“Author Archive”
Stories written by Jasmin Sasin

City Faces Balancing Act as Hasidic Community Grows

Needing to abide by their traditions of modesty, Hasidic women want the city to post a female lifeguard during a women-only swim session at a municipal pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and have lobbied a local councilman to take up their cause. On another front, Hasidic matzo bakeries, citing ancient Jewish law, have insisted on using […]

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Jewish Theological Seminary gets $2.67 Million Grant

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The Jewish Theological Seminary received a $2.67 million grant from the Avi Chai Foundation to implement its strategic plan at the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education. JTS announced the funding this week for a Davidson School plan that includes providing resources to U.S. Jewish day schools, educators and leaders in Jewish education, as […]

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Summer and the Educator

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Somehow summer has flown by—it’s August 19, which pretty much came out of nowhere. If you’re anything like me, summer started with grand plans and lofty ambitions. The pages in the calendar stretched on and on, and great adventures were planned for sometime later this summer. And, somehow… summer is coming to a screeching, halting […]

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“It Could Lead to Mixed Dancing” is Antiquated and Needs to be Replaced

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Whenever something is banned or restricted in the frum community, people like to jokingly say that it could lead to mixed dancing. This line is from our parents generation, yet somehow it has remained the one line that people can say half jokingly in response to some of the crazy chumros and bans in recent […]

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Haredi Community is a Vital Factor in Jewish Life

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The haredi community is a vital factor in Jewish life  and in the t State of Israel President Shimon Peres told a group of some 60 students from the Mir, Hebron, Ateret Israel and Ponevich yeshovot on Wednesday when they met with him at his official residences. Peres also decried the “dialogue of hate” and […]

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Muslim’s Unceasing Search for Jewish Mom

It is the stuff of which films are made and novels are written. His absorbing story is such that it connects three continents, Asia, Europe and North America, five countries India, Israel, Canada, United Kingdom and Pakistan, and two communities seen as natural adversaries today – the Jews and the Muslims. Urdu poet and Hafiz-e-Koran […]

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Two Trees (of Life) Grow in Brooklyn

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Zachary Ruttenberg first connected with Chabad last year in Mumbai, India, where he was living at the time. Two young rabbinical students from the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., showed up at the synagogue where he was praying—Magen David in Colaba—and said if he was ever in Brooklyn, he should look them up. A year and several countries […]

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Israelis not Allowed to Name Daughter ‘Jerusalem’

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An Israeli couple was told this week by the Brussels Municipality that they could not name their newborn daughter ‘Jerusalem’ since the name is not on the list of valid names permitted by Belgium, claimed the Daily News. Elinadav and Hagar Hyman are both Jerusalemites and decided to name their first born, Alma Jerusalem, after the city […]

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An End to Kosher Slaughter? Stem Cell Meat Takes on Factory Farming

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In order to keep the price of meat down and quantities of production up, farmers have developed methods for mass producing meat that are both cruel to animals and harmful to the environment. The method is known as factory farming. Each full-grown chicken in a factory farm, where the majority of chickens are raised, has […]

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What Can We Do About the Tuition Crisis?

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Dear Readers, H-E-L-P! I may sound like a broken record to Matzav readers, and yes it is always an issue every year around this time, but so many of us are suffering and nobody is helping us. Please, there is probably no bigger issue facing Klal Yisroel today than the tuition crisis and what it is […]

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Polish Photographer Uses Jewish Cemetery for Naked Photo Shoot

Polish photographer Lukasz Szczygielski has apologized for conducting a photo shoot with a half-naked model at the Jewish cemetery in the southern Polish town of Checiny. Szczygielski explained that he wanted to draw attention to the neglected cemetery. “I wanted to draw attention to the neglect of the place. The cemetery is forgotten, he told […]

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Exploring London’s Jewish West End

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The history of the Jewish East End is well-documented, but few know the history of the Jewish West End. At its peak in the late 19th century, about 25,000 Jews moved here from the East End of London and Eastern Europe and Yiddish was the predominant language heard on these streets. London’s core, Soho, unites […]

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Merkel’s Dachau Visit Sparks Controversy

Angela Merkel will become the first German chancellor to visit the former Nazi concentration camp Dachau on Tuesday, as she steps up warnings about the far-right threat while campaigning for a third term. Ahead of an evening election rally in Dachau, northwest of Munich, Merkel will arrive at the memorial at 5:45 p.m. local time. […]

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West Coast Shluchim Gather

On Sunday, 12 Elul, the Shluchim of the West Coast held their annual Kinus. This year however, it was held in a very unique place – Temecula, California – where Rabbi Yitzy Hurwitz is on Shlichus. The Kinus, with the theme of Simcha, Bitochon and Emunah, was held there in order to give chizuk to […]

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N.J. Schechter School Closes Three Weeks Before Year Starts

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Come August 29, Solomon Schechter in East Brunswick, New Jersey, will not re-open its doors. The decision to close the school came only three weeks before the slated start of school. On August 7, parents received an email from the head of school stating: “Unfortunately, I have to confirm what is, for all of us, […]

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Do Not Interrupt Lil’ Dicky’s Jewish Flow

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Thank you, Jewlicious, for giving me something to smirk about on this ever-so-gloomy Monday: Lil Dicky‘s epic rap battle with Hitler. (For you sensitive types, please be warned that “Jewish Flow” contains egregious use of Nazi symbolism, prolific drug use via a gas mask bong and many instances of the word “vagina” to make a […]

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Is Sam Horowitz’ Bar Mitzvah Dance Video Kosher?

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Sam Horowitz performed a dance at the Omni Hotel in Dallas to celebrate his bar mitzvah. Sam danced on stage in November 2012 with eight (visibly taller) women dancers in a number that lasted less than three minutes where he appears on stage about halfway through. As of 8/18/2013 the video has received 726,000 views […]

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The ‘Vegas’ Bar Mitzva Boy is Giving His Gifts Away

Sam Horowitz, whose bar mitzva entrance video has gone viral on YouTube, has donated thousands of dollars of his gift money to an Israeli youth village. Sam, of Dallas, and his parents asked guests at the bar mitzva to make a contribution to the Ben Yakir Youth Village in central Israel in lieu of gifts, […]

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Anne Frank House Recreated in Argentina

For 20-year old Naomi Szulman, this was her grandparent’s home. A place where the family would meet on weekends. That was before it was donated and renovated. Now it’s a replica of Anne Frank’s hideout in Amsterdam during World War II. “I’m proud of what the house has become. I think it has fulfilled its […]

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Young Couple Making Aliyah from Pittsburgh Wins $10,000

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Nefesh B’Nefesh has announced the winners of their new aliyah contest, the “Wedding Gift Challenge”, awarding 25 newlyweds prizes to help start their new life in Israel. Nefesh B’Nefesh sought to encourage young American couples to discuss aliyah by enticing them to enter a social media-based contest to win prizes including a sum of $10,000. […]

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Jews in Sports: A Fair Fine

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First it was the Israeli Lacrosse women. Now it’s the Israeli Davis Cup men’s turn for the limelight. Throughout the world of organized sports there has come and gone opportunities for organized religion and sports to collide and create a raucous, and rarely this crash doesn’t comply. Last week, the Israel Davis Cup team learned […]

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Floods Threaten Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region

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As many as 100,000 people may be evacuated from their homes near Russia’s border with China if the region’s biggest floods for 120 years get worse, Russian media reported on Saturday. The floods, caused by a month of unusually heavy rain, are not expected to start receding until early September, the head of Russia’s hydrometeorology […]

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My Favorite Segulas

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There’s a lot of talk about how crazy some segulas are and it’s nice for someone to showcase the ones we actually use. I’m not sure these are real, but here you go anyway. Courtesy of Avromy L. from Facebook: Segulah for recovery from illness: Go to a doctor (Berachot 60a, Bava Kamma 46b) Segulah […]

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Talks Over Oldest US Synagogue Fail

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Mediation has failed in lawsuits between the oldest US synagogue and the country’s first Jewish congregation over ownership issues. Lawyers for the leaders of New York City’s Congregation Shearith Israel and Touro Synagogue in Rhode Island tell The Associated Press they were unable to agree during mediation overseen by a federal judge. The lawsuits will […]

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Hiddush Advocates for Israeli Tennis Team’s Punishment

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On Thursday, a press release was sent by Hiddush, an organization for religious freedom and equality, to the International Tennis Federation to request that they respect the decision made by the Israel Davis Cup team not to compete on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. The team was scheduled to play against Belgium on Yom […]

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How to Keep Kosher While Backpacking in South America

When we think of traveling on vacation to far distances in today’s day and age, the mere thought of an uncomfortable journey almost seems unfathomable. We are used to the highest level of service and, thanks to technology, the world at our fingertips. From kosher mountaintop resorts to kosher cruises in the Mediterranean, the discerning […]

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Rare Schindler Documents Sell for $122,000 at Auction

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A collection of documents from World War II industrialist Oskar Schindler, including a letter he signed that made the way for the rescue of more than 1,000 Jewish factory workers, has fetched more than $122,000 at an online auction. The letter, dated Aug. 22, 1944, describes permission to move Schindler’s enamelware factory and its workers […]

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Israeli Tech Startup Wants Silence

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It’s no secret that Israel is the Silicon Valley of the Middle East. With thousands of tech companies and start-ups, Israel has become just as well-known as a center for technology innovation as it is for hummus. Between two visits to Israel earlier this year, I made my annual pilgrimage to the Holy Land for […]

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You Only Live Twice

Samuel Sandler, an aeronautical engineer and head of the Jewish community in Versailles, France, announced a few weeks ago that he’d had the local synagogue registered as a national landmark. “My feeling is that our congregation will be gone within twenty or thirty years,” he told friends, “and I don’t want the building demolished or, […]

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New Chief Rabbis Sworn in, Commit to Bringing Am Yisrael Together

In the presence of family, friends, rabbis, justices and public officials, the new chief rabbis, David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef, were sworn in on Wednesday. In a ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, the rabbis swore allegiance to the State of Israel and committed to provide fair justice in their role as members of […]

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