Orthodox Judaism

Ra’anana Rabbis Condemn Attack on Reform Synagogue


JERUSALEM (JTA) – Some 14 Orthodox rabbis and public figures from the central Israel city of Ra'anana signed a letter condemning an attack on a Reform synagogue in the city.

Signers of the letter released Sunday include Ra'anana Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz.

The World Union for Progressive Judaism also condemned the April 14 attack, the third time the Raanan Synagogue has been vandalized in the last year.

How Women’s Talmud Study Is Unique

Special to the Jewish Week

A quiet revolution is taking place in the second generation of women's Torah study. Originally women's Talmud learning was modeled after the male yeshiva: students were detached from the surrounding world and were expected to confine themselves to the Beit Midrash in order to achieve a total absorption into the world of Torah. There was also methodological aping: analyses that required a thumb stirring the air and intellectual hair splitting of the Talmudic topics dominated.

Just Thinking About Driving on Shabbat

Previously on the "Jewish Techs" blog, I discussed the technical halachic (Jewish legal) minutae surrounding the permissability of using the Amigo Shabbat Scooter from the Israeli-based Zomet Institute. The Shabbat Scooter is made by Michigan-based Amigo, founded by Allan Thieme, which began making the Jewish Sabbath-approved scooters six years ago.

Will rabbis allow a vehicle controlled by the mind to be used on the Jewish Sabbath?

Teaneck Parents Eyeing Public (School) Option

As Englewood Hebrew charter school moves forward, increased buzz about a previously unthinkable option.
Associate Editor

 Soon after Jason “Yitzi” Flynn transferred his 10-year-old son from the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey to Teaneck’s Thomas Jefferson Middle School this fall, the phone calls started coming in.

Local Orthodox parents — sometimes as many as eight in one week — would call, wanting to know how his son was adjusting to public school, were the teachers good, was he managing to continue his Jewish learning, did he still have friends from yeshiva?

Jason “Yitzi” Flynn moved his son from a day school to Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Teaneck, above. Michael Datikash

Alaska Airlines Detains Passengers Over Tefillin


(JTA) -- An Alaska Airlines flight crew issued a security alert after three Mexican Orthodox Jews began praying with tefillin.

The flight attendants, who were concerned by the prayers being said aloud in Hebrew and the unfamiliar boxes with leather straps hanging from them, locked down the cockpit and radioed a security alert ahead to Los Angeles International Airport.

The flight originated Sunday in Mexico City. It was met at the Los Angeles airport by fire crews, foam trucks, FBI agents, Transportation Security Administration personnel and police, according to Reuters.

Who Is A Jew Crisis Moves Into Immigration Sphere

Interior Ministry now seen ceding control to Chief Rabbinate of Orthodox converts seeking to make aliyah.
Israel Correspondent

 Jerusalem — Thomas Dohlan, who converted to Judaism in an Orthodox Canadian beit din, never anticipated that Israel’s Ministry of the Interior might question his Jewishness and block his bid to make aliyah.

But that’s exactly what’s happening, thanks to what appears to be a new policy that gives Israel’s Orthodox Chief Rabbinate, and not the Interior Ministry, the ultimate authority to decide which Orthodox converts are kosher enough for immigration purposes.

The Evolving Religious World and Conservative Judaism's Challenge

Special to the Jewish Week

There is a great deal of talk swirling around about my movement- the Conservative movement- and its state of being. The lead article in this week’s print edition of The Jewish Week reports on a new strategic plan for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and the changes that it is intending to make in both its organizational structure and sphere of operations. The article implies- not too subtly- that the proposed changes reflect an organization, and a movement, in crisis.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Gay Orthodox Shabbaton Was Like ‘Heaven’

For those on the margins, a new sense of belonging at first-ever event.
Special To The Jewish Week

Usually, when Adam goes to shul, he feels like part of him is just not there. In the black-hat synagogue he attends with his children, he feels that he’s always guarding the secret that he’s gay.

Although he grew up in the haredi community and attended its institutions, he no longer feels comfortable in that world, even as his children are very much integrated into the community. While he has come out to his ex-wife, his children still don’t know.

Ely Winkler and Sheldon Bruck mark Havdalah at the Eshel Shabbaton.

Liberal Orthodox Rabbinic Group: No Women Members

Setback for Rabba Hurwitz from fellowship Avi Weiss helped found.
Editor and Publisher

The most liberal Orthodox rabbinic group in the U.S. has voted down its first proposal to accept women members.

Rabba Sara Hurwitz: Disappointed in conservative vote of liberal rabbinical organization.

Why The Chief Rabbi Isn’t At LimmudUK

Coventry, England – One of the most impressive aspects of LimmudUK, which seeks to educate, inspire and entertain people on their Jewish journeys, is its open tent policy, accounting for more than 2,000 participants at this year’s five-day conference.

But not every element of British Jewry is represented at this grassroots, volunteer-driven event, and it’s curious to see who is not here.

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