Charedi Judaism

The silent Charedi revolution

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 21, 2011

"The best solutions for the Charedi community can come from within the community, and nowhere else," says Yossi Deitch, chairman and one of the founders of the Kemach Foundation, as he looks through the personal files of some of the thousands of Charedi men and women who his organisation is helping into the workplace.


Charedi media fall foul of the rabbis

By Nathan Jeffay, April 7, 2011

Israeli rabbis have launched a bitter attack against Charedi newspapers and magazines which operate without their approval.

The two main Charedi newspapers in Israel, Hamodia and Yated Ne'eman, which between them sell 45,000 copies daily, are both are overseen by a rabbinical board who keep tight control over what they publish.


Cuts leave Charedi children in poverty

By Simon Rocker, March 31, 2011

The strictly Orthodox community is facing a rise in child poverty as a result of benefit cuts and lack of secular education for boys in its schools, according to a new report.

With the economic downturn and government spending cuts, it says: "The alarm bells should be ringing loudly".


No Purim whisky for Yeshivah boys

By Simon Rocker, March 17, 2011

The Gateshead Rav, Rabbi Shraga Faivel Zimmerman, has banned yeshivah boys from drinking spirits on Purim.

He said that they only should drink wine in moderation on the festival.

In a public notice, Rabbi Zimmerman said the dangers of alcoholic consumption had been highlighted by life-threatening incidents in recent years.


Charedim told to avoid Census

By Simon Rocker, March 17, 2011

A well-known figure in Stamford Hill's Charedi community has urged Jews to avoid the optional question on religion in the Census because it contravenes Jewish law.

JJ Rosner, who runs a number of medical charities, took issue with advice from other strictly Orthodox organisations for community members to respond to the religion question.


I'll chain myself to gates to save Sure Start centre

By Jonathan Kalmus, March 4, 2011

The head of the only Charedi-dedicated Sure Start centre has pledged to chain herself to its gates to save it from council funding cuts.

Michelle Ciffer runs the Hershel Weiss Children's and Family Centre in the heart of Salford's strictly Orthodox community.


Charedi group takes on Hackney Council

February 3, 2011

Strictly Orthodox organisations in Stamford Hill are presenting a united voice against stringent Hackney Council planning policies.

The Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, Agudas Israel Housing Association, Agudas Israel Community Services and the Interlink Foundation have teamed up in the Stamford Hill Coalition for Planning Change, which also involves local councillors and activists.

The group believes its cause will be helped by the Localism Bill, going through Parliament, which aims to shift power from government to communities.


Religious and secular start to view Holocaust through same lens

By Nathan Jeffay, January 27, 2011

Israel's Charedi community is embarking on a massive project to document the Holocaust-era experiences of its members.

Ginzach Kidush Hashem, Israel's largest Orthodox Holocaust commemoration organisation, is urging the Charedi public to provide it with contact details for survivors so that its staff and volunteers can get in touch and document their stories.

This campaign, which mimics
survivor testimony projects run
by Yad Vashem since its inception,
underscores how much the Charedi community's attitudes towards Holocaust commemoration have changed in the past 15 years.


The rabbi who wants to be a freedom fighter

By Mordechai Beck, January 6, 2011

It is highly unusual, to say the least, for a rabbi in today's Israel to be a hero, not just among the religious crowd, but also among a secular population increasingly alienated from, if not indeed antagonistic towards, the rabbinical establishment and all it represents. Rabbi Haim Amsellem is such a man. For many Israelis, he is a whistle- (or maybe shofar-) blower, warning of the extremism that is fast becoming the norm of Israel's religious life.


Charedim applaud visa rule change

By Simon Rocker, December 29, 2010

The Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations has welcomed a court ruling which may force the government to ease restrictions on marriage visas.

Two years ago, new rules were introduced to refuse entry for spouses from outside the European Union if they or their British spouse were under 21.

But the change hit the Charedi community, where people marry young and often choose partners from Israel or the USA.

The Court of Appeal has now called into question the whole policy - which was designed to combat forced marriages - after upholding appeals on behalf of two non-Jewish couples.