Newsletter Issue # 44 – August 22, 2012

The European Union released an updated list of Israeli communities behind the Green Line. Areas viewed in the West Bank and areas that do not enjoy duty free status for their goods being imported into EU countries. Amazingly, the updated list, which is based on community zip codes, includes 71724, 71728 and 71799, communities that are undisputedly inside Green Line Israel.

A Grand Children’s Tzivos Hashem Rally was held  in honor of Erev Rosh Chodesh Elul, along with an acrobat show by The Twins from France, was held at the Oholei Torah Ballroom. Special Guest was Reb Sholom Ber Drizin, who was the patron of the Oholei Menachem Day Camps along with the participation of Machane Mamosh, Gan Menachem, Ohr Menachem and the Oholei Torah Kindergarten Day Camp.

French-born filmmaker Laurence Gavron, who has made Senegal her home since 1989, is on a journey to document lost Jewish tribes in Africa which she says combines her passion for Africa with the mystery of rediscovering Judaism. The film, titled Black Jews, Juifs noir en Afrique, focuses on a dozen African tribes  in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and other countries.

DJ Netanela, probably the first ever religious female DJ in Israel. She does a sound check while checking that the partition between the men and women is in place then rocks the crowd to the sounds of the latest Hasidic hits. Netanela said at first her family didn’t really love the idea, and the religious public didn’t really know how to take it, but I believe that my purpose is to make people happy.

Despite the common belief that we all drink tea at 4pm on Sunday afternoon, have met the queen personally and attending the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, there is a lot in common between the problems faced by the “orthodox community” in the US and UK. In fact the UK, having a much smaller Jewish community, has microcosmic versions of those same issues faced in the US.

Several different strands are intertwined in trying to ties a noose around bris milah and shechitah on the Continent. They include classic anti-Semitism but are not limited to it. A member of Gert Wilder’s party supports a ban on shechita, even though Wilders himself is pro-Israel. General disdain for all religion also enters the picture.

A Harry is one of those terms you hear in the yeshiva world that you don’t hear anywhere else. A Harry is basically someone who’s obviously modern orthodox. For someone to even call someone else a Harry would automatically relegate them to some distant yeshiva past because modernish folks simply don’t know the term exists.

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