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  • The Pew survey: What’s missing from the conversation

    October 11, 2013 | 10:48 am

    The ink is barely dry on the latest Pew report on declining Jewish affiliation and concerned community leaders are quickly weighing in on what to do to attract the unaffiliated back under the tent.  Notwithstanding all the good ideas, something, from my experience, is missing from...

  • Pew study finds a vibrant Jewish community

    October 10, 2013 | 12:57 pm

    Over the past week, I have seen a flurry of writing about Pew Research Center’s study on American Jews. Several scholars and communal leaders have taken an alarmist stance toward the findings, calling the increasing rate of intermarriage “devastating” and describing non-Orthodox...

  • Rabbis arrested in kidnapping, beating of recalcitrant husbands

    October 10, 2013 | 11:57 am

    Two Orthodox rabbis and two others were arrested for allegedly kidnapping and beating men in order to force them to grant their wives religious Jewish divorces.

    The men were arrested Wednesday night in a monthlong sting operation in which a female FBI agent posed as an Orthodox...

  • How to inspire a Jewish future in America

    October 8, 2013 | 9:39 am

    Last week, the Pew Research Center released the first national demographic study of Jewish Americans in more than a decade. Like all such studies, there are disagreements at the edges about the accuracy of some of the results, but the study’s most significant findings have been...

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  • Female Israeli soldier called to Torah at military synagogue

    October 4, 2013 | 10:44 am

    An Orthodox female Israeli soldier was called up to the Torah during holiday services on a military base in what was being called a first.

    At Simchat Torah services last week at a base in Haifa, the soldier received an aliyah from the gabbai, a civilian employee of the military,...

  • Making an Orthodox sense of an unorthodox census

    By Rabbi Dov Fischer

    October 4, 2013 | 10:23 am

    The Pew survey, reported last week in major news outlets, inadvertently mischaracterizes Orthodox demographic trends quite dramatically and necessarily undercounts us significantly, for the same reason that other random-digit-dialing and surveying techniques do.  I previously have...

  • Western Wall rabbi to Charedi girls: Avoid plaza for Women of the Wall service

    October 3, 2013 | 9:45 am

    The Western Wall rabbi requested that Charedi Orthodox girls not fill the plaza for the next Women of the Wall service.

    Aiming to reduce tension at the plaza, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz made the request on Thursday, one day before the monthly Rosh Chodesh service by the group.

    ...
  • Caredim in church? The wackiest result from the Pew ‘Jewish Americans’ survey

    October 1, 2013 | 1:25 pm

    The new Pew Research Center’s new study “A Portrait of Jewish Americans” offers a treasure trove of survey data on American Jewry. It’s a particularly valuable service since the Jewish Federations of North America opted not do a repeat of the decennial National Jewish Population...

  • Wedding: Bridge to reconciliation

    September 18, 2013 | 12:02 pm

    I got married June 30 at the Chabad Residential Treatment Center. 

    Yes, you read that correctly. I didn’t get married at the Four Seasons but at a drug and alcohol rehab facility on the corner of Olympic and Hauser boulevards. It was the most un-orthodox Orthodox Jewish wedding a...

  • Married, but not in Israel

    September 18, 2013 | 11:59 am

    Located in the eastern Mediterranean, the island of Cyprus feels very familiar to Israelis, due to its warm climate, arid stretches of mountainous land filled with olive trees and beautiful beaches.

    Not a bad place for a wedding, right?

    Every year, according to Israel’s Central...

  • Mitzvahland: For all your Jewish needs

    By Rob Eshman

    September 17, 2013 | 10:43 am

    On Sunday, my wife and I drove out to the Valley to buy a new sukkah. It was time. I’d bought our old sukkah from an Armenian Catholic who supplied booths to vendors in farmers’ markets. When his orders began to spike in September, he realized he could have a good little side...

  • Could a robust ‘anti-intermarriage’ campaign work?

    By Jonah Lowenfeld

    September 17, 2013 | 7:25 am

    And you shall teach, coax and command your Jewish children to marry within the faith…and openly and vocally disapprove when they don’t.

    That, in a nutshell, is the new strategy Jack Wertheimer proposes to Jewish leaders as the way to stem the tide of Jewish intermarriage, which...

  • La Brea ‘Eastbound & Down’ billboard removed after Orthodox pressure

    By Jared Sichel

    September 13, 2013 | 3:26 pm

    For the second time in two months, the Orthodox Jewish community in Los Angeles has successfully pressured a major billboard company to take down what some considered offensive advertising.

    The latest, a billboard located at the corner of Beverly Boulevard and Detroit Street in...

  • Funding a Jewish future

    September 12, 2013 | 1:12 pm

    When Allen Alevy was 12 years old, he was called to the Torah for the first time. Although he hadn’t yet had a bar mitzvah, his maternal grandfather’s Orthodox synagogue was one man shy of a minyan

    Alevy, who attended morning services regularly, recalls feeling so honored that...

  • Sunday’s protestors sought kaporot concessions

    September 9, 2013 | 5:25 pm

    With chants of “Shonda,” and “Shame,” a group of around 75 protestors demonstrated on Sept. 8 in front of two sites on Pico Blvd where kaporot ceremonies were taking place.

    Kaporot, which means “Atonement,” is a 1,000 year old custom observed by some Orthodox Jews between Rosh...

  • LINK East serves a growing Pico-Robertson

    By Jared Sichel

    August 28, 2013 | 3:00 pm

    The eastward expansion of Pico-Robertson’s Orthodox community hit a new milestone recently with the Aug. 24 opening of LINK East, a satellite branch of LINK, the Los Angeles Intercommunity Kollel.

    A kollel is a place where rabbinic scholars study among themselves and teach people...

  • Women of the Wall call alternative site a ‘wall of misfits’

    August 27, 2013 | 10:45 am

    This story originally appeared on themedialine.org.

    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...

  • Taking stock of ourselves and Israel

    August 20, 2013 | 12:57 pm

    On this Rosh Hashanah eve, we savor the hope that the New Year will bring the blessing of peace to Israel.   We recall President Obama’s historic speech in Jerusalem, where he spoke to our hearts, as Jews and as Americans, about the necessity of achieving Israeli-Palestinian...

  • Childhood abuse victims name alleged abuser

    By Jared Sichel

    August 14, 2013 | 2:32 pm

    Sitting with his back hunched, his wife by his side and a kippah on his head, a 23-year-old bearded Orthodox man nervously told a gathering of parents at a private residence near Pico-Robertson that a young man named Mendel Tevel had sexually abused him when he was 14. Tevel now...

  • Orthodoxy and ethics

    By Dennis Prager

    August 14, 2013 | 10:56 am

    One of the most prominent Orthodox rabbis of our time, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, chief rabbi of Efrat, related the following story in the July 12-18 issue of the International Jerusalem Post:

    “Let me tell you a true incident which for me is a metaphor of our times. A young man...

  • A Sunday call on same-sex marriage

    By Gina Nahai

    August 7, 2013 | 11:15 am

    I was talking with a young woman last Sunday afternoon. She had called me because she read the column I wrote here last month, about Sinai Temple’s decision to perform same-sex weddings. She said she’s gay and came out to her family a year ago. They’re Iranian Jews who care a great...

  • Women of the Wall’s collateral damage

    August 1, 2013 | 11:43 am

    Until recently, Women of the Wall (WoW) was but a distant blip on my radar. All that was changed as I came across a BBC interview, in which a prominent WoW member painted Israel as a misogynist country oppressing women. I felt I could not remain silent.

    Religious freedom and...

  • Charedi men attack after woman refuses to move to back of bus

    July 31, 2013 | 10:29 am

    Haredi Orthodox assailants in Beit Shemesh smashed the windows of a bus after a woman refused to sit apart from men.

    The trouble began Wednesday afternoon when a haredi man demanded that a female passenger move to the back of the crowded public bus in Beit Shemesh, a sprawling...

  • Israeli defense chief Ya’alon defers Charedi draft orders

    July 30, 2013 | 3:34 pm

    Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon deferred the draft orders for hundreds of Charedi Orthodox yeshiva students.

    The students had been scheduled to be inducted into the Israel Defense Forces in August through December following the cancellation of the Tal Law, which had...

  • In Orthodox Community, Offensive Billboard Taken Down

    July 22, 2013 | 2:18 pm

    A Jewish group convinced Van Wagner Communications to remove a suggestive billboard showing a mostly naked woman that was an advertisement for XO energy drink. The ad had been displayed on the 2000 block of South La Cienega Boulevard, a neighborhood frequented by many observant...

  • Charedi soldier attacked by haredim in Mea Shearim

    July 9, 2013 | 2:21 pm

    A Charedi Orthodox soldier was attacked by dozens of haredi rioters in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim.

    The soldier, a resident of central Israel who was visiting the haredi Orthodox enclave to visit relatives, hid in a nearby building where he changed into civilian...

  • Egypt receives Arab billions, names prime minister

    July 9, 2013 | 10:45 am

    Egypt named an interim prime minister on Tuesday and rich Gulf states poured in $8 billion in aid, as the biggest Arab nation sought ways out of a crisis a day after troops killed dozens of Islamists.

    Interim head of state Adli Mansour announced a faster-than-expected timetable...

  • Far from Kotel, Women of the Wall pray with police protection

    July 8, 2013 | 11:37 am

    Women of the Wall conducted its monthly prayer service at the Western Wall plaza with an occasional disturbance from protesters, but the worshipers were kept far from the wall itself.

    The women, who came to the holy site Monday morning to mark the beginning of the Hebrew month of...

  • Feeds and reads: Jewish responses to same-sex marriage decisions

    June 26, 2013 | 10:18 am

    Much of the Jewish world is celebrating today’s Supreme Court ruling on two same-sex marriage cases.

    But two Jewish groups aren’t joining the party. We devoted a separate post to the brief response of the haredi Orthodox Agudath Israel. The Orthodox Union weighed in with this...

  • Liberal Jewish groups unleash on doomed abortion bill

    June 20, 2013 | 10:13 am

    Liberal Jewish groups fired a verbal barrage against a restrictive abortion bill passed by the Republican-dominated U.S. House of Representatives, calling it “egregious,” “outrageous,” “an affront,” and “deeply disappointing.”

    Such strong language is unusual in any case for...

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