Camp: Indoctrination or True Jewish Values?

A new documentary about a progressive Jewish summer camp is making its way around the Jewish film festival circuit. Commie Camp, by Katie Halper, takes as its hook a comment by Rush Limbaugh in 2012. Trying to undermine U.S. President Barack Obama’s pick for head of Bureau of Labor Statistics, Limbaugh prepared a zinger. Evidently […]

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Moscow Mayoral Candidate did not Praise Holocaust, Jewish Staffers Say

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Jewish staffers for the campaign of Moscow mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny denied reports that he praised the Holocaust. “To my knowledge, he never made the statement attributed to him,” Maxim Katz, deputy director of the Navalny campaign for the Sept. 8 election, told JTA on Tuesday. Katz, 29, a Moscow politician who lived in Israel […]

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Ukraine Divided over WWII Legacy

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Ukrainians dressed in Nazi SS uniform trudge through trenches and fire model rifles in a reconstruction of a key battle against the Soviets during World War II. An Orthodox priest leads a ceremony for fallen soldiers of the Nazi unit, sprinkling his blessing over several men sporting swastikas who lower a coffin in a ritual […]

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