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Orthodox Jewish Youth Pray for Syria

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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

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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

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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

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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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Israel Inaugurates New Mixed-Prayer Plaza

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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’

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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

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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

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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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Tattoos on Jews: Myths and Jewish Law

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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MK Calderon a Hit in Australian Media

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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

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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

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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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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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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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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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