Switzerland’s frum Fawlty Towers

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 4, 2008

n a Friday night in August, the shul in the Edelweiss Hotel in St Moritz is packed with black-clad men swaying to the Shabbat service.

An overflow of some 20 men sit in the adjacent lounge which doubles as the women's section, at that hour still devoid of female presence. All of a sudden, a bony elderly man wearing a dark suit and homburg bursts in, shouting in a mixture of Yiddish and Shwitzerdeutsch, the local dialect.


‘We are a formidable force’

September 4, 2008

Campus antisemitism has been brought to the attention of government with the aid of improved reporting and recording resources.

Reports across the world tell of record levels of antisemitic attacks and challenging environments for Jewish students. They also warn of no-go zones on certain campuses.

In 2007 there were over 59 recorded incidents here, a handful of which were assaults. Yet antisemitism, and its expression on campuses, is more complex than these findings suggest, and the picture for students in Britain is more positive.


Kosher food is about ethics, not just rules

By Shmuley Boteach, August 28, 2008

A series of scandals at America's largest kosher meat plant raises profound questions for us all.

Ten years ago, I published a book called Kosher Sex. Many were confused by the title. Surely kosher was something that pertained to food, not sex? I had to explain that kosher is an overarching term in Judaism that connotes a certain ethical fitness. When we say something is kosher, we mean that it is not just proper but conforms to an elevated morality and holiness.


Let’s reclaim the mikveh, ladies

By Alex Kasriel, August 28, 2008

The ritual bath is a spiritual place. It's time non-Orthodox women experienced it for themselves.

When I told friends that I intended to visit the mikveh before getting married last month, reactions varied from raised eyebrows to horror stories involving women's naked bodies being scrutinised and their knickers being sent to rabbis for inspection. Then there were the complaints about women being deemed impure during menstruation.


‘Zionism is depicted as a conspiracy’

August 28, 2008

Antisemitism does not solely consist of the hate crimes that CST reports on each year; it is also about rhetoric, words, and imagery that influence attitudes towards Jews, and that damage Jewish morale.

In Britain today, very few commentators would ever be so crass as simply to castigate Jews for being Jews.


You don’t mess with Adam Sandler

By Daniel Treiman, August 22, 2008

The goofy American comedian is today's finest Jewish commentator

Is Adam Sandler the most important living Jewish commentator? Believe it or not, this actually isn't the first time those words have appeared in print. In fact, the question was posed way back in 1999, on the cover of America's national Jewish student magazine, New Voices.


When Jew shoots at Jew

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 21, 2008

The Russian invasion of Georgia has been compared to many historical conflicts - from Iraq 2003 to Czechoslovakia and Munich 1938 - so here's another one: World War One.

In Jewish history, the Great War went down as the conflict in which Jews shot at Jews. Hundreds of thousands served with the warring armies of Britain, Germany, Austria, Russia, Italy, the US and Turkey.

The Balfour Declaration cast the allies as the pro-Zionists, but over 12,000 German Jews died for the fatherland.


An arms role to be ashamed of

By Daniella Peled, August 21, 2008

Once upon a time, at least in the popular imagination, Israel's biggest export was oranges. Could it now be mercenaries?

Conspiracist websites abound with claims that Israelis are behind every junta, coup or military regime in the world. All this would be easy to dismiss as antisemitic delusions... if it wasn't so close to being true.


Shame on those of our leaders who back Chavez

By Isi Leibler, August 21, 2008

World Jewish Congress officials lost the plot when they called a recent meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez "successful", saying that he had joined the struggle against antisemitism.


Messianics are threatening Israel’s identity

By Nathan Jeffay, August 15, 2008

Israelis who believe in Jesus are gaining too much sway in the Jewish state

Some call it a miracle," states a Christian Broadcasting Network report on the Messianic Jewish community in Israel. "Many say it's the strongest growth since the time of Jesus and that the Messianic movement could be on the brink of a great revival."