“Author Archive”
Stories written by Jasmin Sasin

Urgent Call to Restock Shaitel Gemach


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


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


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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Announcing the Rising Voices Fellowship for Teens


Prozdor and the Jewish Women’s Archive are thrilled to announce the pilot year of our Rising Voices Fellowship! The fellowship is open to female-identified teens in grades 11 and 12 who have a passion for writing, a demonstrated concern for current events, a commitment to improving their writing skills, and a strong interest in Judaism—particularly as it relates to […]

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Am I Really Being Honored


I got an email from the shul last night, informing me that I was to be honored with gelilah for the second Torah on the second day of Rosh Hashanah. Being the cynical conspiracy theorist that I am, I immediately called Harav Eliyahu Fink to ask whether this required me to sit through long periods […]

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Moscow Mayoral Candidate did not Praise Holocaust, Jewish Staffers Say


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


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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Orthodox Jewish Youth Pray for Syria


A group of youth involved in the religious-Zionist Bnei Akiva program have started organized prayers on behalf of Syrian civilians who are at risk due to the ongoing civil war in their country. The prayer initiative, which began in Petach Tikva, has now spread to Jewish communities around the world. Bnei Akiva volunteers who are […]

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US Dept. of Education Dismisses Jewish Students’ Complaints Against UC Berkeley


A decision by the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights may leave Jewish students at UC Berkeley feeling even less at home than ever.  But some say it may well be the impetus for them to step up and speak out on this campus, well known for student-led BDS movements. The Office […]

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U.S. Jewish Community Cautious as Syria Attack Looms Large


America’s organized Jewish community has long been united in its abhorrence of the dictatorship ruling Syria. Yet it has been notably hesitant and, at times, muted in reacting to the large-scale chemical weapons attack allegedly carried out by loyalists of Syria’s president, Bashar Assad. Despite the community’s strong opposition to any use of nonconventional weapons, […]

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Chief Rabbinate Voices Opposition to Dep. Min. Ben Dahan on Marriage Registration


The Council of the Chief Rabbinate, headed by Chief Rabbis David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef, publicly voiced opposition on Wednesday to abolishing marriage registration zones, a major policy initiative of Bayit Yehudi and the Religious Services Ministry. Following the first meeting of the council with the new chief rabbis, the body issued a statement to […]

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50 Years On: 5 Things I Learned About the March on Washington


As a kid I read everything there was to read about the Civil Rights Movement—from the Freedom Rides, to sit-ins, to Freedom Summer. I wrote my biggest high school term paper about the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, and the closest thing to a history class I took in college was called simply, “The […]

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Israel Inaugurates New Mixed-Prayer Plaza


About a dozen women sit underneath a large Israeli flag at Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall. They’ve been here close to 24 hours, and are getting tired. They are members of Women of the Wall (WOW), a 25-year-old group of women from all denominations that wants equality for women at the Western Wall. Currently […]

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American Rabbi Authors ‘The Bill of Rights of a Jewish Wife’


The 5 Towns Jewish Times wrote an article last week on the “proliferation of divorces” in the Jewish Orthodox community and on the current system that fails to protect women struggling to “navigate their way through difficult or bad marriages.” The newspaper interviewed Rabbi Mendel Epstein of Brooklyn, New York, leader of a Jewish community, […]

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Open Letter: A True Friend to a Stranger in Need


I just arrived home from a routine bike-ride, but it was not without the generous help of a special group in our community. It all started with me simply chaining my bike to the Botanical Gardens bike rack and hopping on a train to Manhattan. Upon my return, still in broad daylight, I discovered that […]

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UC Berkley Anti-Semitism Complaint Dismissed


The U.S. Department of Education has dismissed a complaint against the University of California, Berkeley that had accused the university of allowing a hostile environment for Jewish students to exist on campus. In a letter dated August 19 and released August 27 by UC Berkeley, the education department’s Office for Civil Rights indicates that it […]

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Celebrating My Right to Vote: Women’s Equality Day


With Women’s Equality Day just around the corner, voting has been on my mind. And, I’ll admit it, voting isn’t usually on my mind—especially during August. But Women’s Equality Day, which celebrates women’s right to vote, has me thinking about voting. I’m a pretty civic-minded person—fast to roll my eyes at people who tell me […]

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Tattoos on Jews: Myths and Jewish Law


If a Jew gets a tattoo, he or she cannot be buried in a Jewish cemetery. But is that statement a fact, or a myth? And what about Jews who are tattooed unwillingly? Tattoo artist Kevin Campbell is Jewish. He’s currently tattooing a Jewish-themed image on Brandan Lobenfeld, who is also Jewish. Both believe their […]

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Come Visit Non-Orthodox Kotel Section


Bayit Yehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett, who is also the Minister of Religions, and Minister of Jerualem and the Diaspora, among his other portfolios, issued a call to members of Reform, Conservative, and other non-Orthodox streams, to visit the new prayer section that the Ministry of Religions has set up next to the Kotel Plaza. “Today […]

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Eliot Spitzer Courts Young Crown Heights Voters


Several dozen members of the Crown Heights Jewish community gathered tonight, August 26, at the Basil Pizza & Wine Bar to meet with Democratic candidate for New York City Comptroller Eliot Spitzer. Mr. Spitzer previously served as attorney general and governor of New York State, before a scandal forced his resignation. He was invited to […]

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Muriel Siebert, First Woman on N.Y. Stock Exchange, Dies


Muriel Siebert, the first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, has died. Siebert, who also became the first woman to head a member firm of the exchange as well as many other firsts, died Saturday in Manhattan from complications of cancer. She was 80. Siebert also was the first woman […]

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WOW Oppose New Prayer Area at Kotel


Women of the Wall staged a sit-in Sunday in protest of Minister Naftali Bennett’s outline for a new prayer area in the Western Wall. After months of disagreements regarding Women of the Wall’s right to pray in the Wall, Bennett announced Sunday a new prayer area for the Women of the Wall as part of […]

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Dayenu. Dayenu. Dayenu.


This past year, I took a group of seven teens on a tour of the American South. The trip was inspired by my desire to infuse young people with a sense of history and context as it relates to Judaism in the South and Jews in the Civil Rights Movement. We began in Atlanta, then […]

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MK Calderon a Hit in Australian Media


During the current Knesset recess, MK Ruth Calderon (Yesh Atid) has been on a trip to Australia – and has found herself to be a big media hit. Interviewed by numerous media outlets, Calderon has received positive press as a woman who is “bringing a breath of fresh air” to many of the issues that […]

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New Sefer Torah Completed in Honor of Kazi Benjamin

On Sunday, August 25, hundreds of members of the Crown Heights community gathered to mark two years since the untimely passing of Kazi (Kasriel) Benjamin, OBM. It was a bittersweet event, as friends and relatives remembered Kazi’s warm smile and good deeds, while celebrating the completion of new Sefer Torah, which was commissioned in Kazi’s […]

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German Probe of 50 Alleged Ex-Auschwitz Guards Nears End, Charges Likely


The head of the special German prosecutors’ office that investigates Nazi crimes says a probe of 50 suspected former Auschwitz guards is near complete and may result in charges against many of them. Berlin’s taz newspaper reports more than 40 suspects were found to be still alive in Germany. Prosecutor Kurt Schrimm told The Associated […]

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Sid Bernstein, the Man Behind Beatlemania, Dies at 95


Music promoter Sid Bernstein, who worked with legends from Judy Garland to Jimi Hendrix and orchestrated the Beatles’ historic concert in New York’s Shea Stadium in 1965, died on Wednesday aged 95. Bernstein also arranged for U.S. concerts featuring Shoshana Damari, Yaffa Yarkoni, Shaike Ophir and other Israeli artists. “It was just as important to […]

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Abbas to Host Rosh Hashana Toast with MKs

Knesset members are used to attending new year’s toasts with their supporters around the country ahead of Rosh Hashana. But as many as 40 ministers and MKs will be attending a very different toast on the eve of Rosh Hashana this year when they travel to Ramallah at the invitation of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud […]

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Haredim Combat Smoking Epidemic

Although recent years have seen a drop in the number of ultra-Orthodox smokers and a rise in the sector’s awareness of the dangers of smoking, the percentage of smokers in the haredi society is believed to be relatively high compared to the general population in Israel. According to Yaakov Solomon, a haredi smoking cessation instructor […]

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