Charedi Judaism

Not on our pavements - Charedi group opposes bike plan

By Simon Rocker, March 26, 2015

A group which tries to protect the morals of strictly Orthodox Jews has identified a new spiritual threat - bicycle lanes.

The Va'ad Lema'an Toihar Hamachaneh - "committee for the purity of the camp" - has not spelt out why a cycle route running through Hackney, the north London borough with the capital's largest Charedi population, would be "a danger to the spirituality and character of our ne

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Is it the end of Golders Green Charedi giants?

By Simon Rocker, February 26, 2015

The death last week of the nonagenarian president of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, Rabbi Elchonon Halpern, not only deprived Golders Green of one of its most influential post-war Jewish figures, it marked the passing of the area's Charedi old guard.

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Top rabbi drowns iPhone

By Nathan Jeffay, February 12, 2015

A senior Israeli rabbi revealed that he destroyed a student’s iPhone because of the device’s supposed spiritual dangers, according to an audio recording that has just surfaced.

Charedi media claimed to have found the recording of a sermon by Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef in which he argued that smartphone usage was enough to invalidate a marriage.

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Chasid’s ‘Sacred Sperm’ film causes stir

By Nathan Jeffay, February 12, 2015

The Chasid who made a film about masturbation has said that he was caught off-guard by the massive interest that it generated.

“I’m surprised because I didn’t realise that it would interest people around the world,” said Ori Gruder.

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Salford cuts threaten charities' services

By Josh Jackman, January 22, 2015

Manchester communal charities fear the impact on services of the swingeing budget cuts proposed by Salford City Council, saying they are "being hit from all angles".

Salford - which has had its government funding reduced by £118 million since 2011 - has announced plans to slash £56 million from its budget over the next two years, includiing a £32.5 million reduction for 2015.

The major Ma

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Chasidic school impresses Ofsted

By Simon Rocker, December 8, 2014

An independent Chasidic school in Stamford Hill, north London, has received a glowing report from Ofsted.

Talmud Torah Machzikei Hadass, which is run by the Belz Chasidic group with 533 boys aged from three to 16, was rated good overall.

The behaviour of pupils as well as the schools’ attention to their care and safety was ranked outstanding, as was its early years section.

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Antwerp Jewish community reeling after stab attack

By Josh Jackman, November 17, 2014

A Jewish leader in Antwerp has said the community feels “fragile” after a Charedi man was stabbed on his way to synagogue this weekend.

Yehosha Malik, 31, was attacked by a man who reportedly targeted his victim after exiting a bar early on Saturday morning.

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Plans to split Israeli town into two pieces

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 23, 2014

Representatives of the non-Charedi communities in the town of Beit Shemesh, to the west of Jerusalem, are lobbying to split the municipality into two separate entities - one for the strictly Orthodox and one for the others.

The move comes seven months after Shas's Moshe Abutbul was re-elected as mayor in a second round of elections following claims of voter fraud last year.

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Man helping Orthodox boot up and cash in

By Nathan Jeffay, September 12, 2014

When Moshe Friedman was trying to get a high-tech start-up off the ground, a potential investor raised a concern. The funder was worried that because Mr Friedman is strictly-Orthodox, he would not be able to stop himself from taking the funds and giving them to charity.

Mr Friedman came up against such prejudice on several occasions while building up his video-editing company.

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Are Charedi schools extremist?

By Simon Rocker, June 12, 2014

After the government's inquiry into alleged Islamist extremism in Birmingham schools, Jewish educators will be keeping a close watch on what Ofsted does next. Will the inspection service seek to counter religious sectarianism more widely?

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