Newsletter Issue # 59 – December 5, 2012

After the successful restoration of the Hurva Synagogue, the Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue will be restored next by the Jerusalem Municipality. The Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem Ltd. has undertaken to rebuild the synagogue, which was destroyed by Arabs during the 1948 War of Independence.

For the first time in a uniform policy, Jewish inmates in New Jersey state prisons will be permitted to celebrate Chanukah with lit menorahs. A spokesperson with the New Jersey Department of Corrections, said in the past, the prison system’s policy on menorah lighting during Chanukah was decided on a case-by-case basis.

What does an active, healthy synagogue look like? It can manifest itself in many ways, at Chabad of University City, the clues are unequivocal. For the Chabad center and its members, It looks like a schedule chock full of classes and other learning opportunities, and of twice-daily minyanim that very rarely go unmade.

A Holocaust and human rights museum was inaugurated last Monday in Belgium, opposite the Dossin Barracks in Mechelen, a site from which more than 25,000 Jews and 352 gypsies were deported to Auschwitz death camp. According to the EJP/AFP report, King Albert II of Belgium inaugurated the Dossin Barracks Memorial, Museum and Documentation Center for the Holocaust and Human Rights.

Every once in a while you hear complaints about materialism in the frum media, it usually has to do with lavish yeshiva fundraising banquets and expensive pesach hotels in Hawaii  These complaints usually have to do with how can someone do such a thing, when there are so many needy people out there? So when I was invited by my friend, master chef Isaac Bernstein, to help out in the kitchen with prepping a 30 course dinner, I wondered whether or not I was sinning or on the verge of some great chassidic elevation of food.

It’s a fair question. Is science fiction Jewish? Some bloggers say yes, science fiction is Jewish! The basis for the question is this text from the Talmud which presents Moses as a time traveler.
Rab Judah said when Moses ascended on high he found the Holy One, blessed be He, engaged in affixing coronets to the letters.

In the years I attended Modern Orthodox day schools, I received close to zero sex education. Aside from one class period in the sixth grade dedicated to menstruation and a week during my senior year devoted to learning the laws of Neidah, I remained in the dark about reproduction and sexual health, and how they related to my identity as a young Jewish woman.

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