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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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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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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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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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10 Ways to Know You’re in a Modern Orthodox Shul Without Going into Shul

Anyone with a kindergarten level of Jewish education can tell they’re in a modern orthodox shul, the mechitza, the seating style, the siddurim, the flags, there are literally dozens of ways to tell. However, being able to tell you’re in a modern orthodox shul without actually stepping foot into the sanctuary can make things a […]

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Thousands Join London’s Parade of Jewish Unity

Over 2000 people joined the 54th annual Lag B’omer parade in Stamford Hill, organized by Lubavitch UK. Groups from Scotland, Manchester, Nottingham, Cambridge, Watford, Essex, Wimbledon, Southgate, North-West London, joined the many local families and children from Stamford Hill. Shloimy Gertner’s beautiful singing accompanied by three musicians, Marching-bands by the boys’ school, Rabbi Dubov’s encouraging […]

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US Philanthropist Savors Opening of Jewish Museum

As his train rolled across Germany in 1939, passing through small towns where swastikas fluttered from flagpoles, Tad Taube cowered in fear each time Nazi police entered his compartment and barked orders for his documents – papers that plainly identified him as an eight-year-old Jewish boy from Poland. But the full terror of the war […]

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Canada’s Flagship Jewish Newspaper, The Canadian Jewish News, to Fold

Canada’s flagship Jewish newspaper, The Canadian Jewish News, announced on Monday that it will be ceasing publication. The newspaper, which has a circulation of approximately 40,000 said its final print edition will be June 20. The closure will mean the loss of about 50 jobs. “I never dreamed that I would be writing this,” CJN […]

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Star of David, Stripes of Blue

In Israel, during the weeks before Independence Day flags come out of boxes, draped from their balconies and stuck on cars. Large office buildings display banners 30 floors high and light displays even larger. When you’re in Israel, it’s hard to escape the excitement of Independence Day! So why blue and white? The blue of […]

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For Chabad Misfits, a Place to Call Home

On a freezing Friday night in Brooklyn, a group of 18 Crown Heights residents scurry through the crowds of Jews leaving synagogue and make their way to a second-story apartment on Rogers Avenue for Shabbat dinner. Inside, hippie art and vintage John Lennon photos share wall space with drawings of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the […]

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10 Things I Hate Most About Modern Orthodox Shuls

There’s really so much to hate about davening in Modern Orthodox shuls, once you get past the joys of the super low mechitza and interesting reading materials in the library, the sad truths hit you all at once. The low mechitza doesn’t allow for open ball scratching and it doesn’t make checking out the ladies […]

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“Thinking Inside the Box”: Framing My Grandmother’s Life

I had never taken the time to learn much about my grandmother, Esther Rebeca Leibowich de Bortz’s past. While I knew that something in her history must have gone right—she became a renowned gynecologist in Argentina—large gaps existed between each of the detailed but disconnected anecdotes that she recounted to me over the years. My […]

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Rabbi Stav Announces Candidacy for Chief Rabbinate

Rabbi David Stav, chairman of the national-religious rabbinical association Tzohar, announced Wednesday night, via a YouTube video, that he would be standing as a candidate for the position of chief rabbi of Israel. Stav’s long-awaited announcement has been expected since last August, when Tzohar began a campaign to prompt the chief rabbinate to adopt a […]

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University of Toulouse Nixes Support Mtg for PFLP Terror Group

A meeting at the University of Toulouse intended to express support for the PFLP terrorist organization has been cancelled by administrators, according to a report Friday morning by the AFP news agency. It is not clear where the meeting was to take place, nor at which of the university’s 22 institutions of higher learning. Established in […]

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Jewish Federations’ Security Arm Ramps Up Cyber Security Training

he security arm of the Jewish Federations network is intensifying training to resist cyber-attacks in the wake of a wave of such attacks on synagogue websites. “In the most recent round of cyber-attacks against American Jewish websites on November 23rd, upwards of fifty (50) synagogue websites were hacked and linked to anti-Semitic websites,” said a […]

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UN Recognizes Palestinian State

The United Nations voted overwhelmingly Thursday to recognize a Palestinian state, a long-sought victory for the Palestinians but an embarrassing diplomatic defeat for the United States. From the AP: The resolution upgrading the Palestinians’ status to a nonmember observer state at the United Nations was approved by a more than two-thirds majority of the 193-member […]

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Alumni Pack Ballroom Despite Blizzard Conditions

Last week, Oholei Torah alumni gathered with fellow classmates and, for a short while, relived their memories, times and good old feelings of their “Bochurshe yorhren.” The date, eve of the Kinus Hashluchim, was chosen due to the fact so many Shluchim are Oholei Torah alumni, and its the perfect opportunity and also most convenient […]

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Neturei Karta Observe Arafat’s Yahrtzeit in Ramallah

On Sunday, representatives of Neturei Karta participated in the annual memorial service in Ramallah marking the day of the passing of PLO Chairman Yassir Arafat. They stood out in the crowd in their black clothes, each wearing identification tags over a background of a Palestinian flag. During his speech at the gathering, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas restated […]

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Political Jewess: Oldies but Goodies

We are at T minus four days to the election, and one of our favorite past times at JWA is looking to the past to inform the future… So on that note, I ask: Where were we four years ago? One year ago? Fifty one years ago? We hope you’ll enjoy these links- some oldies, […]

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The Journey of a Simchas Torah Flag

Colonel Jack Wolfson was a career Jewish soldier in the American army who had served for over 30 years. He was my commanding officer when I arrived to be the chaplain at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1965. Even though there was not much time before the holidays when we arrived, I was determined to make […]

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JNF Fundraiser Disrupted by Pro-PA Rioters in Berlin

A fundraiser last Thursday for the Jewish National Fund (JNF-KKL) and Israeli House was disrupted by pro-Palestinian Authority anarchists in Berlin. The fundraiser, a concert by the longtime Israeli music group “Gevatron,” was transformed into chaos as a team of 10 protesters yelled “Free Palestine!” and then started hurling JNF containers and CDS belonging to […]

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Jews, Muslims Stage Circumcision March

Around 500 mainly Jewish but some Christian and Muslim protestors gathered in Berlin on Sunday to demand the right to circumcision after a disputed court ruling in Germany outlawing the rite. Some protestors were draped in Israeli flags, others wore Orthodox Jewish dress for the peaceful demonstration on Berlin’s Bebelplatz, infamous as the site of […]

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Ceremony Marks 40 Years Since Munich Massacre

A ceremony was held in Germany on Wednesday to commemorate the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches who were brutally murdered by ‘Palestinian’ terrorists during the 1972 Munich Olympics Games. About 600 guests attended the ceremony at the Fuerstenfeldbruck air base, west of Munich, where Black September terrorists carried out the attack against the Israeli sportsmen. […]

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Tzohar Rabbis to Run for Chief Rabbi Positions

The national-religious rabbinical association Tzohar fired off a new round in its war with the Chief Rabbinate by announcing on Thursday that it was beginning a process to present candidates from the organization to stand in elections for the two chief rabbi positions. The elections will take place in six months. Tzohar has frequently taken […]

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To Mindy Meyer, With Love

Modern Orthodox punk band The Groggers are known for tangling with controversial issues. From their first viral video hit, “Get,” to one of their latest, “Jewcan Sam (A Nose Job Love Song)” about, well, getting a nose job, the band has drawn equal measures of enthusiasm and scorn. Last May, Groggers front man L.E. Staiman […]

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The Olympic Games Show Us That Zionism is Not a Dirty Word

This week, my wife and are going to the Olympics. Britain seems to be aflame with Olympic fever; people are desperate to go to any event they can get tickets for, and every newspaper reserves its front pages for the latest British medallists. The pride in hosting the event and the pride in our medallists […]

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Jewish American Gymnast Aly Raisman Takes Gold

Just an hour after being awarded a bronze medal on the balance beam at the London Olympics, Jewish-American gymnast Aly Raisman was beaming with happiness as she captured the gold medal in her ultimate triumph in the women’s individual floor exercise on Tuesday. Raisman, 18, of Needham, Mass., secured the gold with a score of […]

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’95,000 People Said Amen’- Rav Shapira on the USA Siyum HaShas

“I told Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to start building a larger stadium right now”, said Rabbi Yakov Shapira, Dean of the flagship Zionist Yeshiva, Merkaz HaRav, member of the Chief Rabbinate Council and son of the late Chief Rabbi Avraham Shapira, speaking to Arutz Sheva. “That is because, at the next Siyum HaShas, in little over seven years, please G-d,  I hope that in Israel, […]

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More Than 20,000 Londoners Hold Moment of Silence for Munich

More than 20,000 people in various venues in London attended the British Zionist Federation’s “Minute for Munich” program that was promoted via social media. A short memorial service at the Israeli Embassy that was organized by the Zionist Federation was streamed live online today, according to the London Jewish Chronicle. About 200 people marked the […]

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Bible Studies at Religious Schools ‘Lies and Betrayal’

Senior national-religious rabbis on Tuesday sent a letter to the heads of religious educational institutions in which they warn against the method of instruction demanded by the Education Ministry. The stances of two senior rabbis at the Har HaMor yeshiva – which is considered to be the flagship of the more conservative national religious approach […]

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