Limmud has something for everyone (but me)

By Sandy Rashty, January 7, 2016

When the assignment was first handed over, I kicked my desk and unleashed a torrent of expletives. It was my turn to cover the annual Limmud conference - and no tantrum would get me out of it.

Nor would a family wedding in Tel Aviv or an offer to holiday at a penthouse in New York over the New Year.


Orthodox participation at Limmud? Don't just count the rabbis

By Raphael Zarum, January 7, 2016

I've been going to Limmud for over 20 years. My first time was a bit of a shock - such a range of people and sessions, such a passion for learning, such a joy at "doing Jewish". I was hooked.

Limmud is a novel take on the Yarchei Kallah, an ancient Jewish institution. It was a bi-annual study convention for Jewish scholars in Babylon. In various forms it has continued to the present day.


Grisly days for city that knows normality

By Noga Godein, January 7, 2016

On sunny Fridays, Dizengoff Street, the heart of Tel Aviv's proudly scruffy strip of cafés and saloons, hosts long afternoons of coffee and light drinks that gently carry its patrons towards a night of partying.

Last Friday, the languor was interrupted by the rat-a-tat of a semi-automatic weapon that left two people dead and the city on edge.


It’s older than the US itself — New York’s go-to shul

By Zaki Cooper, January 6, 2016

Of the many beautiful shuls around the world, there are not many that house communities older than the countries they are in.

But that anomaly applies to the ornate Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, Congregation Shearith Israel, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.


In muddy French refugee camp, Torah ethics live

By Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, January 6, 2016

"Compulsory tea break". The call goes around the huge warehouse five minutes' drive from the refugee camp universally known as "The Jungle" outside Calais. During the pause, a woman in a beret eyes my kippah: "Are you here over Shabbat?"

People wheel in loads of donated clothing.


Let's boycott dictatorships, not Israel...

By Elisabeth Perlman, January 4, 2016

Earlier this month, two Welsh councils reversed their decision to boycott Israeli goods. The government recently announced plans to prevent local councils launching politically motivated boycotts of Israel.


The extraordinary story of why I owe my life to Irma

By Franz Leichter, January 4, 2016

Franz Leichter made a name for himself in US politics with his liberal-minded passion for social issues. A practising attorney, he cut his teeth in the New York State Assembly, before a lengthy career in the Senate. Yet all that might never have been, had it not been for the courage and bravery of Irma Turnsek – who has just been recognised as a Righteous Among Nations.


All good, at least on the surface

By Michael Freedland, December 28, 2015

Everything seems better than ever in relations between the Catholic Church and world Jewry. A new declaration emphasising that the faithful should abandon all hope of converting the Jews has finally been issued. We are, after all, the elder brothers and sisters of Christianity.


Tonight, I’ll have the turkey soup

By Joy Sable, December 25, 2015

Christmas, as we all know, puts in an early appearance at around the same time as we are dipping our apples into honey. Yep, September is when you can spot the first mince pies on our supermarket shelves, and, like it or not, by mid-November we've been subjected to the full onslaught of pretentious fragrance commercials on the telly and overpriced gift sets in the shops.


Just what will be his legacy?

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 23, 2015

Greville Janner was one of the most flamboyant but at the same time one of the most flawed of the communal politicians who walked upon the Anglo-Jewish stage in the second half of the 20th century. Adored - worshipped almost - but reviled by others, there can be no denying that he made a mark and left a legacy.