Differences in levels of religious observance between Jewish partners in a relationship often cause tensions and hurt feelings. But in Amy Holson-Schwartz’s new play, “Can I Really Date a Guy Who Wears a Yarmulke?” starting this weekend at the Midtown International Theatre Festival, these differences become the subject of romantic comedy. Directed by Jay Falzone, the play has been described as “Scrubs” meets “How I Met Your Mother,” with a Jewish twist.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert may have declared the age of mass aliyah over, but aliyah from North America has ticked up in the last few years. And among those making the move this summer is a who’s who of Modern Orthodoxy.
Prominent rabbis and educators from the New York area, including Ari Berman, spiritual leader of The Jewish Center, a leading congregation on the Upper West Side, were feted last week by the Jewish Agency for Israel in its annual Olim Farewell ball.
British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: the Jewish people will continue to thrive if we maintain our pride and develop a sense of optimism.
Editor and Publisher
Listening to British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks deliver a positive message of Jewish survival and triumph at Lincoln Square Synagogue on Shabbat, and observing the enthusiastic, attentive overflow crowds at each of his three presentations, helped strengthen the impression for me that he has emerged as the leading voice of Modern Orthodoxy and religious Zionism in the world.
Nine years after Edah took up the challenge of reversing what it called a “separatist trend” within Modern Orthodoxy, the think-tank announced this week that it is winding down its operations, hoping to pass on its work and most successful programs to others.
While not exactly declaring its mission accomplished, Edah’s founder, Rabbi Saul Berman, said this week he was proud of achievements that exceeded expectations, while noting that much more work needs to be done.
Rabbi Marc Angel of Manhattan is going out with a bang.
As he prepares to retire from the pulpit this fall, the prominent Modern Orthodox rabbi and former president of the Rabbinical Council of America, has fired a salvo at his own movement, saying it is “slipping over the line to a cultic superstitious kind of religion.”
When, if ever, is it appropriate to criticize the politically incorrect statements of a leading rabbinic figure?
That question is being asked in Modern Orthodox circles these days after Rabbi Hershel Schachter, rosh yeshiva and rosh kollel at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, seemed to compare women to animals in expounding on a religious practice.
Even as Modern Orthodox Jews see themselves as embattled and on the decline within Orthodoxy, eclipsed by the ascendancy of the haredim to the right, new demographic data offer quite a different picture.
Tova Hartman, a professor of education at Hebrew University specializing in gender studies, seemed to capture the mood of the large audience at the opening plenary of the 10th annual conference of JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, on Sunday morning when she proclaimed: “We don’t have to prove anything to anyone anymore.”Expressing the frustration of those who for at least a decade have been advocating, largely in vain, for a rabbinic solution to the problem of agunot —women who cannot free themselves from an unwanted marriage — Hartman announced, to
Emily Shapiro Katz says that for young American women studying in Modern Orthodox yeshivot in Israel post-high school, unlike for their male counterparts, “intellectual rigor and religious fervor” don’t really mix. While many of the young men aspire to become proficient in Talmud studies, “many of the girls come to Israel with their ultimate goal to stop wearing pants” and only wear long skirts, observed Shapiro Katz, 31, who was both a student and teacher in several Modern Orthodox yeshivot for American women in Jerusalem.