Orthodox Judaism

Israel Criticism Gets An O-U

Staff Writer
In anticipation of possible Israeli withdrawals from the West Bank, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America voted in Jerusalem last week to empower its leadership to issue statements critical of the Israeli government. The action, taken after much debate, came after what many viewed as the organization's tepid response two years ago to the planned Gaza disengagement.

Costume Jewry

Associate Editor

In Uncharted Waters

Associate Editor
Last December, the appointment of women rabbinic interns in two Orthodox synagogues here sparked heated debate about leadership roles for women within Orthodoxy.But a year later, the debate seems to have dropped off the radar screen and the hirings remain a pioneering — if isolated — experiment at the two Modern Orthodox congregations.

Eruv Plan Roils Tony Town In Hamptons

Staff Writer
The negative e-mails started soon after word spread that the Hampton Synagogue was asking the tony Village of Westhampton Beach for a proclamation permitting it to erect an eruv, or symbolic boundary, around the synagogue.

Feminism And Orthodoxy, The Second Stage

Staff Writers
Ronnie Becher felt like an anxious hostess this time last year, wondering whether “everyone was going to show up to the party.” But the party — the first International Conference of Feminism and Orthodoxy — succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of Becher and the other organizers, who had modestly predicted a crowd of 400.

A Judicial Affair

Staff Writer
The law secretary of Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Martin Schoenfeld may be in hot water for dating the secretary of a plaintiff's lawyer who had a case pending before the judge. Nathan Lewin, a defense attorney for the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada, said the court's Jan. 23 ruling against his client in several pre-trial decisions is "suspect" because of that relationship, of which he was not informed until late last month.

Orthodox Women’s Ordination? Even Rabbis Are Split

Editor and Publisher
 “If a rabbi by definition is a teacher with knowledge, what moral justification is there to prevent women from being rabbis?” That question was posed, in writing, to a panel of five young Orthodox rabbis, graduates of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT), from an audience member on Sunday night at the rabbinical school’s annual dinner, held at the Ramaz Upper School.

Jewish Group Turns Up Heat In Eruv Fight

Staff Writer
The controversy over a proposed eruv for observant Jews in Westhampton Beach, L.I., heated up this week when eruv opponents sent a letter to residents that the American Jewish Congress labeled “racist.” “It’s pretty close to sheer bigotry,” said Marc Stern, the AJC’s acting co-executive director. The opponents, members of a group calling itself the Jewish People Opposed to the Eruv (JPOE), said in their letter that they were seeking to “preserve and protect this secular community.”

Orthodox Rabbis Now Tie Kashrut To Ethics

Staff Writer
Mainstream Orthodox rabbis have for the first time affirmed that kosher food must not only be prepared in a certain way but that the company doing the work must comply with specific ethical standards. The centrist Orthodox group, the 1,000-member Rabbinical Council of America, announced last week that it was establishing a task force to develop business and professional ethical guidelines. The RCA is the rabbinic authority of the Orthodox Union, which provides kosher supervision to 3,000 companies.

Judge Versus Rabbis

Staff Writer
As more and more “black-hat” Jews flocked into the Five Towns in recent years, the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway in Lawrence found itself at a crossroads. The highly regarded Modern Orthodox day school, with a middle-of-the-road philosophy that mixes tradition with modernity, was now a fish out of water, so to speak — a left-leaning institution in an area quickly moving to the right religiously.
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