Houses of Study: A Jewish Woman Among Books" by Ilana M. Blumberg is a slim volume, published by the University of Nebraska Press. It’s a quiet type of book, not one that shouts for attention — a book that could easily be missed among the thousands of new titles published each year.
Nella Shapiro’s waiting room feels more like a living room than an antiseptic medical office. European vintage posters, lush plants and colorful sofas fill the room, and the breast surgeon is often up front, greeting patients by name. One day last week, a woman who had surgery about six years ago insisted on coming in with a friend who is now a patient, just to say hello to the doctor.
"You saved my life," she reminds the doctor, who then asks about the woman’s grandson.
The eruv — that ethereal yet physical boundary enabling observant Jews to push strollers and use wheelchairs on Shabbat — fosters community even as it sparks tensions.
Before the Internet Age rendered geography irrelevant to community there was the eruv, the rabbinic response to spatial separation. A strategically placed wire here, a natural hedge border there, the inclusion of a fence or a highway, turns a neighborhood into an imaginary walled community of halachic intent, as such a deliberate remembrance of pre-diasporic Jerusalem.
In his efforts to co-opt rather than fight terrorist groups, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has sought to get Hamas and Islamic Jihad to join the Palestine Liberation Organization, of which he is the leader. This week, he appeared on the verge of success — but at the expense of Israel.
Two months after apparently squelching an insurrection, the leadership of the World Jewish Congress is facing renewed calls in its ranks for an independent audit and increased accountability.
Isi Leibler, a senior vice president of the organization whose public appeals for improved governance and transparency regarding WJC financial dealings prompted his dismissal in September, has refused to step down, and he seems to have found allies among the leadership of the Swiss branch of the WJC.
A married Jew with peyos and a black hat, Stefan Colmer used to spend hours, according to reports, reading the Talmud in the main study hall of the Mirrer Yeshiva on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn. While there, he also befriended some boys in and around the yeshiva and, on occasion, invited a few of them to his nearby home.
And, according to a source close to the case, Colmer allegedly sexually abused several of them — in addition to other young boys from the “general neighborhood” near the yeshiva, a law enforcement source believes.
Survivors for Justice, a support and advocacy organization formed by victims of child sexual abuse in the fervently Orthodox world, traveled to Albany this week to educate legislators about the problem of child sexual abuse in their communities and to discuss legislative efforts to help curb it and aid victims in seeking redress.
State Assembly member Dov Hikind was subpoenaed Monday to provide testimony and files he has compiled about rabbis and yeshiva employees who have allegedly sexually abused children under their charge, and rabbinic leaders who may have protected the abusers.
The Brooklyn Democrat says he has assembled detailed dossiers on “hundreds” of such cases. But he said he would “go to jail for 10 years” rather than reveal the names of the alleged victims, whom he has guaranteed anonymity.
About five years ago, Vincent Brown, a historian at Harvard, had to teach a seminar on the birth of black studies. Though the discipline has flourished since the 1960s, its origins were not well known, so Brown, an iPod-generation professor, thought a documentary on the topic might help. He was an amateur filmmaker himself, deft with a Camcorder, and figured he might try to make one on his own.