Charedi Judaism

Free Charedi swim sessions are axed

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 22, 2010

Free swimming sessions for Salford's Charedi community are set to be scrapped as a result of government spending cuts.

Just a month ago, Charedi groups were celebrating a successful campaign for same sex sessions through Broughton's council-run Fit City centre. It was part of a nationally funded scheme offering free swimming for under-17s and over-60s.

More..

Curious case of demonstrators who wanted invisibility

By Lucy Morris, July 15, 2010

It was a demonstration with a curious ambition: to be invisible.

On Tuesday, nearly 500 anti-Zionist strictly Orthodox Jews staged a mass protest outside the Israeli Embassy, complete with loudspeakers and a sea of banners. The "True Torah Jews" had sent two long press releases and phoned the JC to alert us of their intention to demonstrate against plans to build on an ancient burial ground in Israel.

More..

Girl makes history at batmitzvah

By Jane Liddell-King, July 8, 2010

Beth Djanogly, 12, broke new ground when she chanted the haftarah for her batmitzvah in Cambridge last Shabbat - she is believed to be the first to have done so in an Orthodox synagogue under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi.

While her father chanted the portion from the prophets in the main prayer-hall of the Cambridge Traditional Synagogue, Beth did the same to a women-only audience in another room.

As she completed the blessings to murmurs of appreciation, one woman was heard to whisper: "That was so amazing, it just shows what can be done."

More..

Charedi fears over visa English lessons

By Leon Symons, July 1, 2010

A tightening of the marriage visa law requiring potential immigrants who want to marry here to learn English before they come to Britain has sent a shockwave through the Charedi community.

The new law, to be introduced in September, will mean that applicants will be asked to produce proof of their English studies when they apply for their visa.

More..

Analysis: Secular and religious Jews are not at war

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 24, 2010

The 100,000-strong demonstration last Thursday supporting the fathers about to go to jail has been billed as the ultimate showdown between the secular state and the strictly Orthodox community.

Feelings have been inflamed for a while. The media and politicians have been ramping up the debate over the role of the Charedi sector for several months, following a number of reports on the community's growing share of the younger population and its lack of contribution to the national economy.

More..

Comment: Media treats Charedim the way the world treats Israel

By Jonathan Rosenblum, June 24, 2010

From the beginning, the dispute over the two-track system - one Chasidic and one general - in the Beit Yaakov school in Emanuel, an impoverished West Bank settlement, has been falsely portrayed as a case of ethnic discrimination against Sephardim, or Jews of Middle Eastern descent.

It would not be surprising if there were few Sephardi girls in the Chasidic track - there were few Sephardim in the areas of Eastern Europe from where Chasidim hail. In fact, more than a quarter of the girls in the Chasidic track are of Sephardi origin.

More..

Rabbi's rebel son is behind race lawsuit

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 24, 2010

The identity of the Charedi rabbi who gave his blessing to the controversial petition to the Supreme Court surprised no one.

Rabbi Yaakov Yosef has long made a name for himself in challenging not only the norms of his community, but also the wishes of his father, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the most influential Sephardi rabbi of this generation and spiritual leader of the Shas political party.

More..

Mothers to go to jail in school race case

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 24, 2010

The crisis surrounding the segregated Beit Yaakov school in Emanuel seems set to continue with a new Supreme Court ruling ordering that the mothers of some of the pupils be sent to prison.

Thirty five fathers of girls at the strictly Orthodox school were jailed last Thursday for two weeks for contempt of court, after they refused to allow their daughters in the mainly Ashkenazi "Chasidic stream" to study with girls in the mainly Sephardi "general stream".

More..

Charedim hard hit by budget

By Marcus Dysch, June 24, 2010

The spending cuts announced in the budget contain "very bleak news" that could lead to misery for the Charedi community, the country's largest Jewish housing association has warned.

Chancellor George Osborne's announcement of a freeze on child benefits and cuts to housing benefit have been met with serious concern by the Agudas Israel Housing Association.

Families on housing benefit will receive a maximum of £400 a week for properties with more than three bedrooms as the government attempts to save £1.8 billion by the end of this parliament.

More..

Orthodox girls suspended for emailing

June 17, 2010

GIRLS at a strictly Orthodox high school in Manchester have been disciplined for breaking a pledge not to use the internet.

Beis Yaakov High School is understood to have taken action against pupils and to have excluded a number of girls. The voluntary-aided school, previously known as Jewish High, says it regards the internet "with great fear and suspicion".

A small number of Beis Yaakov girls are understood to have been subject to fixed-term exclusions in recent weeks after the school learned they had been exchanging emails.

More..